Tag Archives: Language

How To Stand Out

How To Project Attractive Behavior

Women are much better than guys at reading body language.

They step into a party and know right away who’s into whom, and who’s not.

Which means if you are radiating the wrong “energy,” there’s not much you can do to build attraction.

When I say “energy” I mean the sum total of all your gestures, movements, voice tone, etc.

All of your non-verbal communication and behavior.

Men get attracted by how she looks.

Women get attracted by how men behave.

What behavior does she like?

Or more importantly, what behavior makes her attracted, whether she likes it or not?

Somebody who is not needy. Somebody that thinks she’s cute, but isn’t desperate for her company.

Somebody that looks at women and thinks, “Hmm, she’s cute, but cute girls are a dime a dozen. I wonder what her personality is like?”

Somebody that is confident in their own skin.

Now, she doesn’t think all of this consciously. She just FEELS IT. And usually within a few seconds.

Unfortunately, if she’s NOT feeling it, there’s not much you can do.

On the other hand, if she IS feeling it, there’s not much you NEED to do.

Just smile and say, “Hi,” and wait to see what she ways.

How do you build this behavior?

More importantly, how do you build this behavior so you radiate it naturally, wherever you go, without needing to think?

It’s pretty easy.

It’s just a matter of your frame of mind that you train in.

Most guys rely on their “factory settings” in their brain.

But your mindset, how you see the world, how you see girls, is pretty easy to shift.

And once you do, you’ll be amazed how much better everything looks.

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Social Confidence

The Hidden Ingredient To Standing Out

When you go on a job interview, (or any kind of interview) what kinds of questions do they ask?

Lots of books have been written on the subject.

People spend lots of time role-playing and coming up with the best way to answer the more difficult questions.

But sometimes they throw you a curve ball.

They aren’t really interested in the answer itself, it’s how you behave when something unexpected happens.

The more money any job pays, the more these situations will come up.

Anybody can follow a simple, step by step process.

In fact, a lot of those jobs will be gone in the next couple decades.

Replaced by robots who ONLY know how to follow EXACT step by step instructions.

Since most high paying jobs involve a LOT of “thinking on your feet” they want to see how you actually “think on your feet.”

They ask silly questions like, “If you were an inch high and stuck inside of a blender, how would you get out?”

Knowing how to answer that relies on the SAME TRAIT that people find in “leaders.”

Knowing what to do when something unexpected happens.

When something goes wrong, and it even SEEMS dangerous, most people panic.

They look around, desperate to find somebody of “authority.”

Somebody who’s NOT panicking like them.

Somebody who’s calmly figuring out what’s what.

This quality will help you get VERY FAR.

Because the amount of UNEXPECTED things that happen in life will FAR OUTNUMBER the stuff you can expect.

Even most people PURPOSELY avoid any situations where they might have to “think on their feet.”

However, as harsh and unfair as it sounds, if you purposely avoid situations where you might feel “uncertain” about what to do, you’re not going to have a lot of fun.

Nobody got rich playing it safe.

Nobody met the love of their life playing it safe.

None of the great heroes of literature and history made their mark while playing it safe.

Does this mean they were FEARLESS?

Absolutely not.

But that didn’t hold them back.

How can you GET that quality?

You can BUILD IT, just like any other skill.

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Beware Of Ancient Fears Infecting Modern Language

Pistols At Dawn

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday, and I noticed something interesting about her speech. She had always spoken like that, but I hadn’t talked to her in quite a while. Last time we spoke was before I had become interested in language, having read several books on linguistics and other interesting tricks of language, most notably books by Pinker, Lakoff, and Grinder/Bandler.

The thing I noticed now, that I didn’t notice before was her heavy use of indirect speech. For example, I would say “A,” and she would then think “Because of A, then B,” with “B” being something that didn’t sound like such a good thing. But because she didn’t want to (either consciously or unconsciously) blurt right out “B!” She would always hide it behind layers of presuppositions and vague references.

For example, she would mention wanting more money at work, and I would suggest asking her boss for a raise. Instead of saying the obvious “If I ask for a raise, he’ll say no, and think less of me for asking.”

Which is a common enough fear, and generally the immediate reaction of most people when thinking about asking for a raise. But instead of blurting that right out, she’d say something like:

“I’m not sure if I have the presence of mind right now to think of what would happen if I were to do that.”

Which sounds innocent enough, until you unpack that seemingly simple statement and see what she’s really saying:

She is assuming that “presence of mind,” (whatever that is) is something that is difficult to identify, as she’s not sure if she has it or not.

Something called “presence of mind,” is required to understand the result of a request for more money.

“If I were to do that,” is stated as a second conditional. A first conditional is an “if..then” statement using the present tense, which presumes it is something that is likely to occur.

If it rains, I will get wet.
If I spend my money, I won’t have any.
If I drive too fast, I may get a ticket.

While the second conditional, with the past tense, is used for things that we don’t expect will happen, or are impossible.

If I asked my boss for a raise, he would say no.
If I saw a UFO, I would run.

So in response to a suggestion to ask for more money, she hides her “no, I’m too afraid” behind about three layers of linguistic protection.

If you’ve ever listened to a politician speak, you can tell right away that there speech is usually filled with layers and layers of vague ambiguity, so nobody can ever pin them down on what they said, if things go wrong, and if things go right, they can claim they had something to do with it.

It’s no wonder the joke, “how do you tell a politician is lying – when his lips are moving,” is so funny.

In one of the aforementioned books, Pinker was talking about how in societies where they have a history of class distinction, where upper class people could legally kill lower class people, (or other upper class people if they situation warranted it) they have developed a very polite level of speech, which can exist hundreds of years after the threat of violence.

If you were talking to some guy that was carrying weapons, and by offending him you risked getting your head slice off, you’d quickly learn to speak politely. It doesn’t take long for such a society to develop polite language. The American South is one such example. If you said the wrong thing to the wrong person, he would demand “Satisfaction,” and you’d have a gunfight at twenty paces on your hands.

Those that study linguistics on a much deeper evolutionary level suggest that all indirect speech has its roots in ancient fears of immediate reprisals. It doesn’t sound dangerous in the least to ask your boss for a raise, at least not from the standpoint of physical violence, but nevertheless, those feelings of fear cause us to hide our real feelings beneath several layers of “politeness” and vague ambiguity.

There is a fascinating book called “Mean Genes,” which illustrates all the ways that our automatic impulses that helped us immensely in our evolutionary past can be a real pain in the you-know-what in modern society. Stuffing our face until we can’t move when we are in the presence of food is one example that you can see everywhere you look in modern western society.

In the past, the several thousand year ago past, that impulse was beneficial. People would go several days without food, and when they finally got some, all other concerns were put on the back burner, and it was time to eat until the food was gone.

Not so helpful when you pass by three McDonalds, two Dunkin Donuts and a Bakery on the way to work every morning.

Of course, the great hope of modern humankind is to rise above our evolutionary based fears, and the ability to use our rational, conscious minds to think our ways around those pesky impulses to plan our future, instead of letting our impulses plan it for us.

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The Hidden Secret Of Knowledge

Can You Repeat That Please?

I remember once I played a game with a group of highly educated, professional ESL students I was teaching. I’ve heard this game called “Chinese whispers,” or the “telephone game,” or other things. I even remember playing it once or twice as a kid. And even with a group of kids that are fluent in the language in which this game is being played, it is still funny to see.

Basically you get the group into a circle, and choose a simple enough phrase, and whisper it into the ear of the person on one end. The rules are that they can’t speak the phrase out loud, and they have to repeat it to the person next to them as soon as they hear it. You usually start out with a phrase like “banana ice cream,” and end up with something like “purple gorilla.”

It’s really fun to play with ESL students (English as a second language) because the end result often times doesn’t even qualify as an English word or phrase. But as a teaching tool, it helps to give students an opportunity to really practice their listening skills. The goal, the ultimate goal is to develop listening skills so that even passive listening will yield some understanding. I’ve you’ve ever studied a foreign language, and have listened to a dialogue or conversation that was even slightly above your comprehension level, you know how quickly you can get tired.

On this particular group, I started out with the phrase “blue truck.” Everybody got a kick out of the final answer, and it proved an interesting point.

Moving something from conscious competence to unconscious competence can take time, and come in stages, so doing this particular exercise is one drill, out of many, that can help to speed this process up.

I remember once I was at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, a friend of mine and I had just seen what we thought was going to be a Pink Floyd laser show, where they play a bunch of cool music, while you sit back and look at light show performed up above on a special dome. Only we misread the newspaper, and it was a classical music show instead. It was still worth the money, as a combination of good music through a really fantastic sound system, coupled with some skilled laser “shapes” that move around in sync with the music is pretty mesmerizing.

But afterward we noticed outside, on the grass they had some sort of meeting of a local astronomers club. There were several telescopes set up, all pointed at different celestial bodies. I’m pretty sure that was the only time I’d actually seen the rings of Saturn firsthand. After I looked, I had a question, something to do with the rings, and when they are visible. They owner of the telescope gave us a well informed and easy enough to understand answer (although I can’t remember exactly what it was.)

Later on that evening, as we were still wandering around, I heard somebody else ask the same question that I had asked a few minutes ago. With the answer still fresh in my short-term memory, I spit it out as if it were common knowledge. After we were out of earshot, my friend gave me a hard time for pretending to know something that I just learned only moments before. Bu then he made an interesting point.

“Isn’t that all knowledge is anyway, passing on information from one person to the next, in some long chain of people?”

You can spend a lot of time digging into that idea. When we are born, none of us know anything, other than our pre wired instincts, one of which is to learn as much as we can. Obviously, that comes second to survival, getting food and staying safe, but most of us are fortunate enough to grow up where our life doesn’t hang by a thread, so we have the luxury of motoring around and figuring out as much stuff as we can. (Which is really cute to our parents, until we learn to walk, but then it’s a completely different story).

But most of the stuff that we know today as adults came from others. Mathematics, science, history, rules of grammar, most of us didn’t invent these independently in our garage laboratory as children. We were taught these by other people. Who in turn were taught by others. I guess it’s lucky for most of us that ever generation, there are a few brilliant people like Einstein and Edison and Curie that spend their lives trying to figure out new stuff, instead of figuring out how to apply the old stuff.

I had a friend pose an interesting thought experiment to me once. He was giving a toastmasters speech on the illusion of civilization that we live in. None of the stuff we have is inherently known, as discussed before. Each generation passes on information it learned, and that information is filtered through the education system loosely made up of teachers and books and libraries.

But what would happen if all that were destroyed? What would happen to the human race if the only way we could transmit information was by word of mouth? No writing, no video, no audio. Only word of mouth. We still had all the same technology, but everything had to be built according to information passed on only face-to-face.

His theory was that we are really only a generation or two, at most, away from a complete and utter breakdown of society. With no books to refer to, most of the information we take for granted would quickly be lost. I think his underlying point was that people were completely evil, and we would quickly revert to the futuristic world of “Escape from New York” or any other futuristic movie where society breaks down and only the most barbaric can survive. I’m not so sure, but I am sure that we do depend on information passed down from generation to generation. So much so that some believe this has as much effect on human development as the day-to-day survival pressures that shaped human evolution thousands of years ago.

And the interesting concept that my ESL group illustrated was how much quicker digital information is passed than analogue information. Once one of them latched onto a phrase that she not only understood, but could easily repeat well enough to be understood, that phrase quickly passed unchanged to the last person. It was interesting to watch the spread of information. Before that moment of recognition it was slow, and unsure. But as soon as she latched onto that one phrase (which of course had nothing to do with the original phrase) it flowed like water.

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The Secret Behind Human Intelligence

Captain, That Is Illogical

Here’s an interesting mind experiment. Ready? Here is the situation; you have four cards, with the following faces showing. D, 7, 3, F. You are told that each card has a number on one side, and a letter on the other. Now you are given a statement:

On every card that shows a “D” on one side, there is a “3” on the other side.

Here is the challenge: How many cards do you need to turn over, and which cards, to conclusively prove or disprove the following statement, and which cards do you turn over?

While you may find this easy (I didn’t I had to cheat and read the logic behind the explanation to get it,) most people don’t. In face, when this study was first concocted by a couple of professors at Stanford (where you’d think there’s be some smart people) only about one out of four got the answer right.

Now here’s the same question, presented another way:

You are a bouncer at a bar. The rules are that you can’t drink unless you are twenty-one. Now the cards are “drinking coke, drinking beer, 16 years old, 25 years old.” Or if you prefer, there are four people sitting at the bar. One is drinking beer (you don’t know how old they are) one is drinking coke (you don’t know how old they are) one is 25 (you don’t know what they are drinking) and one is sixteen (you don’t know what they are drinking).

From a logical standpoint, the problem is identical, yet when presented the second way, most people quickly realize that in order to figure out if anybody is breaking any laws, all you do is card the person drinking beer, and quickly check what the sixteen year old is drinking. In effect, turning over two cards to see what is on the other side.

As in the case above, you turn over the “D” to verify it if has a three on the other side, and you turn over the “7” to make sure it doesn’t have a “D” on the other side. If the D has a 3, and the 7 doesn’t have a D, then the statement is correct. If the D doesn’t have a three, and the 7 has a D, then the statement is incorrect.

The underlying problem is why, when the logic is identical, do so many people have a hard time (as I did) with the first question, and a much easier time (as I did) with the second question?

One answer could be that we aren’t as logically thinking as we’d like to believe. It may be that our brains aren’t designed to think in terms of Vulcan logic like Mr. Spock, but to think only in terms of social interactions, specifically to uncover social “cheats,” those that would break unwritten social contracts.

The thinking behind this idea goes like this. Humans lived in small groups for a couple hundred thousand years. That’s when we developed our “humanness” so to speak. One thing that evolutionary biologists think is one of the major driving forces behind the massive growth of the human brain during our history was social pressure from within the group. Our brains, our language, our thinking was all developed to outsmart each other within that small group of wandering nomads all those years ago.

Numerous studies of chimps and various apes have shown this to be a major portion for the need for their large brains as well. Most of them have plenty of food where they live, don’t need to organize sophisticated hunting parties, or come with complex methods of evading predators. Most of their thinking power, many believe, is so they can outsmart each other and rise as high in the social order as possible.

When humans developed language many, many years ago, we just took it a couple notches higher (to say the least) and developed all kinds of conscious and unconscious social skills. We learned to read facial expressions and body language, learned how to tell when somebody is cheating or lying, and be able to cheat and lie ourselves.

Many species have a specific feature, which is there solely for sexual competition within the species. The most often given example is the peacock’s tail. When peahens get together to choose their mate, they choose the male with the most flamboyant tail. Interestingly, the more flamboyant the tail, the dangerous it is for the peacock, as he is a much easier prey for predators, as well as having to lug that huge thing around should he have to run away.

In other species, they have other aspects. Bull seals have their size and strength, gorilla’s have their silver stripe of hair on their back, different birds have various ways to strut their stuff, from colored feathers to singing ability.

In humans, it is our brains, more specifically our verbal and social skills that became the driving force of sexual selection. Those that were the most eloquent, and the most persuasive, were the most prolific, and left the most offspring. Those offspring, having inherited slightly higher skills for eloquence and social prowess, in turn competed with each other. Continue that process for a few hundred thousand years, and you’ve got these big-brained humans walking around.

Us.

Something to think about yet next time you’re at a bar or club or other social gathering, and watching the vast throng trying to talk their genes into eternity.

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How To Learn Anything

Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

The other night, I decided to go out for a walk. I recently moved to new part of town, and decided to go and check things out. The sun has been setting later and later recently, and I had gotten off a little earlier than normal from work, so I figured I’d just go wandering about and see if anything interesting happened.

The first thing I noticed was this big park on the other side of my apartment building. Bunch of kids playing, lots of toys based on animals. Big gorillas, zebras, elephants that were made into slides and other playground equipment. I stopped to watch, as there were a few benches, and there was this huge grass area adjacent to the playground, so it was a pretty good spot to chill for a bit.

One thing about kids is when they play, they really play. They don’t play, but at the same time worry about their homework or whether or not their shoes really match the rest of their outfit, and if not will anybody notice. They seem to be pre set for a couple things, which seem to be completely opposite, at first glance.

On the one hand, they are pre wired to be automatic learning machines. The amount of things a kid learns between the age of two and ten is simply staggering. If you tried to learn the same amount of information in the same amount of time, you’d be a nervous wreck. They learn an entire language, complete with tens of thousands of new vocabulary words, in about five years. Any that has attempted to learn a foreign language as an adult would be lucky to retain five new words a week.

But on the other hand, they completely forget everything they are “supposed” to learn when it’s time to play. When they see a cool slide or a gorilla swing set, proper subject-verb agreement is the furthest thing from their minds. You’d think that as adults, the extra stress and worry we put into learning new things would help. But it doesn’t seem to. It seems to have the opposite effect.

They say that a kids learning capacity is different simply because they are a kid. That learning a language is easy for kids, but hard for adults, due to some pre wired brain structure due to millions of years of evolution. Some window of opportunity that once is closed, is closed for good. While that’s interesting from an objective biological point of view, it doesn’t sound too promising from a human potential point of view.

This is observable in other animals. Birds will “imprint” to their “mother” within a certain time frame, and they can be tricked into “imprinting” on an imposter if done at the right time. Certain birds learn to sing, but only between two weeks and two months old, and only if they hear another one of their kind singing. If they aren’t exposed to another one of their kind singing during that critical time period, they’ll never learn to sing properly. (Of course when I say, “sing properly” I mean sing well enough to attract a mate.) As for myself, I can only sing properly after sufficient alcohol, and a high-end voice synthesizer, but I digress.

The Jesuits used to say, (and probably still do) that if you give them a child when he is born, he will be a soldier for Christ for life by the time he’s seven. What this really means is that kids can be taught any number of beliefs when they are young, and can take a lifetime of effort to “unlearn” them. It takes a significantly life altering event, to cause an appreciable change in religious beliefs in most people. Not too many people who grow up in strong fundamentalist Christian households decide later in life to worship Zeus.

If I had my druthers, I’d like to conduct a language learning experiment. They say kids can learn languages much better than adults. Two, three, even four languages are a snap for kids so long as they are exposed to them early enough. It is assumed there is some kind of genetic “switch” that makes it harder to learn as adults, but I’m not so sure. Enter my experiment.

Take a bunch of adults, and separate them in three different groups. The first group has to learn the new language the regular way. After they finish their day job, they go to their once or twice a week at some local junior college, and then study the language whenever they have free time. Weekends, during commercials, whenever. These people are only exposed to the target language when they are in class, or they are listening to language tapes, or when (if) they bravely seek out native speakers of their target language.

The second group gets a free pass from work for a year. They are told they still have the obligations as an adult, they have to cook for themselves and maintain their household, but they get a stipend that will allow them to study on their own, along with the use of whatever material they think will help them. They of course, are only exposed to their target language when they organize their environment accordingly. Language tapes, private tutors, whatever they can afford. But when they go shopping, or watch TV, everything is in English.

The third group, I think, would be the most interesting. They are surrounded only by their target language. They never hear English (which in this case is assumed to be their native tongue.) They are surrounded by helpful speakers of the target language who buy and cook all their food (and whatever they want provided they know how to say it), drive them everywhere they want to go (provided they know how to say it), and give them massive amounts of happy praise, including generous physical, non-sexual touching and caressing (like quick back massages and what-not) whenever they speak the target language correctly. They never criticize for mistakes; only give continued encouragement to keep you going. Their only job is to learn the target language, and follow their “keepers” around whenever they go out to buy food and take care of normal, everyday housekeeping matters. And plenty of time for playing, so long as it’s in the target language (video games and what-not).

I think these “experiments” would show that there is a lot more to the change in environment, from child to adult, which makes learning harder rather than some genetic switch that makes it mentally impossible.

Obviously, as adults, unless you are super rich, you can’t really afford to learn things as described in group number three. But you’ll notice some similar advice given by various gurus who teach learning to be successful in any endeavor as an adult.

Surround yourself with people that are already proficient in what you want to learn. Give yourself rewards for every little success, no matter how small. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and go easy on yourself when you make the “mistakes” that are absolutely necessary for growth and improvement. And give yourself time to play. The only real difference in being an adult rather than a kid is you’ve got to nurture yourself. Try it and what happens.

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Structure, Content, And Pajama Wearing Elephants

Would You Mind Passing The Guacamole?

Once I had to meet a friend of mine at the last minute to play a round of golf. I was at this party the week prior, and one of my buddies was talking about how he’d recently started playing, and we should play sometime together. He’d asked me if I wanted to play the following weekend, and I said “sure, why not.” The way he asked seemed to be more like a “we should play sometime” rather than getting his calendar out and actually filling in that morning.

I figured if we were going to play for real, he’d call me during the week to let me know what our t-time was. Little did that his idea of playing golf was just to show up at the course and wait for the first available slot. He didn’t mention any specific times, nor did he call me during the week to confirm, so I was surprised when he called me at 6:30 on Saturday morning, from the golf course, asking me where I was. I suppose you get much better luck just showing up on a Saturday if you show up at 6:30 in the morning. Silly me.

One of the interesting things about language that Seven Pinker points out in “The Stuff Of Thought,” is how we humans tend to cloak our intentions behind our language fairly often. If you were to look only at the surface structure of language, we’d have a lot of miscommunication. The example Pinker gives is when sitting at the table with friends or family, we rarely blurt out “Pass me the guacamole,” in it’s the pure imperative form of the word, even thought that’s exactly what we mean.

Even in something as simple as asking for the salt or pepper among close family or friends we shield our raw intentions through vague language. If somebody took the surface structure literally when we said, “Could you pass me the salt?” We would never get the salt.

It’s amazing that misfires in communication like in my golf story don’t happen more often. My friend assumed I knew that “Lets play golf next Saturday” meant it was not only a done deal, but also it meant to show up at the course at 6:30 A.M.

Often times when we communicate, we don’t even have an intention to shield. But we don’t want to give our freedom completely over to our friends, so we attempt test out their intentions and see if we like them, or we’d like to improve on them or not. This happens frequently in the familiar “I dunno, what do you want to do tonight?” Once I spent about two hours on a date (thankfully not a first, or it would have been the last) driving around going back and forth like that.

When two people that don’t have a plan come together, not much is going to get done. When people don’t have a plan, we tend to gravitate towards a feeling of ego protection, so we tend to not want to try new things. For most of us, in order to try something completely new, we’ve usually got to specifically plan to do so, or have somebody that knows what they’re doing take us along.

Once I had a boss that wasn’t quite at skilled at oblique communication (either that or it just didn’t matter much to her). I was working on a project, and wanted her input. I asked her advice, and she said, “I don’t know. Tell me what you think and I’ll let you know if it’s acceptable or not.” Thanks for the help, boss.

Many a vaudeville routine has been built up around miscommunication, or misunderstanding of what each other is saying, the most famous being the “Who’s On First” routine by Abbot and Costello. (Recently enjoying a surge in popularity due to the president of China being a guy named “Hu”). Many jokes are set up so that the first have is interpreted one way, and the punch line is based on a completely different interpretation. Couple examples:

Losing one parent is difficult. Losing both is just plain careless.

Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.

Why did the guy keep a clock underneath his desk? He wanted to work over time.

Ok, I’ll stop.

One way to use vague language is in sales, seduction, and hypnosis. Most people are not completely aware of their criteria in these areas, what they want to buy, who they want to hook up with and how they want to solve their problems.

When you skillfully use vague language in such a way that the target of your words can fill in the blanks, even on a subconscious level, you can elicit some pretty powerful states and desires. If you’re in sales, you can elicit a strong pleasurable feeling of buying something really nice, without really getting into specifics of what that actually was. Most people would be hard pressed to describe in detail what it felt like when they bought something they really liked.

But when you artfully vague language, you can elicit those feelings, and attach them to any product you want. Likewise for seduction and therapeutic hypnosis.

If somebody comes to you with a bad habit they’d like to quit, you don’t have to specifically elicit how they got rid of other bad habits you can just elicit that resourceful state that everybody has experienced when they know they can overcome something. Everyone, through the simple fact of still being alive, has over come hundreds if not thousands of obstacles in their lives. All you need to do is elicit a few of those strategies, as well as a belief that it’s within that persons capabilities, and you can effectively transplant that strategy and self belief into their current habit they’d like to quit. All without really being specific about anything.

This entails using a lot of “structure language” rather than “content language.”

Content language:

This water has been filtered through .04-micron filters seventeen times, and then aged in walnut casks to give it a pH of 7.3, which has been shown to be the perfect pH for thirst quenching, according to the latest research. There we fully recommend “product name” water for all your drinking needs.

Structure language:

I don’t know what it’s like for you, when you feel that wonderful feeling, of cool water hitting the back of your throat, and as you easily quench your thirst with every delicious gulp, and as you feel the weight of this water in your hands (show picture of water you’re selling), you know that your thirst will be gone in a matter of moments, and you get that sense of safety and satisfaction knowing that you are in full control of your desires, and have the capability to satisfy those desires (emphasize bottle of water) anytime you want, you know that “product name” will be waiting to serve you whenever you need it.

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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

Are You Hungry?

Beware Of Equality

So the other day I was waiting in line at the movies, which was surprising. Not that I was at the movies, but that I was waiting in line. I don’t particularly like crowded movie theaters, so I usually try and go during off peak hours. One reason is I always seem to time leaving my apartment, so after I take the train, walk to the theater, buy my ticket and my popcorn, and get to my seat, the trailers have just finished, and the main feature is starting.

When I show up and there’s a bunch of people, it throws off my schedule. Of course I can’t get too angry, because if nobody ever went to the movies, they’d close down the theater and put up some huge karaoke bar or bowling alley or something. And because I thoroughly suck at both karaoke and bowling, I wouldn’t likely participate in either of those two activities, leaving me with a blank space in my mental entertainment schedule where the movie used to be. Or would have used to have been. Or whatever. So while I appreciate the need for a steady stream of customers, I try to avoid them at all costs. Which is why I was surprised that so many people were waiting on such an off peak time.

I think there was some school related activity or something, as they all had on their school uniforms, and I overheard people talking about some project or something. I seem to remember once in high school when we were studying “Heart of Darkness,” by Conrad, we all watched the movie “Apocalypse Now,” which was based on the story. So perhaps that is what they were doing.

I overheard two guys behind me talking about grammar, and I wondered what movie they were seeing that had anything to do with grammar. Most movies are about car chases and bank robberies, and metaphorical aliens, but not dangling participles or split infinitives. So I asked them what they were talking about.

They said they were talking about their teacher, who is kind of a language zealot. Now I’ve heard about self-professed language “mavens,” those guys that like to write articles about how famous people misuse grammar, but I’ve never heard of a language zealot before. So naturally, I asked them to please elaborate on this.

I turns out this guy is part of the anti “be verb” movement. Some of the crowd he runs with would like to remove the “be” verb from our vocabulary all-together. Others say that it does have its uses, like when describing static things like an address or a phone number. Since I have no idea what this means, I asked them to please elaborate further, seeing as how the line didn’t seem to be moving at all. Somebody must have been making a special popcorn order or something.

Whenever you use a be word, you’re basically using the linguistic equivalent of an equals sign. Like if you say “I am hungry,” then mentally, you are saying that your entire entity, collection of molecules and atoms and beliefs and experiences are all collectively equal to the state of wanting to eat something. Now I didn’t know that people did so much thinking when they made simple statements like this, but according to this professor, it all happens subconsciously in a split second or so.

Since the brain is based on a categorical representational system, it immediately goes off on a search for everything else that could be considered “hungry,” since you are saying “I am hungry,” your brain figures that it had better equate you with anything else it can find in your history that “is hungry.”

The reason this is a bad thing is that it creates a lot of static labels that clog up our neural pathways. Like a bunch of sticky notes all stuck inside your brain that never get cleaned out. Like if you said “I’m hungry” and then a couple minutes later said “I’m angry,” that would set up another equal sign in your head that “hungry” = “angry.” So maybe two weeks later, if you said “I’m hungry,” your brain would remember the “angry = hungry” definition you gave it a couple weeks ago. If you weren’t really angry, it might look around to find something for you to be angry at.

To make it even more confusing. If one day you said “I’m angry,” and then a minute later said “I’m angry,” but then two days later you said “I’m hungry,” and then said “I’m happy” you brain would go into a never ending tail spin, trying to figure out how “angry = happy” which would likely make you feel very confused, at least on a subconscious level. It’s basically like having about a hundred adware programs running on your computer simultaneously, clogging up your resources and making your computer run really slow. If you run some anti-adware software, your computer will run much faster.

This guy was trying to teach his students to say things more accurately, that way you can slowly get rid of those linguistic equals signs clogging up your mental processing speed. So instead of saying “I’m hungry,” say “I feel hungry,” because everybody knows feelings change all the time. So even if you said “I feel hungry,” and right after that said “I feel angry” your brain would see them as mere coincidences, rather than trying to force them into the same category in your brain.

Some other examples that they gave me.

I’m angry à I feel angry
I’m tall à My height measures 89 inches.
I’m fat à The scale reads 250 pounds when I step on it.
I’m broke à My bank account contains $2.45
I’m shy à I don’t feel like talking to people right now

And so on. Notice the verb changes? From a “be” verb to feel, measures, reads, contains, feel. All these verbs can easily change state based on the situation, and won’t clog your brain with useless equivalencies.

And just as they finished explaining all this too me, I turned out that all those high school students were in line for a different movie, and I was able to watch my movie in a relatively empty theater, just how I like it.

Recursion And The Planet Of The Apes

House Of Mirrors

I was reading this book the other day. It was a non-fiction book, one that makes stop every couple of pages and think, or maybe take notes. The guy that writes this has this way of making you really reflect on what you’re reading, now. The book is about language, and anytime you use language to talk about language, it has this self-reflexive hypnotic effect. Kind of like when you stand between two mirrors, you can see yourself going back into infinity.

One of the things this book was talking about was the theory of recursion as being a test for a “human” language. Recursion is kind of like a nested loop inside of a sentence, where you have one entity, or thought, inside another. Instead of saying “the tiger ate her,” you could say “the tiger the girl who was running” to further expand on “her.” Or you could say “the tiger ate the girl wearing the blue shoes who has running.” According to Chomsky, language has the possibility of an infinite level of recursion.

They were comparing human language to the alleged “language” they teach chimps, which is supposed to show the humans aren’t the only ones that can master communication. Unless you consider the sentence “me banana banana me me me banana banana banana me me me banana banana,” an acceptable sentence in (any language) those chimp trainers have got a long way to go.

There was that scene in planet of the apes where they “expert” was on TV trying to explain the complexities of time travel. He showed some guy painting a picture of the sunset. But if it were an accurate picture, he would have to put himself in the picture. But then if that were an accurate picture, he would have to paint a picture of himself painting a picture of himself, and so on.

Infinite loops are everywhere.

There was this king once in Europe several hundred years ago. He hired a mathematician to figure out some problem, and as a model the mathematician studies the theoretical growth of rabbits. Starting with two rabbits, and assuming that each pair of rabbits make a new pair every month, he came with what is now called the Fibonacci sequence. Perhaps you’ve heard of it if you’ve read the DaVinci Code. The sequence is 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13 etc. Can you see the pattern? Each number is equal to the sum of the previous two numbers.

What’s cool is if you plot it on a graph, starting with zero in the center, an interesting pattern emerges. Go up one, and draw a point. Then go to the right one (the next number) and draw another point. Then go down 2 (the next number) and draw another point. Then go to the left 3 (the next number) and draw another point, and keep this up. Pretty soon you’ll have this nice spiral that expands outward as you continue to draw points and connect. The particular mathematical shape of this spiral is found everywhere in nature. The curve of breaking waves at the beach, ram’s horns, flowers. There are even those that use this sequence to predict (fairly accurately) the movement of stocks and other financial securities.

Another cool part of the Fibonacci sequence is what’s known as the “golden mean.” If you take any one number in the sequence, and divide it by the previous number, you’ll get about .6, give or take. This ratio is also found everywhere in nature, as well as human constructions. The length divided by the width of the Parthenon in Ancient Greece gives you the golden mean. So do the width and height of any crucifix or Christian cross you see. Also your height and the height of your belly button, as well as your height and the length of your outstretched arms.

Now is there a connection? Is there a reason that a fundamental test for “human” language is it’s recursiveness, and that there are several recursive patterns that repeat themselves over and over again in nature?

I would suspect there is. If you look at flowers, they grow out naturally in the Fibonacci pattern. Our brains are comprised of neurons and dendrites that appear very much like vines, or plants growing outwards. So it would make sense that our language, which is a manifestation of our brains, would obey the same rules as various naturally occurring systems in nature.

There is another theory regarding the structure of the universe. This theory, which has been called the holographic universe theory, states that the structure of the universe is identical regardless of what size you are looking at. Taken its name from a hologram. A hologram is a specially etched piece of glass, and when you shine a laser through it, it will produce a three dimensional image. If you shatter the glass into a million pieces, they will produce not a shattered three-dimensional image, but a million smaller three-dimensional images.

The basic shape and structure of an atom is the same as the solar system. One center, and bunch of things spinning around the outside of it.

So the question I’ll leave you with is this:

Is the holographic theory of the universe accurate, does the universe really behave in the same way regardless of what size chunk you are looking at?

OR

Are we humans, with our limited capacity for measuring the physical universe based on the limitations of our sensory organs, merely seeing everything the same based on those constraints? If so, what really is out there?