GOTV Exercise – Through the Eyes of Others

(6 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

Oddly enough, researchers at Ohio State University have discovered a simple means of increasing voter participation.  I encourage anyone and everyone who has not yet voted to perform this simple technique…call it the scientific version of knocking on wood.

Visual Imagery Technique Boosts Voting, Study Finds

Registered voters who used a simple visual imagery technique the evening before the 2004 election were significantly more likely to vote the next day, a new study found.

Science Daily

I have long known of the power of visual imagery.  I utilized it as a martial artist and martial arts instructor with impressive results.  There are several complicated techniques, such as the jump spinning wheel kick, that I initially learned via imagery.  I tried and tried to learn that technique and was not getting it at all until I sat in calm meditation with eyes closed and imagined over and over again seeing myself perform it flawlessly.  I executed a flawless jump spinning wheel kick on the very next attempt.  

It really is powerful stuff, and just so simple.  One famous study showed that imagining free throw practice by members of a basketball team could produce better results than actual free throw practice.

One surprising thing visual imagery can help to accomplish is the establishment of firm intention.  This seems to engage subconscious mechanisms that seek to fulfill that intent.

From the same article in ScienceDaily:

Researchers asked some Ohio college students to picture themselves voting the next day from a third-person perspective – as if they were observers viewing their own actions. Others were told to picture themselves voting in a first-person perspective, through their own eyes.

A full 90 percent of those who pictured themselves voting from a third-person visual perspective reported later that they did indeed vote, compared to only 72 percent who took the first-person viewpoint.

“When participants saw themselves as others would, they were more motivated to actually get out and vote,” said Lisa Libby, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

“They saw themselves as more likely to vote and that translated into action.

So tell everyone you know who hasn’t yet voted to sit calmly and quietly with eyes closed and from the third person point of view, visualize themselves walking into that voting booth and casting their ballot.  

These lines are long and daunting.  People need all the encouragement and help they can get.

So Get.  Out.  That.  Vote!

And remember to STFIL!

Personal Note:  On Friday, October 31st, All Hallows Eve, 2008 I had the thrill of watching my eighteen year old son Daniel cast his first ever ballot.  It was very moving for both of us as we share a deep understanding of just how important and historic this election is – more so than any election in my lifetime, and I’ve been around a while.  There was something of a shared sense of that rippling through the crowd too.  You will never feel so plugged into the American Democratic tradition than when you cast your vote…in this election.



Skip to comment form

    • OPOL on November 3, 2008 at 18:33

    and making history.

    • Edger on November 3, 2008 at 19:28

    but on reflection not surprising that practicing a martial arts move with meditation and imagery would work. I used the same technique for years in sales sitting in my car in front of houses where I had appointments to make presentation to entire families, and it would produce virtually irresistable presentations.

  1. I tried it . . . I closed my eyes . . . focused my brain . . . thought real hard . . . but all I see are long lines of liberals waitin’ to vote.  Am I doin’ it wrong?

  2. I never miss voting in any election.  I even used to vote in one-issue special elections for the East Bay Municipal Utilities District  (a surprisingly contentious body, what with Berkeley’s representative being so often at odds with the others).  Even so, your final paragraph today inspires me as nothing else I’ve read lately.  

  3. I have to say that no matter what happens you helped me get this far, you made me take the leaps needed to help. Visualization helps it gets you through, it’s sad so many people are afraid to make the leap. No one man or woman especially a pol is the answer but we the voters are. We do decide in the end. A refrain from my youth keeps running round my brain… “and in the end the love you make is equal to the love you make.” For me it’s a Beatles day a step towards the positive, one goes back to your source in times like this.


  4. A world from your local shaman:

    Not only is it a good idea to visualize yourself going into the booth and voting for Obama and your local officials, but also there are some other things to add as well.  Namely, visualize the voting machines recording each and every vote that is case, and visualize the election officials accurately counting each and every vote, and visualize your favorite TV channel reporting later in the evening how Obama won by a huge margin, far more than anyone, including you expected, all across the country.

    While you are visualizing each of these steps, see them wrapped in white and golden light, and when you are finished with your visualizing, be sure that you feel and express your gratitude for all of the things that you have seen.  I often say, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, for showing me these things and bringing them into reality in the highest and best interest of all concerned.”  The last part is important.

    The thankfulness and gratitude piece is really, really powerful in manifesting what you visualize.  The more you can feel thankfulness and gratitude, the more likely it is that your visualization will manifest.

    • RUKind on November 4, 2008 at 04:13

    We have another generation to help us now! ;-);-);-)


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