Have you ever tried banging your head against a wall trying to break it? The wall, not your head. Well, me neither, because I know one key fact about heads and walls: both are expensive to fix. Its important to note that there are smarter ways to break walls that involve using your head; or at least what’s inside of it.
[I had to write this statement after I found that people have actually filmed themselves while banging their heads into walls. Why are we even still alive as a species? This is a question for another post]… Moving on
Have you ever tried to break into someone’s bad habits and urged them to change? For their own sake. You know, those walls of repetitive destructive behaviors that sometimes look, among many others, like negative self talk, obsessive fixations over smoke, drink or love interests who wont bother responding to a text… It becomes frustrating for both sides; and with frustration come all sorts of thick-skulled behavior.
You cannot change someone, in as much as you can break a wall with your skull.
How about changing ourselves?
That is our best bet, working on changing our own minds, and our attitudes. Nothing feels better, and guess what? When you ask people to change they wont, when you lead by example they might. Just a random scroll through Instagram’s fitness bloggers, shows you the immense following that people documenting their fitness journeys accumulate over time. People want to see if said change works for you, before they get the courage to see if it works for them.
We like to think that we are different and that we are special, but truth be told, we are all too alike for it to even be interesting.
That is why, what makes you different is your attitude about things. You could be having eggs for breakfast, big effing deal, right? Except, call your eggs an omelette, place your orange juice in pretty crystal; pour your coffee into a cozy mug, and there you go- that is a memorable breakfast right there, you can even tell people about it, take pictures of it and brag how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and watch other follow en suite. Go figure: The marvelous world of switching perspective, controlling for aesthetics and broadcast at our fingertips.
All this leads to my favorite topic in the world, the power of influence and the secrets to inspiring people to change behavior. I will share one trick here to appreciate those who have read this far, and as a thank you; here it goes: Manipulate perception; and I mean that in the most noble of ways. Most great books tend to do that, religion does that, music does it, ideological and political leaders do that, and social media influencers are also great at doing it. It surely is more difficult than it sounds, but it is an intrinsic quality to producing inspiring- change outputs.
The way we perceive something allows us do develop a concept of it. If this concept coincides with what we already know; then we won’t be moved to change (Think millions of uninspiring -non-influencer status- users on social media- picking the good stuff, dropping the bad- superficial use of social media). If the concept is challenging to what we know we will either work on accepting it or rejecting it off the bat.
What you want is NOT to challenge people into inspiration; because you risk being dismissed immediately. Manipulating perception dictates the way that someone perceives something you are presenting. This means that you are involved in the creation of the concept in people’s minds from the get go, you don’t wait for someone to formulate a concept about your product, but you play a role in the thought process itself.
An oversimplification of the above is:
I want to inspire you to eat breakfast; I could:
1- Ask you to do it (beat my head against the wall)
2- Tell you that I experimented with breakfast every day, and tell you about how it impacted my mind and body (changing ourselves, leading by example)
3- I don’t even mention breakfast, I invite you to follow my Instagram page, the one where I post my pretty omelets and fancy cups of coffee, where I provide random facts about the benefits of avocado in the morning, and I casually slide in pictures of my fit body. I manipulate your perception, lead you to think that maybe, the bottom line is, if you start by eating breakfast; you too will be able to have a life that is as wonderful as you perceive my life to be.