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How to Plant an Idea in Someone’s Mind

How to Plant an Idea in Someone’s Mind

If you’ve seen the movie Inception, then you’ll know that DiCaprio’s character is a professional thief who steals information by infiltrating the subconscious minds of his victims. However, his criminality leads him to become an international fugitive. Because of this, he accepts a deal for one last job that will see his criminal record being wiped clean. The job? Rather than stealing information from people’s subconscious minds – he’s asked to implant an idea into one.

Of course, Inception is just a movie – pure fiction. But the idea of planting an idea into someone’s mind is not.

You can’t necessarily access someone’s dreams, but you can have access to their subconscious, where their most influential thoughts and ideas come from.

It’s where inception can take place.

The Subconscious Mind’s Secret

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    The subconscious mind is a like a giant memory bank that stores all your beliefs, memories and life experiences.

    And the information stored in your subconscious mind affects the way you behave and act in life.

    Interestingly, the way the subconscious mind works is that, as well as affecting your behavior and actions, it can also affect your perception of events. To give you an example of this, think back to when you were at school. If you loved school, positive memories will quickly come into your mind. Conversely, if you hated school, negative memories will pop into your mind. (You may also notice that it’s virtually impossible to stop the memories coming back to you.)

    The subconscious mind is more than just a storehouse for our thoughts and emotions, however. It’s also constantly at work perceiving our surroundings and experiences.[1]

    Inception in Reality

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      Since the subconscious mind picks up little things it’s exposed to, influencing it involves some subtle ways.

      Step 1: Find the nugget

      Try listening and observing closely to see what a person cares about most.

      If you do this, you’ll quickly understand that almost everything a person does will be based around the things and people they care most about. In fact, this is how our identities are formed.

      One trick to find out a person’s interests and motivations is to ask them lots of questions. Be curious about their lives, and you’ll learn about the things they are concerned about. For example, just by asking what their plans are for the weekend, you might discover the places they like to go, and the people and groups they like to hang out with.

      Step 2: Build the dream

      Once you’ve formed a clear picture of a person’s identity, the next step is to frame your ideas in their particular language.

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      By understanding a person, you’ll know how they talk, what they like, what they don’t like, and what their hopes and dreams are. With this knowledge, it’s easy to start with their needs and wants, and continue to talk in a way that they will accept and feel comfortable with.

      For instance, if you wanted to sell an accountancy service to a freelancer, you’d have the best chance of succeeding if you spoke in their language. In this case, it would most likely involve you talking about freelance work, and the inherent risks and benefits of it. If you showed that you understood their world – they would be open to listening to you.

      Step 3: Inception

      Next, instead of telling them directly about the perks of your idea, talk around the outskirts of the idea.

      To do this, toss hints, but don’t say everything. Instead, let the person think that it’s them discovering it. It’s always easier for people to execute an idea if they think it has come from themselves.[2]

      Continuing the example of selling an accountancy service to a freelancer, if you’ve managed to grab their attention through your understanding of the freelance life, then the next and final step, is to leave some positive suggestions in their mind. You could do this by explaining how your service has helped other people save time, hassle, and penalties for late tax declarations, etc.

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      The idea is that you drop just enough hints to the person that perhaps in a day or two their subconscious mind will prompt them to take action. In the example above, this means they’ll likely contact you asking to take up your service.[3]

      Persuasion Is a Superpower

      In life, it’s vital to be able to persuade others.

      A good example of this, is when you need to interview for a job you really want. If you’re nervous and unconvincing, you’ll leave the wrong impression – and most likely fail to land the job. If, on the other hand, you know how to plant the right ideas and impressions into the interviewers’ subconscious minds – you’ll have a great chance of securing the role.

      So, follow the three simple steps above, and start to become a powerfully persuasive individual. Your success in life depends on it.

      Reference

      More by this author

      Anna Chui

      Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the Content Strategist of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

      “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

      Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

      You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

      Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

      1. Take a step back and evaluate

      When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

      1. What is the problem?
      2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
      3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
      4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
      5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

      Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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      2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

      If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

      At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

      Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

      3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

      Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

      4. Process your thoughts/emotions

      Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

      1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
      2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
      3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
      4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

      5. Acknowledge your thoughts

      Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

      By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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      Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

      6. Give yourself a break

      If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

      7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

      A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

      Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

      After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

      8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

      As Helen Keller once said,

      “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

      Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

      9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

      In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

      1. What’s the situation?
      2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
      3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
      4. Take action on your next steps!

      After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

      10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

      A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

      Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

      For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

      11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

      No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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      12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

      No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

      13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

      There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

      After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

      Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

      Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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