Star Wars Fitness #4: Use Obi-Wan Kenobi's Mind Control

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Unfortunately, we haven’t found the secret to moving things with your mind or convincing people that those definitely aren’t the droids they’re looking for, but there are ways you can become more persuasive in your life by harnessing some psychological techniques. We spoke to an expert in persuasion to find out how to be more Jedi.

Expect the best

The golden rule: don’t let doubts creep in. “Studies have shown that we can change other people’s behaviour by altering our expectations of them,” says business expert and speaker Philip Hesketh, author of Persuade: Using The Seven Drivers Of Motivation To Master Influence And Persuasion. “Create your own bubble. Behave like you expect to be liked. Don’t be arrogant, but assume that people are going to do what you want them to do.”

Focus on similarity

“Start telling people what you like about them,” says Hesketh. “Catch people doing something right and give them a word of encouragement and thanks. And when you meet new people, mention something you have in common. Perceived similarity goes a long way to changing ‘no’ to ‘yes’.”

Know your power

While persuasion techniques are often associated with sales and business, they can also help improve your confidence in day-to-day life. The Self-Esteem School, an online resource to find out more about self-esteem and help you build yours, claims that 80% of the world’s population suffers from low self-esteem, which makes it quite a significant issue.

Being persuasive and getting the results you want from other people requires confidence, so it figures that the starting point to positively altering the behaviour of those around you begins with self-belief. All right, it might not help you move things with your mind, but it will make you feel better.

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.