I’ve been writing about hypnotic stories since the 1990s.
My first e-book, Hypnotic Writing, described them.
I created Hypnotic Writing out of two passions of mine in the 1980s and 1990s: literature and copywriting.
Jack London, Mark Twain, William Saroyan and other great story telling authors fascinated me.
But so did great copywriters like Robert Collier, Bruce Barton, and John Caples.
After speculating on how each wrote their stories, I developed Hypnotic Writing as a way to explain it and teach it.
In short, I combined both styles of writing to create a third style.
I’ve written about this in many of my other early marketing books, including Buying Trances.
Of course, my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute, is packed with hypnotic stories.
But I just discovered even more proof that hypnotic stories increase sales, influence, and more.
Let me explain:
I came across a project called Significant Objects.
The idea behind Significant Objects was to create a scientific study to see whether creative stories about mediocre objects could persuade people to buy near worthless stuff.
In other words, the authors would take a simple object that you might find at a garage sale for one dollar.
Then they would write a fictional story about it.
And then they would list the item, with the story, on eBay.
Surprisingly (or not), the item sold for many times its original price.
They did this for 100 objects.
The results were astonishing.
Objects that originally sold for around one dollar, were each placed on eBay with an accompanying made-up story.
The story triggered sales.
Those meaningless objects, now given meaning, sold for thousands of dollars in total.
For example, a Missouri shot glass, which looked like trash to me and originally sold for $1, had a fictional story written about it.
The story and photo were put on eBay.
That shot glass then sold for $76.
That’s a $75 profit from a hypnotic story.
That’s the power of a story.
The point being, the stories did the selling.
Of course, I’m not at all advising you to write fictional stories about your product or service.
But you have stories.
They are from you (how you began your business or why) or from your customers (testimonials from satisfied people).
It’s those hypnotic stories that can increase your sales and influence.
In my book, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success, I advised revealing “the business nobody knows.”
In other words, tell the story behind you, your product, your service, and/or employee.
Your hypnotic stories will bring your business to life.
There’s a site you can visit http://significantobjects.com/ that fully describes the Significant Objects study, and their stories. It’s worth a look.
Their site opens saying, “Significant Objects, a literary and anthropological experiment devised by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn, demonstrated that the effect of narrative on any given object’s subjective value can be measured objectively.”
Meanwhile, what’s your hypnotic story?
PS – My newest book is out this week: Dr. Joe Vitale’s “Greatest Law of Attraction Quotes.” You can find the printed and Kindle versions at Amazon. Open the book anywhere and see what “hypnotic story” begins for you. 🙂
The big mistake most people make when it comes to using the Law of Attraction – or using anything to achieve their goals and dreams – is wanting to know how.
“How do I make it happen?”
“What are the exact steps I should take?”
“How do I get from here to there?”
The thing is, you rarely if ever know how in advance.
Once you complete a goal and can hold it in your hand, or show it off to friends, you can explain the how of it.
You’ll then have a complete beginning-middle-ending story.
The puzzle will be revealed.
You can then explain the steps you took.
But not before you attract it.
Recently I surveyed my list, asking what book they would like to see me write next. While virtually everybody wanted more books like Zero Limits and AT Zero on ho’oponopono, a few wrote in some suggestions.
Those people were usually wanting to know how to attract something specifically, and how I did it.
They wanted stories of people revealing exactly how they attracted their goals.
They were asking for step-by-step plans.
This is the big mistake.
Let me explain:
When I was making a name for myself as a copywriter and marketer back in the 1990s, a lot of things occurred that I couldn’t predict, let alone know how to make happen.
For example, the Internet came along.
Who saw that coming?
I was one of the first to be online already – on what were called Bulletin Board Systems (a kind of miniature, local only, limited reach Internet) – so when the actual Internet was born, I was already there.
The speaking and writing I was doing in Houston, where I lived at the time, now being posted on CompuServe and AOL, broadcast my name across planet Earth.
It helped make me cyber-famous.
It was certainly an essential step in my career.
But I never saw it coming.
It was never on my to-do list.
How could it be?
Are you starting to see how this works?
During these same early years, I wrote a little book called Spiritual Marketing.
I released it online, free, and it touched millions of lives.
I never knew it would do anything. I released it to the world in the hope that it would help people.
But The New York Times wrote about it.
And Bob Proctor urged me to publish the book.
And it became an early print-on-demand book.
It was also my first Amazon bestseller.
But I wasn’t following a “how to make it happen” plan.
No such plan existed.
These synchronistic events were happening as a side result of my passion and persistence.
They were happening organically.
They were happening on the way to my dream.
I couldn’t predict them because I couldn’t see them.
They were on the unseen road ahead, to be discovered as I kept moving forward.
And along the way in this adventure a publisher contacted me. He later published my book, Spiritual Marketing, but with a new title: The Attractor Factor.
That became the most powerful and popular self-help book I’ve ever written.
And The Attractor Factor was given to a television producer in Australia. She read it and contacted me.
She said she wanted me to be in a movie she was making about the Law of Attraction.
It was to be called The Secret.
That movie changed my life.
It put me on Larry King’s television show, twice, and got me invited to speak in countries I didn’t know existed.
How do you make those things happen?
After all, none of them could have been foreseen.
When people ask for the step-by-step exact plan to make something happen, they are making the mistake of thinking there is such a plan.
There is a general formula, but not a specific one.
There are formulas for helping you choose your intention, start taking action, and maintain momentum once you get going.
But there isn’t a specific “do this and then do this” plan.
Even Mark Twain knew it.
Twain said, on his 70th birthday, “You can’t reach old age by another man’s road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you.”
Thinking you can copy the specific things I did in my life to attract and achieve specific results in your life is a big mistake.
Thinking there is a “how” to get where you want to go is an error.
You attract the results you want with the formulas I have revealed, in books like The Attractor Factor, Attract Money Now, and most recently in The Miracle.
Other self-help authors have other formulas.
Mine goes something like this:
You’ll notice there isn’t a specific task that will work for you and everybody else.
There isn’t because there’s no way to know it in advance.
Steve Jobs knew this, too.
Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
Melissa Etheridge told it to me this way –
Have faith that it’s all working out in your favor.
Have faith that “The Great Something” is – as I sing in my title track song on my new album – your “hidden ally” in life.
Have faith in yourself, the Universe, The Great Something, and your journey.
And then one day, after the dust has cleared, and you realized you attracted your goal, you can look back and tell the how of it all.
You can then connect the dots.
But all you can do today is the next obvious action step.
It’s the next “dot” that will lead to your success.
Dot by dot, by dot, you will get there.
Now go do today’s “dot.”
PS – Check out www.MiraclesCoaching.com
A while back a delightful woman asked me some questions for an online magazine for Czech readers. She published the exchange at http://www.kofibrejkonlajn.cz/pozitivni-mysleni/36-exkluzivni-rozhovor-muzete-mit-vse-po-cem-touzite-rika-joe-vitale.html I thought you’d be interested in reading it in English:
1. Dear Joe, thank you very much for making this possible. You probably don’t know that but you are successful in the Czech republic too. We know you from The Secret and we have access to the most of your books. I read and I also heard it on one of your audio sessions that you were homeless once and now you have this amazing life and career that people usually dream of. I know that this didn’t happen over night but tell us what was “IT” that changed your life. Was it a person, a book or…your inner voice?
People have often asked me what was “it” that changed my life. The right answer is “Everything!” I did EVERYTHING. I read books, listened to audios, attended events, kept working on myself, trying, failing, learning, improving and more. I had to DO IT ALL to become successful. There was no “one” thing. Certain books helped me, such as Claude Bristol’s The Magic of Believing. But largely, it was doing whatever seemed like the right next thing to do that got me here.
2. What were you dreaming about as a child? Do you remember?
Oh, yes, I remember. I wanted to be a magician. I was going to be like Harry Houdini, and be famous for my great magic and stunts. I also thought I might be a baseball player, and be known player like Babe Ruth. I also thought about being an author. Since I always loved books, and still do today, becoming a writer seemed like my best bet.
3. I read and watched The Secret, which was the first platform for people in the Czech republic to find out about the Law of Attraction. I started practising the LOA, but I was suddenly afraid of my thoughts, because I couldn’t control them. I also felt that the book was only the introduction to the whole philosophy of the manifestation. There were things that were missing, which left me looking for more information. The “ Action” part was also never mentioned and I felt that only visualizing would not get me too far. If you could list 3 things that people should do every day to manifest all they want in their lives, what would they be…?
This is a big question. I think The Secret and other books and movies are just introductions to the Law of Attraction. There’s much more to learn. I have entire courses, like The Missing Secret, and my Miracles Coaching program, to help people understand these deep concepts. If I had to list three things to do, they’d be:
1. State your intention. What do you want?
2. Get clear. When negative thoughts arise, realize they are just thoughts and don’t feed them.
3. Take action. Results are a co-creation of what you do and what the Universe does through others.
4. I read your Hypnotic marketing and hypnotic writing and I have to say it is very powerful. It hasn’t been translated to Czech language yet unfortunately. I hope that it will be soon after we publish this interview. Where do you get your inspiration for you books? Do you first test everything and then write about it.
I get ideas from everywhere. I read a tremendous amount and get ideas from what I read. i also have inspirations and follow through on them, testing them on myself first. If they work for me, I share them with others. I see myself as a scout who rides ahead of everyone, tries out what he sees, and then returns and shares his secrets with others.
5. In our magazine Kofibrejkonlajn.cz (coffeebreakonline –but written in a funny way) we also write about procrastination, work ethic…and so on. You are the author of so many books, you teach, do online seminars, travel the world, you are a musician with 4 albums; it seems to me, that you don’t have a problem with procrastination. Or if you have, you sure know how to beat it Can you give us some advice or tips on how to be productive? (please tell us also about your daily routine if you have any)
This is another big subject. People who procrastinate are doing one of two things: They are either afraid of failure or success, or they are trying to do something too big. In other words, people have unconscious beliefs about success. They may fear it or they may fear the opposite of it, failure. Either way, they will hesitate to take any action to protect themselves.
Also, if people are trying to create a big project, they may feel overwhelmed and stop. They need to break down the big project into little steps; something they can do each day to make progress. I work every day on my goals. I read every day, write every day, exercise every day, meditate every day, and rest every day. Living and doing moment by moment, I achieve massive results. Anyone can do this.
6. As you are a “guru” for millions of people through your work, we think that even a “guru” needs his own “guru” sometimes. Is there an author or a person that inspires you?
I have MANY authors who inspire me, from Bruce Barton and Vash Young to Debbie Ford and more. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Mark Twain also inspire me.
7. You meet lots of people through your live and online seminars, and they talk about their struggle with money, in relationships, or at work…. what do you tell them? Is that one thing that you want them to always remember?
I tell them “This, too, will pass.” In other words, what you are struggling with will pass, what you are worried about will pass. It’s the nature of life to move things along and change them. But you can accelerate that change by focusing on what you want, clearing yourself of limiting beliefs, and taking action. The sun will rise again. It always does.
8. What are you working on now?
Numerous things. I have two new books coming out: “The Miracle” and “The Awakened Millionaire.” I have new music coming out, on top of the 15 albums I’ve already recorded. I have an Authorship Program about to be released, to help first time authors get published in 12 weeks. I’m of course always working on my Miracles Coaching program. And most recently I have become interested in strongman feats of strength. I have been bending horseshoes, nails and spikes, and steel bars. I may write a book about it. I’m enjoying life.
9. Would you be interested in coming to Prague to have a workshop or a seminar? Do you travel to Europe often?
YES! I would LOVE to visit there. I have been to Europe many times, and love the countries and their people.
PS – New book coming April 2016:
A dear friend asked me to create a list of recommended current books to read. I loved doing it. He looked at that list and said he hadn’t read any of them, and had only heard of one of them. With that in mind, I thought you might like to see the list. Here you go…
The Walk by Philippe Petit. Riveting. Unique. Made me hyperventilate.
I, Mammal by Loretta Breuning. Enlightening. Read all of her books.
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth. Fun, funny, flippant. It will spin your writing into a spell generator. (“Spell” as in “I’ll put a spell on you!”)
The Book of est by Luke Rhinehart. Hypnotic. Loved it so much I published it. 🙂
Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder by Samuel Wilson Fussell. Wise, well written and deeply revealing.
Making the American Body by Jonathan Black. Entertaining.
Mark Twain: Man in White by Michael Shelden. Love Twain.
The Shack by William Young. Novel.
Rejection Proof by Jia Jiang. Hilarious and empowering.
The Power of Neuroplasticity by Shad Helmstetter. Simple yet beautiful.
Lincoln: Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan. Love Lincoln.
Thomas Jefferson: Art of Power by Jon Meacham. Fascinating.
Bill Veeck by Paul Dickson. The Barnum of baseball.
Chronicles by Bob Dylan. Reads like a folk song with Dylan style.
The Most Contented Man by Joseph J. Vitale. My Dad. 🙂
Stuntman! By Hal Needham. Lively read.
The Einstein of Money by Joe Carlen. Insightful.
Not Impossible by Mick Ebeling. Inspiring.
The Power of Impossible Thinking by Yoram and Cook. Life changing.
The Spiritual Journey of Joseph L. Greenstein by Ed Spielman. Astonishing.
And any book by Joe Vitale... 🙂
PS – I love books. Feel free to leave a comment telling me about your own favorites.
Someone on Facebook wrote a variation of this statement…
“Napoleon Hill said, ‘Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.’ This is the biggest load of monkey poo since the Law of Attraction. Right now, I am conceiving and believing that I can walk on water. Wish me luck.”
This is a wonderful example of illogical thinking.
Does the person really think they can walk on water?
Can they really imagine it?
Do they really believe it?
And if they can’t, then they just proved Napoleon Hill right.
Hill said, “Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” and not “Whatever your mind can make up, even though you don’t really believe it and it’s not really possible, it can achieve.”
And please note that Hill said you can achieve it, not that you will achieve it.
He wisely left room for the possibility of you not actually attracting what you “conceive and believe.”
He knew you still had to work all the steps, including taking action.
His quote wasn’t just about conceiving and believing.
He said there were at least 16 laws, remember.
He wrote about them in such books as Laws of Success and of course Think and Grow Rich.
The ridicule people give the Law of Attraction or Napoleon Hill is a reflection of people’s own belief system – only they rarely see it.
I remember being in Russia at one of the many book signings and author meet and greets I did there.
An elderly gentleman in one audience said, “I really want to believe in this Law of Attraction but the skeptics make a good case against it.”
“Have you ever noticed that the skeptics seem to hang out together,” I began, “and the Law of Attraction positive thinkers seem to gather together?”
He smiled, nodding, as it dawned on him what I was saying.
“Everyone is living the Law of Attraction,” I explained, “but some know it consciously and others do not. You are free to believe what you like and you will attract whatever evidence you need to support your belief, even when it’s illogical to others. That’s the Law of Attraction.”
Remember, you get what you really believe, not what you want to believe.
In other words, when you examine your own statements, you might see the twisted logic behind them.
But like the person who posted the opening line, you probably won’t see the fallacy of your thinking without someone there to lovingly point it out to you.
This is why it’s so important to have a coach.
A coach can listen to you speak, reflect back to you the very beliefs you won’t even hear yourself saying, and help you question any beliefs that don’t serve you.
For example, the person who was poking holes at Napoleon Hill’s statement probably didn’t realize they weren’t being logical or even accurate. Seeing this blog post, they might grasp it.
But arguing for limitations seems silly to me.
Why argue against goals, success, visualization, positive thinking and the like?
Why not argue for them?
After all, the whole point is to help you achieve success.
Why not find ways to prove Napoleon Hill right?
Hill also wrote, “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”
Anyone who tries to dismiss the positive and encouraging words of Hill is speaking without thinking.
More than that, they are raining on the hopes and dreams of other people.
That isn’t wise, kind, loving, or useful.
As Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Napoleon Hill believed in you.
So do I.
Go for your dreams.
PS – For the record, I can walk on water. I’ve done it numerous times, usually in Ohio, usually during the Winter months. We called it ice.
PPS – I also found this on Facebook: “Dear Optimist, Pessimist and Realist: While you guys were arguing about the glass of water, I drank it.” – Opportunist
PPPS – And here’s Napoleon Hill himself giving you some coaching: