Tuesday, December 26, 2006

NLP: NLP is about Thinking Part 3 - The Map is not the Teritory


Thanks for reading Part 3 of our NLP is about Thinking Series.

As we have mentioned in Part 2, NLP is the science of Modeling of behaviour. There are about 20 NLP Presuppositions, which are the guidelines for modeling. These also form the basic concepts of NLP.

The most fundamental NLP Presupposition is "The Map is not the Territory". This is adopted from Korzybsk's works of 1933. Our perception of the Reality might be quite different from the Reality itself. The actual Territory is the Reality in the outside world, while we have our own Maps of the Reality inside our mind.

For example, there are 11 books on the desk. One might say that there are several books there. Another one might tell you that there are 11 books on the desk. Even a third one might say that there are 9 books and 2 magazines on the desk. All can be right or wrong to certain degree. They are all telling you the truth, according to their perceptions, i.e. their Maps of the Reality.

In short, what you think about something/someone might not be exactly the same as the Reality. That is, what you think might not be Real! However, we often don't realize that we are using a map at all.

Then, how does this "The Map is not the Territory" Presupposition relate to NLP?

1. NLP is about Modeling. When you model someone, his/her behaviour is based on his/her Map, but not the Reality. It is meaningless and sometimes quite useless to just "copy" his/her external behaviour. We model others' internal map, too. That is, we copy what are inside others' minds., their strategies of judgement, decision and perception.

2. NLP is about Thinking. The more deviation the Map from the Territory, the more unreal is our thinking. The decision and the behaviours resulted from these unreal thinking cannot match with the Reality. Problems are then the results. Our objective is to make our maps as closed to the Reality (Territory) as possible in order to achieve accurate thinking.

Then, what makes the Map not same as the Territory?

There can be 5 different sources of this difference between the Map and the Territory:

1. Physical Barriers. These might include some physical handicaps - one can't hear, see or sense clearly. Environmental factors can be other form of physical barriers. A noisy environment, communication using the telephone, talking in a hurry are examples of environmental factors.

NLP trains us to expand the capability of every Sensory Channels so that we can get the maximum amount of information with or without physical barriers. The more information feed-in, the more accurate is our maps.

2. Missing Perspectives. If you ask 3 persons to see something, they will tell you 3 separate different stories afterward. Why? Because they all see the same thing from different perspectives.

We can never see the whole picture from one single perspective. The more perspectives you have, the fuller the picture you can see. In NLP, we learn to see things from at least 6 Perceptual Positions to give us a more realistic Map.

3. Time. There are some "old" maps inside our minds formed years ago. They can be valid at the time of formation, but being "outdated" at the present moment. However, we can still non-consciously use these maps in our lives. Our maps are static in nature. They are the snapshots of what we perceived at the moments of our perception. Unless we consciously update our maps, most of them will remain as they are forever. Intentionally Updating our maps is another key NLP lessons.

4. Filters. This is one of the core concepts of NLP. Filters refer to our Beliefs, Values and Rules. They interact with each others to form our Beliefs System. This is the interface between the Reality and our Maps. Every information going into our mind from outside can be deleted, distorted or/and generalized when passing through these filters.

For example, if you believe that we must be nice to our parents, you will think someone is bad when you see he is shouting to his mom. You might miss the fact that it is their habit to talk to each others loudly or his mom is deaf. This is Deletion.

In NLP, we train ourselves to backtrack our Filters in order to identify them. Then we can consciously study them. This is one way of achieving Self-Awareness.

5. Language. Our maps affect the language we use and our language in turn affect our (and others') maps. For example, if one sees many people are not treating him/her good, one might say to him/herself: "Everybody is bad". This "Everybody is bad" statement will in turn makes him/her truly believe that Everybody is really bad.

NLP is also the studies of how language affects our thinking. We learn how to be aware of our language, and make use of our language to identify and fine-tune our maps. Meta Model is one of our key tools to attain such awareness.

As a conclusion, a more accurate map generates less misunderstanding, better decisions and an easier life.

In Part 4 of our series, we will discuss more on Physical Barriers & Sensory Channels.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Creative Right Brain vs Logical Left Brain Myth


One of our classmates emailed me to ask me 2 questions about our brain. They are great questions and I like to share with everybody.

Question 1: From the class of Neuro-Mentalogy, we now understand that the myth about the "creative right brain" vs. the "logical left brain" is incorrect. Does it means that ONLY the "Creative vs. Logical Classification" is incorrect/over-simplified?

The Left-Right Brain Functions Model is over-simplified and misleading.

The Left Brain is responsible for logical, analytical jobs while the Right Brain is for spatial and emotional is not correct. From modern neuroscience researches, the brain functions are too complicated to be simply divided into left and right brain. For most of the tasks we perform, it is the result of co-ordination of many areas of the brain, both in the left and right brain.

Let's give you 3 examples to illustrate the point:

1. Both sides of our brain handle emotions, not just by the right brain as suggested by the Left-Right Brain Functions Model. When emotions are triggered by some visual images, the right side reacts more than the left side. However, when the emotions are triggered by words, the left side reacts more. I am not saying only the left or right side reacts, both sides react.

Furthermore, researches indicated that the Left Brain mediates Positive Emotions like happiness and the Right Brain plays a role in Negative Emotions like sorrow, anxiety, etc.

Both Brains handle Emotions!

2. In a neuroscience research, people are asked whether one objects is below or above another one, and how far they are apart from each others. According to the Left-Right Brain Model, these 2 activities are done by the right brain as this is a spatial function. The answer is no. The former one is done by the Left Brain while the latter one is done by the Right Brain! The first kind of activities is the "Categorical Spatial Reasoning" (i.e. above or below, left or right, front or back, etc) is done by an area in the Left Brain. The latter kind of activities is the "Coordinate Spatial Reasoning" and is done by area in the Right Brain.

Both Brains handle Spatial Functions!

3. Generating visual image in our mind is believed to be a Right Brain function according to the Left-Right Brain Functions Model. This simple task is a very complex brain operation that involves at least 5 parts of our brain, both in Left and Right Brain!

Both Brains handle nearly Every Functions!

Question 2: I also heard of the saying that the process of the two brains are different -- the "right brain" is for processing the big picture while the "left brain" is for processing the details. Is it true?

The Right Brain for Big Picture and the Left Brain for Details is again another myth. Some people believe that the Right Brain is for Big Picture because of the "Right Brain is for Spatial Function" myth. From the above Example 2, you understand that spatial functions are done by both side of our brain. So, we need both brains to give us Big Pictures and Details.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Monday, December 25, 2006

Hypnosis is about Changes Part 0: What is Hypnosis?


Though I had already finished the Hypnosis is about Changes Series of articles, I find myself still missing some important parts. So, I add this introductory Part 0, and latter a more advanced Part 8!

Hypnosis comes from the Greek word, Hypnos, which means the "god of sleep". But it has nothing to do with sleep. Just like "Psychology" comes from "Study of the Soul" and Psychology is nothing about the soul! People under hypnosis looks like sleeping, so a British doctor, James Braid described it as Hypnosis in 1841.

I like to discuss with you my Top 10 most important basic questions about Hypnosis in this article.

Q1: What is Hypnosis?

Have you ever experienced after you drived to work, you can't remember any details of how you drive there? This is very common in everybody else. You are in a "Dissociated Mental State". You consciously focusing on your thought, while your Non-Conscious Thinking is doing something else. In the above example, your Conscious Mind might be thinking of the meeting that morning, and your Non-Conscious Thinking is doing the driving.

In "Dissociated Mental State", there are 2 different "thinkings" happening at the same time, your Conscious Thinking and your Non-Conscious Thinking. Someone is talking with you but you are thinking about (consciously focusing on) some other thing else. You can still "respond" to him/her by nodding or smiling at the "right" time. It is your Non-Conscious Thinking responding!

In it simplest form, hypnosis can be defined as putting people in one's "Dissociated Mental State" (or the Hypnotic State or the Trance) in order to talk to/with one's Non-Conscious Thinking.

Q2: What can Hypnosis helps?

When someone has a problem, he/she consciously thinks that he/she cannot change/solve the problem. For example, in quitting a drinking habit, he/she consciously thinks that he/she does not want to drink but he/she need to drink. Their Conscious Mind is stuck by the problem. However, it is the Non-Conscious Thinking "makes" him or her to drink. There is an urge inside that makes someone non-consciously go for a drink. Most of our problems are non-conscously or else we can easily change it consciously.

These non-conscious problems might be some Bad Habits like drinking, over-eating, etc. You drink or eat non-consciously. You are not even immediately aware of you are doing them. Or these problems can be some of our Personal "Weaknesses", like unable to find a girl-friend, poor memory or unable to concentrate, etc. You are not consciously not to find a girl-friend or consciously not to remember something. They are non-conscious.

Or the problems can be the results of some Psychosomatic Diseases, i.e. physical symptoms created by some psychological causes, like headache and stomachache caused by stress. You do not consciously create the pain by yourself when you are stressed. It is non-conscious. Only medical professionals can diagnose Psychosomatic Diseases. After you consulted your medical professionals who classified your problem as a Psychosomatic Disease, then hypnosis might be able to help.

Hypnosis can only be helpful with either Bad Habits, Personal "Weaknesses" or Psychosomatic Diseases.

Q3: Why talk to/with one's Non-Conscious Thinking might help him/her?

1. Talking to One's Non-Conscious Thinking.

As we do not consciously create the problem, talking to the Conscious Mind doesn't create results. The "problem" is not there. In hypnosis, we talk to the Non-Conscious Thinking to tell "it" that it do not need to drink and it can stop drinking. We call this kind of "telling" Hypnotic Suggestions.

Furthermore, in hypnosis, we do not need to persuade 2 "Minds", the Conscious and the Non-Conscious. We just persuade the Non-Conscious Part but not the Conscious Part. The Conscious Part thinks that "it" can't do without the drink. Persuading the Conscious Part is a waste of time as the client is already being persuaded by him/herself that he/she wants to quit but only that he/she is not able to do so. The Inability is at the Non-Conscious Part. So, we only need to persuade the Non-Conscious Part. This creates Efficiency.

As the Conscious Mind can only handle 1 thought at a time. (Try focusing on 2 things consciously at one single time. You can't do it!) It is the stubborn part of our mind. If "it" thinks he/she can't, he/she just can't do so.

However, our Non-Conscious Thinking can handle many things at the same time. Driving, typing, playing piano, etc actually must be done by the Non-Conscious Thinking. You need to handle so many things all at the same time! As the Non-Conscious Thinking can accomodate many thoughts simultanteously, "it" is easier to be persuaded. "It" is more flexible. "It" can think of many different options, scenorios, causes and effects all at the same time.

You can think the Conscious Part is a "Must"-Thinker. But the Non-Conscious Part is a "Might"-Thinker. Many things might be possible. In hypnosis, we are persuading the easier-to-be-persuaded Non-Conscious Part. This creates Effectiveness.

When we are talking to the Non-Conscious Mind, we are giving Suggestions to persuade "it".

2. Talking with One's Non-Conscious Thinking. We have all our knowledge, experience, and memories stored inside our Unconscious Mind. We are not consciously aware of all our knowledge, experience and memories consciously until we want to "use" some of them. Then, we recall from our Unconscious Mind into our Conscious Mind. Such "recall" is just like searching a very, very large-sized harddisk. It is not effective. The Conscious Mind can only search one item after another one item. So, we "forget" and can't recall everything.

A more effective way to recall is doing through our Non-Conscious Thinking. "It" can handle many thoughts at one time. Why can Google comes back with more results and much faster than other search engines? One of the reasons is that Google employs a lot of "robots" searching actively around the world wide web.

Recalling using Non-Conscious Thinking is just like searching the web by Google.

When our clients come to us for a problem, apart from just talking to their Non-Conscious Thinking through Hypnotic Suggestion in order to persuade "it", we also talk with the Non-Conscious Thinking. We talk with "it" to encourage "it" to search for the answers in the clients' Unconscious Mind. There are so many information in one's Unconscious Mind that might be useful in understanding the problem and providing possible solutions.

We just various Hypnoanalysis Techniques like Inner Guidance (IG), Inner Regression (IR), Inner Communication (IC), Inner Mediation (IM) to talk with the Non-Conscious Thinking to get information from the Unconscious Mind. We use IG to search general information about the problem. We use IR to search for the information related to the origins of the problem. IC is used to find the information about the people who are related to the problem and IM is used to search for the information about the clients' beliefs of the problems.

When the clients get enough information about their own problem, they understand it better. They might then be able to find solutions or they might see their problem differently.

So, we talk with the Non-Conscious Thinking to help others to discover more in order to persuade themselves.

Q4: Then how do we induce others into their "Dissociated Mental State" during hypnosis?

We do it by simply narrowing their attention (consciously focusing on) on something. We call this procedure Induction, in hypnosis. This Conscious Focus can be done physically or mentally by focusing on something visually or thinking of something respectively.

Q5: Then, what we do after the Induction?

Then we increase clients' focus to Deepen their "Dissociative Mental State". This makes talking to/with clients' Non-Conscious Thinking easier.

When clients are in this "Dissociative Mental State", we do the talking to/with Non-Conscious Thinking by either giving Hypnotic Suggestions or Hypnoanalysis Techniques. In either case, we will repeat the Hypnotic Suggestions for many, many times. (in the latter case, the Hypnotic Suggestions are the new understandings of the clients)

Why do we need to repeat the suggestions many, many times? Because we want to transform them into new Beliefs of the clients. We act according to our Beliefs. Our Beliefs produce Thoughts. Our Thoughts generate Actions, and our Actions create Results.

According to new Neuroscience Researches, when we think, we create connections of neurons into a Neurons Pattern. Each Neurons Pattern is a thought. Each time we think of that thought, we gradually make firing that Neurons Pattern easier and faster. When this is repeated for many times, the Neurons Pattern is so "strong" that whenever we think of anything related to that thought, we fire off that Neuron Pattern (consciously or non-consciously). This becomes our Belief.

It might take very long time for the client to repeat our suggestions to become his/her Belief, or he/she will never do so in daily life. We do it for him/her by repeating the suggestions during hypnosis.

The final step is Dehypnotization (or Awakening). We do this by suggesting clients to be gradually aware of all bodily senses and feelings so that they are not "focusing" on anything else.

Q6: Can Hypnosis be dangerous?

Of course very yes! We can give Dangerous Suggestions to our clients. If they accept our Dangerous Suggestions, the suggestions become their Beliefs. They might think and act dangerously!

Or when we talk with their Non-Conscious Thinking, we might mislead them. We can tell them something what we believed but these can be not useful or even dangerous to the clients. We might also mislead them to think about something which do not exist at all. We create their False Memories. These Fasle Memories can then be turned into False Beliefs. In turn these will mislead their thoughts and actions!

Q7: What is the right attitude for a Hypnotherapist?

Being a Media who facilitates the process of hypnosis. We do not have any answer to their problems. We only give Hypnotic Suggestions from the result of discussion with the clients before Induction. We do not advise anything.

When we talk with the Non-Conscious Thinking, we facilitate their own discoveries by themselves.

Q8: Can reciting some scripts or pre-prepared suggestions be useful?

In most of the case, it is not useful. We talk to/with clients but not reciting anything to them. The problem of client is unique to the client. For example, the same problem of finger biting can be totally different for different individuals.

Q9: Is Induction the most important part of doing Hypnosis?

Many people believe so, and therefore many people spend their time to learn different kinds of inductions. The truth is Induction is not the most important part. Everyone goes into natural "Dissociated Mental State" everyday. When you drive, type, read, watch movie, day-dream, etc, you are in different degree of this mental state.

This is so natural that we can go into this state easily.

The most important parts are how to Formulate Hypnotic Safe & Effective Suggestions and how to Facilitate the Discovery of the Non-Conscious Thinking. This is the purpose and core of hypnosis. Even though you can induce someone into Hypnotic State, it is useless if you can't help him/her solve his/her problems.

Q10: If Hypnosis is about bringing changes to clients' problems, what are the most important forces behind Chaages?

Why we do something? Because of Pleasure and/or Pain. It is either pleasurable to do it or painful of not doing it.

So we can stop doing something that causes the problem by reducing the Pleasure and/or increasing the Pain of doing this old action. And you can induce a new action by increasing the Pleasure and/or reducing the Pain of this new action.

We do this by Hypnotic Suggestions or by facilitating clients' own Discovery of these Pleasures and Pains.

Even the clients have successful installed their new Beliefs through hyonosis, they will or will not do the new actions. You can believe in many things but you might not do them all. We need motivations and motivations are the Pleasure and the Pain.

This article is written as an introduction to Hypnosis. Hoping this article can clarify some of the misunderstanding about hypnosis.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

P.S. Go to http://keithto.ws/2006/10/hypnosis-hypnosis-is-about-changes_18.html to see Part 1 to Part 6 of our articles series, Hypnosis is about Changes. You can also go to http://keithto.ws/2006/12/hypnosis-hypnosis-is-about-changes.html to see Part 7. I am planning to add Part 8 later to really complete the series.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

NLP: NLP is about Thinking Part 2 - Then, what is NLP?


In Part 1 of this series, I explained that NLP can be applied in therapy, communication, selling, personal development, changes, management & leadership, and coaching, but NLP is not about either of them.

Then what is NLP?

1. NLP is about Modeling. NLP started in the early 70's by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the originators of NLP. They created NLP by modeling several great therapists at that time, including Virginia Satir (Mother of Family Therapy), Fritz Perls (Founder of Gestalt Therapy) and Milton Erickson (Greatest Hypnotherapist in 20th Century).

Through their works with these therapists, Bandler and Grinder formulated these therapists' models of therapy. They discovered the therapists' patterns through observing how they did their works. They called their modeling techniques as Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

According to Grinder, only those models formulated by this NLP Modeling Process should be classified as NLP. So, NLP is about Modeling. All other models, patterns and skills of NLP are the results of this NLP Modeling Process.

These models, patterns and skills of NLP are NOT NLP. they are just the results of NLP. There are not currently over thousands of these models, patterns and skills through the modeling works of many NLP developers in the last 30 years.

2. NLP is about Thinking. NLP is the modeling of how people doing something. One of the key criteria for NLP Modeling is that the behaviour being modeled must be consistent so that it is not just out of random.

A behaviour being consistent because there is a structure of thinking behind that behaviour. This structure of thinking can be a fixed thinking process (i.e. strategy in NLP term), based on some fixed Beliefs, Values, Rules and/or Attitudes. These fixed Beliefs, Values, Rules and/or Attitudes filter off those "unrelated" elements in our mind and thus generating the same, repeated thoughts and thus the same repeated behaviour every time we do something. So, NLP called these fixed Beliefs, Values, Rules and/or Attitudes, Filters.

If one wants to change the result of a behaviour effectively, he/she needs to change his/her thoughts. To change his/her thoughts, one needs to change the Filters first.

NLP is thus also the study of this kind of "Thinking" - the relationships of Filters, Thoughts and Behaviours.

In Part 3, we are going to talk more about Filters.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Systemiic Thinking: 看法比想法重要






Explore. Exceed & Excel

Friday, December 22, 2006

NLP: Logical Levels is NOT Logical Levels


I like to write this article to clarify the misunderstanding long ago. What makes me stop my procrastination is reading a book on NLP in a book shop this afternoon.

The author of the book states in his book that the "Logical Levels" was designed by Robert Dilts, who based on the theory of Bateson. This statement is wrong. He hasn't done enough homework for his book.

It further states that Bateson created something called "Neuro-Logical Levels" and Robert Dilts designed the "Logical Levels" from this in early 90's. This is totally wrong!

1. Bateson is one of the 4 original experts being modeled by Bandler and Grinder in the 70's. The result of these modeling is the birth of NLP. But Bateson had never written anything called "Logical Levels".

2. It is correct that Robert Dilts created the "Logical Levels". He also says that this was adapted from Bateson's work. But Bateson never did anything on "Logical Levels".

3. Mr. Dilts created the "Logical Levels" in the mid-80's.

"Logical Levels" is neither logical nor they are "levels"!

1. They are not logical. If something is logical, they must have logical relationship between them. There is absolutly no logical relationship amongst the 6 levels of Dilts' "Logical Levels". Two things are considered to have logical relationship, if either they are equal to each others (i.e. an equivalence relationship) or one causes another one (i.e. a cause & effect relationship), or one includes another one (i.e. an inclusive relationship). But none of the above exists in those 6 levels.

Can you say a Behaviour can equal to/cause/include an Environment? Or can you say a Capability can equal to/cause/include a Behaviour? (You can be capable of doing something, but you can NOT do it!) The answer is "No".

2. They are not levels. Levels imply that some levels are more "X" than another one. More important, more effective, etc. But can you say that any one level in the "Logical Levels" are more whatever than the other ones? No.

Dilts explains that the higher levels are more influential than the lower ones. It is not 100% true. Sometimes when you change the "lowest" level of Environment, you behave differently to fit the new Environment. You might develop new Capabilities to face the new challenges. Meeting different people in the new Environment can also change some of your Beliefs. Many people change into a different person (i.e. Identity) when they are away from their "bad" friends in the new Environment. When many of your new friends belong to one religion, you might even gradually become part of them (i.e. Spiritual).

In Dilts' Model of "Logical Levels", the higher levels are more difficult to be changed. Sometimes it is very difficult to change the Environment and people rather change their mind (i.e. Beliefs). Don't you see there are so many people have great aspirations at the beginning of their career but life is so hard that most of them change their mind to be mediocre?

Don't you see so many people who find dieting (Capability) so difficult that they simply believe dieting is useless?

Furthermore, "Logical Levels" is not NLP!

To be NLP, it must come from Modeling. However, according to Dilts, "Logical Levels" is adapted from or inspired by, but not modeled from Bateson! We can model from a real person or even from their writings. We model how someone doing something and then create the model of how he/she did it. But Bateson has never written anything about those "Logical Levels". So, it can't be a result of modeling.

But why so many people talk about "Logical Levels"? Because Dilts is a famous person in the NLP field and Bateson is a great scholar. To be honest, I admire Mr. Dilts very much and I agree with most of his ideas in NLP. He is a great contributor to NLP.

But why you (i.e. Keith To) still talk about "Logical Levels" in your training?

Because it is useful! The fact that "Logical Levels" is not logical, levels and NLP doesn't make it useless. It is a great invention of Mr. Dilts! "Logical Levels" is not logical, levels and NLP when you see them as "Logical Levels". But when you see them as 6 separate "Frames of Reference", they are very NLP ("Frame" is a very important model of NLP) and they are very useful in both discovering and influencing.

When I teach "Logical Levels" in the Behaviour Module of the NLP Practitioner Program, I actually use them as frames with different perceptual positions. Remember my teaching of 6 Positions X 6 "Levels" = 36 Points of View? I am treating the "Levels" as "Frames" so that we can "view" more!

My idea behind writing this article is to clarify the potential limiting belief behind "Logical Levels". If you want to change something, it is OK and effective to change it at any level you see appropriate. It doesn't matter that it must be at a higher level above your problem! They are just different frames to see your problem!

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Announcement: 10 Years as Trainer


2007 is my 10th year as trainer. It is also my 10th year working together with Mr. John Lau and the St. James Settlement!

I started as a trainer in 1997. I enjoyed very much as a trainer in the past 10 years. I enjoyed very much working with Mr. John Lau and his colleagues. I enjoyed very much learning with all the participants in the programs.

I enjoy so much about sharing of information with others that I had designed more than 1,000 hours of training programs in the past 10 years.

I am planning to do 10 things to celebrate my 10 years as a trainer in 2007.

1. I will continue to deliver more High-Quality Free Programs and I am planning to add even some more. Some of them can be found at www.excelcentre.net/2007programs.html. More will be added!

2. I am planning to relaunch one of my very first programs, Subconscious Re-engineering in 2007. You can see some information about it at www.subconsciousreengineering.com. The information is not updated. I will update it later in 2007.

3. I will write my 6th book with John Lau in my 10th year - 2007. This is going to be Part 1 of my 3rd Trilogy. (Though I haven't completed my last book in my 2nd Trilogy. I will do it in 2008!) This new book is about my thoughts and ideas in my Stage 3 Thinking. It is a book about Blind Spots. Unlike my last 5 books, it is not for easy-reading. There will be a lot of in-depth material inside!

4. I am going to re-design the Integration Module of NLP Practitioner Program in March 2007. If you are one of our past graduates, come and learn some new stuff. I am going to tell you something about NLP you might never hear of. (Of course you do not need to pay anything to re-sit the program if you are already our graduates. This is our promise of Life-Long Support to you!)

5. I will also re-design the Certified Hypnotherapist Program. It started as a 60-hours training many years ago and now it would be upgraded and expanded into a 102-hours program in 2007. I am going to make it even better!

6. I am going to complete the new article series of "NLP is about Thinking" in the coming few months so that everybody can understand better this wonderful methodology of thinking.

7. I will rework this www.keithto.ws in 2007. I am going to add hundreds of articles to it. My plan is to make it one of the most comprehensive infobase of NLP, Hypnotherapy, Coaching and Development in Hong Kong.

8. There will also be reworking of the www.keithto.info. This website provides audio recordings download of some of my training programs. I will expand the database in 2007. I will include recordings of all my core concepts in it.

9. Have you already subscribed to our Daily Quote for Your Soul? Every day you will receive a great quote together with my coaching question so that you can seek inspiration by yourself. Just send a blank email to quote4soul-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to subscribe.

I will launch the Daily Quote for Your Business in 2007. It starts on Jan 1. Just like Daily Quote for Your Soul, it is a quotes delivery service specially for people in business field. Just send a blank email to quote4biz-subscribe@yahoogroups.com to subscribe.

10. I will insist on my Single Only Purpose of being a trainer in the remaining years of my trainer's life. I have just one purpose in mind for being a trainer: Helping more people to help more people! It is not just about you and me. It is about more people can be benefited when we learn and implement something useful and valuable!

Thanks again to all your support to me in the past 10 years. I am 110% sure that I learned more from you than you learned from me. Thanks very much!

BTW, Merry X'mas and Happy New Year!

Explore, Exceed & Excel

P.S. Special thanks to John Lau. Nothing can be compared to John's help, support and friendship in the past 10 years!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Personal Development: Individuation is Self-Realization


I talked about the Individuation Process of Jung in last week. Jung's Individuation Process is actually the process of Self-Realization. Through understanding one's Persona, Ego, Shadow and Anima/Animus, one meets his/her true Self.

Understanding is done by realizing who you are NOT!

When you realize that you are not who you consciously and unconsciously think you are, the only thing remaining is who you really are. What a smart way to understand ourselves!

On the way to our Self-Realization, with each block being removed, we are one step clearer about ourselves.

Being stuck is trapping in a cycle. Development means leaving your present cycle and go on to another, better cycle until we meet our true Self. It is just like a T-shirt in a washing machine. One must first realize that he/she is a t-shirt before one can come out of the machine.

There might be many ways to Self-Realization, but Jung left us a Systemic Blueprint of the process.


NLP: 4 Key Elements of NLP Modeling


Modeling is central to NLP.

Actually, all the models and skills of NLP are the results of modeling. Modeling is the study of how others doing something. Then everyone can learn from the models.

Is all kinds of modeling NLP Modeling?


There should be 4 key elements of NLP Modeling:

1. There is a structure of thinking behind the actions performed. i.e. the actions are not at random.

2. The process/pattern of acting can be identified and described.

3. The suspension of any taxonomic and/or analytic attempt to understand consciously the model during the assimilation stage of modeling and until the modeler can successfully reproduce the process. (This element is from John Grinder, co-founder of NLP)

4. If the modeling is accurate, people learning from the model can achieve a similar level of performance, provided that he/she meets certain essential requirements and under similar context. For example, if it is a jumping model of a 6.5 feet person with professional equipment, a 4.5 feet person without any equipment might not be able to achieve similar performance even he/she is adopting such model.

NLP Modeling is not superior than other forms of modeling, like Analytic Modeling. But NLP is about NLP Modeling!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Learning from Life #101 - #105


Please enjoy our next five learning from life:

101. Money is money and nothing more.

102. To live a longer life, we can do it by living it fully!

103. There are always choices, even though it seems to be choiceless.

104. Fear, Anger & Guilt is our greatest enemies!

105. If you can have rapport with yourself, you can have rapport with anyone else.


Personal Development: Jungian Individuation Process


This article is specially written for the participants of the Mental Symbology Program. I really thank them for having so much toleration to my presenting of these difficult to understand, but not really immediately useful material!


What is Jung's Individuation? Different people studying Jung can have different explanations. Jung provided us his theory which can be one of the best Personal Development Process.

We always talk about Personal Development, but do we have a way to do so? If yes, what is your way?

Many of our so-called Personal Development is just Personal Improvement. We figured out what is not working or not good enough and try to make it works or better. This is just Improvement. Development is going into another stage.

I do not have my own way, and I am using Jung's way.

Below is my simplified version of Jung's Individuation:

1. There are different kinds of Archetypal Complexes in our psyche.

2. Archetypal Complexes are the Concepts about ourselves, some are conscious, some are unconscious.

3. There can be more than one Archetype Complexes in each of the 5 (or 6) Major Archetypes.

4. Conscious Major Archetypes include Persona, our masks we used to face the outer world (e.g. one of the archetypes I use is a Trickster figure which is very flexible).

5. Another Conscious Major Archetype is the Ego, who do we think we are (e.g. one of my Ego archetypes is Wise Old Man figure).

6. Unconscious Major Archetypes include Personal Shadow, the dark side of our Ego, which compose of qualities we unconsciously repressed and do not want ourselves and others to know. In the past, there is a Puer figure in my Personal Shadow. Puer is an never grow-up child. I just don't want to be old!

6. Another Unconscious Major Archetype is the Archetypal Shadow, which is the dark side of the Self, or the dark side of human nature.

7. Anima/Animus is another Unconscious Major Archetype. Anima is the inside female qualities of a man, and the Animus is the inside male qualities of a woman. You can also see Anima being the Feeling Part of a man and Animus being the Thinking Part of a woman. According to Jung, they are the Soul of human being.

8. The last Unconscious Major Archetype is the Self, our true nature. This is the Spirit of human being.

9. One of the reasons why people suffers, being unhappy, and stuck in their development is that we do not know who we really are. We cannot understanding our true Self because the Self is being "blinded" from us by all those other Major Archetypes. You can imagine that the Self is situated in the centre of a circle, with layers of other Major Archetypes at the outside.

10. We do not know who we really are, so we think we are something else -the Ego and/or the Persona, and at the same time, we are affected by all other Archetypes in the Shadow, Anima/Animus and other parts of our Unconscious Mind (some Positive Archetypal Complexes).

11. Jung's Individuation is the process that we identify, inspect and understand each of the Archetypal Complexes from Persona, to Ego, Shadow, Anima/Animus and finally we meet our true Self. We understand that each of those are not our true Self. Once understood, they lost their power on us. The process of understanding is done by realizing these are either good or bad, and neither good nor bad. (This is a paradox, it is difficult!) This process is Transcendance.

12. This idea was created by Jung's modeling of the processes of practice in several religions including Buddhism and Taoism, etc. Don't you see those masters are full of wisdom?

13. So, Individuation is a process of Self Development without any religious boundaries.

14. Why facing the Self is so important in this Self Development Process? From my point of view, it is not important. It is the final step of the process but the importance doesn't lie there. It is the whole process of understanding what is not our true Self matters. With each misunderstanding being clarified, we transcend from one stage to another.

15. Furthermore, I believe that there is actually "Nothing" in the Self. If there is still something there, we are still blocked. In Buddhism, the stage of 非想非非想處地(定) is something similar to Jung's final step of meeting the Self. This stage is also named as 天人合一, 人神合一, 成道 in many other religions (Though Buddism considers this just as a starting point toward 證得佛果!). In this stage, we are not thinking and we are not "not thinking". The only way to achieve such paradox is that there is "nothing" there. There is only Emptiness (shunyata 空性) there.

16. If we are just considering Personal Development, we do not need to go all the way to the Self. When we start the process, each step of identifying, inspecting and understanding of each archetype makes us going into another stage of development. We understand that we are not "someone" or "something", we are "another one", which is nearer to our true Self.

This 16-Points description is just my own understanding. I might not be right about this. I am just sharing what I am practicing. I have practiced this for years and I am still very, very, very far away from the Self!

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Monday, December 11, 2006

Neuro-Mentalogy: 大腦迷思


我們的大腦每天為我們服務,但究竟我們對她有多大認識,我們大部分對大腦的認識,均是 10 年或更以前的資訊,然而過去 10 年,腦神經科學家的不斷發現,證明了大部分我們以往對大腦的認識,均是錯誤


以下是 2 項我們向來相信,但實在是誤解的大腦認知:

1. 我們只使用了 3% 或是 10% 大腦錯誤!我們用了100%大腦,只是不同時間,用不同部分而矣!雖然我也經常說:我們只使用了 3% 大腦能力,我指的是大腦能力,而不是指大腦本身。

整個大腦每一部分也有其獨特用途,我們絕不能只用了大腦的 3% 或 10%,否則當人們意外腦部受傷,無論傷害是那麼小,但仍然能造成重大影響。

2. 左腦是邏輯腦右腦是創意腦錯誤!這是一個超過五十年的誤解,實際是不管是邏輯功能,或是創意功能,不管是計數、彈琴、繪畫、推理,左腦及右腦也必須協調共同工作,這些功能是否有效,重點在於你的大腦各個部份,能否整體地協調運作


Explore, Exceed & Excel

Updated: Feb 17 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hypnosis: Hypnosis is About Changes, Part 7 - 3 Levels of Mind Model


This article is specially written for participants and graduates of our Master Hypnotherapist Program. The concept below is quite different from that of what we taught in our Certified Hypnotherapist Program. For particpants of the latter, please refer to Part 0 and Part 1-6 of this article series to prevention confusion.

We have several different hypnotic techniques taught in our Certified Hypnotherapist Program and Master Hypnotherapist Program. This article is written to clarify our 3 Levels of Mind Model, which is the fundamental concepts behind their applications.

For any psychosomatic disease and unwanted behaviours, there are always some causes behind.

For example, you have an Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE) of being cheated by your boy friend (or girl friend or whatever...). You develop a Mental Program (i.e. Belief or Beliefs System) of "Men are Bad and They must be Avoided" (Men = Bad -> Avoid). Some Subsequent Sensitizing Events (SSE) can be "attracted" to you. Since you have a Mental Program of "Men = Bad", you filtered off all the "good" men and/or good acts of men. As a result, you can only see all those bad men and bad acts of men. These SSEs reinforced your Mental Program of "Men = Bad -> Avoid"

This Mental Program then creates your Problem. We can't "see" our Problem because it is just a "Non-Matching" of your behaviors with the outside world. Your Mental Program urges you to do something which can be irrational. These irrational acts cause "conflicts" in the outside world so that you think you had a Problem.

The Problem can then create various Symptoms that might annoy you. You might feel very lonely (since half of the population, i.e. men is being avoided). You might not be able to find a boy friend. You might find yourself always having problems with your bosses (many bosses are men, this still are quite true today). You might having not enough business (many clients are men, half of the population?!), etc. These Symptoms can be so unrelated to each others that it is difficult to tell that they all came from the same Problem.

Not all ISE or SSEs can generate Problem. There must have some suitable Factor(s) of the Problem that creates a fostering condition for the Problem to emerge. Not all the Problems can generate Symptom(s), there must have some suitable Factor(s) of the Symptoms that creates a fostering condition for the Symptom to emerge.

So the ISE or SSEs can have no effect on you for years but it starts to produce Problem all of a sudden because one or some Factors of the Problem kick in. For the same reason, a Problem can generate different kinds of Symptoms at different time of your life, when different Factors of Symptoms comes and goes.

Now, let's go back to our 3 Levels of Mind Model.

Level 1 Mind is the Conscious Level. You are aware of your "Problem", but that actually is the Symptom of your underlying Problem. As the Problem can create Symptoms that are so "unrelated", Your Level 1 Conscious Mind can't figure out that they are coming from the same Problem. You might think that you have several different problems. Even though you are open enough to discuss your "problem" with your friends or therapists, you might just tell them just one of the Symptoms since your Level 1 Mind considers them as seperate issues.

When we do our Pre-Talk in hypnosis, it can be better to use a "Time" Oriented Approach, i.e. what happened also at and since the Symptom appeared, instead of a "Nature" Oriented Approach. The information get from this Level 1 Mind during Pre-Talk can be limited, but it forms the basis for our first set of Hypnotic Suggestions. This can be useful as they are pinpointing the Symptom or the intention of the client's visit. These suggestions, when effective, generate confidence, rapport, and thus support and cooperation from the client. This is just the Step 1 of our Therapeutic Intervention.

If there is a Symptom, there is always a Problem. If we can't remove the Problem, it can still generate some other Symptoms. Remember what we taught in class, a Problem has some Objectives. The Symptoms are its means to achieve its Objectives. In the above example, not getting a boy friend is the means to achieve the objective of avoiding the "bad" men. Apart from other Symptoms might be created, even though she can find a boy friend after your suggestions, she might get a "bad" boy friend and causes her some other troubles. It might harm more than help! (Systemic/Holistic Hypnotherapy Rule #1: First do no harm!)

So we go to our Step 2 by accessing the client's Level 2 Non-Conscious Mind. Most of our beliefs or Mental Programs, and the Problem created by mental programs are quite unconscious to us. They are not in the Level 1 Conscious Mind. We help the clients to be aware of their Problem & Mental Programs by using the hypnotic skills of Inner Guide (IG), Inner Healer (IH) or Communicating with Disease (CD). All these skills do not go very deep. They are only capable in accessing into our Level 2 Non-Conscious Mind. We can also use our Master Hypnotherpaist skillset of Hypnotic Uncovering Technique (UT) in this level.

The Problem will be revealed in form of Advises from the IG or IH, or the Causes, Meanings and Objectives of Disease from the CD. When the Source of the Problem (ISE) is not very painful, the Mental Programs and Problem can be found in the Level 2 Mind, thus can be revealed by IG, IH or CD. Most of the Problems can be solved in this Level 2 Mind.

When there is not much being revealed in this Level 2 Mind, or when there is negative emotions revealed here, we then go to our Step 3, Level 3 Non-Conscious Mind, which is a deeper part of our Non-Conscious Mind.

If the Problem is so repressed deep into a Non-Conscious Mind, not much can be revealed in Level 2 by IG, IH, CD or UT. When negative emotion is associated, the Problem will be repressed deeper as a protective mechanism according to Freud. We just can't live with the negative emotions in our daily lives.

To access the Source of these kinds of Problems in the Level 3 Mind, we use the hypnotic Skills of Inner Regression (IR), Age Regression (AR) or ES Therapy (ES) when no negative emotion is indicated. But we can also apply IR or AR, Inner Communciation (IC) or Forgiveness Therapy (FT), Inner Mediation (IM) or ES according to the types of negative emotion revealed in Level 2 Mind.

When the Source is being revealed, reviewed, and re-understand, the effects of the Source are dissolved and the Mental Program (Beliefs) of the Problem is restructured. The Problem is thus cleared. When the Problem does not exist, all its related Symptoms disappear.

Sometimes, we can't do anything with the Problem and/or the Source, or we are not successful even employing all our skills (this is a fact of life - we have limits), what we can do is either altering the Factors of the Problem or the Symptoms using hypnosis or physically by the clients, or to lower the effects of the Symptoms.

For example, in the above example, the client can change her field into selling female products or find a female boss. This alters the Factors. In case of Psychosomatic Diseases, we can use the hypnotic skills of Golden SunRay (GS) or Colour Healing (CH) to lower the effects of the Symptoms, like pains.

This concludes my final article in this series. The whole series of articles outlined our SOBER System of non-invasive Hypnotherapy. Hoping they create more clarity to our participants of the program.

Thanks again for your support to these articles and to our programs.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Updated: Mar 12 2012

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Personal Development: Right or Realistic?


When your ideas and thoughts are right and realistic, they are nearer to the external world. Then, the chance of success of your actions generated by these ideas & thoughts are much greater. In NLP terms, your "map" is very similar to the "territories"!

Being right and being realistic are two different things. Many people confused!

Being right is your thoughts and ideas are logical. Being realistic is your thoughts and ideas are based on something real, something really had happened or existed. (or are happening or existing)

You need logical argument to prove your ideas being right. You need evidences to justify they are realistic.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Friday, December 08, 2006

Freudian & Jungian Psychology


In this week's Mental Symbology Class, I predicted in the next 10 years, less and less people will talk about Freud's theories, and more and more people will talk about Jung's and Jung will be "in" again.

Both people's theories are not quite "in" today. But their "non-in" are due to different reasons.

Comparatively speaking, Freudism is easier to be understand, but difficult to be accepted (Everything is about Sex?!). Jungism is much more difficult but easier to be accepted.

Jung's ideas are difficult because he was too avant-garde. He was several decades (or even a century) ahead of his own time. His ideas will be "in" again as they have a lot of resemblance with the modern knowledge, like quantum physics. People are going to value his ideas again in the near future.

However, Freud based a lot of his original ideas from Newtonian Physics, which is proven not quite right today. I am not saying Freud's ideas are bad. I always think that Freudism is the foundation of modern psychology (though not many psychologists will agree!).

Explore, Exceed & Excel

NLP: NLP is about Thinking Part 1 - What NLP is Not?


I decided to write this new series since September 2006. I still haven't started yet because I want to organize all my thoughts before writing. Months passed and I think that I will not write anything if I still want to wait.

So, I start to write whatever I see appropriate to someone who really want to know the Real NLP Underlying the Today So-Called NLP.

I will continue to write until I can't write any more on this topic. So, this series can be composed of 10, or 15 or even 20 articles. They might not be in systematic order. Upon completion, I will re-organize and edit them again in order to make them more readable.

Let's start with definition.

There can be hundreds of different definitions of NLP. It's difficult to tell you the best one. But there are right or wrong definitions out there. Let's analyze those wrong definitions first:

1. NLP is about Therapy.

No! The NLP founders started to model several of the most famous therapists, like Satir, Erickson in order to understand how they were so effective and efficient in the 70's. But what they found out that this was about their ways of communicating with their clients. They can easily help their clients to discover something about themselves & their problems and they can effectively persuade their clients to become "normal" again.

Amongst the major models of NLP, none of them is directly related to therapy! You can't become a therapist by learning NLP! Don't even think about being a therapist after you learn NLP. You are going to cause harms more than help. Therapy is much more complicated.

2. NLP is about Communication.

No! NLP is not just about communication. A further study of these great therapists, it is how they think makes them a great communicator.

Their thinking models behind their communication is more important. How you think affects how you communicate. Amongst the major models of NLP, only the Meta Model and the Milton Model is related directly to communication. But these 2 models is more about how our communication affects our thinking and how our thinking affects our communication.

3. NLP is about Selling.

No! In the 80's, the market of therapists for NLP training became limited. Smart NLP Trainers began to promote the NLP trainings for sales professionals. There are more salespersons than therapists in the world, a much bigger market!

NLP can be good for persuasion and thus works well in selling, but NLP is not about selling. Money can buy food but money is not about food?!

4. NLP is about Personal Development.

No! In the early 90's, there were more and more NLP Trainers. Many thought that doing the training was easy. Many people went into the profession of training NLP. So, the NLP Trainers needed a larger market.

If NLP can help and persuade people, it can also be used to improving oneself. NLP was then promoted as a tool for personal development. To be honest, it is a good idea, a much better idea than NLP is about therapy. At least, people will not think themselves as therapist and do all sorts of dangerous stuffs on others after they learned NLP!

Again, NLP can be effectively used to develop oneself, but it is not just about Personal Development.

5. NLP is about Changes.

No. Change is one of the most important concepts of NLP. If someone do not change, he/she can't get what they wish. It is one of the presuppositions of NLP that one gets what he/she currently getting if one do what one currently doing. This is logical.

One can change his/her attitude, thinking, actions, etc to get what he/she wants. This concept of changes is quite misunderstood by many NLP people. It is the output of changes matter, not the input of changes. Many NLP people tries to change others in order to get the output of changes. So, NLP is well-known for its manipulation style!

What we concern is the output of changes, not changing others!

6. NLP is about Management & Leadership.

No. In the 90's, some NLP Trainers figured out that the most profitable market for NLP training and consulting was in the business field. Companies have bigger budget than individuals. So NLP was packaged as Management and Leadership tools.

If NLP can be used to discover and influencing others, NLP can surely becoming useful in business. A good manager is the one who can discover all the available resources and influencing others to use these resources to produce results. Leaders are those people who can discover their visions and then influencing others to follow.

But NLP is not just about Business. It is just one of its applications.

7. NLP is about Coaching.

No. Coaching is the buzz word of the 21st century. Many NLP Trainers (including myself) are using this magic word to make NLP standing at the top of the trend. Coaching is about helping others discovering their problems, opportunities and solutions that they are originally unaware of.

Although I love this concept and NLP can be applied easily to coach others, NLP is still not just about Coaching.

Then, what is NLP about? We talk about this in our next article of the series.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Coaching: AID Coaching Model


3 years ago in 2003, I liked to teach my NLP Practitioner Program participants how to coach others in a easy and fast manner, if one has just 3 or 4 minutes. So, I created the AID Model by modeling my own self when I do some quick coaching.

This is based on a logical thinking process. When you ask the questions accordingly, you are facilitating the clients to think logically. Most of the time we can't figure out an answer because we are not logical enough. (Logical not Linear!)

Here is the model:

Actions: What happened?
Influences: How did these affect the situation?
Desirable Alternative: How to improve the situation?

We stucked in getting a solution, mightbe due to we do not know exactly what happened, or we do not understand its effects. When one gets the first 2 questions thoroughly answered, it will be much easier for one to answer the 3rd question.

Try it!

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The more I know, the less I really know!


In the past few days, I am working hard for the presentation of the Jungian Symbolism in my Mental Symbology Program.

I had studied Jung's material for nearly 10 years and I always think that I know quite a lot of Jungian Psychology. When I tried to assimilate his ideas on symbolism, I find myself stucked. I just can't write a single word.

The old saying of "The more you know something, the less you really know" is absolutely correct. Only idiot thinks he know everything!

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Personal Development: 101 Things You Must Do...


There are a lot of email feedbacks from my previous posting of "50 Ways to Improve Your Life".

Many people love the list. I finally figure out that lists are so attractive. Why not we together create a big 101 List?

Let me start the list first and I hope everyone can give us your own idea of "Things You Must Do" by adding comments to this message or by emailing me.

1. Learn a musical instrument.
2. Live in a place you love.
3. Save someone's life.
4. Visit all 7 natural wonders of the world.
5. Do a bungie jump.
6. Go up in a hot air balloon.
7. Invent something.
8. See the northern light.
9. Run a marathon.
10. Climb a really tall mountain.
11. Donate blood every year.
12. Ride an elephant.
13. Skiing in the snow.
14. Visit all 7 continents.
15. Write a love letter.
16. Float on Dead Sea.
17. Visit a Greek island in Aegean Sea.
18. Scuba diving.
19. Read 1,000 books.
20. Tell someone I love them.
21. Stay a night in a 6-stars hotel.
22. Register as a organs donor
23. Dye your hair.
24. See a musical in Boardway.
25. Learn First Aid.
26. Sponser a child.
27. Be a vegetarian, at least for a month.
28. See the Great Barrier Reef.
29. See an opera.
30. Type with 10 fingers.
31. Shop in the world's largest shopping mall. (It is near, South China Mall Dongguan, China)
32. Visit Taj Mahal.
33. Take a mud bath.
34. Send a message in a bottle.
35. Meditate.
36. Build a sand castle.
37. Find your hidden talent.
38. Write a poem.
39. Visit a third world country.
40. See a glacier.
41. Go on a train ride to Moscow.
42. Hold doors open for others.
43. See glow worms in the wild.
44. Skydive.
45. Walk the Great Wall of China.
46. Visit the Louvre.
47. Visit New Zealand.
48. Learn to say "No" without guilt.
49. Think before you act.
50. Learn social dancing.
51. Be free from debts.
52. Play, dance, laugh in rain.
53. Accept yourself.
54. Forgive someone who is unforgivable.
55. Live with no regret.
56. Walk the charity walk.
57. See a live valcano.
58. Find a long lost friend.
59. Do something to be proud about.
60. Love truly, madly, deeply.
61. Help an elderly person crossing street.
62. Scrapbook your life.
63. See a solar eclipse.
64. Walk in a tropical rain forest.
65. Visit Alaska.
66. Sit at the edge of a cliff.
67. See Mountain Everest.
68. Watch sunrise and sunset in the same day.
69. Write a letter to your future self.
70. Paint a picture.
71. Have a candle-light dinner.
72. Visit Niagara Fall.
73. See the pyrimids on Egypt.
74. Go on a fast.
75. Build your own website.
76. No fast-food for a month.
77. Go to a desert.
78. Visit the Vitican (even though you are not a Christian)
79. Send flowers to someone you love.
80. Live simply.
81. Find a best friend.
82. Take some more risks.
83. Lose weight if you are over-weighted.
84. Have a life goal and start to achieve it.
85. Take a cruise.
86. Learn something useless.
87. Drink Champagne.
88. Stand up for yourself.
89. Swim with dophin.
90. Fly first class.
91. Make a snowman.
92. Overcome a fear.
93. Donate old clothes to charity.
94. Learn to drive. (If you don't know how to drive)
95. Ride in a helicopter.
96. Volunteer for something.
97. Try caviar.
98. Learn another language.
99. Recycle anything that can be recycled.
100. Be kind to others.
101. ........

Hope you like the list. More importantly, please kindly send in your own ideas of "Thing You Must Do"


Explore, Exceed & Excel

Monday, November 27, 2006

Signs are Everywhere: Security Check of Casinos in Macau


I am just back from Macau with my family.

I took my dad and mom to all the new and old casinos in Macau. They haven't been to Macau for years.

After you have visited nearly all the casinos in Macau, you will understand that the "old" and "new" ones are different, not just about their magnificent decorations and advanced gambling equipment.

They are in totally different Operating Systems!

Just take an example of their security check. Really I don't understand why they need to have security check before they "alllow" you to go into their casinos. I know that it is about security, but they can use some other ways, might be a bit more complicated to achieve the same effects. In Las Vagus, you just can't see any of these. You can go into a casino without noticing you are already there. This is their clever design.

Most businesses, including casinos, want a large traffic flow. The most important single point in creating a large traffic is the Point of Entry. This is just a simple logic but many businesses do not get it right. The more traffic goes in, the more traffic inside!

OK, back to Macau. The "old" casinos operate a very strict security control. They check and check. Their concern might be just their own safety coming first. Furthermore, their security guards are getting used to their usual rude and impolite manner.

For the "new" casinos, it is very easy to get through and their guards are polite, too. I have done a experiment. I can go into 3 "new" casinos easily without any interruption, but I was being searched and searched in another 3 "old" casinos. They even did not allowed me to take my bag with me.

That might be one of the reasons that there are so many people in those "new" casinos!

This is again another example of slow and reluctant response to changes. The world had changed but we do not change accordingly or in advance. We are the one to suffer, but we might just complain and blame the world!

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Personal Development: 50 Ways to Improve Your Life


I watched a TV show tonight. It is about studying Chinese in US. In the show, it mentioned about such list compiled by the U.S. News and World Report. Studying Chinese is on the list.

The list is very informative and useful. Hope you can get something out of it too.

1. Have your daily dose of omega-3
2. Soak up enough vitamin D
3. A little more pedaling pays off
4. When reading health studies, don't swallow everything
5. Pick the right pain pill
6. Fight colds by staying warm
7. Light up for night walks
8. Floss, floss, floss
9. Go for the power of whole-wheat flour
10. Do push-ups on the Power Plate

11. Think like a scientist
12. Study Chinese
13. Master the art of argument
14. Don't let tech distract you
15. Play video games
16. Meditate for brainpower
17. Join a singing group
18. Put together a puzzle

19. Pick the right credit card
20. Do your charity homework
21. Train your mouse to pay bills
22. Get a free gift from the bank
23. Keep an eye on your credit report
24. Make calls on the Internet
25. Invest in a vase

26. Buy a waterproof, fireproof safe
27. Look at HDTV
28. Hook up a fuzz-free TV antenna
29. Bundle up for indoor warmth
30. Get an all-in-one remote
31. Buy a better bulb
32. Capture your shows on a digital video recorder
33. Let Scooba wash your floors

34. Dive into a life-changing book
35. Champion a cause
36. Save a day
37. Don't race to racial judgments
38. Compose a living will
39. Be fearful of lying
40. Go for a spiritual retreat
41. Enjoy a Thai massage
42. Make room on your iPod for Marion
43. Eat it because it's yummy

44. Calls from telemarketers
45. Antibacterial soap
46. Homeopathy
47. Trans fats
48. Vitamin E capsules
49. ATM fees ATM

50. Bon Voyage

Hope you also find it helpful.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Learning from Life #96 - #100


Today is a good day as I reach Learning from Life #100. I promised to complete this series up to #499. I will do so in the coming months or years!

96. A network is not important. Your value to the network matters more.

97. You can't push yourself to improve. When you enjoy your life, it starts to improve.

98. We have the freedom to choose, if you choose to have the freedom!

99. Insights and inspirations are all from within.

100. When we talk, we can't listen.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

NLP: Resources & Choices


One of our classmates emailed me asking me the difference between Resources and Choices in NLP. The information can be useful to many of us, so I answer her here.

"Resource" comes from a French word meaning "to spring forth". In NLP, Resource is described as anything that helps a person going from current state to desired state, including from a problem state to a solution state.

There can be 2 kinds of Resources, the Inner and the Outer. Inner Resources include beliefs, values and internal states of excellence (eg. Confidence, Joy, Humor...). Outer Resources include skills, guidance, tools and supports. The Inner Resources help us to change an Inner State, while the Outer Resources help us to change the Outer States.

There is a NLP Presupposition stating that we have all the resources we need. It is referring to the Inner Resources. We have all those qualities but we might not be able to aware of them right now.

"Choices" in NLP refers to actionable options created or discovered by a person in order to achieve something.

My friend asked me: Is it true that the more resources we have, the more successful we will be?

From a view point of a "normal" person, it is true. But from the rediculous NLP point of view, it is a misunderstanding of the basic concept of NLP.

If we already have all the resources we need, there can't be "more" resources!?

However, it is true that if we have more choices, we can be more successful (another NLP Presupposition). Choices can be the usable options of making use of the Outer Resources. If success is defined as achieving something, i.e. external, the more choices that we can make use of the Outer Resources, the higher probability of gaining success.

You can also see "Resources" as something passive, something already been inside you or outside over there. "Choices" are something active, you create or discover in order to make use of the "Resources".

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

NLP: The More Choices You have, the More Successful You will be.... Part 2


Further to my previous message of the same title, I like to elaborate a little bit more.

Someone emailed me, asking me to explain further.

There are 2 kinds of choices - Choices others gave you and Choices you created by yourself. You can distinguist them as Passive Choices and Active Choices.

When choices are created by you, the Active Choices, they are created based on some of your criteria. So, you can select the right choices according to the situations. Active Choices give you more flexibility and freedom.

When choices are given by others, the Passive Choices, they are created by others' criteria. They might have the knowledge to select the right choices while you can't. Passive Choices give you confusion.

It is the Active Choices we need to generate more successes. BTW, success is just getting what you want. If you have more usable choices, the Active Choices, you can get what you want at a higher probability.

Explore, Exceed, & Excel

Signs are Everywhere: Established 1928


I am just back from Macau on Sunday. I went there to conduct the NLP Practitioner Training. After completion of the program, I went to buy some bakery products. Macau are famous for some kinds of bakery items.

I was quite tired of those famous brands like X Kee and X X Yuen. I want something different. So I go around to search. I found a small bakery with "Established 1928" in their logo. It sounds good. Though there was not too many customers (actually, there was just one single customer) inside but I still bought from them.

After returning home, I tasted some of the products. They are really bad.

I was wrong. I mistakenly interpreted the "Established 1928" as a sign of good quality. It is just an artificial sign created by the owner, but not the emergent sign we should look for.

"Established 1928" can be a lie, but I am not saying that they are lying. They can still exist since 1928, might be just because they owned the property so that they can run the business under a very low cost.

The sign I should look for is the traffic in their shop. If they are really good, they should have returning customers.

They have the usual packaging boxes (I saw them at the back of their shop) but they do not use them. They just give me the products inside a plastic bag. This is a sign of cutting cost and a sign of inconsistency. These are bad signs.

Lesson Learned: Look for Emergent Signs but not Artificial Signs!


Friday, November 17, 2006

Hypnosis: Applying Family Constallation in Inner Mediation


Yesterday during Practice Group of Certified Hypnotherapist Program, I demonstrated a "new" way of doing Inner Mediation. I employed some ideas of Family Constellation in the Inner Mediation Process.

Many years ago, when I first came across Family Constellation, I found this skill can be very useful. However, what I saw was when someone was getting better, those who helped him/her might pick up emotions. "Is this necessary?" was the question in my mind.

I discussed with my fellow classmates and introduced them the Inner Mediation Process. I thought that we can apply Family Constellation into Inner Mediation and unnecessary emotions can be avoided.

People are not playing the family members' roles (where emotions are built in there), but the roles of client's inner personalities. From my point of view, those family members' roles are also the client's inner personalities, what he/she thinks/believes about his/her family members.

Not being played as family members, people will not take up those unnecessary emotions. (I do know that some people are quite addicted to help in the Family Constellation Process, because there is emotional release. The emotional release can help them to relieve their own internal stress. But since there is no learning gained, the internal stress and emotions can accumulate again. This can be very additive!)

A simplified version of this Inner Mediation Process is as below for your interest. I am not encourage you to try by yourself without proper training. My goal of this article is to discuss an alternative form of emotion-less process.

1. Do the same procedure of pretalk and pre-suggestions of the Inner Mediation Process to the client, but without hynotizing him/her.

2. Ask for the shape and size of the meeting table. Then ask for the number of seats as in Inner Mediation.

3. Request client to visualize the meeting table and seats in the physical space.

4. Then continue with the appearance of meeting participants. Ask the client to find the most suitable people around him/her (helpers) who could represent these inner personalities.

5. Mediate the meeting as in the Inner Mediation Process. Facilitate oponion gathering and mutual agreements.

6. Request for positive messages and learning from the client and then all other participants.

7. Repeat the positive messages and learning to them as suggestions.

BTW, I like to clarify that I am not saying Family Constellation is no good. They are great. I am just borrowing some of their concepts into this waking hypnosis process.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Signs are Everywhere: MTR is "Killing" Hong Kong!?


You can find many people walking on a moving escalator only in 3 cities in the world. They are New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

People are busy, the cities are busy and they are prosperous!

This can be one of the informal indexes of the prosperity of a city!

There is less and less people walking on escalators now in Hong Kong than in the past. Does this tell you something?

BTW, have you noticed that MTR is now discouraging people walking on the escalators. I know that it is about safety.

Safety and risks are always on the oposite sides of a spectrum. In most situations, prosperity and risks are on the same side too.

I am not encouraging risks taking and I am not encouraging walking on the escalators. But this is a emerging fact!


Monday, November 13, 2006

NLP: The More Choices You have, the More Successful You will be


"The more choices you have, the more successful you will be" is one of the most misundertood presuppositions of NLP.

I like to clarify a bit here.

Many people think that if we had been given too many choices, it becomes really difficult to choose. So the more choices we have, the more confusion we have, the more unsuccessful we will be.

This is absolutely true. So, we tend to reduce our choices. In a long run, we sometimes limit ourselves to one single choice so that we do not need to choose at all. Life becomes easier!

But suddenly, our single choice disappears (things changes!!!) and we find ourselves out of choices! We have nothing. This is one of the most serious problems facing us.

The presupposition "The more choices you have, the more successful you will be" is actually an attitude to prevent such problem.

To understand the "choices" in the "The more choices you have, the more successful you will be" presupposition, we need to understand where this presupposition came from. This was modeled from one of the 4 original great psychologists in the 70's. He is Bateson. He is a systems scientist. This presupposition is originated from the famous Law of Requiste Varity of the Systems Science.

This law states that the larger the variety of actions available, the greater the chance of achiving the goal. This law applies to any cybernetic systems.

NLP developers borrowed the concept of this law to human beings.

The "choices" in the presupposition is not about the choices offered to you. It is about the choices you can use.

The more choices offered to you, the more confusion is generated. But the more choices you can use, the more flexible you will be.

For example, if you want to kiss a girl, someone offers you 2 choices to do so, it is easy to choose. But he gives you 5, it becomes more difficult. When he offers 20 choices, oh my God!

However, if you have 2 usable choices to kiss a girl, you might not be successful if she have more choices of action to turn you down. But if you have 5, it becomes easier. When you have 20, ...........

So, the "choices" is about usable choices and about choices of action. Such choices are not being offered, but it needs us to search, discover, identify and create!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Live by This Moment


I have just watched the DVD "Click". This is such a good movie!

There is a lesson there: The only moment we can have is this passing moment. Why waste it by dreading or neglecting?

“Because everything changes from moment to moment,
We can only treasure everything in this moment.
Because everything changes from moment to moment,
We should not be attached to anything in this moment.”

Explore, Exceed & Excel

What makes you Smile?


Ask yourself this simple question and write down as many answers as possible.

Nearly all of us want to be happy. Sometimes I just don’t know whether it is happiness makes us smiling or smiling makes us happy!

If you know what makes you smile, at least you can go for it (them)!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Business Development: Modeling Other Business


I am in Singapore. After several days of leisure time, I attended a conference of the Container Owners Association. I am attending the conference with my client. This conference makes me knowing more about the business of my client and I do learn a lot from it.

Sometimes you can learn much more when you study something totally different from your own business. This widens our horizon. All these new learning might be applied in your own business.

In NLP, we chunk up and generate models into something that can be applied to a bigger scope. We can also adapt different models into your situation or transfer models to other scenario.

When you can't pick up any new idea from your familiar environment, go to somewhere else.

Explore, Exceed & Excel

Revised: Aug 1 2008

Singapore is Unlike Singapore!?


I haven’t visited Singapore for more than 6 years. Actually, I had never been really visiting and understanding the country. In my last 2 visits, I just stayed there for a day for business. Nearly everything I know about Singapore is not first-hand.

Singapore gives me an impression of following rules and being uncreative. But I find quite a different Singapore this time. There is creativity here and there.

For example, they are doing the Singapore Biennale 2006, which is a contemporary visual art show. I am not talking about the art works, but their creative and unusual exhibition venues. They bring the temporary art into the lives of the people by displaying the art works in religious sites, public housing and even along the roads.

Everyone has a chance to look at these art collectives everywhere.

Things change.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Anything can be an Art!


I just visited a very impressive Art Exhibition in the City Hall of Singapore.

It is impressive because it demonstrates a clear fact: Everything, anything can be a piece of art!!!

We do not need to pretend to be an artist or pretend to understand art, we are artists and we do understand some form of arts. Everything, anything can be art.

From a macroscopic view, art can be anything that is created to express something of you. We are all creating art, any moment, every moment.

Just make our creations beautiful, it can be a great piece of art!