NLP articles that are written by working professionals in the Neuro Linguistic and Hypnosis fields.

Do you have questions about the study or application of NLP?

Are you interested in discovering more about true human potential?

Would you like to learn NLP or Hypnosis in a way that allows the possibility of good things to just begin elegantly turning up in your life?

You’ve come to the right place!

Self Management and Emotional Intelligence; Three attributes

Daniel Goleman’s, Components for Emotional Intelligence in Business

from NYT Education Life (7th April 2015)

Self management is the second of Goleman’s four recommendations for applying emotional intelligence in the workplace. To recap, he has identified self awareness, self management, empathy and relationship skills as qualities of leadership and attributes that lead to advancement in the workplace.

In the previous article, we considered the development of greater self-awareness and evidence to determine that or when it is present. Today, the topic is self management:

Goleman’s Synopsis of Self Management.

  1. Resilience: You stay calm under pressure and recover quickly from upsets., You don’t brood or panic. In a crisis, people look to the leader for reassurance; if, the leader is calm, they can be, too.
  2. Emotional balance: You keep any distressful feelings in check instead, of blowing up at people, you let them know what’s wrong and what the solution is.
  3. Self-motivation: You keep moving toward distant goals despite setbacks.

As with self-awareness, Goleman has provided a synopsis of what to look for as evidence that self management is in place and working. The function of evidence is to provide feedback about the quality of your self management strategy. If you try to learn directly how to do the characteristics of evidence, it will be hard work and take up all your conscious attention. This leaves a shortage of attention available for performing in your chosen context. If you are intending to demonstrate leadership, it will flat if you are trying to manage individual examples of behaviour.

“The state you are in at any time frames the quality of your behaviour, interactions and thinking capacity.”

Your state is the emotional, biochemical, physiological gestalt within which you function and contrary to popular belief, you can learn to change it quickly and smoothly. This is the basis of effective self management.

Self Management In Action

Applying self management strategically requires a modicum of self-awareness. This will give you information about your current state and context as well as direction for choosing what you want instead. When you discover that you can choose and change your state, you can learn to maintain a set of resourceful, responsive states that allow you to set an example, think on your feet and have access to all your competences. This is possible instead of being stuck in a low level state with inadequate resources and no patience with others.

People change their states naturally without necessarily being aware that it is happening. You can harness natural state change processes when you are aware of the way they work. If you could be a fly on the wall at an exercise class at the end of the workday, you would observe participants coming in talking about their day, still in work-related states and thinking about work. By the end of the class, they are more relaxed, animated, spontaneous and looking forward to the rest of their free time. Their bodies are more symmetrical and their movement flows.

Physical activity is one of nature’s state changers. The same thing happens with choristers who practice at the end of the workday. Singing requires a lot of breath and deliberate breathing is another natural state changing activity. If you want to change state by changing your breathing or moving your body with intent, a short, brisk walk around the block will be sufficient for most purposes.

As you review your context, with its people and tasks, your intention of being resourcefully functional and preferably able to enjoy the experience provides framing and search criteria for your unconscious resources to develop options for you. This allows you to engage a set of suitable states which probably include competence, resilience, creative problem solving and relationship skills all at the same time.

The advantage of managing yourself through your state is that a single process provides the capacity to demonstrate a whole collection of resourceful behaviour, naturally and spontaneously. Then your attention is free to concentrate on the matter at hand and your quality of experience will be enhanced.

Daniel Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence in Business Articles Series

  1. Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence – Introduction
  2. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
  3. Self awareness and Emotional Intelligence
  4. Self Management and Emotional Intelligence; Three attributes
  5. Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

(Note: If you would like to learn more about the New Code of NLP you can get a copy of  our latest Kindle book ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

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Self Awareness and Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence in Business

If you read the, first article in this series, you may be attending to the assumptions that frame written and spoken communications and beginning to come to your own conclusions about their validity for you.In Daniel Goleman’s article in the New Yorker on 7th April, previously introduced, he identifies four qualities which he believes assist people in business.

The first recommended attribute is Self Awareness. Goleman describes the qualities of this as:

  1. “Realistic self-confidence: You understand your own strengths and, limitations; you operate from competence and know when to rely on someone, else on the team.
  2. Emotional insight: You understand your feelings. Being aware of what, makes you angry, for instance, can help you manage that anger”.

Self awareness means different things to different people and so do the associated ideas proposed by Goleman. He describes the results of realistic self-confidence above, but how do you know when you are doing that?

Gathering Information

You can compare your own knowledge and intentions with what is taking place in your environment. Then you can gather additional information and take action to support or change the situation.

Is competence a feeling of knowing what you are doing and if so, is that sufficient? If you are competent at doing something or taking charge of something, there will be evidence in the world that you can see and hear and point out to anyone who asks.

That is one component of self-awareness.

There is another aspect to knowing when you are competent. Are you relying on external validation from other people or the credentials you hold? These have their uses; minimally, they allow you to perform your function with enough latitude to become good at it.

Optimally, if you have the endorsement of a discerning expert in your field, you may be able to incorporate some of their standards in your yardstick for competence.

“The most reliable standard for competence is the product of your own research and experience.”

When you discover what you require of yourself when performing competently, with reference to your own values as well as criteria for competence that you have identified, you can answer fluently and confidently if asked ‘What are you doing that for?’

Clear Values And Self-awareness

To back up further, self-awareness is supported by knowing your own values. Most people run values at the back of their minds and have difficulty articulating what prompted them to take a particular course of action. When you interact with members of different cultures, either through travel or living in a multi-cultural context, different assumptions about proper behaviour bring some of your own assumptions to awareness.

You can identify values you hold by asking yourself what keeps you in your present job/home/car or other ongoing context. This applies whether your initial response is satisfaction or dislike. Another clue is accessible when you think you should do or not do something, but your inclination is the opposite.

If you explore your inclination, there is probably a value supporting it which is more important to you and further from your awareness than the value associated with the should.

And backing up even further, if you become aware of how you are using your attention in the moment, whether it is all or partly on your internal experience or the outside world at any you can alter the direction and quality to facilitate your thinking and interactions. Awareness of how your attention functions, allows you to access your presupposed values via your low level internal responses to others’ actions and your own and others’ expectations.

When you have these resources readily available to you, Goleman’s criteria for self-awareness will be a natural part of your repertoire.

The next article in this series is on Self Management.

Daniel Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence in Business Articles Series

  1. Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence – Introduction
  2. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
  3. Self awareness and Emotional Intelligence
  4. Self Management and Emotional Intelligence; Three attributes
  5. Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

(Note: If you would like to learn more about  NLP and Emotional Intelligence you can get a copy of  our latest Kindle book ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

By Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

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Becoming emotionally intelligent In business

Daniel Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence in Business

from NYT Education Life (7th April 2015)

On 7th April 2015 you could have read a short piece about Daniel Goleman’s criteria for emotional intelligence applied to business or the work environment. It gives a list of four recommended attributes for attending and behaving while at work.

In the article, these attributes are described briefly and attributed to those people in leadership positions who are thought to be particularly able. As is often the case with short pieces taken out of context on what you ‘should’ develop to enhance your success in something, there is no clear instruction given, though Goleman’s definitions are sufficiently descriptive to allow you to draw on your own experience to make meaning.

The four attributes are, and I quote:

  1. “Self awareness
  2. Self management
  3. Empathy
  4. Relationship skills”.

“The, four, attributes of Emotional Intelligence: Self awareness, Self management, Empathy, Relationship skills.”

Before we consider what these concepts mean and how to acquire or enhance them, there are questions worth raising.

The original article is based on the assumption that you want to demonstrate qualities associated with leadership, progress, success and by extension, reap social approval. You probably do, but not necessarily, so these are questions to bring you awareness of exercising your choice and agency.

Does the idea of embodying this class of quality appeal to you, personally? Does it fit and enhance your own concept of who you are and who you want to become? Might you have been subscribing to assumed ideas about what is appropriate and useful in society and business without noticing? Would you like to be more aware of frames offered to you by others so you can choose the ones you want, knowingly?

Whatever your answers, you might want to read on in case some of the qualities themselves appeal to you. They could assist your endeavours in contexts outside work, too.

What We Have In Store For You

Over the coming days we shall explore each of the four attributes with reference to the frames and assumptions that promote them. Then, for the ones you choose, you can learn how to acquire, enhance and personalise them in keeping with your own values and preferences. If you find some of them worthwhile, you will derive far more utility from them when you know what you are choosing them for and how you anticipate their functioning in your own life.

Bringing new qualities to life and giving existing but previously unnoticed qualities some discerning attention, provides you with your own frames for applying them in the world and the capacity to notice what frames are being offered to you by others.

We live in a world of frames ranging from That is OK, that is not OK to This is how we behave and think at work to This is how we behave at a weddings to This is how we think about other people to This is how we are supposed to think about other people.

Start to notice what is being assumed in pieces of writing and in familiar contexts and what is being assumed in different places in your world will begin to become more noticeable. How much of it can you influence with your choices when you have that awareness?

In the next article, we shall consider Self Awareness as described by Goleman, what else it could be and how to develop and apply all or parts of it.

Daniel Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence in Business Articles Series

  1. Goleman’s Four Components for Emotional Intelligence – Introduction
  2. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
  3. Self awareness and Emotional Intelligence
  4. Self Management and Emotional Intelligence; Three attributes
  5. Effective Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

(Note: If you would like to learn more about NLP and Emotional Intelligence you can get a copy of  our latest Kindle book ‘AEGIS: Patterns for extending your reach in life, work & leisure’ by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer. For only $4.99 here).

By Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

If you found this article useful, share it!, 

If you want to prioritise work more effectively, do this

Knowing What (Really) Matters

Having the ability to differentiate what is important from what is subject to awareness. Being aware that you live in a dynamic work where the only constant is change and that you need to bare this in mind at the moment engaging in any activity.

Having a plan and sticking to it regardless of how much the context that you are in changes may quite possibly not make you the most effective performer.

On the other hand, having a clear outcome backed up by an even clearer intention can provide a more useful frame at the time of organising and prioritising your work.

Here Is An Example

Imagine you are at work and have planned for the day ahead. You have filled out all the time slots in your diary so you can make the most out of your day and be as productive as humanly possible.

At around two o’clock, when you are in the middle of a major task that is extremely important to the project at hand, your boss calls you in to help him sort out an issue with a project he is handling himself. You like your boss and you know he will be fine with you declining his request, especially if you have an important task at hand.

There has been a sudden change in the environment that can potentially affect how you have planned your day whether it is positively of negatively will depend on how clear your intentions are.

Do you stop and help him or do you continue with the task at hand?

The answer to this will be easier if you have clear intentions for being at work.

Let us say that your intention for being productive is to cause a great impression on your boss so he starts noticing how good your skills are and possibly considers you for promotion. Then this is a good opportunity to meet your intentions.

On the other hand, if your intention for being productive is to finish work in time so you can go home and spend some quality time with your family, partner, friends, or whatever it is that you do after work, then your decision may be equally obvious and different.

Please note that this is just a quick example to illustrate how this pattern can help you prioritise at work to become more effective. There obviously are thousands of ways in which this could go, but the scope of this article is to simply provide you with an idea of how to use it.

So having intentions clear intentions can help you prioritise your work in order to manage your time and resources more effectively and achieve exceptional results.

To receive more articles like this one or to learn more about our courses, subscribe to our free newsletter by contacting us here.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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Your ability to influence your world starts with a change in mindset

Influence your world

The ability to influence your world, your environment starts with you. That may seem obvious but to many people it is not.

Being able to influence yourself first is step one towards shaping your environment. When you are aware of your values, preferences, outcomes and intentions and you have choice about your state and what you do with your attention, you are in a position to make and articulate informed choices.

Have you ever met anyone who keeps changing cities, or partners or jobs but they keep getting the same results with each example? The same pattern keeps emerging.

Their behaviour stays the same and no matter how often they shift workplaces, for example, they keep having similar ‘problems’ with their bosses or colleagues.

However, before you start pointing fingers at anyone, it is fair to say that we all experience something like this at least once in our lives.

Becoming aware of your patterns of behaviour can be a challenging task, however it can be extremely useful – especially if you want to influence the world around you.

The old adage of ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ comes to mind here.

The question is, how do you do this?

In the article How to Control your feelings – and live happily ever after, By Steve Ayan published in American Scientist Magazine the author provides us with a good piece of advice.

‘Situation modification’: the key is to anticipate the potential for stress and take proactive measures. These interventions can be as simple as carrying a ‘lucky charm’ says the author.

There are many ways in which you can do this.Those of you reading this who have received proper training in NLP, can probably think of the anchors you use to manage your state, the principle of reframing or even using the ‘swish pattern’, for the sentence quoted above.

Nevertheless, what is important here is that you can influence your world by first influencing the way you perceive it. And the first step to it is building awareness.

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Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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Exceptional People Align These Three Elements

People who reach high levels of performance and become exceptionally effective in their field show certain patterns of behaviour that many people would not even be aware of.

One of these patterns is the ability to manage their state, or be ‘emotionally intelligent’ as some like to call it.

However, managing your state is only one element of the patterns that people like this engage. There is more to it, and after reading this article you will have a better idea of how you too can manage your state more effectively.

Elements To Consider

When managing your state it can be useful to consider the context that you are in. For example, a state that will be appropriate while at a romantic dinner with your partner, will probably not be your best option while sitting at a family dinner.

Aligning state and context creates functionality of behaviour as illustrated by research published in the article How to Control your feelings – and live happily ever after, By Steve Ayan published in Scientific American Mind magazine.

When describing the findings of the research, the article reads; Tamir and Ford found that people with high emotional intelligence opted for whichever feeling had greatest utility – regardless of whether that emotion was pleasant.

Which brings us to the next point. Your intention for being in that context and communicating with those people.

Your Intentions Matter

Being aware of what you want from or in a specific situation is another important focus of attention. Having a clear intention can be a very useful guide to choosing your state to support you in a given situation.

For example if somebody is at work just with the intention to make some money and go home at the end of the day, they will have a strikingly different state from that of somebody who is at work to engage actively and make progress in their career.

Being aware of these differences and aligning them consistently can help you become exceptionally effective in whatever you choose to do.

Now it’s your turn!

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Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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The top five most valued skills you need to develop according to Forbes magazine

As the business world keeps evolving, so do the requisites that organisations look for in their employees. The skills and attributes that once took you from employee to manager are likely to be different from those you need currently in order to advance to the next stage in your career.

In today’s business world there is an emphasis on so-called ‘soft skills’. According to Forbes Magazine in the article The 10 Skills Employers Most Want in 2015 Graduates the 5 most valued skills by employers nowadays are:

  1. Ability to work in a team structure
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems
  3. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organisation
  4. Ability to plan, organise and prioritise work
  5. Ability to obtain and process information

In this article the author, Susan Adams, explains how the researchers arrived at this conclusion.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) a Bethlehem, PA non-profit group that links college career placement offices with employers, ran a survey from mid-August through early October where it asked hiring managers what skills they plan to prioritize when they recruit from the class of 2015 at colleges and graduate schools. Though the survey sample is small NACE collected responses from just 260 employers the wisdom is sound. New and recent grads should pay attention. (Most of the respondents were large companies like Chevron, IBM and Seagate Technology.)

That being said, a question is likely to arise: where do you learn these skills?

This is the first of a series of articles in which we will be discussing ways in which you can learn how to use these skills as well as giving you some practical tips on how to apply these principles.

In her article, Adams summarise the skills listed above – Cutting across all majors and degrees, employers want new hires who can work well on teams, and who are decisive problem-solvers.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this series and make the most of the information we will share with you.

As we like to say, we want people to be able to think, do and apply NLP, not just talk about it. So please go ahead and practice as much as you choose the principles we will be learning in the coming posts.

To receive more articles like this one or to learn more about our courses, subscribe to our free newsletter by contacting us here.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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Happiness: A scientific discovery that will change how you experience it

Happiness and how you focus your attention

One of your most valuable resources in any situation is the ability to focus your attention at will. This is a key to your happiness.

No doubt you are familiar with the metaphor of the ‘glass half empty or half full’. That is an example of how you might be focusing your attention, or what you are attending to at the time, although what you are about to read is somewhat more sophisticated.

How you feel about a situation is normally closely related to how you perceive it to be, not necessarily how ‘actually’ is. You take information from the outside world through your senses and then after processing it, you come up with an interpretation of it. i.e. you see a container with water up to the middle point between the bottom and the top of the container, and after taking a moment to process it (regardless how much time it takes you) you come up with an interpretation like:

  1. The glass is half filled with water
  2. The glass is half empty
  3. Anything else you can think of

What is interesting about this type of expression like ‘the glass is half empty/full’ is that it is filled with presuppositions. The words used in this phrase are purposely (whether you are aware of it or not at the time of saying it) directing your attention to a limited set of options:

  1. It can only be half empty or half full, therefore limiting your perspective of the situation to only two options.
  2. You have to choose between one of these two options.

Interestingly, most people are not aware of how the structure of language can influence their focus of attention and therefore their choices in responding toexternal stimuli.

This is similar to saying that in life you can only be ‘happy or sad’, or ‘succeed or fail’. Another metaphoric description refers to ‘black and white thinking’, which also supports dualistic, right or wrong ideation with no other options.

The result of learning to track and identify both your own and others’ presupposed allusions is a type of awareness that provides you with more options in choosing your state in a given context and what to believe is possible. To put it simply, applying linguistic structures can help you choose how to feel about anything that happens in your life.

A scientific discovery

The article How to Control your feelings and live happily ever after, By Steve Ayan, published in Scientific American Mind magazine reads:

In a series of studies, psychologist Gal Sheppes of Tel Aviv University asked participants to either reinterpret a sad photograph in way that made it less worrisome “…seeing tears of joy as opposed to grief, for example or think of something completely different”.

Attention training can help you in managing your state and have more options in how you perceive a situation and thus, give you more flexibility of behaviour. Anyone who has had proper NLP training knows this. Please note the emphasis on the word proper.

Moreover, the author illustrates this point by referring to the following research:

In 2010 Philippe Goldin of Stanford found there are ways to help people with social anxiety disorder learn to attend to their breathing to refocus during an unpleasant experience.

Inevitably after reading this, a foundational principle of NLP developed by Dr. John Grinder, Co-creator of NLP comes to mind:

Grinder’s Chain of Excellence, which involves being aware of how your respiration, physiology, state and performance are all connected.

So you can have options about how you feel in any given moment. However, it all starts with awareness.

Now it is your turn! Now that you are aware of this, think about different, ways in which you can experience an ‘unpleasant’ situation, and change it next time you come across it., 

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Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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The one tool every politician uses – and how you can improve your communication with it

Setting the scope

You may have heard of the saying ‘it is not what you say, it is how you say it’. Well, there is plenty of wisdom that can be derived from this saying.

Words can have different meanings according to the context in which they are used as well as tone of voice, listeners’ interpretation and accompanying gestures and movement. However, words themselves can be used to give a context specific meaning.

This article is to provide some insight into how you can do this yourself.

There is a powerful tool that exceptionally effective communicators use to contextualize their communication called ‘Framing’, which started in the field of NLP and has since generalised, partly due to linguist George Lakoff’s work with USA political parties.

A well set up frame defines the limits, boundaries and scope of the communication process at hand, and provided it is done properly, it will make it more efficient by keeping participants on track, provided that clear intentions have been set beforehand.

A good example of this can be found in the article published in the Harvard Business Review (HBR) article by Cas R. Sustein and Reid Hastie: Making Dumb Groups Smarter.

The article reads “framing effects influence our decisions according to the semantics of how the options are presented. For example, people are more likely to agree to an operation if they are told that 90% of people are alive after 5 years than if they are told that 10% of people are dead after 5 years”.

How influential can that be?

By framing ideas to direct people’s attention where you want it, you can use your words to invite your audience to concentrate on what really matters (your intention) in the process.

Just as a physical context can provide cues to where you should place your attention in a situation, so can your words if used with care and skill.

An essential part of any proper NLP training consists of attention training. You need to be able to put your attention on the things that matterand make a difference, (having a clear intention), in order to direct your audience’s attention effectively.

Now it is your turn! Now that you are aware of this, think about different, ways in which you can frame things that you normally would not question while keeping in mind your intention., 

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Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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Some enemies to defy if you want to become a man of knowledge

Most of us pursue knowledge to a greater or lesser extent. We learn new things, some of us master them and then we pass them along to varying degrees of accuracy. Those of us who take learning seriously, are working on becoming ‘A man/woman of knowledge’, as Carlos Castaneda says in his book, The Teachings of Don Juan.

In this book Castaneda meets an interesting man who leads him along a path that will turn Carlos into a ‘man of knowledge’.

The approach to knowledge that Don Juan shows Carlos is different from the conventional western approach to education.

In Carlos’ journey with Don Juan, a man will encounter ‘four enemies’ that he needs to defy before becoming a ‘man of knowledge’.

Fear is perfectly natural

The first one is Fear. “When a man in the path of knowledge begins to learn, he realises that what he learns is never what he imagined, and so he starts to become afraid” says Don Juan. He goes on to establish that the only way to defeat fear is by facing it, giving the fear one’s full attention and separating the feeling from any meaning attached to it.

This first step of the path is one that you can probably relate to. We all have felt fear and we all have had to defy it at some point in our life.

Defying fear is one option, though in my opinion there are more effective ways of handling it (see above).

When you have the ability to manage your state you can confront and attend tofear successfully. You would simply adjust your mental processes and physiology into a form that will help you become more resourceful and thus discover whatever it may be, in order to deal with the situation.

It may sound relatively prosaic, yet it is very effective.

The second enemy

Don Juan goes on to say that after you have been able to ‘conquer’ fear, you will gain clarity of mind. This, according to him, becomes the second enemy to defy.

“Clarity blinds him as it forces the man never to doubt himself again. He will be clear for the rest of his life, but he will not learn again“. Says Don Juan.

NLP trainer Steve Andreas illustrates this point very clearly in his article Certainty, Uncertainty where he elaborates the following:

“If a person is totally certain about their understanding, they will be closed to even considering other understandings, because their certainty about their understanding locks up the ability to consider alternatives”.

It is as if someone thinks they are ‘right’ and then tries to prove that they are ‘right’ with single-minded determination. They miss the point completely and forget what their intention was in the first place.

However, once Clarity has been conquered, by recognising an uncritical sense of certainty and remaining deliberately curious, a man in the path of knowledge will gain power; which is his also his third enemy.

Handling yourself

“A man who is defeated by power dies without really knowing how to handle it. He will turn into a cruel capricious man. Such a man has no command over himself and cannot tell when or how to use his power”. Elaborates Don Juan.

17th century Dutch philosopher Baruch de Spinoza once said: “When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master, but lies at the mercy of fortune”.

The emotions you feel are an interpretation of your state. Managing your state can give you the knowledge needed to comprehend a situation from multiple perspectives and be able to have ‘command over yourself’ as put by Don Juan.

The enemies of knowledge according to Don Juan will be an obstacle in the way of any man or woman in search for knowledge. Being able to defeat them is a matter of aligning your state and your intentions at the times when things get ‘tough’, remaining open to news of difference and curious about the world.

Now it is your turn! Now that you are aware of these, think about which ones you have faced and how you have defied them., 

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Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE

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