Tag Archives: Language

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.


To master both content and structure language and take full charge of your life and your intentions, click on the link below:

Success with NLP

Success with NLP

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?


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?

One World, One Culture, One People?

We’re the Same, You And Me

Recently I’ve been reading this fascinating book by Steven Pinker, called “The Language Instinct.” If you are at all interested in language, psychology, or how the human brain is structured, you can’t go wrong with this book. In it he treats language as an instinct, rather than a learned ability. One of his supporting arguments is the existence of what seems to be a universal grammar that is common throughout all languages. There is an underlying structure that all languages follow, regardless of how isolated the culture is, how advanced or how archaic. This suggests that we have some kind of structure pre-wired into our brains for learning language.

There have been many scientists and psychologists who maintained that the human mind was a relatively blank slate, and it could be filled in depending on the environment and the surrounding adults. This argument holds that children need to be explicitly taught things like grammar and word order, and how to correctly identify dogs and trees. What Pinker argues very successfully in “The Language Instinct,” is that there is a structure that already exists, a structure that already has the blueprint for nouns, verbs adjectives and so out.

While there are about a billion different tangents I could go off on, there is one thing in particular that I’d like to talk about in today’s post. Chomsky is a linguist who made fantastic advanced in linguistic theory. He was the one that first suggested that if an alien came to Earth, and analyzed all the world’s languages, they would determine that we all speak the same language, just many different dialects. The structure of all of the world’s languages can easily described as on similarly structured language.

Other scientists have studied various cultures, with the intent to find, or uncover a “universal culture” like the “universal grammar” described by Chomsky and others. The results are striking. If you’ve ever traveled to another country, especially one where English wasn’t the primary language, perhaps you’ve experienced some kind of “culture shock.” Or even if you’ve watched documentaries on TV of some guys running around in loincloths in the jungle, still living like they did hundreds of generations ago. You might come to the conclusion that those cultures can’t be more different than modern western culture.

In Pinker’s book, he lists two full pages of elements of the “universal culture” on Earth (determined by anthropologist Donald E. Brown), and here are some highlights (purely chosen at random):


Value placed on articulateness, gossip, lying, manipulation, humor, humorous insults, poetry with respective words of similar nature (e.g. rhymes).

Non Verbal Communication

Meaningless sounds used to convey meaning (e.g. cries, squeals, etc), generalized facial expressions communicating basic emotions (fear, happiness etc), guessing intent from actions, flirtation with the eyes, use of smiles as a friendly greeting.


Huge interest in sex, various methods of expressing sexual attraction, sexual jealousy.


Families centered around the mother and the children, and one or more men.


Fear of loud noises, fear of snakes, fear of strangers.


Social status based on age, and economic achievement. A fair amount of economic inequality, division of labor by sex and age. Domination of men in the public sphere.


Coalitions, reasoning, generally non dictatorial leaders, (usually temporary, e.g. new leaders every so often), a common agreement of right and wrong, laws, retaliation, punishment, the existence of conflict (which is usually avoided at all costs). Property, inheritance of property.


Hospitality, special feast days, sexual modesty (e.g. sex in private), discrete elimination of bodily wastes, supernatural beliefs, magic to sustain and increase life, and to attract the opposite sex, rituals, rites of passage, dream interpretation.

I’m reminded of a story (passed around on the Internet, sourced to some book on sociology) of a strange culture that practiced a particularly odd custom. It was described in great detail and sounded very strange and out there. Until the end, when you read the punch line. It was a description of the procedure westerners use when we go to the bathroom to take a dump. But the way it was described sounded like supremely spiritual and superstitions custom that only some goofball tribesmen do in National Geographic.

The takeaway, at least for me, is that no matter who you compare yourself to, some guy chasing his dinner with a poison blow dart gun in some South American jungle, or some uptight trader on Wall Street wearing a five thousand dollar suit, you can’t help but to realize that we humans are much, much more similar that we are different.

As Joseph Campbell concluded after his life’s work studying the world’s various mythological stories, we all come from the same factory. We all have the same hopes, fears, dreams and obstacles to overcome in our daily life. In every chest, beats the same heart. At the end of the day, we all just want some peace and safety, and hopefully a few people to share it with. Something to think about when you bump into that weird guy on the street that you swear is from another planet.

How to Use Language to Persuade Others

I remember when I was a kid, I was in boy scouts. Our troop went to a beach for a weekend campout. The campgrounds were up on a bluff overlooking the beach, with fire rings and places to set up tents.

One thing I remember the most was that there was this new kid. And the poor kid seemed to be desperate to make friends. He would ask one of the other kids to do something, and would always promise things like “I’ll be your best friend,” or “I’ll buy you a soda,” and other stuff. At the time, most of the kids didn’t want anything to do with him, because it seemed creepy to have a kid promising us all kinds of stuff just to hang around him. Looking back, I feel kind of sorry for the kid. It can be tough being a new kid in a group when friendships and relationships have already been formed.

If you can imagine how difficult it can be to make friends as an adult, you can perhaps also sympathize with him. Being an adult, you have more confidence in yourself (hopefully!) so you can relax and be yourself, and be sure that friendships will develop gradually over time, like they should.

But what if you are in a situation, and you need to quicken the process? What if you need to make a good first impression on a boss, or a potential business partner? What then? Does it still work to promise to “be someone’s best friend?” Probably not.

If you are a salesperson, and you’ve ever tried to sell something to somebody, you now difficult it can be to get past resistance. If you give them a compliment, they can easily see it for what it is if it is not one hundred percent genuine.

So what do you do? One powerful way is to use linguistic presuppositions. Linguistic presuppositions are carefully constructed sentences that presuppose something to be true in order for the sentence to be understood.

An example is the following sentence:

One of the reasons that so many people have bought his product is that it’s lifetime warranty makes it much more valuable than the competition.

Take a look at what is being presupposed in the sentence:

– Many people have bought this product
– This product has a lifetime warranty
– It is much more valuable than the competition
– There are other reasons people have bought it

Even if you blatantly disagree with any of the above statements, you are tacitly accepting the others as truth.

So how do you use this technique to get someone’s good favor? Simple. Use sentences that presuppose good things about the other person. Even if you have never met them before, and don’t know anything about their history, you can still do this. Just think of something that is generally true of everybody.

For example, everybody has made decisions in their lives. Some good, some bad. Everybody has done good things in their life. Everybody has achieved accomplishments in their life.

So you can say,

“Well Mr. Customer, obviously, because you’ve made several good decisions before that have invariably led to substantial accomplishments, you can appreciate the fact that choices always present an opportunity for further achievement.”

That is a simple sentence, which doesn’t really say anything specific, but it presupposes something about the person that they can feel good about.

Another example:

“I’m sure that you’ve avoided temptation in the past due to your willpower and dedication to personal achievement, which is exactly why you are somebody that can really benefit from this product.”

Again, a fairly vague sentence, but it presupposes something good about the person, and uses that presupposition to convince them to consider your product or service.

These are but a few of the many ways that you can use linguistic presuppositions to promote yourself or your product. There are several resources to learn these. They were originally described in the book “The Structure of Magic,” by Bandler and Grinder. You can get it from Amazon.

Although these patterns can take some time to learn, they can be very powerful in promoting yourself, and making others feel really fantastic. You do like to make people feel fantastic, right?

The Mystery of Your Inherent Personal Power

If anyone had realized earlier in life how much that you can understand about things now, you would inevitably have changed the course of your life, so that by now you can really understand the power of this idea. Is asking questions like this not the easiest way to overcome obstacles?

Should you not understand the power of asking the right questions, realize that the Socratic method, a several thousand-year-old logical process, does exactly that. And the new ideas that you can come up with in regards to this can only show you the range of new possibilities available to you.

And when you come to the conclusion that this is a powerful method of introspection, you can easily leave all doubt behind as you embrace this new way of thinking.

And what is as powerful as continuously enhancing your thinking process so that you overcome all kinds of new opportunities? Because again and again you can realize the power that comes with being able to do this.

And when you start to do this on a regular basis, you will even have more ideas that can do things you never thought possible. It can become virtually automatic.

It’s amazing how much this can literally transform what you think is possible. When you really allow these ideas to sink it, you can be sure that you will be head and shoulders above the rest of the people out there.

Before doing this, it might be a good idea to identify the things in life that you’d like to keep, because invariably it becomes something that will change many things, and you want to make sure you don’t forget and inadvertently get rid of some of the little things that give you so much pleasure.

Luckily, more and more people are starting to discover just how incredibly powerful this is, because the more you understand the nature of this, the easier it will become for you to understand how you can do this.

And what is most surprising about this method is how incredibly easy it is to do on a regular basis. The more you realize this, the easier it gets. Its is likely your unique personal history and specific applications of those memories that you have that will make this the most beneficial for you.

And how does knowing how much you have at your fingertips make you feel comfortable realizing that anything you do can really powerful enhance your life?

Because when you fully embrace this new mind technology, you might be surprised to learn that it was something you knew all along, but I’m sure that many of you already know this. Many find that the first thing they discover is how easy this becomes with practice, because most of it you already know anyways.

And people that have fully embraced know the truth: Once you accept these ideas, there is no going back to mediocrity.

The Power and Danger of Persuasive Language

There’s been a lot written lately about persuasion. When I say lately, I mean the last thirty years or so. Before then, whenever somebody wanted to sell somebody something, they usually came up with some snappy advertising jingle, and put the product, along with the jingle or some slogan in front of as many people as possible, in hopes that they would be convinced to buy this product. Advertising agencies were the ones that generated the jingles and the slogans. Company execs would pay a huge amount of money to these advertising firms in hopes of creating a memorable meme, or what Mark Twain called “Ear Worms.”

That way the product would be magically attached to this earworm and when people decided to buy a product, that would be the first one on their minds.
Because most people have inherent experience being persuaded to do things, clean your room, finish your vegetables, and everything else humans get conned into doing, they felt that learning persuasion, as a science wasn’t something that needed to be done.

Enter NLP.

In the seventies, a group of guys discovered some incredible language patterns that some therapists had learned to use on their clients with almost magical success. They modeled these patterns and found that when string words together in a certain way, they would have a certain effect. If this sounds similar to coming up with a jingle or a slogan, you are absolutely correct. The difference between them and a jingle or a slogan is that these new patterns had more of a scientific basis them. Jingles or slogans were generated largely by how the ad executives felt about them. How they thought they would work based on their feelings.

These new patterns had a certain degree of structure and repeatability. Meaning that a message structured the same way would generate the same effect in various individuals on consistent basis.

With jingles, they sort of “hoped” that they would work and just threw them out there. Many times when they didn’t work, they would blame the market, or the economy, or the product. They never really sat back and said “Jeeze, this jingle really sucked ass.”

Language patterns on the other hand, had a consistent effect, regardless of the market, or the product or the economy.

But with this new language technology, another problem exists. Before, people had to really focus on creating a good product that many people would get real value from. With these new patterns, it became possible to create the illusion of short-term value that would slowly fade over time, leaving a bad taste in the consumer’s mouth. It became easier for people to focus less on the steak, and more on the sizzle.

The thing the many of these persuasive language-using salesmen don’t understand is that when they say, “sell the sizzle, not the steak,” the underlying presupposition is that the steak is a quality steak, not some old leathery piece of meat that has been in the freezer for six months.

With this new language technology, it has been possible to sell the sizzle, when the steak is really not worth your chewing effort.

If you can combine a decent product that will provide long term value for your customers, with some of these persuasive language patterns, your success is virtually guaranteed. Not only will people be convinced to buy your product over all of your competitors, but also their appreciation of your product will generate sales and referrals and additional income for you.

That is what they mean when they say “Win-Win.”

One Scoop Please

I was taking a stroll down the street the other day, just kind of meandering in the direction towards my eventual destination. I had a few hours to get there, and even longer before I had to be back. The weather was pretty nice, not as humid as it had been lately, and temperature had luckily dipped a little bit. It’s always nice when you have a day like this. You are certain you will eventually get to your destination, and you are just as certain that your destination will hold for you exactly what it is that you need right now, whatever that might be.

Something kind of cool usually happens to me when I’m in this state of mind. I can somehow release all anxieties and really pay attention to the stuff that is happening around me. The sounds of every day life that you usually miss out on because of what worrying thoughts are running around in your head become more colorful and endearing. The smells that are always drifting around become more salient and observable. The colors and movements of objects usually only assigned by your unconscious to your peripheral vision become center stage and fight for your conscious attention.

I happened across a group of kids talking about something. They seemed to be really animated about the subject, so I slowed my pace to listen to them speak. They were talking about some new superhero movie that was coming out, and seemed to be comparing it to the comic book. There appeared to be one group that was arguing that the movie was much better, while the other, less enthusiastic group seemed to feel that the movie didn’t capture the true essence of the characters as described in the comic books. They seemed to be less enthusiastic in their arguments and position, but it was a position that I seemed to agree with, don’t ask me why, so I found a reason to stick around and find out more. You know how when that happens, right? You are wandering around, minding your own business, and you come across something, and you hear or read a little bit, and there is something here, maybe you’re not sure what, but you just feel this slight curiosity to find out a little bit more information. Perhaps it could be useful someday.

So I looked around, and I decided to grab an ice cream cone at this ice cream shop that I’d just passed. They had a few outside tables, and there were a couple vacant ones, so I went inside to get an ice cream. I hadn’t been inside a non-chain ice cream shop in a while, and I’d never been inside this particular one, so I was surprised at what I saw. They had many old-fashioned ice cream equipment parts that were used as part of the decoration on the inside. They seemed to have taken quite a lot of time decorating, and getting the ambiance just right. I realized that is the difference between a chain restaurant and a family owned shop. You can tell a really good family owned shop when you enter because you get a feeling right away it is a business that means more than just making money. When you can put your own personal interests and personality into a business, and sell something that is really important to you, you’ve really got something. Of course, in the whole scheme of things, ice cream is not that high of a priority, but in the people that owned this shop, they really took pride in something that they thought was important and had made a conscious decision to present it so people could feel their appreciation.

After looking around the shop, the shopkeeper gave me a full description of their most popular flavors. That’s another hallmark of a successful family run business, they can tell right away when a customer walks in if they are a new customer or a customer that comes there every day, or even the occasional customer. I had a feeling that if I came to this ice cream shop more than once they would be able to quickly ascertain all my likes and dislikes, so I would feel right at home in their wonderful little shop.

After having a protracted discussion with the proprietor, I finally settled on a peanut butter chocolate pecan mix. Single scoop in a waffle cone. When I found my way back outside, I realized I had completely forgotten about the kids arguing over the recent incarnation of their comic books hero’s. I looked around, and they were gone. Completely. Just as well, I hadn’t seen the movie yet, and I didn’t want to have my opinion tainted by some young zealots. It’s important to make up your own mind on these important issues.

How to Speak the Local Language for Powerful Success

I was hanging out in a coffee shop the other night. It was one of those coffee shops that is attached to a large bookstore. The large bookstore is inside of a large mall. So the area of the coffe shop kind of bleeds into the bookshop area, which in turn melts into the mall area. I happened to be sitting at a table near the back, facing outward, so I had a fairly good view of the bookstore, and coffee shop table area, and the area just out in front of the book shop inside the mall. As I was sitting there, watching people walk by and read their various magazines and drink their various coffee drinks and other things, I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. I motioned for her to come and sit down, as she was alone and seemed to be wandering around aimlessly, as people like to do during their free time.

She had just come back from a trip to Europe. She had bought on of those multi-country rail passes, and had traveled through various countries. She spent lots of time telling me about the different food and culture she’d experienced, as well as some of the new words in various languages that she’d picked up. She said that people really reacted well to her when she spoke the local language. She also said that the words “Please” and “Thank you” were very powerful. She mentioned that a few times she ran across some tourist that seemed to have a condescending attitude, which didn’t get them very far. She even was able to secure a table in a restaurant that had been refused to two tourists just in front of her.

We started talking about how important it is to speak to others in their own language. It would seem that this would be obvious to most people, but apparently her experience says otherwise. Some people when they speak to others assume that everybody has same experience and frames of reference as they do. This can be extremely unhelpful, and the person listening has to work twice as hard. One to figure out exactly what frame of reference the person is coming from, and two to try and figure out exactly what the message is.

It reminded me of a lecture I saw on a memory expert. She was saying that everybody has a different “memory map” inside their brains, and we all operate from different memory maps. Even people that grew up in the same family in the same circumstances can have very different memory maps. The lecturer explained that one of the biggest failures of western style education is that it is assumed that every student that enters school has the same memory map, as they are all taught the same way. Teachers can become frustrated when they are trying to teach students that have vastly different maps than they do. I guess it’s not so bad when teaching something as straightforward as mathematics or hard science. Even then you have to be careful and make sure the person you are talking to is at least one the same level as you, and not higher or lower.

I’m sure you’ve had the experience of having an argument with somebody, and you were both arguing about two completely different things, for two completely different reasons. I can remember several heated engineering discussions I’ve had in the past with an engineering manager of mine. On the surface, it would seem that something as cut and dried as engineering would be simple to talk about. But when you add in two different egos, expectations, and experiences into the mix, and you suddenly find yourself in a heap of trouble.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. The biggest hurdle to overcome is getting over your need to be right. Getting over your need to get your opinion heard so that you can maybe get some recognition and ego gratification out of the deal. The paradox is that by focusing on imposing your opinion, you actually get less validation and ego gratification. By stepping back enough to make you sure you understand the other person enough to more effectively present your opinion, so that it is actually heard rather than argued with, you will be much more successful. And you actually might learn something.