We hear a lot these days about different ways to get motivated to do this or that task, but surely one of the most powerful and persuasive tools at our disposal is imagery. Advertisers have known this for a long time and it's no mistake that huge advertising hoardings and billboards assault our view in cities and along roadsides wherever our line of sight is aimed.
Online, this phenomenon is echoed in the popularity of socially driven image sites like Pinterest where people post a variety of motivational quotes superimposed upon eye catching images. But why do images have such a strong influence on us? This article looks at why this is and how it can be used for good as well as selling us things we don't really want.
The Input of Information
We are driven by and respond to our sensory input, which comes to us via sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. Our major or primary sense is vision, so its natural that this is the most effective means of communicating a lot of information in a compact area such as a picture.
Pictures it has been said can contain the same information as a thousand words of text, although the sentiment in that idea may be artistic, it is based in truth. In fact, we can take in, digest and understand a huge amount of information in a single eye blink when we are looking at a picture, compared to very little when reading text.
This is because an image is instantly projected onto our sight center in the brain where it is immediately stored as a memory that we can recall in sections as we need to. Yet when we read text, our eyes have to scan along many lines back and forth to enable our brains to assimilate the same amount of data. This is a much slower way of getting information, although it can be much more exact and accurate.
The Power to Move
The real power of images to convey information lies not only in their ability to project a huge amount of data to our brains, but that they can also invoke an emotional response far faster than reading text or even listening to spoken a passage from a book. The effect can be instantaneous and the emotions response can be stunning and even overwhelming depending on the subject matter of the image.
For example, a photograph of people dying of starvation in Africa can evoke powerful emotions of sadness and pity, frustration and anger all at the same time. Whereas an image of a cute furry animal caught in a trap can send waves of anger at the injustice of it, empathy with the suffering and pain, sadness at the heartless act perpetrated by a human being or any number of personal responses.
When such an emotive force can be invoked by an external instance such as viewing an image, it follows that a person's emotional and therefore motivational state can be similarly altered. That means an image that evokes a powerful positive emotion can be used to create motivation to achieve a goal or complete a task. It can also be used to brighten a person's mood and even boost their confidence and self esteem.
Greater Self Esteem
The implications for using imagery for personal development in this way are huge. As long as it is done for the promotion of good, viewing images loaded with powerful positive messages can be a much more effective way of promoting a better sense of self esteem and self confidence.
Motivational mages are already being used for improving health by helping people to lose weight or at least be more proactive in their diets to prevent weight gain. They are great for getting people to wasn't to eat healthy meals that look amazing in an image, even when a person has no idea what they will taste like. We really do taste our meals with our eyes before the first forkful passes our lips!
In boosting the motivation to exercise, images can also be extremely enthusing when all the massive benefits are portrayed in the image. The desire to "want" to exercise can be much more powerfully created visually than it ever could be verbally.
The way forward for people already using aural and textual personal growth material is to include more visuals to the mix. Use images to increase enthusiasm and desire to achieve goals and those goals will be achieved and good things happen a lot faster.