Unleash Your Subconscious Mind Power
If you want to learn the true art of mind power then it is of the greatest importance you understand 2 functions of your mind, and also how they interact with each other...
You only possess one mind, but it has 2 totally different functions - and the names generally used to distinguish these 2 different functions are as follows.
1, The Conscious Mind
2, The Subconscious Mind
There are many other terms used. But the 2 listed above, are the ones used most to represent the 2 main functions of your mind.
To help us better understand the conscious and subconscious mind, they may be compared to a tree and its roots...
Mind Power Through Mindfulness
Basic mindfulness exercises put you in a state of awareness where distractions are let go, and your mind power is able to function more effectively. They help you think more clearly and concentrate better. They are also easy exercises to do.
More Mind Power in Minutes
A basic mindfulness exercise starts with sitting down, relaxing and breathing deeply through your nose. Close your eyes and be aware of your breath going in and out. After a minute, move your attention to your body, one part at a time, noting sensations of cold, hot, tight, sore and anything else you identify. In a few minutes, start listening to sounds in the room, without thinking about them. Just listen.
When it feels right, open your eyes and look around as if you are seeing for the first time. Rest your eyes on an object for half a minute, examining it without talking about it in your mind. Then move to another object, and another, while still maintaining an awareness of your body, your breathing, and any sounds. Stay in this state of mindfulness until you are ready to get up.
Being aware of your body, breath and immediate enviroment, puts you more fully "in the moment." Your mind is in a very receptive state, with fewer mental distractions that prevent clear thinking. Doing a mindfulness exercise before important mental tasks will give you greater mind power, specifically more focus and concentration.
An Even Easier Mindfulness Trick
Try this one today: When you feel stressed, stop, and carefully watch yourself to identify what's bothering you. Maybe you're expecting something bad to happen, or an argument is going on just below the surface of your consciousness, or you're worried about something, or in pain in some way. Make a note of everything you find.
Then deal with these mind-irritants. Make a phone call that's on your mind, take an aspirin, apologise to whomever you were fighting with. Write things on tomorrow's list, to get them off your mind. If there's nothing you can do right now, tell yourself that. Do this exercise, and you'll feel less stressed, and more able to concentrate on the tasks at hand. You'll have more mind power today.
Innovation Can You Take Advantage Of It
Innovation is simply the foundation of new beginnings. Through innovation we can find new products, learn new techniques, offer better quality and a more simplistic style and even help to bring the dollar out a little farther. But, what many business owners do not realize is that you can use innovation to help move your business to the next level, one that is better for the customer an better for you. Can you ask for more than that?
There are several ways in which you can use innovation to help transform your business. For example, it can be as simple as having access to the right information so that you know what the latest and greatest is. Or, you can even hire on individuals and companies to help provide you with the tools that you need to take your business to the next step.
Think it is too difficult to manage on your own? Consider hiring on change management teams to help you complete the process. Or, simply hire on a group of creative people to manage innovation on your own. You would be amazed at the quality that can be improved as well as the efficiency of even the simplest of tasks when you call on innovation in some form.
It is challenging to get started. Innovation research will be needed, brainstorming will have to be done and ideas will have to be brought to the forefront. But, there are enormous resources available to everyone in every type of business out there. Books, websites, organizations and many more avenues are available to you. The bottom line even looks better when you use innovation that is targeted and accurate. Even though you are spending time, resources, and money on finding the answers, learning how to make it better for you will help you increase your business's profit margin. Innovation changes every single day. Do you know what it can do for you, yet?
The Conversation Of Recovery
Transformational Counseling is all about assisting another human being to live a life that they love and to live it powerfully. Transformational Counseling is about creating a space for others to learn how to transform their lives, to live a life differently from how it was in the past, to truly create what they desire. Transformational Counseling is about assisting others in their getting and utilizing a powerful technology that will enable them to make a true difference in their life and in the lives of others. Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to become present to how they have stopped themselves in their life and in the process transform their way of being in the world. While comprised of a variety of distinctions that are important for understanding the process of transformation, the utilization of Transformational Counseling has five interrelated components that are crucial to its successful use with others and even with oneself.
While this article will outline the basic principles and components of Transformational Counseling for assisting others, it will also explore its use with those who are experiencing drug and alcohol dependency problems. Transformational Counseling makes available a very powerful technology for anyone who would like to create new possibilities for themselves including those who are in and struggling with recovery. The primary reason for such application rests with the fact that we are all human beings, regardless of whether or not we are experiencing addiction oriented issues. Given our sense of relatedness as human beings, our fundamental process for how we go about creating our world and what occurs there for us is the same. Those who are in the process of entering the recovery process have merely chosen to use alcohol or drugs or both in the past to manage the pain and negative emotions generated from their self-limiting belief and in the process to take themselves out of the Conversation of life. The use of alcohol and drug is merely a way to numb the intense pain generated by being their ego, who they think they are, their self-limiting belief.
Transformational Counseling fully acknowledges the power of the human mind, of thought itself. The thoughts that we have are very important, if not the most important component of what it is to be a human being in that our thoughts are truly creative in nature. We are thinking beings that create initially from our thoughts. Everything that we do or take on in life first began as a thought or idea. It is very familiar for us to believe that the external world is that which is reality and that our thoughts are merely the effect or product of such a world. From such a belief we tend to give little or no real credence to our thoughts and thinking patterns as being the fundamental cause in the matter. As a result we commonly believe that in order for us to be truly happy we must manipulate or change something about the external world, other people, circumstances and situations. However, within the conversation of Transformational Counseling it is our thoughts that shape or determine our experiences, our feelings and behavior and our very sense of reality. Furthermore, it is the thought that we have or create about ourselves that forms the background of our life, the context from which we experience life itself, how the worlds occurs for us.
Transformational Counseling also acknowledges that we are totally responsible for creating our thoughts and most importantly for that which we have about ourselves. Our thoughts are not the result of things happening to us, either from circumstance, situations or the behavior of others but rather it is the interpretation or meaning that we give to the events that happen that makes them appear to us as they do. Events do happen including those involving others but fundamental to understanding our natural, creative process is that it is about what we do with the events, what meaning we give or make them out to be about that determines our experience. We are meaning making machines in a sense, constantly wrapping meaning around everything in life, people, places and things and most importantly about ourselves. The meaning that we give or create with respect to an event will determine the experience that we have as a human being and with it how we feel, the emotions that we have, and also the behavior that will eventually result. Every emotion that we experience and behavior that we cause is the result of thoughts that we create. As mentioned above, the most important thought that we create is that which is about us, the definition that we give ourselves and it is that which determines or defines our self-image, who we think we are in the world.
The recognition that their own thinking may be that which is generating their negative experiences and dependency upon alcohol or drugs or both does not exist for individuals in recovery especially while they are actively using substances. The difficulties that they are having are believed by them to have been caused by something external, their circumstance, life situations or even other people in their life. As they continue to stay focused on that which is external in their attempt to cope with life or even to heal through recovery they are actually continuing to create the same type of experiences and life that originally brought them into recovery. Associated with this way of being is that the individual will tend to assume little if any responsibility for himself. What tends to get created is either blame or even guilt for what the individual is experiencing. Without the recognition or acknowledgement of the true source of their experience and substance use the individual will continue to create the same type of experiences that they are having. Unable to access their natural ability and power to transform their life will leave them having and being more of their past, the probable almost certain future. Unfortunately, such a missing is not only present with the one suffering from dependency issues but also for the majority of the counselors attempting to assist those in recovery. Most of the counselors working with those in recovery do not truly get the creative power of our thoughts or that we are completely responsible for creating them.
The first distinction necessary for one to begin to transform their life has to do with the existence of the self-limiting belief. Becoming present to the self-limiting belief is a process of getting what has truly stopped a person in his life, has stopped him from living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. Once there is the distinction or awareness of the self-limiting belief, of what has been driving a person's bus, possibly for the first time in that individual's life the opportunity or space has been created for them to begin to create themselves anew, to reinvent themselves, to be differently in the world. This creative act takes place with the inventing of possibilities. It is by taking on creating and living into a person's possibilities that the individual begins to create a life much differently than how it once was before a Conversation of transformation. Once possibilities have been created a person next learns how to consistently be or live inside his possibilities by learning the process of enrollment. Once the technology of enrollment is gotten and one begins to consistently apply it in his life, it is by engaging in the development of a Daily Plan and staying in the Conversation with others that the technology of transformation becomes fully realized and lived for the person. This powerful technology is applicable to both the one being assisted and the person doing the assisting and can only be fully realized when both are involved in the Conversation.
The self-limiting belief is a belief that we have about ourselves, about who we think we are in the world. The self-limiting belief is a belief that has affected if not determined our life in the past, is shaping what we think, say, feel, and do in the present and will generate our future. Within the Conversation of Transformational Counseling, the self-limiting belief is a thought or idea that has its genesis between the ages of three and six. An event took place in the individual's life, an event that the child believes should not have happened as it did and as a child the individual made a judgment or gave the event meaning. Given that for a child everything is about them, it is from this event and the meaning that they invented about it that the child also created an idea about itself, about who they think they are in the world as a result of the event. The child next converts the idea into a belief, a belief that is all about their sense of adequacy, value or worth as person. A sense of something is wrong or not being enough about the self is created. Getting the distinction of the self-limiting belief is crucial to the individual's personal growth and continued development. If the individual does not get the distinction of the self limiting belief, if it stays hidden from them, of who they have been being, their life will remain as it has always been, as they will continue to be the person they think they truly are. Such a distinction can be gotten several ways. One way, for example, is to have a person begin to monitor their spoken word. Becoming present to what they actually say will eventually reveal the self-limiting belief. Another way to get the distinction of our self-limiting belief is to monitor our self-talk. The self-limiting belief actually exists inside our everyday language, in the words that we say especially when reference is made about the self and inside our inner voice. Even though its genesis is from the past, the self-limiting belief exists in our real time play, self Conversation in the present.
For the individual who is experiencing the pain of alcohol and drug dependency, getting this distinction is crucial to their transformation and also for them to be successful in their recovery. While a Conversation about the existence of the self-limiting belief is very unfamiliar to anyone, there will also be a tendency for the addicted individual to not want to discover it. Common to all human beings, we tend to want to keep our self-limiting belief hidden from ourselves and especially from others. No individual, at least initially, wants to share with another their sense of inadequacy but rather is caught up in looking good or not looking bad to others. We generate a great deal of energy in our attempt to repress its existence, energy that will eventually have a very negative consequence for our way of being or existence in the world. The very process of engaging in a Conversation about the self-limiting belief will eventually recreate the negative emotions associated with the cravings for substances. To become present to the self-limiting belief will necessitate that the individual experience that which is hidden in their fundamental way of being inauthentic in life. Once gotten the individual will also experience the negative emotions that the self-limiting belief generates and it is inside the emotional state that gets created that the addicted individual will have a tendency to want to fix by returning to very familiar ways, to using drugs and alcohol. However, unless the self-limiting belief is gotten life will tend to be as it has been in the past resulting in a probable almost certain future.
The second component of this process is that of creating possibilities for oneself. Creating possibilities is the process of redefining or reinventing oneself, of actually creating new language and words from which to begin to develop a new and more powerful, self-expressed individual. Once the individual becomes present to who they have been being in the world, to their self-limiting belief and the impact that it has had in his life, both on himself and others, a space is now created or opened up for them to literally say or declare who they will now be for themselves, others and the world. Such a process of redefining oneself is as simple as initially creating new words from which to begin to speak or refer to oneself as being. For example, if an individual's self limiting belief is that he is "not enough," he could begin to redefine or invent himself as the possibilities of "acceptance", "creativity" and "leadership" merely by declaring and intentioning himself to be these possibilities in his spoken word. Creating such new language from which to refer to oneself will become for that person his new self-affirmation. Committing such a self-created affirmation to ones spoken word will create a space from which the individual will have the opportunity to experience life differently, a life of power, freedom and full self-expression. Such a declaration is not merely linguistical but will begin to call forth action. Who we are, who we say we are, will eventually determine what we do and have in life.
The listening for the Conversation of possibilities will be even more unfamiliar than the one about the self-limiting belief. Even though possibilities will be caused for the individual and a sense of hope and inspiration created, there will be a tendency at some point for the person to not belief that their life can be truly transformed merely by creating possibilities. Even when the person gets the existence of his self-limiting belief, how he has been being that in his life and the impact upon himself and others as a result, a sense of doubt will arise that mere words or language will truly assist them in transforming their life let alone cause them to be successful with respect to their recovery. As with a newborn child, the existence of possibilities once invented or created will be quite fragile. There will be in the beginning of this Conversation a tendency to return to being ones self-limiting belief if for no other reason than it is familiar to the person. The self-limiting belief is about life in their comfort zone, from the ego, in what is reasonable and familiar to them. Even though the individual will become enrolled into his possibilities it is in the person's initial not getting of its application in life that will leave it vulnerable. The individual will return to his community and with this reentry a breakdown will happen. The success of this process will rest upon the individual continuing to stay in the Conversation about his possibilities and also upon the one assisting to continue to generate the space necessary for this creative process to be lived fully.
The third component of Transformational Counseling is that of enrollment. Enrollment is the process of continuing to stay inside or live into ones possibilities and out of ones self-limiting belief. The process or technology of enrollment will be vital when ones starts to again experience a loss of power, freedom or self expression which is equitable to the negative human emotions of anger, depression, etc. When we have such an experience our past has again reappeared for us. Such reappearance is merely our self-limiting belief once again determining who we are in the world. Once again our self-limiting belief is driving our bus. The process of enrollment allows us to get the inauthenticity that we have created by again being our self-limiting belief. Enrollment allows us to get present to what we are pretending about the experience and what we are hiding. The pretense is always about another person, place or thing and with it there is the experience of some sort of sense of threat and blame. The story from pretense has something to do with the other person, situation or circumstance causing us to feel a certain way. Enrollment technology allows us to get that we created the pretense, the story, and furthermore what the experience is truly all about. Becoming present to what is hidden from us in the experience allows us to again make the distinction of our self-limiting belief and that which is truly creating the experience. It is our self-limiting belief that actually creates the breakdown due to the individual's sense of inadequacy with respect to the situation, circumstance or interactions with another. Once we become present to that which is creating the inauthenticity we are able to give it up through enrollment and again reinvent ourselves through the creation or even regeneration of our possibilities. Once a person does enrollment with himself the inauthenticity he created disappears and with it the individual's power, freedom and full self-expression is once again restored.
The creation of possibilities will begin a process of bringing forth action. The individual who takes on creating possibilities for himself and his life will become very motivated to do and be differently in life. With the creation of possibilities the person will experience a renewed sense of power, freedom and self-expression. However, it is in this breakthrough of creating possibilities that the person will eventually experience breakdowns in the various domains of his life especially when he begins to live life on life's terms. When the individual returns to his community, to life as it was before the recovery process started, there will be a tendency to experience breakdowns. When one returns to his community there will exist a discrepancy of how he was being before his transformation began and how he is being now from possibilities. When one returns to his community there will also be a tendency to return to familiar ways of being and dealing with the circumstances and situations of life and even other people. It is within his return that the technology of enrollment will be crucial to his continued transformation and recovery. The use of enrollment will allow the person to get how he is actually creating the breakdown himself, to get how he is creating a story about the situation, circumstance or others and most importantly the source of this creation, his self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief generates the context from which the world occurs for us. Knowing that he is creating this experience from the background of his self-limiting belief will give him the power to choose, the power to return to being his possibilities thereby allowing him to experience the circumstance, situation or another in a manner that is in alignment with or from his possibilities.
The Daily Plan is the fourth component in the utilization of the technology of Transformational Counseling. Transformational Counseling is not merely about understanding the power of our thoughts but ultimately about action. We live in a world of action and for us to make a difference in our life as well as in that of another we must ultimately create through action. The Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life anew by assisting them in monitoring their day-to-day activities and behavior. As our possibilities will call forth action, the Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life differently by planning what they will specifically take on or do to create or bring forth their chosen possibilities in their lives. The Daily Plan is about making a commitment to oneself to fulfill on their intentions, to fulfill on being their possibilities. One of the fundamental elements of this structure is how will an individual measurably bring forth his possibilities into his life, how will he go about practically creating them for myself and in the world. The Daily Plan also allows one the opportunity to stay present to his self-limiting belief as it arises in the act of fulfilling on his Daily Plan. Having a breakthrough with the creation of possibilities and especially with their implementation in life will eventually create a breakdown too. With the use of a Daily Plan the person will have the opportunity to become present to what is stopping him and as a result get back into generating his possibilities through enrollment and as a result continue to create from the present.
While the use of the Daily Plan will support and assist the individual in his transformation and recovery, there will also be a tendency to not complete it on a consistent basis. The use of the Daily Plan is antithetical to the existence of the self-limiting belief, with the way of being the individual is very familiar with. In addition to assisting the individual in creating the life that he wants and to be able to distinguish his self-limiting belief as it reappears, the Daily Plan is also about ones commitment and integrity both to himself and others. When the individual develops or creates his Daily Plan he will be making a commitment to himself and others, to what he says that he wants to create in his life. Once the individual's plans for his transformation and recovery are made real by committing them to written form in his Daily Plan, it will become an issue of integrity, of doing what he said he would do, of doing complete work with whatever he does and of doing what he does as it was meant to be done. It is only be staying in integrity and fulfilling on his commitments to himself and others that he will be able to live into his possibilities, to transform his life. The individual will either be his self-limiting belief or his possibilities and it is through his integrity that he will have the opportunity to become present to his commitment or intension in life. The Daily Plan is a powerful technique that will effectively assist one in his transformation and recovery.
The Conversation is the fifth component of Transformational Counseling and is about enrollment and the self-limiting belief reappearing in ones commitments to his Daily Plan. While identified as the fifth component of this process, the Conversation actually begins when one is introduced to the work of transformation. It will always be a question of whether or not one will stay in the Conversation to continue to do the work of transformation after enrollment has taken place. However, the Conversation is about communicating with another through the enrollment process. It is in the Conversation that we have the opportunity to begin and continue utilizing the technology of Transformational Counseling. There will always be breakdowns in life even as we utilize the work of transformation. When we once again experience a loss of power, freedom and self-expression our past has reappeared again in our life and with it a breakdown. Staying in the Conversation with another person within transformation will give us the opportunity to become present to the inauthentic way of being that we have recreated and also to create the space for us to experience another breakthrough. It is only in a Conversation with another where we get the stories that we invent in the pretense about others, situations and circumstances that we will have an opportunity to also get present to that which is hidden from our view, the context, that which is truly creating our breakdown experience. That which is hidden is always from our past and has to do in some manner with our self-limiting belief. Furthermore, it is only from this distinction that a clearing will be caused to live in possibility again. The Conversation is about enrollment, enrolling ourselves and assisting others through enrollment. It is only in communication with another that we can continue to be and live into our possibilities and with it stay in the work of transformation with another and ourselves.
As alluded to above, there will be a tendency to want to leave the Conversation especially when one has first gotten or been introduced to the technology of transformation and Transformational Counseling. The initial experience of power, freedom and full self expression is very enrolling and with this feeling of being touched, moved and inspired by our possibilities one may create a belief that no future work is really necessary. However, the technology of transformation is not something that you simply get but something that is constantly gotten. When not in communication with others inside the Conversation of transformation there will be a tendency to stop doing the work and go back to what is familiar and especially to the familiar ways that we attempted to resolve breakdowns. It is the familiar that is within the world of the self-limiting belief. As mentioned above, the self-limiting does not go away, it is there throughout our life. While the self-limiting belief will reappear in our life through a breakdown, staying in the Conversation with another will assist us in distinguishing the inauthenticity that we create and once again empower us to get back into or create new possibilities for ourselves. Continuing the work of transformation by staying in the Conversation with others is not familiar and in many respects unreasonable. However, staying in the Conversation is crucial to our continued transformation as a human being living in the world and to the recovery process too.
I am currently the Director of Outpatient Services at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida. In working with people entering recovery in both the inpatient and outpatient programs it has been my experience that one of the first behaviors that will appear for the individual entering a relapse mode is when he takes himself out of the Conversation. This process of taking oneself out of the Conversation applies to whether one is attending transformational oriented group sessions or attending daily AA or NA meetings for those the 12 Step Program in recovery. When the person stops seeking and having human contact with people assisting him in his recovery, when one drops out of communication with other human beings who are helping him to transform his life, there will be a tendency to go back to that which is familiar for dealing with breakdowns. For those in recovery one of the familiar ways of attempting to fix a breakdown is to self-medicate with either alcohol or drugs or both. When the individual cuts himself off from the very process of his transformation and recovery, cuts himself off from communicating with another human being about what he is experiencing, the relapse process has begun for that person. The individual is once again unable to get how he is creating the breakdown and how to transform it.
Staying present to the existence of his self-limiting belief, generating his possibilities through his Daily Plan and processing breakdowns with others through enrollment does create the space for the individual to transform his life, be enrolled into the 12 Step Program and be successful in recovery. Much of why this technology is not utilized in the recovery field or even in the mental health arena is that most counselors are not even aware of its existence. For example, most counselors are not aware or present to the concept of a self-limiting belief let alone how it will, if not distinguished, continue to create a barrier or constraint for another. Most counselors are not even aware of the actual power of our thinking, of how we actually create our experiences, thoughts, feeling and behavior. Unfortunately, this lack of awareness as to how we create the occurring world leaves most counselors being able to only focus on that which is external to the client, that is, situations, circumstances and other people and their behavior. When we focus on that which is external to the client and engage in a discussion about situation, circumstance or another we run the risk of not generating the space for the client to get how he actually created or is continuing to create his experiences. When we are unable to assist a client in discovering how he actually created his situation, circumstance or relationship to another through his thinking and thoughts we run the risk of having the client assume little if any responsibility for his life, reinforcing or supporting a state of total disempowerment and leaving the probable almost certain future for the client.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHChttp://www.enhancedhealing.com
Solve Problems With A Word List
To creatively solve problems you need to get your mind looking in new directions. You can systematically do this by using a list of words, primarily adjectives, to create "what if?" scenarios. You start with the question, "what if it was..." and then insert a word from the list. The "it" in the question is the problem you're trying to solve, or the solution or situation that exists now.
Using "What If" To Solve Problems
An example will help explain the process. Assume your house is too crowded because you're running your business from it. You ask, "What if it was..." and insert from the word list, "smaller." The house is already too small, but could the business be smaller? The word "divided" might give you the idea to keep the business in just one part of the house.
Most words on the list won't help, so you can go through the irrelevant ones quickly. Don't automatically dismiss them, though, without a few seconds consideration. "What if it was hopeless?" may seem like a useless question, or it may make you realize that you just can't keep the business in the house any longer.
As with most problem-solving techniques, it's important to allow ideas to flow without judging them initially. Don't stifle the creative process. Evaluate your ideas later, when you're done with this part.
The Problem Solving Word List
You can create your own list of words. Use adjectives, descriptive phrases, and words that can change your perspective. These could include the following:
What if it was... larger, smaller, farther away, closer, sooner, later, easier, more difficult, higher, fat, rich, short, black, certain, hopeless, newer, boring, casual, subtracted from, cheaper, common, divided, more interesting, extravagant, subtle, or fun?
A Creative Journey Using A Magazine To Heighten Creativity And Learning
Read essays, articles, or books on creativity and you will more than once you will read that you can heighten your creativity and create new ideas by reading magazines that you wouldn't typically read. The suggestion is to go to your local newsstand and pick up magazines you wouldn't ever read and read them for ideas, connections and trends.
This is an often repeated example of using outside stimulus as a way to jumpstart our creativity.
I have read this suggestion many times. I've suggested it myself. I've even done it a few times. But I've never seen anyone show someone an example of doing it.
Earlier this week I found the April edition of Wired Magazine in my briefcase as I traveled. I had picked it up a couple of weeks before in an airport because I was drawn to the cover, which suggested that the main focus of the issue was "The New World of Games."
While I am not a current subscriber to Wired Magazine (used to be) and you might not be either, I think you will find both the process and my results enlightening and fun.
Reading a magazine for creative insights is pretty easy. Get a magazine, a highlighter, and perhaps some paper or your Journal. Then begin reading. Don't skim or read only the things that are immediately or naturally interesting to you. Read everything. Read the articles AND the ads. And while you are reading, be asking yourself things like...
What does this remind me of?
How does this relate to my situation, problem or challenge?
What did they do that I can do?
How could I use this?
How can I learn from the experiences or suggestions in the article (or ad)?
These certainly aren't the only questions you can ask, but they are enough to get you started. You can go into this creative journey with a very specific challenge or problem in mind, or you can just do it to see what serendipitous ideas you generate - either way is fine!
In this case, my journey was a random one - I wasn't thinking about a specific issue or challenge, I was just reading to see what I might find.
How to Read the Rest of This Article
The rest of this article will provide some of my ideas and what spurred them. I encourage you to read on observing my process and seeing what ideas or insights you get from my insights. In other words, I encourage you to use the process I just described on the rest of this article!
You may also decide to go to the library and get the April 2006 Wired Magazine to see all of what I am describing.
... page 26 - a side bar asks the question, "Is a half hour show too long for today's viewers?" Three people answer with different perspectives. My first reaction is that this is an interesting question.... And my second was that the answers given basically come down to the quality of the story. If a good story is told, people will watch (hey, we sat through 3 + hours for Titanic!) So while this is an interesting question, it is a bit backwards. The relevant question is, how good the story? This relates to my work in terms of training - how long do people want to learn at one sitting, etc. Do I think that times are changing? Sure I do. But people are still people. They will worry less about time is they are engaged. In the end - whether through story or great interaction in a learning situation, the right question is how can we engage people, not how long is the experience.
... page 29 - Lexus presents a four page advertisement for a PBS series with Charlie Rose. It contains very interesting excerpts from two shows in the series. This content was so compelling to be almost worth the price of the magazine itself - far better than many articles I have read in the past. It reminds me that advertising can be relevant and that when we educate and inform others in a valuable way, we might do a better job of marketing, persuading, or selling, than by trying to market, persuade or sell.
... page 56 - talks about a feature film based on a Beastie Boys concert. This movie was created from footage recorded by 50 fans from cameras the band gave them for the length of the concert to film their entire experience. Over 100 hours of raw amateur footage was edited together for this movie. Though I don't own a Beastie Boys album and haven't been to their one of their concerts, I am completely captivated by this idea! It appeals to me because the band got this idea and implemented it (the collection of the footage) in 3 days - from conception to footage. 3 Days. This has been challenging my thoughts about how long it takes me to implement or being willing to implement something . . . fast. It also speaks to the power of getting your Customers involved in the experience of your product or service. This two thirds of a page has had me thinking a lot in the last few days.
... page 66 the Play section of the magazine shows pictures and brief descriptions of new products. One on this page is called the Storm Tracker (This is an umbrella that has a bulb at the end of the handle that collects forecast information from local forecasts (wirelessly) and tells you if you need to carry it, based on how much it blinks. The more it blinks, (up to 100 times per minute) the more likely rain will fall. While I don't see many people paying $99 for this, I was intrigued by the use of a small "non computer" device to give us data that we might be able to use. While I don't design products like this, I am fascinated by how these types of technologies might be able to aid, impact or influence performance and learning in the future. The Storm Tracker has opened my eyes to be watching and thinking about this question.
These examples get me through less that half of the magazine, and I didn't even share all of my insights from the first 66 pages!
Rather than continue in this article, I encourage you to read more on my blog, as I will be sharing more of these snippets there.
I hope that riding along on my journey has been interesting, and I hope that you got an insight or two through my examples above. More than that though, I hope that I have convinced you to pick up a magazine you've never read before, and try this process for yourself. If you do, I promise you will learn something, and you may solve a vexing problem or identify an amazing opportunity along the way.
Creative Solutions Using What If
For the most creative solutions you need to get your mind looking in new directions. One of the most systematic ways to do this, is with a list of words, primarily adjectives, to create "what if?" scenarios. The process starts with the question, "what if it was..." and then you insert a word from the list. "It" in the question is the problem you're working on, or the current solution or situation.
Let's explain the process with an example or two.
Example one: You have is an unpleasant co-worker. You aren't sure how to deal with him, so you ask about the problem, "What if it was..." and insert from the list "smaller." How could you make the problem smaller? Spend less time with that person? Get reassigned?
"What if it was... fun?" makes you wonder if being annoying yourself might keep the other person away from you. "Closer" makes you wonder if this person might be nicer to you if they knew you better. You continue down the list and work with each word a bit to get new ideas, which you will look at more analytically later.
Example two: Your house is too crowded because you're running your business from it. You ask, "What if it was..." and insert from the word list, "smaller." Your house is already too small, but could the business be smaller? The word "divided" might give you the idea to keep the business in just one part of the house.
Since most words on the list won't help, you can go through the irrelevant ones quickly. But don't automatically dismiss them without a few seconds consideration. "What if it was hopeless?" may seem like a useless question, or it may make you realize that you just can't keep the business in the house any longer. Moving into a rented office might be the most profitable of your creative solutions.
The Creative Solutions Word List
Feel free to create your own list of words. You'll want to use adjectives, descriptive phrases, and any words that can change your perspective. Here is a short list to get you started:
What if it was... larger, smaller, farther away, closer, sooner, later, easier, more difficult, higher, fat, rich, short, black, certain, hopeless, newer, boring, casual, subtracted from, cheaper, common, divided, more interesting, extravagant, subtle, or fun?
Just as with most problem solving techniques, it's important to allow the ideas to flow without judging them initially. You don't want to stifle the creative process. Take notes, then evaluate your ideas later, when you have a page full of creative solutions.
Anchoring With Nlp
There was some sunshine this weekend while I was writing this! At least here on the sunny south coast of England there was. I went out walking along the sea front with my partner Sara on Saturday morning and it was wonderful; the feeling of sunshine on my face, the smell of the air, the sites of other people out and about and happy, the local land train was shuttling people and their excited children back and forth from Bournemouth pier to Boscombe Pier and my senses were filled - a major event for human neurophysiology (mine anyway!)
The funny thing is, later on that evening when my friends were joking about my pink coloured forehead, I told them that I was really looking forward to summer and as I spoke, I felt the sun on me, imagined the fun I was going to have on the beach, remembered the smell, the amazing feeling of joy that I get from being there, just by anticipating it all.
A natural phenomenon we can replicate with NLP techniques. NLP stands for neuro-linguistic programming, which is just a methodology for helping make changes. We shorten it to NLP for easy understanding.
Without realising it, the time I had spent on the sea front earlier that day had acted as an anchor for the wonderful experience which immediately followed it. The next time I saw & heard the experience, albeit in my mind, my neurology went "I know what happens now" and started to produce the intense physical responses that it 'knew' were coming next.
In the field of NLP, an anchor is any representation in the human nervous system that triggers any other representation. For instance, the word 'sex' will immediately trigger images, sounds etc associated with that word. The word 'chocolate' will trigger different associations. I am not too sure which of those will create the most intense feelings though! These words are anchors. Anchors do not have to be words, they can be a wide range of things.
With NLP, we identify that anchors can operate in any representational system (ie. sight, sound, feeling, smell, taste.) Let me give you some examples;
Tonal: By that, I mean for example, the special way a certain person has of saying your name, like when a friend or family member says it. My mother shouting my name from the depths of my home when I was a child often signalled the fact that she had discovered something that I had done that meant trouble for me! "Adam!" often made me feel what I was in store for.
Tactile: The effect of a certain type of handshake for example, or the sensation of a reassuring hug compared to a loving cuddle. Rekindles all kinds of wonderful feelings.
Visual: The way people respond to certain items of clothing. I recently had lunch with a group of my friends from the town where I grew up and several of them commented on the jacket I was wearing. Now, whenever they see it, it reminds them of those comments and makes them smile.
Olfactory: Like when you smell a certain kind of food being cooked can suddenly have you remembering a time when you were in the school cafeteria.
Gustatory: The taste of your favourite food or the way certain foods can make you remember how you felt when you had it before. Maybe like when you were given soup and a big helping of love and sympathy when you were young and off school because you were poorly. I know every time I eat Heinz Tomato soup it reminds me of just that.
Once again, in the field of NLP, an anchor is any representation in the human nervous system that triggers any other representation. It is conceptually similar to Pavlovian conditioning (ie. bells and salivating dogs; some of Pavlovs findings feature in the field of NLP.
While the anchor I created for the sea front was unintentional, it is possible for you to use this NLP tecnique to anchor yourself intentionally. Have a go at this and learn this NLP technique for yourself......
Fistly, think of an occasion when you had a highly pleasurable, positive or enjoyable experience. See what you saw then (looking out through your own eyes), hear what you heard and feel what you felt. As you feel the sensations increase in intensity, squeeze the thumb & forefinger of your left hand gently together for a few moments, then release them. Now 'break your state' (Eg. by remembering what you had for lunch yesterday.) Squeeze your thumb & forefinger together again, gently pulsing them. The state will return.
To make the most of anchoring with NLP, it is important to really engage in the experience and make it wonderfully vivid in your mind and to then also put effort into recalling it when you first activate your NLP anchor for a few times. Imagine how powerful this can be when you want to feel wonderful if you are home, feeling gloomy. Instead of reaching for the chocolate, you can start to activate your "feel good" anchor.
Every time you want to get motivated to exercise, just activate your enthusiasm anchor. It is a really simple technique of NLP.
This is a simple but powerful NLP technique that can enable you to have access to the states and resources you want, when you want them. The use of thumb & forefinger is an example of a tactile anchor, but you can use any representation to anchor something for yourself or someone else.
Guidelines for setting anchors with NLP;
In order to get a 'strong' anchor for an experience, it is important to
a) Ensure that you have a powerful example of the experience to work with.
b) Anchor in as many representational systems as possible (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, etc).
c) Set the anchor just before the experience peaks.
d) When you activate the anchor, do it accurately. Be precise!
e) With tactile (kinaesthetic) anchors, pulsing the anchor can help to maintain the experience
One of the people who came on one of my NLP training courses was particularly taken with the idea of anchoring. Shortly after the NLP training, one morning his wife offered to make him a cup of tea, and as she did so, he gently tapped the side of his cup with his ring. He repeated this the next few times she made him a cup of tea. After a while, all he had to do was tap the side of his cup subtly with his ring & she would spontaneously offer to get him a cup of tea!! Very Naughty use of NLP, Eh?! Just by creating a sensory representation (tapping the cup) that coincided with her making tea, he was soon able to use that representation as a trigger for what he wanted. He did eventually share his NLP anchoring experience with his wife and you can be sure he makes a lot more tea than she does now!
Now I know that by now some of you may be thinking "But isn't that manipulative?!?" One answer is "Yes, so use it for doing good stuff!"
Another answer is "no." It is no more manipulative than making yourself look good and smell nice when you go out. In those situations you are trying to get people to think the best of you and have a good response to you, a response that you are attempting to anchor through your choice of clothing, grooming and smelly perfume.
Here are some of the sorts of things that I go out of my way to use NLP to anchor whenever I see them or experience them:
- Good feelings
- Good performance (especially by waiters & waitresses!)
- Anything that looks good, useful or fun; Achievement and success are especially useful for stopping smoking, reducing weight or growing in confidence.
It's happening all the time anyway:
As I said at the beginning, anchoring with NLP is a naturally occurring phenomenon anyway. You are exposed to it all the time in everything you do. Everyone is doing this stuff all the time, often without really knowing it. All I am inviting you to do is to become conscious of the anchors that you and others are setting (maybe using NLP), and to start using them purposefully to get good results, rather than randomly to get whatever you get. Use NLP with mindfulness.
Taking this a step further;
Recently, I was working with a team of related staff members with regards to doing some NLP consulting with them. I asked them how they would know that the two days had been a great success. One of them said it would have a 'feel good factor' and simultaneously made a gesture with both hands towards his tummy. When I repeated the words 'feel good factor' to him, he nodded in confirmation. Later on, I referred to the feel good factor, and simultaneously used his gesture. Instead of a nod of confirmation, I got a full physiological response, including skin colour changes, posture and energy changes...the full works. His words had been a good anchor, but the words plus the gesture were far more complete. When I used both, I got a full response. I continued to use the anchor throughout the consultation. At no time was he aware that I was using NLP & his anchors - he just had the experience of being really well understood.
You can use NLP anchors to capture and re-use positive experiences for yourself & others. Now have a go at doing this NLP exercise too...
1) Think of an occasion when you had a highly pleasurable, positive or enjoyable experience. See what you saw then (looking out through your own eyes), hear what you heard and feel what you felt. As you feel the sensations increase in intensity, squeeze the thumb & forefinger of your left hand gently together for a few moments, then release them. Now 'break your state' (Eg. by remembering what shoe you put on first today.) Squeeze your thumb & forefinger together again, gently pulsing them. The state will return.
2) Identify something that someone you know already does, and create a subtle anchor. Set the anchor while they are doing the activity. Later, fire your NLP anchor and see what happens. If they do the thing you anchored, then it worked!
3) When you (or someone you are with) are experiencing something you want to have more of, anchor it.
As usual, remember that this stuff is powerful so use your NLP skills wisely. As well, allow yourself to start becoming aware of when it is being used on you. Advertisers, politicians and stand-up comedians all know the power of NLP anchors and use them with great cunning (and to great effect.) Awareness with NLP is the key - have fun.
Looking Back To Move Forward
Another year is over. Take a moment to reflect on the past years.Start with an honest evaluation of your accomplishments, successes and failures.
Welcome the new year with a celebration of the past. Whatever challenges you faced last year, you are here to face another year. You are inspired and ready to tackle new endeavours, explore new horizons and reach for the stars.
Looking back helps to evaluate what worked and what didn't. Some issues seem to be replayed over and over. How many years has it been that you've promised to be more vigilant about your diet and exercise? What about the overuse of your credit card? How do you manage your time? What is it going to be this year? What are your priorities?
It's all a matter of perspective. Somewhere in the past, you stumbled and for a while, you were spinning your wheels. Take heart, that is past. There is a deep
well of strength and courage within you. And you moved on.
No one passes through this life without knowing pain and heartache. Add to this regret over lost opportunities, wrong choices and wrong decisions. These do not define your life. It is the lessons learned from these , and the determination to do better. Reap the nuggets of precious insights from the muddle and move on.
How well do you take care of your mental, physical and spiritual self? If you believe in taking care of your mental and spiritual well-being, your physical
health will definitely reap the benefits. Do you allow yourself time alone to enjoy peace and quiet? Have you learned to say NO. Do you take time to appreciate the beauty , the bounty and the blessings of the universe?
Stress is the scourge of living in the fast lane and getting caught up in the pursuit of material success. Consider seriously the level of your stress over the past years and how it affects your health. Think about this- your stress level impacts on your relationships, your career, your family and your whole life.
Some pursue elusive dreams. How long has it been? Ask yourself. Perhaps it's time to re-assess that dream. Times change. There are other avenues to pursue. Don't get stuck chasing after something that loses its value, its luster as time moves on. Don't let life pass you by.
Look back honestly, but kindly. And move on.
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