Reprogramming the Brain
If the brain can be reprogrammed through positive thoughts a person can achieve desirable results. Comparing the brain to a juke-box, Anthony Robbins in his book Unlimited Power suggests only those tunes that turn on a happy experience should be played. By reliving the experiences that one savours a happy result can be achieved. By recalling unhappy experiences stored in the mind nobody can become happy. In fact, it adds to the depression. Everybody is concerned with the results which are produced by one's beliefs and the nature of messages sent to the brain. So why overload the brain with unhappy experiences?
By mastering how the brain works, a person can get the desired results. This could be done by sending the right signals. The results are produced by mental and physical actions. The ingredients for the five actions are got from an individual's five senses or modalities. There are sub-modalities, too, to relive an experience or situation. We see, hear, feel, etc. through the senses. It is an experience we have to step into an experience and then step away from it. The difference between the first and second provides the associated and disassociated experience. The brain can be directed to give the feeling we cherish. This means there is no need to open the floodgates of unwholesome experiences to get rid of them.
If you want to relive a pleasant experience all you have to do is to close your eyes, relax, and then brighten the image. It gives greater pleasure. Magni-fying a negative image means an increase in pain. But by reducing it and putting it away, the negative feeling is made to lose its sting. Robbins commends this technique to cultivate a positive image and achieve the goal. This defocusing could be done with all senses.
When it is said something has been blown out of proportion, we mean larger-than-life images of an event, which is generally created in the mind's eye of the concerned individual. He/she then presents it for others' consumption. This is a testimony for people's capacity to build mental images.
Flushing Undesirable Habits
The associated and disassociated experiences can help people get rid of undesirable habits like biting of nails. There is a three-step approach to achieve this. The behavioural change should be identified, in this case biting of finger nails. The picture to be imagined is that of the subject raising his/her finger nails, bringing them to the lips and then biting them.
The second step should show a picture of the change aimed at. This could be taking the fingers away from the lips. The subject should paint a picture of well-groomed individual with well-manicured nails.
In the third step both the pictures should be swapped. The first picture should be erased from the mind and the well-groomed individual should take its place to achieve the desired result.
Unlike time or events, the mind can travel backwards. Time once lost is lost forever. Similarly, you cannot do anything with what had happened in the past. But one can always recall past events before the mind's eye and take corrective steps.
Syntax of Success
Pain or joy results from the way a thing is represented. That is where the mind comes in. When we want to imitate someone's experience to get the desired result, then the person's experience should be modelled. How he/she thinks and achieves what has been achieved depends on the mindset.
Supposing the aim is to bake a cake, the expert cakemaker's recipe should be studied carefully. But that is not the only thing. Apart from recipe, his strategy should be examined. Here, by strategy, is meant the steps that precede the actual baking. If the baker uses one ingredient first and then some ingredient last, the person modelling or imitating him should follow the same order. Otherwise the result will be different. Anthony Robbins calls it the syntax of success. Syntax in grammar means arrangement of words.
The words may be the same. If arranged in a different way, they give an entirely different meaning. There is a world of difference between "Dog bites a man" and "Man bites a dog." The words remain the same. But by changing the order the role of the dog and man have been reversed. The same is the case with goals. The sequence has to be followed to get the desired goals. If the sequence is changed, the result will be different and may not be along the expected lines.
The cakemaker must have had some mental image when he made the best cake, which you want to make. The most desirable way of getting the best result is to ask the baker to show how he made the cake, what he thought and the mental picture he had in mind when he made the best cake. By studying the condition of his mental picture carefully we, too, can replicate the effort with the same result. That means making as good a cake as the baker.
What we see, what we hear, what we feel all affect us. These are called visual, auditory and kinesthetic sensations. Through these methods a person sends messages to the mind and the mind responds. In ancient Indian philosophy this controlling of the mind was done through yoga, which means a union. Even now there are yogis who can block their mind to anything except God.
But there is a world of difference between mind control as practised by sadhus and as suggested by Anthony Robbins. Robbins wants the subject to send some messages to the brain to achieve mundane results like making a cake, etc. Yogis on the other hand control the mind to achieve a realised state when the external world gets erased and the sadhak attains Parabrahma or Ultimate Reality- the first cause- through samadhi. In Hindu philosophy this state is called nirvikalpa samadhi.
Strategy of Rapport
In order to put somebody in a positive frame of mind, first an attempt should be made to grab his mind's attention. This should be done through establishing a rapport with him. For that there are no set rules. Robbins mentions the case of a young man who was poor at spelling. There was nothing wrong with him. The teachers did not follow the correct methods. The subject of spelling was approached in a different way. The young man expected the usual barrage of questions. Instead, Anthony Robbins discarded the report the young man had brought with him and instead started discussing sports in which the youth was interested. This put him in what the author calls a state of feeling effective. That means he was all ears and the rest of his senses took over and transmitted positive messages to his brain. He got over his handicap in spelling in no time. So the strategy has to be corrected to achieve results.
Then we should know his strategy. This is very essential for getting results. A successful salesman should know the buyer's strategy. Otherwise he will not be able to sell his goods. David Ogilvy once described a successful salesman as one who could sell a comb to a bald man! A very difficult exercise indeed but not difficult if we can put the buyer in an associated state and find out what he imagined, thought or felt when he bought a certain thing. The strategy of the buyer gives the clue to the salesman's success. The scope can be extended to all fields of human activity.
The Neurology of Success
We can elicit a person's strategy that makes him/her buy a thing by observing what part of neurology- visual, auditory or kinesthetic- they are using. The visually-oriented imagine pictures. Those who care for words are very particular about the words they use. There is a third class who react mostly to feelings. An inquirer who wants to achieve results should find out their preferences. Once this is done, the rest will follow.
A person's eyes show which part of representational system he is using at any given time. If the eyes go up to the left, he is recalling a picture from his mind. If they go towards the left ear, he is listening to something. If the eyes go down to the right, the subject is using his kinesthetic system. Similarly, high breathing indicates visual thinking, even breathing shows an auditory mode and deep breathing is an evidence of kinesthetic accessing, according to the author. Even without much communication, we can find out how a person's mind works by close observation. By asking right questions, we can elicit the strategy. For this, as has already been mentioned, the subject should be put in an associated state. The state, according to Robbins is the switch that opens the circuits to a person's unconscious state. The baker will not be able to bake the cake for us unless he is in an associated state. The baker should then be able to do your work. Before he is of use to you, he should be motivated. By questioning the baker his strategy can be got. For being motivated, he would have to undergo some thought process. In this various sensory organs must have been involved. If he pictured something in his mind and started feeling which resulted in the ultimate product- the cake in this case- all the steps should be minutely recorded. Only when we have the whole strategy, a desired result can be arrived at.
"NLP (neuro-linguistic programming-the method of sending messages to the brain to get the desired results.) is like the nuclear physics of the mind. Physics deals with structure of reality, the nature of the world. NLP does the same thing for your mind. It allows you to break things down into the component parts that make them work."
Physical Postures & Gestures
We cannot achieve positive results through mind alone. The mind has to be backed up by decisive physical condition. Anyone wanting to achieve something should have a feel-good attitude. If you want a good result there should be perfect cooperation between the mind and body. With slouched shoulders and stooping gait you cannot climb a mountain. If the gait is attuned to your goal, then after the exertion if you send the right signal to the mind, you won't feel tired. The right physical condition, according to Anthony Robbins is the avenue to excellence. There should be congruity between the mind and body, he argues. He mentions that at noisy workshops and seminars he allows free play to the emotions of the participants. This way he does not mind if they dance and shout for joy. In that mood they build up their confidence and tone up their mind and body to the tasks ahead.
Prominent people have a particular look or tone in their voice that calls forth reservoirs of power. These in turn tap some resourceful part of the brain. If we can model their physical state, similar results like theirs can be achieved. By hanging your posture or moving the facial muscles in a particular manner, the physical state is changed. If we can get a videotape of Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech and imitate his gestures, etc., we can feel the same strength. Books are no exception. By reading a book by John F.Kennedy, the same type of internal representation can be created.
After this, Anthony Robbins touches one of the most important aspects in a man's life - health. It is well said, "Health is wealth." There is nothing that a sound mind in a sound body cannot achieve.
Robbins lays stress on correct breathing. That is the key to health. A healthy blood stream is an unfailing foundation for good health. The blood stream supplies oxygen and nutrients to the cells in the body. Not only this, breathing regulates the flow of lymph fluid. The fluid contains white blood cells which provide the immune system to the body by fighting diseases.
This is how the system functions. Every cell is surrounded by the lymph fluid, which is four times more than the blood. The blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells via the capillaries. The cells take only that amount of oxygen and nutrients required for their health. The lymph system has to remove dead cells, blood protein and toxins. Unless these unnecessary things are flushed out, the body will come to harm. There is a vital difference between the blood and the lymph systems. The heart acts as a pump for the former, and deep breathing acts as a pump for the lymph system.
That is one of the reasons why yoga with its accent on breathing is proving so popular in the world. It cleanses the body and provides for good health. Robbins prescribes the following ratio for healthy breathing- inhale one count, hold four counts, exhale two counts. He prescribes ten deep breaths thrice-a-day in the above ratio. Running, swimming are some of the exercises he suggests.
Anthony Robbins recommends water-rich foods. Water is very essential for our body, which contains 70 per cent water. Same is the case with the earth. The best way to supply this is not by pumping water into the body, but by eating water-rich foods like fruits, vegetables or by drinking fresh fruit juice. Drinking too much water is not recommended because nobody can be sure of the quality of water. It may contain chloride, fluoride, mineral and other toxic substances. Salads will help us have plenty of water in our diet. That restores the balance and makes for healthy cells.
The third tip is on food combination. Certain foods should never be eaten with others. This is because different foods require different digestive juices for the body to assimilate. Starchy foods like rice, bread, potatoes, etc need an alkaline digestive medium. This is supplied by the enzyme ptyalin. Proteins like dairy, nuts, seeds, etc. require an acid medium like hydrochloric acid and pepsin for digestion. Undigested food breeds bacteria. This in turn leads to stomach upsets and gas. Incompatible food causes excess acid and the thickening of blood.
The best way to eat is to take only one condensed food (i.e. food not rich in water) at one meal. Bread is a condensed food. Watermelon is water-rich food. Salads and steam vegetables with condensed food will be helpful.
The fourth solution is to eat a little. Don't gorge yourself. By cutting the food intake by half, the lifespan of laboratory rats was doubled. Undernutrition retards the aging process. That is the message of the experiment conducted on rats. The idea is there for anyone to grab "Eat less to live more."
The fifth point for good health is: eat a lot of fruits on an empty stomach. Empty stomach because fruits are digested in the small intestine and not in the stomach. If your stomach is full and you eat fruits, they will be blocked in the stomach itself and ferment. By correctly eating fruits you give your brain glucose. Freshly squeezed fruit juice is also helpful. For a healthy life Robbins advices us to start the day on a fruit diet and maintain it till afternoon. Fruits give fructose which gets converted into glucose.
He pooh-poohs the idea that we need a lot of proteins to sustain our body. Protein is most needed when we are infants. And only 2.38 per cent protein is supplied by mother's milk. It is reduced to 1.2-1.6 per cent after six months. Frances Lapp in Diet for a Small Planet maintains that a fairly balanced vegetarian diet supplies us all the proteins we need.
The body needs for energy and glucose come from fruits, vegetables and sprouts, after starch and fat. Protein comes last. Too much protein softens bones, vegetarians have the strongest bones on the planet and not meat-eaters.
In the name of providing protein to body if too much meat is eaten it leads to excessive levels of uric acid. Blood cancer victims have high levels of uric acid in their bodies. Meat attracts a lot of bacteria. This causes incalculable harm to those who subsist on a non-vegetarian diet. Too much milk, another source of protein, is not good for the small intestine. Milk clogs the intestinal walls with a mucus-forming mass.
By consuming a lot of junk food dished out by fast food joints, Americans are putting a premium on their health.