The conscious will attempting to command the subconscious has been described as like a rider trying to control an elephant; the rider can encourage, suggest, even insist but ultimately the elephant goes where it wants to go. I think of it as the mind-berg; hidden, often inexplicable in its movements but more than massive enough to unbalance our conscious actions.
There is at least one way however that the secret power of suggestion can be constructive. In placing a perhaps ideal but achievable image in the mind’s eye one finds an innate but hidden intelligence will work toward it without a conscious striving, perhaps especially without it, but creating its own gravitational effect.
Just to gather and record data without any deliberate attempt to change can have profound effects. Clear information and space for change is apparently all the unconscious mind needs to work its magic on our behavior. Some have found for example that merely to weigh themselves each morning and plot a chart causes over time by some mysterious mechanism that chart to decline. Or we time and record ourselves adhering to a daily task like journaling or meditation and find our compliance rises where our conscious overt will previously had little effect.
In turn attempts at outward order can often favorably nudge our hidden thoughts to complete a two-way cycle between them. These attempts may be superficial but surprise us in their deep effects; mere tidiness is little but projects up to larger issues.
In the short term the conscious mind has limited effect on habitual thinking but over time in persistently etching new neural paths, in incrementally displacing the old habits, quite literally a new being is created.
What we habitually think about eventually we become just as layers of soft sandy sediment harden to bedrock. Thinking consistently pushed in one direction solidifies to become a mentality, a mind-set indeed with an in-built resistance to change.
We find that the inner and outer flow on a two way street, that the elephant can be yoked if not quite made obedient. The mind-berg slowly cracks and moves beneath our feet.