You’ve just bought a new car. It’s the latest model; it has the whiz-bang features that will definitely single you out from the merely mortal driving rank and file. You know you paid a bit (maybe a lot) too much, but with this car you make a unique and powerful statement to all others on the road. This car is as different from the herd as you are! Yet, as you drive this rare sparkling beauty home from the lot you suddenly notice the roadways dotted with several other nearly identical cars. Hmmm…never noticed those before. Somewhat deflated, it slowly dawns on you that your chromium highlighted beauty came from an assembly line, and it obviously wasn’t the only one of it’s species turned out that day. You ‘uniqueness’ becomes similar to dozens of other drivers.
This is an occurrence so common it has a name: “seeing the same car syndrome.” How is it that our subjective experience of the world can change so sharply with a simple purchase? We can either assume there is a profound metaphysical change, and the infinite cosmic auto-assembly plant suddenly seeded our roads with more of your cherished previously ‘unique’ vehicle; or, that somehow the act of buying and valuing this four-wheeled beauty has changed your perceptual apparatus. I am going to argue for the latter, and show you how to use that phenomenon.
Our experience of the world is made up of a magical concoction of sensory experience, memory, and imagination. Research has shown that our visual experience of our world at any given moment is made up of approximately 30 percent actual sensory data, and 70 percent of memory and imagination. Most of what we see isn’t technically what’s there, but what we think ought to be there. That last bit makes way for some delightful mischief. Obviously, sight isn’t the only sense involved, and there is a corroborative networking of sight and sound (the two distance senses). Vision, however, is usually the more distinct and detailed sense, and will tend to drive the auditory sense. If you doubt this, and are old enough, recall drive-in theaters. We would put a cheesy speaker in one window, and watch a screen usually at least half a football field away. Within a few minutes, we would forget the actual screen/speaker placement, and hallucinate the sounds emanating from the screen.
So, according to this argument, those cars were always there, they were just existing in that 70% of your visual world with which you have artistic license.
As a stage hypnotist, I can suggest a volunteer visually hallucinate the crowd as naked. I am not asking the client to violate his actual optical experience; I am merely playing with the 70% majority part of his visual experience that he is ‘making up’ anyway.
More usefully, I can suggest to a person with a fear of public speaking, that the crowd she sees are smiling, supporting her, and wishing her well. I am only suggesting changes in the part of her experience that she is mentally constructing. 30% of the crowd she really sees may be responding however they do good, bad, or indifferent. I’m just asking her to focus on the friendly bunch that she has created. They are smiling, and so is she.
How about if you make up your mind to see opportunity. Make your waking thoughts the instruction “The world is full of opportunity, and I am going to see it today!” You’ll begin to have an effect on the 70% of the world that you have an automatic say about. If you can see lots of people driving your car, you might be able to see lots of people offering you new opportunities. At least it is worth a try.