Monthly Archives: January 2017

Are you Afraid of Self-Hypnosis?

Build your understanding of the human mind


I completed a course in clinical hypnotherapy in 2012 and it was probably the most interesting and the most useful course I have ever done in my life.   I have undertaken quite a few courses in my time including 2 masters degrees and a PhD.  It is amazing that you can go through the education system and not be taught anything about how your own mind works.  That is certainly the case in the Irish educational system that I went through.   What I learned about my own mind and the minds of others from the hypnosis course is the type of knowledge that is applicable in everyday life.  You see, we think that we are logical human beings, but research in neuroscience by people such as Antonio Damasio shows that decisions are made with emotions and not with logic (look at Brexit and the election of Donald Trump – did voters decide with logic or emotion?).  Emotion is the language of the subconscious mind and hypnosis is an effective tool to communicate with your own subconscious mind. I have experienced the powerful benefits of hypnosis myself when I effectively used hypnosis to lose weight.  I was at a point of despair with my weight and felt that I had no control over myself and what I ate.  I just could not stop myself eating cakes, crisps and other treats.  I ballooned to 113kgs (nearly 18 stone).  However I learned to break free of eating junk food using self-hypnosis.  The wonderful thing about hypnosis is that you can eat anything you want and still lose weight!  That sentence is not a joke and is absolutely true.  With hypnosis you will no more desire to eat cakes or sweets, chocolate or ice cream than you now have a desire to eat cardboard.  It is hard to believe that this could be true. Believe me it is true!  You can read more about my experience of losing weight using hypnosis in a free report I created.  The report also contains a link to a free self -hypnosis weight loss audio.  Click Here!

Stage Hypnosis 

I don’t like stage hypnosis at all because it gives hypnosis in general a bad name.  You may see people barking like a dog etc. and you might have images in your heard of a swinging watch.  There are movies where subjects are programmed to become assassins etc.  This is all a load of baloney and is entertainment.  In hypnosis you are in complete control.  In self-hypnosis you listen to a recording in a relaxed state.  In a state of relaxation the ideas in the recording will enter your sub-conscious mind.  It is easy and completely safe.   At the end of the day all hypnosis is self-hypnosis – you relax and allow the suggestions to wash over you.  If you have never experienced Self- Hypnosis before then why not try out my weight loss audio now for free.

Hypnosis is Natural

Almost all of us, if not all, have at one time or another experienced light hypnosis. In fact, in some respects we experience a version of this everyday.  Have you every driven somewhere but cannot recall the journey.  Your mind had wandered off and you were daydreaming as you drove.  Have you been to the movies and just got totally absorbed.  Its almost as if you are in the movie and the world around you (the cinema) fades into the background.

By some definitions we are all under hypnosis all the time.  In other words we don’t see what is real but we see our own version of reality that we create in our own heads.  Are we aware what drives our thinking? We assume we are rational human beings but this is not the case.

Free Hypnosis Course

There is a company in the UK who produce self hypnosis audios.  I really like their material which is high quality.  They have a free 5 day course on hypnosis which I highly recommend and which I have taken myself.  If this subject interests you then there is no excuse.  You will learn a lot about yourself and others from this course.  Please click here to watch a video about the free course.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” – Henry Ford

PS.  Politics! I have been enjoying Scott Adam’s take on the US elections and understanding Donald Trump.  Scott Adams created the Dilbert cartoon strip and he is also well versed in hypnosis.  Scott predicted Trump’s win when most people thought he was crazy including myself.  He calls Trump the master persuader and he certainly is.  Trump uses mass persuasion techniques.  Will any of us forget the mental image he created of the ‘wall’? This big, beautiful wall that Mexico would supposedly pay for.  Trump was inviting us on a mental journey  – to engage our imaginations to create a mental picture of the wall and that to me looks a lot like hypnosis.  Also who can forget how he finished off his rivals for the Republican nomination.  Take for example Jeb Bush who was finished off by Trump with the label ‘low-energy’.  This is what is know as a  “linguistic kill shot,” in which Trump used an engineered set of words that changes or ends an argument decisively.   If you would like to read more on this have a look at a Forbes Magazine article from November 2015 ‘Donald Trump, Political Mass Hypnotist?’  If you want to understand the new US president and the new world we find ourselves in maybe its time you learn more about hypnosis by taking the free course from Uncommon Knowledge as a first step.

The Planning Fallacy & Your 2017 Goals

Understand the Planning Fallacy January is a time for reflection and planning.  It seems that we have a  new sheet, a new year and a blank canvas.  We can in a sense leave the past behind us.  This year will be new and different – definitely much better than last year.  We can have a notion to make this year our best year yet.  That is certainly my own intention as I start on my annual journey and as our planet continues on it’s journey around the sun.  When planning our year ahead however it is important to be aware of a judgement bias called the planning fallacy.

“The planning fallacy is a phenomenon in which predictions about how much time will be needed to complete a future task display an optimism bias and underestimate the time needed.”

-Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, 1979

This phenomenon occurs regardless of the individual’s knowledge that past tasks of a similar nature have taken longer to complete than generally planned.  The bias only affects predictions about one’s own tasks; when outside observers predict task completion times, they show a pessimistic bias, overestimating the time needed.

Management books even recognize the highly pervasive effects of time underestimation: the “laws of project management” state, “A carelessly planned project will take three times longer to complete than expected; a carefully planned project will take only twice as long (Pfleeger, 1991, p. 41).

One famous example of the planning fallacy is the construction of the Sydney Opera House, where construction lasted 6 years longer than predicted, at a cost almost $100 million over budget (Hall, 1980).  Another example is the construction of the channel tunnel (Chunnel) to connect London and Paris which was finally completed in May of 1994, even though initial estimates planned on it being completed in June 1993. The cost rose to over 10 million pounds, immensely more than the estimated 4.9 million pounds.

I have come across the Planning Fallacy many times in my own life.  Completing my PhD is an example.  At the start I expected it to take three years, when in fact it took me six years to complete, and was much much harder than I expected.  I even wrote a book about my experiences of doing my PhD to help others following after me.   A study by Buehler, Griffin, and Ross (1994) shows that I am not the only one who gets it wrong when predicting academic completion dates.  In this study, a class of students was asked to estimate the date at which they would finish their thesis. They actually completed their thesis, on average, in 56 days. However, they predicted they would complete their thesis in 34 days. Indeed, even when asked when they might complete their thesis if “everything went as well as it possibly could”, the mean response was still 49 days.

Another example which I have from my own life is buying a new home and moving house. It took me two years longer than I had expected at the outset of the project.  I simply could not predict all the challenges that  would occur ahead of time which slowed me down immensely.  Another example of the planning fallacy comes from Daniel Kahneman’s recent book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.  The study found that the typical homeowner expected their home improvement projects to cost about $19,000. The average actual cost? $39,000.

Effects of the Planning Fallacy

The biggest consequence of the planning fallacy is that we do not set ourselves enough time to complete key tasks, exacerbating pressure and stress.  We can feel despondent and perhaps even want to give up on our goals due to what we may believe is a lack of progress.  When you become discouraged your work rate can go down and this makes it even harder to achieve your goal.  I know this is how I felt when I was doing my PhD and partly explains why it took twice as long to complete.

What to do about the Planning Fallacy

I think awareness of the planning fallacy is really important.  Knowing that we are subject to this cognitive bias when planning is very helpful.  We can take a more detached look at our goals.  Can we really achieve this goal in this time frame?  What does past experience tell me?  Have I completed a similar project in the past,  how long did it take and what obstacles did I have to overcome?  You could share your goals with an uninvolved outsider and ask for feedback on how long they expect your goal to take.  Doing this we may get a more realistic (if somewhat negatively biased) projection.

An important question to ask yourself is what do I have to do or change in my schedule if I really want to make this goal happen by this particular date?  What increase in the amount of resources (time, focus and money) do I need to make in order to complete the goals I have set on time?   I think that three goals are defiantly enough at any one time.  Focus on three key goals only and maintain your focus on them.

Today when I reflect on my first quarter 2017 goals I have probably fallen again for the planning fallacy.  It seems now that the completion dates I have set on two of my three goals are overoptimistic and need to be adjusted to allow more time.  Life gets in the way  of goal achievement and distractions abound.

In the light of the planning fallacy how realistic are your 2017 goals?  What do you need to change in your schedule, your daily routines or resources allocated to goal achievement to make sure your goals happen by the deadline you have planned for?

Further reading/references

Buehler, R., Griffin, D., & Ross M. (1994). Exploring the “planning fallacy”: Why people underestimate their task completion times. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 366-381.

Hall, P. (1980). Great planning disasters. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1979). Intuitive prediction: Biases and corrective procedures. TIMS Studies in Management Science, 12, 313-327.

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Pfleeger, S. L. (1991). Software engineering: The production of quality software (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan.


Did you find this article helpful?  If you have found it useful please do me a big favour and share it with others.  Thank you 🙂 Tom Carroll, January 2017.