A used-book-sale tome snagged for a friend: NLP by Joseph O'Connor & Ian McDermott. NLP means "neuro-linguistic programming" and calls itself "the psychology of excellence". It proposes to bring ideas from neurophysiology, linguistics, and cognitive science to bear on mental issues. According to NLP there are four key principles or pillars:

  1. rapport - relationships of trust and responsiveness, with oneself and with others
  2. outcome - knowing what one wants, setting and understanding goals
  3. awareness - acuity of sensing what is actually happening
  4. choice - behavioral flexibility, picking what to do

Each of these has features to consciously appreciate and practice. To control and improve rapport, pay attention to body language, tone of voice, choice of words, responses to statements, etc. Outcomes need to be realistically achievable, motivating as goals, and desirable. Awareness is paying attention, mindfully, to one's internal states. Choice can be assisted by building "anchors", stimuli that serve as reminders. "The first practical step is to become aware of the anchors that put you in an unresourceful state. Once you know them, you can choose whether or not to respond. The second step is to design your own anchors." Thus, one can associate a mental image, a sound or word, and/or a gesture (like a mudra) with a positive state, and trigger it at will.

That's only the first half of the book. Convincing? Wikipedia's article on NLP is, at the moment, scathing in its evaluation of NLP as pseudoscience. Hmmmmm!

^z - 2013-05-06