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La profezia che si autorealizza
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Learn the key ideas of the book by Davide Lo Presti

La profezia che si autorealizza

How to take control of our own destiny

We would all like to be able to predict the future, but the only certainty we have is that the future is uncertain. Predictions about the future have always existed, but today they are called economic forecasts, electoral predictions, intelligence tests, and so on. In this book, Davide Lo Presti analyses the fascinating subject of self-fulfilling prophecies, and reveals how and when a prediction becomes an actual prophecy.

La profezia che si autorealizza
Read in 16 min.
Listen in 20 min.

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that comes true simply because it has been expressed, even if its rationale is totally unfounded

Since ancient times, magicians and astrologers have tried to convince people that they have the ability to predict the future, or to foresee destiny. Surprisingly, these mysterious prophecies, no matter how far-fetched they may seem, sometimes come true, and this has nothing to do with luck, coincidence, or predicting someone’s destiny; it is a matter of creating the future, and of noticing when predictions come true.

Prophecies have the power to become self-fulfilling, regardless of whether or not they make sense or have a scientific basis, and simply expressing a prediction can result in it coming true. It happens in the most diverse areas, from our love lives and the performance of international markets, to exam results and our health. Some predictions can even determine our destiny. So, how does an unfounded prediction influence reality? Let us start from the assumption that the oracle, in other words the person who is able to predict the future, does not live in the outside world, but within us; all of us, without even realising it, constantly make predictions about the future, and our brain is the most powerful predictive machine of all.

Greek mythology’s most famous oracle, Pythia, lived in Delphi, in ancient Greece. People would ask her to predict their destiny, because they believed that fate was predetermined and inescapable. One example of a self-fulfilling prophecy is the story of Oedipus the King by Sophocles, in which the oracle tells Oedipus of her prophecy that he will murder his father and commit incest with his mother. He leaves his home and family in an attempt to escape this destiny, but unwittingly goes on to commit the crimes the oracle predicted nonetheless, and later discovers that his parents were not his real parents. Oedipus trusted the oracle, and tried to prevent her prediction from coming true; if he had never heard the prophecy, he would not have committed the crimes. In this case, the prophecy disrupted the normal course of events, for the simple reason that the subject believed it to be true, and took action to escape it.


The key ideas of "La profezia che si autorealizza"

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that comes true simply because it has been expressed, even if its rationale is totally unfounded
We cannot foresee the future, but we can make predictions that influence our circumstances, if we believe the predictions are accurate
Trusting the oracle produces certain expectations that drive specific actions, which in turn influence reality
The Pygmalion effect is when positive expectations lead to positive results; the other side of the coin is the Lucifer effect
When we expect a certain outcome, it alters our brain’s activity, and can either prevent or promote access to our full potential
When we hope for success, we work hard to turn our dreams into reality: our inner oracle determines our destiny
Our expectations alter our perception of reality
Self-confidence and positive expectations produce biochemical and hormonal reactions that promote healing
Constructive communication fosters transformation
Take-home message
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