Imagine a world where every little child wakes up, only to play with an array of toys, munch on sweets and goodies all day long and get the choicest gifts from everyone. A world with no school, no homework, no exams.
Imagine a world where every adult waltzes through the day with a song on his lips, dresses the way she wants, relaxes to his heart’s content and eats whatever she sets her mind on. A world with no problems, no tension, no hurry and no regrets.
Imagine. Because, as humans and mere mortals, that’s all we can do, as we happen to live in a less than perfect world that is far from the ideal. In the real world, nothing comes easy. And everything comes with a price.
And so it is, that when there’s a yawning gap between where we are and where we want to be, when the means to merge the two isn’t easy and when there is no restriction on giving free rein to one’s imagination, a truly delightful medium pops up to bridge the distance, provide meaning to routine existence and add soul to life.
Welcome to the world of wishes.
It’s still that time of the year when people everywhere are caught in a delightful act of wishing their families, friends, colleagues, business associates, past acquaintances and just about anyone they meet and know, a very happy and prosperous new year. So, in a way, that also makes it as good a time as any to deconstruct, analyse and truly understand the precise nature and significance of a wish.
A wish is one of the most primal, instinctive and ubiquitous elements of human existence.
While for the most part of human existence, wishes were confined to a personal, family, community or national context, for instance, wishing for a better life, a good groom for the daughter, protection of one’s village or victory in war, the modern era has intensified it and changed its complexion to include unbridled consumerism.
Today, most wishes revolve around a better gadget, a better lifestyle or a better price at which to get the above. There are competing wishes clamouring for attention and these invariably relate to the pursuit of material happiness. But, while wishes may be purely emotional, intense and impulsive, there is also an underlying science that can possibly explain the phenomenon better.
A person’s wish can be understood in terms of WHAT they wish for and WHY they wish for it. While the WHAT may often be the most visible and vocal part, the WHY can be equally important. And the WHY usually precedes the WHAT, therefore effectively influencing the person’s behaviour.
It’s a given that there are only two ways to influence human behaviour. It can either be manipulated or inspired. The fact is, while WHAT people wish for can be manipulated, WHY they wish for it can only be inspired. And the way the human brain is hard wired, people don’t buy for the WHAT, they buy for WHY they want it.
The WHY can be understood better by digging deep into the psychology of Wishes, of which there are eight.
Processing Wishes These serve as a way for our subconscious to digest the bazillion situations we are exposed to every day. In these wishes one tries to either tie up loose ends from work or rehearsing ways to resolve a situation that went awry.
Venting Wishes These are the stuff of nightmares, where you are being chased, or find yourself falling or failing in any test. While Venting Wishes can be terrifying, they can either help you prepare for an important opportunity or help you release beliefs that are a stumbling block to the full expression of your creativity and passion.
Integration Wishes Here, you wish that either you or someone else is acting in an extreme way that you admire or are critical about. Subliminally, this wish suggests that this character or behaviour is a vital aspect of you, and in embracing it, you become more whole.
Breakthrough Wishes These wishes are indicative of great change on the horizon. They allow people who are creatures of habit to loosen up and break out of their set routines so that they can be prepared for what is to come next.
Recurring Wishes These wishes are like an agent on a secret mission to uncover the subconscious intelligence. The objective is to deliver a message to the conscious mind that will enhance one’s well-being and happiness. And until that mission is accomplished, the recurring wish will persist relentlessly so that the message is received and decoded successfully.
Precognitive Wishes These are wishes where you gaze into a crystal ball and actually see the future. But you can never be sure of it until it plays out in real life. Precognitive wishes could be of people, places and situations that are future extensions of what is currently taking place in your life.
Prophetic Wishes These wishes relate to someone or something dear that makes you feel like you’ve been given an invaluable gift or imparted an important lesson in life. This wish needs to be made a part of your conscious reality so that it comes true for intended ones or yourself.
Gratifying Wishes These wishes align you with the resonance of your heart and soul’s desires. When you move in the direction of your wishes by acting as though they’ve already come true, you add velocity to the process of manifestation. As the subconscious mind cannot distinguish between what is vividly imagined and actual events, your wishes actually create an energetic map that can lead you from where you are to where you would like to be.
Essentially, there is no one kind of wish. Wishes can be therapeutic, cathartic, predictive, cleansing, healing, inspiring, reconstructive and process-oriented. Every wish has a tell-tale sign to help us discern whether it is processing information, releasing negativity, embracing our shadow side, breaking through limitations, predicting the future, receiving inspiration or creating a life of our wishes.
All forms of wish fulfilment are attempts by the subconscious to resolve a deeper, untold emotion, whether that is something of recent origin or from the recesses of the past.
(S.Subramanyeswar is national planning director at Lowe Lintas)
(The article first appeared in the 20 February issue of Campaign India)