Monday, July 26, 2010

The Law of Attraction vs. the Law of Action

Ever since the movie and book "The Secret", there has been a surge in books, courses, programs and articles focused on helping you to attract MORE into your life.  More of whatever it is that you desire and want.  The basic premise of the Law of Attraction is, in short, distilled down to two basic statements.
  1. like attracts like
  2. you get what you focus on
Like Attracts Like.  If you want to attract more upbeat, energetic and positive people into your life then you need to start being more upbeat, energetic and positive.  You want more joy, start by being more joyful.  Intuitively, this makes sense.  Surround yourself with more of what you want.

You Get What you Focus on.  Again, this makes a logistical kind of sense.  If I focus my energies and activities around the achievement of something, then it increases the liklihood of my bringing it into my life.  However, many have taken the word 'focus' to imply mental energy only.  They create story boards of their wants, post pictures, and send statements of their wants out to the universe...and then sit back and wait for 'things' to start happening.

Many practitioners and gurus of the the Law of Attraction ebooks and programs would have you believe that these actions alone are sufficient to attract to you what you want.  Yep... spend your money on their programs, sit back on the couch, visualize what you want and...  Nothing!  Why not?  Others have seemingly become wealthy using these techniques.  Their storyboards worked.  Posting a picture of a million dollar bill worked to attract more money into their life.  Why isn't it working for you?

Because... you're missing half of the equation!  Certainly positive change starts with creating a positive mindset and vision.  I'm a strong advocate in the need to create a clear vision of what you want to attract and achieve in your life.  The clearer and stronger the piciture, the better motivator it is.  Therefore the Law of Attraction used properly, becomes a motivational force.

However, to truly realize those visions and fulfill those dreams, you need to couple the Law of Attraction with the Law of Action!  You cannnot affect change, bring something different into your life, if you do not DO different.  What are you willing to do in order to bring more of what you envision to you?

Examine any of the stories behind those that have 'attracted' great wealth, happiness and positive outcomes to themselves and you will discover that each person worked at making it happen.  However, the Law of Action doesn't sell.  We're already working hard.  Working 'more' is not what we're looking for.  We're interesting in getting more, not doing more.  The appeal of the Law of Attraction is the belief that 'thinking' alone will make it so.  That we can make time for... but... Attraction without Action will fail every time.

The true secret behind The Secret though is that once you being to create your vision and storyboards, once you begin to clarify what you want to attract and manifest into your life, you are already implementing the Law of Action.  You are beginning to work your plan, by creating one.  As the vision takes hold and excites you, you will find yourself taking more actions leading you in the direction of your vision.  As you do, you begin achieving more of what you desire, motivating you to continue engaging in the behaviours needed to take you further along the path. 

It doesn't 'feel' like work?  Of course not!  Doing something we love and enjoy never does and perhaps that's the truly magical component, the true 'key' to wealth and happiness...building our lives around what gives us real joy and pride... the rest seems to follow on its own.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Vocal Influence

People have long been adding emphasis to words and phrases when they speak, in an effort to create interest and enhance understanding.  However, there is an additional use of emphasis we should be aware of that comes to us from the world of hypnotism.  Savvy marketers, advertsiers and politicians have used this technique for years, all in their ongoing efforts to inlfuence our choices and the direction of our thoughts.

The technique is called 'tonal marking' by hypnotists.  In essence, you mark out (emphasize) segments of your spoken communications by modifying your voice pitch, volume and/or pace.  This change in your voice serves to emphasize and lend more weight to those specific segments of your message.  In doing so, you essentially end up with a message contained within the body of the communication.

Consider the message below, where the bolded and capitalized words represent the segments you are tonally marking.

           "I don't want your to BUY THIS TOASTER until you've decided that
            IT'S THE ONE FOR YOU"

On the surface, the message appears neutral and fair.  However, when you look only at the passages that were marked tonally, a hidden, somewhat subliminal, message is seen. When tonal marking is used in sales and marketing pitches (as above) it is typically referred to as an embedded command.  Its use may be more or less effective given other elements present throughout the rest of the 'pitch'.

However, what about when the technique is used during communications in which we are not consciously being 'sold' something?  What if we were listening to someone give a talk about gender differences?  They aren't trying to formally sell us, their goal is simply to inform, educate, perhaps entertain.  What if they are relatively new to the professional speakers circuit though, and are trying to create a positive reputation for themself, create a bit of 'buzz' around their name?  It's important to them then that you find them interesting and knowledgeable, that you... in short... like them.  They might then choose to embed messages into their speech to help drive this impression. They might include sentences like the following houghout their speech...

     "if you, LIKE ME, find communicating with the opposite gender confusing..."

     "I'M often astounded to find how much more PASSIONATE women sound when..."

     "When it comes to understanding the motivations of the oppositve sex, I, LIKE YOU find that..."

It's the tonal marking of various phrases, delivered over the course of speech, that provides the subtext.  Now consider the potential for influencing your audience when these messages are delivered over the course of a 10 minute, 30 or 60 minute presentation.

What about if you delivered one such message about yourself with your 5-minute update at the weekly management meeting?  Could the consistent and repetitive nature of this message influence and reinforce their perception of you?  Research would have us believe YES.

TRY your own experiment, by giving IT a go.  YOU just might find that you LIKE the results IT brings!