More Than A Hollywood Philosophy

It’s hard to believe how time flies by.  Most of us have certain memories that seem from long ago while others seem like they were just yesterday.  One of the most interesting things to me is that some things can seem like a long time ago as well as having happened just yesterday.  That’s all the time we have for that, though I could go on forever.

Have you ever noticed that when someone says something that catchers your attention, you seem to think about it again, seemingly “out of the blue?”  Isn’t it amazing how the mind works?  Having had an interest in the mind and behavior for most of my life, I have studied many theories and philosophies and have come to the conclusion that there is so much more to learn.  I also know that I have learned many valuable lessons and practices that serve my clients and me quite well, and that, even the most practiced need reminders from time to time.

The mind processes language in a variety of ways, which along with our emotions and other related factors, determine how we react or respond (behave) in given situations.  Some words are simply ignored by the mind, which can cause us to misunderstand an intention spoken by another.  When that happens, it creates a mutual misunderstanding, which can cause a chasm between those involved.  Not good for rapport to say the least.  They may “try” to do better the next time, but that could makes matters worse.

When at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, right?  Wrong!  Trying has never accomplished one desired outcome.  Trying is simply making an attempt.  Why do you think Yoda said, “Do or do not, there is no try,” to young Luke Skywalker?  Because Yoda knew, as any good Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner knows, (and in Yoda’s case, a Master Practitioner), that the mind understands “try” to mean, “to make an attempt.”  To “try” at anything will never get you what you really want.  You must do!  Even Nike® understands you have to “Just Do It®” because they know that to “Just Try” would never cut it for Michael Jordan or anyone else they were going to sponsor.

So the next time you hear yourself saying, “I’ll try….,” catch yourself, smile because you did, and then tell yourself to go do whatever it was you were intending to do. Imagine yourself succeeding, and then imagine yourself having succeeded. It may take some practice, but you will find that you can accomplish anything you want to when you do.  How cool is that?

A Lesson in Understanding

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone and they disagreed with your point of view or didn’t even understand how you could have the opinion that you held? Have you ever had someone angry with you and all they could say was that they didn’t understand how you could have said or done what you did? How did that make you feel?

To “understand,” according to the Oxford Dictionary, means to perceive the intended meaning, significance, explanation, or cause of something. When someone says they don’t understand something you’ve said (or done), do they simply mean they don’t perceive your intended meaning, or are they saying more than that? Might they mean that it doesn’t make sense, based on their model of the world, and that since they don’t understand you from your perspective, you are wrong and they are right? Might it mean, especially if they are angry, that they believe you must have intended something else, something that you did not intend, perhaps even something unkind or hurtful? When someone is angry with you because they don’t understand what you have said or done, the underlying cause is fear. They are afraid of something that is based on a belief (possibly, even likely one that is unconscious), about themselves or others and, therefore, about how they are going to be treated.

What I believe to be vital is to recognize that our beliefs can and often will actually have us believing things that are not true. In NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), one of the presuppositions is, “The map is not the territory.” What that means is that our perceptions (the map) are not the reality. They feel like it and appear to be so, but they are based on many things that actually mask reality. My perceptions are based on my experiences, my beliefs, my filters, my model of the world, my state at the instant moment, and more. All of those are different than yours, and therefore my perception of the same event, phrase, discussion, article, color, and so on will be different than yours. That does not make mine any more right or wrong than yours, just different. Since our beliefs and where we direct our attention will create our reality, it is also likely that if we are concentrating on something, we will bring it into our being. For example, if I am looking for something to go wrong, for there to be something negative about another person, I will bring that into being. But, since “the map is not the territory,” I will only be perceiving it to be so.

Imagine that you have green-colored lenses on your glasses and your friend has rose-colored lenses. Are you going to see the same thing? Will you perceive a flower or the grass the same? No, and that is how we see the world: in our own way, from our own point of view, through our own filters, based on our own experiences and beliefs. What is important to remember is that we see things differently, and different is just that, different. If I don’t understand what you mean, it doesn’t mean you are wrong, it simply means that what you see or hear is different from what I see or hear. If we trust each other and ourselves, then there is no cause for anger, because we know that the other person only means well and isn’t out to hurt us.

Remember to not take anything personally. If you have read “The Four Agreements,” you recognize that. If you haven’t, remember to never take anything personally. A friend and teacher, Helene Rothschild, wrote, “The truth is that no matter what anyone else says or does, you are okay, worthy, loveable, attractive, intelligent, and good enough….” By allowing yourself to understand this truth and to see what is new, what is different, and what is possible, you open up to a whole new world.

“In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities.” ~ Janos Arnay

How cool is that?

Why We Do What We Do

Do you ever wonder how the dimension of time seems to be so dynamic and unpredictable? Well, I have an answer but that isn’t what this post is about. 🙂

Do you know why you do the things you do? Do you ever wonder why you continue doing things that aren’t good for you? For those of you who always do everything right, whose only actions are those that support your health and happiness in every way, please pat yourselves on the back and write a comment to me about why you think that is and how you have come to be so good. For the rest of you, you can keep reading.

One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) is that every behavior is supported by an unconscious belief that the behavior provides a benefit. We also know that every action is based on a motivation to either gain more pleasure or to experience less pain. The NLP Communication Model further explains how our behaviors are created by how we process the millions of bits of information coming at us every second, even though we can consciously process only about 134 bits of information per second. Ever feel overwhelmed?

Can you think of a behavior you exhibit that you wish you could eliminate from your repertoire? If so, would it help to understand why you do what you do? Every behavior is a result of a decision to act, driven by your physiological state (which alters brain chemistry), and based on an unconscious belief. Have you noticed that the best advertisements are those that are designed to evoke an emotion in you? There are many catchy ads that you remember, but those usually don’t cause you to go out and buy the product. Think about the process of buying a car. The salesperson always encourages you to go for a test drive (if she believes in the car she’s selling) because she knows that once you drive it and experience the feel, the quiet, the sound system, etc., you are no longer in a strictly analytical state, your are in an emotional state. Every “buy” decision is an emotional decision. Emotion is the reason you do what you do.

Of course, in this limited space, we can’t get into the details of why we do what we do, but this gives you a good primer that can help you pay attention and listen to the cues that you have about why you do certain things. When you find yourself doing something that results in an undesirable outcome, you can now ask yourself how that behavior is serving you by asking, “What am I gaining from this behavior.” Also, notice the emotion you were feeling right before you exhibited the behavior. I think it is also important to ask yourself what you could gain by no longer performing that behavior. An example might be to ask yourself, “How might my life change if I no longer….?” Finish the question with the behavior or condition that results from the behavior.

Once you have begun to notice more about your behaviors and how they serve you and you begin to behave in ways that do support you, your life will begin to unfold in ways that will bring you more energy and more joy. It will become easy and natural, and after a while, you will look back with pride and awe at how much you’ve accomplished. How cool is that?!

All the best,

Karl
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