The second presupposition of NLP that I want to share with you is simply this:
EXPERIENCE HAS STRUCTURE
I wonder if you’ve ever heard this explanation about the difference between neurotics and psychotics. They say
that neurotics build castles in the sky and that psychotics live in them …
In the last issue we talked about that very thing … except we pointed out that EVERYBODY does that. Even you and I. We use our 5 senses and our beliefs and our values and a few other things (yes, there’s more) to shape our perception of the world … to give it all meaning … and then we move in.
But I want to be clear about one thing. I’m not going to generalize and say this is true about EVERYone … just those of us who possess a human neurology. We do all of this constantly, automatically, unconsciously. Yet if you’re going to build something as important as reality (and if you like the idea of taking a little more control of your life) then I would think you’d rather do it deliberately, decisively, creatively, artistically or whatever other”ly” works for you.
Now somewhere in our evolutionary past we inherited a basic skill set that was operating on automatic pilot. We
didn’t know that we knew how to create an experience. Stuff just seemed to happen - and we responded to it.
It’s a roller coaster, isn’t it? Full of twists and turns and ups and downs. And you just don’t know what’s coming NEXT. Or so it may seem.
So you might take some comfort in knowing that this process can continue on its own and you don’t really need to do anything … UNLESS you want to be a little more involved in the creative side of things.
But to do it on purpose, you need some HOW TO. Well, here it is:
HOW TO CREATE AN EXPERIENCE
What is an experience? It’s important when you set out to create things, that you realize that it isn’t the things that you create that are important. It’s the experiences that they give rise to. Not to be confused with events, which are external … the experience of an event is the internal happening. Events are objective, experiences are subjective. Experience includes a lot of stuff that isn’t happening “out there” (and excludes a lot if it as well).
It isn’t the day-to-day events that happen in the world that matter. Not really. It’s the meaning we give to them and how we understand them. And that happens quicker that you can say Jack Robinson. Because no sooner does the external event (EI) occur than we begin to generate an internal representation of it (IR) and that’s what we respond to. That is, our sensory apparatus is stimulated by something we see, hear, feel, taste, smell. And as fast as greased lightning we compare it to things we’ve experienced before, we focus in on key elements of it, we filter it through our beliefs and attitudes, likes and dislikes … we make a boatload of judgments and decisions about it … we draw conclusions about it … and we encode the results of that process in our neurology in the form of those internal representations. And those encoded internal representation continue to effect and influence us from that point forward. We don’t need to think about it anymore. The thinking is all out of the way. So why should we go through all that again next time that same issue arises? We can just respond to what we’ve already created inside. Even though it only took a microsecond to do all of that, we don’t need to do it again unless some hypnotist or NLPer is trying to help us change it.
Let me give you an example. Have you ever met someone who really liked something that you really didn’t like? And I don’t just mean when it’s actually present or happening or whatever. I mean when they’re just THINKING about it? And when I think about going to the gym (something I’m not especially inspired to do) and another fellow (who really likes it) thinks about going to the gym. We MUST be doing something differently inside of our heads, right?
Check this out. In the privacy of your own mind, take a moment to think about some activity that you really like … you know, REALLY like. And take a moment to REALLY think about that activity. Enjoy that for a moment and notice any images you see in your mind, anything you hear, and how the feelings come with the thought.
Now think about some other activity that you really DON’T like. And notice the images that come into your mind, and the sounds, and how that feels. Automatically …. Just connected with the thought.
And it’s not just a question of what’s happening in those mental movies or soundtracks or whatever internal representation you’ve got. It’s what details you chose (without thinking about it) to include and which ones you chose to exclude. But that’s not the half of it.
What’s the code? How do you know, as soon as you bring up that file how to “feel” about those thoughts?
You really don’t have to go through the whole evaluation process over again. Because the information is
hiding in plain sight.
Every great film maker knows that when you create a movie, there are choices that you make which determine how that film is going to effect the audience. An image can be bright and cheery, dark and ominous (or spooky), colored or black and white. Pictures can be close up or far away. Moving or Still. 3D or 2D. Focused or Foggy.
And these are just a few of the cinematographic qualities that make a difference. You can find yourself IN the picture or removed from it. And what about the soundtrack? Are the sounds pleasant, foreboding, whimsical, realistic, soft, loud, fast, slow. And you don’t have to think about that every time you have a thought. In fact, your probably don’t notice it. It just “comes that way.” Because that’s how you’ve encoded it.
So again ... in your mind ... notice the difference between that activity you really like and the one you don’t. Don’t do anything with it just yet. Simply notice the differences in the quality of the images and sounds and you’ll see and hear that they are the key to determining what you like or don’t like. What motivates you or leaves you flat. Maybe even what you believe and what you’re unsure of.
Now I’m not sure if you’ve realized just yet, this understanding can help you discover that it’s possible to make something more motivating for example, by stealing the code from something that you really are already motivated about … or if there might be a way to use it to like something a little less. But the implications to both NLPers and hypnotherapist and other human beings is profound.
We’ll get into that and more when this series continues. I’m looking forward to it in colors that are bright and vivid enough to make it a delight, but restrained enough to be taken seriously. Next time.