In a fast-paced and highly competitive society, getting ahead in life is imperative. Gone were the days of simple living and contentment with one’s acknowledged abilities. Most people nowadays not only struggle to survive. Instead, they endeavour a much higher goal: to realise their potentials as human beings. And in order to achieve this, mankind has constantly sought out for ways to fulfil this necessity.
Countless studies have been conducted so as to capture that particular characteristic inherent in successful individuals. A group of researchers had in fact claimed that they have identified human characteristics that can be modelled and replicated to bring about success. This system is known as the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP is a system of techniques developed in the early 1970s by John Grinder, PhD and Richard Bandler, PhD. The system makes use of strategies, truisms and beliefs about human communication, perception and subjective experience.
Grinder and Bandler studied the thought processes, language and behavioural patterns of several successful people. Their research subjects included big names such as Fritz Perls (the father of Gestalt therapy), Milton Erickson (a prominent hypnotherapist), and Gregory Bateson (a well-known anthropologist and author in the field of communication theory). Grinder and Bandler believed that by studying how these successful individuals think, communicate and behave, they could learn to teach anyone the skills needed to increase their level of success.
The process that must follow to achieve the desired change is called modelling. In NLP, modelling is the adoption of behaviours, language, strategies and beliefs that are deemed to be ideal. The successful individual is considered as the model. The model is then condensed into a blueprint that can be taught to others (also known as the modellers). The modeller subsequently adopts the patterns of behaviour, communication and thought processes of the person being modelled.
Initially, the modeller suspends his or her own beliefs in order to accommodate the patterns to be learned. Once the modeller is able to behaviourally reproduce the said patterns, he or she will then modify and readopt his or her own belief system. A process of integration will then take place wherein the newly acquired pattern will be incorporated to the individual’s own behavioural pattern and belief system. The outcome would be an improved individual with a higher potential to succeed.
People who might be interested to find out whether or not this system really works, need not look for Grinder and Bandler in the bookshelves of a library. The idea of neuro-linguistic programming has long been adopted by authors of self-help books. Bookstores, in fact, have their own section full of self-help books; from books about simple ventures to huge and arduous undertakings.
What makes these books so popular is the fact that a lot of people want to become successful. The idea of success is such a strong driving force that some people go to great lengths to achieve it.
Neuro-linguistic programming may prove to be a valuable road to success. Nevertheless, the journey to success may be taxing but it, surely, is worth it.