Finally embracing NLP

I’d always been skeptical of NLP. The creators, self-admittedly, avoided running rigorous scientific tests on NLP because they felt that the method is solely focused on practical application and wouldn’t be improved by after the fact theoretical analysis.

But then I read books by Nassim Taleb (Antifragile & Skin in the Game). Taleb isn’t a fan of the common reliance on academic research. Which he calls “teaching birds how to fly” – they already know how to fly and they’re not going to listen to a professor lecture them on it.

Taleb’s books are full of heuristics (rule of thumb teachings) that defy scientific consensus, and yet still work. He favours the entrepreneurship approach of trial and error (tinkering) over academic theorising (thinking).

The engineers and entrepreneurs (tinkerers) create innovation. The academics theorise it. And often, because the tinkerers didn’t have time to write it down, history has awarded the innovation to the academics.

So, bearing that in mind I decided to start reading another book on NLP – How to take charge of your life by the co-creator, Dr. Richard Bandler.

Reading this, with my new perspective, has been like a positive explosion going off in my head. The book is 99% practical. The only theory he discusses relates to how it opposes psychoanalysis.

Bandler, and many other practitioners, seem a bit sleazy to me. Like a cross between a used car salesman and an alternative therapist. And that appearance put me off.

That type of person would normally make me avoid them. But I read one chapter, and then two and three chapters and I’m still going and learning and feeling great about it. And soon, because I know this isn’t bullshit, I forget my previous prejudices.

And that is very important. In Antifragile, Taleb says he’d rather have a surgeon operate on him that doesn’t look like a typical surgeon. Because he’s likely worked harder than anyone else to get to where he is.

And that’s the same here. They look dodgy. But NLP has helped an incredible list of superstars get an edge in life.

Pharrell Williams, Andre Agassi, Barack Obama, Tiger Woods, Richard Branson and many, many more uber successful people.

My immediate, gut-feeling is that’s not for me. But then I try it and it works. Immediately. Like no other therapy or strategy has for me, ever. And that’s scary for most people. They think – I’ve gotta go to therapy for years to get rid of this mess. But then they hear people talking about feeling happy after one session and thinking that’s it’s too good to be true.

And that’s what I thought. For years. And for years I tried everything else. But then I try these NLP techniques and they blow me away.

You’ve gotta try it!

I’m not going to try to explain how. But I highly recommend a book for you. It’s Richard Bandler’s How to Take Charge of Your Life: The User’s Guide to NLP

Go read it. And let me know how you feel. Especially those of you who, like me, are skeptical of this approach.

Speak tomorrow! 🙂

Joseph Pack

CMO day job. Learning to build stuff with code. Writing, mainly about learning to build, marketing that sucks less and psychology. If you found this article useful, subscribe to my weekly newsletter, Uncommon Aspect.