Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NLP Presupposition: Change Can Be Quick, Easy And Lasting.

People often assume that change is slow, difficult and don’t last.

It is more empowering to believe that change can be quick, easy and lasting.

If we prepare well and lay the ground properly, change will follow naturally. Change will be embraced instead of resisted.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NLP Presupposition: If What You’re Doing Isn’t Working, Try Something Else.

If you try one key in a lock and it doesn't open the door, you wouldn't just turn the key harder, would you?

You'd try another key.

People often just keep doing the same thing over and over, except harder, louder, and meaner and hoped to get a better result.

It has been said that doing the same thing but expecting a different result is a form of insanity.

A better strategy is to try another key, and another…. until you find the one that unlocks the door.

Change the plan as often as necessary but not the goal.

Monday, September 28, 2009

NLP Presupposition: Choice Is Better Than No Choice.

We always have choices.

We just need to create them.

The human imagination creates choices by lateral thinking – reframing and changing perspectives.

The choices we make are up to us. Every morning we can choose to have a good day or a bad day. We can complain or count our blessings.

We are the choices we make.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

NLP Presupposition: If One Person Can Do It, Then Anyone Can Do It.

Whatever someone has done, her strategy can be broken down into small enough chunks and so can be replicated.

If you identify the strategy of a successful person and you're willing to go through the same learning experiences, put in the same effort, and take the same time as she does, then you can be equally successful.

The limits to achievement are all too often self-imposed in our minds. Many people with disabilities have proven that even missing limbs, sight or hearing are no barrier to achievement when we set our minds on our goals.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

NLP Presupposition: Life And Mind Are Systemic Processes.

The things going on inside your mind and body, and between your body and your environment, are interconnected.

Changes to our mind will create changes to all parts of our system.

Friday, September 25, 2009

NLP Presupposition: The Mind And Body Are One, And Invariably Affect Each Other.

If we hear bad news, we feel bad. We feel it in our body, as in the phrase feeling “sick to the stomach”.

The reverse is also true.

Smiling can bring on happy thoughts and cheer you up.

People given placebo drugs get well because they believe they will get well.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NLP Presupposition: We Are In Charge Of Our Minds, And Therefore Our Results.

We are what we think. What we think we are.

Everything is created twice. First in our minds, then in the physical world.

Take responsibility of our thoughts and we take control of our behaviour, and ultimately our results.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NLP Presupposition: Respect Other People’s Model Of The World

We all create an internal map or model of the world that is unique to us.

When we respect and understand other’s model of the world, we acknowledge their uniqueness as a person and are more effective in our communication.

If we do not respect other people’s model of the world, we create unnecessary misunderstandings and friction.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NLP Presupposition: The Map Is Not The Territory.

As our internal filters delete, distort and chunk information, our internal map is never the territory it depicts.

We are at best slightly separated from “reality”. In fact, we are very often way off course.

Everyone’s internal filters are unique due to differences in our upbringing, environment and experiences.

We have to realise that our internal maps are all different as everyone filters differently.

Monday, September 21, 2009

NLP Presuppositions

NLP presuppositions are beliefs. Beliefs by definition cannot be proven true or false. Beliefs are accepted by believers on faith.

Beliefs can be proven helpful or harmful.

NLP presuppositions have proven helpful when applied to everyday situations.

NLPers make significant and positive changes for themselves and others by using NLP presuppositions as internal filters in their lives.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Take Off Those Blinders

One of the benefits of NLP is to become aware of the internal filters we have and how they affect what we see, hear, and feel.

Once we pin down those internal filters that do not serve us, we can choose to modify or remove them.

We can also replace them with internal filters that serve us better.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Living on Autopilot

Most of us operate on “automatic pilot” guided by our internal maps.

Though our internal maps rule our life, most of us aren't conscious of their existence or that they are merely filtered representations of reality.

We assume our internal maps are really “the truth”.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Where Our Internal Filters Come From

We see the world through our internal filters. Our internal filters are created by:

• How we were brought up

• Where we have been

• What we have experienced.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

NLP Communication Model

Every second, 10 million bits of information attempt to enter our mind through our five senses.

As we can only process 140 bits per second we use internal filters to delete, distort and chunk the information down.

Our internal filters are our values, beliefs, attitudes, memories, language we use (both vocally and silently within our mind), decisions we make, and meta-programs.

The information we accept after deleting, distorting and chunking are the ingredients we use to make our internal map or model of the world.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Don't Do Your Best!?

I recently spoke with my son and daughter before their exams. Would you believe that I advised both of them not to do their best?

Here’s a surprise. Telling ourselves that we are going to do our best is really a limiting attitude.

I am sure, some of you may be wondering:

What is he talking about?

Don’t do my best? I have always been taught to do my best, I have always tried to do my best, and I have always encouraged others to do their best. How can that possibly be wrong?

In my opinion, there are two fatal flaws with the “I’ll do my best” attitude.


When we set out to do our best, we limit ourselves to whatever we feel our best is. But do we really know what our best is? How do we know that we are really doing our best? In my opinion, there is really no reliable way to know whether we are really doing our best or not.

If we just say we are doing our best, chances are we may be unknowingly performing at a suboptimal level. What can we do to eliminate such a mistake?

I suggest we don’t say we’ll do our best since we actually don’t know for sure what that is. Instead, set a clear aim for ourselves, and do what is required to achieve it.

American Florence Chadwick was the first woman to swim the 42 kilometres between Catalina Island and the California coast. During her first attempt, Florence had no clear aim but had in mind only to try her best to reach the Californian shore. A thick fog set in about 15 hours after she set off. Florence tried her very best but she was unable to see the coast due to the fog.

With no clear aim she began to doubt her own ability. She told her mother, who was following her in a safety boat, that she had given her best but didn’t think she could make it. Florence swam for another hour before asking to be pulled aboard. As she sat in the boat, she realised that she had given up barely 2 kilometers from the shore.

Two months later, Florence took another plunge. This time her mindstate was different. Florence wasn’t just trying her best and hoped that that will be enough to get her to wade ashore triumphantly at the other end. This time she had a clear aim.

The same thick fog set in, but Florence made it because she kept a vivid mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.

Florence showed us that we don’t know what our best is until we complete a task with full commitment, focus, energy, and positive attitude. We’ll be surprised to find strengths we didn’t know we have. We’ll achieve things we would not have otherwise.


Just doing our best sounds good, but if you think about it, it really is a cop out.

When we face a challenge, by only resolving to do our best, we are setting ourselves up mentally to accept defeat. Having supposedly “done our best”, we can accept defeat with serenity.

However, if we want to bring out our best, we need to tell ourselves specifically what we want to achieve. We must have a clear aim.

Every time you get onto the pitch, don’t just do your best, focus on winning the match. Every time you sit before an interview board, don’t just do your best, focus on snagging that coveted job. Every time you take an exam, don’t just do your best, focus on scoring the top grade.

When Singapore swim queen Joscelin Yeo competed in Southeast Asian swimming meets, she would leap off the starting platform with her mind set on winning. And win she did. Yeo produced numerous personal best times and bagged 40 gold medals at various Southeast Asian Games.

On the other hand, though Joscelin Yeo competed in four Olympic Games (the most times by a Singaporean athlete), none of her personal best times came from the Olympic Games. Joscelin Yeo had not set her sights an Olympic gold medal.


All of us find fulfilment in being able to be the best that we can be. Note, I stressed “the best that we can be”, not in being better than other people.

Yet, there is a paradox. While we only want to run our own race and not to compare with others, the best way to be our best is by aiming to be the best.

Of course, you will not always win. But you will only produce your best result by playing to win. If your personal best is not enough to win this round, just take it as feed back and go for it again.

You shouldn’t be focusing on the fact that you think you’re doing your best and still coming up short. You should focus on figuring out what you can do, how you can change, to ensure that you will be able to do what is required of you.

Your persistence will pay off.


To sum up, firstly don’t say we’ll do our best because we really don’t know what our best is. Instead have a clear aim that will draw out the best in you.

Secondly, don’t say you’ll do your best when you want to perform at your best. Instead have a clear aim that is further than your grasp, forcing your best self to stand up.

I leave you with wise words from Michelangelo who said that: “The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it”.