Author Archives: nlpnowcom

NLP Now – The Map is Not the Territory

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George Miller in 1956 wrote a paper “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information” In this paper he reviewed psychological experiments, that said the human being has problems remembering more than seven unrelated items at any one time.

Try remembering a telephone number or a list of items for the weekly shopping. Difficult.

We have a memorising span that we as individuals have as limitations to take information in.

We live by our learning from our past experiences, our culture, our religion, language, beliefs, values, interests and assumptions.

We live our lives by our own unique reality taken from our own individual experiences of life, our model of the world as we perceive it, having had deleted much of the information from the situations as they happened.

I have been places and done things that the vast majority of people will never experience. I have scuba dived around the world logging over 600 dives, swimming with sharks, riding on the back of a turtles, been inside sunken wrecks, I have flown and aircraft, I have sand boarded down huge sand dunes, I have driven over a glacier on a snow mobile, climbed to the top of a volcanoes.

I have lived in Saudi Arabia for a number of years, I have lived/stayed in many countries, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Turkey, Italy, India, Bahrain, Libya, being influenced by their culture, beliefs, religions and language.

I have had many adventures, influencing my thoughts, my actions, my beliefs.

We are all bombarded by our own experiences, and take our learning from what we perceive as reality, the real things from these experiences. Yet Miller implies that we can only take in 7 +/- 2 prices of information.

Let us take a simple scene that you see in front of you now. Perhaps you are at the computer screen.

How much is being shown on the actual screen? The tool bar buttons, the web address, how about the keyboard, the layout, what key follows the character “G”, or the character “K”? Is the screen on a table? What is on the table? What is on the wall? On the floor/ What are you wearing?

Lots of visual information, yet we can only take in 7+/-2 items. We delete a lot of information being given to us.

What about sound? The clicking of the keyboard, the computer fan? Sounds of the house or the office? Sounds from outside?

We have to share the 7+/-2 items.

How about the taste in your mouth? Taste something now I point it out?

How about smells?

Your feet on the floor. Were you aware of them before I asked? Bottom on the chair. Aware of it now?

The human mind is designed to delete the vast amount of information it is given, only concentrating on the important things, remembering consciously those 7+/-2 things.

The world is so vast and full of rich information, that we have to simplify it to make sense and understand it.

Let us take the analogy of a map as compared to our conscious memory.

Consider that you have to travel to a new town you have never been to before under your own steam. How would you plan to get there? Yes, you would look at a map. As you look at the map, does it show every turn in the road, every rise and fall , hill or valley, does it show every lamp post, tree, drain? No, it just gives you a representation of the area or territory.

In NLP we say the Map is not the Territory. Click to read.

Consider the underground railway, tube or metro.

London Underground Map

London Underground Map

If you had to go from station “A” to station “Z”, you could look at the tube map and find the way. But does that map show the bends in the tube? Does it give the correct distances between the stations? No, it is a representation.

So it is with our representation of the world. We pay attention for example of those things that interest us and ignore others. We filter information. If we have limited beliefs, interests and perspectives, then our understand of the world will be impoverished, and not as rich as it could be. The world is not as we see it, but by the filters we use to perceive it.

A person who has a profession of a chef, will see the world different to that of a garbage collector, than a doctor.

Think of the word “work”, and you will have memories and experiences, internal sounds, pictures and feelings associated with that word that help you understand its’ meaning, but I will have different experiences, so my map will not be the same as yours.

Are you correct or myself? Is my cat the right one or yours?

Change your filters and change your world.

Summer and Winter Handbags

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I came across some useful or useless information recently, according to your requirements.

I did not know that there are seasons for handbags, summer handbags and winter handbags.

For me the only people who use handbags are women, and the use for a handbag has been lost with the passage of time, except that they seem to be a depository for everything I personally do not have a use for, or a focal point to dance around.

I have noticed that there are small handbag and large handbags. Handbags so small they would only carry a tissue, and then they would not close. Handbags so large they should be classified as suitcases, when used by people onboard aircraft, they take-up all the space in the overhead locker leaving no room for my small computer case and coat.

Apparently, winter handbags are of thicker materials and are darker in colour, whereas summer ones are light materials, possibly clothe, light colours often with flower patterns. Are the thicker winter handbags that way to keep the contents warm, like we would put extra layers of clothing on?

Handbags are a fashion statement, they go with the clothes the woman wears, like I would wear black shoes with a dark suit, and brown shoes with a brown suit. I wear whatever shoes are by the door, are clean and comfortable.

I was told it is like me wearing winter suits and summers suits, winter shirts and summer shirts. What are they talking about, I only have one suit, and I have had that for years. And, as regards to shirts, if it is washed and ironed I will wear it.

I have two pictures to “clarify” what are winter handbags and what are summer handbags.

Really? I am still confused.

Someone help me out here please.

Summer handbags      Winter Handbags
SUMMER HANDBAGS (?)                                WINTER HANDBAGS (?)

Tea with Milk

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Today I met with an acquaintance who offered me a cup of tea.

Ah, I love a cup of tea, especially after waking up in the morning, a good hot cup, or should I say, mug of tea sets me up for the day.

Coffee I tend not to drink. Whilst working in Saudi Arabia, on a Friday, the day off or weekend, I would often feel spaced out. I could not work this out, until I realised I was drinking over six cups of strong coffee on Fridays only, the rest of the week, 2 or 3. I cut out coffee on a Friday, and I felt fine. So, if six cups made me feel that way, what was one doing to me?

So I am a tea drinker. Typical British I hear people saying. Well no, tea is drunk in most countries, but in different ways, strengths and tastes.

My acquaintance asked what tea would I prefer, Green tea, Earl Grey, Raspberry, Turkish, English Breakfast?

Not much choice really, English Breakfast, with milk.

“With milk? You must be joking.” Came the reply. “You cannot put milk in tea.”

How often do I hear that statement? I am British, and that is how we drink it, as my mind went back to the blog I wrote yesterday, NLP Now – Cheese and Onion Sandwich (click to read).

As people know, language and me do not get on, I speak only English, even though I travel to so many countries. The first words I tend to learn are tea with milk. As my hosts and translators will verify, it takes a lot of effort on their part to teach me these words in a foreign language.

Tè con latte
(Italian), çay ve süt (Turkish), thé avec lait (French).

I must have milk in my tea. It is not tea without milk.

Well in Turkey and the Middle East, they tend to drink tea in a small glass, and loads of sugar, and I enjoy that. It tastes nothing like real tea, and it is not a mug of tea. If they serve tea for a cup, it is usually brewed in a pot, and it comes out like tar, it is thick, you have to water it down with hot water, but no milk.

A glass of Turkish Tea

NLP Now – Transderivational Search

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From the previous blogs of perceptions and the Map is Not the Territory, we have seen that we learn from our past experiences, and that we react to the world with the filters we used store the information and the filters we use to access and use that information. Our beliefs, culture, religion, language.

To understand how we communicate, use language and behaviour, let us see how we process information.

EXTERNAL INFORMATION  From the external environment we are fed information about the world about us.

SENSORY FILTERS  This information passes through or accepted by our sensory modalities, these are known in NLP as V,A,K,O,G, being Visual, Auditory (hearing and speech), Kinesthetic (touch, feelings, both internal and external), Olfactory (smell), and Gustatory (taste).

INTERNAL PROCESSING  How we pass information from one modality to another and process the information in our brain. 

INTERNAL STORAGE How we store the information, how do we represent the information in our mind.

ITERNAL RETRIEVAL  This is known as the Transderivational Search, how do we access the information.

INTERNAL REPRESENTATION  How we filter the resultant information.

FEEDBACK  How the resultant information affects our behaviours and feedback, verbal and non verbal.

So, often in communication, the spoken or written form, the sender will miss out a lot of information. For example, “it rained yesterday”  is enough to convey a concept of the action of raining, but we say this is at the surface structure, there is a lot of missing information, i.e. how heavy did it rain, at what time, where, for how long, etc.

The listener has to go inside to recover from their experiences examples that will fill in the blanks, the missing information. This searching is called the Transderivational Search. The listener has to go into the deeper structure to get complete understanding. 

In usage we will see that when a communication is made and:-

The referential index is missing, that is the person to whom the metaphor or story is missing, then the listener will go to their deeper structure, substituting their own self, their own situation to make an understanding. Milton Erickson was the master of using metaphors when working with clients.

If the predicate, violates the referential index, ie, the car felt good as it won the race, the car can not have feeling so the listener will most likely to substitute themselves into the situation to feel good.

If part of the sentence, the deep structure, has been eliminated, the listener will go on the Transderivational Search to find a suitable situation. ie You are satisfied. The listener will substitute by what, how satisfied.

If a predicate is changed into a noun or in NLP terms a nominalisation, again the listener will go on the Transderivational Search, to find an understanding. In the above example the predicate satisfy becomes a nominalisation satisfaction. So the sentence could become You find satisfaction. The listener has to go to their deep structure to understand satisfaction.

See blog on the META MODEL (click)

NLP Now – Cheese and Onion Sandwich

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The 4th Duke of Sandwich, an 18th century English aristocrat, has much to answer for, whether the name sandwich is attributed to his name because he played the card game cribbage for hours on end, and did not wish to dirty the playing cards because he had eaten meat with his bare hands, or because he wanted to eat whilst working long hours at his desk.

I like a sandwich sometimes, especially the deep filled ones with lots of content, they are convenient to carry when wrapped up, they keep fresh when wrapped in cling-film, they are easy to handle, and are not messy.

The sandwich is not a British institution of course, it would be presumptuous of me to think so, in fact the sandwich goes back to the time people started travelling and wanted to take food with them. There is mention for example of Hillel the elder, an ancient Jewish sage, putting lamb meat (Pashal) and herbs inside flat bread, or the Egyptians feeding their slaves matzos (sandwiches) perhaps as they built the pyramids, the Romans calling the meal “cibus Hilleli” or Hillel’s Snack.

The sandwich is worldwide. I found out that the fillings probably are not.

I will make the  sandwich the night before. I take the loaf of bread from the freezer, yes I freeze the loaf when I buy it, as each slice is quick to defrost when needed, and the loaf stays fresh for weeks as I only take out what I need. I create my sandwich, wrap it in cling-film, and the morning you can relax as it has already been made.

I made a favourite sandwich of mine a cheese and onion. I prefer Cheddar cheese and a freshly cut onion. Later I gave one of my sandwiches to a Turkish friend who said

       “WHAT!!! ONIONS IN A SANDWICH!!!!” He must want me to stink all day!!

promptly took the onions out throwing them away into a bin.

My filters of what is right and wrong are influenced by my filters, my culture, my beliefs, my upbringing, my understandings of the world, my likes and dislikes. (See NLP Now – Transderivational Search)

When having wine with a meal, convention states that you drink red wine with meat, and white wine with fish. I like wine, I do not drink much as I get drunk too easy, and I especially like white wine, therefore I will drink white wine with all meals.

I like hot chocolate drinks. Often when I go out for a meal after a course with colleagues or participants, and the waiter takes the order for the food then asks what I would like to drink, I will ask for a hot chocolate, with the meal. One of my translators in Turkey, Halil, thinks I am insane, how can I do that, Donatella Stefanini who was an assistant at my last PhotoReading course in Milan, felt the same way as I drank my thick hot chocolate with my meal in New York New York buffet near the Central Station.

Yet again Donatella and other people on a NLP Practitioner course I was running in Rome thought how strange it was that I had chips, (British chips, not French Fries), with my pizza. I happen to like chips.

The Chinese love noddles, I travel to China and Malaysia a lot, and have to eat noodles. The way they eat noodles with chopsticks is to suck them up with the mouth, allowing any unused to fall back onto the plate. Lots of slurping.

Donatella whilst I was in Rome, invited me to a friends restaurant for a special spaghetti meal. When the meal was placed before me I instinctively eat like I would in China or Malaysia, until I heard a strong voice from across the table, “Phillip, don’t do that.”

Note :- A noodle includes all varieties from all origins, whereas Pasta refers specifically to Italian style noodle products such as spaghetti, penne, fettuccie or liguine. They are the same.

We all have our filters our understandings of the world.

Perhaps you have a different cat in the tree. (see Peter and the Wolf).

We have to learn that other people have theirs.

NLP Now – Our Minds Eye

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After a days work, I often like my own space, where I can relax, reflect, plan, and consider the future. It is at this time that sometimes my mind is at its’ most active, and it is a time when we can “make a mountain out of a mole hill“, by exaggerating a small thing or situation into something that is totally out of proportion.

Note:- A mole hill is that small mound of dirt/soil that is left by a small fury animal, a mole, that burrows under a lawn.

Someone says something to me, or does some action, and you know, you dwell on that situation, reliving it, adding more to the situation by saying to yourself “if I had have said this or that” or “if only I had done this or that”, or “they don’t understand me, why did they say that or do that”. We all do it, make mountains out of mole hills. We all have our cat in the tree. (click here to see blog).

It is at these times when I have to distract my inner mind, to be strong, because it is only our own internal voice, we have to be rude to it, and tell it to stop now. But that internal voice has not done with us, it wants to frustrate us, it keeps coming back to the surface to torment us.

Perhaps you have a strategy to cope with this situation. The more I work with people and the more I model them, the more ways I have at my disposal to cope with the situation, to stay calm, relax and at peace.

Try talking back to that internal voice, but in a stronger voice, not out loud, else people will think you are insane which you are not. Swear at it, the most rude words you can think, tell it to “shut the f–k up.” Take control of the internal voice. You are the boss.

At night in the UK, I have a little ear piece so that I can listen to the BBC’s Radio Five Live. It is a news and information radio program with very little music, I listen all night. It distracts my mind, stops me dwelling on an issue, and I sleep like a baby.

I have one particular CD set that I love, called The War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne, based on the book of the same name written by H.G. Wells.

It is a musical work on two CD’s, with the story being narrated by Sir Richard Burton. It is very similar to Peter and the Wolf (click) in it’s concept and construction. Each person or element within the story, has its own theme music, and they intertwine and play with each other to create this wonderful work.

The Martians have their music, the soldier, the clergy man, the journalist have theirs, and each character has a narrator, David Essex the soldier, Phil Lynott the clergy, Richard Burton the journalist.

It tells the story of how the Martians came to earth to take-over, killing everything in their path as they traveled through the English countryside of Surrey where I live, into London and beyond, down the river Thames. It tells of the futile efforts of the army, with their inferior weapons to stop the Martians advances. It is only when the simplest of things finally defeats and kills the Martians that mankind is saved.

As I listen to the music and words, in my minds eye I can see like a film the Martians, the battles, I can hear the heartbeats and the fear, I can feel the emotions deep inside me, I can smell the stench of war and taste the sweet taste of freedom. I am there in the story.

The simplest change can make the difference.

Your mind can create whatever you want.

Take control of it, make your own positive situations.

Your mind, buy now you should listen to it.

    The two CD set.      The Collector’s Edition seven CD set.

Skype and Dualphone 3088 – Follow Up

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Since my troubles with Skype and the Dualphone 3088 blog (click here to read), I have some good news.

I persevered with trying to solve the connection, not finding the base unit problems, and eventually the base unit found the internet through the router. I kept the handset and the base unit switched off for a couple of days.

Since then the Dualphone 3088 has performed well, allowing access to free communication to other Skype users around the world, and I consider some of the cheapest international calls available.

Now I would recommend this unit with the latest software download.

NLP Now – Peter and the Wolf

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Today whilst I had spare time, it seemed today was a lot of spare time, I listened to a piece of music I had not heard since I was a boy. It was Peter and the Wolf.


Peter and the Wolf

Peter and the Wolf

Sergei Prokofiev in 1936, was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow to write a new musical symphony for children. This symphony was completed in four days by Prokofiev and was first performed on May 2nd of the same year 1936.

It tells of a small boy, Peter, who was staying with his grandfather in Russia. His bedroom overlooked a meadow and a mysterious forest.

As I listen to the music, my mind went back to a client I saw recently, his name can be Peter too. He was having relationship problems with a loved one, they were not seeing eye to eye. It seemed that Peter’s partner was beginning to not believe what Peter said anymore. Peter said certain things would happen, had happened, were happening, and they never happened.

The partner had built great expectations up on what Peter had said, only to become confused and frustrated, eventually saying “oh yes” to anything Peter said.

It appeared that Peter also had a lot of “pain”, or would say something was painful, or hurt, giving out utterances such as “ouch”, or would flinch when touched.

In Peter and the Wolf, there are certain characters, each depicted or played by instruments of the orchestra, with the story being narrated by an actor.

* Peter is played by the stings of the orchestra
* the wolf is played by the French horns
* the bird is played by the flute
* the duck is played by the oboe
* the hunter is played by the timpani drums
* the grandfather is played by the bassoon
* the cat is played by the clarinet

Early every morning, as the sun’s rays crept through the curtains, Peter would be up and out into the yard, which had a big wall and gate to stop Peter entering the dangers of the meadow and forest.

There was a large tree in the yard which had a big branch reaching out into the meadow, which Peter loved to climb. In the middle of the meadow was a pond.

One morning whilst sitting on the branch a little bird began to sing a happy tune which made both very happy, the bird flying over the pond.

As the bird flew, he saw a duck swimming in the pond keeping cool. They did not like each other and tormented one another, saying the duck was not a bird as it could not fly, and the bird was not a bird because it could not swim.

The two argued about who was the best, and did not notice the cat creeping up to eat the bird. It was Peter who saw the cat and shouted a warning to the bird who flew out of harms way, landing o the branch of the tree with Peter. The cat realising that it was not worth climbing the tree, settled at it’s base for a sleep.

The grandfather hearing the commotion, told Peter what a bad place the meadow was, with dangerous animals, and made Peter go back in the yard.

At that time, the wolf came into the meadow. The bird saw the wolf and chirped a warning, making the cat run up the tree, but the duck left the safety of the pond and waddled across the meadow.

The wolf quickly caught the duck and swallowed it whole.

The wolf now sat at the base of the tree waiting for the cat or the bird to make a mistake. But Peter had a plan, he would catch the wolf, so he asked the bird to distract the wolf.

The bird flew over the wolf’s nose many times, enough to distract the wolf allowing Peter to snare the wolfs’ tail with a rope. The more the wolf struggled the tighter the rope got.

As the wolf struggle some hunters came out of the wood, and were about to shoot the wolf, when Peter shouted at them to spare the wolf’s life and take him to the zoo so everyone could see this animal. So off they paraded the wolf as they took him to the zoo, the villagers proud of Peter, but the grandfather knowing that there were dangers in the forest.

It is a loverly piece of music and narration, and it reminds me of another small child and a wolf.

Every night the child went to bed, and as the parents went downstairs to rest, the child would shout, “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”. Just to draw the attention of the parents.

The parents would race to the aid of the child, to save it from the wolf, but each time they got to the bedside, there was no wolf.

The child continued to call out, “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”, and the parents would go to the bedside knowing there would be no wolf.

One night, a wolf crept towards the house looking for food, and saw the child in bed.

The child cried out “the wolf is coming, the wolf is coming”, and the parents took no notice of the cries.

The wolf ate the child.

A sorting-out day

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Today has been the sort of day you sort things out.

Today I have booked my flights to Bangalore, so that I can deliver a PhotoReading course, I have organised the paperwork and course materials.

Today I had to cancel my trip to China to meet many business people there. I am very disappointed on this.

Today I have arranged my next visit to Italy next week, to review our next courses and future plans.

Today I have been trying to sort out my web sites. I have tried to find out how to allow customers to download from the web site the CD track of The Castle, the hypnotic trance that everyone loves. What software sites on the web site so the customer clicks on a button, and then the software asks where do they wish to save the file too, and once the save key is hit, one can see the progress of the download.

Today I need help on this quest. How do you do it?

If you know, please let me know.

Today has been a sort off doing day.

PhotoReading in Milan, Italy 1

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I love my work, teaching, NLP, memory, Mind Maps, hypnosis and PhotoReading, in the different countries of the world. As my reputation as a trainer spreads, so the number of countries I am asked to go to increases.

For many years now I have been teaching PhotoReading in Italy with NLPItaly. The PhotoReading book has been translated into Italian and is a best seller there. (Italian version available from NLPItaly (click)) 

What I have found, especially with PhotoReading, is that people buy a book on a subject that they wish to learn, take it home, but never read or implement the knowledge contained in the book.

How often have you purchased a book and never got past chapter one?

Learning is a whole body experience.

Our brain has many parts which has different functions, dealing with vision, hearing, speaking, feelings internally and externally, taste and smell. We have an area of our brain which deals with our thinking process. Each of these areas are discrete, and each has to learn.

Just because we talk to ourselves about how we can for example to thread a needle, it is not until we actually physically thread the cotton through the eye of needle that the muscles and body leans how to do it.

So it is with trying to learn from a book, you physically have to do what you are trying to learn, not just process the information in your head.

We get many people attending courses who have failed to learn and implement from the book or manual.

On the latest course we had twenty (20) participants attending at the Hilton hotel near Stazione Centrale di Milano or the Central Station.

Each brought with them five (5) books, each of 300 pages, which we were to “read” along with articles and the Paul Scheele PhotoReading book, in the two and a half (2.5) days we would be together. Yes we would be absorbing words at 20,000 – 30,000 words per minute.
PhotoReading Participants in Italysome of the participants

You have to physically do a course, to attend a course to fully understand and learn a subject.