One fascinating idea about language is that the human brain can come up with an infinite amount of sentences.

Or even a sentence of infinite length.

Due to something called “recursion” which Noam Chomsky found is essential to human language.

What is recursion?

Consider the following sentence:

The rock is next to the tree.

We can put another “idea” inside the sentence about the rock.

A sentence about the rock could be:

The rock is gray.

Combining the two sentences we get:

The gray rock is next to the tree.

Essentially, we could keep adding an infinite amount of “stuff” in the sentence.

Stuff about the rock (the big gray rock, the big round gray rock, etc.) and stuff about the tree, or stuff about what’s next to the tree, etc.

Because of this “infinity potential” of the length of ONE sentence, Chomsky concluded we must have these “language tree” structures in our brain.

Kind of like a tree itself.

You have the trunk, then the big branches, then the small branches, then the leaves, and then the veins inside the leaves, etc.

Which means with a very simple and small structure, you can create an INFINITE amount of “stuff.”

The very same tree structure is mathematically called a “fractal.”

And the cool thing about fractals is they can be closed systems.

But they enclose a finite amount of space.

But the line around that finite amount of space is INFINITE.

This is precisely how we have these brains that are only a 3 pounds, but since they have tons of these little fractal-like tree structures, these three pounds can think of an INFINITE amount of thoughts.

And store and INFINITE amount of ideas.

And come up with an INFNITIE amount of creative NEW ideas.

But (and it’s a big but) it doesn’t happen passively.

You can’t just sit there while your brain does all the work.

You have to engage with it.

Use it to think different thoughts in different ways.

Exercise it every day like a muscle.

Most people don’t do that.

They’d rather use this MIRACULOUS organ that the best scientists can’t yet understand to find out what’s happening on FACEBOOK.

Or TV.

Or to complain how hard it is to make money, or meet girls, or whatever.

Most people use their brains to come up with the best and most creative excuses why they CAN’T get what they want.

Instead, why not use that 3 pound miracle hunk of brain matter to come up with creative ways TO get what you want?

NLP Mind Magic

# How Often Do You Hallucinate?

One thing that humans have that no other animal has is our large brains.

Sure, all animals have brains, but none have a big brain.

Big compared to our body size.

It’s so big, that we humans are born WAY LESS than fully formed.

Compared to all the other animals, we spend a much higher percentage of our lives in childhood.

Even nowadays, with modern technology, having and raising a kid is a HUGE decision.

Just imagine what it was like back in the caveman days.

Raising kids took just as much time and resources, but it was way more dangerous.

This means our big brains have to have a HUGE benefit.

Just from a calorie standpoint, our brains burn a lot of calories per weight, compared to the rest of our bodies.

But from a hunter-gatherer standpoint, have such resource intensive kids meant that overall, our brains are worth a LOT.

What could the reason be?

Some say tool making.

Some say language.

Some say our brain is the human version of a peacock’s tail.

A tool that signifies sexual health.

Some say it helps us to plan and strategize.

But one skill that covers all these things (tools, language, spitting game, telling stories, planning and strategizing, etc.) is the ability to hallucinate.

Meaning the one “meta skill” our brain does is think about complicated ideas and concepts that DON’T EXIST.

You can get a group of people together to talk about abstract ideas that won’t exist for years.

When they plan buildings, when they come up with movie plots, when we get together to worship or pray.

This all requires being able to think of things that we cannot experience directly.

One could say that how well you can hallucinate will determine how successful you’ll be.

Everything requires some kind of hallucination.

Abstract thinking and planning.

Now, we normally don’t call it “hallucinating,” that’s what crazy people do, right?

But what else would you call planning your career?

Imagining abstract things in the future that haven’t happened yet.

To plan several futures (which what we do with EVERY decision) we HAVE TO hallucinate.

We have to compare various hallucinations to see which one is best.

So if you want to practice the meta-human-skill, practice hallucinating.

How do you do that?

Like This:

NLP Mind Magic

# How To Build Secret Shortcuts

Water is relentless.

The Grand Canyon was built by a relentless flow of water.

In the movies, where they are going through the jungle, they have guys hacking away the vegetation with machetes.

This is a quick way to show that they are going where no person has gone before.

Back in the old days of China, they government made sure that all roads were built according to very detailed specifications.

The same with people the made wagons.

The axles had to be built to match the width of the roads, to ensure travel would be effective.

Hunters and trackers know how to spot trails of animals like deer.

If you’ve ever been hiking in a national park, they keep the trails maintained so there is minimal impact on the environment.

Because the trails are maintained, people know where to walk, and where not to walk.

A “duck” is a stack of rocks.

Where the trail is going over somewhere (like rocks or boulders) where the only way to keep people on the trail is to put up these ducks.

So nobody gets lost.

Your brain is filled with neural connections.

Some are well traveled.

In electronic terms, these “well traveled” neural connections have very little resistance.

Like a thick wire.

It is these well traveled paths, these neural connections that make up the thoughts you think every day.

Most people never do anything other than thinking the same thoughts.

Or they try thinking differently once or twice, find that it’s too hard, and then go back to the old way of thinking.

Whenever you think new thoughts, or purposely build new memories, it’s like those guys hacking their way through the jungle with a machete.

It’s slow going and difficult.

It’s much easier to walk on a wide flat road.

But if you walk on the wide flat road (which is metaphorically thinking the same familiar thoughts) you’ll only go where others go.

If you are persistent, and continue hacking your way through to new locations, you can build up some pretty creative ideas.

The more you practice thinking in new and creative ways, the more of those neural paths (trails) you’ll build in your brain.

Do it long enough, and you’ll have a much more resourceful way of thinking.

While everybody else is too scared to leave the main road (in their minds) you will have created your own extensive network of secret paths.

Most people are always looking for a shortcut.

But you can BUILD one inside your brain.

Learn How:

NLP Mind Magic

Little kids have these connect the dot puzzles.

When they are learning the ABC’s or their numbers, they have a shape.

But in order to see what the shape is, they have to connect the dots in the right order.

As adults, we use that expression, “connect the dots” a lot.

It usually means to see or understand what is not obvious.

For example, a book might be described as being, “interesting, but you have to connect the dots.”

Meaning you’ve got to take the individual points expressed in the book, and combine them into a “meta” understanding.

Interesting that we use the same words “dots” to represent physical dots, and “points” to represent an abstract and singular concept.

Two things that sound the same, and when you “connect” them, mean the same.

One one level (with kids and dots) you end up with a picture of a dinosaur.

But on another level (with adults and points) you get a bigger “picture” of a deep and complicated concept.

When you are a kid, you learn to combine things to make different things.

(E.g. blue and yellow makes green).

When you are an adult, you learn to combine ideas to make bigger and more complicated ideas.

When you are a kid, you learn to operate on physical things.

Tying your shoes, riding a bike, making toast.

When you are an adult, you learn to operate on intangible ideas, and put them together to make bigger, more powerful intangible ideas.

That time when you were mixing stuff together just to see what would happen?

(And probably got yelled at)

This was practice for growing up and combining ideas together, just to see what would happen.

Strangely enough, if you mix the wrong ideas together, you’ll STILL get yelled at.

Luckily you can practice in your mind.

The great laboratory with no limits.

Everybody can do this.

But most people WASTE their vast inner laboratory space.

They let OTHER THINGS fill their brain.

TV, social media, whatever the latest celebrities are up to.

But you don’t have to.

You can try on new ideas, that will make new behaviors exciting an interesting.

Behaviors that can get you paid and significantly enhance your REAL social experience.

Not the “fake” social “media” experience people are addicted to these days.

It all starts inside your mind.

When YOU decide to control your thoughts.

NLP Mind Magic

# Avoid The Nutjob Stereotype

The other night I watched a cool horror movie.

About a guy who kidnapped a girl, put her in a cage.

Then he found out the girl was a secret serial killer.

She out-framed him, and from within the cage, talked him into killing somebody.

In the end, she was out, he was in the cage.

Part of the supporting evidence of her being crazy was her journal.

He’d snuck into her apartment and found it.

And in her journal were a bunch of crazy, serial-killer ramblings.

This seems to be a common movie theme.

A way to show the viewer the mind of the crazy dude.

In “Seven,” for example, they found the guy’s journals and they were all filled with crazy ideas about how he’d like to slaughter people.

Perhaps the most famous inner mind ramblings, shown through the writings of the crazy guy was in “The Shining.”

During the whole movie the character was writing his novel.

Then his wife found it, and it had all been one sentence, over and over and over.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

This was the big “reveal” when she realized her husband was a nutcase.

Unfortunately, this is a pretty lazy writing technique.

“How can we show the guy’s crazy? I know, we’ll have a character find his journal and it will be filled with crazy ideas!”

But more unfortunately, it kind of gets the idea out there that only “crazy” people write in journals.

In reality, the opposite is true.

By taking the time to write down your thoughts, you make them real.

Any ideas, creative inspirations, even raw data from conversations, is valuable to write down.

ESPECIALLY if you are doing any self improvement work.

Journaling is a fantastic way to develop momentum.

For example, if you are expanding social confidence, it’s a great way to “keep score.”

Write down how many people you made eye contact with, how many you smiled at.

If you don’t write it down, it’s easy to lose your successes in the shuffle of everything else going on in your mind.

But by setting a clear target, taking data, and writing down any ideas to help further progress, you’ll virtually GUARANTEE your forward momentum.

What kinds of things can you improve?

What kinds of things do you want to improve?

NLP Mind Magic

# How To Practice Thinking

Most people don’t believe something unless they see it.

Or if they don’t see evidence of something, it doesn’t make sense.

Imagine, for example, you knew a guy that built his own business.

You knew him since he was very young.

You knew him through all his trial and error failures and successes.

You saw him start slow, build slow, and slowly increase his income.

Maybe now (in this metaphorical story) he’s a millionaire.

You know how hard he worked.

But other people see him, and they don’t see all the trouble he went through.

This is a common instinct.

We see people with money, (or signs of money) and unless we have firsthand information of how they got that money, we suspect they’re cheating somehow.

This is natural, normal and instinctive.

Because when it comes to money, our instincts tell us we’re supposed to “share the wealth.”

This is how ancient tribes survived.

Another “I don’t believe it till I see it” myth that pops up is how we interpret skills.

We see somebody doing something like playing an instrument or a sport, and we just assume it must have taken a lot of practice.

But other things, specifically thinking skills, we assume that “smart people” are just smart.

That what happens inside our brains isn’t trainable, like music or sports.

Partly because nobody ever told us we could do that.

You go to school, they don’t tell you HOW to think.

They only tell you WHAT to think.

And because the stuff that tell us to think is so boring, we don’t think it very well.

So we wrongly conclude that we CAN’T think very well.

Which is absolutely false.

The real secret about thinking is that HOW you think is JUST as important as WHAT you think.

And if you were to start practicing HOW to think, thinking about ANYTHING would be easy.

Maybe there’s a reason nobody tells us this stuff.

Maybe it’s a way so the guys in charge can stay in charge.

Screw that noise!

Learn How To Think:

NLP Mind Magic

# How To Rearrange Your Thoughts

In mathematics, order of operations is essential.

There’s a couple of “math memes” floating around that are based on this.

When you first look at it, it seems simple.

But most everybody gets it wrong.

Because when you have addition, multiplication, and division all in one math problem, it’s important to do them in the right order.

Otherwise you’ll get the wrong answer.

This idea can be found in many places.

For example, if you’re baking a cake, and you do the things in the wrong order, you’ll get a completely different result.

For example, imagine you didn’t try mixing the ingredients until AFTER you cooked them.

If you play around with Photoshop (or any built in photo editing software), then the filters work the same way.

You put three or four filters on a picture in different orders, you’ll get different outcomes.

If you want to learn something, it’s always a good idea to start with the basics.

The foundations.

IF you build a house and forget the foundation, you’ll get into deep trouble.

Once when I was in boy scouts, it was my job to make the pancakes.

Because I put the water in FIRST, and then the powder, I couldn’t fix the mistake of having too much water.

It’s a lot easier if you put the powder in first, and then the water.

The thoughts we think also follow this common “order of operations” rule.

If you take the same thoughts, but put them in a different order, you’ll have much different results.

For example, sometimes people try things, and then think, “Wow, that was easy,” AFTER they do the thing.

But what if you could learn to think that BEFORE you do the thing?

It’s not as simple and switching the order of photo filters, but with practice, you’ll learn that ANYTHING can be easy.

Just figure out how you’d like to think about it, put those thoughts in the right order, and away you go.

NLP Mind Magic

If you only had four things in your fridge, what could you cook?

Of course, it would depend on the four things.

That would be easy.

But after a while it would get pretty boring.

Suppose you only had four DVD’s.

Maybe even phrase it as the famous “island question.”

If you were stuck on an island, which four DVD’s would you bring?

Any way you slice it, whatever “category” you put those four things in, the answer would always be very limited.

Four spices.

Four people.

Four cities to live in and travel to.

Four kinds of food. (That would at least give you some variety).

However, all of us are ONLY made up of four basic “things.”

Huh?

These are the four nucleotides.

Only these four make up EVERYTHING about you.

The difference is precisely HOW they are arranged.

Put them in one order, and you’re dead before you’ve got a chance.

Put them in another order, and you have super human skills of X-men proportions.

Nobody knows WHEN or IF we’ll be able understand what order matches what trait.

Or even if there’s more going on than we can measure.

After all, take two similar people and they can create VASTLY different things.

These DNA nucleotides create the structure of your brain.

But who or what creates the thoughts that you think?

Most people are content to think thoughts that others think.

It’s safe.

It’s easy.

It’s not complicated.

Some people think different thoughts, but they still do the same things.

The precious few who make a huge difference are those who THINK differently as well as ACT differently.

Because without actions, thoughts are just a hobby.

But how do you KNOW what to think?

How do you know HOW to think?

That’s the secret.

There ARE no rules.

You can make them up as you go along.

Keep trying different “thoughts” in different orders, until you hit on a winning combination that will forever change your life, and the world around you.

Get Started:

NLP Mind Magic

# Praying To The God Of Thunder?

Sunflowers are pretty cool.

They turn where they face during the day, to maximize their sunlight.

Whenever something does anything that resembles anything that us humans do, we anthropomorphize that.

We describe it as if they have the same intentions we humans do.

You might have even explained the sunflower phenomenon to a child.

You could say something like, “Well, these flowers have evolved and automatic strategy which maximizes it’s exposure to sunlight.”

But a kid would say, “um, what?”

Instead we say things like, “They like facing the sun. The sun feels good.”

And the little kid would turn toward the sun, close their eyes, feel the warmth and understand.

Much of our human mythology is made up from anthropomorphized natural phenomenon.

Stars, thunder, oceans.

Watch any TV show or movie about Vikings and thunder is Thor, who is upset for some reason.

We humans tend to do that a lot.

We watch stuff happen, and then make up a story about why it’s happening.

This happens on a much deeper level than most people realize.

Some studies show that as little as 5% of all human behavior is a RESULT of conscious thinking.

Most of the time, we are reacting, and then making up a story AFTER the fact.

Which kind of makes sense, from an evolutionary standpoint.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were very primitive primates incapable of speech.

So it makes sense in our “young age” we are still getting the hang of this “conscious mind” thing.

If you watch those Viking shows, and see those guys praying to Thor or all the other gods, it can look pretty silly.

I mean, the thunder is easily explained by science.

And to us, it seems like those “primitive” people are praying to a god that doesn’t exist.

But often times, we do the same thing.

We PRETEND we are totally in charge, when we may be just watching.

This is kind of scary to think about.

But can you decide not to be hungry?

Can you decide NOT to be afraid?

Can you talk yourself into feeling alert when you are sleepy?

We can run into problems when we OVERESTIMATE the power of our conscious minds.

If we consider that our conscious minds may be (at least some of the time) after-the-fact storytelling devices, are we that different from Vikings praying to Thor, the god of thunder?

Perhaps we may do better to learn to TRUST our unconscious, instead of trying to be control freaks.

Ego Taming

# Is It Really Sink Or Swim?

Way back in the day, Europeans set out to explore the world.

The idea was pretty simple.

If they went somewhere, found treasure, and brought it back, everybody got rich.

(Of course, how they “obtained” this treasure is another story completely.)

But it presented an interesting economic problem.

If they came back successful, everybody got paid.

But if they never came back, somebody would lose a lot.

The natural, economic response to this were the very first insurance companies.

Lloyd’s of London was one of them.

They idea is that this group of rich guys would “underwrite” a whole bunch of different endeavors.

They would get a percent of the profits of the successful ones, and accept the losses of the unsuccessful ones.

From an individual sailor’s perspective, it must have been pretty exciting.

AND very terrifying.

Success meant riches.

And many of these guys were poor, and getting a job on a ship was their only option.

And failure meant death.

Back in those days, some people took on risk with their lives.

Others took on risk with their fortunes.

Those that were the most successful became very wealthy.

Those that weren’t are likely somewhere at the bottom of the ocean.

Today, we think of risk in a completely different way.

For most of us, risk is mostly imaginary.

It mostly comes in how we express ourselves socially.

The “failure” we fear won’t get us killed.

And most of the time won’t bankrupt us.

Sometimes, even the opposite.

If you are a bit too timid in a job interview, it may COST you money.

Whereas the people that are the most socially fearless, and seemingly take the most risk, get the most rewards.

Way back in the day, if you took too much risk, you’d end up dead.

Today, the only risks are emotional.

It’s almost backwards.

The more you risk, the more you get.

At least in theory.

But reality is a bit different.

If you operate PAST your point of comfort, the fear (even if they are imaginary) will inhibit your behavior.

It’s like our social fears are like a kind of thermostat, that regulate our behavior.

It would make sense that if we could find a way to RE-SET our “risk settings” we could be more socially outgoing, and get more rewards.

Some say that we need to “fake it till we make it.”

Others say to “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Those are both terrible strategies.

There is a much easier way.