Friday, October 28, 2005 Update Twice a Week


I like writing the Ideas & Thoughts of Keith To. It's a great way of sharing.

I just commit with myself to update this website at least twice a week. That means - more information you can get every time you visit us again.

Bookmark this page and come back more frequently.


NLP Essentials 2006


I have just confirmed with St. James Settlement the dates for NLP Essentials 2006.

NLP Essentials 2006 is a Free program for those who want to learn NLP. This is our third year conducting this training. This is a 10-hours program spreading through 5 tuesday's evenings. This program will only be conducted once a year.

You are going to learn the basic principles and skills plus some really advanced skills of NLP. Everybody are welcomed. I will anounce the enrollment procedure later in our Excel Your Life Email Newsletter. If you haven't subscribe, simply send a blank email to

Here is some details of this upcoming program:

Date: Feb 28 - Mar 28 2006 Every Tuesday
Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Venue: St. James Settlement, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Mark your calendar now if you want to join us.


Learning from Life 11-15


Here are what I learned in the last week:

11. I respect what I already have, or they will disappear.

12. Failure is more frequent than Success. Learn how to handle them or they will handle you. (NLPers might said that there is no failure, only feedback. You are right. But let's be a normal person just for a while!)

13. We can easily mix up means and ends. We want the ends and we do the means.

14. We usually over-estimate the results but under-estimate the process.

15. If we do not want others to laugh at us, learn how to laugh at ourselves first.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NLP is NOT about NLP Skills


This is a new article written by me. It is about the Top 10 NLP Skills. See if you know them all. If you interest in NLP Skills, these are the most effective ones that you can use them again and again.

I have not been focusing on NLP Skills for years. But I still always use these 10 skills to help myself unstuck and improve.


NLP is NOT about NLP Skills
By Keith To

NLP Skills are the results of NLP. Those developers “invented” these skills through applying NLP. NLP is the study of people’s thinking programs, which in turn affect how we do, speak and think. NLP is the Core while NLP Skills are the accessories.If you still want NLP Skills, here are the Top 10 NLP Skills. These are all you need. Nearly all other NLP skills are modification of these skills.

1. RapportPacing Qualities of Voice (Echoing: speed, tone, and volume), VAK (Matching), and/or Posture and Movement (Mirroring). Remember the objective of Pacing is Leading. Try Leading whenever you find you are already in rapport with others.

2. Fast Phobia Cure – Remove your Fears by Dissociation, Rewinding, Changing Submodalities.

3. Association & Dissociation – Association with what you want and Dissociate from what you don't want. Associate to get the feeling and Dissociate to get the information.

4. Swish Pattern – Work on "Bad" Experience, Thoughts, Habits or even Beliefs. The swish it away with your new Image.

5. Anchoring – Feel the feeling of the Resources and Anchor it. Use it later if that resource is needed.

6. Changing Submodalities – Recall the Pictures of what annoys you (experience, thoughts, beliefs), change the submodalities to make the relief.

7. Perceptual Positions – Walk into 2nd & 3rd Position to understand the situation more.

8. Aligning Logical Levels – Walk up your Levels to understand more about your situation in each level. Walk down again to integrate your new learning. Use when you want to explore more about some projects and plans.

9. Circle of Excellence – Put the Resources on floor. Bring it back by visualizing it again.

10. Reframing
Meaning Reframing – What can be the other meaning of this situation?
Context Reframing – What situations can this be useful?

Coaching: Self Coaching - Can We Coach Ourselves?


If coaching is useful to help others to identify blind spots and to develop oneself, then can we coach ourselves?

The answer is Yes and No.

If coaching is about asking questions, we can't coach ourselves effectively. It is too difficult for us to question ourselves. We will surrender too soon, well before we can discover anything new and meaningful.

But if you see questioning is just the means of coaching, and the end of coaching is helping others to think logically to discover his/her own answers, the we can coach ourselves.

It is just about logical thinking! All our models of coaching is to assist our clients to think logically. In everday life, we get used to jumping to conclusions. So, blindspots are the result. We do not need to question ourselves when doing self-coaching. We just follow the logical sequences of thinking. That's already great self-coaching.

Wheather it is Fulfill Model, A to B Model, 6 Tiers of Questioning Model, Feedback Loop Model, Action Coaching Model or WWHW Model (various models we used in our Coaching Programs), they are just Thinking Model. Just follow the sequence in the model to think. You are eliminating your blindspots as a result.

Enjoy coaching yourself!


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

NLP: 49 Days Non-Stop


This is my 23rd day of non-stop working since 3 weeks ago.

As I had rescheduled some of my training programs earlier this year, I need to work 49 days non-stop in these 2 months. There are still 26 days to come!

49 days!!! Everyday I need to conduct training, meet clients, and do my writings.

During the first 2 weeks, I felt terrible and exhausted. Because all these are works! Then I do some shifting in my perception. If I still see these are works, how can I go through all my 49 miserable days?

Furthermore, I like doing training, seeing clients and writing. That's why I choose this career. It is only the "49 non-stop days" that make me feeling terrible.

Many great people retreat for days, weeks, and months as a form of 修煉. I can see my 49 days also being a form of 修煉. I will review, re-understand, refine all the material I am going to present in these 49 days. The result can be some much improved training programs and more in-depth knowledge for myself. I feel great again instantly.

Change your perception, change your feeling and results. This wisdom is age-old, but it always works, at least for me.


P.S. Yes, this is Reframing. When we can't change something, change how we see it!

Development is a Natural Process


We always want to develop, ourselves, our business, and/or our career.

We try harder to develop, we fail harder. Why?

Because development is a natural process. You can't develop to develop! The key is when you accumulate enough, development will happen naturally. But you must know what you want first. This gives you the direction of development.

What can you accumulate? Knowledge, money, assets, qualifications, skills, networks, etc.

The Lesson: Know what you want and start accumulating!


Sunday, October 23, 2005

What's Wrong with NLP Today?


I am a NLP Trainer and I am sad that there are serious problems with NLP today.

The more people learn NLP, the seriousness of the problems becomes more apparent. What are the problems? The problem is about the misunderstandings of NLP.

1. NLP is NOT NLP Skills. Many people are just learning NLP Skills and think that they are NLP. NLP Skills are the results of NLP, but not NLP itself.

2. NLP emphasizes the "How" of doing/thinking (i.e. Context). People misunderstand that we just need to know how to use the NLP Skills. But how about the "When", "Who", "Which" and "Why" to use the skills? People learned NLP, but just do not know when to use a particular skill, who needs that skill, which skill to use, and why to use it?

The Result: They can't use it!

The essence of "How" is to study how people think about something so that we can shift the "How" to achieve a better result. This full understand of "How" thinking happened leads us to know the "How", "When", "Who", "Which" and "Why" of thinking and of applying the skills.

3. NLP makes people thinking that they are therapists. Founders of NLP modelled some of the best psychotherapist at that time and work out their strategies. So many of the NLP Skills are therapeutic in nature. Knowing how they do it doesn't make us becoming a psychotherapist. Most of us are not trained as a therapist. People can easily misunderstand that learning NLP is equivalent to learning therapy.

Even a standard 128 or more hours of NLP training can't equip us with all the knowledge of doing therapy on others. This is dangerous, very dangerous. Furthermore, most of us will not do therapy in our daily lives. Learning all those NLP Therapeutic Skills becomes useless to us. We need something we can transfer back to our daily lives.

I don't have all the solutions to these problems. But I always remind myself not to add further more problems to the field of NLP!


Friday, October 21, 2005

Judge Before Think!


Today, I confirm again one of my findings. One of the most common causes for failure is making judgment before thinking.

I know someone who is very well-educated, but never quite successful in life. I always think that it is just because of bad luck. Today, I got the real answer.

I have a meeting with my friend today. He comes across some new information. Immediately he ignores the information and says that there are nothing new there. But there are!

Out of curiosity, I challenge his judgment. After our discussion, we discovered the reason for his judgment. The only reason he comes to his judgment is that the information looks like old stuff. He stops seeing and thinking after his judgment. How can he improve in such a manner?

This is the most common way to create blindspots for ourselves - Judging before Thinking. Then we stop thinking forever!

Lesson Learned: Think before making any judgment!


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Disney TV Commercial


Have you seen the TV Ad of Disney Hong Kong?

It is very hypnotic!

Disney is for children, isn't it? No. There are only 2 or 3 shots of a child in the Ad. All others are many good-looking ladies!

This is an Ad designed for adults, both men and women. (Adults pay for the entry tickets!)

Those healthy-looking ladies attract female audience, subconsciously.

But they do not wear much. They also at the same time atrract male audience, of course, subconsciously.

You might not agree with me. But why did they designed their Ad like this?

Remember what I said in the Hypno-Communication Workshop, all men and ladies' magazines use photo of beautiful women on their covers.


Learning from Life #6 - #10


Below is my last week's "learning from life". Hope you like them.

6. No matter how good is your intention, some people will think bad of it. If you think something is good, just do it!

7. You can't satisfy everybody.

8. The words one says reflect his thinking. Listen carefully.

9. Listening is more difficult than speaking. You do not need to learn to speak, but you need to learn how to listen.

10. You don't really know a person by hearing from others. Know him/her by knowing him/her.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Learning From Life: #1 - #5


The best teacher is always your life experience. But usually we do not learn from them! Here I like to start a "Learning from Living My Life Movement". I will record some significiant learnings from each week of my life.

These are just my own learnings. They might not be the truth. I just wish to inspire you to do the same for yourself. Start learning from your life and yourself. This is what I always talk about - Self-Awareness.

I will go on with this "Learning from Living My Life Movement" until I reach my 499 learnings. Hope you like these.

1. No matter how much you care, some people will think that you do not care about them!

2. I can't make people (including myself) change until they understand why they need to change.

3. I must be honest to myself. There can be "good lies" to others, but there is no "good lies" to oneself.

4. People are intelligent enough to solve their own problems, if they know what is the problem.

5. People should treat us bad. Majority of the people cares most about themselves. When someone treat me great, this is a bonus of life!


Personal Development: What You Give, Returns


I am a believer in laws of the universe. If there is no law, the universe must had already been collasped.

One of my favourite laws is "What you give, returns". The more you give away to others, the more will return to you. There might be some delays, but it will return, doubled, tribled or even more.

There was a earthquake in South Asia on Oct 8 2005. Many were killed and even more, though live but suffer. It's the time for us to give.

Please express your kind heart to them. Donate to any charity body (or you can go to who is helping the victims there. Do it today before you forget.

I can assure you that what you give to them will return!


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Writings on NLP & Hypnosis


Few days ago, one of our friends asked me why I do not write anything on NLP & Hypnosis. To him, it is really strange as I am an NLP & Hypnosis Trainer.

I printed out all articles I had written before and asked him to re-read them once more. They are all NLP & Hypnosis stuff, but they are just not being NLP & Hypnotic skills only.

From a macro (or even meta) point of view, NLP is the study of how people think and Hypnosis is the reprogramming of our subconscious thinking to make changes. From this point of view, all my writings are NLP and/or Hypnosis. I just step out of the frame of NLP & Hypnotic skills only.

There are so many writings on the skills. I read so many books that are just repeating what those NLP founders and co-developers' writings. It is a waste of time writing and reading these stuff. Then I stopped writing "skills". I will write again if I discover something really new and useful.

Know your frames and move out of them! This is what a real NLPer does.


Personal Development: The Matthew Effect


Yesterday, I did one of my best presentations of the past few years, the Matthew Effect.

The Matthew Effect is the well-known "The Rich Gets Richer, and the Poor Gets Poorer" effect. My version of the Matthew Effect is "The Strong Gets Stronger, and the Weak Gets Weaker".

You like it or not, the Matthew Effect is there silently operating behind you. Rather than complaining about being rip-off by the Strong, it is better to be the Strong myself.

I had mentioned 12 Basic Principles of the Matthew Effect in the presentation. The single most important one is being "Always Half-a-Step Ahead of Others".

Why half-a-step ahead?

1. Less Competitions. Being ahead, you can get whatever you can find and want when others still not discover them yet. There is much less competition and the cost of getting is small.

2. Always Ahead. Being half-a-step is easier than one full step. Even though you are just a little bit ahead of others, you are always ahead when everybody is moving at the same speed.

3. Attracts Appreciation. Being half-a-step ahead makes yourself more easily accepted by others. It is not too advanced. More people can appreciate you, your products and/or your service.

Why not start being ahead right now!

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