# 1. Why Not N.L.P.?
“If we can accept that we are the sum total of all past thoughts, emotions, words, deeds and actions and that our present lives and choices are coloured or shaded by this memory bank of the past, then we begin to see how a process of correcting or setting aright can change our lives, our families and our society” —— Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona
What is it NOT.
Well, we need to go on a journey through some amazing places and meet some clever, challenging people.
We need to dip into Hypnosis, linguistics (language,) psychology, behaviour, memory, Huna, The Secret (that is not one,) Tai Chi, laughter and so much more.
Many of the great inventions were developed over many years and by many people and are often attributed to one person. E.g. Thomas Edison invented the telephone.
N.L.P. is like that. It is attributed to two guys in the 70s in California. One, a student, the other, a tutor. They stayed in the same house and found they had a common interest in finding out why some people were really good at what they did.
Of course the opposite popped its ugly head up quite often: i.e. why some people were really bad at what they did despite qualifications and “experience.” Have you ever had a bad teacher, a bad doctor, a bad plumber etc?
In amongst this storyline I may be bold to tell you a little of my personal experiences. I do not claim to be an expert, I do have over 20 years’ experience of studying, practicing and applying N.L.P. techniques.
N.L.P. is not “Hocus Pocus”
I can prove that N.L.P. is not “hocus pocus,” not pseudoscience and not an extortion method for making money out of gullible punters. However there is a health warning here: There are people practicing and teaching aspects of NLP who do not really understand it. They believe they do and some believe that N.L.P. is the answer to all psychological problems: it is not.
Let me go back to some fundamental understandings of Psychology. What are born with? A body, a brain, some believe a soul. We have no language skills and a few basic communication skills. We quickly learn to cry when things are wrong and to smile at known faces and sounds. We learn to drink. Some things are automatic: breathing, moving, albeit haphazardly.
Nature Versus Nurture
There is the consideration of “Nature versus Nurture.” This means: how much of our knowledge is learnt and how much are we born with. It is generally agreed that there are elements of both. The nurture part is the relevant part for NLP. Our early influences in who we become are our parents and siblings. Gradually our world expands and we learn more complex things and begin to understand in new ways. Study Piaget and child development as all teachers do and they will tell you that mental and physical development can be measured with everyday tests.
As we grow we build knowledge upon the experiences in our memory. We learn to speak and ask for things. Knowledge is passed on from others to us by parents, teachers, books, the internet etc. There is no doubt that memory serves a vital part in our mental development. How we are taught, our environment, where we live what we read, what we hear and experience of consequences are all contributing to who we become.
Can you see how important our memories influence us and make us the unique individuals that we become? This shows how our unique set of life experiences contribute enormously to who we are and how we behave.
So what does this lead to? How you behave now is a result of your memories. If you are shy or depressed or eternally optimistic has something to do with your genetic makeup and a lot to do with your memories.
This means that if we could go back and change our memories we could change the way we behave now. Is that possible?
Memories are False
Let us examine memories. If you try now and remember something significant that happened to you at least 10 years ago. Now see if you can remember what happened before and after it. Can you remember how the situation evolved and who said what?
The chances are that you cannot. So you can see that our memories are incomplete. We remember things which have a significant emotional content. We remember things which feel important for a reason. If we remember everything that happened in the whole of our lives our heads would be full of useless data that would be impossible to organise and sort into manageable chunks. Our minds forget the unimportant bits.
They remember the bits we feel are important. Human minds filter off irrelevant, repeated information. Our minds filter off what we already know and notice what is new or changed. We are human and that is how our brains are organised.
NLP looks at how our brains are organised, how memory functions and how we can use this knowledge to improve ourselves in chosen specific areas.
One of the ways we do this is changing the feelings we have of specific memories. This is called re-anchoring. Another way is to forget a memory and replace it with something more useful. Ah! I hear you say, “brainwashing!” Of course it is. In the same way you are brainwashed by soaps on the TV and friends on Facebook. Would you really claim that Twitter has no impact on you?
If so you must have no feelings about it, so why do you go on it? Why do you have the habits you have. Are some of them making you feel a little uncomfortable or angry at yourself? Can you get up in the morning? Is your home untidy? Is the garage full of rubbish you may need someday? Is the grass too long? Have you gone overdrawn in the bank, again?
If there is anything in your life you find annoying like this. N.L.P. can help you, almost certainly. It is not Pseudoscience, hocus-pocus or new-age fantasy.
Change Your Memories?
You can change your memories, and still remain the same lovable person you are today.
There are many definitions of N.L.P. Neuro (nervous system,) Linguistic (Language,) Programming (we learn through language, we think in language.)
The science of change.
The way to help people become what they want to be.
# 2. Why Not N.L.P.? In part 2 we look at a specific example and introduce the two founders of N.L.P.