Showing posts from January, 2009

Four Hundred and One

According to Blogger, this is post 401 of ntgr8. For those of you not from Toronto, the 401 is also an expressway that goes from Windsor to Montreal. I lose track of how wide it really is - there are places in the north of Toronto where the 401 includes at least 16 lanes of traffic. It is, I will freely admit, not my favourite route to drive.

The 401 seems to have two speeds: too fast and too slow. When it is going too fast, it is easy to find oneself on the wrong side of the exit you did or didn't really want. Suddenly, you're heading north instead of west, and the world is a different place. This happens to me occasionally when I am not on the 401.

On the other hand, the 401 is the route we take for holidays. Whether we are heading to Prince Edward County, for wine and sand dunes or to Prince Edward Island (for lobster and wine and sand dunes), we head east for vacations and we take the 401 to drive through Toronto and onwards. Often, we leave early in the morning, when…

Credentials, Competence and Learning

The problem with recognizing learning through credentials is that it creates a muddy line. Some people pursue learning and earn credentials as a result. Other people end up chasing the credential (learning optional). At the one extreme, people pursue doctoral degrees in academic disciplines. At the other, people buy degrees from matchbook covers. There's a lot of mud in the middle.

Today I had a conversation with a prospective client who was, understandably, confused about NLP credentials. It's hard for people to understand that NLP exists outside of governing bodies, peer review or structured, international consensus. If you set out to develop a set of practices that effect change, the only way to judge them is by whether or not they reliably promote the change they promise. There are no tests, no contests and no meaningful stamps of approval.

There are, of course, lots of efforts to create tests and contests and stamps of approval. People create official-looking stamps …

The foundation of Ericksonian Language

Nothing human is foreign to me.
Everyone has the resources s/he needs to live better.
If you connect, people will follow your suggestions.
There is always reason to hope.
Expect success.

p.s. leave your ego at the door.

Practical Suggestions

Here are three practical suggestions for making suggestions that work:

1) Only make suggestions when you have a connection. There's no point in making suggestions to someone who is not listening. The best advice is advice that gets heard - so get a connection before making a suggestion.
2) Suggest what you want - not what you fear. We all know that it's hard to hear all of a suggestion. The easiest part to miss is the negation - hypnotists say that "Do not think of red apples" and "think of red apples" are roughly the same suggestion. So let go of fear and irony and suggest exactly what you want.
3) Make the suggestion more than once in more than one way. If you're not committed enough to think of different ways to suggest something, why would someone else be committed enough to follow the suggestion? Mindful repetition makes an impression.

Think about something you'd like to suggest. Get a connection. State what you want simply and clearly. Then f…

There's no such thing as a fresh start

It's the beginning of a new year - technically. For many people, the new year begins in September when summer vacation ends. This is true for teachers and people with kids, and often it's true for people with long summer holidays or summer properties. Some people welcome spring as a real beginning, when the snow melts and things start to grow again.

The truth is: we all come from somewhere. Even a new baby carries genetic memory with genetic potential. There are no fresh starts; maybe there are not really any beginnings at all.

That doesn't mean that we give up on change or hope or the excitement of the first day of school. Tomorrow I start school again, and I am already experiencing butterflies. I love first days. I love the illusion of starting with a clean slate, an empty notebook, a blank page. It's an illusion that makes change attractive.

It's an illusion. The reality is that I come to school carrying memories - some of them light, and some of them hard o…

Beginning with hope

I have been reading two books lately that say hope matters so much that it is a foundation for both health and achievement. Hope means being able to hold a picture of something good so strongly that you believe in it even when all the evidence is working against you. Hope means believing that one day will be better than this day. Maybe not tomorrow or the next. But one day.

When we talk about someone having "high hopes" we distort the nature of hope. Wishing is not the same as hoping. In fact, it's the precise opposite of hoping. When we wish something we hold onto a picture of it without believing we can make it real. We wish for things when we need a cheap replacement for hope.

Have you found many cheap replacements that really work? Wishing is not an adequate substitute for hope. You need the real thing.

Here's the secret: the people without hope think that it is a gift - either people have it or they do not but there's no way to get it if you do not alrea…