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Showing posts from March, 2015

The fun is not a sugar coating; it's the experience of learning as it happens

Kids learn. Adults are educated.

When was learning transformed into something inappropriate for competent grown ups?

All adults learn, even the ones who resist it most strenuously. Quickly or slowly, they develop the skills and gather the information necessary to adjust and adapt to changes in their experience and in their environments. Suffering is optional. Or it should be.

I have seen adults (some of them quite young) who have been convinced that fun is the spoonful of sugar that makes the learning palatable. They believe that learning is a necessary evil, a drudgery best overcome by distraction. They believe that stasis is natural.

Stasis is not natural to human beings. Their brains and bodies and minds are continually changing. Use it or lose it, the saying goes. If you're not growing, you're decaying. Learning is what this particular equipment has evolved/ was designed to do.

The fun is not a sugar coating: it is the realization that every single one of us was born to le…

Shopping and Selling Are Life Skills

I teach in a college business department and I am always surprised by how few students are sales savvy. They don't seem to have any idea of the difference between selling a concept and saying a concept. This leaves them with a lot to learn before they are prepared for a world where selling and shopping are both life skills.

Shopping is a life skill: no one survives without doing some shopping. People who are good at knowing what they want and identifying suppliers who provide good value are good at making the most of what they have. They can live better on less. Frequently, they can take the same attitudes and analysis and use it to build careers and profits.

Sales is also a life skill. For one thing, understanding sales gives you an edge in shopping. You know what to expect and what to avoid as a buyer when you have thought through the process from the seller's point of view. If everyone needs to shop, then everyone needs to understand sales.

Everyone also needs other people,…

What does theory add to NLP?

I suppose the answer to this depends on what you mean by theory.

Theory can mean academically serious, peer-reviewed thought about why something works the way it does.

Theory can mean "I just made this up, but it makes sense from a certain point of view."

Much of the theory in NLP (neurolinguistic programming) has roots in the first type of theory. But that type of theory changes as knowledge grows. Theory changes as information supports new ideas. Common beliefs about how the mind works were not common forty years ago.  Current ideas about schizophrenia, for instance, are quite different than the theory put forward by Gregory Bateson so many years ago.

If you read "theory" about NLP now you'll find there are two camps. One camp is desperately trying to party like it's 1979. They want to stabilize what they helped to develop forty years ago but many of "them" want to do it by teaching the same theory as they used to support the practice then. It d…

A bird's eye view for clearer decisions in troubling times

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Have you ever tried to solve a tough problem by digging deeper and thinking harder? How did that work for you?

Most people find that the deeper within they dig, the more complexity they uncover. They are emotionally engaged in contradictory ways. They want incompatible things. The evidence points in different directions. With every turn, the maze becomes less familiar.

There's a better way. When you notice that digging is not helping you get clear on a decision, let go. Let your imagination carry you out of the maze so you can survey it from high, high above. Rising above a problem does not begin with taking the moral high road. It begins with moving to a perspective that is free, moving, and distant.

Imagine trying to tell a seagull what to do. You can watch them on the beach. Even other seagulls have little success in being the boss of a seagull. Now imagine watching that gull take flight. What would it feel like to simply lift yourself away from the squabbles and bumps? How wo…