Setting the Bar Even Higher

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by Christian Flint, MA, M.C.Ht.

When I was in Graduate School, I was very fortunate to have an Adjunct Professor that had recently retired from the Military (Army) as a Psychiatrist.  He had spent more than 30 years in the Military, as a career.  And, he worked in several VA and Private Hospitals during his Military Career.

I remember, he also came to us with many stories.  He had been involved in numerous Research Experiments (most not available to the public).  And, one that he told us about, still stays with me and has been much the basis for why and what I create and produce here at Mind Design Unlimited.

The story / study goes like this (and, can be replicated):  There were roughly 222 Cadets Graduating from a Military Academy.  Most boys were very physically fit.  Upon part of their Physical Training Evaluation for their Graduation, they were asked to do a number of Physical Fitness Exercises. 

They divided the boys evenly, one being the "Control Group" and one being the "Experimental Group".  Once divided, they asked the boys in the Control Group to do as many natural sit-ups without their feet being anchored down, in 3 minutes.  A blown whistle would start the experiment and the same whistle blown would end it precisely 3 minutes later.

They then gave the exact same direction to the Experimental Group, but after they gave them the directions, they added this statement.  "Last year's Graduating Class averaged 50 non-anchored sit-ups in the 3 minute timeline." 

And, that was the only difference, was what was said to them in the last statement.  Yet the actual statement about the former Graduating Class averaging 50 non-anchored sit-ups is a lie.  

The Control Group averaged 33 non-anchored sit-ups in 3 minutes.  The Experimental Group averaged 44 non-anchored sit-ups in the 3 minutes.  And, I believe he added that a few boys went beyond the 50 that was only inferred as the "Bar" (or, average amount from last years students).  Yet, none even reached 50 in the 3 minutes from the Control Group. 

The Experimental Group well outperformed the Control Group.  This was much more of an experiment and not a competition.  And, while the inferred statement is a lie, the results of 44 versus 33 are very real.  Again, it was merely "setting the bar higher" for these boys, yet not giving any real expectations of them, either.  And "setting the bar higher", was ONLY inferred. It was not a command.  

He recalled this experiment being done in the 1950s.  And, from time to time, they replicated this in the Military.  And the results always came out the same: the Experimental Group outperforming the Control Group.

There are some things you can take away from experiments like these.  (And, they are plentiful.)  Your environment, your "group", your mentors, and what you allow to surround you (mentally, physically and emotionally) directly affects you and the results you can achieve.  And, this can also prove that merely ONE statement, that is not a command or even an expectation of you, can still influence what you think and what you do and / or  accomplish.  

Imagine if only ONE sentence influenced your life, to where you could "outperform" even your own expectations or your own beliefs about your abilities?  These boys that were given no (inferred) "bar" did a reasonable average for boys who are very physically fit (33 non-anchored sit-ups in 3 minutes.  But, look what happens when we add / set a "bar" or influenced precedence (44 non-anchored sit-ups in 3 minutes.)

When people talk to me about "Positive Affirmations" - Spoken Words, or using Guided Imagery, Hypnosis or even the Subliminals that include so many Positive Affirmations, they will sometimes ask nonsensically and skeptically, "Yeah..  But, does that stuff really work in the end?"   I can't help but smile and say confidently, "Why, yes it does.  Even ONE statement in your life, can make a positive difference."  

This Military Experiment proves that, time and time again.  


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"Christian Flint is the Director of Mind Design Unlimited.  He is a Mind / Body Re-Educator with Degrees in Mental Health, Law and Business. He is a familiar Voice, as he also Hosted the Radio Show "Healthy Body : Healthy Mind" from 2000 - 2004.

He has worked in various Professional fields, and now primarily works as a Consultant, while still managing the daily operations at Mind Design Unlimited. He creates and produces new products for Mind Design Unlimited, and works to answer emails, maintain various blogs and hosting podcasts."

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  • FrancesL Conklin on

    HI I am in my late 70,s …and years ago, I have used subliminal cds…I love these!! and YES! tell customers these certainly do work….the saying …0ne nice thing? you may say to someone today. Could change a life Forever!! so one word can too!! your web site is awesome!!! Thanks,,,,

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