Do you feel the love in the air?
Valentine’s is just around the corner. February could very well be the most romantic month of the year.
But you don’t read this newsletter for mushy feelings, do you? Let’s get right to business.
In the last email we discussed how our brains create complex patterns from two basic states: on, or off. (That’s almost digital, isn’t it?)
We noted that we create our own realities. We called this the matrix of the mind. And we asked, “can we change these patterns?”
Yes. We decided we could.
In fact, we know we are creating new patterns all the time.
So, what we are really doing is choosing which new patterns of thinking we would like.
And choosing means we must start with a clear goal.
For some people that’s enough. Just having a clear goal creates the change. We are subconsciously drawn to thinking and activities that draw us naturally closer to our goals.
But for other people, it takes more time to change the way we think.
Let’s ask Dr. Alan Baddley from New York University for some insights.
“Dr. Baddley, why does this happen?”
- I’m imagining this conversation with Dr. Baddley. But if we were really conversing, from his writing I would imagine he’d say, “Salience times repetition creates learning.”
What? Dr. Baddley would give us an equation? Salience X Repetition = Learning.
Let’s look at this. Salience is the degree of importance this topic has for you. Repetition is the number of times you have to do something for it to soak in.
Salience X Repetition = Learning.
The more important something is, the more salient, the fewer times we have to do it before it starts feeling natural, and actually changes the patterns in our brains. Make it salient enough and just knowing we need to change starts effecting the patterns.
Of course, if the topic is less salient, we’ll need to practice that new thinking many more times to make it stick.
This formula, Salience X Repetition = Learning upset someone I met. Let’s call him “Simon.” (Since that is his name.)
Simon said, “This can’t be true. I’ve been programming my mind for wealth for years. Wealth is highly salient to me. Where is my wealth?”
I asked Simon, “Do you have a job?” He nodded “yes.”
“And that job pays enough to enable you to pay your bills, go out every now and again, and take in a few courses like this one?”
“Yes.” he said, “What does that have to do with me becoming wealthy?”
“For you, Simon, wealth isn’t salient. You have no burning need to become wealthy.”
He looked at me for a long time. I could almost see the gears turning. Then he asked, “How would I make it salient?”
I went all Zen on him.
“If I was to hold your head under water for 40 seconds or more, do you think breathing would become highly salient?”
Confused, he asked, “How would I do that?”
“Come with me to the fountain, and I will hold your head under water.”
Simon instinctively said, “No.” But then he started thinking about it. Oh, not thinking about me plunging his head into the fountain, but about the difference between wanting and needing.
Just because you wish for something doesn’t make it salient. Salience comes from a driving need. And that’s why some people make changes easily and others spend a long time making the same changes.
Some desperately need that change. Others only want it. And those who want (the wanters?) need much more rehearsal for the new pattern to become automatic.
What are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about helping people to accelerate their own transformations. If you don’t like sales pitches, thank you for your kind attention, and stop reading now.
Reading NLP books and watching training videos is beneficial to all of us. But, if you’re ready to explode your mastery of NLP, you’re much more likely to do so in a live training.
We have some trainings coming up, and because I’m feeling the love (it IS February, after all) you can spread the cost of the courses over 12 months.
See you at the live training.
John “Saliently Zen” Cassidy-Rice
Announcing the winning joke:
Why is a tractor magic?
Because it turns into a field.
It’s OK. You can give yourself permission to chuckle. Nobody’s watching.