How Masterlock taught Houdini a lesson about the unconscious mind
When people ask me what hypnosis can be used for, I have a hard time pinning it down, because it can literally be used in all areas of life.
It can be used for everything from smoking to weightloss, nail biting to fears, and can even be effective for improving your performance on a hobby.
In fact, when I think about the benefits of hypnosis, I’m often reminded of the story of Houdini, the greatest escape-artist of all time.
Houdini was famous for being able to pick any lock in the world. In fact, he had a standing challenge to anyone that could make a lock that he couldn’t pick.
One day, the Masterlock company decided to take him up on his challenge.
They said that they had developed a lock that was impossible to pick, and if it was fastened to a barrier, it would be impenetrable.
Houdini, never being one to walk away from a challenge, told his challengers, “I can get inside whatever you have locked. No matter how sturdy your lock may be, I can get through it.”
This was a bit of a bold claim, but he knew he had the skills. It became a wonderful media event.
Masterlock decided to place Houdini in a jail cell, and fasten the lock to the door. The only stipulation that Houdini made is that no one was allowed to watch him pick the lock.
So off into the cell he went. Searched thoroughly before entering, and stripped down to nothing but a pair of shorts, Houdini had one hour to pick the lock.
The camera crews, the reporters, all of the press were anxiously waiting to see if he could actually pick the lock. At fifteen minutes they checked in with Houdini to see if he had made his escape. When they opened the door, to their surprise, they saw Houdini still locked in the cell, desperately trying to get out. By this time, he had broken a sweat and was seriously beginning to wonder if he had the skills to open the door.
And you know, when you think about it, that’s very similar to what some people experience daily in their lives. They can see where they want to go, it’s just an arms length away in some cases, whether that be financial security, or getting their body into shape, or having a fulfilling relationship.
Often times, people can almost reach out and touch what it is that they want, but there is something holding them back, keeping them trapped in their cells of mediocrity or lack. This is where hypnosis works its magic.
You see, if Houdini would have known what you know about the unconscious mind, perhaps he would have been more successful in opening the lock, because after two hours of attempting to break free from this lock, the press came in to find him dripping in sweat, emotionally and physically spent.
Masterlock had won, and as Houdini collapsed with fatigue and fell against the door, it opened without any resistance.
It was never locked in the first place.
And you can’t pick a lock that isn’t locked. So many times, we have these barriers in our life that we think are locked tight. But sometimes, all we have to do is turn the handle and open the door.
What handles do you need to turn on the doorways of opportunity in your life?