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Last Updated on February 27, 2018

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

      Communication Expert

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      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      The Gentle Art of Saying No

      No!

      It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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      But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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      What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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      But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

      1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
      2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
      3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
      4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
      5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
      6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
      7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
      8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
      9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
      10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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