Does Snake Oil Really Work or The Power of Visualization

There used to be this guy. He was a normal guy, with a normal job. He had some normal friends, some he liked more than others. He would meet his friends from time to time, and do some various activities with them. Some of these, of course, he liked more than others. Sometimes, after a long workweek, he didn’t have the energy to go out on the weekend, so he would stay home and watch TV, or read the latest novel, or play video games on his computer. Once in a while he would go see a movie, but he always felt a bit strange going to the movies by himself.

He figured he had a pretty good life. But sometimes, when he wasn’t occupying his thoughts with the latest craze, or some time filling activity with his friends, he wondered what he was doing with his life. Once he went to a coffee shop to hang out and read the latest thriller novel, but he forgot to bring it, and so he just sat and thought about things for a while. The cute girl he was hoping to flirt at the coffee shop wasn’t working, so he just kind of stared out the window and let his mind wander wherever minds like to go in those situations.

He started to trace back through his personal history, to determine when he’d made the choices that led him to where he was. Not right there in the coffee shop, but in his life, his job, his friends, his apartment, the area of town he lived in. He wasn’t too surprised that his life was a string of events that were more or less accepted by him, rather than chosen by him. The last time he made a really strong choice was when he decided on which university to go to. Even then his choices were influenced by many other factors. His friends, his parents, what his guidance counselor had told him in high school. He chose his major based on his interests, but again, it was based largely on what kind of job he would be able to get with the major that he chose.

When he accepted the job offer, it wasn’t like there were fifty companies competing for his skills. He had applied to several, got interviews at a few, and took the first decent offer that he received. It was a good company, but he didn’t’ really have as much choice in the matter as he’d let himself believe.

He finished his coffee, and started wandering around the mall he found himself in. It was a Saturday afternoon, and he didn’t have any plans, so he kind of wandered aimlessly, like he’d been doing pretty much his whole life. He wandered into a bookshop. Not a big bookshop like a major chain, but a small, niche market bookshop. He browsed around and picked up a book on manifesting. He had always thought that this subject was a bunch of nonsense, that was nothing more than modern day snake oil. What he found inside this book was fascinating, to say the least.

The book described how mankind was a complex biological social organism that had developed over the course of millions of years. And that human social behavior was goal driven, but for many, those goals are determined by those outside of the individual. People have the ability to choose their own goals, or let others choose their goals for them. Of course, it is much easier, and less risky to allow others to choose the goals for them, so nature has this goal setting mechanism built into the human mind by default. But it can be overcome. The book went on to explain that by creating a very compelling idea of what you want to create, and focusing on that idea again and again, your actions will start to naturally and unconsciously pull you towards those pictures that you want to create.

This guy decided to buy the book and try this out. He spent several weeks coming up with one or two things that he would like to have. His own home, a relationship with a sweet, kind and beautiful woman, a salary double what he was making now. He created several pictures in his mind of each of this, and focused on them whenever he had a chance. Pretty soon, he found himself doing things that he didn’t do before, but seemed to be drawing towards the future that he was imagining, rather than the future that he had allowed others to imagine for him by default.

He started doing things a little bit differently at work, which got him noticed by upper management. Soon he was promoted, and making more money. He started going out by himself, instead of hanging out with his friends. And when he went places, he went to museums, charity events, and other social gatherings rather than the same bars he had been going do. Pretty soon he was dating a few candidates for a serious long-term relationship. And with his increased salary, he was saving enough to put down on a nice house in a neighborhood. Pretty soon his life was completely changed, for the better, and almost as if by magic. The perplexing thing, to him at least, was that he didn’t remember deciding to actually do anything different. All he remembered was making up those pictures of the things he wanted, and focusing on them several times a day. Everything else was pretty automatic. Another thing that came to his attention was how incredibly happy and motivating his life had become. Amazing how these things work.