Sunday, 1 August 2010


I read another (better) book about neuro-linguistic-programming (NLP) recently and learned enough about it to conclude it's a pretty powerful thing. What’s more, it appears to have the potential to impact beneficially pretty instantly.

Now obviously you could go and read a book about it yourselves if it interested you so there's no point in me regurgitating it all so I will do my usual and outline the main messages I took with me. I will also add, I have yet to complete the book......

NLP has several main foundation philosophies that it's based on - one of which is, if one person can do something then it is possible for anyone to do it (with the right effort dedicated to whatever it is). I like that. It reduces the self-limiting beliefs we all hold that can stop us from trying things. It also has a premise that if you look far enough into every action a person takes; there is always an underlying good intention – even if it’s a little misguided. I like that too as I have always believed (in my fluff pot head) that nobody ever deliberately sets out to upset others. Upset is usually the result of misunderstandings, victim complexes (people kind of choosing to be upset) and/or individual’s buttons being pressed unintentionally and people not being self aware enough to own their own buttons!

NLP argues that we can use the way we remember or visualise things to impact on our attitudes towards anything. A good example kicked off the book. Take a bad memory from your past. Now you cannot change what actually happened but you can change the way you remember it. The book took you through an exercise where you revisited the memory in your mind’s eye. It then asked you to think of a comical (or rousing) piece of music (I used the Okey Dokey?) and then replay your memory but with your chosen tune playing as the soundtrack. At worst it numbs the memory, at best it makes it frivolous.

NLP also addresses getting motivated. It explores how your brain visualises something you can muster a lot of motivation up for and then it explains how to ‘drop’ in something you want or need to muster motivation for into the same ‘place and style’ in your brain to promote motivation.

But the main, simple message that I took was about what is needed to live a fulfilled life. It’s sort of obvious but it’s about exploring your inner values and then finding opportunities to make a living in a way that is aligned to these values. It is a life half lived for those that do not achieve this. This reminded me of a time when I worked as a research scientist for British Sugar just after I graduated. I hated it and it was simply because an idealist like myself could not possibly be happy in an existence where my role was fundamentally and ultimately about putting more money into shareholders pockets!!! So I went off and did teacher training.

Anyway, there’s much more to NLP – I’d recommend some exploration. I’m going to do more.


  1. I always rejoice when someone discovers one of these methods of steering the mind and controlling it. I could list a half dozen such methods that I have used since the mid-nineties. They all work. In fact, it was my personal physician who first recommended one. I had a terrible stomach ache and was breaking out in cold sweats. He told me it was stress. Told me to read a book titled Psycho-cybernetics. I did. I got better. And I matured. I love to hear about all the similar methods. The whole world can benefit from them. They really are just plain good sense.


  2. NLP gets a mixed press, and I think that is about right. It has some genuinely good sides but it is not a cure-all and some of the 'lifestyle guru's' who adopt it are peddling little more than showmanship and pseudo hypnosis.

    That said, I like its positive side and 'go do' attitude.


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