How could you produce real results by priming people with fake solutions? 

Monsters in children’s rooms are an issue that every parent has to deal with.

Fear of imaginary creatures can result in kids and parents not sleeping very well or at all.

But we have to remember, kids are stupid. Practically everything they know is based on placebos. Perhaps the secret is making the solution appear as real as the problem feels.

Introducing my revolutionary new product.

Monstero is a bedroom creature vanishing spray that clears away uninvited prowling monsters. Parents know the product is just tap water, but kids don’t. With the right story and a few spritzes each night, now children will be armed and ready for bedtime. Late night intruders won’t stand a chance against this colorless, stainless and odorless repellant. Monstero assures those creepy creatures come out of the closet for the last time.

Now, before you call child protective services, allow me to explain. The reason this invention will make millions of dollars and help millions of families is because of the power of the placebo effect.

Godin, the heavyweight champion of modern marketing, wrote a helpful book on this phenomenon. He says that a placebo is a story we tell ourselves that changes the way our brain and our body work. That is precisely what modern marketers do, they build rituals and produce external cues that change personal experience.

But here’s the problem. What makes the placebo effect hard for people to swallow is, there’s an assumption that it’s unethical. Spraying your child’s bedroom with water disguised and packaged as anti monster tonic is a total lie.

And my thought is, what’s your point? All of us brainwash ourselves into being happy every day of our lives. If the story we tell about a situation is a helpful illusion, and it creates a more enjoyable way to live, then we shouldn’t feel guilty or wrong about doing what we have to do to survive. Talk about leverage.

And you don’t even have to be a marketer to tap into it. How could you produce real results by priming yourself or others with fake solutions?

The possibilities are endless. All of us can choose to tell ourselves stories that change the way our brain and body work.

Here’s a case study from my own experience.

During my twenties, my left lung collapsed. Woke up one morning, couldn’t breathe, drove to the emergency room, woke up a few hours later with a tube in my chest, and spent a week in the hospital connected to a respirator that did my breathing for me. Absolutely the most traumatic week of my life.

It was a spontaneous pneumothorax, according to my thoracic surgeon. Happens all the time. Particularly for tall, lanky men in their mid twenties like me. Who knew?

But here’s the key. Despite being hooked up to a morphine drip all week, I also got a healthy dose of placebo in that hospital.

Doctors didn’t administer it, it was simply a story I chose to tell myself.

Scott, the reason your lung collapsed was not an accident. It was years of chronic stress literally weighing you down. It’s time to rethink your relationship with your breath, your body, your mind and your soul.

My life has never been the same since that day.

The placebo is a medicine that all of us can make and administer to ourselves.

Let the healing begin. 

How might you use leverage to brainwash yourself into being happy?


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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