How to be successful: Perception and connection is everything (with video)

Psychology and technology are two very different worlds. In the world of technology, progress is easy to measure. It is a simple linear and logical process. If the stuff you have now can do more than the stuff you use to have, then progress has been made. If your new phone is faster, smaller, clearer and so on in comparison to the one you had before, than an advancement has occurred.

In psychology, success is much more subjective. Perception is actually much more important than actual effectiveness. If we are constantly being bombarded with information (including secrets to success), how do we decide what is of value and what should be ignored. Is it better to go with someone who has the latest techniques based on new discoveries in brain science or to go with the timeless wisdom of mythologized role-models of the past. Or do we need to find something in-between those two points.

What it comes down to is how the information is packaged, how it is presented, and who presents it. An emotional connection to the product or information being offered must be made. It is not the actual quality of the information being presented but rather the experience you have around it.

Rule 1 is that the speaker is more important than the speech.

Rule 2 is how it is presented counts.

Rule 3 is make it as brief as possible before attention starts to wane.

Whatever gets the most attention wins. A bright, colorful and moving presentation will have a greater affect and effect on an audience than a thick wad of single spaced A4 paper, even if the skills, principles, strategies and information on that paper is far superior.

Getting back to technology, an advanced phone is based on what it can do, but to sell the phone you enter the world of Psychology. In this world, who presents it and how it is done is crucial. The best phone is rarely the best-selling phone. Apple products are rarely ‘the best’ on the market, but Apple fans are so connected to experience Apple creates, they don’t care.  Success is an experience and that is what you must measure it by.

In summary:

1. You count more than anything else. Make sure you know how to build an emotional connection to your audience.

2. How it is presented counts. Deliver your information in a fast, fun and novel way.

3. In today’s world especially, less is more. Be brief and aim to ‘hammer in’ a few key points in novel ways as opposed to everything right there and then. If they want more information, they will ask for it.


To illustrate these key principles, here is great video that claims to give away the secrets of success in just 3 minutes. Does it give away ‘all the secrets to success’ in a way that you could become more successful immediately? I don’t think so, but it is very effective at putting you on the right track. It’s also an older video by today’s standards, but that does not make it any less effective.

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