WISDOM – Exploring the power of Priming

[work in progress]

I believe my first encounter with the concept of Priming was thanks to Tony Robbins’ interviews by Tim Ferris, but it’s thanks to Nobel prize Daniel Kahneman* that I began to use this almost daily.

What is priming?

Priming consists in orientating the brain thinking thanks to hints, actions or associated images. In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman offers the analysis of an experience. Participants are made either smile or frown and then asked to rate the humour of a cartoon. People who were made smiling rate on average the cartoon funnier. What does this mean practically? That putting a physical smile on your face will get you more sensitive to identifying humour.

How is priming used nowadays?

Priming is studied a actively since the 1980s and has since been adopted by countless brands for their commercials. Subliminal images projections (projecting images for a very short period of time – ie long enough for the brain to perceive it but actually to little to really see it) has found its way.

How you can use priming?

I use priming to settle into specific mindsets. For instance, pausing and experiment gratefulness in the morning (something you can borrow from coach Tony Robbins) helps you to feel more grateful along your day. Thinking about your past successes (or surrounding you with an environment that speaks of quality) helps to increase your focus and boosts your creativity.

This gives credit to the old “fake it till you make it”. By stepping your mind into the “achievement mindset” you can visualize success and work toward it. That also helps you to raise potential benchmarks (I will publish a post dedicated to benchmark setting based on a workshop I attended).

Mediation and prayers can be studied as an act of priming as they contribute to put the participant into a specific mindset.


Tim Ferris, The Tim Ferriss show,

* Kahneman D, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Chapter 4 – The Associative Machine

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