There once lived on the island of Cyprus a fine sculptor, named Pygmalion, who had decided to devote himself entirely to his art because he could not find a woman to match his idea of beauty. Soon a very pure piece of white marble came into his studio and from it he sculpted a beautiful woman—a figure which embodied all that he considered beautiful. Pygmalion was so smitten with his own creation that he prayed to Aphrodite to help him find a woman that would match his sculpture’s beauty. Aphrodite, however, realized that only the statue itself would answer for Pygmalion, and so she breathed into it the life that Pygmalion so fervently sought. Pygmalion called her Galatea and married her, his own creation.
Once upon a time, there was a beautiful ewe who wanted to be more than just a sheep. Although she lived in peaceful mountains and ate delicious clover from verdant green pastures, she wanted more.
The word around the fold was there was a charismatic Ram speaking to neighboring herds that everyone was flocking to hear. (Yes, the herd had heard him speak, and the ewe wanted to, too. Wouldn’t you?) He spoke of unlimited possibility, thinking “different” and, yes, breaking from the herd and being an “Individual.” Many sheep were shunning him because of these controversial views, but the ewe felt a tingling and excitement she had never experienced before. The ewe knew she had to take action.
She hitched a ride on a passing hay wagon (probably by calling out, “Hey, wagon!”) and traveled far and wide until she found where he was appearing. She pushed her way to the front and listened with rapt attention.
The Ram told stories of far away places and distant times, and lessons passed down from “the great pair-a-bulls.” As he spoke the ewe closed her eyes and imagined herself in those far away places and living those daring adventures. Time seemed to stand still and yet flew by at the same time.
When she finally opened her eyes, she was back in her own field as if nothing had happened, and yet the whole world had changed. She wondered; had all been a dream? She told herself that she was destined for greatness, and decided to find a mentor that would allow her to learn powerful strategies for communicating with others.
Over the weekend, we had the honour of hosting the NLP connections 2013 event at my university, Nagoya Institute of technology. After months of preparation and imagining the event, it was wonderful to see it actually coming into existence. We had participants from Nagoya, of course, we also had people coming from as far away as Tokyo and Chiba. As always, we first have to create something in our minds and then we can bring it into the world! Thanks to Yuko Yamamoto and so many others for helping to bring this NLP Connections Event into the world.
On Saturday November 23rd, we started the event with a lovely Introduction to NLP workshop. Some new faces, some familiar faces, and lots of great learning. As always, it’s great to see new folks becoming aware of how useful NLP can be.
Sunday morning (11/24) began with the Meet and Greet at Starbucks near the venue. We all picked up our caffeine for the day, introduced ourselves,and then headed across the road over to the university to begin the conference at 10 AM.
The first event of the day was a state management activity which was designed to help the participants get into a good state to stay in a good state for the entire day of learning. Sometimes caffeine just isn’t enough to keep people going throughout the day 🙂 And NLP recognizes that managing our own state is vital to ensure that we can keep learning. Brian Cullen and Yuko Yamamoto carried out the COACH process in both English and Japanese, simultaneously. The COACH process is a beautiful state management process which we learned from Robert Dilts at NLP University in Santa Cruz, California. Every morning at NLP you, Robert Dilts led us in the coach process and it was a beautiful way to start today to ensure that we were centered, open, aware, connected, and holding onto those resources all through the day. There is an audio version of the COACH state available if you would like to use it yourself. It’s currently only in English, and we will try to get a Japanese version up there soon.
Next, Yukari Horiguchi from the NLP Institute of Japan carried out a lovely session which focused on the characteristics of high-performing people. Yukari is a successful business coach and trainer, and she carries out executive training and coaching both in English and Japanese. Recently, she has been doing training in Canada as well as Japan. During her presentation, she did a live demonstration, working with of the participants and helping him through a coaching session. Later, she summarized the characteristics of highly performing people. One of the key points that I took away from Yukari’s presentation is that high-performing people have the ability for self acknowledgment. Of course, they are also open to external feedback and have highly developed sensory acuity and self-expression in Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. In addition, however high-performing people have a strong ability to recognize their own success and to self-acknowledge, without having to rely on external supportive feedback.
After lunch, Yuko Yamamoto from Tokyo talked to us about the use of NLP in the workplace. Yuko is a pharmacist, and she uses her NLP skills on a daily basis with co-workers and patients. Yuko led us in a very useful process for helping people in the company to come into alignment with the same purpose or goal. When people come into alignment, they can often discover that personal conflicts and friction are reduced as they recognize that they are moving towards the same goal.
The next session of the day went straight to the heart of NLP – modeling. Most of the session was led by Brad Deacon from Nanzan University, Nagoya. Brad did a great modeling session by asking one of the participants to come up as a volunteer. In the presentation, the experiential array was introduced as a tool for modeling. The experiential array is a tool developed by David Gordon, one of the members of the original group of NLP back in the early 1970s. Because the experiential array takes quite a long time to use in its complete version, the participants were offered four questions which concisely address the same areas as the entire experiential array. These four questions addressed four of the primary factors underlying a person’s performance: beliefs, emotions, strategies, and external behaviors. The participants had time to get into pairs and model an ability that one of the people was good at doing. In this way, participants were able to truly experience modeling, a core element of the NLP approach.
For a break and recreation of a good state, Brian Cullen then played us one of his NLP-based songs, My Friend John which had people beaming with its embedded Milton Language patterns and the suggestion to smile!
Finally, Ben Backwell from Nagoya City University introduced positive psychology and helped participants to explore connections between positive psychology and NLP. NLP has been described by Michael Hall as having originally arisen from the human potential movement, and it is wonderful to see that psychology is revisiting these ideas and has now begun to look at how humans can be happier and be more effective in the world, rather than simply focusing on their problems. Through Ben’s fascinating talk, we were able to understand how many of the ideas of NLP are now being reflected in positive psychology, and how these ideas are beginning to have a positive impact on millions of people’s lives.
At the end of the day, Brian Cullen and Yuko Yamamoto took a few minutes to thank everybody for the dissipating and to draw the threads of the day together. Everyone also had an opportunity to look forward to seeing how NLP connections could continue in the future to provide a space in the venue for sharing and expanding on the concepts of NLP on exploring how these useful ideas and techniques can be brought further and really be put into action in Japan and beyond.
NLP connections 2013 was a great success on many levels. It has provided an opportunity for us to share, it gave us all fresh inspiration, and it is the first step towards bringing NLP trainers in Japan together even more in order to put this powerful technology of NLP into effect in order to improve people’s personal and working lives.
You can sign up for the NLP connection mailing list here, and be sure to join the Facebook group.
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon and at NLP Connections 2014!
Dr. Brian Cullen.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the man who thought he was dead? In reality he was very much alive. His delusion became such a problem that his family finally paid for him to see a psychiatrist.
The psychiatrist spent many laborious sessions trying to convince the man he was still alive.
Nothing seemed to work.
Finally the doctor tried one last approach. He took out his medical books and proceeded to show the patient that dead men don’t bleed. After hours of tedious study, the patient seemed convinced that dead men don’t bleed.
“Do you now agree that dead men don’t bleed?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, I do,” the patient replied.
“Very well, then,” the doctor said.
He took out a pin and pricked the patient’s finger. Out came a trickle of blood.
The doctor asked, “What does that tell you?”
“Oh my goodness!” the patient exclaimed as he stared incredulously at his finger … “Dead men do bleed!!”
A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter – like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.
Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
The gods met to decide where to hide the meaning of life so humankind would have to experience struggle to find it. They considered, and rejected, a number of locations before one of them suggested “Let’s hide it inside each human being, they will never think to look there”
A long ago, a rich man lived in a city in Japan called Nagoya. The economy was not in a good state, and the rich man was losing money. But every night, he had the same repeating dream that he would find great treasure in Hiroshima so finally went there in search of treasure. He spent a night in a temple and that night the temple was robbed. The police suspected and arrested the Nagoya business man. When taken to the judge, he was asked “why did you come to Hiroshima?” He replied “Because I had a dream about finding treasure here”. The Judge replied,”You’re crazy, never believe your dreams they aren’t real. I had a dream that if I went to Nagoya I could enter a rich man’s empty house and find great treasure under his fountain in the garden, but it is just a dream.” The businessman was released and rushed home to Nagoya. He dug under the fountain in his own garden and found great treasure. i.e. our greatest treasure is at home, inside us.