The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!
I’ve always been intrigued by the concept and application of subliminal tapes, hypnosis, past life regressions, psychic phenomenon and any way to access the secret powers and potential of the mind. I recently had an interesting conversation about these topics, and the effectiveness of subliminal messages. Here’s my take. First, let’s bring everyone up to speed.
What are subliminals?
A "subliminal" message is a signal or message embedded in another medium, designed to pass below the normal limits of the human mind’s perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious mind and importantly, the unconscious mind, and can negatively or positively influence subsequent later thoughts, behaviors, actions, attitudes, belief systems and value systems. The term subliminal means "beneath a limen" (sensory threshold). This is derived from the Latin words sub, meaning under, and limen, meaning threshold.[from wikipedia]
You may have heard of instances back in the 1950s in the US where movie theatres were discovered to be flashing messages like "buy popcorn now" during movies in an effort to increase their concession stand sales.
You may have heard about alcohol companies in the 1960s incorporating hidden sexually suggestive images in the ice cubes of photos in their ads.
This is called subliminal advertising. Years later, for various reasons, people debate its effectiveness. But soon, you’ll never have to debate. But first...
Think about this
Do you recall ever having scary dreams after watching a horror movie when you were a child? Even if you didn’t, you perhaps know of someone who did. That’s an example of images impressed upon your mind in a conscious state (while you were awake) that had the power to influence your subconscious state (while you were asleep).
Now, in your later years, do you recall ever having a bad dream that affected your mood when you woke up? Even if you didn’t, you perhaps know of someone who did. That’s an example of images impressed upon you during a non-conscious state (while you were asleep) that had the power to influence your conscious state (while you were awake).
So we already know that things that you "see," whether asleep or awake, whether real or imagined, whether true or not, can affect you.
Now, how about things that you "don’t" see?
We mentioned the movie theatre subliminals and the alcohol ad ice cubes of the 50s and 60s. If you asked a person in the theatre, or someone who viewed the alcohol ad if they actually recall seeing the subliminally suggestive images, they would have said no. Their conscious minds didn’t register it, but their actions (suddenly getting the urge to buy popcorn, or deciding on a particular brand of alcohol) show they were in fact influenced.
We know that scientists have used hypnosis to help people recall events from their childhoods, events that they’ve forgotten, and things they didn’t realize that they actually saw.
The human mind receives impressions from the external environment on a conscious and subconscious level. There are millions of stimuli that you are recording in your brain—sounds, smells, images, tastes—right now at this very moment that you aren’t consciously acknowledging. However, perhaps a few years from now, when you think back on this moment, your mind may put these impressions into a format and context which you can use for comparison, etc.
So we know that just because you don’t acknowledge the person walking by you in an orange t-shirt with specific words written on it, doesn’t mean your mind hasn’t recorded it. It’s there, waiting to affect you in some way in the immediate or far future.
So, we already know that things that you "don’t" (or don’t realize you do) see can affect you, too.
So, here’s why you should never argue with anyone about the effectiveness of subliminals...ever again: Because it’s a waste of time to question or debate the effectiveness of something you already know works!
First, subliminal messages are often simply words. Don’t let anyone tell you that words do not influence you. You already know they do. When someone gives you a compliment, it can affect your mood all day. When you hear or read the news it affects your mood. If words didn’t have an effect on us, no one would be able to learn a language, do their homework or even think!
Second, subliminal messages are often simply images. Don’t let anyone tell you that images do not influence you. You already know they do. When you see a terrible car accident on the way to work, it can affect your mood all day.
How many times have you had an unexplainable reaction to a particular person, neighborhood, country or ethnic group because of images and words on the news, in magazines, or through conversations with others?
Third, subliminal messages are nothing more than advertising. Don’t let anyone tell you that advertising does not work. You already know it does. Industries spend billions of dollars every year on advertising to get you to purchase their products. Millions are spent to determine the best colors to use, the best physical positioning of the product on the shelves, the type of fonts, what age and gender of actors, all for the purpose of influencing your behavior.
Words and Images
Yes, subliminal messages are simply words and images, and they work. All of our lives, we are affected by words that make an impact on our thoughts and beliefs, experiences that have a psychological effect on our self-esteem, images that affect our dreams, our fears, etc.
You do not need to debate anyone on the power of images, the persuasive power of words, or effectiveness of advertising....you already know they work! The world is one big subliminal ad campaign. Everything that you are consciously AND subconsciously exposed to in life makes an imprint on your mind, whether you consciously acknowledge it or not. Everything about you, the life you live, how much money you earn, what you think about yourself and of other people, is the sum total of all the words and images you’ve been exposed to throughout your life and up until this very moment.
And finally—and I’d like you to really think about this— if subliminal suggestion was not effective, it would not have been banned as an advertising technique by the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) in 1958, or decried by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in 1974. You don’t ban things that have no effect.
[Note: As an aside, there’s nothing inherently bad about subliminals. What’s objectionable is when they are used to covertly affect our buying habits without our awareness, permission or consent] *
Applying the Technology
So how does this apply to you and your business? Well, what if you went through your entire life thinking "making money is difficult,” starting my own business is hard,” because of something someone told you when you were eight years old, what you witnessed around you in your family, from your own experiences, or from commonly-held stereotypes about people like you. How would those thoughts influence your behavior?
For many of us, these are the constant viewpoints, the subliminal and overt words and images you heard and saw over and over as you were growing up. You believed it. It became part of your soundtrack. It became your "self-talk." It’s now your reality. And here’s what scientists have discoverd: This self-talk doesn’t even have to be true! It simply has to be repeated enough, to be believed. (Politicians use this fact all the time to get the public to believe something they absolutely, positively know to be false. They simply repeat it often enough, and it becomes part of accepted truth.)
This brings up an amazing possibility: If other people’s subliminal, overt, intentional and even accidental words and images are affecting your behavior, then deliberately using subliminals can allow you to take control of your mind and influence your own behavior with your own messages. How? Let’s take a look.
Consider this: successful business men and women don’t walk around thinking "making money is hard," or "I’m no good at running my own business." They have different thoughts—words and images—as part of their self-talk. You know this.
And that is the secret to creating your own subliminals: find out what successful people’s self talk is (whatever your definition of success is), and you’ll discover which thoughts to choose as your own. (i.e. There’s hidden value in my passion. People pay for things of value. I can do this. I run a successful business. I make money doing what I love. Money comes to me easily, etc.) Use these as your daily affirmations, program them into your screensaver, write and repeat them to yourself, over and over, visualize yourself in scenes of success, seek out books, movies, news stories, people and experiences that send a subliminal message of passion-centered business success. In other words, you can advertise to yourself! Change your thoughts, your beliefs, your expectations your actions, and ultimately, your results! Go for it! And don’t let anyone persuade you it can’t be done!
Note: For more tips on changing your subliminal programming, overcoming your fears, acting on your ideas, changing the game, and creating a passion-centered lifestyle, visit www.passionprofit.com!
Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!
Walt F.J. Goodridge is author of over two dozen books including Turn Your Passion Into Profit. Walt offers coaching and workshops to help people pursue and profit from their passions. Originally from the island of Jamaica, Walt has grown several businesses in the US, and now makes his home here on Saipan. To learn more about the Saipanpreneur Project and Walt’s philosophy and formula visit www.saipanpreneur.com and www.passionprofit.com)