iPods, MP3 players, and human programming

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’m in the market for an MP3 player. Now, part of the reason I want an iPod or similar player is the reason most people do – to be able to rip all my CDs to digital format and take my music with me when I’m at work, on the road, etc.

But for me, there’s also another reason. Most MP3 players come with a microphone/recording feature. That means I can record my own voice and play it back. That opens up possibilites for what I like to think of as “human programming.” Programming myself through passive listening.

I’ll give you an example of what I’m talking about. Guys… have you ever been talking with a cute girl, and you get this sense of oh my god what do i say what do i say? And then 10 minutes after she’s gone, you think of the perfect, witty thing to tell her. Of course, at that point it’s too late.

That’s a near-universal experience for guys. (maybe women too) I’ve been keeping a personal journal (private notebooks I write in, not this blog that I write online) for over 4 years now, and I have tons of examples of this. Trouble is, I don’t have a process to systematically review what I learned, so that more and more I learn to think on my feet. I mean, what am I going to do, carry stacks of notebooks around everyplace? But with an MP3 player, I can record all this information, give it all the same album name, and then put the album on “Shuffle” and let this info sink in as I work, drive, walk, etc. That’s what I mean by passive listening.

Seems like this could be enormously valuable for people in sales as well. You’re talking with a customer, and for whatever reason, you can’t figure out how to close him and he slips away. Later on, you think of what you should have said. Now there’s an opportunity to learn. Seems like recording various ways to handle real-life objections, and then playing them back over and over, would cause the information to sink in to your subconscious. Not only would you know how to handle those objections in the future, but your subconscious would start to see patterns, and you’d find yourself handling other objections, ones you’d never heard before, on the fly as well. You could also record key learnings from the best sales-training books you’ve read over the years and play those back over and over, to cause the knowledge to really sink in. Seems like it could be a shortcut to mastery.

I also see the human programming aspect as a method to adopt new belief systems. Hope I can explain this in a way that makes at least a little sense. Bear with me. The way we act, the way we move through day-to-day life, tends to be a function of the underlying beliefs we hold. Therefore, a key part of human programming is identifying those beliefs and replacing them with better ones, so that we function better in the real world.

This is kind of a hard thing to explain. For example, I used to see people I wanted to go up and talk to, for whatever reason, but I wouldn’t because I had a belief that said, “They’re busy, I shouldn’t bother them.” By writing in my journal over a number of years, I identified that belief (that I’m “bothering” people when I go talk to them), realized it was untrue, stupid and didn’t serve me, and I got rid of it. Anyone who has known me for several years will agree that I’m MUCH more outgoing around new people than I used to be.

There are other beliefs (no need to get into what they are) that I’d like to adopt, that I logically (i.e. consciously) understand would be good to hold. But my behavior (as written in my private journals) indicates that subconsciously I haven’t fully accepted these beliefs yet. So I’d like to use the recording, playback, and shuffle MP3 player functions to see if I can program those beliefs in, if I can hard-wire them into my mind. There are various ways to do this. Affirmations are one way. There’s self-hypnosis, and there’s a branch of psychology called NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) which is sort of like conversational hypnosis. I’ve studied all these things. Or, I could simply talk to myself as though I had already adopted the new belief, and then play it back.

Who knows… maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, but it seems like a fun thing to play with. And for me personally, that is a much more compelling reason to buy an MP3 player than to be able to listen to Dave Matthews in the car.

If anyone has experimented with this kind of stuff using an iPod or similar device, I’d enjoy hearing from you. paul at paulryburn dot com is the address.

The mind is a wonderful thing to play with.