On a recent international flight I was sorting through an array of movies comprised of your typical fare till running across Leonardo’s recent fare titled “Inception“.  Now relax as I’m not heading down the road of starting a blog of movie reviews so no big spoilers here, just a little background to start with.  In being a lot like his last movie Shutters Island, Inception is full of twists however the basic premise is our friend Leonardo (Mr. Cobb in the movie) can enter peoples dreaming minds and retrieve secret information for industrial espionage.

However upon facing a bit of a twist in what was to be an ordinary job for Mr. Cobb, he is now challenged with doing an “Inception“.  This is where the objective is to “implant a thought” into the subject’s mind and it’s here the movies theme turns to the complexity involved and the near impossibility to achieve such a feat. However it’s also here a snicker comes to my face.

Why you ask, simple as you don’t need a Mr. Cobb, or even do it in a dream and it happens (to you) every day!  In fact the person sitting next to you on the plane or restaurant bar stool could even be a Mr. Cobb himself working a 9 to 5 job.

There’s no magic or mystery here as it is as simple as, “your mind wants to believe“, so when you’re told something you want to automatically believe it.  This is why we like conspiracy theories so much, as we want to believe them.  However, It’s only when our “skeptical” mind kicks in that there is minor fire walling going on where we “question” or push back on what we are told.  However the Mr. Cobb sitting next to you like the movie version knows how to beat the system, he does it every day to you and you don’t even know it.

In the movie DiCaprio has a fancy metal briefcase to ply his trade, however the Mr. Cobb next to you doesn’t need that.  What he has is far more powerful as what he does use are, words.  That’s right, “words” as they are the most viral thing on the planet and spread like wild fire when set loose.  However can words really do this?  Read the following sentence as if you were having a conversation:

Can you imagine, I had a conversation today with your best friend and they told me just the nastiest thing about you!

What happened as you read this, if you’re honest with yourself there was a moment you were searching for the “nastiest” thing your mind could remember or “conceive“.  Yes conceive also, because as you ran out of remembered possibilities your mind started making things up seeking a reference point of what could be. Now this happened very quickly as by the time you hit the end of the sentence control was being returned to your skeptical mind.  However there is now a seed in the back of your mind and the complexities of the how’s & whys fill many books.

So lets look at how did this work from a high level, well first off your mind is a wet wired computer and language is its programming code.  Let’s break it down in the same fashion:

10: Can you (your skeptical mind is told to release control)
20: imagine (one of the most powerful words there is, more later)
30: I had a conversation (setting an index in your mind)
40: with your best friend (trust factor exploited to create anchor point)
50: they told me (starts mind enumerating possible statements)
60: nastiest thing (indexes options to lowest common denominator as singular)
70: about you (bounds the loop)

Sort of like BASIC for the brain, however back to our magic word if you will “imagine” is a dangerous word, say it to yourself in your mind.  What happens, if you’re like most people something will flash in your mind as this is one of the most powerful sub programs you have as well as the most dangerous as it opens your “mind’s eye” or simply put your imagination which allows for many things to happen and guess what, I didn’t have to ask permission either to run this code.

Remember those hypnosis demos where a guy hypnotizes a person into acting like a chicken? This is how they did it, for the split second of that flash your conscious mind disengages and if a “counter act” is enacted at this moment then your mind loops in this state and the skeptical mind is locked out.  The key is timing and delivery regarding the message.

That radio in your car is another prime example as how many times were you driving down the road heard a commercial and said I just have to have that and pulled over to buy it?  Most likely never, so why would people pay all that money to advertise then? The answer is association as your skeptical mind is focused on the road, that’s why those songs, jingles and so forth stick in your head as your firewall is busy on other things.

So when you go to sleep tonight, what will you dream about?  Maybe the radio in your car, or even that Mr. Cobb guy sitting next you?  By the way it’s time to wake up now, you were sleeping…


About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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2 Responses to Inception…

  1. I dunno Joe, maybe time to quit the day job and become a professional writer…

  2. Joseph Campbell says:

    LOL! Something has to be better then this IT business, tell ya after all of these years you might be right…

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