There’s a scene in the first Lord of the Rings movie where the Fellowship is passing through the Mines of Moria.
It’s a dark maze of caves inside of a spooky mountain, and there are only evil things around.
First, Frodo and company get attacked by hundreds of orcs, and then by a giant cave troll.
These enemies are strong and dangerous, but the good guys manage to fight them off.
However, there’s a bigger, more evil, and more powerful thing lurking in the darkness.
It’s the Balrog, a mythical monster that cannot be defeated by weapons, and that’s a match even for the great wizard Gandalf.
In fact, though Gandalf does defeat the Balrog, he’s also destroyed in the process.
Here’s why I bring this up.
When you are trying to influence people, you can play to their surface desires.
The desire to lose weight. The desire to make money. The desire to get laid.
These are like the orcs and the cave trolls.
Powerful, yes. But they are not all there is.
That’s because underneath these orcs and trolls of desire, there are more fundamental, more demanding desires you can awaken.
Everybody has them, but they are hiden so deep in the caves of the subconscious that it’s hard to even name them.
I’m talking about things like…
The need to give up responsibility.
The desire to stay in the comfort zone.
The simple hope that things will be better in the future.
If you can catalog these deep desires…
And if you can learn to speak to them…
You’ll awaken the Balrog of influence that’s a match for even the highest, most rational, Gandalf part of the brain.
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