NLP Training, Techniques & Products for learning NLP

Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Add Your Comments

Personal development is filled to the rafters with myths.

Not all are helpful.

In fact for some people holding these myths as ‘truth’ causes them to feel bad – stuck.

Take one of the biggest myths of all.

What I call ‘The Passion’ myth.

Pick up any personal development book written after the mid 90’s and you’ll find page after page talking about ‘finding your passion’.

The word passion has permeated in to modern day self-help culture.

It’s presupposes that YOU are meant to be doing something you are passionate about. That ‘out-there’ there is a something waiting or calling for you to do.

When you do, your life will feel like you have been plugged in directly to the hardline of the life-force itself.

Everything will appear richer, more beautiful – colours become more saturated and stunning like your life is being lived out on a movie screen.

All sensory systems will be enhanced. Deep inside, you will feel really good. You will be the envy of your friends. People will want to know you – to be like you.

This is just some of the ‘rewards’ for someone who has found their passion.

Problem is. It’s a lie.

A fake.

[Well sort of, more on that in a moment.]

All too often when good folks compare where they are now and what they are doing with their lives against the ‘passion’ ideal, they then feel crappy about themselves.

Life seems only more tediously boring, unfulfilling.

Painfully Drab!

The Pot of Gold

Finding what your passion is meant to be is like chasing a pot of gold. You’ve seen the rainbow, you’ve heard other people have done it, it’s just no matter what you do; that darn pot of Gold never comes to you!

Let’s break this myth and organise our thinking in such a way so that it leads to

effective action
feeling better
enjoying every moment more

“In life you are given a bag of moments. You don’t know how many of those moments you have. NLP is about showing you how to make the most of them.” – Dr. Richard Bandler

The passion myth is a pervasive meme.

It’s infectious.

Like all good memes if you touch it, you can’t help but get some of it on you.

So we need to get some gloves and wellies on.

Got yours on?

When you step right back and look at how this world operates you begin to notice that meaning is not something that exists in anything itself; it is what we as human beings give it.

Put another way; the meaning isn’t ‘out-there’, it is in us. Collectively or individually we all create meaning around events and objects.

We then forget we have ever done that and project those meanings and ‘infect’ others. If enough of us accept a meaning, it is accepted as unquestioned fact.

Perhaps this is what led the 19th century philosopher – Friedrich Nietzsche to say:

“All things are subject to interpretation.

Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”

Finding your passion is something that is ‘sold’ as something out-there.

If you want to find your passion – turn the spotlight inside.

Rid yourself of the notion that your passion will mystically find you.

Go uncover it.

Recognise that discovering your passion is a process.

It’s a something a person actively does.

They don’t hang round and hope their passion will show up like a thunderbolt, then life is suddenly transformed.

That’s the Passion meme talking.

The lie.

For many waiting… waiting… waiting kills their belief that it will occur. They B.S. (belief system) all over themselves.

Years go by – with no meaningful progress.

Perceived failings to find their true passion stack up, they compare themselves to their friends who ‘seem’ to be living happier, richer, more successful lives and they ask themselves:

“What the f**k have I been doing all this time?”

If this applies to you; go easy.

But take the ah-ha on board.

If you look at the bigger patterns of people who are passionate about their life what you’ll notice is they are driven by a definite purpose.

A something they want to do, or make right.

The motivator for pursuing their passion is not shiny things or the applause or the looks of admiration.

It is the work itself.

It compels them to act. To walk the path (often through barren land for a time) to do the work they feel needs to be done.

Through confusion, sweat and toil they created or found something that truly is deeply engaging and valuable to them.

In other words they have given the work they do a special meaning.

Anyone can do this too.

It’s not just the ‘special’ or ‘lucky’ ones.

It starts with you deciding that you will bring meaning to the work that you do.

If you really don’t like it or feel in your heart you should be doing something else; then start today – no matter how far away your dream work may appear to be – and get to work making it happen.

Growing up whenever I found myself doing a job that I didn’t like, like picking a field of weeds, working mind-numbing hours on a factory line or working in a bakery at 2AM in the morning I’d remind myself,

“There is no such thing as a boring job, there is only a boring job for you.”

This would remind me that the state of boredom was something I was doing.

A meaning I was bringing to the situation.

It would encourage me to lift that job, no matter how mundane it seemed to be, to it’s highest potential for me.

How I did that was to become curious. To look for what could be fascinating about this job/work situation.

As I trained myself to look for this – I found so much more joy was right there to be found in that work.

Jobs I initially really dis-liked I began to love or find real value in them.

I became a human sponge, soaking up everything I could learn about them.

When I hit the apex of that job, career or situation – I then used that energy to pursue something more exciting and compelling.

This process has lead me to find several careers that have held great all consuming passion for me.

But it only starts when we stop passively waiting for passion to find us and we decide to bring passion to the work we do.


These are all INSIDE jobs.

What’s one area or project you could start on today that you KNOW would bring more joy, passion and purpose to your life?

Start today.

Add Your Comments

They walk among us.

People who psychologists call ‘natural sentinels’.

A select group with a rather unique trait.

They are highly skilled at detecting lies, using just their senses.

No James Bond kit or NSA communication snooping required.

These folks are highly sensitive to threats in their environment.

It makes them really good at spotting “tells” in others.

The secret behind their perceptual powers?

Fear of separation and abandonment.

At least that’s according to one group of social psychologists who study human’s reactions to threats.

People who they qualified as “anxiously attached” tended to be hyper vigilant.

To be able to detect incongruities and threats in their environment long before regular folks.

In NLP the role of perception is paramount to being skillful with the tech.

If you can’t detect it, you can’t pattern – and basically you’re hosed.

Entire categories of information can go right past you and you’d never know it was there.

What you can’t see you can’t use.

Information captured and used is power.

There are circa 30 organising presuppositions in NLP.

These presuppositions are the foundational building blocks of the technology.

Not because they are necessarily ‘true’, but because when embodied and operationalized, they act as powerful enabling filters in how we interact with the world.

One of the most important presuppositions in NLP is:

All human behavior is purposive or adaptive within some context, whether you can detect it or not.

Next time you find yourself or a loved one beating themselves up for repeatedly doing something that doesn’t work; pause.

Don’t judge or damn it.

Reflect on what function does that or could that behaviour serve?

How does the behaviour benefit you/them?

How does it fit into their overall system of behaviour of the person?

You’ll find some surprising answers…

Both about yourself and others.

When you begin to tap into what truly drives a person’s behaviour you can access a very powerful way to influence them.

You’ll also free yourself up from endless loops of “negative internal bashing” when you realise that every behaviour even those you thought to yourself afterwards “WTF was I thinking?” were serving some valued purpose.

Pause, reflect. Re-align your actions with your desired results.

When you do, you may get the biggest benefit of all.

Only having to make mis-takes once; and success will become so much closer.

To your success,

P.S Today’s ‘Reset The Net’ day, an initiative to help you become more secure online and stop hackers and unauthorised 3rd parties from snooping on you.

You can check it out here:

Add Your Comments











Goethe said it best:

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not
enough, we must do.”

It’s 2014. We’re 13 days in.

And this year could be your finest yet… when you crack
your own success code.

When you figure out

– who you need to be
– what you need to trade
– and how you need to organise yourself and your resources

so that success is not just possible but CERTAIN.

This is a level of playing that is light years beyond
goal setting.

Contrary to what you may have heard, goal setting is
typically not enough.

Becoming the person you want to be, demands much more
than just setting goals.

Having a goal is one thing.

Knowing what it will take to achieve it is something else.

And that’s where many people fall short.

They fail to interrogate what it’s going to take to
achieve their most important goals.

Time passes by. Often little progress is made, year
after year.


A big reason is because your brain doesn’t have CLARITY
about what are the actions you need to take, in what
sequence and under what contexts to take them.

It’s like a person blind-folded, spun around 5 times
and left wandering around a field at night, trying to
find their way out with no helping hand.

It’s possible to find your way out, but without some
clear markers it’s going to be a tiring challenge.

Interrogating your goal statements shines a bright
light, not just on the goal itself, but the entire
ecosystem in which you are pursuing the goal.

Your life.

And how it needs to be; for the most important results
to show up.

Not by accident. But by design.

Without clear signposts it’s natural in today’s
technology and always ‘on’ world for your attention to
be captured by other things.

So we find endless things to distract ourselves.

And through our inaction we let precious time pass by.

Days. Months. Years.

What could be achieved in 90 days becomes something
that is stretched out over years.

Sometimes decades.

In fact most of time, I suspect people’s most important
verbalised goals are never achieved.

Not because they never set a goal.

But because they never realised what goal setting is
for (something I’ll cover in a future email.)

Achieving your goal requires – a fresh look.

A fresh look at what must be so… to bring the result(s)
that you want to fruition.

With the…

– right thinking
– right actions
– right arrangement of resources

almost any goal will bow towards you.

It starts when you question the status quo.

Turn the limitations you’ve accepted, on their head.

Think through the challenges you face.

There is almost always a way to get to where you want
quicker, easier, in a more enjoyable way.

But it requires looking at things differently.

For now, answer:

– What goals am I committed to achieving in 2014?

List out your top 3 most important goals.

For each goal ask:

– Why do I really want it?

If you can’t think of lots of reasons right away,
chances are the goal statement is someone else’s desire
for what your goal should be. Tread carefully.

Get clear on what you think perusing this goal will get
or give you. Then challenge the presumed benefits by
asking “Will this goal REALLY give me a, b, c benefits?

Be totally honest here. If you are unsure say so.

The clearer the desire; the easier it will be to take
action without needing to ‘jack yourself’ up with ra-ra

– Will this goal create an inherent sense of happiness
and fulfillment by achieving it?

Many goals will fail to pass this test. If so, it may a
good time to jettison them.

– Who will I need to become?

You aren’t likely to achieve some new stretch goal by
simply doing more of the same. You will most likely
have to stop doing many things and start doing some
other things. Each goal will demand specific

Are you committed enough to actually do them?

– What will it cost or what will I have to trade, in
order to achieve this goal?

Some goals will require FAR more effort, time and
energy than what you feel it will give you in return;
so don’t take the journey if you aren’t happy to pay
the price.

There is always a price for every goal, even if you
can’t see it right away. Leverage the knowledge and
experience of others who have done it to find out what
that is BEFORE you pursue it.

After you’ve got some intelligence on what’s involved
ask yourself:

– Is pursuing the goal still worth it?

If it is, keep it.

If not discard it. You can reconsider again in the
future if you so decide.

Once you’ve figured out if the goal is worthy of your
time and energy AND if you are willing to pay the price
to get it, then it’s time to get really clear about how
you need to organise your inner world and resources to
bring this goal to life.

As a living breathing experience in your life.

Not something you dream or talk about.

But something you live and breath every day.

More on that in a future post.

To your success,


BTW if you haven’t shared your thoughts on future
resources you’d like to receive…

-> Tell me here. <-

I’ve got something special waiting for you.






Add Your Comments

It’s sure feels like it has been a Snowden summer.

I for one am thankful.

That he was willing to put everything on the line.

To let the rest of us know.

The sheer SCALE of the monitoring and tracking that is going on.

While I’ve been involved with NLP for 14 years.

I’ve been involved with computers and security for longer.

Back in the late 90’s I was a walking ‘computer geek’.

And proud.

I still remember the first time I came across the
idea of hacking.

I was at my girlfriends house watching the cult
classic movie ‘Hackers’, starring a very young
Angelina Jolie.

Do you remember it?

The crazy over the top graphics. Pumping music and
cheesy dialogue?

It was a fun movie.

Back then in 1995 just 17 million people were online.

17 Million!

Today there are over 2.4 Billion of us online.

Anyhow, after the movie ended a friend turned to
me and said:

“Can you do that?”

And for the first time in computers.. I had no
idea how.

How to ‘hack’ computer hardware or software.

I had up until that point, simply been a

Becoming aware that there is much more going on,
started me on a search.

How to secure yourself from unwanted access and
breaches of your rights.

And to do that I needed to learn more about how
hacking really works.

I became fascinated with it.

And experienced many fun experiences along the way.

Along the journey I came across something called…

Neuro-linguistic PROGRAMMING.

I wondered:

What is this?

Is it possible that people’s minds can be

This lead me to the question, well if that is
true, then

Who is doing the programming?

For what intent?

And why?

The answer is…

It is possible for the masses to be manipulated.

To be ‘programmed’.

For someone else to “login” and influence your mind.

Turn on the TV and the news programming is ready.

To influence you.

So it means you need to be mindful of which sources:

You watch.

Listen to.

And read.

What “fires together, wires together” as
neuro scientists say.

But it’s not like people are machines or computers.

That’s a metaphor.

The vast majority of people cannot do a one click
‘install’ of some dirty sneaky secret into your

Although one time learning is normal.

The word ‘installation’ in terms of NLP is at
best a metaphor.

If you want to guard against being manipulated it
means you need to learn a bit about how others
influence you.

And how you influence others.

That’s partly what got me interested in learning NLP.

Because forces are influencing all of us… every

If you don’t know how the ‘magic’ works, you can’t
see it when it is being used against you.

Controlling the ‘FRAME’ has long been the business
of ‘public relations’ advisors, politicians and

Take Snowden for example.

Is he a true selfless ‘Whistleblower’ or ‘Traitor’?

You decide.

Or do you?

Perhaps it’s decided for you.

The best ‘spin’ doctors are closer to Leonardo
DiCaprio character in the movie Inception.

They are experts at putting ideas in.

Using sources you least expect.

If they are REALLY good they can place ideas
inside your mind without you…

* ever realising they were there

* or that the idea you so strongly hold

* was never your idea at all.

It was someone else’s.

Setup to make it look AND feel like yours.

So new options are formed

And mass behaviours changed.

Don’ believe me.

Watch the fascinating video below about Sigmund Freud’s
nephew, Edward Bernays.

Watch this fascinating video about Sigmund Freud’s
nephew, Edward Bernays.

Bernays practically invented the field of Public
Relations or as he called it propaganda.

Back in the 1920s Propaganda as a term didn’t have
a negative connotation that we associate with it

Bernays was so successful as manipulating the
masses, Presidents and Big Tabacco called on him.

He become known as “The Father of Public Relations (PR)”.

And he was a master of it.

Working past 100 years of age, advising clients.

As a student of communication and influence,
Bernays is a person worth studying.

He used manipulation on a grand scale.

To quote the NY Times:

“He considered himself a professional opinion
maker who, by following precise principles,
could produce desired changes in attitudes.”

And he was really good at it.

Classic example is how he changed the smoking
habits of millions of Women, using insights he
learned from Freud’s work.

Back then Big Tabacco came to him with a problem.

They wanted to get more women smoking. Increase
the market of smokers.

One big problem.

Most women didn’t smoke because it was a social

Men didn’t like it.

The 1920’s house wife complied.

Bernays psychoanalyst told him that “cigarettes
represented the penis.”

So if you want to get women smoking…

“You need to give them their own penises.”

And he did.

It’s a stroke of brilliance.

And alarming for that time.

Today the methods he created are the norm. And
they have become more effective.

Misinformation travels faster.

Truth becomes lies.

Lies become (unchallenged) truth.

So next time you turn on the TV and hear about
Snowden or any number of issues.

Think again.

Maybe you are being manipulated.


Update: Thanks to everyone who emailed me on this post.

You may be interested to know that 562 authors, including 5 Nobel Prize laureates, from over 80 countries have joined together to launch an appeal in defense of civil liberties against surveillance by corporations and governments. They have started a petition here. It’s worth checking out and signing.


Add Your Comments

Ever felt like asking an air stewardess why you need to turn off your phone when flying?

I have.

People will try to convince you off all kinds of things.

And what’s amazing is what people will accept, without challenge.

Check out this very funny viral video.

Some folks on a plane decide not to accept the “standard” conventional answers and challenge an air stewardess.

Some wonderful examples of “non standard” Meta Model challenges and sleight of mouth patterns in action.

Can you spot them?


P.S. This video includes some swearing, so if that things upsets you, don’t watch.

Add Your Comments


Stress. Pressure. Worry.

Seems like bad news is everywhere and problems abound.

Bad news and worry flowing through the airwaves is making people
jittery. Markets in turmoil. Countries in turmoil.

It’s only sane to wonder “When will this end?”

Thankfully you can relax. Take a deep breath in and feel the
stress leave your body.

This July Michael Breen is running his 2013 Glastonbury Retreat.

It’s a great opportunity to dissolve the stress away; refocus and
discover new solutions.

Join Michael in a small group context where you’ll learn how to
connect to a profound internal stillness, access powerful
positive states and discover tools to dissolve problems.

Michael’s retreats are very special blend of east and west,
practical and esoteric.

There is nothing I’ve experienced quite like it.

I still use practices I learnt on previous workshops to this day
when I want to rapidly destress and unwind or generate new
solutions to seemingly stuck problems.

Just three places remain.

Retreat Dates: 30th July – 1st August 2013

Location: Chalice Well Garden, Glastonbury

Check out full details here or call Michael’s office direct on +44 20 8889 5181

Feedback Form