Question. You're drinking a cup of lukewarm tea? You want to have it taste warmer. How do you make it taste warmer without a stove, microwave or anyway to heat the tea??
Think about this. It's a riddle.
Now the answer to our riddle as you may have guess. Answer: You drink a cup of frigid icewater!! Seriously, try this is it's amazing. The contrast principle seriously does work on a neurological level as well as perceptive level. If you have a bowl of lukewarm water that you want to "feel colder" douse your hand in hotwater for 60 seconds. The lukewarm water will feel frigid now compared to the hand that was in cold water (or the hand just at body temperature)!
What about hottubs. A jacuzzi is a very warm water physical shift, so things outside of the jacuzzi that may have felt hot, will now feel lukewarm, and the lukewarm temperatures may feel even chilly!
Cold showers. Taking cold showers will make everything feel warmer! You want to "increase the sensual perceptive temperature of the jacuzzi" but don't want to wait 4 hours for the water temperature to change? Simple. Take a frigid cold shower! Then jumping in the Jacuzzi will genuinely perceptively feel 10° warmer!
Great, so what about contrast principle expanded beyond the topic of temperature hot/cold? Well, here's a random example! Let's say you're reading a book that feels too challenging. The author uses an elaborate very advanced vocabulary and sometimes colloquial phrases. Great, so a bit of a tough read, eh? No problem! You don't need to spend 2 years learning advanced english (although that wouldn't hurt ;). Instead, simply apply the contrast principle! Read a very challenging book that uses outrageously difficult vocabulary and nonstop, confusing vernacular phrasing for an hour! Perfect example. Let's say you're tackling Around the World in 80s Days by Jules Verne, a remarkable book, one of my faves and highly recommended read. Now Verney uses a few brtish and 1800 phrasing. For example the following excerpt:
"Was she not due to sail yesterday?"
Yes sir, but they had to repair one of her boilers, and so the departure was put off until tomorrow."(p. 94)
Now you may feel a bit miffed and question if you're capable of reading this? What? She? Was she not due to sail? It's a bit different from the way we speak in modern day and age. She refers to the ship (the Carnatic in the story) and the phrasing is slieghtly and subtlely changed. Today we might say Wasn't she supposed to sail yesterday? Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned "was she not due"? However, the point is this way of speaking is slieghtly archaic and one may feel a bit overhwhelmed. Apply the contrast principle a pickup a copy of Shakespeare's Macbeth and zoom to Act 2, scene 1. You'll see this VERY daunting confusing and perplexing phrase:
"Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout." (II.i)
What?? What what what??!! That the hell? Prate? Is he talking to the earth? What the hell is going on there?! Now for personal reference all that shakespeare's character macbeth is saying there is "Dude, I hope I can tip-toe quietly so I don't wake up these peeps"! Oh..okay now you get it! Now after scrutinizing this perplexing very archaic very bewildering phrasing of shakespeare go back and take a gander at Verneys phrasing. Was she not due to sail yesterday?" Pffftt...piece of cake, right?! Right. It's the law of contrast!
Okay, temperature and literature aside, what are some more applications of this? How about distance or exercise? Running 2 miles seems hard? Run 5 miles 4 times in a week. Then I guarantee you, a single 2-mile run will seem trivial!
Okay we've got temperature, literature, health-exercise. What about sales? Ahh....here's one of the most effective and frightenly highly utilized application of the contrast principle. If you can't afford a product and have to "settle" for less quality one. Pickup the "piece of junk" version and feel how clunky that feels and then test drive the product you can afford and it'll perceptively seem immensely more valuable. (Alternatively, you can do what I do and just save up and get the quality one that will provide more value and last longer!)
Vacations. Believe it or not, I think one of the reasons people vacation (say in a rugged backpacking trip in the mountains) is to experience a less comfortable environment so that their actual home feels all the more cherishable and comfortable!
This ones, going out on a limb, but what about relationships? Do you think people ever subconsciously deliberately dive into unfulfilling, destructive relationships to then appreciate the clarifying good relationships all the more? It's a stretch, but could be! The law of contrasts emerges again!
Temperature, Literature, Exercise, Sales, and Vacationing (and possibly relationships) -- you can control all of those with the law of contrast!! Why was this not taught in school? I do not know, but maybe our teachers were frightened how much fun we'd have with it!! Enjoy experimenting with the law of contrast to twist and transform perceptions in your life to your liking to customize what you experience so that it matches more closesly to your ideal!
Audeiu, mon ami.
Bye, my friend!
(Just a little factoid, Shakes was a pretty literally inventive and cool dude. William Shakespeare "invented" over 2000 words. If master wordsmith William Shakespeare hadn't successfully (Andronicus) invented such varied (Love's Labour's Lost) phrasing, the OED would be 2000 words shorter. He used over 20,138 "new words" (words he invented or borrowed from modern times).