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!

Making the ‘right’ choices

Choosing is your right

In your life you most like have come to a point at which you’ve had make a choice. Most likely there have been times when you’ve looked back after receiving feedback from a specific situation and kicked yourself for having made the ‘wrong’ choice.

What’s interesting about this is that at the moment of making that choice, you most likely would have thought that it was the ‘right’ decision given a variety of options that you realised or not to be present.

So kicking yourself about having made a choice that brought you feedback different to the one you were expecting will not really do anything for you. I’ve seen so many people get angry with themselves and embody a rather un-resourceful state, as a result of feedback.

In this fascinating field we call NLP we use a very powerful presupposition:

“People always make the best choice available to them given their unique model of the world and of their situation”.

How powerful is it to consider that when making sense of things? I mean, would you really have made that choice if you had been aware of any better options? You mist likely did the best you could with whatever resources you were aware of at the moment.

(Un)limited choices

We all have limited descriptions of the world and the most exceptional people I know consistently work on expanding them. At times, even if we’re not aware of it, we can seem to be limited by our values, beliefs, even language and cultural upbringing; but once we embrace the fact that it this isn’t but a limitation to the way we, describe the world around us, we can actually put our awareness to expanding that description in order to create more options.

Now it’s your turn! take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. Think of what you value in life and assess your beliefs system so that you can start to be aware if these are limiting you in any way when it comes to your outcomes in life. If so, it’s time to make some changes.

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and let me know how you went.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

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Chunking

Learning by Chunking

When was the last time you learned something new? It doesn’t matter how simple or complex it was. It just has to be something that was new for you at the time of learning.

Do you remember how you felt? How it all seemed complex at the beginning and after you learned the fundamentals it all started to seem simpler and simpler.

Can you think of something you’d like to learn? How do you feel about it? Does it seem hard at this point?

My aim here is that you shift your perception of ‘hard’ by the end of this article.

Regardless of what you want to learn, if it is new, you are probably either looking at it in too much detail or not enough detail. I know it sounds contradictory, but it isn’t.

The key here is to find your balance.

Chunking – Complexity made simple

This is not only applicable to learning, that is an example. It applies to everything that might seem hard or complex initially. As Dr. John Grinder, co-creator of NLP once said:

“Everything complex can be made simple”.

Breaking a task into manageable pieces is what this is all about. Chunking is simply separating elements of a task into groups.

Here is a thought experiment: memorise the following number

0425298176

How did you find doing it that way? Now try this:

0425 298 176

Does that make it simpler for you to remember? It certainly helped me.

Make your life easier by separating tasks in simpler, more manageable chunks. Believe me you can do this with anything you want to learn or do.

Now let’s say you want to make a million dollars in the next 5 years. How do you go about it? At first glance it sounds pretty daunting.

Let us break it down:

Goal: $1,000,000 in 5 years

Which means $200,000 a year

Which means $16,666 a month

Which means $550 a day (roughly)

It does not seem so ‘hard’ to make a million dollars now, does it?

Do you get how this works now? Exceptionally effective people do and that is how they get results.

Now think of a goal you want to achieve or something you want to learn and start breaking it down. Separate the elements into manageable tasks give yourself enough time.

Now it’s your turn! take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. Pay attention to what really is important for you and whether you are congruent with the way you behave and what you say you value.

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and let me know how you went.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

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What Really Matters When Making Decisions

If asked, we can all identify something that is important to us, and different things may come to mind depending on the context we are in at the time. For the most part, regardless of what we say about what is important, our behavior will provide the evidence of what we actually value in specific situations.

For example, someone who claims to value health but spends all day sitting on the couch eating ice cream and watching TV doesn’t appear to be congruent.

What’s really important

The values we hold are important as they set the frame for our actions in specific situations. However, many people are not aware of what is really important to them until they explore their values.

No matter how much you advocate being healthy, if you spend all day eating ice cream and prefer to watch TV instead of doing something active, there is obviously something more important to you than health.

Now, before you start thinking too much about it, remember that most people are not only unaware of what their values are, they also do not know that they can choose and change their own values. A lot of people live their lives passively waiting for things to happen to them.

On the contrary, exceptionally effective people know what is important for them and live their lives knowingly in line with their values. They choose their values at will and thus can shape their future into what they want it to be.

However, one thing to note is that like any other living being, we are subject to constant change. So, being able to adapt your values to your new descriptions of the world, as you evolve, is key to continuing to shape the future you want to experience.

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “change is the only constant”.

It is important to be aware and develop the habit of reviewing your values from time to time. Otherwise you could end up like a child trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Exceptionally effective people shape their world by shaping their values and beliefs as well as by having clear intentions.

“Your values become your destiny”

Mahatma Gandhi once said.

One way to do this is by having new experiences and enriching your current description of the world. So go ahead and take action now, travel the world, meet new people, try new sports, eat new food or learn a new language. Do whatever it is that gets your attention; or even better something you thought would never get it at all.

Seek experience and you’ll find knowledge. Go out there and shape your own world.

Now it’s your turn! take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. Pay attention to what really is important for you and whether you are congruent with the way you behave and what you say you value.

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and let me know how you went.

Edited by Jules Collingwood, NLP Trainer at INSPIRITIVE.

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How To Make Your Wishes Come True

Be careful of what you wish for (you might get it)

How often have you heard someone ‘wishing’ for something over an extended period of time, without doing anything to support the wish? Do you see these people get results?

Could there be other approaches to creating the qualities and attributes you want in life?

We have all wished for something at some point of our lives. I have a friend whom I love dearly, who has been having health problems for several years. He does not like doing any type of sport but really enjoys smoking and drinking alcohol on a regular basis.

Every time we speak he says he ‘wishes; he could feel better, and had a healthier lifestyle. He’s been wishing for that since I met him seven years ago!

Wishing is word that I personally avoid using. As presented by Edward T. Hall in his book The Hidden Dimension, quoting anthropologist Benjamin Lee Whorf:

“Language is more than just a medium for expressing thought. It is, in fact, a major element in the formation of thought”.

That one phrase has revolutionized my life.

The language you use to formulate your thinking will inevitably affect the way you represent those thoughts.

Exceptionally effective people know this. They use words like ‘can’, ‘will’, ‘want’ and ‘choose’ when they communicate their outcomes.

Assuming you can access one, listen to the words they choose when they speak.

Here is a thought experiment, how do you react when to the following:

I wish my life was better

I should be a better person

I can’t get this to work

And:

I can improve my life

I will become a better person

I choose to achieve my outcomes

Which of these two sets of examples is more empowering?

Do you think professional golfer Greg Norman used to go out on the course thinking I wish I could win the PGA Tour today?

So, next time you find yourself, wishing for something it’s only fair enough that you at least give yourself the chance to be able to achieve it, by changing the way you use your language.

Now it’s your turn!, take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness., Start small first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

Edited by Jules Collingwood.

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Putting Things Into Perspective

Wise words

We’ve all heard it before, and it sounds like pretty good advice: ‘You gotta put things in perspective’. OK, but how?

Seeing things from different angles will give you access to new information that you might’ve been missing on while seeing from a fixed place.

The police and armed forces understand this principle very well as demonstrated when they are exploring the territory or searching for something. They know that by accessing the territory from different angles they can get access multiple descriptions, that’s why they search from the top down using helicopters, or by foot using sniffer dogs and even by submarine. All of this ways to search for a fugitive give them different pieces of information that one team can communicate to the other and then use the most relevant ones to find what they’re after. Therefore, as they become more evolved, they have access to more refined descriptions like radars and other gadgets.

It’s all contextual

Every single description will have its pros and cons according to context, and the person who is accessing the information ought to be aware if that.

For example if they are exploring the desert they’re not very likely to be using a submarine.

As simple as it sounds though, we often settle for only one description of the territory.

Exceptionally effective leaders know this principle very well, that’s one intention for surrounding themselves with advisors from different walks of life. So they can have multiple descriptions of the territory that lies ahead. However, they’re the ones who make the last call.

They also have the capacity to shift between modes of experiencing the world. They can go from experiencing the world from their own shoes to being detached to being very empathetic (not necessarily in that order).

Now it’s your turn!, take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness., Start small first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

If you found this article useful, rate it or share it below!, 

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How To Make Sense Of Things

Making sense of the world

When do things really mean what we think they mean? Would you believe me if I told you you were going to gaol tomorrow? What if a judge told you that in court?

I personally don’t think meaning is fixed but rather it is changeable, subject to context as well as to the individual’s model of the world and incoming information. So the meaning we make of things is constantly shifting, unless we fixate on a rigidly held belief about the topic or context.

If you think this is a useful distinction to be aware of, read on.

Reframing

Reframing is changing the frame or the description of a situation, usually to make it more acceptable or functional. Reframing changes the concept so that the situation takes on a new meaning or takes place in a different context. It is about how to make sense of things.

You can start to think about times when you’ve used reframing yourself, or someone used it in a situation you were involved.

But, how do you use it?

You can reframe a situation by changing the context or the meaning of it.

Meaning reframe means you can change the response to an experience by changing what the experience means to you or those involved. For instance, people who go to gaol are usually regarded as bad examples for the community. Or wait a minute, how about people like Nelson Mandela? He went to gaol, does that mean he’s a bad example? Probably the complete opposite. Here was an exceptional man who was imprisoned for a promoting a fair cause and living up to his values.

Can you start to see how this works?

Now, leaving the behaviour the same and placing it in a different context is an example of a context reframe.

If someone takes off all their clothes in a public place in broad daylight, they will probably be arrested and certainly attract news media attention. That person has crossed the boundary of most cultural norms and their behaviour is “noticeable”. Yet every night in the privacy of their homes, most people take off all their clothes when they get ready for bed and no one raises an eyebrow.

Exceptionally effective leaders know about these principles and use them consistently, not only to influence others but to influence their own behaviour.

The best way to understand this pattern is by using it, so go out there andtake your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. I’d like to invite you to change the meaning of at least 2 things you don’t like doing, right now. It can be something like washing up or doing your laundry, what’s important is that you try it now.

Start small at first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

If you found this article useful, rate it or share it below!, 

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Three Ways To Build Rapport Effectively

Have you ever met one of those people who can get anyone’s attention very easily? Whom everyone seems to listen to without them even making an effort?

That is mainly because they’re good a creating rapport.

What Is Rapport?

Some time ago I attended a negotiation training from a person that I very much admire, and we were discussing ways of keeping people engaged during the process of negotiating. His main advice was to do something so simple, yet so profound that to this day I still think about it every day.

“If you ain’t got rapport, you ain’t got nothing!”, he said quoting Richard Bandler one of the co-creators of NLP.

Think about it. How simple, yet profound that statement is.

There’s a common misconception about the word ‘rapport’, as it is associated to liking or being likeable. Well it’s not either one of these.

Rapport is not liking, although liking often follows from it.

“Rapport is eliciting and holding the willing attention of another person or group of people with a view to facilitating communication” as defined by Chris and Jules Collingwood in the NLP Field Guide Part 1

Rapport is essential to the success of any communication where there is an outcome. Think about that for a second. Would you care about having someone’s attention if that person had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome you were trying to achieve?

How Do You Get There?

There is a variety of ways to build rapport and some of the most commonly known are:

  • Physiological, which includes matching posture, breathing and gestures;
  • Verbal, which involves verbal agreement;
  • Non-verbal, which include matching tempo and volume of someone’s voice;

Remember these are a few commonly taught methods, and there are others.

But, how does that relate to NLP?

John Grinder has said that the first of three essential elements for creating change in someone’s perception (i.e., influencing) is rapport.

So, next time you’re out there and finding trouble with your communication remember:

“If you ain’t got rapport, you ain’t got nothing”

Exceptionally effective individuals know this well enough. As Dr. John Grinder, co-creator of NLP says, “attention is the currency of relationships”.

The best way to learn this is experientially, so go out there andtake your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. Go ahead and try it., 

Start small first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

If you found this article useful, rate it or share it below!, 

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My Favourite Accelerated Learning Strategy

The Importance Of Accelerated Learning Strategies

Learning is at the core of human experience. Whether you are aware of it or not, human evolution is dependent on learning and adaptation. As Cambridge University’s theoretical physicist Stephen Hawkins puts it, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”.

That being said, who wouldn’t like to get better at learning?

At the core of learning is a very simple strategy on which I’ll be focusing on today: modeling. No need to over complicate things. It’s simple yet amazingly effective, and I say this from my own experience.

Modeling is at the core of the fascinating field called Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP, which focuses on the art of replicating talent. So yes, we can call modeling an accelerated learning strategy.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming, – The Art Of Replicating Talent

NLP studies the way people take in information from the world, how they describe it to themselves through their senses, filter it with their beliefs and values and act on the result.

So there are three elements:

  1. A person
  2. Their descriptions of the world
  3. The world.

NLP studies the relationships between them. Exploring relationships provides information about PROCESSES and PATTERNS; two concepts which are central to understanding the workings of this meta-discipline.

According to NLP developer Judith DeLozier, NLP is “…an accelerated learning strategy for the detection and use of PATTERNS in the world“. It is the study of systems, processes and the relationships between them.

But, what does she mean by “accelerated learning strategy”?

NLP is a methodology for replicating the talents of highly capable individuals from many fields of endeavour. In other words:

NLP is modelling, or replicating talent

By studying the patterns of thinking that govern behavior and choices, desired skills and qualities can be replicated and transferred.

The best way to do this is experientially, so go out there and take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness, . I’d like to invite you to go out there and find a model. Someone who’s exceptionally effective at what they do and start modeling them implicitly.

Start small at first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

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Perception And Reality

Perception and Reality

Emotions are part of everyday life. We feel sensations in our body in response to how we perceive events in the world around us. However, these sensations are not fixed; they are constantly changing. One way in which that change can be triggered is related to perception. As stated by Daniel Goleman in his bestselling book Emotional Intelligence “When perception changes, emotions change”.

The Structure Of Perception

People take in information from the world in one of three ways:

  1. What they see
  2. What they hear
  3. What they feel, taste and smell

In NLP we call these ‘Representational Systems’, as they are the systems we use to represent, remember or create representations of the world around.

Sub-modalities are the components of each representational system. Just as we see pictures, hear sounds and have sensations in our body, these all have certain sub-characteristics (or sub-modalities).

Sounds may vary in volume, pitch, rhythm or location, just as images can vary in size, brightness and depth of field. There are many more submodalities in each representation system. For example, Photoshop software uses a larger collection of visual submodalities to edit images and Pro-Tools provides a similar function for sound.

Certain characteristics of a representation (e.g. the size of an image) may lead you to respond in certain ways to certain events and changing the submodalities associated with a represented image, sound or sensation will change the meaning you attribute to that representation. Note that responses will vary from person to person and across contexts.

For example, do you think that a memory of your favourite song would be more or less pleasant if you turn down the volume of it? Now, what happens if you turn it back up?

Do you like colourful images or do you prefer them black and white or faded?

Remember the last time you went to a concert? Now turn down the volume of the music inside your head. Does that alter how you feel about the experience?

Then again, it’s all contextual.

You can use sub-modalities to enhance or reduce the effect a certain representation (i.e. image, sound or feeling) may have on you. It can be a memory or a construct.

Each Sensory representational System or modality is made of sub-components called sub-modalities that you can play with and calibrate your response to the changes you make.

Visual: the visual system uses brightness, colour, hue, size, distance and location of an image among others.

Auditory: the auditory system uses volume, tempo and timbre quality of a sound along with location and all the qualities found on a graphic equaliser and a sound mixer.

Kinaesthetic: the kinaesthetic system includes temperature, texture, shape and intensity of a sensation among others.

The most exceptionally effective people I know have developed options when responding to events that unfold in the world around them. They can perceive things in different ways and not get stuck in just one description of the world.

I’d like to share a powerful quote before concluding: “there is no truth, there is only perception” Gustave Flaubert

Now go out there and take your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness. I’d like to invite you to start playing with the elements of your perception and calibrate your responses., 

Start small at first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

If you found this article useful, rate it or share it below!, 

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Read ‘The Structure Of Time’

Time Management

In one of my recent trips to Europe I decided to go to Spain to visit some friends. One group of friends lived in the south, where it is mostly sunny all year round and people live a relaxed type of lifestyle. The other group lived in the capital city, where everyone always seemed to be rushing to get somewhere. Even though both groups of people were from a similar background (they were all Spanish), I found some astounding differences in the way they experienced the passage of time.

The first group I visited, in the south, seemed to be a bit careless about timing. Being fifteen minutes to half an hour late for a meeting didn’t seem to bother anyone. Having to wait was not a problem for them at all. It was almost embraced as part of every experience. Moving from one place to another would involve multiple stops to say ‘hello’ to a friend at the bakery or stop to admire the sunset. People just seemed to have a lot of ‘time to spare’.

After leaving the south, and arriving in the capital city, it seemed as if someone had pressed the fast-forward button on a T.V. remote. Everyone was in a hurry to get from ‘A’ to ‘B’, people used expressions like ‘time is of the essence’ and being even five minutes late to a meeting was seen as rude.

The difference between how these two groups of people experienced time left me so curious.

Have you ever wondered how some people experience five minutes as a long time and to other people 2 years is a short time?

The Structure Of Time

Today’s article is all about people’s ‘Time lines’.

A ‘time line’ is a metaphoric description of the way we perceive the passage of time, manage our memories and create our future plans. Time lines are contextual though; they will vary from one activity to another. For example, you would be unlikely to carry the same ‘time line’ at the office as the one you would use while on holiday. When you are waiting for important news to arrive, five minutes seem to take forever to pass. In other circumstances, you might not mind waiting in line at the supermarket for five minutes.

Time, like every other human experience, has a structure and exceptionally effective people are aware of how they represent and use time depending on the context they are in, and they make good use of these differences.

Furthermore, they are not only aware of how they represent time but also how those around them do. As Steve Jobs once said:

“It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time”.

This article is meant to teach a couple of ways to change the way you represent time in a variety of contexts. Imagine wanting to be more patient, or to set goals for the future, or even to reduce the discomfort associated with a memory.

Let us go back to basics. Change the way you have been representing a memory (visually, auditorily, kinaesthetically or any mix of them) and add or take out one representational, system to find out what happens to the quality of the memory.

Or you could change one or more sub-modalities. Make your future ‘brighter’ and pay attention to how you feel about it now. You can even make unpleasant memories more comfortable by changing the size and quality of the images while you read this.

Remember, it’s all about the structure of our representations, so next time you’re thinking about how to manage your time, be aware of how you are representing it and if a structural change could be useful for that context.

Are you aware of how you experience time? The best way to test this out is experientially, so go out there andtake your next step towards Exceptional Effectiveness., Next time you’re in a situation, be aware of how you represent time and ask yourself if representing time that way will bring you the results you are after., 

Start small at first and see it for yourself. It will change your life, just like it changed mine., 

Remember this is practical advice not just another theory, so do go out and try it, and, let me know how you went., 

If you found this article useful, rate it or share it below!, 

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