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October 2013

Conditioning for Your Mind


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Our fall practitioner course is just two weeks away. I thought we'd celebrate with a newsletter on the five principles on the core of NLP and the way each conditions your mind to make the best choices.

If you care about a situation, it's probably too complex to analyze logically and too dynamic to allow you enough time to study the right choices. Under these conditions, conditioning matters. The way you have practiced is the way you will play.

NLP Practitioner training conditions you to bring your best stuff to each choice. You don't have to work through it all as it happens because the conditioning kicks in and moves you through the best pattern of action and response.

There are just five principles and it will probably only take you 5 minutes to read all the way through this.  I wonder how much difference you will make as a result of those 5 minutes.

I wonder what you could do with 6 days of conditioning your mind and body to work together for more satisfying results.

Linda Ferguson, Ph.D.
Senior Partner

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Your Mind, Brain and Body are One Integrated System

You already know that your mind and body move through the world together and that they are continually interacting and influencing each other. You already know that your brain is the primary location where mind and body come together. What you may not know is that accessing the whole of the system produces better choices.

Think of it this way. What you are thinking as you read this is a small part of the skills, strengths, beliefs, and memories that you have accumulated over your lifetime. Where is all that other stuff when you're not thinking about it? For all practical purposes, it is distributed through the system that connects your brain and your body. Physical sensations (a sound, a smell, a diagram) bring back a web of related information and experience.

You know how to focus. You know how to think harder. Thinking better means paying more attention to the information your brain is sending through your body so that your mind can direct you to what you want. Learn more at a free conditioning session on October 9. It's a free workshop designed to give you the information, coaching and practice you need to start to think with more of your mind, brain and body.

You Have What You Need to Make Better Choices
The second principle that drives the practice of NLP is the belief that everyone already has what they need to make better choices. The problem is not that you are unprepared or inadequate or broken. The problem is always that you need to connect the right resources with the situation where you have to make a choice.

The study of NLP is often the study of how to find surprising resourcefulness in yourself and others. The first step is acting as though you always believed that somewhere in the back of your mind you have exactly what you need to make a choice that will lead to a satisfying result. Instead of wondering if you can do better, begin to be curious about what you will discover within yourself that will lead to a connection you do not yet see and a result that seems just out of reach.


If you're not sure that you have such a resource, then just be curious about what it would be like to have what you need. Search through all the building blocks of your experience until you construct a reasonable facsimile.  


Success is Driven by Making the Right Connections
Just as you have resources within you that are not on your mind right now, there are also resources all around you. Human beings were created or designed or evolved to be creatures who function best by learning from other human beings. And we have neurological equipment we are now just beginning to understand that ensures we are all capable of observing other people closely and learning from what we observe.

You do not have to think about making a connection to make a connection. Deciding what kind of connection you want gives you access to more of the experience, skills, strategies and resources in the people around you. Sometimes that helps you get them to do stuff and sometimes it teaches you to do the stuff they do and get the results they get.

Influence and learning both have roots in the human capacity to connect. Sometimes that means connecting new information or strengths to your thoughts about a problem or goal. At other times it means opening yourself up to the information that comes into your mind/brain/body system when you are paying attention to someone else. The system makes connections automatically but you're the one who decides what they mean.

Want to be better at making connections in a way that builds your influence? There are still a very few spots left in NLP for Influence this Saturday, October 5.
Thinking Works in Patterns, not in Pieces
Have you ever been thinking about a problem before you go to sleep at night and had the impression that your thoughts were scattering or whirling out of control? Our conscious minds work hard to figure things out one piece at a time, but the whole of our mind/brain/body system works the way a genius works. It perceives whole patterns of connected information and manipulates those patterns to generate new choices.

It's hard work being a conscious mind trying to keep up with unconscious processes that work in multiple dimensions simultaneously. It's easier if you know that you only have to consciously think about what you want and that you can trust all the other parts of your mind and body to work together to find the pattern that you need to access. Your brain automatically grabs the stored pattern that is the best fit for what you want and the situation you are in. It has trouble sorting out what you want if you give all of your conscious attention to perceiving problems or chasing a logic that might be leaving out key pieces of the pattern you need to access.

What did I just say? All you need to do consciously is get clear about what you want and trust that all of the stored and automatic processes in your mind/brain/body will be activated to find ways of making it real. Good habits begin with knowing what you want. So does good thinking.  It's not complicated, but it can take practice. That's why we call the people who study NLP practitioners. 
Everything Works Better When You Work on Purpose
The heart of NLP is never mentioned in most NLP materials, websites or techniques. The secret heart of NLP is purpose. People who have a sense of their purpose know how to choose between good goals and distractions. They know when it is worth stretching to reach something. They know what it means to own themselves, their actions and their territory. A sense of purpose makes everything in NLP work better.

Most of us are a little afraid that we have no purpose, a little afraid that we are making it up as we go along. That's probably true for almost everyone consciously. Our conscious minds have limited processing capacity and a complicated, dynamic world with which to interact. Frequently it feels like we are overwhelmed by the details.

When we step back into the mind/brain/body system, we realize that parts of ourselves are effortlessly tracking and collating multiple streams of diverse information. We are "thinking" about our beliefs, our experiences, our goals and our current reality, all at the same time, all of the time. It is not some part of us that knows our purpose: it is the whole of who we are that knows the biggest version of what we want and how we want to connect.

The most important value of NLP is that it offers conditioning in multiple ways to connect with the whole of ourselves and it is the whole of ourselves, conscious and unconscious, mind and brain and body that knows the purpose that is big enough to keep us engaged, motivated and effective for the whole of our lives. 
No mention of submodalities, eye patterns or hypnotic language?

That's right. None of the core principles of NLP are techniques.  Techniques are the drills we use to condition our mind/brain/body systems to respond to the world more effectively. At NLP Canada Training, we teach the techniques that are supported by NLP practice, by research and practice in other fields, and by the wisdom of storytelling and metaphor developed in the arts. We don't teach stuff that only exists in NLP. If it worked on its own, it would be taught more places.

We also believe that people learn techniques better when they know why they are learning them. Lots of NLP schools lead you to believe that it's important to learn exactly what the trainers learned when they were trained. Think about that for a moment: do you want to learn to change from people who advertise that they themselves do not change?

We know you want to change, and our techniques change and evolve. What remains the same are the principles we use to decide whether or not a technique is useful in conditioning better thinking.

When you're ready to condition your thinking so that you can be more satisfied with your work, your relationships and your life, we hope you'll join us. You can always reach us at 416-928-2394 or on the web at www.nlpcanada.com.