People who succeed do not have fewer problems than people who fail. The only people without problems are those in cemeteries. It is not what happens to us that separates failures from successes. It is how we perceive it and what we do about what “happens” that makes the difference.
When W Mitchell received the information from his body that three quarters of it was covered with third degree burns, he had a choice in how to interpret that information. The meaning of this event could have been a reason to grieve, or anything else he wanted to communicate. He chose to consistently communicate to himself that this experience had occurred for a purpose. And that this would someday provide him with even greater advantages in his goal to make a difference in the world. As a result of this communication with himself, he formed sets of beliefs and values that continued to direct his life from sense of advantage rather than tragedy – even after he became paralyzed. How was Pete Strudwick able to successfully run Pike’s Peak, the most difficult marathon in the world, even though he has no hands and no feet? He mastered his communication with himself. When his body senses sent him signals that in the past he had interpreted as pain, as limitation, as exhaustion, he simply relabeled their meaning and continued to communicate to his nervous system in a way that kept his running.
What is curious about is specifically how people produce results. Success leaves clues, that people who produce outstanding results do specific things to create those results. It was not enough just to know that a W Mitchell or a Pete Strudwick communicated to themselves in a way that produced results. How they did it? If precisely duplicated the actions of others one could reproduce the same quality of results that they had. If sowed, one would also reap. In other words, if there were some one who could be compassionate even in the most dire of circumstances, one could find out his strategy – how he looked at things, how he used his body in those situations and could become more compassionate. If a man and a woman had developed a successful marriage where for twenty five years they still felt deeply in love with each other, we can find out what actions they had taken, what beliefs they had that created that result, and can adopt those actions and beliefs and produce similar results in own relationships. One Mr.X had produced the result of being extremely overweight. X began to realize that all he needed to do was model people who were thin, find out what they ate, how they ate, what they thought, what their beliefs were, and could produce the same result. This is how X lost excess thirty pounds. X did the same thing in the financial area and in personal relationships. So X began his pursuit of models of personal excellence. And in his own search for excellence, X studied every avenue he could find.
Then X came across a science known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming – or NLP for short. If you analyze it, the name comes from “neuro,” referring to the brain, and “linguistic”, referring to language. Programming is the installation of a plan or procedure. NLP is the study of how language, both verbal and non-verbal, affects our nervous system. Our ability to do anything in life is based upon our ability to direct our own nervous system. Those who are able to produce some outstanding result do so by producing specific communications to and through the nervous system.
NLP studies how people communicate to themselves in ways that produce optimum resourceful states and thus create the largest number of behavioral choices. The name “Neuro Linguistic Programming” although it is an accurate term for what the science is about, may also be responsible for the fact that you never have of it before. In the past, it has primarily been taught to therapists and to a small number of fortunate business executives. When X was first exposed to it, X immediately realized it was something quite different from anything he had ever experienced before. X watched a practitioner of NLP take a person who had been in therapy for over three years for phobic responses, and in less than forty five minutes no more phobias. X was hooked. By the way, many times the same result can be produced in five or ten minutes. NLP provides a systematic framework for directing our own brain. It reaches us how to direct not only our states and behaviors, but also the states and behaviors of others. In short, it is the science of how to run your brain in an optimal way to produce the results you desire.