One of the secrets that all hypnotists, and hypnotic writers, know is that we're all in a trance. Hypnotic writers try to anticipate their reader's trance state and meet them there, and then lead them placidly to the "buy now" button.
Once you start looking for it, the signs are everywhere. It's much easier to see in others than it is to see in ourselves, and that's a start.
The most important thing you can do—and I mean this in a macrosense—like the most important thing you can do for yourself, right now, in your life—is to wake up. It's that simple.
How do you wake up? I find it useful to question every thing. Every Thing. A healthy curiosity may just save your life.
In my case, I was in a trance about my weight. I'd look in the mirror to shave, brush my hair, and so on, and never even notice the bulge that kept making my shirts harder and harder to button. It was as if a magician had waved a wand and put me under a spell.
It's even harder than that, though. You're under attack. There are armies of highly professional, talented magicians who are casting spells—and they're aiming them at you.
Every TV commercial you see, every word out of every politician's mouth, over 80 percent of what you read in newspapers, is carefully scripted by these magicians—and they do not have your best interests at heart. They do have their hands in your pocket, though.
How can you protect yourself from these armies of evil magicians? Simple.