Today I was sitting working by my desk as I felt my swivel chair slightly swaying. I checked if I was moving around, but it didn’t seem so, so I assumed I was getting dizzy from staring too hard at my computer screen for too long and putting too much chili in the raw chocolate pudding I had made and just eaten. A few minutes later I realized it was an earthquake and not a hallucination. I thought it rather amusing though, how I had come up with explanations I believed in that had absolutely nothing to do with what had really happened. This reminded me once again about the power of the mind and, hence, the power of what we feed it with.
Derren Brown did an experiment, or rather, a trick, where he took two men working in an advertising agency and gave them a task to come up with a poster advertisement for taxidermy shops. Beforehand he left a sealed envelop in which he had drawn what he thought they would come up with. Now the guys thought they had no idea of what they were going to draw and what kind of slogan they were going to use, but Derren thought he knew. It turns out Derren was right – his drawing and slogan were more or less identical to what the two guys came up with. How could this be? Derren took them on a cab journey through town to get them to the studio. Along this journey he had posted certain images and signs that the guys were exposed to, but didn’t know of, because they weren’t things that stood out. They were simply just recorded by their subconscious minds. However, when asked to come up with ideas, they immediately drew inspiration from their subconscious minds, which made it possible for Derren to predict what they were going to draw. (You can watch it here: http://ow.ly/1uBsK)
Blink by Malcolm Gladwell also discusses at great length how we use the information stored in our subconscious to make decisions in our everyday life. Basically you can say you aren’t racist, but it may take you longer to connect the word boss with a woman than it does with a man (I can’t remember if this was the exact example used). Now in every day life, this probably don’t affect you much, because you have time. However in situations where you feel pressure your subconscious may take over. It’s not your opinion, but it’s a deep rooted belief in you that was fed to you through your surroundings in one way, shape, form or other and somewhere it still has some sort of charge of you.
Why is this important to us? Well, I think it’s important to know that the conclusions we make about people and things are based on our experience only. I had no clue of what an earthquake feels like so I concluded it was just me feeling dizzy from working too hard and a potential sugar and chili rush. This didn’t lead to anything too bad, but if I had made a judgment on another person based on how I see the world there might have been a huge misunderstanding. Someone does something and you assume it’s because of this or that because that’s what it would have been if it was you. Only they aren’t you. You don’t know how they where shaped by life, you have no clue of what their emotional state is, or why, and hence, judging them may be difficult. Unless you are Derren Brown, of course.
This is also linked to how we think about ourselves. Our upbringing greatly shaped the ideas we now have of who we are and how we feel about who we are. This isn’t necessarily the truth though. It’s just the opinion of the people we shared our childhood with. This might not affect us all that much anymore, but we all have triggers that remind us of someone or something and when they are triggered we might go back to feeling or behaving like we did when we were seven. Of course it’s easier to prevent it if you notice the trigger and let go of it.
I think it’s also important to know that our ideas and state of mind can be greatly affected by our surroundings in everyday life. Subliminal messages do go in. I swear if you were surrounded by images and slogans regarding fresh, crispy, colorful, sweet and mouthwatering strawberries every day, you’d soon start to crave them. Just think…red blissful berries…
Start thinking about what you surround yourself with. And what kind of books you read, shows you watch and music you listen to. How does it all make you feel?
Now I’m going to sleep and maybe if I think good thoughts before going to sleep I will have magical dreams?