Category Archives: Life Skills

Use Your Brain

Is Your Brain An Ornament?

Imagine if you got a box in the mail.

It was really heavy, so you thought it was something cool.

But you opened it up and all it appeared to be was a black shiny object without any buttons or instructions or anything.

But it looked cool, you couldn’t really tell what the material was, so you put it up on your shelf.

Maybe sometimes people would ask about it, and you’d make up some story so you wouldn’t feel like a goof for accepting a strange package and using it as decoration.

Imagine if you went to a garage sale, and found a really cool set of paintbrushes. Maybe a few easels, and a massive set of paints.

While standing there, you looked up something similar on Amazon and found a set of the same stuff sold brand new for several thousand dollars.

And there it was, in front of you, virtually untouched, for five bucks.

You scooped it up, thinking maybe you’d sell it, or maybe even spend some time on YouTube learning the basics of painting.

It might end up being a cool hobby.

But the set of paints ended up in YOUR garage, in the same corner, covered by the same sheet.

We do this all the time.

Get stuff that we WAY underutilize, if we utilize them at all.

The prime example of this is our brains.

Capable of ENDLESS learning. (Well, we can learn as long as we draw breath).

Yet how much of your time is spent learning new things?

Having our brains and using them the way we do would be like spending millions of dollars on the world’s fastest supercomputers, loading them up with the best software available, and then using them to watch YouTube, or check social media.

Problem is that most of us associate learning with school.

With discipline, memorization and learning the most incredibly boring stuff on Earth.

Luckily, our brains are WAY more efficient than that.

And when you learn to unlock your potential, that’s when you’ll REALLY start to appreciate your gifts.

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You Can Always Find Your Way Back Home

Where Am I?

So what do you do when you suddenly find yourself lost? That’s what happened to me once. I heard from a friend of a friend about this magnificent party, and he’d heard from another friend some convoluted directions to get there. Both of us, and the friend, had only been living in the area for a few weeks, so it was pretty obvious what was going to happen. They were going to go straight after work, which was about 6 PM, while I had to work until a couple hours later.

I remembered the directions as best as I could, and decided I’d figure out how to get there on my own. It didn’t take long before I had no idea where I was, no idea where I came from, and no idea how to get back home.

I had a really interesting experience a couple of weeks ago. I had just moved to a new city, and a new apartment. I mean new for me, as well as a new building. Everything was new and modern and really cool. I had spent a few hours driving to this new town from my old town, which involved driving over this huge bridge (several miles long) since my previous apartment was on this big island. A really big island.

So there I was, about to drift off to sleep, when an idea hit me. I had spend all day packing moving, unpacking and setting things up in my new place, I looked around at my new familiar surroundings, and I predicted I would wake up in the morning and experience a few moments of absolute disorientation. When you look around and for brief moment, you don’t know where you are, how you got there, or the last few things that happened before you found yourself in your particular situation.

That has only happened to me a couple times, all after waking up in a strange place. Probably the most pronounced event was a night of heavy, um, entertainment after a Who concert. I woke up in my friends house, and for about five or ten seconds (which is a long time to have no clue where you are or how you got there) of complete discombobulation.

But as I lay in my apartment a couple of weeks ago, I looked around at my new furnishings, and actually predicted I would wake up in the morning and draw a complete blank for the first few moments.

And when I woke up, just as I thought, I drew a complete blank. But here’s the cool part: Before I remembered where I was and how I got there (moving and driving over the bridge) I remembered predicting that I wouldn’t remember, only then did I remember everything else.

It was like back in the old days of when they had to bootstrap the first computers. They had these giant machines that ran off of punch cards, and they had no memory at all. They didn’t have enough memory to turn on all their systems.

So the guy who was using the computer had to feed it a punch card that was only to tell the computer how to turn itself on and get started, and how to read the other punch cards. Once that “memory” was loaded into the computer, then you could stick other, more complicated, punch cards into the machine so it could finally be able to do what you wanted it to.

We take all that for granted, as all of our computers today are pre programmed with complex operating systems and software that makes virtually every machine plug and play. There’s a reason Bill Gates is one of the richest dudes on the planet.

That was a truly odd sensation, waking up in a strange looking around in complete and utter cluelessness, and then remembering that I wasn’t going to remember anything, and then starting to remember everything else.

And when I finally figured out enough to back track to someplace familiar, I was able to use that familiarity to backtrack to a road that I actually knew. And from there finding my way was home was easy. I had given up on going to the party (which I later heard wasn’t all that exciting, anyway) long ago.

No matter how far off track you get, your brain will always find ways to get back to what is familiar. That seems to be an underlying prime directive of our brains. Familiarity.


To make massive success and consistent achievement as familiar as your fondest memory, have a look below:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

How To Make The Right Choice

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine over a cup of coffee. We had met while we were out shopping, not really met, more like bumped into each other. We both had a few minutes to spare, and there happened to be a coffee shop nearby, and so we decided to have a cup of joe and a chat.

We started talking about mistakes, and big mistakes that we’ve made in our lives. I don’t know how we got on that subject; I think she was concerned with her current relationship, that it may not be the right one for her. She is getting close to 30, and some girls feel some pressure, both internal and external to find somebody serious by then. I think she is wondering if she chose him because he was “Mr. Right Now,” instead of “Mr. Right.” I didn’t really want to get into some prolonged discussion about her boyfriend, but since she was veiling her conversation about him through general life mistakes, I was game.

Sometimes you can solve problems by addressing them structurally rather than specifically. If you get too involved in the particulars of a problem, you can lose the forest for the trees. That’s how therapeutic metaphors work. You hear some story that has the same structure to your problem, and by vicariously going through the metaphor, you can figure out a solution to your problem, oftentimes unconsciously.

That’s how Milton Erickson was able to heal people. He was a therapist that invented a strange kind of conversational hypnosis. People would come in and give him their problem, like bed-wetting or fear of elevators. He would them tell them a story that was completely different in content, but similar in structure, that had a happy ending. The people would leave, and discover a couple weeks later that their problem had been solved.

For example, if somebody was afraid of elevators, the traditional approach would be to talk about elevators, how they became scared of elevators, or to try and convince them of how safe they were using statistics. But a metaphorical approach would ignore elevators altogether, and focus on somebody who was afraid of doing something, and then by changing his focus on the positive outcome, rather than the thing he feared, he was able to overcome his fear. And after he overcame his fear of whatever it was, he realized how insignificant his fear really was.

Which is kind of what I suspect my friend was getting at. She wanted to discuss the possibility that she was making a mistake with her current boyfriend, without actually talking about her relationship. Talking about mistakes in general, I got the impression she was trying to find out if there was a general way to tell going into a potentially troublesome situation if you stick it out, and hope everything works out, or eject as soon as possible.

Sometimes you don’t need to make that decision, as certain actions are short lived. If you are playing on a particular golf course for the first time, and you choose a pitching wedge instead of an eight iron, you might come up short. You could consider this to be a mistake, but it is one you can learn from and do better next time. If you ever play this course again, and have the same lie, you’ll know to use your eight iron.

Those that study learning and brain development suspect this is how all learning takes places anyways. We make all kinds of small mistakes, and automatically correct them as we go along. A baby’s way to learn how to speak is to move their tongues around and make a bunch of random sounds until they figure out which ones get the right responses. Same with walking and learning all other motor skills.

However, some choices have much more impact than choosing a club. Like choosing a job or a marriage partner can have horrible results if you don’t choose wisely. And since most of us don’t get married a bunch of times or go through ten or twenty jobs in our lives, it can be tough to “learn” how to get married or choose the right career the same we “learn” how to walk or talk or approach the green.

The question is, and this is what I think my friend was getting at, is how do you know if your intuition is telling you that you’re making a bad decision, and how do you know when you are just nervous? If it were easy, nobody would ever get divorced or find themselves in a job they hate. But many people get divorced, or are stuck in terrible jobs or terrible relationships.

So the topic of the conversation was mistakes we’d made, and how we knew they were mistakes, and how we rectified the situation. One thing I learned, or one concept I was exposed to, was to future pace. If you are in a situation, and you think it may be a mistake, project yourself out into the future a few years, and see how it comes out. Imagine the best possible scenario, and the worst possible scenario, and the likelihood of both coming to pass. This is where intuition can be very powerful. Sometimes it’s impossible to make an accurate prediction of the future, but your intuition can usually do a pretty good job.

Project yourself out in the future and do a “gut check.” Is it an overwhelmingly good feeling a bad, feeling, or a “blech” feeling? If you’re make a decent decision and are just nervous, you’ll usually get a good feeling if you’re honest with yourself. But if you immediately think to feel repulsed at a possible future, the chances are you’re making a huge error in judgment.

This can be difficult, as many times we are afraid to look into the future, and only pay attention to the immediate pleasures of the present. My friend didn’t particularly like the idea of facing 30 and being single, so that was keeping her from facing the future at 35 or 40 having lived with this guy for that many years. But when she did take a peek into the future, her gut told her that it didn’t look good. So she was faced with making a tough decision.
Break up with her boyfriend, and accept an unpleasant present, or get engaged to him, as she suspected this was where her relationship was leading, and face an even worse future.

As emotionally uncomfortable as it is, many times the lesser of two evils is the obvious choice. But sometimes something pretty cool happens. By making a strong choice in the present, however uncomfortable, the future suddenly looks a lot brighter, giving you more resources and peace of mind in the present than you thought you had.


To expand your resources in the present and make the best possible choices for the future, click on the link below:

Powerful Metaphysics

Powerful Metaphysics

How To Access Genius Level Creativity

Imaginary Friends

I was having lunch with an old friend of mine the other day. I hadn’t seen her since just after she had her baby. That was four years ago. I can’t believe how fast time flies when you’re doing the same routine day in and day out. If you don’t and look up from what you’re doing, life can zip right by without bothering to take you along for the ride.

She was telling me about how her son has all these imaginary friends. He has normal friends as well, he goes to this kindergarten three days a week, and he gets on well with the kids there, but while he’s at home, and his dad isn’t around, he’s always wandering around talking to people that aren’t there. When my friend asks him about them, he acts like she’s the one living in an alternative reality. He can see them, why can’t she?

She wasn’t too worried, but seeing as he’s her only kid, and she’s never experienced the “imaginary friend” thing, she started checking around to find out how normal it was. Maybe her house was actually filled with ghosts or something, and he could see them, and she couldn’t. If that were the case, she would need to learn to communicate with them so they wouldn’t keep him up past his bedtime.

She was telling me she did all this research, and actually went to see a specialist in child development. What she found out was both interesting and relieving. Her kid was normal, and her house wasn’t filled with ghosts. At least none that she or he could see.

What he told her was how the brain develops as we grow older, and one way that the brain switches between externally focused and internally focused. All of this has overlap with other areas of brain research, but part of it is particularly useful for understand how children develop, and how they are often in their own worlds, which seem to them as real as these words you are reading now.

The brain has four basic categories of brainwaves. The brainwaves are made up of all the electrical impulses pulsing throughout the brain at any given time. Every time you have a thought, conscious or unconscious, several billion neurons fire off in particular orders. The sum total of the firing of neurons, and the resultant wave of electrical impulses can be measured. They range from very slow, long brainwaves, to fast and short ones. Each category is associated with a different “type” of brain activity.

Most adults alternate between beta and alpha. Beta is the fastest, and is what most people experience when we are awake. Externally focused, thinking about the things around us and how to deal with them. Extremely high levels of beta are thought to be an indication of stress and anxiety. (An indication, not a cause).

The next is alpha. (An interesting side note, alpha is not the fastest, even though it’s called alpha. It’s called alpha only because it was the first one they discovered.) Alpha is associated with daydreaming, drifting off into imaginations about the past or the future. Artists and creative thinkers find alpha particularly helpful, as this is where they get a lot of their inspiration. When you kind of “zone out” in the middle of something, you have slipped from beta into alpha.

The next one down is theta. This is where all hallucinations, hypnosis, and deep meditation occur. During theta you can have wild ideas and thoughts. When you are falling asleep at night, and you drift from thinking about normal, every day thoughts, and catch your thoughts drifting seemingly on their own, with you just watching them, you’ve slipped into theta.

As adults, it’s very hard to be in theta and stay awake. Theta is that brief space between waking and sleep. Advanced meditators can hold this state for a while, but it takes some practice. Theta is though to be where genius ideas come from. Edison used to sit in a chair in a dark room, holding a weight in his outstretched hand. As soon as he drifted into sleep, and into theta, he would drop the weight. This would wake him up, and he would immediately write down as much as he could. This is how he came up with so many creative ideas. It wasn’t that he was smarter or more creative than the rest of us, it was just he effectively used his brains capacity to slip into theta, and exploit all of the genius level thinking that occurs during that phase.

Other scientists and inventors have used dreams, which are also in the theta brainwave state, to come up with ideas that have literally changed the face of science and industry.

One of the things that child development researchers are starting to discover is that when kids are growing up, they are in theta state a large portion of the time. Much more so that adults. Their brains are growing, and learning, and theta is the natural brainwave state to be in if you are learning about your environment for the first time. Learning how to walk and talk is one thing, but kids also naturally learn complex things like values, beliefs handed down with their parents, and complex emotional issues. They believe that theta is the perfect brainwave state for building strategies in the brain for dealing understanding and dealing with reality.

This may be why thinking of a problem just before bed is particularly helpful. Even though you may not remember, while you’re in the theta state just before sleep, your brain can come up with some pretty creative solutions to your problems, as Edison and others can attest to.

For most adults thought, accessing theta is only achievable through long practice of meditation. Unless we consciously practice in a regular basis, theta only comes with sleep, and unless we program ourselves before sleep to solve problems, the usefulness of theta is only useful to children.

But recently there have been discoveries that theta brainwave states can be achievable by listening to specific sounds. Sounds that we listen to have a profound impact on our brainwaves. With properly engineered sound, and focused concentration, theta is easily accessible by anyone with a CD player and pair of headphones.

It really is possible to tap into that same genius level creativity that Einstein, Edison and others have used over the years to solve problems, and come up with some astounding ideas that have changed the course of human history.

Breaking bad habits, enhancing communication skills, and changing beliefs about your ability to make a ton of money are all achievable through specific tracks specifically designed for these purposes.

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Powerful Metaphysics

Powerful Metaphysics

How To Remember Names Easily And Automatically

Mrs. Big Hair

Once I was at this party, and I was with a friend of mine, actually a date. I saw some guy that I’d met before; at least I think I’d met him before. We did that bit of recognition when you make eye contact with somebody that you know. An almost instantaneous acknowledgment of who they are. As soon as we did that, he came over. Then, to my horror, I realized that I not only didn’t remember where I knew this guy from, but that I also couldn’t recall his name. Not even a first letter.

For a few seconds, I hoped he was the kind of guy that just walks up and introduces himself, regardless of the situation, like some politician running for office, or the host of the party, or something. No dice. He walked, greeted me, (using my name of course) and then stood there waiting for me to introduce him to my date. Of course, my date, not knowing anyone at the party, was patiently waiting for me to introduce her to him.

One of the most common complaints that people have about their memories is an inability to remember names. The trick (that I didn’t learn until after that embarrassing moment at party) is two fold. One is an understanding of how memory works, and the other is a simple trick that you easily learn and put into place so you’ll never have trouble remembering names again.

The way memory works is that it’s not passive, unless it is for life or death information. Let’s say you’re walking through the jungle (back during our evolutionary past), and happen to look up at a banana tree. All of a sudden a group of ferocious monkeys swing down, beat you up, and chase you away. You’ll likely have no trouble remembering that spot, aided by the presence of the banana tree, as a no no in the future. You wouldn’t have to go back to your cave, and review you notes of the day and drill yourself so you’d remember where the safe places were, and where the dangerous place were. It would be automatic.

Likewise, if you were huffing it across the desert, and saw strange looking tree, and upon arrival at the tree found a source of an underground stream, you wouldn’t have any problems remembering where the stream was. Remembering where a hidden source of water in the desert is much easier than remembering where you parked at the airport.

So our memory is only passive when it comes to life and death. We somehow know that when we take classes in school. We listen attentively to the boring lecture, and know we have to study and drill the information into our brain before a test. We can’t just sit there passively listening to the lecture and soak it all up without a problem (at least most of us can’t). So why do we think we can remember names without putting in any effort? Who knows. The key is to realize that we need to remember names just like we’d study and remember information for a test. We have to consciously input the information into our brains in a specific way so it will make it easier to find them later.

When we listen to a lecture, we usually take notes, and then study for our notes later. You’d look kind of silly at a party walking around with a pencil and a small notebook writing down everything people said to you. They would think you were some kind of reporter or something. Since writing the information down is out, we need a better trick to remember names.

The trick is to apply a mnemonic device, like “all good boys eat cows”, or however it goes for remembering the musical scales. That reason I can’t really remember that is because it’s lacking an emotional component. Remember the deadly banana tree and the hidden water source? Both those came pre filled with a strong emotional component. We need to use those when creating our mnemonic devices. Here’s how you construct an emotionally laden mnemonic for remembering names:

A visualization of the person + a visualization of their name + a funny picture connecting them together = remembered name.

When you first meet somebody, you need to think of one visual thing about them that stands out. This is only private, so it can be as goofy or as derogatory as you can imagine. You won’t be sharing this with anybody, and it’s only to help you remember their name, so whatever you come up with is OK. Let’s say you meet somebody, and the first thing you notice about them is that they have big hair. So before you hear their name, you can think of them as Mr. Or Ms big hair. Now when you hear their name, simply think of a picture to associate with their name. Let’s say their name is Lynne. So you run “Lynne” through your mind until you can think of an easily to visualize item that will help you recall “Lynne.”

Lets’ see… Lynne… Lynne… Lint! Lint from the dryer, all over your clothes. Now you simply attach “lint” and “big hair,” and what do you have? Some poor woman whose hair is filled with lint. So now every time you see this woman, you’ll immediately think of “big hair,” and “lint,” and you’ll have her name in a heartbeat. The funny thing about this is that you only have to go through this process of remembering all the pictures (which really only takes a couple seconds) once or twice. After that, their names will be automatic.

The best time to do this is within a few moments after you meet them, whenever you get a second. Picture associated with the person, picture associated with their name, and hook them together somehow. The crazier, the funnier, the more derogatory, and more sexual you can make either picture, will make it much more easy to remember. If you make your pictures boring, like “all cows eat grass,” it won’t be so easy to remember.

For more powerful tips on how to take charge of your brain, and easily and automatically enhance all aspects of your life, click on the banner below to supercharge your life skills with NLP.

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Oh, and at the party, I suddenly remembered where I knew the guy from. His name was Mike, and I’d met him a couple weeks earlier at a toastmasters meeting.

How To Maximize Your Most Valuable Resource

The Master Key

One of the advantages of being human, and not some other animal is that we have the ability to imagine different scenarios in our minds. Some evolutionary psychologists argue that was one of the driving forces that led to human, rather than some other animal developing a big brain.

In all animals, there are basically two driving forces, which propel them forward through evolution. Between species, and within species. Between species is a fight with other animals for resources, namely food, and shelter if that’s the kind of animal we’re talking about. Many times a food source is linked closely with a location, so an animal can develop a strong sense of territoriality.

Within species, it’s a whole different ballgame. Within species, the competition is largely between the males for the females. Generally speaking, the females choose the males best suited to provide the best DNA. They don’t consciously decide, rather their instincts and impulses are shaped over many generations, so that the ones who have the impulses to mate with the fittest males are selected for survival, and others who happen to be driven to mate with unhealthy males are naturally selected out.

Different animals have different methods to determine who is the fittest male. Usually it is based somehow on aggression, and physical dominance. In gorilla’s, the silver back is the biggest. In elephant seals, the dominant male is the most aggressive. In peacocks, the ones with the most colorful tales are deemed the most fit. Scientists suspect there is a correlation between colorfulness of tail feathers, and resistance to parasites and disease. So when females use colorfulness of tail feathers as their deciding factor, they’re also giving their future offspring genes with strong resistance to disease and parasites.

So what was the inter-species driving force in humans? Apparently it was brain size. Language, imagination and creativity are highly desirable traits in males, according to anthropologists. They say that in parts of the world where tribes still live according to ancient ways, the tribal leaders, who usually have many wives, are extremely eloquent, persuasive, and charismatic speakers. The driving force with which humans were selected over the last million years was our ability to use words. And not just putting a couple of words together, like “give me a banana,” but to string them together in such a way as to evoke powerful emotions in others.

Think of this scenario. Millions of year ago, there were several tribes. The women naturally fell for the guys that had serious game, meaning they could woo the women with only their words. They could use their words to organize and lead hunting parties, so they were instrumental in the survival of the group. They could use their words to form coalitions and defuse potentially dangerous situations between rivals. They naturally had more kids that the not so eloquent, and every successive generation produce more and more eloquent people. This in turn creates evolutionary pressure to build bigger and bigger brains to accommodate this need.

There is another reason for the ever-increasing brain of man. Humans were nomadic for the bulk of our human history. Humans had to think and plan and to imagine different scenarios, and weigh the probable outcomes, and then decide which would be the best course of action. Even throwing a spear at a gazelle that was running at an odd angle required a quick calculation and projection into the future of a couple seconds, so the spear thrower in question would know where to point he spear, how hard to throw it, and what angle. This was all done unconsciously, without any thought of the thrower. He just knew. This required immense computational power, involving delicate visualization skills.

Your brain is the result of millions of years of evolution that created a computer with such power that we will likely never create a machine that can even come close to its abilities. You can think into the future, imagine hundreds of different scenarios, judging each one by it probable effect on your future, and come back with a decision on what to do. All within a split second, and all out of your conscious awareness.

Your brain can think of desire, a goal, an intention, and through the powerful use of language, enlist the help of others to make your imagination about the future come true. Your brain can take thought, and turn it into reality.

In the last twenty years or so, there has been a huge leap in understanding in how the brain works. There have been several different strategies designed and codified to take the mystery out of how some people are wildly successful, while others struggle. Experts have been modeled, and their unconscious methods have been uncovered and described in precise detail, so that the rest of us can emulate them, and achieve exactly the same success as them.

That is the promise of NLP. With NLP you have an operators manual for your brain, perhaps the most complicated thing ever created in the history of the universe. You have the keys to unlocking exactly how achieve whatever it is you want. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have already discovered how NLP can powerfully enhance your life in as many ways as you can imagine.

With NLP, there is no more need for hoping, or wishing, or disappointment. There only desires, planning, and achieving. To find out how you can start uncovering your magnificently powerful potential today, click on the banner below.

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

Easily Change Your History For A Powerful Present

How To Build a Mental Time Machine

There was this really cool movie called “The Butterfly Effect,” that came out a few years ago. They made a sequel that was OK, but not nearly as powerful as the original. The reason it was called “The Butterfly Effect,” was because of part of something called “Chaos Theory.” The name, of course is a misnomer, as Chaos means behaving without any set of rules. The chaos in Chaos theory though refers to not having any discernable rules or observable cause/effect phenomenon.

The weather is a great example of Chaos Effect in action. There are many different variables, and they are all strongly interactive. A change here, will effect a change there, which will in turn affect a change over, which will cause a change back here, and so on. Because we humans have a fairly limited capacity when it comes to having instincts for multi variable systems, it appears chaotic and impossible to describe even using our best computes. That’s why when they predict the rain, they give percentages rather than absolutes. No matter how sophisticated our machines and computers get, due to the nature of the system, we still have to guess about the weather.

The term “Butterfly Effect” refers to a butterfly flapping it’s wings on one side of the planet, and the effect rippling through the complex interactive meteorological system, and eventually causing a hurricane on the other side of the world.

It was also alluded to in a story by Ray Bradbury, where a group of scientists created a time machine. They were getting set to go on their first mission, but they were strongly admonished not to interact at all with anything they saw in the past, as it would have an unknown effect in the future. So they went back in time, and were looking around. One of the scientists saw a butterfly, and decided to collect it. This of course, violated the rules of “non interaction.” When they returned to the present, everything was vastly changed, language, society, government, everything. One butterfly changed the entire future.

There was even an episode of the Simpson’s where Homer had a time machine, and they kept trying to come back to the normal present, but kept messing up. In one particular future they came back to, it was raining donuts, but they had big tongues like lizards.

If you’ve seen the movie, “The Butterfly Effect,” you know it follows the same pattern. The character can go back in time and relive part of his past, and when he comes back to the present, everything is changed. Every time he comes back, everything seems good, until he discovers something horribly wrong, and he has to go back and change something again.

While that is only a movie, and the idea of a butterfly causing a hurricane on the other side of the planet is largely metaphorical for the complex interactions in nature, there actually is a way to go back and change part of your past.

The way we are today, our behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about our capabilities are based largely on what we have experienced and how we remember our past. While this is horrible news if you come with a bunch of baggage from an unpleasant or abusive childhood, it doesn’t have to be that way.

This is because our past is not really as solid as we think. Our own personal histories are based much more on our interpretation of events rather than the events themselves. If we can go back and somehow give a different interpretation to the events of the past, we can change our present.

Some people can do this pretty easy in the present. They’ll be walking down the street, bump into somebody, get cussed out, and simply write it off as the other guy having a bad day, without taking personal offense. The same is possible with our past, even though it’s already happened.

When we were kids, we didn’t have a lot of resources or a lot of experience, so there were only so many ways we could respond to bad things that happened to us. We didn’t have the adult experience to write it off as somebody simply having a bad day, as the example above.

If you have a particularly painful memory from the past, here’s a great way to “re program” your history.

Sit back, relax, and close your eyes. Drift back to that “event” that is still causing you problems today. Watch the event unfold. Watch it again, but freeze the frame every so often, and look at the other people involved in the event with a more adult, forgiving attitude. Maybe they just didn’t know any better. Maybe they were expressing their own pain the best way they could. Give them the benefit of the doubt as much as you can. Remember the wise words of Nelson Mandela: “Holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and hoping the other person dies.”

Stay dissociated, that is, watch the event unfolding, as if you are some kind of ghost from the future watching it unfold. After you’ve given as much adult understand as you can to all the players involved, watch it again, but this time, step in and interact with your child self. Explain to your child self who you are (yourself from the future) and what is really going on. Tell them whatever all the other people are doing, it’s nothing personal. Make sure your child self understand.

Now for the cool part. Go back and relive that experience, but this time as associated as you can. Float into your child’s body, but this time, really feel and experience your future self giving you guidance and support as the event unfolds. As a child, listen to the advice of your future self. Run through this several times.

This may seem awkward, and perhaps even emotionally painful at first, but just like with any other exercise, you’ll get better with practice. Pretty soon you’ll be able blink yourself back into your past, and re organize your responses to what happened, and give yourself a much brighter future. Just like Richard Bandler, the co founder of NLP said, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

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Success with NLP

Success with NLP

How To Tap The Feeling Exercise For Incredible Power And Charisma

How To Find Your Untapped Resources

If you are ever in situation where you feel out of control or at a loss on how respond to any particular situation, here’s a quick mental exercise that can give you a boost. When done in isolation, it can give you some perspective, and briefly shake off any anxiety caused by external situations. When done as habitually several times a day (don’t worry, it’s quick, easy and nobody will know that you are doing it) it can slowly give you incredible power, self-confidence, and charisma.

It’s called the “Feeling Exercise,” and was described by Arnold Patent in his book “You Can Have It All.” I hesitated to buy the book at first because it sounded like another of the seemingly millions of new agey, law of attraction type books that have a bunch of vague ideas that don’t really offer any specific advice. But this book, while it is based on some pretty “out there” metaphysical ideas, is worth it just for this one exercise.

It may be a bit difficult to really feel the power of this at first, so I recommend practicing it often. Once you get that “aha” feeling, you’ll never want to be without it. It will give you a great feeling of power and ownership over your feelings and emotions; despite whatever situation you happen to be in. Experts agree that the largest cause of stress is that feeling you are in some crappy situation that you can’t do much about. This will change all that.

The first step is to simply feel your feelings. Start with whatever physical sensations you are feeling. A need to go to the bathroom, or a soreness in your left food, or a weird tingling on your scalp, anything is fine. Just pick one to work with.

The next step is to feel the feeling without any judgments or labels, or desire for it to go away. To make it easy, use as a neutral feeling as you can. Try not to attempt this while having an orgasm or experiencing a compound fracture. Those might be a bit distracting until you master this. So pick something like a vague grumbling in your stomach, or a feeling of warmth on your leg or something.

So feel the feeling without labels, or judgments (good or bad) or any desire for the feeling to go away. Feel the feeling exactly as it is. To help you do this, try and describe the feeling itself, without labels. What color is it? What is the texture? What is the physical size of it? What are the edges, the outside areas of the feeling like? Do they end abruptly, or slowly transition into something else?

Next is to feel the energy and the power in the feeling. Feel this as the power of life, the power and energy that existed before there was any matter ever created in the universe. Pure, untapped power. Feel this energy and power as YOUR energy and power. Nobody else. Your energy. Your power.

Next, feel appreciation for your energy and your power. Feel gratitude for it.

After that, feel appreciation for yourself, feeling the feeling, and feeling the power and energy in the feeling, and feeling appreciation for the power and the energy of the feeling. Feel as much appreciation for yourself as you possibly can, feeling the feeling.

That’s it. This may seem strange at first, but pretty soon, you’ll be able to do this within a few seconds. And you’ll also be able to do this when you have those “bad” feelings that most people want to get rid of.

You’ll soon discover that the power and energy is the same in all your feelings. And when you start to learn to feel appreciation for the power in all your feelings, that powerlessness you used to feel in certain uncomfortable situations will be a thing of the past. Because no matter what your mind/body system’s automatic response is, you’ll be able to dig underneath it to find the gold that is always inside you waiting to be discovered.

So here’s a recap:

Feel the feeling.
Feel the feeling free from judgments or labels.
Feel the energy of the feeling.
Feel appreciation for the energy of the feeling.
Feel appreciation for yourself, feeling the power and energy of the feeling.

One final note, when feeling appreciation you may need to consciously choose to feel appreciation. It may not come naturally, so you may have to really work at it. But just like any other thing you practice, it will get easier and easier to the point that it’s automatic.

Have fun with this.

How To Change Your History For An Easier Future

Are You Using Outdated Programs?

I was taking this self-development seminar once, and the guy was saying that thinking about your future is like driving a car. At least when it comes to comparing how much time you should focus on the future, versus how much time you should focus on the path. His analogy was the size of your windshield compared to the size of your rear view mirror.

It’s important to glance behind you from time to time, but it’s much more important to keep a keen eye on where you are going. You should dwell on past mistakes, or worry too much about things from your past that you can’t change. Accept it and move on. Even if others have treated you like crap, it never does any good to hold a grudge. I believe it was Mandela who said holding a grudge is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy dies.

OK, that makes sense. It also reminds me of another metaphor by Wayne Dyer when he said that the wake doesn’t drive the boat. The wake being the waves of water left behind a boat as it goes across the water. The wake is purely an after the fact effect, and has no bearing whatsoever on the future direction of the boat. OK, sounds simple enough. The past is the past, and should stay in the past.

But is it really that simple? Humans have some really powerful, and really deep hard wiring in our brains to learn and improve. That is one of the reasons we have become the dominant animals on the planet over that last couple million years. We have instincts, just like many other creatures (some say many many more instincts) but we also have the capability to learn. And many times, that learning is automatic, unconscious and completely outside of our awareness.

Just ask a little kid who performed the unfortunate, but necessary experiment of sticking his finger on a hot stove. He or she will learn in about half a second that stove with fire equals danger, and should avoided at all costs. In that particular example, the wake indeed does drive the boat. The wake I this case being the memory of pain the child will remember whenever he goes near as stove. His memory of the event, or the wake, will definitely mold his choices and thinking in the future.

If humans didn’t have the capability to learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others, we’d have been extinct hundreds of thousands of years. When Zog and Bog were out hiking around, and Bog got eaten by a tiger, Zog didn’t was any time remembering every single thing about the event, and committing it to memory for future reference. The location, time of day, appearance and sound of a tiger were all burned into his brain. Because of the magic of language, he was able communicate all of these things to his buddies back at the cave, so they wouldn’t make the same mistake as poor Bog.

So it seems that our history and experience really can have a powerful and profound effect on our behaviors, thoughts and actions as we move toward the future. It’s not quite as simple as the two metaphors described above.

But there is some good news. While it’s true that our brains will automatically remember things that caused us pain in the past, and remind us of those memories as we move close to experiencing those things again (usually in the form of vague anxiety), there is a solution.

Whenever we label something as dangerous, our brains remember the label we give to the “thing” as much as the thing itself. When the kid touched the stove, and Zog saw Bog get eaten by a tiger, the events themselves caused an automatic reaction. But in today’s modern world, our interpretation of events is what causes the emotional pain in many cases.

Things like public speaking, asking a pretty girl or guy out on a date, or asking your boss for a raise bring up feelings of anxiety and fear not because they are inherently dangerous situations (unless of course you actually have an experience of giving a speech at toastmasters, and were beaten within an inch of your life due to your lackluster performance) but because we labeled them as such.

Many times this label is as automatic as Zog’s was while watching his friend being eaten. But there is a cool trick.

There is so much in your personal history; you can re program your brain to “access” different memories whenever you go into a potentially worrisome situation. If you let your brain choose, it will go for the most safety, so it will find the scariest memories. Your brain operates on a “better safe than sorry” strategy, so it picks out the most scary and painful memories in order to keep you the safest.

But when you realize that you have billions and billions of memories to choose from to use as a reference when you go into any particular situation, you can train your brain to use more positive and enhancing memories rather than scary ones. This takes some time and some conscious work, but the rewards are enormous.

Imagine having to give a speech. Scenario one is relying on your brains automatic factory installed programs, which find the most horrifying experiences of your life regarding public speaking. You’ll likely get sweaty palms, heart palpitations, and feel as if you are about to vomit.

Scenario two is instead of automatically recalling all those horrifying memories, you consciously choose to remember all the times you’ve expressed yourself in public and gotten good results. Like I said, this can take some practice, but after a few times you’ll feel excited and happy, as if you are about to do something really fun and exciting, rather than dreading it.

And you can do all this purely through your imagination. Just imagine yourself giving as speech, and then quickly and consciously recall as many positive experiences and memories as possible. Keep switching back and forth in your mind, imagining a future speech, and then going back into your past and thinking of all those good memories.

And here is a bonus tip. If you can’t find any positive memories in your history, you can make them up. Your brain won’t know the difference. Find some memories that are kind of close, and then change them around so you can remember them differently. This will have be jus as powerful.

The choice is yours. You can either leave your mental programming the way it came from the factory, designed to be used by cavemen and cavewomen to survive from saber tooth tigers, or you can upgrade to the modern version, and consciously go in reprogram your thoughts and memories to serve you in exactly the way you want.

Beware Of Mind Viruses

What’s In Your Head?

I was listening to the radio the other night, on the Internet. I wasn’t sure what station it was, I was kind of flipping through the channels while I was doing other things. A song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while, “Tom Sawyer,” by Rush. The particular album cover was pretty clever, from a linguistic standpoint. The name of the album is “moving pictures” which most people would take to mean movies. In the old days they called a movie a “picture” as in “moving picture.” which is where the word “movie” comes from, the root word (verb) “to move.”

But on the album cover, it showed a bunch of guys “moving” stuff out of a house an into a moving van. What were they moving? Several paintings. So they were “moving pictures” of a different sort. The “pictures” were being move by other people, as compared to the “movie” meaning given above, the pictures themselves are moving. For those language geeks out there, the verb “move” is an intransitive verb in one example (a verb that doesn’t require an object) and a transitive verb in the other (a verb that requires an object).

Where was I? Oh yea. The song I listened to, Tom Sawyer, has a verse that says:

“Though his mind is not for rent
to any god or government
always hopeful yet discontent
he knows changes aren’t permanent
but change is”

The first line got me thinking. Mind is not for rent. What exactly does that mean? What does it mean to rent out your mind? If you rent out a room, you let somebody stay there for a certain amount of money for letting them sleep in your house every night and store their food in your fridge and use your plumbing to bath and take of their waste. Is it worth it? Usually. Most often the biggest drawback is having somebody in your house. The additional financial burden of an extra person are usually not very much, certainly not close to the rent you’d likely charge. It’s usually a good deal for somebody that has an extra room and wants to save a considerable amount of money every month. Many people make a living by buying houses and renting them out. It can be very lucrative, even despite recent real estate and financial nightmares.

Back to the song. What does it mean to rent out your mind? Take thoughts that aren’t yours, and give them residence inside your brain. This can be very helpful, but it can be equally be as dangerous and destructive. Let’s first consider some of the benefits.

Unless you want to reinvent the wheel, Euclidian geometry and certain tasks like how to drive and how to hook up your cable TV, you’re going to have to accept those thought collections or mental instructions from other people. Humans are very social creatures, and the bottom line is that almost all of our thoughts come from others. Your name, phone number, driver’s license number, most of the facts and information you know (unless you are an independently wealthy research scientist living on a island studying esoteric biology) come from others.

Basic survival information, and useful things like how to do your job right, so you can earn a steady paycheck are welcome additions to our mental house. We hope those thoughts never check out, otherwise we’d be left babbling in the corner like idiots.

But just unhelpful and potentially harmful thoughts can enter into our brain and take up residence just as easily. Most of us are carrying around baggage from childhood without even realizing it. That statement from that second grade teacher who said, “Can’t you do anything right” may still echo whenever we try something new.

That statement by that child psychologist that you may have overheard when you were four years old that said, “Girls just aren’t wired to be as good at math as boys are,” may still reverberate whenever it comes time to calculate the tip at a restaurant.

Without getting into too much detail, suffice it to say that there are a lot of factors (due to long ago evolutionary elements) that let certain thoughts slip into our brains without much resistance. Authority is one. Social proof is another. If an authority figure tells us something (like that idiot third grade teacher or that moron on TV) we are much more likely to accept it as fact without questioning it.

Social proof is another powerful convincer. If a lot of people believe something, it can be a difficult thought to resist. (Purple kool aid anyone?)

The point is that we have evolved past the point of need to follow the herd, or listening to authority figures for our every day survival. Be like Tom Sawyer, in that song by Rush. Take inventory of your brain and kick out the thoughts that are doing you more harm than good.

Your brain, and your thoughts are the most important thing that you have. When was the last time you cleaned house?

It’s time to collect the rent, and evict the freeloaders.