It worked. Completely.
It worked again.
Scott and I have talked a little bit about his practice. He juxtaposes hypnosis to meditation. Some forms of meditation empty the mind. Hypnosis, on the other hand, suggests specific instructions. It is not far from “Inception.” I’m not writing this blog to promote hypnosis. I’ve had three friends try. Two were satisfied, one wasn't. I'm writing because I boil down hypnosis' near-magical effectiveness in to three worthwhile principles that I’ve since applied other places and you might try them too.
- Relax. This is the very essence of a hypnotic trance. People learn better when relaxed. Scott would literally push me to be relaxed, more relaxed, deeper, more relaxed until I was in a trance. This principal works in training and learning, generally. I used to play music before meetings. It works. Yeah, that means you, now — breathe!
- Positive beats negative. Your brain responds to positive imagery more strongly. If you repeat to yourself “quit smoking,” your brain hears, “smoking” and diffuses the “quit.” Focus on the positive, such as saying “without smoking I’ll be healthy, better-smelling, wealthier.” I created images around looking more professional while concentrating, and having smooth thumbs. I visualized the reward I promised myself for success. (My first iPod.). There are a ton of parallels to other domains besides learning - like management, as outlined in the the business classic, “The One-Minute Manager.” It teaches a lesson about the power of catching someone doing something right. Careful complements stick. For example, you give a dolphin a treat for going over the bar, then raise it until, eventually, the bar breaks the surface of the water and the dolphin catches air.
- Ante Up. When I paid $450 and invested a few hours to stop the thumb chewing, I wanted it to work. Skin-in-the-game has an impact. WIBO found our free seminars had a much higher flake-out rate than the paid ones, and discontinued the free offer on those grounds alone. At M5, our company learning programs were subsidized, not free, and people showed up. It has been said, "That which is given for nothing has no value."
I am going to explore hypnosis to work on other behaviors that I know are tied to my sub-conscious, and we’ll see what happens. Scott and I spoke about the limits and strengths of the practice, so maybe I’ll have more to report some day soon. Overeating? (A specialty.) Sports performance? Scott has two colleagues who do hypnosis for golf full-time. Walk around happier? Well, it depends on exactly what you mean by “happiness …”
There’s no question that some of the great leaders I know have some practice for working at sub-conscious levels. I’m told that Tony Robbins is a constant practitioner along with Mark Benioff. I’m always curious to hear what possibly unconventional learning practices people have used. But even without going into hypnosis as a regular practice these three ideas are universally powerful and easily applied.
Anyway, if we meet and I am clucking like a chicken, help yourself to the eggs.