“Who’s driving the bus?” – a famous phrase from a famous man in NLP since it’s start back in the 1970’s in California. Last Thursday evening I had the opportunity to attend an Introduction to NLP seminar in London with a certain Mr Richard Bandler – one of the originators of NLP. I know, don’t say it, I am a little past the point of needing an introduction to NLP! But if you haven’t gathered as yet, there are a variety of bus manufacturers and a range of versions of NLP out there. So far I’ve studied the ‘Tad James version’ and now I’m working on broadening my horizons and looking at the other veins of NLP.
In this case it was a fascinating evening that I can only describe as world of stories – amazingly interwoven, intertwined and told with enthusiasm, a ‘no shit’ attitude and humour. (Be aware though that he is most definitely not a person to go see if you value absolute political correctness.) A couple of post ago I talked about how to be a great presenter and one of my tops tips was to use such stories (metaphors) to open and close presentations… But Richard took that to a whole other level by using his stories throughout the evening to get across his key points, both consciously and unconsciously, to his audience. He worked stories for 3 hours straight with just a 15 minute break.
Here’s a few of his thought-provoking points…….
People assume change has to take a long time to happen and must be painful process. How many times have we heard people say “no pain, no gain”? Does change really need to be painful to be meaningful? Does change have to take a long time? Change can be instantaneous – it may seem magical as it’s so fast – if you decided you want it to be. And pain is certainly not mandatory!
Now let’s talk about worry. Is there something you worry about on a regular basis? Do you worry about it every day? How many minutes do you spend worrying each day? How many hours is that per week? How many days is that a month? How many weeks is that a year? And I guarantee you when you multiply it up you will be talking about weeks a year or even months…. Thinking of how much time you spend worrying about things that never happens?! Just suppose you could place value on every waking moment and then you could do something better with all that time, wouldn’t that be great?
Staying on a similar track let’s move in to fear, particularly strong irrational fears such as phobias. What purpose do those fears have? And who actually generates that negative emotion? If you think of whatever your phobia is about, be it spiders, snakes, rollercoasters or whatever, do you get the symptoms of your fear even when you just think of a spider? So it’s not actually there with you, right? You’re getting scared of whatever it is even when it’s not there? Does that tell you that it isn’t the thing you’re scared of that creates your fear, but actually it’s the way you think about it? Could you decide to change the way you think about it?
The philosophy of NLP is to teach people the skills to think differently, to make better decisions, to break old patterns of negative behaviour and create new choices and new options, so they can do different things. It’s a way to program your brain to do what you want it to do! Show someone how their brain works and it opens a world of opportunities not only to communicate more effectively with themself, but also to have more control over their internal representations of events, their internal emotional state and therefore their behavior. And if whatever you do first doesn’t work, then do something else and if that doesn’t work do something else…
What is actually impossible? If the universe is infinite, aren’t our possibilities infinite? The universe is limitless and so are your possibilities to change what you’re thinking. As Richard Bandler said so succinctly… “NLP is the study of successful thinking.” Is that something you’re interested in? Could that be of value to you?
- META presents The Best of Bandler Amsterdam 2011 (aypee.wordpress.com)
- My Mother Thought I’d Joined a Cult! (a.k.a. What the Heck is NLP Anyway: Part II) (gatehouse13.wordpress.com)