I remember clearly, my wife and I, arriving at my father in law’s house for our first family visit. My children, his grandchildren, all under the age of 5 and excited to see their grandfather again, their imaginations full of possibility. He stands at the door and greets us warmly as we enter, the sound of a football match coming from his lounge room television, the dominant presence inside the house.
I mention to him that I didn’t think there was a game on today. His reply was that he was watching a grand final match that his favourite team had won and that he had recorded years before. This behaviour was one I was to see many, many times over the next 10 years.
His wife was very unwell and did not have the capacity to engage in what would be considered as normal life events. Replaying this game was his way of retreating to a safe and happy place. A time that he associated with positive emotions and fond memories. He was playing the recording of an episode in his life that he found enjoyable. The future held no such joy or hope for him.
Movies as Metaphors
Metaphorically, we can consider our life is our movie, or tv series, with a core set of characters engaging in a variety of scenarios, some happy, some sad. There are of course, a stream of bit players and guest stars that make an appearance in various episodes. The lead role is yours. Do you like the storyline? Is the lead character believable and living an interesting life, full of purpose? Are you looking forward to the sequel or next episode or would you prefer to turn off the television?
The movies we produce in our minds play an important role in creating our sense of self and the future we believe we deserve. They can excite and motivate us towards greater success, happiness, fulfillment and purpose in our lives. Without the right script however, they can keep us trapped in re-runs of the worst parts of our lives and stop us from reaching our potential. The capacity to mentally rehearse a desired future, one where we have those things we desire, will significantly increase the likelihood of being able to achieve those goals.
Movies Script our Experience
Through the study of NLP, we learn that we conceptualise our lives through the process of coding the things we see, hear and feel, in relation to the events we experience. The structure of these internal, symbolic representations, or memories, will create either a positive or negative association and build the qualities with which we evaluate our lives and determine our potential.
The more vividly, positively and realistically we can create our internal movies and have them align to our core values, the higher the likelihood of our success. Motivation, discipline and desire are all enhanced by the creation of detailed, positive representations of our futures.
Our memories and internal projections of the future, are coded and stored in our minds via our 5 senses. Subsequently, when we recall a particular memory, these same senses are reactivated and we can experience the sights, sounds, feelings, emotions and thoughts again, as if it was happening again, right now. So, if you want to create an amazing life, the process starts on the inside.
When we consider all the factors involved in achieving this success, it is the realisation that you are not just the lead actor; you are also the writer, producer, director of your movies that makes the difference.
Without this understanding and conscious control over the making of your movies, you can quickly become just an extra in other peoples’ movies, reading from the scripts other people write, with no influence on the plot.
When you are clear in your understanding that you own the rights to your internal movie, you are stepping in the right direction for a blockbuster hit.
Recognise that as the writer, you can create the script prior to the movie of your life being played and you will start from a position of resourcefulness. As the director you possess the power to stop shooting and call ‘cut’ when the movie isn’t going as you planned. You can rewrite the plot and develop character traits to enhance the movie and keep it from becoming stale.
You Perceive What You Project
It is easy to believe that we look out on the world from within and the information we retrieve is the result of our perception. This isn’t quite the way it happens. Our perceptual filter first projects our values, beliefs, attitudes, memories and expectations out into the world. The outside world reflects those personal qualities back to us and this, is our perception. The process of projection is operating below our level of conscious thought and therefore we think we are perceiving the external world. The reality is we have only a subjective experience of perception. This is the NLP presupposition that projection is perception.
With the techniques of NLP, we can learn to control the structure of the coding of our visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities to create a truly inspiring sensory experience that pulls us towards a life of success, happiness and purpose. By carefully managing the submodalities or structure of our senses, we can create the sensory experience we desire from our lives. By projecting a more resourceful, ideal self out to the world, in return we will perceive the possibility and pathway to a better life.
Write Your First Scene
Lights, Camera, Action, it is now time to write and star in your new blockbuster movie. The first step on this journey of transformation is to create a positive internal representation of precisely what you want, in great detail. This will be the plot for our next movie. NLP provides many powerful techniques that we can use to build specific, positive, believable and achievable outcomes.
These techniques are all taught in our NLP Practitioner training. https://inlpcenter.org/available-nlp-programs/nlp-practitioner-certification-online/