How are you feeling today?
We roam the world with a certain attitude, a certain je ne sais qoi…. a certain feeling. If you walk into a department store and look at certain products to buy you might pay attention to the product itself and be informed about your decisions, but you may not. Research shows we rely heavily on what people say, but mostly we rely on how we are made to feel. Is the attitude of the sales person overbearing or sincere? How does that make you feel at that very moment will actually determine if you buy the product or not. For those of you who are skeptics, just remember the last time you went into to a store in a mall or to a dealer of any kind, and ended up getting some item ( food or otherwise) that you were not expecting. It happens to men and women. Men can go into a hobby store to “browse” and end up with all sorts of hobby related assortments ( dubbed man toys by women). Women do the same and come back with department store bags of clothes or boxes of shoes all in the name of a “bargain deal.” But in reality it was what you felt at that moment that made you eventually stand in line and pull out your credit card or cash from your wallet and part with it and return home triumphantly !!
This is not just the case if you walk into a store, but also shopping online. There is a great deal of time spent by advertisers to make a product look attractive enough to make you click on the ” Add to Cart” icon and “Proceed to checkout.” They are trying to make you feel good, and positive enough to shop with them despite being devoid of human contact on the computer. Most of us will not remember what people say but what people make us feel that will navigate our journey. For example, A friend whose opinion you value highly can tell you a negative thing about a doctor and give you THEIR reasons for not going to that doctor. If their emotions are strong enough you can be swayed by it since you will feel their pain, not yours. If the emotions are not as emphatic and do not make YOU feel that way, then you may choose to try out that doctor and render your opinion. Now a different story if you go to that doctor and your preconceived notions of what your friend said, sway your judgements, but more than likely if the encounter is productive one, and YOU feel good after, then your opinion will be your own.
Politicians use this technique all the time, not necessarily with their crowd pleasing false promises in most cases, but it is the emphatic nature of their delivery of those speeches and not as much the rhetoric that will make you feel a certain way and then sway you to vote one way or the other. It is also known as the placebo effect. If I were to look you straight in the eye and tell you that this prescription for lets say a headache will work and make you feel great and I will see you back in a week after you had been cured , odds are that it will work. On the other hand if I were to give you the prescription with a shifting stance and gaze away from you and say things like ” I hope this works… Lets see……Lets give this a try etc” then odds are the treatment will not work. It is all about the positive or negative spin.
Another example is that when I walk into a grocery store with a list of things to buy ( I cannot be trusted otherwise !) I have a different experience entirely depending on whether I am hungry or not. If not then I proceed with great rapidity in completing my list and exit the store. If however I am feeling hungry, then my shopping takes me through every aisle and I end up with loads of cartons of chocolate chip cookies, tubs of ice cream , double chocolate muffins, and bags of chips to name but a few items, all of which was never on my very healthy grocery list written neatly by my wife.
You may say many things and be positive about how you say these things, but do you back it up with action? If you do something equally as good as you say then that has a higher impact on how the recipient feels and remembers. Human memory is faulty. No question. Try recalling a memory from child hood. Your childhood friends will all remember the event slightly differently, and you end up playing a game of Cluedo but no one wins. But positive memories are reinforced by positive feelings and vice versa. Usually this is the work of an action done by someone you care about for example parent, sibling, teacher, friend. Surprisingly enough also the act of random kindness by perfect strangers. Notice what I mentioned…. an act, i.e an action. something that was done, will reinforce the way you felt and the way you remember. Hazing in schools and colleges will most of the time demoralize and instill fear, as words and actions in a derogatory fashion will imprint with negative emotions. Some stranger paying your bill at a restaurant for no reason or a friend going out of their way to help you, or a parent patiently answering the same question asked by the child for the thousandth time without raising their voice, will all lead to a positive reaction through an action, culminating with a positive feeling, a positive memory and a high probability of performing a positive action. And circle of life continues.
Peoples attitudes on any given day are influenced by a wide variety of factors that play in daily in their lives. Do not let their attitudes disturb how you feel and interact with your world. Do not let someone else’s outlook and negative feelings direct how you then feel negatively and miss out on an opportunity that may come your way, in whatever walk of life. By keeping a positive and open mindset you will stay in the moment and ever present so that you make the right choice, the informed choice. Not to suggest that you walk into a store with a positive jubilant attitude and buy everything in the store ! More over being present in the moment, equipoised, you can steer your ship through the myriad of feelings.
Winston Churchill once said ” A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” He was referring to Russia in 1939 , but he could easily been referring to human emotions of the Russian government or populous. My personal thought on this is that I am an understandable enigma (my soul), entertaining a solvable mystery ( my mind), asking the answerable riddle, Why am I here? (my life).
Just like the feel good commercial says ” Got milk?” look at yourself each day and ask: ” Got good feelings?”