• cstollenmaier

This One Word Can Change Everything For You...

Walls primed for painting with paint supplies
Are you preparing yourself for success in advance?

Priming is defined as ‘making (something) ready for use or action’ and ‘preparing (someone) for a situation or task, typically by supplying them with relevant information.’ We are going to prime you for the action you want to take in your life; the behavior that you want to develop consistency with. We are going to work together to make you ready to act!

Psychology uses the term priming a little differently. In this context, priming is the effect of one stimulus having an influence over your response to a later stimulus. A simpler way of saying that is hearing, seeing, or reading something will influence how you react to something you see, hear or read later. Priming is considered an “implicit memory effect,” which is to say that it occurs outside of your conscious awareness.

One effect of priming in this sense is that it makes you quicker to respond or act. For example, if you are given a list of words to read and are later asked to complete a word with missing letters that was on that list, you will be able to complete the word much more quickly than if you hadn’t seen that word already. This is because the word is already on your mind, or “fresh” in your memory. Now this may seem a little obvious, but that doesn’t make it insignificant. If you want to succeed in a certain behavior, this priming effect teaches us that preparing for it in advance will make it easier to achieve. Think of it like this; if you already know how to do something, you will be faster at it (meaning it requires less time) and it will be easier to accomplish (meaning it requires less effort). These are important parts of increasing ability (remember B=MAT). It’s like having the answers to a test before you take it!

This priming effect is bigger than just recall ipsissima verba, however; it applies to entire schemas, or categories of information in your brain. Suppose you are given a list of words that include words of a certain theme, such as holly, wreath, and spruce. Now, if you are asked to complete a word like M I S _ _ E T _ E, you are much more likely to recognize mistletoe, and to recognize it more quickly! So it goes beyond just seeing the word itself; if you can get yourself working from the correct part of your brain, you will be quicker and better at completing tasks that require that area or theme of thought.

To take it even more broadly, even setting a general mood or or mindset can impact your behavior. Studies have found that the type of music shoppers listen to affects the type of wine they are more likely to buy (i.e. French music makes you more likely to buy French wine). The mood of music has also been found to influence the way people describe the taste of a wine sample. Heavy and powerful music seems to make the wine taste heavy and powerful, while mellow and soft music seems to make the very same wine taste mellow and soft! So then, make a person feel rich, and you will get them to spend more. Make the environment feel elite, and you can get them to pay more for the same product. Make yourself feel powerful, and you will have a stronger will. Make yourself feel successful, and you will be more likely to make choices that lead to success. Make your moments feel important, and you will choose to spend them more wisely.

As you prepare for the task ahead, the task of changing your life, utilize the power of priming in all its definitions. Prepare for action by learning the relevant information. Learn how to perform the task in advance and make it as easy as possible to perform. Set your mindset for success and ensure you’re working from the right place in your brain so that you’re already set up to win.

If you liked what you read here, then you'll love my new book, Enough! Stop Failing, Start Following Through: A guide for people who are tired of letting themselves down. Available January 11. Pre-order your copy now at or wherever you get your eBooks.

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