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?
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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.

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.

Dealing with seasons of change

Last month I left Brisbane on a 30 degree day and arrived in a Shanghai with snow on the ground. Normally seasons don’t change this quickly, though they always change.

And seasons change whether we want them to or not.

The question is always how you cope with those changes. Do you lament the end of the sunshine as autumn begins, or do you embrace the beauty of the changing colours of the leaves on the trees?

Since arriving back in Shanghai, my lifestyle has changed a lot. Whereas previously, I was working closely with one company delivering trainings, now I am running my own events. Instead of focusing my energy on just delivering the best that I could deliver, now I am handling most everything myself, learning about all the little stuff that I used to have a team to handle for me.

(So if you’re in Asia and after some great NLP training, you know who to call!)

The last time that I found myself in this season was when I registered my first business in July 1998. It was scary and exciting and wondrous. And it’s been pretty amazing so far this time around.

Stuff happens that doesn’t bring us pleasure. How do you handle that stuff? Do you fight against it? Do you long for the longer summer with the leaves on the trees? Or do you embrace the present and get on with making the most of it?

Be outstanding!

Asking for what you really want

My friend John asked me today why I do what I do. It’s a pretty big question. After responding with, “just because” he probed further and gave me the opportunity to share with him (inflict upon him?) some of my rationalizations, justifications and excuses. It was delightfully self-indulgent 😀

But it didn’t give him the answer that he was after.
What he really wanted to know was what I hoped to get from doing what I do. He was looking to understand what I was doing things for. And you don’t get that by asking, “Why?”

Even phonetically, “why” sounds so much like “whine”!

Asking someone why opens a can of worms as much as it gives them a chance to talk. Maybe you want to know why – it happens. But much of the time you’ll get the information that you’re really after faster by asking “what for”.

Maybe try it out with yourself – notice something that you do. Perhaps something that you’d like to change, but even for something that really juices you and makes you feel great. Then ask yourself, “Why do I do that?”

And then ask, “What do I do that for?”

Notice the difference. You could try it out on someone else too…