My placebos

I always draft blogposts on the same empty notepad file. I also use turn on a 30 min stopwatch timer while writing. When that timer is on, my mind knows that a blogpost needs to be drafted.

I always edit my blogposts on the WordPress editor. When the WordPress UI is open, my mind enters the editing state.

Before an important meeting or interview, I also listen to the same song, to enter a zone of high performance. That song is reserved only for these occassions.

I sit down to meditate in a fixed location in the house.

All of these routines are placebos for the acts that are performed in them. They condition my mind to enter a particular state while performing a habit.

Once we have done the difficult job of showing up and doing our best work, we can wrap it in a placebo. It’s free, and it makes our work better.

Embrace placebos

We might consciously detest placebos, but our bodies and minds embrace them.

A bar of chocolate wrapped in a regar purple cover that appears like satin will taste finer than that same chocolate sold in a transparent plastic cover. The quality of chocolate, as measured by a food scientist, is separate from these embellishments. But our minds cannot tell the difference.

In several blind taste tests, Coca-cola has lost out to Pepsi. But once you put wrappers on the drink, it is Coca-cola that prevails due to its stronger brand. The effect of the wrappers were real. Both drinks taste better, thanks to their wrappers. And the difference isn’t in the drinker’s eye or the tongue either. Regions of theier brain were found to respond to this difference.

Using a placebo is to wrap a product in a story that has little to do with the product itself. Just like sugar that is shaped and packaged like a pill.  Given that the placebo effect is real, we can use it to our advantage. Once we have done the hard-work of creating an excellent product, we can then wrap it in a placebo that amplifies customer delight.

Inspiration: Akimbo