I was sitting in my home in an Atlanta suburb innocently watching television when it happened. During a commercial break sneaky California tourism promoters slipped in a little piece of conversational hypnosis aimed at covertly hypnotizing me into visiting California.
In my twenty-two years as a hypnotherapist, I have become sensitive to hypnotic language, and how it is intended to unconsciously affect minds. So, California’s new tourist motto really caught my attention.
Hypnotists have discovered through centuries of experience that “artfully vague” language will tend to be more effective at getting someone to go into hypnosis. And, those same sentence structures can be used to give effective suggestions even when there is no formal hypnosis, as in advertising or even normal conversation.
So, just how sneaky is California? California’s new tourist motto is “Find yourself in California”.
One moment I’m putting on my socks in Atlanta, the next I find myself in California! Whoa! How did that happen?
Of course, there is more than one meaning to the motto, which is part of what makes it artfully vague enough to work as hypnosis. The phrase could also mean that I will find my true identity in California. If I become confused about my life, or who I am, all I need to do is to go to California and I will find myself there. And, come to think of it, that is a pretty nice little hypnotic suggestion too, isn’t it?
“Find your self in California” is intended to influence people to visit California. If it is repeated enough, it will begin to affect unconscious minds and travel choices. If you are feeling a sudden urge to go to San Francisco or Hollywood right now, you know the hypnosis is working.