Mark Harrison

This blog post was written by Mark Harrison.

NLP: A New Way of Thinking About Your Relationships

NLP - relationships

In the last article, we saw that excellence in any field can be studied and copied, and that NLP (neurolinguistic programming) is a well established and effective way of doing this. Success in any area – be it career, family, business, politics or anything else – is largely a matter of building relationships. People who are able to develop and maintain good, mutually productive relationships with other people tend to be much more successful than those who don’t do this.

Building good relationships does come more easily to some people, but it is a skill that can be developed, and NLP offers a number of perspectives and tools to enable you to do so.

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Neurolinguistic Programming – A Road Map to Change

Neurolinguistic Programming

What makes some people successful and able to handle change creatively? Why do some people seem to have good relationships or always appear to be in the right place at the right time? Is there something special about them? Are people born with certain traits which enable them to navigate through difficulties with apparent ease? Or is it all down to luck?

In the 1970s, John Grinder, a professor at the University of California, and a student called Richard Bandler started to work together on a project to observe the behaviours of successful people. They were interested in why some people are so good at what they do. Together, they developed a way of observing, codifying and replicating the thought patterns and behaviours which lead to individuals experiencing high levels of success. They called the approach Neurolinguistic Programming, since it explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes).

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Facing Up to Your Fears

facing up to your fears

We usually feel fear when we get frustrated, when our self-esteem is threatened, or when we feel pressured to perform beyond our perceived capability. Unhealthy fear is debilitating; healthy fear is mobilizing. But no matter what kind of fear you experience, it requires your immediate attention, or you risk cowering behind your full potential for the rest of your life. Read on for some tips on facing up to your fears.

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Turning Shyness into a Strength

shyness

Does the thought of doing certain things hold you back, be it in social situations, work, public performances, or relationships? Like most things, a little shyness is normal and even helpful in small doses – it can be quite an endearing trait – but shyness can also be debilitating. But, as with many things, a little refocusing can turn things around. If shyness is more your enemy than your friend, here are some ideas on how to turn your shyness into a strength.

Sometimes, we may be ashamed of shyness – we might think it is a sign that something is wrong with us. Despite what culture dictates, being a little shy and a little self conscious is normal, natural, and nothing to be ashamed of. Start making shyness work for you by taking responsibility for yours.

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How to Change the World

change the world

In a previous post, I alluded to the idea that what we experience is a kind of echo of our inner world. In this post, I would like to explore this idea a little further.

Those who act on the world never, I notice, succeed. The world is a strange instrument, not meant to be handled.

This stanza from the Tao Te Ching suggests that to attempt to change the world is never a wise thing to do. Of course, people try to control the world all the time – we try to control our kids, our parents, our spouses, our careers, our health … this list goes on.

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The Wisdom of the Serenity Prayer

serenity prayer

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr wrote what is usually called ‘the serenity prayer’ for a sermon in the 1930s, although it is sometimes misattributed to other writers. The prayer is now quoted widely, and you don’t have to be a Christian or, indeed, have any religious beliefs to see the timeless wisdom in this simple and profound statement.

Some years ago, I attended a seminar given by an excellent motivational speaker. At one point, he handed out pens with the words ‘fact of life’ printed on the side. On stage, he had a large version of the pen, and repeatedly dropped it. The idea was that, like gravity acting on the pen, some things were just ‘facts of life.’ They cannot be changed and you have no power over them. To complain about these things or to seek to change them is, at best, a waste of time and, more often, corrosive and self-defeating.

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How to Change Your Life

how to change your life

We are often told that change is uncomfortable and difficult, that it inevitably involves pain, and that to change your life is to struggle and fight against the status quo. But there is another way. Change can be gentle, spontaneous and natural – effortless, even. With the right approach, big changes can occur without the upheavals we might normally associate with such shifts.

You create your own experience of life

It seems to be a rule of nature that similar things conglomerate. People from a similar social or cultural background are drawn together by a shared worldview; the rich and famous socialize within their own circle; similar scientific ideas which seem to arise at around the same time. The familiar saying, ‘birds of a feather flock together’ arises from this observation.

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Why You Need Direction in Life

direction in life

“Do not suffer life to stagnate; it will grow muddy for want of motion: commit yourself again to the current of the world.” – Samuel Johnson

Motion, or change, is the one constant in life.

We are always moving, whether it be forwards, backwards or in circles. Most of us would, I imagine, want to be moving forward – achieving something, becoming fitter, stronger, wealthier, more skillful, happier. Yet so many of us get stuck in a rut, going over the same ground like a mouse in a wheel.

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On Taking Risks and Gambling

taking risks

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the races with some friends. I’m not a huge fan of horse racing, but someone was kind enough to invite me and so I went along for some food, some company and to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. As always, people had various tips and ‘sure things’ and so, just for fun, I placed three bets. Not knowing much about horses, I tend not to follow the races very closely, but placing the bets made watching the races a bit more exciting. The first horse I bet on came fifth, and the second one didn’t seem to be doing very well either for most of the race, but with half a lap to go, the horse shot to the front of the pack and won by a nose. For a short while I was getting excited and started thinking of the money I could win if the third horse came in. I watched the third race with bated breath and, lo and behold, the nag came in well behind. So I went home with nothing, and that, of course, is the nature of gambling.

Some years ago, I made another gamble. I moved to a new country and walked away from my old life – I left behind my job, my friends, my house and my parents. I started again. People have sometimes asked me why I took the risk – wasn’t it too much of a gamble? I have often thought about this, and it seems to me that there is an essential difference between taking a risk and gambling.

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