Next NLP training in Brisbane

Our next event in Brisbane is the five-day Experience NLP Fundamentals, 31 July to 4 August.

Below are more details – hope you can come along: It will be great fun!

Experience NLP Fundamentals

Discover an advanced form of NLP and find out how this technology can be applied to make a real difference in your performance, your learning and your ability to create and enjoy what you want in your life. How would you like to experience NLP that you can apply naturally and effortlessly into more areas of your life?
Continue reading “Next NLP training in Brisbane” »

禪/ 禅/ The Zen of NLP?

The other night, after the best part of a pitcher of a surprisingly tasty peach whiskey drink, I was speaking with a friend about music. Yihan is an accomplished musician, who was telling me about how she experiences a very interesting altered state when she is playing sometimes.

She described it as being a state when she stops trying to control the instrument, but rather one where she allows the music to be expressed through her. It doesn’t happen every time that she plays, though when it does, as you might imagine, it feels amazing.

So I asked, “How do you do that?”

Of course I wasn’t just asking about her theories of zen/ chan – since I know that she probably doesn’t know herself about the mechanism. (Especially since she’s a pretty small girl, and had indulged quite a bit of that pitcher herself!) And even if she had words to describe the experience, it wouldn’t be much use to me as her representations are shaped by who she is. Instead, I wanted to know how she could access that state. Since that’s something that I can try out for myself…

And it turned out that she would play a very short piece of music. Repeatedly. Perhaps a 30-second piece – even just a few bars – and play that over and over for 20-30 minutes. Simple enough that her extensive deliberate practice allowed her to play it without too much effort.

Now this pattern sounded familiar to me! This was like the strategy that we used in my karate training in learning kata. In learning to juggle. In drilling tennis shots. In several forms of meditation. And even in the New Code Games of New Code NLP. Almost like turning an ‘ordinary’ activity into a meditation.

I wonder whether we could use that state for other things… like taking that state into other areas of life, allowing the unconscious to find ways to use it.

What is your Learning Rate Determining Step?

Just over a month ago, I had my first piano lesson. It was very hard. The teacher kept trying to teach me about “Middle C”, a term that had little meaning and even less perceived value to me. And she taught me to play music that was so inanely simplistic that I was bored before I’d finished playing the first bar. But the experience was fascinating. Especially when you know how good some pre-school students are!

After getting bored with drills intended to train me like they might train a 3-year-old, who will take an average of 1200 hours of formal practice to achieve Grade 5 (according to Sloboda’s Leverhulme Project), I decided to just learn how to play a piece of music. I chose to play one of my favourites, Gymnopedie. It looked easy enough.

It wasn’t easy. To start with, it was hard. Very hard. And it was hard in very specific ways.

And it has already highlighted two key aspects of learning for me: One conscious, one unconscious. Continue reading “What is your Learning Rate Determining Step?” »

Iconoclast: What does it take to be extraordinary?

In the pursuit of excellence and freedom, there are a few domains to consider. One is the field of expertise, a major contribution of which, Deliberate Practice, I have discussed elsewhere. Yet what about those unique individuals who really change things? Those people (‘freaks’ – in a good way!) who change the world. What is different about them? How do they do it?

Gregory Berns calls them Iconoclasts in his book of the same title, where he notes that they “see things differently than other people. Literally… because their brains do not fall into efficiency traps as much as the average person’s brain.” Berns argued that one way is to “bombard the brain with things it has never encountered before.” And Adam Dachis was saying much the same thing when he suggested doing things that make you feel uncomfortable. When we have rich experiences, we are able to access a more profound heuristic to understand the world around us, being less constrained by the examples that happen to be before us or the ways of thinking that we grew up with.

Berns also  noted that these individuals are less subject to the desire for social approval, which reminded me of my old friend Wayne Dyer speaking of self-actualized people being “independent of the good opinion of others.” Robert Greene pointed out that thinking for yourself can be dangerous, and suggested that one should, “Think as you like but Behave like others”. Perhaps that might be a good start though it might be more rigorous to refer to the importance of social intelligence.

Being able to think for oneself is challenging. It is hard. It is scary. And it must be done carefully.

The results can change the world.

If you’re going to vary the recipe…

I love cooking. The way that we can transform ‘simple’ ingredients into something deliciously complex is a wonder to behold, and a delight to experience.

If you don’t know how to cook, you can follow a recipe. With a little bit of discipline, focus, and the right ingredients, you can find yourself producing great quality food quite easily.

After a while, you can start to figure out how the recipe works. You find that a little bit extra of one ingredient will vary the taste, texture or appearance. You might even start to experiment.

Some people can start to create. Not just to follow the recipe, but to come up with entirely new concoctions, based upon the test kitchen in your mind.

Yet I would be reluctant to rely upon the skills of someone who hadn’t yet mastered a single recipe. Maybe they would create something delicious and creative and new. Maybe you would get food poisoning.

Individuality and self expression are great things, and it is good to note that most great innovators didn’t come from “the establishment” in their domain. Whether they be Rodin or 50 Cent, Einstein or Gershwin, Branson or Brin, innovators learn enough to speak the language of their chosen domain, though not so much as they lose their accent.

Before we start changing the rules, let’s find out what they are.