Masterclass with Richard Bandler – NLP to make better decisions

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Michel: [00:00:03] Hi, everyone. I’m Michel Wozniak, and I’m pleased to co-host this masterclass with Nathalie de Marcé.

Nathalie: [00:00:10] Hi, everyone! Our very special guest today is Dr. Richard Bandler.

Michel: [00:00:19] How are you doing, Richard?

Nathalie: [00:00:20] Hello, Richard.

Richard: [00:00:21] I’m doing great, glad to be here, wherever I am. Apparently we’re in 78 countries. And I’d like to welcome them.

Nathalie: [00:00:31] Dr. Richard Bandler is the co-founder of NLP, which is Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and it’s popular all over the world for its efficiency. If you want to know more about any of us, you can click down below the video and see our Web sites.

Michel: [00:00:54] We have 2200 people who registered, actually now even more from 67 counties. It’s huge. No, even more. 78 counties. I counted just before the Webinar. We’ve got more than 1200 questions. It’s huge. And Nathalie made a very nice synthesis and compiled them. So before we start, just think subscribing to the channel, because we’re going to answer as many questions as possible, if not during the Masterclass, we’re going to give answers also in the following weeks, in some short videos. This channel is content oriented and will bring a lot of value to anyone who is interested in NLP and or strategies. So there is one French channel. There is one English Channel and a Spanish channel. You can find all the information below the video. And feel free also to write comments during the video or during the live. I’m going to keep track of your comments. Be constructive and also make some comments on your own impressions on everything that’s being said. We will answer a lot of questions and we’ll try to take into account the vast majority of what is going to be written. So feel free to write.

Nathalie: [00:02:21] So, Richard, are you ready to get on the grill?

Richard: [00:02:26] I’m ready, grill me!

Nathalie: [00:02:30] Since 20 percent of those who registered don’t know about NLP yet, we will answer the first question of Mohamed-Ameziane from Algeria who asks: As a co-creator of NLP, can you give us your definition, and explanation of NLP?

Richard: [00:02:54] Most certainly. Neuro-Linguistic Programming is the study of successful behaviors and the successful thoughts that produce them. In the field of psychology, when I started some 50 years ago, there was a trend that went through all the schools of psychotherapy and it really started back with Freud that if you understood historically what went wrong, that your understanding would produce new behaviors, that it would somehow give you an insight that would get you to go: Aha. And you would produce changes. And I don’t really adhere to that. I think that’s very complicated. It’s the job of psychologists and it’s time consuming. What I was interested in doing is more about learning. NLP is about how your neurology learns and then finding people with expertise and repeating it. A lot of this was made possible by the work of Noam Chomsky. The first real model that mapped neurology in the human behavior was done by Noam Chomsky in the form of transformational linguistics. When I met John Grinder, he was one of the leading authorities on the world on transformational linguistics and kept telling me he had a model in his head, but it didn’t seem to be applicable. And I’m the applications guy. To me, if if you have something, if you have a tool, but it doesn’t do anything, it’s not a useful tool to me. And so I kept finding out what it was that clients couldn’t do and finding people who could do it and finding out how they did it. And either through unconscious installation or the development of techniques, we found ways of getting people over problems. And ultimately, the whole thing changed at a point in time when we started studying people that were successful, like the world’s best salespeople, you know, great baseball players and football players, pool players, people that were really good at math, people who could spell. And we understood that neurologically we developed certain patterns in our brains. Some of those patterns are very successful and work and some don’t work. And the question is, how do you get things that aren’t working to cease to be available and things that are working to be on top of them? Because the brain never unlearns anything, it just keeps building on top of itself. Millions and billions of cortical neural pathways.

Michel: [00:05:36] Ok so it’s very, very, very interesting for people who don’t know what NLP is. And now we can just go to a practical question. There is Houda and Iko from France who asked very similar questions. Basically, it’s in two parts. So we’ll start with the first part, how to break our repetitive and self-sabotage scenarios?

Richard: [00:06:03] Ok. Well, if you’re gonna break a bad habit that could range from spending all day reliving a traumatic memory or could be being terrified of stepping outside your front door. There are obsessive compulsive people that open and close the drawer 55 times and then wonder whether it was enough and do it over again. All of these are learned behaviors and neuro cortical pathways, even though there are millions and billions of them, there are literally as many neurons in your brain as there are stars in the galaxy. And each one is talking to ten to one hundred others. So the number of possible combinations is literally infinite. But be it ever so microscopic, it does it by size. Now, when we learn things and early on in my career, I discovered that when people had repetitive thought patterns, that when you run them backwards, they don’t run automatically so much. And I started at that time asking neurologists, how would you explain that? And that’s when they began to explain to me things about how neurology worked more at the mechanical, chemical and electrical and magnetic level. And when they did that, they began to make sense because a lot of the techniques that we developed, we developed by sheer chance, by trying things that other people hadn’t tried. Most of my clients were brought to me by either doctors, psychologist or psychiatrist, primarily a psychiatrist who just kept doing the same thing with people and getting frustrated that they weren’t getting anywhere. And so they would try something new. They’d bring him to my office, and typically they’d say to me, you know, can you hypnotize this person and get them to stop doing this or start doing this? So shy people don’t talk to people and phobics, you know, don’t go up the elevator. My job was to get it so they could and not only so that they could, that they would want to, because most of the time when people had fears, you know, if I in a seminar tell somebody in five days I’m going to bring in spiders, somebody in the audience will scream and run out of the room now. And there are no spiders. So the fear isn’t in the spider. The fear is in thinking about the spider. And if you change the way you think, it changes the way you feel and therefore it will change what you’re actually capable of doing.

Michel: [00:08:33] Excellent. Thank you. And that leads us to the second part of the question, which is very connected: How to think on purpose? I think someone read your book.

Richard: [00:08:43] I think so. And the reason the book isn’t one page is, it’s not an easy answer. When I wrote the book “Thinking on Purpose”, you have to understand this is now, you know, 50 years down my career. And I started thinking back of all the techniques that I created. And for the most part, they’re not complicated. There are things that anybody can do to change the way they think. And when it comes to changing what you believe, when a change comes to having more confidence, all of these things have to do with the way you think about them, because the images you make create feelings, the feelings you have determine what images you can see, the tone of voice that you use. All of the cortexes in the brain overlap with each other. The auditory cortex and the kinesthetic or feeling cortex overlap. About 40 percent. A different amount in every person, of course. But it means that part of what you hear and say and the tone of your own internal voice influences how you feel. The same thing is true of the visual cortex, which dims the difference between making mental images and having feelings about them. Now, when we think things that make us feel bad, so therefore we either have to do something or we don’t do something or either case, it’s really the same thing, it’s that we can change that connection. And our ability to change that connection is.. NLP is created specifically for me primarily as creative techniques. Most Practitioners, most Master Practitioners and people involved in NLP to some degree have techniques that will change the way you feel and change what you think about so that you’re able to do things that you couldn’t do before or you don’t have to do things that you probably shouldn’t be doing anymore.

Nathalie: [00:10:46] Wow. And very connected to Thinking on Purpose, especially with what is going on right now with CoViD, I have Julie and François from France who are asking also very similar questions: How to cleanse our beliefs of all that we are being put in our heads with this CoViD?

Richard: [00:11:15] Well, here’s a situation where, you know, we’re talking about something that we can’t see or hear that we know is there because it’s making people sick. We’re having to trust our politicians and the media to tell us how dangerous it is. And I find that most people are becoming overly afraid. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because when I watch television, I see now they’re actually cleaning schools and cleaning airplanes and cleaning restaurants, which I dont’t think is a bad thing. But again, the flip side is, we all have to live, and we all have to interact. And right now, we need to be more careful about how we do it. But we’re either going to do everything because we’re afraid, or we’re going to do everything because it’s a good idea. And if you see yourself being more careful and wearing gloves and washing your hands, in fact, that’s a bad description. You should really wash your whole forearm. And, you know, if you go out into some place where there’s a lot of people maybe come home and take your clothes off and wash them. All of those are good ideas. But every day, I turn on the news and they start telling me how many people in the world have this and how many people have died. And, you know, it’s almost like they’re trying to get us all to be more afraid than we already are. And some people are motivated by fear. But we can all be motivated by wanting to have a better life. And I really think it’s a good idea to put in your belief system that you can be careful and still enjoy going out and still enjoy shopping and still enjoy talking to people. I was a shopping cart length away from somebody in the supermarket, which is probably up, you know, a good meter and a half. And she literally freaked out and said: You must be exactly two meters away. Like, if you got that six inches too close, she was going to drop dead on the spot. And, you know, to me, to be that afraid is unnecessary. It’s not that we’re afraid. It’s that we’re smart. We all have to wash our hands right up to the elbows. And don’t touch your face when you’ve been touching things. And most people do this stuff unconsciously. So we need to kind of program ourselves to see ourselves being a more careful person and to realize that we’re going to have to open the world back up. You know, this is one of those things. Hopefully we’ll have a vaccine first, but that’s not something that’s in your personal control, what’s in your personal control is don’t let people spit in your face. And if you cover up your mouth and you don’t cover up your eyes, both of those are places where things can come in. And if you cover up your mouth, then you go and rub your hand on something and lift it up and scratch your nose, probably not a good idea. It’s about being reasonable and the media will not teach us to be reasonable. Their whole income is based on ratings and overreacting. You know, this is not the first pandemic that came through that was supposed to kill us all.

Nathalie: [00:14:35] Absolutely. And the second part of the question is: How can we adapt professionally to the current uncertainties?

Richard: [00:14:47] Adapt. Professionally? Well we’re doing it right now. This is one of the things you can do is to take advantage of all the things that exist and the people in business should realize, there’s gonna be tremendous response potential built up. You know, they’ve kept us inside. That kept us from, you know, purchasing things. I mean, you know, the thrill of Amazon is probably pretty much gone. A lot of people are going to be ready to go in a store and a restaurant and and to hire consultants to teach them to run their businesses better and to see their doctor face to face instead of over a video screen. And if somebody I know was taking their telephone and showing something on their skin to their doctor, and then the doctor would say, hold the phone up another two inches, you know, and move it back another two inches, and, you know, some things need to be done face to face. We’re humans. We make connections. And there is right now a whole powerful response potential built up. And we as entrepreneurs, instead of thinking about what we’re going to do when everything is OK, we need to think about what we’re going to do to take advantage of that, so we build up our businesses and program our employees. Our job as business leaders is to inspire the world, not to get it to cower. Not to get it to be afraid. See, if you whip your employees forward, then if you’re not there with the whip, they stop working. And if you inspire people to be self initiated, and this is done by giving them a picture of how good things can get, because ultimately everything’s going to come back, we all know it. It’s time we build bigger pictures where we believe that and begin to see the details of how we’re going to take advantage of this, even in the Great Depression, which they say was in US, but it was world wide, you know, there were a lot of people who became multi-gazillionaires as a result of it, because they looked at the situation. Since everybody was poor, the people that made cheap shoes got rich. And this is not where people are poorer. We just all are on pause. So pretty much it’s like everybody is a race car at the beginning of a track. Everybody’s readying their engines. And we’ve got to be ready for when the gun fires.

Michel: [00:17:15] Thank you, Richard. Thank you. Also connected to the present situation, Nidal from France is asking: What will be the major mental changes after this crisis, according to you?

Richard: [00:17:33] The major changes after what?

Michel: [00:17:36] After this crisis, after the CoViD crisis.

Richard: [00:17:40] I think people will have better hygiene. That, you know, when you fly on an airplane, it’s going to be a little cleaner, when you go in a restaurant bathroom, it’s going to be a little cleaner. Food will be prepared a little cleaner. And, you know, to me, one of the things I would like to come out of this is that people are a little more polite. I can’t tell you for how many years I hated standing to somebody who when they talked to me, spit. But I think we’re all going to learn to be a little bit more careful about certain things. But I’m hoping that we don’t become overly paranoid about it either. What’s going to come out of this is that people, as in every crisis and every situation, in fact, no matter how normal things are, this is true, that, you know, in human beings, the ones to adapt best, go the furthest. And see, with me, 50 years ago, they were bringing me clients and telling me nobody could help them. So my way of adapting, was to believe they could be helped and create things. That’s why I created so many techniques over so many years, is by having a blind belief that things could work. Now the prophets of doom will come out of this. Many people will become prophets of doom and go: What’s the point? Again, if we build it all up, it’ll come back next year and ruin everything. You know, I know somebody who actually decided to quit their business because it occurred to them that if they did get sick, they could go and infect somebody else and kill them. And that was so unacceptable. And they made this picture in their mind of them infecting somebody else and killing them. And so they decided never to be in the business they were in again, to just stay home forever. And that’s not reasonable, you know. We have pretty good immune systems and our immune systems work better when we’re cheerful and we have a sense of purpose. I wrote a book once called “The Secrets of Being Happy”, where I collected all the medical research about how being cheerful and being happy led people to recovering better from operations, getting over illness faster, having stronger immune systems. I know they’ve written a lot about how stress makes you sick. But I wanted to produce something that was just the opposite, that took the research that’s been done for 10 and 20 years by scientists and show how being happy doesn’t just feel better, it’s actually good for you. It makes you function better. And the techniques that are in that book that teach you how to spin your feelings on purpose so that, you know, if you’re feeling stressed out and it’s going this way, you slow it down and spin it in the opposite direction and take control over your feelings. When I started out, psychologist acted like feelings were real and couldn’t be influenced. Yet it’s their very job. It is to get people to feel differently about themselves. And to me, doing it on purpose is the very answer, the very trick. So my vision for after this is hopefully people will take more control over their lives and and think more about what they’re doing.

Michel: [00:21:11] Ok, good. Thank you very much, Richard. We have now a very special question, very powerful one also from Philippe from Belgium, how to efficiently implement NLP in large organizations like the Belgian army, for example.

Richard: [00:21:35] There we go!

Michel: [00:21:37] Who have personnel management challenges?

Richard: [00:21:41] They certainly do. And of course, the answer to that is, oddly enough, a single word: training. If anybody should know about training, it should be the military. When I worked with the military back in the United States here in the 80s, we went through redesigning training programs. And not only did we redesign the training programs, but we had to redesign the people who were in charge of those things and training the people who were going to do the training programs. Because if you didn’t do it up and down the whole system, the training falls apart. You can’t just put a training thing in a manual and expect it to work. You have to have people that are properly motivated, which is a little easier to do in the military than it is in a corporation. Not terribly different, but at least you have more authority clearly defined in the military. Who’s in charge of what? And, you know, and your ability to get direct orders without having to be politically correct about it. The military gets as politically correct as we’re getting here in the United States. Man, there’s so many words we can’t say and so many things we can’t do. It’s getting ridiculous. And hopefully, as time goes on, the pendulum will swing the other way and people will learn that giving clear, direct instructions is a good thing. And in the military, I believe it’s really important to have a chain of command, an up and down that command for those people to have a proper training to understand how NLP will help in training programs. Certainly, you know, when we took people who were great marksmen, found out what they were doing that other people weren’t doing and made it how we started training people instead of waiting till people had been learning lots of bad habits and then starting to train them. See, in school, if we started teaching children early on how math is really done, how, spelling is really done, a whole process would get easier. Usually by the time I get a kid, they’re telling me he’s learning disabled and he just had teachers teach him things that don’t work. And when we get unconscious programs running in our mind that acquire information properly, then everybody does better. And especially when you’re training soldiers, because we’re not talking about more money or less money, we’re talking about life or death. And not just a life or death of the soldiers, but the life, the death of the people they’re defending and the people they’re helping. And this becomes where I think part of the reason when I went to work at the military, it was not popular by any means. A lot of my clients and students didn’t understand what I was doing. But again, at that time, you know, people had what I referred to as the Vietnam War syndrome. They were going: All wars are bad. Well, of course they are. But that doesn’t mean they’re unavoidable. And if we’re going to send soldiers somewhere, I want them to be well-trained. Somebody once asked me what I thought gun safety was. And I believe the answer to that is hitting what you’re aiming at instead of hitting your own soldiers, which is referred to in this country as friendly fire. And there’s nothing friendly about it, that the more we teach soldiers how to slow time down and how to aim their weapons, and we did things with tank training, we did things with sonar training, all the skills which some people are uniquely good at, NLP is uniquely good at finding out how they work and making them the foundation of acquiring those skills. And that’s what sets NLP aside from all other disciplines. And it’s the most fun part of doing it.

Nathalie: [00:25:48] I clicked on another button. I’m sorry. OK. So Majdi from Tunisia.

Richard: [00:25:58] I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.

Nathalie: [00:26:03] It was the name of the next person.

Richard: [00:26:06] Oh, that’s alright.

Nathalie: [00:26:08] Majdi from Tunisia. It’s a question that came in very different shapes. But I chose this one because it was the clearest. How can I program myself to stop procrastinating and take action?

Richard: [00:26:30] Well, people who procrastinate typically never hesitate to procrastinate. When they lay out of a task, they get very excited and then they start thinking about other stuff. And, you know, the problem is if you use your strongest feeling of motivation to start something, then you have nowhere to build to. And it runs against the very nature of our neurology. Our neurology is designed to start moving towards something and to accelerate even the very act of picking up a glass that our hand starts out slowly, and the closer we get to the glass, the faster the hand moves. Then it switches to a different set of muscles, starts out slowly. And the fastest movement will be the last inch between your lips and the glass. Everybody pretty much knows the example of sex, you don’t slow down at the end. That’s not how it works. The pleasure builds and till it hits a certain endorphin rush and then you start to crave it. And you do it again. For people who have longer term projects, they need to break it down into pieces, build their motivation up. And by taking control of your feelings, you start out with one level and the more you do something, the better it feels. And then when you hit that pause button and start the next day, I’m the guy that’s written, authored or co-authored right now, 32 books. I’m working on the thirty third right now. And when people say, how do you get so much done? The answer is simple. One small piece at the time. I decide what I’m gonna do, how much I’m going to do and it feels better until it’s done, and then I stop. If you look at the sink and it’s full of dishes, it should feel better to wash the last dish than the first dish. And if you train yourself with little tasks to increase the amount of pleasure and completeness you feel, then what happens is as you learn to build and it matches your neurology and you end up becoming more self-motivated. A lot of people make a big picture and they go, if I do this, it will be great. They get a good feeling and it’s like the air coming out of a balloon that’s they go along and they begin to procrastinate. They start bartering with themselves. That’s why the alarm clock has a snooze button on it, because people will say: I got to wake up by eight o’clock. They set their alarm. They wake up and then they go, well, if I only have toast for breakfast, I take a short shower and and I don’t wear shoes that lace, I can get out of here in 10 minutes and they hit the snooze button. And then it goes off again and they hit it again. I’ve asked large audiences: Is there some people that hit the snooze button six, seven, eight times? There’s no point to that. You know, you should plan not just to wake up, but to get up and get to it, so that you come out of it like a rocket ship. And, you know, I don’t wake up bright eyed, but if I set the time I’m going to get up, that’s when I get up. And if you want to be self initiated, you have to be disciplined and to be disciplined, you shouldn’t be negotiating by how much you can delay. You should be planning on feeling good with the first step, better with the second and better with the third. This matches our neurology. And as we build that habit, it becomes second nature.

Nathalie: [00:30:11] Yeah. Great. And, well, kind of connected to this, Mohamed from France is asking: How can we raise awareness of what we do on a daily basis so we can improve?

Richard: [00:30:30] Well, awareness is one of those big words that’s actually a nominalization, if you’d going to become aware of everything, you would be overwhelmed. If you’re aware of yourself, sometimes you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. Being self aware when you’re public speaking is a bad idea. You should be aware of the audience and how your tone of voice is affecting them and the tempo of your voice is affecting them. The question is, awareness is like a flashlight. It’s like consciousness. Consciousness is like a flashlight in a dark room. It shines some places and not others. And you see, as you go through your day, you should know where it needs to be shined by when you’re doing things that don’t work. For example, it’s taken you too long to get dressed, then obviously you need to take a look at what it is you’re doing, more unnecessary than it’s necessary. You know, if you’re laying out 10 different things to wear and going back and forth between them, next time only lay out two the whole thing will go faster. It’s really more pragmatic. See, when people talk about awareness. Sometimes I think they have awareness confused with the Zen Buddhist philosophy of life. And for us as human beings, most of what we do every day really is practical, for the most part. You know, this is why humans invent the things that they do. The fact that we can talk to each other without having to fly across an ocean is a great thing. It’s not everything, but it’s a great thing. And the reason we have channel changers on our TV is people got tired of getting up and walking across the room. And so we’d invent things that fill voids. And when our life has any kind of a void in it, we can either examine ourselves or we can start to figure out and ask the big question: What am I not doing that would work? Sometimes you have to go into the future and see yourself. I used to have a lot of clients that would come to me and tell me they were lonely. And I would ask him: How many people did you meet last week? And they would go: None. And I’d go again: How many people that you didn’t know did you walk up and say hello to? They’d go: None. And, you know, and when they’d go: But you know, I’m shy. I can’t meet people. Well, “can’t” is a conjunction, which means can not. And of course, you can not do things, which sometimes tells you you should, you know. Really, what’s the most you could lose? They go: Well, you know, I just don’t feel like I can. Well, maybe you should go in and change that feeling, and then you will. You know, if what getting in the way is the way you feel, then change the way you feel and you’ll be able to do what you want. And it really ain’t that hard. Either that or you could go back in childhood and find out what caused you to feel that way. Which may be all interesting, but you’re still going to have to change the way you feel to walk across the room and say hello. I think both are useful in their own context.

Michel: [00:33:39] Thank you, Richard. Thank you, Richard. Now there is one question that has been asked by four different people from France and from Spain, from Wassila, from Lobba, from Stephane and Esther. They’re asking: How can you get back your own joy of living when you cannot find your real why and you don’t know what you want? How to get back your joy of living?

Richard: [00:34:03] Oh, is that a complicated question! If you’re looking for the real Why, I have a feeling you’re in deep shit. I’m not sure there is a real Why. So if you’re looking for it, you may never ever find it. If you’re not experiencing joy, when you say get it back, you know, I don’t know that everybody always had it. But if you did have it, I would go back to where you did have it, take that feeling and find out what you could attach it to in the future. It’s easier to find things that fit with the feeling when you’re actually having the feeling. And if you have memories in your past where you are very joyful and then people will always tell me they’ll go: Well, but I was with this person, but, you know, they passed away or they left me, or blah blah blah blah, or I had this great job. One of the women I worked with once had, her husband died, she lost her job as a rocket scientist. And her parents disowned her for some reason. And so she she was on the edge of suicide. And when she came to me, she said: You know, I had the perfect life. I’ll never be able to get it back. And I thought, well, you know, if you’ve got nothing to lose, then that should mean you’re in the position to try everything. Milton Erickson once told me about a suicidal he worked with, and this person came in and said they were going to kill themselves. And he said, well, you know, how much money do you have in the bank? And then he said: I want you to go out and get new clothes, get a haircut, and do this. And they had a little gap in their teeth. And he had them practice spitting between the gap in their teeth. And then he had them go up and start spitting little things to people that they didn’t know. And two weeks later, they were meeting people, going out and having a good time. And with this particular woman, oddly enough, she changed the way she was thinking about it. Because once you think you have nothing to lose. I said, look, you’re an engineer. You got nothing to worry on. Why don’t you engineer a new way of thinking about your problems? You know, if it was an engineering problem, you should be able to engineer something that as you’d look for somebody else, you know, because your husband’s dead, you should start thinking about what you enjoyed about him and looking for somebody that gives you that kind of joy. And a year later, she not only found somebody, but oddly enough, after years, actually decades and decades of being told she could never get pregnant by medical doctors, she ended up getting pregnant. And was just one of those weird things. And then suddenly her parents came back because they wanted to know the grandchildren. Everything turned itself around because instead of dwelling upon how dark things are, she started trying to engineer her mind, taking good feelings and then aiming towards the future to find out where you can have those, because we’re all capable of feeling just about anything.

Nathalie: [00:37:26] Absolutely. And Farah and Geneviève, one from France and one from Canada, are asking also kind of similar questions. The first one is: Can change be permanent? If you make a change, can it be permanent?

Richard: [00:37:51] Yes. Until you can change it to something even better. Virginia Satir said to me once: If you don’t have a choice, you can’t make one. And a lot of times just the smallest thing happens and people end up in a terrible rut. Years and early in my career, a psychiatrist brought me somebody, and to tell you the truth, the psychiatrist said to me, he said his behavior is so pathological, I don’t think even using hypnosis will help him. And, you know, I’ve done so many things with hypnosis that I didn’t even think were possible. I’m always willing to try. And, according to the psychiatrists, he fell in a river when he was four or five years old. Somebody fished him out, he almost drowned. And then as time went along, he got to the point where, you know, he couldn’t walk through a creek and then he couldn’t go into a swimming pool. And then he couldn’t go in the bathtub. And then he couldn’t take a shower. And, you know, it got to the point where if there was somebody turn on the water faucet, he’d start freaking out. You know, and he washed himself with alcohol pads. And, you know, that just became what the doctor called neurotic about it. And when they told me the story, the psychiatrist was there and the patient was there. And the patient looked at me and he said: What do you think about all this? And I said: Well, it seems like you’re a quick study. You fell in a creek for a few minutes and you learned something that developed over the years. So all we have to do is teach you one little thing and pretty soon you’ll be doing great. And the shock on its face, because once I took him through what most Neuro-Linguistic programmers know you can do about phobias and fears, you shrink the size of the pictures down and blink them black and white really fast. And the neuro-synapse doesn’t seem to run so well. And it’s hard to get your fear back, after a few minutes of doing that. But you see, if we believe people can learn something and it sticks for years from, you know, a traumatic experience, then perhaps we can do something and believe that we’ll change them over the long run. Because the truth is, in our lifetime, we have a whole lot of phone numbers. The phone number you have when you’re a teenager, you don’t have now. Now, if I hypnotize you, I can go back and get you to recall that. All I have to do is age regress you and bring up your old telephone and you can see the number written on it. In my case that the phone is attached to the wall and has a dial that goes in a circle. I used to take 10 minutes to make a phone call. You prayed for phone numbers were small numbers, so you didn’t have to wait for that dial to go around so long. But our ability to build new learnings, it’s not that we forget things. It’s that we put things on top of them. In computer language, it’s called a Turing machine. It’s the name of the man, its last name was Turing. And it’s like putting plates in a cafeteria. The first plate in goes down. You put another plate on top of it, another plate on top of it, so that the last plate comes up first. When we build new cortical pathways over numbers, over memories of our past experiences, we have to have the experience, so if somebody is terrified of water, I have to put an experience of water over the top of it, which is different, so that they can explore and find out then, for example, and learn to swim, which is always a good idea. I lived in Ireland, which is an island country, and amazingly, most of the people there couldn’t swim because they didn’t have a lot of swimming pools. It was too chilly in most places to have swimming pools. So people were always dropping in the ocean and drowning. But some skills you want to have before you need them. Swimming is one of those. And our ability to learn should never be underestimated. No matter what age you are, I know people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I was a dog trainer. I know you could teach dogs anywhere in their life. And people are almost as smart as dogs.

Nathalie: [00:42:11] Absolutely. And how can we start a lasting change?

Richard: [00:42:17] Start what?

Nathalie: [00:42:19] A lasting change. A change that is going to last. How can we start it?

Richard: [00:42:25] Here’s the trick. You have to create a void and fill it, so you have to turn something down. And in most people, I start almost every seminar by talking about memories, how memories affect us. Some people have big, bad memories and they think about them, two minutes here, three minutes there, five minutes here, you know, a little bit at night and sometimes during the day. And if you actually take the minutes and add them up with some people, it’s 30 minutes. With some, it’s an hour. I’ve had people tell me four and five hours a day they spend thinking about the same thing. Now, when you start calculating the amount of time that eats up even an activity like worrying, if somebody worries two minutes here and three minutes there and four minutes here, even worrying about different things, if it adds up to an hour or two hours a day, the minute you start going well, even at an hour, it’s 365 hours a year. 3650 in ten years, right, And then when you multiply that by four decades, you start talking worth of ten, twelve thousand hours. And when you literally ask people, does that sound smart? Something hits them in the neurology that goes, no, it’s not. And what they need to do is to take these big giant pictures in their head and shrink them down so that, you know, they put a border around them, take control of their thoughts, thinking it should be done on purpose. You shouldn’t be a victim of your own thoughts. But we really don’t teach people growing up to control anything about their mind. You know, when you take piano, they teach you to control your fingers, but they don’t teach you to work, not to worry about what people think about your play, because nothing will cripple a musician more than worrying about whether or not they’re going to make mistakes and whether or not people are going to like it or not, and all this nonsense. I mean, I had a guy who did a rock album and sold millions and millions of copies. And when he sat down to make his next album, he couldn’t write a song because all he could think about was if it wasn’t as good as the last one, nobody was going to like it. He had pictures of audiences hating him before he would start to pluck a single note. And that’s not how he wrote the first album. He had to go back to the state of consciousness he was in. Our state of consciousness controls how well we can learn things. We’ve got to turn the nonsense down and then open up good ideas. We need to see ourselves in the future succeeding and almost reverse engineer our way back so that we know what path to take to become a better person, to become smarter, happier or more joyful, more functional. That’s what I’ve always done. Remember, one time there were no houses. They were all made from somebody’s imagination. There were no cars. First people imagined them, then they built them. Your life is no different. Having an imagination going into the future and seeing yourself in a new light, being happy, doesn’t mean you’re there, but at least tells you where to go. Now, if you can take some steps backwards, you have some achievable goals.

Michel: [00:45:47] Thank you, Richard. Next question is from Nathalie from France, not from Mexico, and Nathalie from France was asking: What would be three tips you would like to give to children around the world?

Richard: [00:46:04] What would be the what I’d like to get children?

Michel: [00:46:06] Three tips to give to children around the world?

Richard: [00:46:11] When people tell you things are impossible, don’t believe them. That would be one. The other is always try to learn from people who can actually do things. You know, part of the reason I wrote the book, Teaching Excellence, was so that teachers would stop trying to invent the wheel and find out who does math the best, how did they learn it and teach kids to do it that way. Who’s a great speller, and teach kids to spell like the great speller. And it makes their job so much easier. And most of the books that I’ve written had a purpose like that. And if the kids look at people with expertise and find out how they’re thinking as well as look at what they’re doing, it will inspire them. And the other one, and most important one, is never, never, never give up when the only thing that defines failure is stopping. And millions of people give up way too soon. Had I given up because I was having trouble with a client, there’d be no Neuro-Linguistic Programming. If Einstein had given up, there would be no nuclear power. You know, if you look at all the people who have achieved things in their life, they’ve all come up tremendous opposition. Einstein said all great minds will encounter violent opposition. Well, if you want to have a great mind, get ready for violent opposition. There’ll be people your whole life that say you just can’t. You can’t. You can’t. You can’t. And the thing is, you have to understand, they’re only talking about what they think that everyone who speaks to you thinks. There’s a thing called the lost performative. Every sentence you say really has the thing in front of it, it goes: I’m saying this to you. And some people have saying things mixed up with the truth. And when, you know, when you tell everybody, you know, they can’t be a great concert pianist. Well, some people will try, and some people won’t. And the ones that try and work hard and practice and practice and practice will get there. And the more people tell you you can’t, the more determined you should get in life. Because when you’re young, the more skills you acquire, the more you can do. And the more you’re determined to be a great artist, the more you’re determined to be a great musician, mathematician, car builder, plumber, I don’t care what it is, just never stop, and you will eventually get where you want to go.

Nathalie: [00:48:57] This is very, very important for kids. And the next question, Dravinsingh from France is asking, what changes should we make on ourselves as human beings in order to generate a better future?

Richard: [00:49:16] A better what?

Nathalie: [00:49:19] Future.

Richard: [00:49:21] Future. Well, I think you have to look at yourself and where you are now. Look at where you were six months ago, a year ago or three years ago. Now, certainly economically, I’m not doing as well as I was doing last year, but my life is better than I would have expected it to be. Which tells me I’m headed in the right direction. I’m planning to have a better year next year, both financially, emotionally and every other ways. Your relationship should get better as time goes along, not worse. And, you know, most relationships are a little rocky in the beginning, and that’s because it takes a while to get to know somebody. Lot of people give up way too soon on what probably could have been a good relationship. To me, if you’re feeling that you’re doing better than you were doing before and you can’t measure that by things in the external world, the economy in my lifetime has collapsed a number of times. I remember that was the big collapse of the stock market in 1969 and everybody thought it was the end of everything. Gasoline was rationed, OPEC was squeezing us and all these things were going on. And you know, they thought there would never be enough gasoline, and now there’s a glut of it on the market. You know, here we are. When I was a kid, gasoline was 15 cents a gallon. And then it went up to four bucks. And now here where I live, it’s a dollar a gallon. Things externally are going to change and we can’t jump to the conclusion that it tells us the future. And, you know, Warren Buffett, who’s probably one of the smartest guys about investing, is worth a hundred billion dollars. That’s like enormous amount of money. So much he has no idea what to do with it, but he’s still making more. He said the reason people may screw up in the stock market and lose money is because when they look at evidence, they’re looking at evidence that proves that they’re right, rather than looking at what the evidence is telling them. And this is true in people’s lives. If you look at what evidence is telling you, if things are going south, right, in the outside world and you’re going with it, you’re doing something wrong. And if your business diminishes because of the economic climate, you need to adapt and alter your business and find other avenues to build your business back up, so that when the economy comes back, it’s twice as strong as it was before it went south. We all have to look at difficulty as disguised opportunity. In our personal life, that’s particularly true. If you feel like you’re more unhappy than you were six months ago, then you’re not doing the right thing. Tony Robbins and I once had a conversation, I was wanting to interview him for my newsletter, and he was going to interview me for his and I ask him what he thought personal power was because it was the title of his book. And he rattled on for quite a while and said a lot of things that I didn’t know. He talked about Wall Street, he talked about ad agencies, you know, he’d really examined a lot of things about marketing that I didn’t know about. And when he asked me what I thought personal power was, I said: Personal power is knowing what you do well and what you don’t do well, so you know what to do next. And to me, the answer to this question is examining that: What’s going well in my life? What’s not going well? So that I know what I need to learn next. Because if you’re better off than you were yesterday, just a little bit and better off than you were a week, personally, maybe not financially, but personally, because sometimes people have to go through difficult financial times to get to a good life, to change their profession. They have to change what they do, they have to change their location. I know I’ve done it a number of times. You know, I’ve picked up stakes and move to a whole other place so that I could have a better life. And in the beginning, it was difficult. It was harder, you know, it took great financial loss sometimes, but I ended up because I was headed in the right direction, I had a purpose, I knew where I was going. And if you don’t know where you go and you only know that you’re not where you were, then you’re trying to drive by looking in the rearview mirror. And that ain’t a good idea.

Michel: [00:54:08] Thank you, Richard. Thank you. We have also a question from Indonesia, from Prisya and she’s asking: How to know exactly that you are heading through the right path?

Richard: [00:54:27] Well, that exactly is a big demand, and I don’t think you’d get that answer. I don’t know that you know you’re headed in exactly the right direction, but part of that is just what I just said. The answer to that is: Is it getting better when you look backwards? Have you been making the right steps so that when you imagine going into the future, you’ve got a pretty clear idea of where you want to go? And also enough flexibility so that if something better comes up, you’ll know to veer in that direction. Most people have good intuitions about some things and not others. And it’s really important to know which. That thing about making good decisions, if you stop and think of good decisions you’ve made in the past and bad decisions, typically they’re not even located in the same place in your mind. And they certainly don’t feel similar. And when you go to make decisions and they don’t really fit in the good decision thing, typically they’re not. And to try to force them to be is typically where you end up wasting a lot of time. When people say, ask me, you know, how exactly do you do something? What’s the perfect this? I want to be completely happy. Those are very deceptive words because they exist in language, but they don’t exist in life. I met a Buddhist once. He came over with my wife and she had met him somewhere and brought him in and he looked at me and he said: Well, you know, part of the reason I became a Buddhist was so I would be completely happy. And I said to him: Are you completely happy? And he stopped and thought about it. And I thought, wow, you know. And he said: Are you completely happy? I said: Not even close. I said, that will happen long after I’m dead. Right? Because to me, happiness isn’t a thing, it’s not a place. Happily is an adverb. That’s how you do things. One happily goes to the store and buys a loaf of bread. One happily looks at their wife and smiles. You know, it’s part of a process that you go up and down. And if you’re looking for complete and perfect, that it’s the right direction, you may be putting blinders on because you don’t want to miss those rare and unprecedented opportunities where wonderful things happen. And I guarantee everybody who’s listening to me, you will make mistakes. The question is, will you dwell upon them or not? The Dalai Lama said once, who I consider to be as close to a perfect happy guy as you could get. I mean, all kinds of crap has happened to him in life. They stole a country from him, from Heaven’s sake, I never even had one. But the Dalai Lama said once on television, Ted Koppel asked him if he was really happy. And he said: Oh, yes, Ted. He said: It’s like a pond. Sometimes a pebble goes into it, makes ripples, but eventually it smoothes out. And we have to understand we’re not going to just go into a wonderful state and stay there forever. We’d explode. Our consciousness floats up and down. Even in trance, when you measure people, I was given by the military great devices to measure consciousness even back in the 80s. They used mind mirrors and devices. And when people go into deep states, they float up and down somewhat. And in conscious states, the consciousness is changing all the time. And that’s a good thing because we run off of multi nervous systems, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system, and we get rushes of adrenaline and then our system calms us down. And if we don’t have that kind of variation, I believe it produces symptomatic behavior. Overextended visits to the land of adrenaline is part of what produces post-traumatic stress and system disorder things. When you spend too much time adrenalized, when you’re overwhelmed by events and the adrenaline doesn’t subside, part of what happens is you become and feel disconnected. And I’m doing a lot of work with this recently to try to teach people how to go back and turn this stuff up and down inside their mind so that returning soldiers have a better experience. I personally believe part of basic training shouldn’t just be preparing people to go into battle, but preparing them to come out of it, so that when they go home for two weeks, they’re not still running on adrenaline from the two weeks before. They come home and turn it down, so they feel like they’re home. So that they feel they’re connected to their family, as they do to their comrades in arms. And even in situations where there’s a car accident or somebody suffers a loss or somebody is mugged or raped or any of these horrible events that people have to get beyond them, they need to learn to turn this stuff down, disassociate from it, and become more associated with the things that count: Intimacy, relationships, your job and feeling like you have a purpose in life. The big Why is human beings are happier when they feel that they have a purpose and they have plans. We have minds that can go into the future, into the past. It distinguishes us from most animals to a large degree. Not that animals can’t plan. Certainly my dog plans to go into the garbage when I leave the house. You know, they can think about it. They sit there tapping their toes, waiting, you know. But to a greater degree, we can really do this with vivid intensity and we can think about our thinking, which most other animals can’t do. And when I started out, I don’t think there were the tools to do this on purpose. Part of the tools that I created was to give us a language and the ability to think about how we thought and therefore take control of it. And as we take control of our thinking, we take control of our neurology.

Michel: [01:00:58] Thank you very much, Richard. Thank you very much, it’s precious, it’s amazing. And I guess that now it’s time for a break. So as we announced, we will have a 15 minutes break. During that time, we’re going to shut our microphones off and cameras off. We’ll have a little page indicating that it’s the time of the break. So you too, take a few minutes, go have a drink, drink a glass of water. Breathe a little bit. If possible, don’t use technological tools because that occupies the brain a lot. So just give your brain a rest. We’re going to be back in exactly 15 minutes. In France and Switzerland, it will be 9:16.

Nathalie: [01:01:48] In Mexico, it would be 2:16, in 15 minutes.

Michel: [01:02:00] We’ll see you guys later.

Richard: [01:15:33] Hello.

Nathalie: [01:15:33] Hi. Welcome back.

Michel: [01:15:37] Welcome back.

Richard: [01:15:40] It’s nice to be back.

Michel: [01:15:41] Excellent. Richard, it’s excellent because your answers are very precise, very sharp, and we’ll be able to cover a lot of questions. So it’s excellent. Thank you so much.

Richard: [01:15:57] We’re pretty much through the questions you sent me.

Michel: [01:16:00] Yes. And that’s why we’re going to take other questions. And we’re just seeing that with John, with our excellent event manager. There is one question that Natalie is going to ask, and then we’re going to cover new elements.

Richard: [01:16:21] So we’re back now?

Nathalie: [01:16:23] Yes.

Richard: [01:16:26] OK, hello, everybody.

Nathalie: [01:16:30] Marianne from France is asking: What is the secret of your incredible energy and the main factor in your success?

Richard: [01:16:44] What is the secret to my energy? It’s making sure that I enjoy what I do. That, you know, I’ve always been quite curious, but if you have curiosity and you enjoy what you’re exploring, then you’re never really going to work. And to me, you know, I’ve always loved puzzles. I’ve always loved, you know, fixing things that don’t work. Whether in the old days, it was wind up clocks, you know, when I was five years old. And then radios, I like taking things apart and putting them back together and when you can put it back together and make them work better. And when you’re a Neuro-Linguistic Programmer, you have a great job in that even as people present you difficulties, you get to discover how it works and therefore it tells you what’s not there. So you get to go and explore with all kinds of people and find out how their expertise at things work. When I studied education, I got to find the smartest people. You know, when I study sports, I meet great athletes. I’ve met wonderful people like Moshe Feldenkreis and Virginia Satir. And certainly when I wanted to learn hypnosis, there was no better hypnotist on the planet than Milton Erickson. And although he was a little creepy in some ways, he was also brilliant and others, and doesn’t mean I’m going to like everybody I meet, but exploring what they do that works is always so fascinating. And people never cease to surprise and delight me. As a hypnotist, you have the opportunity to suspend people’s beliefs, their inhibitions, and really find out what they’re capable of. And to me, sometimes, people just come up with the most amazing things. And I put people in trance and orient them in the future and ask them how their problem was solved and had them tell me, put them back in trance and do exactly what they said, and it works. There’s all kinds of wonderful things that come. The combination of hypnosis and NLP is incredibly powerful. And, you know, of course, doing training, what a great thing to do. I meet people all over the world. I get to go great places. I meet the lovely people like you two. And if it wasn’t for NLP, I’d have never gotten to do that. So I’m pretty much very grateful and always in the mood wondering what’s next. I read all kinds of journal articles. I read a lot of books. And nowadays people are sending me stuff to read. A lot of people are writing books these days. And some of them are surprisingly good. Some of them are surprisingly repetitive. You know, if a book’s already been written, I don’t think you need to write it again. I tried not to repeat myself too much. But some of the things I’ve gotten recently, somebody just sent me a book that’s all about how to cope, how to get rid of Wi-Fi in your personal communication. And that means actually talk to people face to face. You know, life without Wi-Fi. And right now, that would be very hard because we’re on lockdown. But very soon we’re all going to be out and about. Here in Texas, we’re about 50 percent back. Now you can get your hair cut, your fingernails done and go shopping and pretty soon they’re going to let us in theaters and go out to dinner with each other, and we’ll be back on the march here before long. And I’m looking forward to it.

Michel: [01:20:35] Thank you, Richard. Thank you, Richard. Now I have one question from France, from Anne-Laure. She’s a neuroscientist and she’s asking: Is it important for you that NLP be recognized by science?

Richard: [01:20:49] Well, I think it’s absolutely more important that we recognize neuroscience and what it’s provided us. I read enormous number of journal articles on neuroscience, some of them I don’t find useful for me, and some of them I find very useful things, that I think, you know, whether science ever recognizes NLP. Some years ago, Robert Dilts called me in Santa Cruz and told me he was with some gentleman from the American Academy of Science. And they came in and said if we stopped developing things for three years, they could do research and find out if NLP was a science. And I looked at them all and said, let me say at the time, it’s not a science. You know, modeling is a particular set of mathematical skills by which you build a calculus and compute. See, Milton did a certain number of things in his life and lifetime is only so long, and even though he did tremendous number of really unique things by building a calculus, we could compute what else he would have been likely to do. And that’s what I did with Virginia. That’s what I did with Fritz Perls. That’s what I did with all of those people. We built a calculus that allows us to find out what they did and figure out what else they might have done so we can find out what else is there. Even with NLP, at a certain point, I took the calculus and flipped it over upside down and created Design Human Engineering (DHE), which has almost the opposite tenants, instead of using elegance as the foundation of modeling, it uses inelegance so that you find out how many things you can use to amplify something instead of what the minimum number of things to get by it. NLP is about eliciting a strategy and installing it. Design Human Engineering, you make a strategy that not only is functional, but it’s also fun and exciting. It’s the difference between making a, you know, two hundred million dollar movie and making one that only costs one hundred thousand. They’re both good movies. One has the minimum and the other takes every bell and whistle. Our ability to look at neuroscience and find out what it offers us and to recognize that at the bottom of everything we do is neurology. Now the question is, how do we use consciousness, our own consciousness, to influence our neurology so that it serves us better and provides us greater freedom and greater competence and greater joy as human beings?

Nathalie: [01:23:38] Yes, absolutely.

Richard: [01:23:39] I want to salute all the neuro scientists out there. If you’re out there, thank you very much. You’ve given me a lot.

Nathalie: [01:23:47] Anissa and Sami from France are asking: How can NLP be used in children and adult education?

Richard: [01:23:59] Well, by definition, NLP is education. It’s not therapeutic by nature. It’s educational. Part of what we do is find out what’s not there and add it, that if they bring me a kid and tell me they’re dyslexic, I want to find out what they can do and what they can’t do and give them strategies to be able to do the things that they’re unable to, thereby making them un-dyslexic. Because that’s my job. You know, if I have a kid and they tell me he’s only doing math at the second grade level when he’s at the sixth grade level, I have to be able to teach him to be able to manipulate numbers in such a way so that he can achieve his grade level and keep learning math beyond. My job is to put the machinery in someone’s head that allows them to acquire knowledge about anything. Now, when a psychiatrist brings me somebody, they diagnose and find out what it is and they have names for things. I mean, for example, depression isn’t one thing in my world, see? Whatever machine is creating bad feelings of depression and not allowing them to be excited and enthusiastic and joyful and curious, and this whole other list of things, with some people, they don’t even have the reference structure. They don’t know what it’s about. So I have to hypnotize them and install things so that they can feel it in the first place and then go back and build upon it so that they can go into the future and engage in behaviors that produce those things that, you know, I’m very task user friendly oriented. NLP isn’t like a thing. NLP is the name of the technology that I created. And part of the reason it has that name is I didn’t want you to be able to put an ism after it, because a hundred and sixty schools of psychotherapy, they became philosophies. And when something didn’t fit their philosophy, they weren’t willing to look at it. I thought that whatever they did, that all of them had some success and what they had to do with what’s in common was their neurology. So you know what Jon Grinder and I did was to ignore philosophies, to ignore theories and to build a mathematical model that allowed us to be able to explore and find new things that would work. It’s the great contribution that the two of us made to things back in the early days. We worked together for roughly a decade and we produced roughly eight books and a large number of techniques, including the Meta-Model, which to this day are very, very powerful tools. In fact, the very first book we wrote, I’m now rewriting, so it’s not a book about language and therapy, it’s a book about problem solving, because the Meta-Model is one of the best Problem-Solving tools there is. And those of you that have learned it under whatever name you give it, that’s not important to me. I didn’t create these tools to stop anybody from using them. I created them because I think they’re evolutionary in nature and that our ability to have recursive language tools, that means that anything that comes out of it, it could be applied to it and self expand and making knowledge self expanding so that that people start with something that builds upon itself and builds upon itself. Because when you get people headed in the right direction, which is what An is pretty good at, when you apply the Meta-Model and find out, it really breaks into four things. There’s either something people are doing that they don’t want to. There are things you are doing and you want to. There are things you want to do, that you’re not doing and things that you don’t want to do and you’re not doing them. And in fact, you may not even suspect what those are. That’s probably the largest area. And a lot of times I have to get people to want something they haven’t even thought about wanting. So that when they go into their future, they can consider things that are outside their known territory. The powerful nature of the Meta-Model is that it accomplishes the task of leading people right up to the map inside their head of what’s possible and impossible, what they consider what they can do or can’t do. Whether that’s scientific or personal or business wise. And once you’re up against the edge of your model of the world, then you can look out and you can begin to build new territory. The Meta-Model itself is a tool to territorize. I don’t know how well that translates, but that’s going to be your job, not mine.

Michel: [01:28:56] Thank you, Richard. Yes, that will be a good job, but I know that job and I’m doing it enough now.

Richard: [01:29:04] You’ve done very good. It’s not the first time you’ve translated for me. You’re quite good at it.

Michel: [01:29:09] Thank you. Thank you, Richard. Now we have a question from Thomas from Switzerland. It’s a personal question. He said, How do you see the future and evolution of NLP?

Richard: [01:29:23] That’s not really a personal question. It’s personal for me when you ask how do I see it? Well, to tell you the truth, when I look at it now, it’s become much bigger and more pervasive than I ever thought it would. Remember when I started out, there was myself originally and then myself and John Grinder sitting in a little room with a bare light bulb, talking to 14 people and trying experiments of all ways, shapes and forms and going and modeling Milton Erickson and Virginia Satir and these people and creating something and looking at where it would go without really looking at the vast horizon of possibility. It’s now used in every continent on the world. I actually got a letter from somebody in Antarctica and I used to think it was all the continents except for one. But apparently some people go down there, in the very cold climate, they sit down and they hypnotize each other and do a little NLP, to keep from going crazy. You know, people at NASA have used Neuro-Linguistic Programming. People in the military have used it, intelligence agencies, police agencies, schools, it’s literally so many places. And I get letters from people who are using it in ways I would have never suspected. And personally, I think that’s a great thing. It’s not my job to limit knowledge, but to build a foundation on which people can do new things and see new things. And I’ll tell you what I expect in NLP is to be surprised by a lot of people that they do things that perhaps had I lived for 400 years, might have come across. But even while I’m alive, making the fact that so many people do it, all kinds of great things are coming out now. Of course, I hear stories all the time of people using it manipulatively or blah, blah, blah. But, you know, bad people do bad things, good people do good things. And the question is, which do you want to be? And if you take joy for making other people feel less, right, you’re never going to be happy. And those of us who take joy from seeing other people be happier are going to do great things and NLP is a great tool to be used. And the younger we can get it in a generation, the more surprised we’ll all be.

Nathalie: [01:31:53] Yes, absolutely. Yes. And we are taking a life question from YouTube. Luis Puente is asking..

Richard: [01:32:02] You’re taking a light question?

Nathalie: [01:32:04] Live question, from Youtube.

Richard: [01:32:07] I’m sorry. Live question.

Nathalie: [01:32:09] The people who are watching us live. Luis Puente is asking, and actually he’s in Texas: What are the newest technologies in NLP?

Richard: [01:32:26] Well, the newest technology in NLP, you know, a lot of it has to do with our ability to control our neurology by leading with kinesthetic, spinning feelings, all of that stuff is relatively new. And the details of how to do that are still things that we’re exploring. You know, I’m trying to align a lot of that with what I know already about acupuncture and getting much more detailed about it than, you know, in the books, they talk about feelings like you could spin them forwards and tumble back and go clockwise, counterclockwise. But you haven’t grown up where I did, and knowing what I know, that your ability to connect these things precisely with taking Chinese pulses, which are six on either wrist and, you know, three deep, three shallow, and to be able to calculate across those things and to be able to intertwine those things can give you much more precision in how you do that. I’ve been talking recently with a couple of people that do a lot of things with chakras and energy things. And of course, some of them are idiots and some of them are quite brilliant. To me, the more we look at everything and believe it’s going to work and find out who knows how to do something, that’s verifiable, you know, it’s one thing, you know. So I meet a lot of people that say they do energy cleansing, but when they’re done, I can’t tell any difference. To me, you know, I want stuff that’s detectable, verifiable. You know, if I can feel it or see a difference in myself or another person, then I’m impressed, and I’ll learn it and try to combine it with everything else. And certainly if he’s here, I’m in Texas as well at the moment. And, you know, today it’s raining and tomorrow it will be sunny. One of the nice things about Texas, if you don’t like the weather, wait a few hours. Where I am right now, you know, I don’t have the access because we don’t have the freedom of travel. And I’m about to start looking more at Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome stuff, and I will try to combine it with all the latest technologies. Our ability to expand even the Meta-Model and our understanding of it hasn’t stopped as we continue to look at what linguists are doing and look at what neurologists are doing. I read journal articles about everything I can and meet everyone intelligent I can, to find out every detail of everything that I might need ever. And to me, what NLP does is to synthesize practical outcomes and to associate them with thought patterns, so that more people can learn things easily. In my books, I try to keep it simple. The first book I put out was pretty complicated. It was more popular than I thought it would be. NLP 1 is so complicated. It’s almost a sedative. But now when I write books, I try to think about the end user and I want as many people to learn these things as simply as possible so that, you know, like Thinking on Purpose, anybody can read it. When the book Frogs into Princes came out, which is called Secrets of Communication in French, part of when I wrote that, I wrote that because I had a taxi cab driver who had a pile of books on his seat and he said he just sat out at the airport most of the time reading. And I thought if I could write a book that he could read and understand, then I’d be pretty sure everybody could and it’s not that taxi cab drivers are less intelligent than anybody, but because it was just that this was his second job, he worked during the day and he went at night and he read these books. And if I could get somebody like that to understand that no matter what their profession, I could be pretty sure it would get used by the public. And when I wrote that, I started getting letters from people who cured their own phobias. And, you know, I got a postcard from somebody at the Grand Canyon saying: I’m standing at the Grand Canyon hanging off the edge. And after years of having a height phobia and spending thousands and thousands of dollars on therapy, for 8.95, I did this myself. And for the most part, I’m trying to get to the point where people can do these things themselves and the people like you two trainers and other trainers in NLP start getting the idea that we’re supposed to teach people to become self-sufficient, not dependent. That’s why I discourage people charging by the hour, because I want them to get charged by the success. I want people to go out and do so well, that they send you other clients so that you do even better. That the idea that it should take five years to make a change, which was pretty much par for the course when I started, that, you know, brief therapy was 10 sessions and if they didn’t get you in 10 sessions, they just sent you away, which had a certain honesty to it. And, you know, desensitization took six months, but batted about 30 percent of the population with phobias. And I was looking for things that would work with most people, not statistical results. I wanted patterns, mathematical patterns. Two plus two is always four. And I’m looking at things that so match our neurology that when people do it, they systematically get results. And I think that’s good for the people practicing NLP, it’s good for psychiatrists to be able to have a client come in with a phobia and walk out without it and take the elevator down to the bottom of the building rather than a flight of stairs. That’s good for their self-confidence. It shows everybody and convinces everybody that change is easy and that when you make it too hard, it never works.

Michel: [01:38:42] Thank you, Richard. Thank you. And the next question is about change and beliefs. So it’s perfect, right in the context. It’s from Dalila from France and she’s asking: Is it enough to change your beliefs in order to change at all?

Richard: [01:39:00] No, but it’s a good start. You know, if you can’t change big beliefs that people have into ones that work, see, we all have something that interplays. The model we built in NLP is about strategies. There are learning strategies, there are motivation strategies, there are decision strategies, and there are convincer strategies. And they all interplay and overlap between each others. Our breaking them out is artificial only for the sense that we can learn about them and influence them. But when people become convinced utterly and absolutely that something is possible, then they have a tendency to really try and do new things. When you provide people an undeniable reality, when that phobic gets in the elevator and they’re not afraid, when the person who keeps thinking about the same memory and feeling overwhelmed has trouble remembering the same thing fifteen minutes later, it’s very convincing of people and it affects our neurology in a powerful way. It puts us in a state of consciousness which changes our neurochemistry so it’s ready to learn to do new things. There are certain states of consciousness where people acquire and pattern better. Learning is done by running things through you quickly in front of you. When you show people stick figures on a deck of cards, they see the stick figure fly, or an airplane flying in a circle. They have that on Virgin Airline when you fly. They give you a little flip book. You go: grrrrrr and the airplane flies in a circle. Well, if I handed you one of those a week, once a week for five years, you would never know the airplane moved because you’re not patterning it in in your mind. Our brain patterns better when we have higher levels of oxytocin. They’ve done this artificially with autistic children. That’s something doctors do. I’m not a medical doctor, so I don’t do things like that. I do it with hypnosis. I do it with NLP, I induce states that raise people’s oxytocin level. I get them to think dramatically different in a way that makes it almost difficult to get back to where they were. And I demonstrate this all the time on stages. And what happens is when people do something they don’t believe they could do, it doesn’t just change the belief. It changes their tendency towards emotion, so that they begin to do new things and try new things. It becomes a convincer because if you’re wrong about this, then the question is, what else are you wrong about yourself? And you begin going back to testing whether or not things are the case, that when you feel overwhelmed with fear, you just can’t get in the elevator or on the escalator or in the airplane or walk up to strangers and talk to them or walk out of your house in the case of agoraphobics. But when people become convinced and they do something they couldn’t do, it collapses a lot of generalizations. And the truth is, every time you reinforce a belief that you have, it’s a little less. By the time you have 100 examples, the next one increases its credibility, very, very little. And when you have a thousand examples of something that lasting, man, when you have a big counterexample, it kind of blows the whole thing apart so that it doesn’t work. And I mean, doesn’t run automatically the way it would. It just doesn’t keep looping. You could relearnt it. You can always go back and relive the same things and build it back up in your head. But for those moments afterwards, if you begin to stick new ideas in there and new patterns, people end up with a choice. And, you know, you could be afraid or you could laugh at something and laughing at stupid things is a lot better than doing them.

Nathalie: [01:43:05] Always a better choice.

Richard: [01:43:08] That’s at the top of my list. Laugh at stupid things and try not to do it again and again and again.

Nathalie: [01:43:17] Absolutely. Well, Houda, also on YouTube, is asking: How can we introduce NLP to children? Because all of this is fantastic. But how can we introduce this to them?

Richard: [01:43:36] Kids are really good at this because they don’t know it’s hard and it’s not hard when you’re a kid. Kids are using their imagination all the time and learning the difference between shared reality and what’s not shared reality. And if you don’t use a lot of terminology and you don’t make it a big deal, you can teach them to imagine themselves doing things and moving towards it. And if you teach them to move towards doing things rather than just away from things. See, part of our ability to generalize is to save ourselves a lot of pain. You know, the only two natural fears are loud noises and falling. All the rest are learned. So to keep us from sticking our hand in a hot fire, when you go to reach for it, your mother screams Waaaaaaa and you get that nervous thing. And the next time you go to reach out, you think it through. And this keeps us from getting hurt. Now, that’s one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is how do you get people to explore the world. You know, if we’re always just moving away from everything instead of going: This no. This yes. And, you know, discovering the difference, you know. And I find that when I see people use these techniques with kids, they try to be a little too intellectual about it. It really should be put in games. When I went into the school systems and they gave me kids that were educationally handicapped and the “educationally handicapped counselor”, which I thought was pretty good name at the time, you know, explained to me things, and I would say: What can’t this kid do? Right, that if he were doing, he wouldn’t be educationally handicapped. And the concept was like difficult. You know, they’d go always: Cross hemisphered, is this that? All this terminology stuff. And when they would talk to kids, they would almost install problems in them. They’d go: I know that’s going to be difficult for you, but, you know, just take it slowly and I’ll go over it again and again. And what I did was design games so that I had all the kids. I gave them all the numbers that they needed to learn to add, you know, two, four, six, eight, ten, all the way up to one hundred, four, eight, twelve, all the way up and I had the kids, I said: I’m going to pick a number, and you all go down the list and we’ll see who can get to the bottom first, so that they would say it as fast as they could. Over and over and over again. And then they’d all laugh, so that I attached good feeling to the process of memorizing these things. So that not only was it an auditory phenomenon, it became a picture that the faster they could see it in their head, the faster they could get to the bottom and win the race. And it didn’t matter whether they won or lost. The process was fun. They’d all get tongue-tied at a certain point. And they all laughed at each other and we’d just go back to the beginning and do it again. People who learn things well, don’t worry about the mistakes. They focus on the success. Now, school systems mark out every mistake you make for ten, to sixteen, to twenty seven years. By the time you graduate with a PHD or an MD, you know, you’ve had people pointing out mistakes your whole life. They don’t put a red check next to the word you spelt correctly. And it teaches us to look for what’s wrong instead of looking for what’s right. We should be taking now that it’s all computerized. And when mistakes are there, we should make them fade away so they don’t make them again and put in the right answer up just like that. And I didn’t have that technology when I was working with young people. But, you know, their ability to make pictures, their ability to fantasize, their ability to try on somebody else’s mind and play, these are kids pretending in their spare time to be adults wearing their shoes and their clothes, everything. The games that children play, we just need to make better, more precise games. If they can learn those video games. Good Lord, they can learn anything. Those things are complicated.

Michel: [01:47:48] Thank you, Richard. It’s interesting because right before you talked about disabilities etc. there were two questions that came on this subject and you actually answered them. So excellent, great.

Richard: [01:48:02] Aren’t I psychic?

Michel: [01:48:03] Yes, I guess so. So the next question is also a life question, which comes quite a few times here. It’s a historical question: How did you discover the eye movement model?

Richard: [01:48:20] Purely, oddly, out of the blue, by noticing and paying attention, because I didn’t look for the answers, right, out of a theory. I’ve got no theory. So when I started asking questions, not just about things, we got the idea that people had representational systems, you know, and that came right out of predicates, because there are visual predicates, auditory predicates and kinesthetic predicates. Some people seem to be more visual. And when we started doing on purpose asking questions, because a lot of people think you’re one or the other and it’s not, everybody’s got three strings to their bow, at least. And when we started asking people questions like what color are your mother’s eyes? We noticed there was a consistency and that the more difficult the question was and the more remembered it was, the more people size moved one way. And when we would ask people to construct things, there was a certain percentage. And then we began to notice that the people whose eyes went in the opposite direction wear their watch on the other arm, i.e. were left handed. Because a lot of the left handed people couldn’t put a watch on the arm. Like a lot of right-handed people if they tried to put their watch on the other arm, they would have trouble doing. They’re not terribly ambidextrous. And we literally did a thing of standing in front of 300 people and on purpose going through it. We had students in the class and we asked them what the first four notes of Beethoven’s Symphony were. And, you know, if they knew what it felt like to go into a warm bath and a large number of people consistently did the same thing. There’s a journal article by a woman named Dorothy Comora and she pointed out in this Journal article that there was this odd thing that your eyes jiggle all the time. And that’s because if they held still the world would disappear. And so she had attached little pictures to the eyeball. And when the eyes jiggled, the picture went with the eyeball. And therefore, the image disappeared because the nerves became habituated. And when she wrote the articles, there was this little thing in journal articles where they talk about weird stuff that go: Oh, we’re doing this but his weird thing happened. And she said that when they asked people what it was, a picture of, all these people shifted their eyes up into the right. And she said that might be important or up until the left. And so we started on purpose looking to see if there was a consistency between eye movements and how people access representational systems. And much to our surprise, it turned out to be incredibly systematic. And I think it’s one of the things that gave John and I popularity with psychologists and psychologists originally, because it once people do it, it becomes so self evident. It’s one of those convincing things, you know, that people have a tendency before that to interpret behavior that if your eyes shifted, you were avoiding the subject or the content. A lot of psychotherapists would go, what are you avoiding if you looked away? And Transaction Analysis people said you were asking your parents for permission if you’d look up. And these are things where you interpret behavior. John and I didn’t interpret behavior. We observed behavior. And, you know, we just saw your eyes go up to one side or the other. Straight ahead, the focus to the left and down. And we noticed whether people’s lower lips filled up, how their pores changed. And we didn’t think it meant anything. We just found out if there was consistency between what they were saying and what they were doing. And when it matched up that visual predicates followed visual accessing, kinesthetic predicates were there simultaneously. And if you listen, especially in English, people even say “down right important”. And you know that when somebody shifts their eyes down into the right, that kinesthetic access, they’ll touch themselves and say that. And, you know, people say things all the time, like they go: Well, you know, if I think about tomorrow, what I see is.. And they’ll literally point to pictures in their head. And there was a period when I started where people believed if you commented on talking to yourself or visualizing or saying you saw yourself or you saw something in your mind that somehow or other that meant you were crazy. Psychiatrists used to come up to me in lectures and say to me: You know, well, when my patient said they said something to themselves, I would always tell myself that was crazy and I would say to them, you know, you’re doing the same thing as the client. You know, talking to yourself isn’t crazy unless you say crazy things that are crazy internal voice. And, you know, when you tell yourself you’re king of the universe. It’s not saying it, that makes you crazy, it’s what you’re saying that’s crazy. And our ability to to pay attention and not feel like we were being objective or that we could interpret behavior, I remember reading a lot of psychology books where they literally took pictures out of movies where somebody made a certain gesture and saying that this means that. When I was in college, I took a class called the interpretation of personal documents and where they gave us people’s dreams. And we were supposed to say exactly what they meant. And I came to the point where I just don’t trust my ability or anybody’s ability to interpret things that accurate. And I personally don’t find that dreams mean all that much. They’re entertaining, but I think it’s our neurology’s way of what happens when we grow new cortical pathways. And, you know, I had a job stapling books, in the first night, I went home and stapled books for another eight hours, not because I wished to work a double shift, but because my neurology was learning it. And I certainly have flying dreams and I’d love to be able to fly, but I don’t think it’s going to happen unless I get on an airplane and, you know, our ability to notice things like accessing cues, accessing cues are something we can see and test. And that’s what we did. We kept testing to find out how accurate what we were seeing was by verifying it and we used a crazy old time method. We asked people things like when they look up, I’ll go, you know, what are you thinking? And people will go: Well, I was seeing my mother or I’m thinking about this or, you know, thinking about what I had for lunch, you know, and then they’ll shift their eyes, and I told myself I shouldn’t have eaten nuts. And if you track it, it follows. So the more we paid attention to what people did and said, it became incredibly obvious. And when we started writing about it and teaching it to people, it became a tool to be able to understand thinking. So that when we were asked questions like when I had a bad speller, you know, in school, and they said this kid had some kind of learning disability, I went found somebody who won a Spelling Bee. And when I asked a little girl, I said: How do you spell impossible? She began barking out the letter. I said: Don’t tell me the letters. I said: Do you know how to spell it? And she tilted her head back and said, yes. And I said: How big are the letters? And she held her fingers this far apart. She had words written this big in her mind. So, of course, they’re easier to recite. So when I taught the other little kid to make letters that big, to look at the little letters that were on the page, make them big in his mind, read them forward, read them backwards, and did know that was the right spelling because it matched what was on the page, he was then able to acquire other words as he would see them. That became a learning strategy. All the things that we found, we tested very rigorously to make sure that something happened. And when we found exceptions, we would find out what the exception was. You can’t count on everybody to have the same accessing cues. But it’s certainly not that hard to find out because a lot of ambidextrous people have it reversed on the top and bottom. There aren’t that many of them. But you do find them.

Nathalie: [01:57:07] Absolutely. Yes. My father, was that was one of them.

Richard: [01:57:11] Your father was one of them.

Nathalie: [01:57:12] Yes. And it was awful because, well, I was starting NLP, anyway. Another story for another day.

Richard: [01:57:21] A story for another day. OK.

Nathalie: [01:57:25] Jean-Philippe from France, related to this, is asking: What are the best ways to stop internal dialogue? Internal dialogue..

Richard: [01:57:38] Ok, here we go again. The best, the only, the greatest. All of those words. There are a thousand ways. But first you have to stop out. OK. It’s not about stopping your internal dialogue, it’s about using it. When it’s worth having. And if any process, I don’t care if it’s a feeling, a picture or sounds, when it’s out of control, the first thing to do is to make it go faster, then make it go louder, then make it go softer, then make it go slower so you talk even slower and slower and then do three words on… Three words on… Three words on.. so that you take control over. Take the voice from this side. Move it to this side. Move it to the back. Move it to the front. Make it sound like Daffy Duck so that you begin to control your own internal neurology. It’s a very bad habit that most people have that they just let their brain run on. It’s like having a car with no steering wheel. Your job is to be in charge of your consciousness. That light that shines in the dark, right, that decides what you pay attention to and what you don’t, right, should be something you’re in control of. And most people aren’t. Their feelings jump all over the place and they make pictures, sometimes they only don’t see them. And, you know, whether they’re big and whether they’re small, it’s like anything else. Practice. Practice. You get good at it. You know, if your internal dialogue is just jabbering on, right, have it jabber on. You don’t even have to change what it says. Change the tone of voice first. Make it sound like Sylvester, the cat: I’m an idiot! You know, you’ll never be able to shut up. You’ll never be able to shut up and then make a good really loud and then get it quieter. And then you may do three words and three spaces and three words till you take control. It’s like anything else, when you practice, taking control of things. It’s your brain. You’re in charge of it. It’s the one thing you can control more than anything, it’s your thoughts and you can’t control them by suppressing them. You need to control them by controlling. And it doesn’t matter if you say really crappy things to yourself and they make you feel bad. Well, the first thing is change the way you feel. Then keep saying the crappy shit. Say it really loud and then make it sound stupid as it is. And eventually you’ll get a little silence in there.

Michel: [02:00:05] Thank you, Richard. Yeah. Very, very good advice. Very good advice.

Richard: [02:00:11] There’s always that mantra, you know. Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up! Shut the fuck up!

Michel: [02:00:18] And that works great. That works really great, actually. So simple solutions for simple problems. So now there is a question about using NLP. It’s a question from David from Israel, who is asking: How to make techniques become your way of life?

Richard: [02:00:43] How do you make techniques become a way of life? I think that’s not avoidable, to tell you the truth. When you sit around getting other people, you know, to make pictures bigger and smaller and further away and replace bad beliefs with good beliefs and take stupid thoughts and wipe them out, you’re gonna start doing it yourself. And, you know, when you think stupid things, you’re gonna just wipe them out and stop thinking about it. You know, the more you do it on purpose, the faster the process will be. But to me, remember, NLP isn’t just the techniques. It’s an attitude and a methodology. The attitude has the belief that, you know, anything is possible. Believing that everything is possible and can be done quickly is a good belief. It may not be true, but it’s still a good belief to have. And the attitude is, you know, I’m just going to keep doing until I get it. And that is becoming relentless. And to me, I find being relentless a wonderful feeling. To me, being relentless is fun. My clients come in hopeless. Everybody’s given up on them. Some poor psychiatrist brings a man in and tries to explain to me, you know, how they’re going to have to live like this the rest of their life. And I’ll literally turn and look at them and smile and raise an eyebrow and look at them. And I can tell by the look on their face that they know I don’t believe that and now I look at the psychiatrist and say: As far as you know. But maybe tomorrow you’ll know more and you’ll be able to take this guy and do things with him. Right now, I want to find out some information. I’ll start asking him questions that nobody has asked them. That’s the power of the Meta-Model. When people go: I don’t believe I can ever laugh and I go. How do you know that? And they start describing the inside of their head. And I start changing the inside of their head. And suddenly they’re laughing at something that seemed overwhelming and they’re having trouble remember things that plagued them. All of those things are a result of the power of the Meta-Model. And when you do that with other people, you’ll find it happens to yourself. I know people who use NLP, but they don’t use it well enough on others that it leaks into their own life, because they don’t have that belief in the clients to come in. I know when my clients come in they’re going to change before they get there. And when they sit down and I look them in the eye, they know it, too. Because I’m relentless and the more relentless you are about believing and producing positive change in people that so that they can spend more of their day feeling good than feeling unpleasant. And that measure should always be shifting in the right direction. And there’s a lot of ways to feel good. I’m not talking giddy, happy, good. I’m talking determined, joyful, relentless, curious. All of those things.

Nathalie: [02:03:50] Oh, yes, I have had that experience, too, to look at your eye close and changing right away.

Richard: [02:03:59] It is relentless. Is it not?

Nathalie: [02:04:02] It is, absolutely. Siri Guru Kaur Khalsa from YouTube, is asking, can you install music learning ability in someone who wants to learn music but find it hard and boring?

Richard: [02:04:21] Well, if you’re finding it hard and boring, that may more have to do with your music teacher than anything else. I do it all the time when I teach on stage. I take people who swear they’re not musical and I hook them up to a machine. And the next thing I know, they’re blowing sax solos, because it has more to do with listening. Music. There are different skills. There’s writing, music, reading music, playing music. And, you know, there’s a difference between improvising and playing Bach. Certainly, Rachmaninoff requires tremendous concentration. But concentration.. See to me, the word trance and the word concentration are almost synonyms, and that if you go into the right trance and you focus your attention in the right way, then learning music, no matter what you’re learning in music, is not difficult. And even though it may take you a long time to master certain physical skills and things, the trick is to make it fun, to play what you enjoy. We teach kids to play things they don’t want to play. And of course, that makes it hard. And we usually start people with Mozart. Good God, he was a musical genius at the age of six. And, you know, it may not be the easiest place to start. I remember when I was in school, they gave us a song flute and wanted us to play Yankee Doodle Dandy. And, you know, I’m sorry, but I just didn’t care about the song. And, you know, they wanted us to look at little dots and play this. Everybody played the same song and they made it as tedious as humanly possible. If you make things fun and you have somebody who loves what they do, and especially now, I mean, she’s on YouTube. The number of great musicians, you can watch their hands, but you have to learn the way they learn. If you’re going to learn to play the guitar, you have to be able to imagine the guitar that’s not even there and see your fingers taking and moving through scales. You have to understand that the guitar is set up in a certain way so that it’s got five positions and they all follow the word caged. So a C is a C here. And then it’s in a A position bar. It’s a C and all the scales go the same way and then it’s a G and then an E and then a D. And then if you start with a D, then it goes to a C. Once you understand how it’s constructed and once you learn one scale, you learn five scales, you’d learn all of the things about the particular instrument. And then you watch great musicians and what they do, you learn patterns and you practice them. And it will always be awkward at first. But the more you feel good when you do something well and ignore the mistakes you make, the faster you will acquire the skill. And certainly you can spend a lifetime and not master everything on any instrument. And every great musician I’ve ever met will play something. And I bet some really outstandingly talented musicians who will sit down and play on one of my instruments and look up at me and go, I’m such a shit. I just, you know, I can’t get this right. And, you know, one of the best guitar players in the world picked up my guitar and started playing stuff and it looked like his fingers were on fire that they were moving so fast. And he looked at me and goes: I have to practice. I’m just not that.. I really play a lot, but I don’t practice enough. And, you know, you could practice on your dissatisfaction or you can enjoy what you do because once you get it, it feels so good to do it. And if you play what you enjoy and even if you just play five notes over again in the right order and enjoy them, eventually you’ll start playing more and more and more. So don’t torture yourself. Enjoy the process and play things that feel good, make good feelings in your body before you touch the instrument. Make the process of learning fun. And you’ll do a lot of it.

Michel: [02:08:32] Thank you, Richard. I could experience that on a training with you because you made me an artist. Really.

Richard: [02:08:40] That’s the other thing, art, art, art, music. Yeah, I bring them up, line them up, have them pay paintings and play music and all kinds of things they don’t believe they do. You get rid of the belief, you install a little bit of a strategy, and with just that little bit of a strategy, you’re able to do a lot. I’m always amazed by the art people produce. When they started out swearing to me they were not artistic and the next thing you know, I’ve got a couple of hundred people shocked at what they produced the first time out. And I had one person who came back 20 years later and started showing me the art they had done. Because they kept at it, they really kept at it. And it’s amazing to me. It is absolutely amazing. I had a gallery owner in a workshop in Mexico, and I did this with a group of people. I think I had twenty five or thirty two paintings and put them up on the wall, and then we did another creativity strategy and they did another thing. And after the second day we got the guy come up to me and he said, I own an art gallery, he said, would it be all right if I bought some of this stuff? You know, we’re talking about people the second day they painted. And, you know, if they kept at it, down the road, you know, they’d have great skill. But I think art, music, all of these things provide something more than just the talent. They give us a way to communicate with our unconscious. And when our unconscious has a way of expressing things through these mediums and we go into an altered state, that is very primal. And I think it’s very good for people. I think people spend too much time dwelling around in their conscious mind. And it’s so small compared to the vast inter web of our neurology with millions and billions and billions of neurons, each talking to ten to one hundred others when we do it in a really limited fashion, consciously over and over again, and don’t explore the vast horizons of possibility. It’s a real shame and plus, it’s a lot of fun.

Michel: [02:10:53] Richard, you’re psychic! You anticipated the last question. It’s a live question from Arthur. You talked about hypnosis before. Can you tell a few words about the importance of the unconscious mind? And this will be the last question.

Richard: [02:11:14] Ever? When I started doing hypnosis, I have to admit that I didn’t know much about it. I’ve been hypnotized once when I was a kid by a magician, you know, after he pulled a rabbit out of a hat, he hypnotized three people and asked for volunteers. And I did. I didn’t even know what it was. I’ve never even seen anybody do it. I was probably in the sixth grade at the time, and I remember feeling more relaxed than I don’t think I felt again until I was in my 20s. And it was just something that when it came up.. and I remember one day John Grinder said to me, he just looked at me and he said, I’d like to learn to be a hypnotist. We should learn this. I went out and I bought a hundred books on hypnosis. Some from used bookstores. Some were from the eighteen hundreds. Some were paperbacks and some were good, some were garbage. And next thing you know, we were starting to do hypnosis. And then Gregory Bateson, who is a very famous intellectual who is responsible for the double bind theory of schizophrenia, lived across the driveway from me and when he said: What do you do? And I said: I’m learning hypnosis. His pupils dilate. And he looked at me and he goes: You must meet Milton Erickson, M.D., at Phoenix, Arizona. And I went: Okay. And he set up an appointment for us to go about three months later. And John and I got on a plane and flew down and started doing experimental hypnosis. And it changed the direction of everything. And in some ways gave birth to the whole field of NLP. Because when I hypnotized people and made them have perfect pitch, and then when I brought them out of trance, they didn’t have perfect pitch. I hypnotized people and they could do all kinds of things that they couldn’t do when they were in the waiting state. I had somebody imagine glasses, take the glasses off and imagine your glasses and they could see without their glasses, and when they came out of trance, they couldn’t. It didn’t make any sense to me! That, you know, if your brain could do this in trance, how come it can’t do it in the waking state? So we started going through methodically to try to find a way to get the person’s conscious mind to just alter itself in the same way it did. And as it turns out, it had more to do with the brainwave patterns and all kinds of things. And as we explored those, I discovered that hypnosis was a great doorway to finding and expanding the possibilities of what people could do. And I really discovered that there was kind of a thing going on where when you talk to the conscious mind, you could talk to the unconscious simultaneously. Really our ability to consciously understand language is supported by a whole structure, as Chomsky laid out, but that unconscious process more than the unconscious mind. I think when we say, at least in English, your unconscious learns, your unconscious understands, it’s more of a command than anything else. We’re telling people to be less conscious, to be unconscious. And to me, I know that there are all kinds of unconscious processes that can be accelerated and exaggerated and give me the ability to communicate in ways that allow people to have better freedom of possibility. See, the funny thing is this: I believe that freedom is absolutely what it’s all about. That, you know, once a society and there are societies where people are not terribly free and that’s on this day and age, that’s a horrible shame. But once people have warm, full and dry. I think the big changes they have are in here. And the change of modern society are that people are not breaking the generalizations and expanding their worlds into being better places and being better people and to be kinder and nicer and more entrepreneurial. You know that especially at these times, I have a lot of people telling me, you know, the government is giving us big checks, so I don’t want to go back to work. I’ll take a pay cut. And I’m thinking, well, whoever did this is nuts. You know, we want the world to be excited to go back to work. I want my employees to be excited to go back, you know, that we should feel like, you know, we had to do this to become a better planet, a cleaner planet, a more sterilized planet, and to overcome the big bad virus, and the world should be unifying, and ganging up on the virus. And, you know, instead of blaming each other and going through all this nonsense about who gave it to whom, and whose mistake was this and who’s doing it better than all, all this nonsense they’re going through. To me, I haven’t got time for that. I want to see people at this point really start to go: OK, what can I believe that will be more functional? And building those beliefs. And one of the best ways to do that is to understand that most of what you do, how you feel and what you think comes out of automated unconscious processes from your neurology, which is not separate from your body. By the way, there is no mind body split. If you ain’t got one, you ain’t got the other. And I know a lot of people ask me that intellectual question, and then I just think that’s nonsense. To me, understanding that that’s true means how did we take the light of our conscious mind and feel more of our life with the light from morning, noon, night and in our dreams. And how do we go into the future and make better plans so that we think more on purpose and live more on purpose. And instead of running away from everything that scares us, we should be building our dreams and building our desires and embracing the future. Because after all, that’s really all there is.

Nathalie: [02:17:42] Absolutely. Thank you so much for all of the knowledge that you shared with us tonight. And thank you to all of the people who joined us in this amazing Masterclass. And just once, one little quick thing. I was wanting to say earlier. The painting I have was made just after.. I made it. And it was just after a seminar that we had in Puerto Vallarta of painting.

Richard: [02:18:20] That was the seminar I was talking about.

Nathalie: [02:18:23] Yeah. That’s the result I got.

Richard: [02:18:30] Well, you did good. And I’d like to thank all the people on YouTube and all the people that signed up, and especially you two. You’ve always been absolutely great students and great assets such as assistant trainers and translators. You guys have done a great job. And I want to thank you a lot. It’s a real pleasure to be here. It’s still daytime here, so I’m going to go out and have some fun and breath on people.

Michel: [02:18:59] Thank you so much, Richard. It was pure gold. The comments are flowing very rapidly with thanks from all over the world, for your time, for your answers. It’s perfect. It’s really perfect. Thank you so much. And to all of you, to all of you also who are watching this video, remember to subscribe to the channel. We’ll continue to answer your questions. We’re going to continue to give a lot of new answers, a lot of new things which are only content driven. And thank you for watching. And if you’re watching it later, I mean, in a few days. In a few weeks. In a few months, thank you also for having watched this and do yourself good. See you soon.

Richard: [02:19:54] Bye bye.

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