Without a doubt, hotel housekeepers have a very physical job.
They spend their entire days pushing carts, lifting bundles of towels and sheets, scrubbing counters and floors.
Surprisingly, more than 2/3 of housekeepers report that they do not get exercise regularly. Maybe they don’t spend time in the gym, yet they get significantly more general exercise than the average person.
A group of Harvard researchers were interested in what would happen if they simply educated the housekeepers that in fact they are already well exceeding the daily standards of exercise as prescribed by the US surgeon general.
Researchers divided a group of workers into two groups. The “education” group received lessons on how many calories their normal, everyday work tasks burn. They were shown evidence that they did in fact exercise when they came to work.
The research team sent them on their way and asked them to not focus on doing anything different, just show up the same way they always have.
Incredible results happened in only 1 month. In physical measurements of the women, the educated group had a decrease in their systolic blood pressure, weight, and waist-to-hip ratio — and a 10 percent drop in blood pressure.
The only difference is the educated group’s inner thoughts about their job.
The researchers changed their beliefs about how much exercise they actually did. While the housekeepers reported not making changes in their activities, their mind created the body connections that resulted in better health markers.
Perception is projection
The housekeepers changed internally first. They probably didn’t even realize it. Their unconscious mind, which houses our belief system, perceived the exercise where it didn’t before. Without really thinking about it, the educated housekeepers’ mind-body connection was consistent with that of someone who exercises.
That perception projected out from their minds and into their bodies.
Chris Suarez shared a 60 year study conducted with school children in a presentation recently. Researchers gave the children an aptitude test and told teachers that test will uncover the children who would have an IQ boom over those who only experience a normal rise for their age.
After the test, the researcher pulled the “gifted” children and told teachers that these students were the ones whose IQ would shoot up. No additional instruction was provided to the teachers – just the perception that the group was gifted.
In fact, the “gifted” students’ IQ did increase at double the rate of the “non-gifted” children. The twist is that the “gifted” children were no more gifted than the “non-gifted.” The groups were created at random.
The teachers’ perception projected onto the kids. Researchers summarized that the teachers treated those children like the gifted kids they thought them to be. The projection manifested itself into pushing harder, kinder, working more diligently with the kids when they needed the help among other aides.
With nothing more than the perception, the “gifted” group showed the results as if they really were. Perception actually became reality.
The housekeeper research isn’t without its critics.
If you look up articles on this study, you’ll see the skepticism from other researchers. The housekeeper study was conducted to test the “placebo effect.” This concept refers to people who receive effects from fake procedures or drugs. It’s actually a way in which pharmaceuticals are judged. The actual drug must outperform the fake drug.
Dissenters of this research claim that the educated housekeepers must have done something different. Maybe they worked a little harder, maybe they were a little faster, maybe they used their muscles as if they were exercising.
Remember, the housekeepers didn’t report changing activities. They performed it in the same way, according to them.
Who is correct? Is it the critics that claim they MUST have exerted themselves more? Is it the housekeepers that said they did nothing different? I don’t know. Likely both are true.
When we believe something to be true, our unconscious mind supports us in that belief. The mind-body connection kicks into gear. It’s very possible the housekeepers did push themselves without them consciously realizing it.
Either way, the change happened. The success started in their mind and blossomed outward.
Look at where you are having success right now. I’m going to bet there is a successful belief under the surface that is guiding you like a north star.
The flip side is probably also true. Consider where you are not performing at the level you want or getting the results you want. A belief is likely at the center of your lack of results.
Note, too, that every ceiling of achievement is the barrier of a belief that keeps you contained.
Change your actions; create better results. Start inside. Beliefs, emotions that are powered by the unconscious mind are the underpinning to the experience that you have.
Success is an inside job.