A Papa John’s Pizza commercial comes on TV…a hand removes one thick, saucy slice from the pie…steaming, gooey mozzarella oozes over the sides in strings….soooo cheesy…..so delectable…..mmmm, let’s get a pizza for dinner!
We all seem to have this feature hard-wired into our brains; see it- want it. Or, as I call it, “visual influence theory”. A baby’s bottle gets five feet from its face and its mouth drops open. You walk down an aisle at a car show, spot a mean black ’69 Camaro Z28, and stop dead in your tracks, daydreaming about it being yours. A mint green dress calls to you from a shop window, you walk in to try it on. And don’t ever check out real estate listings “just for fun”……You. Will. Buy. And of course, the pizza example above is classic visual influence theory. Advertisers bank on our appetites. And our waistlines and wallets are juuuuuust about to the breaking point.
The wonderful news is that the visual influence theory seems to work for the positive, as well! If I go to the rock climbing gym and see a girl scaling the walls with grit and finesse I want to be like her. I watch Legolas or Katniss with a bow and I reeeeeeally want to brush up on my archery. Even if I’m just watching some random movie whose actors/actresses are really fit, I’m inspired to work out harder and improve my own fitness.
So I’m going to try something. I’m going to attempt to edit what I see to the point of exclusively taking in only positively influential images; the sights that make me want to eat healthier, move more, and be an enthusiastic participant in life. From movies to magazine to people in the day-to-day, I’ll shut my eyes to the images that promote discontent, junk food indulgence, or a couch potato lifestyle.
Don’t worry, this is not the beginning of an epic year-long journey of self-discovery. (Though I am a sucker for any book with “year long project” on the cover.) My experiment is just a casual, organic little thing.
The practicals should be fun to navigate. I’ll let you know how it goes. It’ll be interesting to see if my externals change more or if I find I need to work more on adjusting my brain. Hm.