The Powerful Principles of Neurolinguistic Programming that you'll want to know (Part 2)

#6 All procedures should increase choice.

With choice comes power. We often feel stuck because our choices are limited. At times, we may limit ourselves because of certain rules that we unconsciously create for ourselves. For instance, we may tell ourselves:

I must __________, so that I can __________.

That word "must" is rather frightening, especially if it limits what we can do in life. I remember having done an examination in university where the lecturer catered a spread during the final examination while we finished a literature paper in three hours. We had a huge range of questions (from which we chose 1) and we were able to access the materials from the library and use them, as long as we were citing the sources. We could get coffee and cakes whenever we wanted to, and we just had to email the paper to her before the three hours ended. IT WAS AMAZING. And I dare say we were adequately, rigorously, and fairly assessed.

How can you change the procedures and systems in your life so that you can increase CHOICE?

#7 The mind & body are connected.

This presupposition is something I hold dear to my heart. As a theatre director and trainer, I believe that the mind and body are connected to the extent that they can affect each other DIRECTLY. For instance, over the years, I discovered that changing one's posture can greatly affect one's emotions and mental state. This is the outside-in acting technique - taking on the physical form of someone in distress can, in effect, cause you to feel like you're in distress!

Here's another mind-body connection that I have found so intriguing: for a short time in my life, I rowed competitively with a dragonboat team and before each competition, we would do a visualisation exercise and imagine rowing the entire race. We may even simulate the rowing motion while on land, and we sat in two columns, just as we would on the boat. The crazy thing was the fact that we would be intensely perspiring even though we were just 'rowing air'! Research has shown that such visualisation exercises can increase the athlete's competition performance by more than 50%! In fact, the more detailed the imagined reality, the better the resultant performance! Remember:

When we change the way we think,

we change the way we act. When we change the way we act, we change the way we think.

#8 No failure, just feedback.

I remember getting a "D" grade for my Theatre Studies and Drama A level's examination. That was in 2008. My teacher told me,

Maybe you should try something else.

And yes. I could have just looked at that as a failure imposed on me - mind you, the A level's examinations were a HUGE deal back in the days. Or it could have been just feedback on how I should continue doing theatre. It could have been "THE END" or simply a "PART OF THE JOURNEY". I am currently the artistic director of Split Theatre and I am an ardent theatre researcher and practitioner. I'm glad the 'feedback' during my A level's was just a part of my journey.

It could have been "THE END" or simply a


#9 The law of requisite variety.

This law simply means that you need flexibility in your life. Flexibility is key because with flexibility, you get to be in control of your map of the world! How many times have you heard someone say, "It's just like this in my industry." or "That's just the way things work here."? Those are self-imposed rules and processes that people create to get things done. What if you could get things done in another way?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that processes should not be put in place. In fact, I do have systems in place for my businesses and these systems help me to get things done efficiently. What then is this law of requisite variety? It's the rule that ALL rules can be bent when the need arises, so that we live our lives like human beings instead of robots.

I remember when I was working in a school and a particular student did something quite wrong. According to the school rules, he had to be punished. After speaking to the student, I realised that he needed to first understand what happened and why he needed to face the music. He was absolutely clueless about what he had gotten himself into. And with that, learning could not have taken place. However, the school was quite adamant about the punishment that must not be delayed. Someone said to me, "The delay that you are requesting for is something unprecedented. You can get the child to understand the situation after we are done with this process." They made up the rules and stuck to the rules, inevitably limiting possibilities. I prefer possibilities.

What would happen if we do it another way?

#10 Every behavior has a positive intention.

This is a hard one to grasp. If the behavior is vile or disgusting, you might wonder how one could possibly have a positive intention for that. We know of many kinds of behavior in this world that had caused harm and distress to many. How could those be said to have any positive intention?! Yeah - that's the part that is hard to grasp. But it's true. The person in charge of that behavior probably did what he/she did to fulfill a positive intention or to simply feel good.

Back to my story above about the student, one might simply say that the people who wanted to keep to the process did not care about the child. Nevertheless, a judgment like this would probably result in bitterness and the conversation or discussion would end without a win-win situation. Further discussion soon resulted in them revealing their intention to be fair and after listening to both sides of the story, we soon came to an agreement that a very slight delay would be equally fair while still giving the student a chance to learn a valuable lesson. Cool, isn't it?

Further questions about the

positive intention assumed can help to

reveal limiting beliefs and to create

opportunities to influence.

Re-examine our conclusions above and you'll discover something really awesome! These presuppositions of NLP can help us to increase CHOICE and as we move forward with such frames of mind, we get to create more and more possibilities. IT'S IN OUR HANDS! Go - create - now.