I'll bet that many of us are starting the New Year with plans and a new sense of purpose for 2010. That's great, and the New-year, New-start philosophy can provide a welcome breath of fresh air, especially if 2009 has been a bit of a slog.
If you compare Jan 1st 2010 to booting up your computer, wouldn't it be great to have some new powerful programs to run on start-up? I'm sure you've already made some personal development purchases or are planning too.
But if setting new intentions is like the beginning of an installation process you'll ALSO need to install the new internal resources to support the programs. Otherwise you might be working with an operating system that needs a processor/version upgrade in order to run your new program properly. (If you like new PC games and you have an older computer – you'll know what I mean!)
Well, I know some of you reading will already be planning to install some new beliefs if you need them. And that may well be enough. You can find plenty of NLP installation techniques around the net or in NLP books.
However, for some of us, even when we do install new beliefs this doesn't mean the .exe (execute file) gets loaded along with them. What do I mean?
Well, each person has a learned tendency (on a continuum) towards action or inaction when they receive new information. In Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) these processing tendencies are metaphorically referred to as meta-programs and this one listed as Somatic Response in Figuring out People refers to how excited the motor-cortex gets and how much that excitement gets you to DO.
Basically, at one end of the scale you have extreme pro-activity, represented by the person that would decide to RUN to Macdonald's if they suddenly felt the urge or would want to start exercising RIGHT NOW if they got inspired to get fit.
At the other end you have the inactive meta-program represented by the coach potato, the person who finds it difficult to get excited about anything nor act upon it.
The difference may well lie in the person's reaction to incoming information and our expectations of what information is for.
To me, part of the problem is that we live in an age when you can be (on the surface of it) be considered to "˜know' something if you can recite facts and information. There is a certain value in "˜being an intellectual'.
However, this type of "˜knowing' falls apart when you start to apply it to practical things. For any budding guitarist who has ever muttered "I can play it better than that" and then been asked to prove it, the doing soon shows how much you "˜know'. You can either play that riff or you can't"¦!
So the .exe file referred to above is your tendency to "˜execute' or act upon the things you need to do. And some of us have corrupted .exe files where we know a heck of a lot but we don't DO much. So we get frustrated. And read some more.
Training Our Minds
The good news is that we can force and train our minds to re-open the route between our mind and our bodies. We can repave the road to from idea to implementation.
After all, you mentally conceived of how to ride a bike before you could actually peddle down the street, right? Every time you fell off you still knew how it "˜should' on that wonderful day when you could ride and stay on!
I'll bet your fingers know how to type but how many of you actually can recite the entire QWERTY keyboard? It's like your mind has passed into your muscles (fingertips).
Imagine a time when you highest values showed up in your eyes, your movements, your breathing. When just the thought of doing something towards your future made your physical body tingle and your soul ring with joy!
How Does The process Take Place
Think about what happens when you jump away from an oncoming car: your mind creates a representation so powerful that it translates it into energy and instructions to your body "“ and you react. At that time the feelings are so strong that you could not stay there and ponder your next action even if you wanted too!
As you were learning to cycle you felt the motivation of "˜wanting' to ride, and you sent instructions to your body to do the movements. Then with each attempt you calibrated what worked, and didn't work, and did it again. It took time but with repetition and feedback, you mastered it.
Whether you realised it or not, you asked yourself:
- What do I understand? What are the principles of riding? (Balance, direction, observation, pedal)
- What do I believe? (That you could ride).
- What do I decide? (That you were going to do what it took to learn to ride.)
- What emotions do I feel? (Excitement, anticipation etc)
- What is one action I could take to put this understanding, belief, decision and emotions into practice? (balance, push off, steer)
And you did all of this with the energy and enthusiasm necessary to push the idea into the very fibre of your muscles, mind and being. The process was extended over time (maybe months) but you did it. Imagine if that process could be compacted into a few minutes.
Above are the essential steps of the process that can be used to turn ANY great idea or principle into a felt conviction. As the full version is longer, you can get the basic outline plus notes for free by signing up to my mailing list at www.overcomingprocrastination.co.uk
The process clears out blockages between thinking and doing and creates a streamlined process for becoming a powerful implementer. I won't lie to you, it does take perseverance to get it working and Hall says it can take a few minutes to an hour for a person to "˜get it' the first time but after that it begins to become a habit. And the road becomes an implementation super highway!
The bottom line is that our personal development books are fantastic and full of excellent principles "“ which we often don't "˜feel' strongly motivated to implement.
But the more deeply you install an idea the more likely it is to stay with you in the times you need it. There is a difference between a passing thought and a felt conviction. We encourage each other to "˜feel the fear and do it anyway' but we also need to "˜feel the principle and do it anyway'.
When a valued idea like "wealth is built by saving 10% of my income" becomes a felt conviction in your gut, you'll more easily act upon it. Someone once said "people cannot but move in the direction of their values."
Once you get the habit of installing great ideas you can start doing what I call " a rolling map update" whereby you are doing what Tony Robbins calls CANI "“ constant and never-ending improvement.
And that can't be bad for a great 2010.