How "but" allows other people to kill your joy

Are other people killing your joys a little at a time? When you look at the picture above, you might be someone who says, "Spring at last! What a great day!" But what if the person next to you replies, "At least it's finally sunny again. But won't it be great when it's warm too?"

Look back at what I did there. Even in the example, the "but" steals away the joy in the moment. And then I layered in another "but" in the quotation. Two buts in one sentence is a lot of crossing out what came before. In NLP and hypnosis courses, people are often taught to avoid the word "but" because it creates a cognitive problem. It's complicated to understand something and then have to go back and cross it out and revise your understanding.

It's not just a thinking problem. It's also a feeling problem. You don't want to be the person who crosses out someone else's joy. When you look at this picture of spring, you know that…

How to discover what you really want

Has someone ever asked you: "What do you want?" and left you stumped? Most of us have gone through short or long periods where we were not certain about what we wanted. We are torn between different options, or we might feel that we're not good at getting what we want (so what's the point)? It's easy to convince ourselves that life would be better if we just made the best of what we have.

There are two problems with this: One is that if you don't believe the world has anything new and good to offer you, it probably won't offer you anything new and good. We find what we look for.  The other is that not wanting anything doesn't give your mind enough to do. The human mind is naturally active. If it doesn't keep busy imagining good stuff, it's likely to keep busy imagining troubles.

So how do you decide what to want? You've decided before: you made a decision to read this, for instance. Even someone who is really sure they don't know what …

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?

Have you played this game before? If you could choose one superpower what would it be? Would you predict the future (awkward!) or fly without a plane? Would you move faster than light or would you be able to stretch to meet every requirement?

I would learn.  If I could choose a superpower, I would choose learning. Learning drives everything.

Test it out.  Can you be learning and be unmotivated? If you are learning, curiosity has kicked in and curiosity is the best form of motivation. Curiosity keeps you trying one more solution to that problem or turning one more page or walking to the next turn in the road. And don't even try to be depressed while you are learning. You can't be focused on the next page, the next answer, the next turn and be stuck.

Can you be learning and not be creative? I don't think so. Learning thrives on novelty and connection and those are the two ingredients of innovation. When you are learning, you're willing to consider new possibilities - or …

Treat Yourself Like a Partner, Not a Servant

Some of the most important work I do at NLP Canada Training involves convincing people that they don't need to control themselves. They need to develop a respectful relationship with themselves that allows them to negotiate, collaborate and sometimes even disagree with the part of themselves that is unconscious, fast and powerful.

It's hard to get past all the voices in our heads that tell us that self control is a good thing. After all, when we compare it to being controlled by someone else, self-control is better. The problem is that we are often trying to have one part of ourselves control other parts, and the part that seeks control is not always the strongest, most accurate part of us.

Every human being has a limited ability to process information consciously and a much stronger, faster system that processes information outside of conscious awareness (your brain interacts with the world and makes connections between new stimuli and stored information and it does it much f…

Sharing a story outperforms delivering a message

Do you meet people at events and wonder "so what's their story?" You might even ask. What you expect in return is not a fairy tale. It's not a presentation. It's an account of what matters to them and why it matters.
"What's your story?" is how we say: "We see you have an emotional investment in something here. What matters to you and why?"
Do you know how to answer the question. You can just tell people: "I'm here because this matters to me because. . ."  You might even say out loud "this matters to me and I think it should matter to you, too." But you might not. Because we want to be invested but we also want to be cool. We want to be passionate, but we also want to be inoffensive. It's hard to tell your story without caring about what the other person is thinking.
That's the brilliance of telling a story instead of giving a speech. If you answer the question (real or implied) with a story about how you c…

The most powerful communication doesn't happen at a microphone

Isn't it curious? There are many, many resources that will teach you to present better. An alien who landed on earth might assume that powerful communication is formal communication. When it really matters, it would seem that one person presented and a group listened until somehow a decision was made or action happened.

This would be a reasonable assumption, but it would be dramatically inaccurate. Most of the communication with power does not occur in presentations. It occurs in the conversations around the edges of presentations. It occurs in less formal, less predictable contexts.

When has someone taught you how to make conversation in a way that protects the integrity of your message while making room for collaboration or negotiation?  It has probably happened, but not a in a classroom or training room. It has happened when a mentor says, "next time, try this."

The truth might be that we research the things for which we can design research studies, and we teach the t…

Build a future on what you value now

When I ask people what they want in their lives, they immediately think about the things they don't have. I have to remind them that much of what is in their lives now, they want to protect and grow in the future.

It's hard to build a compelling vision of your future with blocks you've never seen. It's easier to lay a foundation with the things you know you value. It's not just about being grateful. It's about knowing that your best chance to a future that satisfies you is to build on what is already working.

Take some time and make a list: there are things and people and experiences and feelings and skills that you have now and want to continue to have in the future. These are your building blocks. Once you know what they are, you can decide how to arrange them and what to add. Then you'll have goals that satisfy you even before you achieve them.