An interviewer once asked me what I would select as the most self-sabotaging thing people do. I never really gave this question much thought, but responded in the following manner.
I am convinced that the “mind reading” habit that most people develop must be close to the top of our self-sabotaging hit parade. I explained that we have no clue what is going on in anyone’s head. We speculate, guess and randomly make up stories what we think depict what others are thinking at any given moment in time. We think we know what our partner, friends, children, the bank manager, our neighbor, our dog, cat and canary THINK and then act or react on our conclusions as if it’s the truth. We think we know what a person is thinking while we drive to work. We think we know what is going on in politicians’ heads. We think we know and understand what our sport stars and celebrities are thinking. Most of our problems that we face daily can be traced to this fallacy. The sooner we understand that we actually have no clue what is going on in anyone’s head the quicker we will get rid of this habit of jumping to conclusions.
We read a story in a newspaper and think that we are now well informed. We see an advert on TV and think we now have a good idea about of product or service. We look at the news or read someone’s blog and think we know what there is to know about the owner. It is imperative to discover that nothing and nobody is what we see superficially. Everything and everyone is made up of many layers. We see selectively because our “filter system” (belief structure) blocks important data from reaching our objective and rational mind. People in turn only show us the layers of their personality that they think would create the best impression. Can you see that you are more often than not flying blind with your filtered detection system and the many un-revealed layers of everyone or everything else. Nothing my friend is as it seem. It will thus be most beneficial if you live your life one moment at a time. We must also stop writing fantasy plays in our head about people and places. Our biggest disappointments come from people that fail to act according to the scrip we wrote for them. Dare to enjoy the moment, but remain vigilant because nothing that you see or experience can be deemed as real and sustainable. All you have is what you have in front of you right now. Deal with it and stop speculating or making up stories that might be based on fantasies or myths.
Impress your friends and terrify your enemies by pretending to read anyone’s mind. It’s not as hard as it looks — there are some well-worn tricks that can make you appear telepathic. Screw magicians and their lame fire tricks — we’re way more impressed with someone who can guess your favorite movie just by staring into your eyes.
We spoke with Las Vegas’ resident Mentalist Gerry McCambridge and he broke down the basic steps to wowing people with your powers of telepathy.
McCambridge, who has spent the last 7 years at The Planet Hollywood reading throngs of tourists, doesn’t just pull information from your brain — he’ll also tell you exactly how he got there as well. So we asked him to break down his methods step by step.
Select the right subject.
You can’t just grab any old victim for a good mind sucking off the street. Rather, you should select your prey delicately. McCambridge elaborates:
“Some people want to be the center of attention. So, if I’m asking for people to come up on stage a lot of times it’s those type of people. And they tend not to be the best assistants because they want to have their 15 minutes of fame at my expense. So I’m looking for people who may not come up on stage at the drop of a hat, but aren’t [so] overly shy that they’re going to stay in the audience. The first thing I’m looking for is somebody who is smiling and laughing at the jokes that I’m putting out there. There you have someone who wants to interact. Then you have the over-responders and that’s someone I don’t want necessarily right away. That’s what you look for first, the type person.”
Mirror the subject (make them comfortable).
Once you’ve snared your subject, woo them into a sense of security, by mimicking their ways.
“Make sure you try something that they are comfortable with. Do you have any artistic abilities? Then you can do something where you using drawing. You feel them out based on what you’re going to ask them to do. Then you use an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique called mirroring. Where you get them comfortable with you by mirroring the way that they’re responding to you. People can pick up on that and they feel more relaxed around someone they feel is close to them. If they’re a shy person and you’re loud and obnoxious, they’re not going to feel comfortable standing next to you. If they are a little shy and you back off and act a little timid yourself, introduce yourself nicely, it puts everybody at ease.”
Know the statistics.
Know your stuff. In order to become an excellent Mind Reader, you need to up on the latest trends and tendencies of the mind. McCambridge has spent years documenting his shows, taking notes of the different ages of people in the audience, the cars parked in the parking lots, what kind of event it was. And he makes good use of all this statistical data.
“I know statistically how people are going to respond to certain situations. When I offer you a choice of 4 different objects I know 92% of the time you’re going to choose the third one on your own. When you tell someone to think of a number between 1 and 10, statisically they are going to gravitate towards 7. If you ask someone to respond to a question very quickly, that changes the response. If I asked you to think of a color very quickly 1, 2, 3 — red is the statistical first choice. Blue is the second choice. If you ask for a color quickly, people go for red. If you ask for a color and you give someone a three or four second space, they will go for blue, because they will change their mind thinking red is the obvious choice.”
Look for signs.
But you’ve got to be aware of basic responses!
“Look for reactions. For example [something I might try] is instruct the person to respond to what I say with the word no. No matter what I say, you respond with no. Then I’ll say think of a number between 1 to 10, and I ask is it the number 1? No. The number 2? No. We go through the entire thing with No and I tell them that it’s the number 6 because of the fact that they looked at me different when they were actually lying to me. They couldn’t make eye contact [or something similar to that].”
Utilize the body.
Learn the art of muscle reading.
“Without the people realizing it, I’m touching them in a very relaxed way that they don’t realize what I’m doing. Based on the questions that I’m asking them, I can tell what the answers are by feeling the difference in their muscles. You body echoes what your brain thinks. And I’ve learned how to pick up on the echoes. An example is I tell the person to think of a letter in the alphabet, and then the audience sing the Alphabet Song. By the time their finished I can tell what letter they have because the second the audience said their letter, their brain thinks to itself “that’s it!” That changes the physiological response in your body and I can pick that up, it’s different than the other 25 letters.”
Don’t be afraid to admit failure.
If you fall flat on your face, pick up and try again. The audience will love you even more for it.
“[If the trick doesn’t work] I usually try it a second time. If it’s an important part of the show I may send the person back to their seat and say, ‘OK let’s try something else.’ There is no sure-fire way, things go wrong, it actually adds more credibility to the show when the audience sees that sometimes it fails. What a mentalist does, it doesn’t always work, and that’s OK. “
The easiest trick in the book.
We’ll tell you the name of the trick after you do it, because it spoils the reveal!
- Pick a number between 1 and 10.
- Multiply it by 9.
- If it’s a 2 digit number, add them together.
- Now subtract 5.
- Map the result to a letter of the alphabet, where A=1, B=2 and so on.
- Think of a country which begins with that letter.
- Take the second letter of the country and think of an animal which begins with that letter.
- Think of the color of that animal.
Are you thinking of a grey elephant from Denmark?
Obviously this is titled the Grey Elephant from Denmark. We tried this on 3 people in the office and, one out of three guessed Grey Elephant. Our suggestion, do it in big group and the odds will be in your favor.
By Meredith Woerner / io9.com
There is a saying that ignorance is bliss. This might be true for some, but it is as far as I am concerned the root cause of most of our suffering, pain and anxiety. Accepting life, people, religion, politics, perceptions, choices, rules and laws at face value imprisoned the mind of mankind. Looking at anything in life from a single perspective is the lazy way out. Seeing and experiencing from a limited range of perspectives have shackled man almost since its inception. Primitive man could not read, write or decipher the range of threats that confronted them and were forced to turn to priests and other individuals for guidance. This disposition provided a wonderful opportunity for those that claimed that they understood to take over control of their followers minds. The initial flimsy net that these opportunists wove gradually grew stronger and more sophisticated.
You will later see how this initial ignorance created an ideal vehicle of enslavement for those in control. Mankind have been kept in a state of ignorance since the beginning of time by greedy power hungry individuals, groups and organizations. Primitive methods of pain, pleasure and hope were used to restrain the masses. Man experienced fleeting moments of pleasure while they blindly obeyed the “commands” of these controllers. Thousands of written laws, spiritual and otherwise came into being over the years. Those that remained subdued and subservient were praised and rewarded while anyone that questioned anything faced the intricate range of pain that these controllers could bring to bear on them. They were cruelly tortured in the dark ages when they questioned anything to do with religion or the state.
Mankind became the slaves of the controllers. They were carefully manipulated to let go of a fair percentage of their hard earned income. The state took their pound of flesh while the religious leaders demanded at least ten percent of all income earned as well. The system sucked in mankind to such an extent that only a handful of individuals over the years showed the courage to point out the deadly trap that we find ourselves in up to today. Do you grasp that the slaves of this system not only police the deadly system on behalf of the controllers, but breed the future slaves that will take over from them when they produce children? I can write a fairly substantial book on this subject matter, but believe that you can see what I am addressing in this document.
My plea is that everyone make it his or her business to get rid of the veil of ignorance that is responsible for most of their anxiety, pain and lack. You might have noticed that I post a very wide range of perceptions daily on an endless range of subjects. My motivation is that I want you to look at stuff from many different perspectives. Nothing is as it seems. I will continue to write on the endless range of methods used to keep us ignorant if I get a fairly acceptable responds on this post.
Most of us sooner or later discover that we have two forces that course through our veins. We automatically vacillate between the “upper” and “lower” limits of this force on a moment to moment basis. The UPPER end of the pole of this system is called the “ACTION” zone and the “LOWEST” end of this pole is characterized as the “NON-ACTION” zone. The feelings generated by thoughts, events or for that matter everything and everyone we encounter decides the quality of the output we intend using to deal with the matter at hand. The mistake we make is that many of us think that we are at the mercy of this so-called automatic reaction patterns that endlessly flood our minds and hearts daily. We jump with joy and run like the wind when good feelings are generated by the thought or event that we are confronted with (ACTION) or shut down and retreat into a dark place in our minds (NON-ACTION). What many of us never knew or understood is that there is no need to remain a victim of our historical conditioning or past mistakes. All that is real and valid is our current moment. We can if we decide to take control act in an appropriate and powerful manner notwithstanding the threat and feelings of doubt that we might be confronted with. You are part of a universal force that caters for evolution on a moment to moment basis. Call this force God my friend if it will make you feel more comfortable. This force is fair and allows every living thing in the universe to evolve, grow and expand notwithstanding his or her history. You can make a fresh start on a moment to moment basis. You are allocated 86400 new moments in any given day where you can make a fresh start. There is no need to fear failure or hide in the “NON-ACTION” zone. The NON-ACTION zone is a place where you become stagnant and RESIST risking the possibility of getting hurt or disappointed. The choices you make decide the quality of the outcomes you experience daily. Very few of us understand that not making a choice is actually also a choice that you make. You choose NON-ACTION and RESISTANCE and give up control.
Spend some time today to probe why you have this reluctance to take action. What is the cause of the resistance deep inside you that is preventing you from being the best you that you can ever be? Now make a list of all the things you will do if you knew that you cannot fail. Make a list of everything that comes to mind. Think it and then ink it. I will continue this series tomorrow.