Believing you can do something is often said to be a prerequisite to achieving it. Exactly how much it matters to the outcome I’m sure is up for huge debate, but small and large things alike in your day can be measurably impacted by your mental state, and visualization is an extremely effective way to alter your mental state in a given moment.
Weightlifters (even non-pro) will be able to identify with my own experience in reaching new PRs. Muscle activation in particular is some percentage physical and some double digit percentage mental. If you know you can lift that weight, it just doesn’t feel as heavy.
I’ve read that athletes often visualize their performance very viscerally to prepare their body to perform a routine. Reading the passage about a basketball dribbler thinking of himself being able to literally pass through other players on the court, to me is just a form of this positive visualiation.
To take it a step further, someone visualizing all that negative energy, turning it into a semi-controlled form of mass hysteria, absolutely has a significant physical effect on the people participating, and very likely also the people watching nearby.
The idea that this could work on a physically isolated subject who is unaware of the experiment would be the true revelation, but it is yet to be seen.
We do have “superpowers” in many ways, but unfortunately the laws of physics put somewhat of a damper on macro scale spooky action at a distance.
A more controversial example (since it includes foreign substances) would be PCP, but it's a similar story. A single man suddenly seeming to gain the strength and endurance is not because the drug is somehow physically changing him - it's just shutting off various critical systems like pain detection. A similar story to the above in that we are physically capable of vastly more than our bodies consciously enable, but the consequences usually involve pushing your body past its physical limits which can result in self injury.
But yeah I've also noticed the exact same thing you mention with visualization and lifting. It'd be interesting if visualization somehow helps us, even if slightly, consciously override our subconsciously enforced performance limits.
At virtually any level, performance is a function of one's physical condition and one's coordination. Even joggers will get better and more efficient at running simply by doing so repeatedly, regardless of their physical condition improvement (just like I get better at playing challenging video games, and it's not about the muscles in my thumbs). In other words, there are many non-physical factors to performance.
Visualization surely help to trains those. But yeah, not a superpower :(
At that moment, my hand stumbled and I dropped my brand new phone with case (except screen) onto the pavement, which happened to impact the screen with a rock and cracked it.
While the obvious explanation is that it was due to my own clumsiness along with bad luck, I had the distinct sense that they were experimenting with (what they likely thought of as) voodoo or magic, mind control or influence, etc. It was surreal and all happened in slow motion.
In another incident I was with classmates at a school basketball game on the sidelines. I’m a terrible shot with no shooting ability at all. My classmate quiets everyone down and says “watch this” and throws me the ball. A big group of people in the stands are now focused on me and I chuck the ball at the rim line drive style and sunk it. Everyone erupted.
To this day I’m convinced they said some prayer or otherwise did magic. Group positive energy. Who knows.
Fascinating subject and highly relevant in today’s interconnected world.
Thanks for sharing. I've traveled several times and have sometimes heard people having entire conversations in what sounds like nonsense. You could be on to something here with an association between vacations and people muttering what sounds like nonsense. I've been lucky that none of that nonsense caused me to drop my phone.
Your story does make a lot of sense though. In a world where magic and voodoo exist, it would certainly be used to make sure that tourists drop their phones. I'm wondering if we should avoid vacations or if there's some kind of counter-voodoo that we can learn to defend ourselves. Phones are getting more expensive every year so it's prudent to take some kind of action if we can.
Ummm, a $50 case for your $1,000 phone?
To my point, one friend described visiting a historical site that was an ancient tomb and feeling fine until a young couple started chanting some weird stuff. After that she said she experienced a feeling of total fear and dread and felt the need to run out of there. She says it's a feeling she never felt before or after, and she's not the superstitious sort overall.
Heck, even my husband and I once shared an experience that is impossible to explain outside of the ideas of ghosts or some other shared hallucination phenomena. Had it been just one of us witnessing it, it would be so easy to dismiss, but try as we might we still have no good explanation. I'm still a skeptic to my core, but the experience certainly made me more curious about hearing from others about their experiences and not dismissing them as pure fabrications or delusions outright
It's not that unusual for white people to feel terror and dread on hearing somebody talk in a different language. The "they must have been doing voodoo" is a cute rationalization, though.
The fact that it was a burial site or crypt makes me think the setting was key to that response. Maybe movies or something predisposed her to be freaked out in that setting. Her theory was that the burial site itself was chosen for geographic features that made it make people feel freaky. I'm not sure if that makes sense either, but it's interesting considering how people try to explain unusual things to themselves.
For the second one, I gotta say "N=1". Most of the time, "watch this" doesn't turn out so well.
(in both examples he directly witnessed people influencing him, not that they were hidden in a dark room somewhere else)
On a related topic - I recall seeing a documentary about two twins of eastern origin that both had freakish long distance running and specifically VO2 max ability. Anyone recall a name by chance?