The Pure FUN of Learning & Using NLP
The Pure FUN of Learning & Using NLP
I’ve been reviewing my website, and my newsletters, over a period of time… and it’s become laughably obvious that I sound way too serious online sometimes.
Oh, I do take the quality of my work and my business presence seriously, but I don’t take life too seriously, and I don’t take myself too seriously either. Life’s too short for that, and by contrast to how it might seem, I tend to bring more than a few rays of sunshine and laughter and fun to just about any and every pursuit or situation. NLP is fun!
So the reason for this NLP article is to share another, playful side of me. Because I don’t know if it comes across through my website or my newsletters how much fun I think it is both to learn NLP, and to LIVE it. Fun for me — fun for my kids — immense fun for Everyone!
Changing Perceptions is an Enormous amount of fun! It turns the world into your personal sandbox or playground!
Story #1: Fabulous Practical Jokes
So, let me take you back to one of my visits to Melbourne Australia. I’ve gone out to lunch on Lygon Street during one of my courses, with a large contingent of my student group, accompanied also by my good friend NLP Trainer James Tsakalos begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting. James seems to feel it’s an essential Melbourne experience to try this restaurant’s “Special Hot Chocolate”. I find out later on, that he actually feels it’s an essential experience to be the butt of a practical joke!
So, the waiter takes a typical white cylindrical ceramic mug, places it upside down on a saucer plate, puts a teaspoon of hot chocolate on the bottom surface of the mug which is pointing upwards, then paints the top with whipped cream. Sure enough, when I lift it to my mouth, I get a moustache of whipped cream, and no more than a teaspoon of hot chocolate before I realize the mug is mostly empty. What a beautiful illusion! (And a cheap practical joke!).
It seems my life is increasingly filled with such fun moments! Yours could be too! (Just remember, the word “Gullible” is actually NOT listed in Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary! Amazing!)
Story #2: How to take 30+ really annoyed people and entertain them with an NLP mirroring process!
This is a fun rant. So I hope you enjoy this Crackberry story just for giggles. For anyone who gets annoyed when strangers talk on their cellphones in front of you in public — on speakerphone!!
One night about a month ago, I headed out to a favorite spot to grab some Dinner. I sat at the bar and ordered an appetizer. Normally — a great place to go.
That night, however, the last 5 minutes of my fun was polluted by some guy who apparently wasn’t aware of the degree to which he was offending everyone (30+ people) at the bar.
He strolls in with a large cellphone (like a Crackberry; errr, Blackberry, but everyone’s so addicted to them I call them Crackberries), and it’s on Speakerphone. It’s clearly too much work to hold it to his ear, so he holds it to his mouth. And he’s speaking LOUDLY. It’s an inch from his mouth, the speaker sound is turned way up, and he’s speaking loudly. Which is to say, ALL of us can hear his conversation. Not just me — 2 seats down from him, but I’m watching EVERYONE around a rather large rectangular bar watching him. Listening to him talk to what appears to be a business partner about moving money around from here to there.
After several minutes of utter fascination with his willingness to share this ongoing conversation of his with all of us, I finally decide it’s time to do something about it. So I start scanning a range of options, looking at the situation from multiple perceptual positions.
Do I ask him politely to turn it down? Common sense would indicate that anyone with half a brain would clearly know he was disturbing ALL of us. So I chose not to ask politely.
Do I get angry and yell at him? Common sense would indicate he’s waiting for anyone, ANYONE, to do just that. So I chose not to get angry at him.
Instead, I figure, “when in Rome….” and I decide to explore what mirroring his behavior will do for the entire context. So I take out my cellphone, and I start alternating between pressing two buttons, that cause my phone to beep, incredibly loudly. Too loudly, it seems, for him to stay properly focused on his conversation. LOL. I can hear he & his co-hort beginning to have difficulty communicating.
After about 30 seconds of this, I look over at him, pretending to be dumbfounded, WHILE I continue pressing the buttons, and say, LOUDLY, “OH…. I’M SORRY… IS THIS DISTURBING YOUR CALL? I APOLOGIZE, I GUESS I FAILED TO ASK EVERYONE AT THE BAR IF THESE LOUD BEEPS WOULD OFFEND ANY OF YOU.” And then I looked across the bar at several other groups who were already laughing at my antics, and I asked “IS MY PHONE PISSING YOU OFF??? GEE I’M SORRY… I CAN’T HELP IT.. MY FINGERS DON’T WANT TO STOP!!! CAN YOU PUT UP WITH IT FOR ANOTHER HOUR OR SO? PLEASE?”
Meanwhile the guy with the Crackberry looks over at me while his buddy’s saying (on speaker) “what’s going on?” And he looks at his Crackberry, pauses for a while, and ultimately says “Let me call you later.”
He ends the call, and a massive round of applause erupts — followed by not less than 3 people offering to buy me a beer loudly enough for Crackberry-guy to hear it. Meanwhile the bartenders are all “high-fiving” me.
He then chooses to save face by apologizing, and while nobody wants to hear it, I immediately ease up on my nonverbal communication and accept his apology with grace. Unfortunately none of the others at the bar really wanted to converse with him, which was their own choice to make. Finally Crackberry-guy got up and left.
I’m not quite sure how I lucked into this, but I managed to avoid an argument, prevent 30 people from lynching a guy, stop someone from disturbing me and others, get a standing ovation, get 3 free beers (turned 2 of them down!) and 4 high-fives, get him to decide to leave without further aggression.
Not a bad night, come to think about it. LOL! I see this as just an example of being able to assess a situation, consider the dynamics of the situation from multiple perspectives, and creatively find an ideal way of engaging with the scene in an optimal way, for optimal outcomes. NLP gives us so much in the way of a fabulous (and often fun) tool belt for these purposes!
Living the Life… and the NLP Attitude!
Making every situation a ripe opportunity to live life with a sense of light-heartedness and best intentions for the most possible number of people… is an immensely fun way of life. I believe that every workshop & training opportunity NEEDS to be equally fun and enjoyable. I do believe in rigorous efforts, but I believe in wrapping them with fabulous experiences whenever possible!
If you think about it… (and I know you will!)… don’t you agree with me? What a great way to move through the world!
I’m often asked how I seemingly effortlessly come up with such creative angles to handling or resolving unique problem situations. I think the way in which I approach running courses encourages this sense of play and exploration, not only in terms of book knowledge but in terms of real-world behavioral situations. In other words, I think I make that sense of fun with NLP… not only contagious and adventurous, but also still as high a quality training experience as you can get anywhere!
Might you want more of a sense of adventurous fun in your own life — while also learning how to help yourself & others to a richer, more rewarding life experience? I don’t know too many people who wouldn’t benefit from more of this!
Jonathan Altfeld is a man of many talents and careers. His primary business roles include training influential communication skills and applications of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), doing personal/life coaching and business coaching, as well as web development, online marketing, and direct response copywriting. He founded the Mastery InSight Instittute of NLP in 1997 and has been training around the world (across the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia) since then.
Also, his first (previous) career was in the artificial intelligence world, making computers think like people do (not as different from NLP as you might think — essentially both careers are all about “knowledge transfer.”) As a result, Jonathan’s become a gifted expert in accelerated learning. His insights will often surprise and astound you!