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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.

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True self-help means helping yourself.

It means raising the fingers to the idea of entitlement.

Just about everyone is looking for ‘more’.

More money.
More freedom.
More happiness.
More __________ (fill in your words).

Our nature is to want more.

So what’s the key of getting more of what you want?

It’s taking reality based actions (RBA).

What’s “Reality Based Action”?

RBA is the idea that we strive to take effective actions,
based on correct premises and assumptions, not flawed thinking.

Zooming out for a moment, one of the BIG ideas in NLP is we
don’t interact with the world directly, rather we operate on
the world through our maps or models.

As human beings our brains and nervous systems filter the
world and deletes, generalises and distorts all the time.

It’s natures way of creating mental shortcuts and avoiding
being overwhelmed by the billions of pieces of information
that are being hurtled our way at any moment.

Here’s the thing…

We mistake our thoughts for reality and act AS IF what and
how we think IS REALITY.

And we do it all the time.

[Even after you think you’ve ‘got this’. Our brains do a
very good job of filtering this key distinction to the back
of your mind.]

Very few people stop to figure out where there perceptions
are inaccurate, ineffective or simply failing to work – in
the pursuit of getting MORE of what they want.

So we have the situation of the same
frustration/problem/issue happening OVER and OVER again.

Like a bad movie.

But it gets worse – it can last a lifetime when you don’t
figure out how your FLAWED perceptions & beliefs are keeping
you stuck.

Getting MORE of what you want, isn’t the key to happiness.

If it were the most ‘successful’ and famous among us would
be the role models for happiness.

But they are not.

To this idea of taking Reality Based Actions (RBAs) we need
to add something else.

The willingness to discover your own truth. And to live it.

Figure out what really fulfills you (not what’s being
pushed on you from every facet of culture and society) and
then act in harmony with who you decide you will be.

There’s much, much more than can be said on these topics.

For now I just want to open this conversation and leave you
with a few ideas and some useful resources.

Getting Clear(er)

The toolset of NLP (particularly the Meta Model and Michael
Breen’s Framing Tool) can really help in helping you figure
out what’s really going on so you can take better reality
based actions.

The kind of action that shortcut the path to having more.

Yet even though I whole heartily recommend this training in
these frameworks, even if you don’t have any yet, you can

still use the following questions to get you far on your

Take a goal you’ve been ‘sitting on’ or not taking much
action and ask yourself the following:

* Do I really want this goal?
* Why do I really want it?

Write your answers down.

Filter out any BS and write whatever comes from your gut.

Now ask yourself:

* Do you want the journey as well?

Every goal, desire, ‘MORE’ you decide to want has a price.

Are you willing to pay your way forward to it?

Many people are not.
Even less know what the journey really involves.

If you don’t know – your first task is to research it.

Speak with people in the know who can give you insight.

You may save yourself hundreds of hours when you discover

– that in fact it’s not something you really want (when
you really become aware of what it will cost to get

– discover shortcuts and fast track that can accelerate
you much further along than you would be otherwise.

Assuming you want whatever your ‘MORE’ goal is.

Ask yourself the modellers question:

What must be so in order for the result to be so?

Followed by fleshing out the desired state – present
state and resources to fill in the big picture of what
it’s going to take.

BTW – I’ve got a very cool process I use to help with this
process. More on that in a future post.

Use the NLP TOTE model to colour in the detail.

The actual first pass strategy you’ll follow to achieve what
you want.

[Don’t know about the TOTE model, you can learn all about it
in issue 1 here.]

By expanding your thinking to consider what

– how this goal will impact other areas of your life
– what resources you’ll need to bring it about
– where you are starting from

You’ll put yourself FAR AHEAD than most people who go about
‘wishing’ for their goal/dream/desire to come true.

Remember true self-help means helping yourself.


P.S. One of THE MOST IMPORTANT things you can do with any
goal you are committed to achieving is make sure you keep it

That means in addition to all the above question, any time
you go about pursuing a new goal ask yourself:

* How can I keep my goal of XYZ front of mind?

Then setup multiple ways for it to stay front of mind.

This one insight alone can make a dramatic difference to
whether you produce a quality result or not.

Got a question or insight you’d like to share, feel free to comment below.

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Persuasion. Manipulation.

Getting other people to say yes!

Helping others.

Call it what you will…

Persuading others is a key skill to succeeding in life.

There are countless methods and ways we are all influenceable.

However not all methods are universal.

Yet there are six are.

Six tactics that act as universal “shortcuts” and can be used to influence your choices and make you and me more malleable to being persuaded to yes.

Watch the above video to learn more as Robert Cialdini & Steve Martin cover all six universal shortcuts of persuasion.

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As we head towards the end of 2011, many people will be reviewing their goals and wondering – where did all the time go?!

The clock of time ticked pretty much as quick as it did last year but for many of us, we could swear it must of ticked a whole lot faster.

Here are the top 6 meta patterns that are frequently found when people don’t make more progress on their goals along with six NLP based solutions.

These aren’t the only 6, there are many more but when you consistently sort out these five you’ll make a quantum leap forward in your ability to produce important goal results on time, every time.

1. Lack of clarity, defined in sensory based words of what they want

Getting clear, really clear on what you want and what it will take to get it takes effort. Often people overlook the need for clarity and settle for abstract fuzzy language about what they really want and therefore have a difficult time achieving it.


Take twenty minutes to guide yourself through a set of clarifying questions about what you really want. Put yourself into a relaxed determined state.

You can use the NLP outcomes model and Meta Model to help you get clear on what you want. Make sure you write it down and you pen and paper to clarify your thought process.

Many people try to overcome problems or planning their goals by thinking only in their head. They fail to take the time to write it out. Writing it out acts as a dissociative process and allows you to see the BIG PICTURE more easily. It also helps you see how different component and pieces fit together.

Do it and you’ll find it will greatly help.

2. Ambivalent feelings about doing the task

Ambivalence, feeling indifferent or non motivated/stuck is a common feeling many folks will describe when telling you why they haven’t yet taken action (after the typically first tell you a shaggy dog story about all the superficial things they have done that we each fool ourselves into thinking is progress).

If this applies to you, you’ll often find yourself saying “I want to x” but when you examine the pattern of your behaviours you’ll find that you don’t actually take any meaningful actions to move forward. And you haven’t been for a long time. Everyone has one or more areas of their life where this applies. The idea is not to get trapped inside justifying your situation or why you haven’t taken action but rather quickly shift gears to what you need to do to get the task done.


Use pen and paper to Meta Model your thinking about the issue.

Thoughts and feelings of ambivalence or “can’t get motivated to…” arise from a specific set of thoughts and repeated actions. The more you practice this (instantiate the pattern) the more your brain allocates that as THE way to act whenever the said topic comes up.

For example whenever you think about doing X project, your internal dialogue says “Awwww, I don’t know what I should be doing there, I’m too tired now and besides I’ve got that other thing I need to get done”… and quickly your brain switches channels (you distracts yourself) and bingo the thought train disappears from your consciousness.

After you’ve unpacked how you are using your mind-body to create this state-response, shift your focus and condition your brain-body with how you want it to act instead.

Re-orient your thinking so that taking action towards the goals results in you feeling better each time you make some progress towards it.

Make taking action a fun rewarding thing that the more you do, the more eager you are to finish it.

Depending on your character you can find any number of ways to make this naturally work for you. So for example if you are competitive you might make taking action a points based game where you challenge yourself to “score” better each week than the week before or some variation.

3. Fail To Scope The Task Adequately

Anytime we undertake a goal that has more than one step to it, it’s very useful to sufficiently scope out each of the major tasks involved quickly and ensure we can gather and arrange the resources required to fulfil them.

Unfortunately when the path to the goal is unfamiliar or new, many people fail to outline the key tasks involved and so the achievement of the goal almost immediately falls into peril. (Typically the results of this inaction don’t show their head till much later, by which time the consequences have already occurred.)


The NLP toolset gives us a powerful array of models that when internalised and well practiced would greatly help any manager or leader responsible for producing a result.

Using the Meta Model, the NLP TOTE model and the Michael Breen’s Framing Tool well will give you everything you are likely to need to quickly scope out any size of project. Of course for projects that go into virgin territory for you, you’ll need to engage the input of others but knowing what questions to ask will save you a huge amount of time.

Many people’s goals are abstract statements like “I want to be healthier” or “I want to be financially free”. These free floating statements have nothing identifiable in the world that a video camera can zero in on, and so neither does your brain. Without a timeframe your brain doesn’t get the benefit of feeling the deadline draw closer, and so often there is no internal signal to act because at a sub-modality level you keep pushing the picture further away.

Avoid this problem by scoping out what needs to get done in sensory specific actions and set deadlines for every important goal. Once you do you’ll see a rapid increase in your progress.

4. Fail To Carry Out Frequent Checks

Even when you know what you want clearly, you’ve considered the scope, resources, set a timeframe and have a good plan, many people forget to build in frequent external checks… and so weeks, months, years go by and still no meaningful progress occurs.


Schedule in frequent reviews each week and month on your most important goals. The more you measure the quicker you can identify when you are “off course” and make a few critical adjustments that can make all the difference on whether your achieve your goal or not.

5. Fail To Act!

Failure to act is another common pattern for not hitting your goals.

Often people don’t have more of what they want because they got caught up in talking, thinking and spiralling around a topic… but never acting and following through.

Usually when I dig under the surface reasons as to why they haven’t taken any significant action before it arises that one of three things are present:

  • They don’t believe achieving the goal is possible for them
  • Emotionally they are filled with fear, uncertainty and doubt about the goal
  • They don’t really want it, it’s really someone else’s desire for them or they have some level of cross-motivation occuring
  • They haven’t defined the criteria adequately to figure out where/how to act


Act more, talk less.

Use the NLP toolset to think differently, think better and transform any negative self-talk so you take action each and every day toward achieving what you want. Measure your performance and very quickly you’ll realise if you are generating elaborate stories about why you aren’t taking action. If you are – become curious to discover how you are thinking to produce this result… then change it (where appropriate).

6. We Let Ourselves Get Stopped

Hard coded into the DNA of NLP is the attitude of having a tenuous resolve when in pursuit of an outcome. It’s fair to say that the field is unlikely to have gotten as far as it has without the commitment and willingness of Dr. Bandler and John Grinder to move beyond the opposing opinions and obstacles of the early days.

Whenever we fail to achieve what we want what is usually missing from the narrative is “I let myself become stopped” or “I choose to stop because…” Typically what is expressed is how several legitimate and sometime not so legitimate external obstacles (money, time, knowledge etc) stopped them. They ran into resistance (or what they perceived as problems/issues/challenges) and they stopped.


Condition a resourceful never give up attitude in yourself. And temper it with intelligence and wisdom so you can be identify those few occasions where it makes sense not to ride a bad idea into the ground.

How can you condition in a resourceful attitude?

There are many ways but one of the quickest is to act as if… you have the resolve to see you goals through whenever obstacles arise. When you act as if, you shift your focus to doing the behaviour you want… until it become your new habituated way of being.

You can also build a internally driven propulsion system to keep you moving when times get tough. You can do this by using well targeted questions on yourself to identify what are all of the positive things that will happen for you and what are all the consequences if you don’t. Amplify and anchor your states. Use sub-modality exercises to stir up your resolve and use anchoring so that when obstacles arise rather than getting side tracked and off focus, your brain instantly goes “this problem is gone… it just doesn’t know it yet!”

Then act.

OK, that’s all for now. Review your own goal performance this year and for any goals you didn’t make “enough” progress on so far, identify which pattern or patterns are affecting you. Then resolve to change them today. Act with a sense of urgency and put into practice the solutions I’ve outlined above and you can make a huge leap forward in the results you achieve in the months ahead.

The process isn’t difficult, but it does require some quiet time, focus and tenacity.

If you have an idea, question or opinion you’d like to share, I’d love to hear it. Feel free to enter your thoughts in the feedback box below.

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Most people’s NLP smells like very overt NLP… which can be a problem when working in business contexts.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to use NLP so it didn’t sound or smell like NLP?

Inside this video taken from Michael Breen’s Business NLP Practitioner course he shows you how… starting with understanding the real power of presuppositions and teaching you a process on how to use key components of the NLP toolset in business without ever sounding like an NLPer.

Click below to watch…

To learn more about how to use NLP in Business check out our new course here.
We’ve got a special discount offer on during launch week.

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Many people have heard or learnt about the Meta Model since it was first released with the Structure of Magic Volume 1. However few know how to use it for more than drilling down into the details – yet the Meta Model can be used for much, much more than information gathering. It’s one of the most powerful tools that we have in the entirely of NLP.

To celebrate the launch of a new program Michael Breen and I are releasing later this week call “Language Guru – Mastering The Meta Model” I’ve just completed a new five part video series sharing many of the top distinctions about working with the Meta Model that will help you transform what you can do with language, helping others and being ultra persuasive.

And I’m giving it away for free.

Check it out here.

In the first video you will enjoy a 17 minute free training video where you will learn:

  • How Richard Bandler, Michael Breen and I use the Meta Model (and you can too) to get great results
  • Discover two key distinctions to transform the results you can get with the Meta Model
  • Why mastering this 1st pattern is ESSENTIAL to doing really elegant NLP work
  • How you can quickly track, shift and change the ‘hidden influencers’ in any communication

If you have a question, feedback or comment. I’d love to hear it. Please leave it in the comment box below.

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