Last week I wrote about making a virtual model of improvements I want to make to my front yard, and about how spending time “there” has helped me experience a future in which those changes have already happened. I also saved a picture of the model as my computer’s desktop background, and since then I have seen that picture many times each day.
A few days later I had an experience that demonstrates my unconscious mind is already busy transforming my exterior reality to resemble that model.
If you go back to that article you’ll notice a picture that includes a flower pot on the porch, filled with virtual pansies. The purpose of the model was to design some structural changes I want to make in the yard – pavers, raised beds, fencing, trellis, etc. I thought it would help make it feel more like my place if I included the existing flower pot on the porch. Last summer’s petunias expired many months ago, but on a whim I decided I might as well “plant” flowers in the pot on the virtual porch since I was envisioning the future. There were several pictures of flowers provided in the modeling software, and I chose pansies because I liked them best of the available choices.
A few days later I went for a walk with my family and passed a store with a large rack of pansy plants for sale outside. They were in full bloom with huge flowers in several different colors. It’s very early to plant annuals here. In fact, I don’t think I have ever planted them in January, February, or even March. We will likely have several more hard freezes, and it just feels too early. However I was intensely riveted by the pansy display, and felt like I just had to buy several plants.
I was especially attracted to three particular colors. It turns out those colors are very similar to the pansies in my model. But it was not until later, when I got home and placed the plants in the pot on the porch, that I realized I had just replicated those virtual flowers. It’s important to emphasize that I did not think consciously about either my model or desktop background while deciding to buy the plants.
Maybe I bought the pansies because it felt like they were “missing” from reality since I now see them in the picture on my computer desktop every day. Maybe my mind needed to resolve the difference between the real world and the virtual model I hang out in sometimes. Or maybe they just felt familiar and therefore “right” to me, since I have seen pictures of them so many times lately. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, my mind made a piece of the model I had created come true.
(May 2007 update: Go back to the picture in the previous article again and notice the green Adirondack chairs. The other day I was at Home Depot buying compost and tomato cages. While in the checkout line I noticed a stack of green chairs that are nearly identical to the ones in the picture. Again, they just looked “right” to me. However, as I was buying them I was more conscious of their relationship to the virtual picture this time.)
Later in the week I selected a shirt to buy from an online store. There were many colors and styles available, but I kept coming back to one that resonated with me much more than any of the others. The color, style and fabric all just felt right. Later I realized I had picked the one that was almost exactly like the shirt in another one of my ads. Again, I did not consciously think about my picture until much later, even though I have been seeing it every day for 3 or 4 months. In fact, it took someone else to point out to me that I had chosen the shirt most like the one in my ad. Interestingly, it was not necessarily an ad for a shirt. I had selected that photo for a general sense of style I admire in the person wearing it. In both of the examples described above I experienced a very clear sense without knowing why that, “This is what I want.”
I also noticed that in both cases the results I got were peripheral to the primary purpose of the ad. Yet my unconscious mind appears to have set about making very specific details come true. The part of our minds that works on this stuff is very literal! That’s why I tell you to leave out negative statements when you are writing your ads.
I find these results to be exciting because they demonstrate to me that my behavior seems to be influenced by my ad campaigns, even when I am not consciously aware of it.
As I write this the TSA has just announced they will start selling ad space in the bottom of the trays you put your stuff in at airport screening stations! According to an executive who sells advertising to airports, bin ads might be sold at a large airport for $250,000 to $500,000 a year. Results like the ones above explain to me why advertisers believe it is worth it to spend so much money getting images of their products in front of us every chance they get.