I love the way a good soundtrack can enhance not just a movie or television show, but your life.

As a movie buff, I have a great respect for the spectacular soundtracks. When a movie (or show!) cultivates a really amazing playlist to accompany it, I think it’s the difference between merely good and true art. A lot of my new music comes from soundtracks.

But I also love the actual effect those things can have. There was recently a video floating around of wives playing the NFL theme on their phones and then taking videos of their husbands running into the room – theme music triggers something in us, like Pavlov’s dogs. Even that great scene in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, where Roger can’t resist finishing the “shave and a haircut” bit.

Repetitive auditory triggers work wonders on us, and that’s why all of those gags are funny and effective. It’s why incredible composers and great film music editors alike can elicit emotions from us. And it’s why you can program yourself for better behavior.

I keep a number of playlists on hand that I associate with different activities – deep creative work, chores, working out, sleeping, etc. I always play those when I’m doing that activity. As a result, playing that particular playlist makes me want to do the associated activity.

I don’t mind being as easy to program as Pavlov’s dogs were. In fact, I relish it – because I control the programming. We are all products of our stimuli – so make sure you’re the one with the remote control.

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