On our NLP courses we also explore a number of ‘non-NLP’ concepts.
And we then use NLP to 'model', or unpack and examine, these because
- They are valuable life tools
- Using NLP to figure out how they work demonstrates that there’s a lot more to NLP than a few techniques.
Take for instance one of our favourite ‘quick insights’ – The 10% New Model. There is not really a lot to this little model and we initially cover the topic in about 10 minutes yet people who adopt it as an attitude report that it can be life changing...
Avoiding 'being stuck in a rut'
The idea is that you avoid getting into a rut with your life or your work by introducing frequent small changes i.e. 10% New so that we are living with clarity - with awareness of when it's useful to be on auto-pilot and when it may be best to switch to 'manual control' - to choiceful living.
The alternative to 10% New is what a lot of us do. We allow ourselves to get stuck in a rut. We allow ourselves to get set in our ways. We allow our lives to become routine, tedious, samey, predictable:
- It's Monday so I go to work
- It's Wednesday - I go out with my friends
- It's Friday - time to eat out in that restaurant
- It’s Saturday - we do the shopping
- It’s holiday time - we go to the same destination every year, stay in the same hotel, go to the same places….
And so on in an endless sameness.
Living efficiently - on 'auto pilot'
We're on autopilot. And this is a very efficient way of living since we don't have to think about things. We are living on auto pilot - lazily and efficiently!
But it can be tedious and, over the years, the brain stops thinking afresh. It is also very attractive -- because auto-pilot living appeals to our innate laziness. Lots of sameness means no need to No need to think, stretch, plan.
And sameness means safe and cosy. Just effortlessly go from one thing to the next.
Life on auto pilot is described succinctly by Bertrand Russell who once remarked: Most people would die rather than think - in fact they do.
Efficient it may be but there is an insidious downside to a life of sameness - to living our lives in our Comfort Zone.
The downside is that if you spend a lot of your life in your Comfort Zone, and little of your time in your Stretch Zone, the unusual becomes scary - anything out of the ordinary becomes unpalatable; even things you want to do such as going on holiday, going for a new job, exploring new food, making new friends, etc.
Beware of what you get used to
You become so used to the comfortable prison of your Comfort Zone that you shun newness.
This is one of the reasons why so many elderly people get "set in their ways", reject newness, hate the unexpected, and get stressed by anything that's out of the ordinary!
And they don't suddenly wake up one morning with this attitude; they have been developing it since their 20s or 30s.
It’s worth thinking about...
Originally published April 2011 - this revised version March 2019