How to enhance your life: See the invisible
Having put a woman into a deeply relaxed hypnotic state, I make the following suggestion to her: “You cannot remember the number seven. In fact, you cannot say the number seven, see the number seven or hear the number seven. In your reality, the number seven does not exist, but you will have no memory of my giving you this suggestion.”
Then I have her open her eyes. She is fully conscious, awake, and aware. I ask her to count from one to ten. Without hesitation she counts up to six and then proceeds directly to eight. That is, she skips the number seven, apparently without realizing that anything is amiss.
I then ask the audience of more than 1000 to yell out the total of four plus three. A loud roar of “Seven” fills the auditorium. I ask her what she has heard, and she answers, “Nothing” or “A noise.” The conscious mind is already justifying this sharp twist of reality.
Next, I write a series of numbers on a flip chart and ask the woman what she sees. She identifies “two,” “five,” and “eight.” I then write and ask her to identify the number “seven.” What do you think happens? She cannot recognize it as a number, or sees nothing at all. For all intents and purposes the number is invisible. Of course, everyone else in the audience can perceive the number “seven.” In a sense, the woman is living in another reality, an alternate reality, but one that is as real to her as everyone else’s is to them.
I forgot to mention that I offer her $1000.00 IF she can tell me what the audience yelled and IF she can identify the number on the flip chart. I’ve NEVER lost the proffered money.
This may seem impossible to you, but it’s true. I have done this demonstration hundreds of times, and the result is always the same. Just in case, though, you still have doubts about the concept of invisibility, here are a few additional examples.
In Stephen Simon’s book, The Force is With You, the Hollywood producer relates this story. During Ferdinand Magellan’s trip around the world in 1519, when his fleet of enormous ships arrived at primitive islands the natives usually fled in fear. However, writes Simon, “One day, the fleet sailed into the bay of an island, and to the amazement of all aboard, the natives onshore paid no attention whatsoever. They simply went on about their daily chores without the slightest shred of concern for these foreign invaders.” Even more interesting was that when the crew transferred to the much smaller longboats and headed toward the island, the natives did react with great fear.
After Magellan’s priests learned the language of the locals, they discovered something amazing. These primitives did not react to the large ships because they could not physically perceive them! While they could see the longboats, which frightened them, their filter, their belief system, and their paradigm could not “let in” the images of the ships. These massive structures remained literally invisible to them!
Another, if slightly less dramatic, example comes from my own experience.
My wife and I were on a two-week tented safari in Kenya. The first day we ventured out early in the morning in search of what is referred to as the “Big Six,” the larger animals that form the core of the experience. (And I can assure you that it was only the expectation of seeing these animals that motivated us to get out of a comfortable cot at 4:00 AM!) As dawn broke on the Masai Mara, our guide scanned the horizon and asked us, “What do you see?” We looked, straining to see shapes or movement on what seemed to be an empty plain. We informed him that we saw very little. “Let me tell you what I see,” he said, then proceeded to point out all the animals and their camouflage. I was amazed at how blind my wife and I were to what was right before our eyes. “Give it a little time,” he continued, “and you will see what I see. You will develop ‘safari eyes’ and I will help you do it.”
My final example concerns my wife’s apparently uncanny ability to find parking places on the streets of New York City. Is this some kind of magic? No. It’s all about the mindset. She visualizes the end result, sees it taking place, believes it will happen, and then lets it go. She has, unknowingly, put her subconscious expectations in tune for what she wants to happen. (She also has a deep commitment to achieving her goal of not having to pay 40.00 for parking!)
For that reason, with all these factors in place, and her perceptual antennae on full alert, Susan is able to see clues and notice what she might have missed if she had a different mindset. Her expectation guides her to notice someone walking towards their automobile, a car door opening, brake lights blinking, or an empty space. Her belief, combined with her mental movie or visualization of finding a parking place, almost always becomes her reality.
She is able to do this because, in a sense, we see with our brain, not our eyes. The more we learn, experience, and develop our awareness, the more we will be able to notice specific patterns, make predictions, and tap in to the intuition of the subconscious. Seeing is active, not passive. Still not convinced about something being invisible to you? Do you think you are immune to having blind spots and that your personal mental map of the world doesn’t limit what you perceive? You might want to think again.
Where you choose to focus is your reality. What you focus on, positive or negative, renders everything else essentially invisible. What you must do, then, is learn to make what you want—but don’t have—visible. You can start with this exercise.
Close your eyes, then summon up a mental picture or image of an object that you believe to be in your immediate environment, something that up until this moment you have not focused on. Take your time. Visualize it clearly. Once you have the image clearly in your mind, open your eyes and look around. Can you instantly see the object that matches your mental image? Did you notice how your focus narrows?
Practice this both indoors and outdoors. Repeat the exercise until you “see” something that you had not previously noticed. Once you’ve become accustomed to doing it, you will understand that in order to become aware of potential choices, you must first have the mindset, positive expectation, and mental picture, image or belief of what can be before you can actually see it.
Life Thought: You See as You Think
Have you ever lost your car keys only to discover that they were hiding in plain sight, or overlooked a garment for which you were searching only to later find it right before your eyes? We’ve all had the experience. It is neither wrong nor uncommon to be blind to what is right in front of us. But this doesn’t apply only to physical objects.
If you don’t see a possibility at this present moment it is most likely because you haven’t prepared your mind to see it. As brain science has shown, learning to manage your mind allows you to see new possibilities. When your mind is prepared, you truly do make the invisible visible. In a sense, you de-hypnotize yourself from old, limiting mindsets.
So what reality do you live in? No matter what information, communication, opportunity or relationships exist, you notice only what your paradigm, your mindset, and your perceptual filter allow into your awareness.
When you learn to shift your thinking and make the invisible visible, you soon begin to notice something quite wonderful and exhilarating—you realize that everything you have ever wanted may be immediately available to you right now. Because you see as you think, changing the way you think will change what comes into your life.
IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance is the first web-supported book with access to 21 video-coaching clips. Please go to the home page www.jamesmapes.com , read the description and you will find the direct link to Amazon.
“Your ability to focus your imagination, manage your thinking, love, and be loved determines your success and happiness more than any other factor. IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance opens your mind and heart in a beautiful, intelligent and inspiring way.”
—Brian Tracy, Author, No Excuses: The Power of Self-Discipline and Million Dollar Habits
James Mapes is the founder of Quantum Leap Thinking™, creator of The Transformational Coach™, expert on the psychology of “applied imagination,” best-selling author, highly acclaimed business speaker, consultant, seminar leader and personal excellence coach.