Enhance your Lifestyle with NLP+ © Series: Part 42

By: Shantanu Das Sharma, Sr. Associate Editor, ICN Group

Quick recap of what we have covered in Part 41


Ineffective Memory Strategy

Effective Memory Strategy

Modeling the Success Blueprint

Beliefs of Highly Effective Communicators

Beliefs of Successful Entrepreneurs

Our Strategies: Our Mental Roadmap

KOLKATA: So what is a mental strategy? It is a specific sequence of internal and external experiences we run in our brain in order to produce a specific outcome. It is what a person does in his brain that produces a specific result. For example, how do you wake up in the morning? In order to perform the behavior of ‘waking up’, your brain goes through a mental strategy. And all of us have different mental strategies for waking up in the morning. For some people, when they hear the alarm go off, they would look at the clock and say to themselves, ‘What time is it? How much longer can I sleep?’ They then shut it off, feel the warmth of their blanket, say to themselves ‘just five more minutes’ and doze off again. A few minutes later, they would start making pictures in their head of how they will get into trouble for being late. This triggers off a feeling of panic and an internal voice that goes, ‘Oh Shit! I’m late!’ they will then jump out of bed twenty minutes late. This is obviously an ineffective waking up strategy that probably gets you always to be late.

Ineffective Waking Up Strategy

Hear Look Say Shut off Feel Say Make Pictures Say Feel Jump out of
Alarm At the time ‘How much longer cam I sleep?’ Alarm Warmth of blanket ‘Just five more minutes’ Of being late ‘Oh! Shit’ Panic Bed late

Again, are there some people who are able to get themselves up bright and early? Yes! How do they do it? Well, they just have a more effective mental program running. By modeling these people’s waking up strategy and installing it in my neurology (you will learn how to do this), I find myself getting up on time easily.

Effective Waking Up Strategy

Hear Make a picture Say to yourself Feel Jump out Switch off
Alarm Of all the great things you can achieve today ‘Time to get up’ Excited Of bed The alarm

So, think about it. What is your strategy for waking up in the morning? What is the first thing that happens in your mind as the alarm clock rings? Do you make a picture in your mind? Say something to yourself? Switch off the alarm immediately? How do you eventually get out of bed? Take about 5 minutes and use the space below to map out your strategy.

We use mental processing strategies for everything we do. All our states and external behaviors are controlled by these internal processing strategies. We have strategies for falling in love, buying, motivation, learning, decision-making, writing, communication, procrastination and creativity. There are strategies for everything. It is just that many of us have never been aware of our mental strategies.

We must start becoming aware of our own mental strategies, both the useful ones and the non-useful ones. If you have a useful strategy for creativity, you must discover how you do it. In this way, you can replicate your creativity at any time and in any given situation. If you have a lousy ‘waking up strategy’ or ‘anger strategy’, you must discover how it runs so you can begin to change it!

What Makes Up a Strategy?

So, what makes up a strategy? Well, if you think about it, there are only three major things we can run in our brain. We can either make Pictures (Visual), Sounds (Auditory) or Feelings (Kinesthetic). These Pictures, Sounds and Feelings can be either External or Internally generated. For example, a Visual External (Ve) experience is when we see the alarm clock. A Visual Internal (Vi) experience is when we make a picture in our minds i.e. imagining ourselves arriving late.

An Auditory External (Ae) experience is when we hear the alarm clock ringing. An Auditory Internal (Ai) is when we play sounds in our mind. An Auditory Digital (Ad) experience is when we are talking to ourselves or trying to make sense out of something. i.e. saying to ourselves, ‘Just five more minutes.’ A Kinesthetic External (Ke) experience is when we physically touch something, like feeling the warmth of the blanket. It also includes an external smell or taste. A Kinesthetic Internal (Ki) experience is when we feel emotions like ‘panic’ or when we imagine in our minds what it would be like to touch a snake. Again, it could also include imagining what something would taste or smell like.

External Ve Seeing something
Internal Vi Making a picture in our heads

Do note that in order to be even more specific, when we visualize something in our minds (Vi), we can either imagine an image we have seen before (known as visual remembered or Vr) or we can make up something new (known as visual constructed Vc).

Vi Vr (Visual remembered) e.g recalling what your room looks like
Vc (Visual constructed) e.g imagining what it would be like to achieve a future goal
External Ae Hearing a sound
Internal Ai Making a sound in our head (the tone)
Digital Ad Self-talk and reasoning

When dealing with auditory, you want to be clear about the difference between auditory internal (Ai) and auditory digital (Ad). Auditory internal (Ai) is more concerned about the tone of the sounds, whether it ‘sounds right’. Auditory digital (Ad) is more concerned with the content of the words, whether it ‘makes sense’.

External Ke Physical movement (motor) or feeling a sensation (tactile)  
Internal Ki Emotions or imagining a feeling

Notice, that we use a lot of notations in describing strategies. These notations make it a lot easier and efficient to study our mental strategies. What makes up a strategy is not just what we run in our brains, but the order and sequence in which we run it. Just by changing the sequence of what we run, the entire outcome of the strategy changes. For example, let’s look back at the effective ‘waking up strategy’.

Effective Waking up Strategy

In the last part of this strategy, you should ‘jump out of bed’ (Ke) and then ‘switch of the alarm’ (Ke). If we were to change the sequence to ‘switch off the alarm’ ‘Jump out of bed’, would it work as well? Maybe not. Why? By switching off the alarm before getting out of bed, it may cause you to lie on the bed and feel lethargic again (Ki).

Hear Make a picture Say to yourself Feel Switch off Jump out
Alarm Of all the great things you can achieve today ‘Time to get up’ Excited The alarm Of bed

A good metaphor for understanding the concept of strategies is in the baking of a cake. Imagine if there was a famous chef who could bake a delicious cake. He may have taken years of trial and error to produce a cake of such high quality. However, within a matter of minutes, you too could bake the same quality of cake. How? All you would need would be his recipe and to follow it precisely. You will have to use the same ingredients, the exact amounts and well as the sequence in which they are added.

Similarly, in the modeling of human behavior and results, we need to find out the recipe for excellence. The ingredients in this case would be the visual, auditory or kinesthetic elements. The amounts would be the sub-modalities of our experience. For example, is the visual image large or small, associated or disassociated? Finally, the sequence of these experiences must be replicated precisely.

Do know that in understanding a person’s strategy, we are not so much interested in the content of the thought, but the form. You might say, ‘I thought of this’ or ‘I thought about that’ or ‘I thought of a car’. Rather than the content (what you actually thought of), we are more interested in the structure and sequence of the thought. In other words, did you make a picture in your mind? Did you say something to yourself? Did you have an internal emotion? And, what was the sequence of it? Did you make a picture in your head and hear a sound or was it the other way around?

Why Learn Strategies

Besides being able to model and replicate strategies from an individual who is excellent at producing a particular result, there are many more reasons for discovering our own strategies and that of other people.

A very important reason for discovering our own strategies is to be able to replicate our own excellent states and past performances at will. Haven’t you ever experienced a time when you were especially creative in generating ideas, whereas in another point of time you felt a creative block? When we can discover what our strategy for motivation, creativity or love is, we can trigger these states and behaviors whenever we need to!

For example, I discovered that I am able to write (my books) most effectively when I imagine myself in front of an audience (Vi) and hear myself giving a talk (Ad). While I see and hear this in my mind, I type out the words of my talk (Ke). When I use this particular sequence of internal experiences, my mind gets into its most creative mode and the words just flow out. By the way, this is the reason why my writing style is so conversational in nature.

When we discover someone else’s strategy, we can also utilize it to help them achieve their peak states and outcomes. For example, let’s say that you discovered that your son’s motivation strategy was Ve Ad Ki. In other words, in order to access the state of motivation, he has to see something, then say something to himself and this gets him to feel motivated. You can talk to this person (Ae) about why they should be motivated but it would not work. Why? Wrong trigger! This person’s strategy must begin with an external image (Ve). But if you were to show him something (the result), then mentioned what he would say to himself when he achieved it, this sequence would lead to him getting into a motivated state. We will learn more about this in the section on ‘How to utilize someone’s strategy’. Another purpose for discovering someone’s strategy is to assist them in changing it. Obviously, we would want to change a strategy if it is not very useful in helping us achieve our goals. For example, I once had a client who had a buying strategy that caused her to constantly buy on impulse. Her buying strategy was:

Ve Ki Ke

see the item feel good about buying buy it

This ‘see it’, ‘feel good about it’ and ‘act upon it’ strategy is pretty efficient for making quick decisions, especially if you are an airline pilot. It was however not very effective for the person as she kept buying a lot of things on impulse which she would later regret. The problem was that she lacked an auditory digital (Ad) check (asking herself, ‘Do I really need this? Can I afford it?’) component in her strategy, like most of us have. In the section on ‘Re-designing strategies’, we will talk about how to do just this. Before going further, we need to first learn…

How to Discover Someone’s Strategy

So, how do you discover someone’s strategy? Well, just ask them! If you are able to get the consent of a role model or a client, then you can use a Formal Strategy Discovery Script (on page 338). First, do your best to get the person in the right state. If you want to discover a person’s motivation strategy, get the person to go back to the last time they were very motivated, and as they access that state, they will be able to describe how they did it (their strategy). If you want to discover a person’s buying strategy, get them to think of the last time they bought something and as they run through that memory and access the buying state, they will be able to describe the mental process they went through in making a purchase. Every strategy begins with a trigger. A trigger is what sets off a strategy. For example, think about how you know when to become motivated. Remember a time when you felt extremely motivated. What set it off? Was it something you saw, heard or felt? Once you know the trigger, you can get the person to run the same strategy by firing off the trigger. To some people, they get motivated when they hear a speech (auditory trigger). To others, they must see a result (visual trigger).

I facilitate Thought Leaders, Change Makers; Professionals & Business Owners translate NLP concepts into actions to achieve and elicit personal excellence. I conduct NLP Lifestyle Coaching Certification programs for individuals, corporate and celebrity clients. In the next article, you will learn about Formal Strategy Discovery Script. And after that you will come to know in subsequent articles, how you can utilize concepts of NLP+ in all walks of your life to replicate the success blueprint of a winner mindset to win through life.  So, stay tuned every Monday & Saturday and fasten your seat belt to ‘Enhance Your Lifestyle With NLP+’)

Shantanu Das Sharma, Creator of the concept NLP Lifestyle Coaching with NLP+ and Founder of Neuromind Leadership Academy is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author, NLP+ Lifestyle Master Trainer & Coach, C-Suite Advisor; First Certified Social Panorama Consultant in Eastern India directly trained under Dr. Lucas Derks, Clean Language Facilitator & Strategic Interventionist. To explore about NLP+ Lifestyle Coaching you may visit http://shantanudassharma.com/nlp-lifestyle-coaching/  

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