Things Are Not What They Seem

By Robb Whitewood

I was involved in a TV commercial a long time ago and the experience made me realise how much television is all about fantasy. The experience took nearly 4 and half days of me being wet and cold in a river. The actual commercial shown on television was about 30 seconds long!

There were two versions that were released, 30 and 45 seconds. Even though you only saw three people and a dog in the commercial, there were actually 35 people in the crew. Anything that you see on television is fantasy. Even our news is a fantasy. We have a very solid structure in our society, if it bleeds it leads. So what do we see? What we perceive is a distorted view. If it elicits an emotional reaction then we are drawn to watch it. If our primary emotions of fear, anger, and sex are involved, we will watch it because we get an emotional reaction. The news is therefore fear, anger, and sex and we are drawn to watch and listen.

This is essentially the framework for what I teach. I’d like to take you into Alice’s rabbit hole for a moment. Many of the things that you have held to be true for the vast majority of your life, are about to be made to look different. Former truths such as who you are, the roles that you play, even down to gender issues will be shaken up a bit. For starters, I will be upfront and tell you that I am very much against the women’s movement. I’d give my life defending your right as a human being, but on the basis of gender, I will not. You have to understand what the primary purpose of this movement was. Who were the main supporters in the USA for the women’s movement? Industrialists. Because the industrialists realised that if women came into the workforce that would double the workforce. This in turn, meant double the number of people for the industrialists to sell to. More employees in the workforce meant more income tax for the government.

“For starters, I will be upfront and tell you that I am very much against the women’s movement.”

Of course, the government was really happy about it because they collected more tax and the corporations were really happy because they knew it would grow the economy. The one group that was most against the women’s movement were women that were married to successful men. It meant that there was more competition in the workplace. When we are presented with something we always have to ask what is behind it. What is the political agenda that goes behind it? What is the neurological agenda that goes behind it? Many of the things that we hold to be true could actually be a little bit more flexible than they appear.

In the Matrix, what was Neo doing? He was uploading images, memories and skills like Kung-Fu into his unconscious mind which he could then reproduce as if he had spent years learning and practicing. You will learn methods by which you can do this in NLP. You will learn how to change something that you like into something that you dislike. Something you dislike into something you like can switch very fast. You will have the ability to change something you believe to be absolutely true into something that is no longer true or vice versa.

“Kids are often incredibly skilled at a particular thing which has no value to the parent.”

How do you drive behaviour? You drive behaviour based on what you like and what you believe. What you dislike and what you don’t believe, i.e., your values. That’s how you make decisions. Value hierarchies directly determine how you spend money and how you spend time, which will in turn, determine how much money you have and what you get good at. If you spend more time playing pin ball, guess what you get good at? A lot of people jump up and down complaining that their kid is a no-hoper. Kids are often incredibly skilled at a particular thing which has no value to the parent. They can play guitar, ride a skateboard, or play computer games. How will these skills help them get work or employment? Their particular skill set may have no consequence to the parents, but may have absolute consequence to their social ranking within the peer group. This is where they are going to get their business from when they become young adults. Just because a skill has no value to one group doesn’t mean that it won’t have value to another group. Did you have a laptop on your desk at school? Many kids do these days. The world has changed. So things really may not be what they seem, and this goes equally for mature aged people who have lived a long life, to parents, to teenagers, to children. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is always something you think you know that can be challenged or that you can re-examine from another angle. What you previously held as truths becomes more flexible and changeable.

All you need to challenge the varying degree of fantasy or truths you hold onto is a little curiosity. Richard Bandler, one of the co-founders of NLP, talked about this attitude of curiosity and adventure and the desire to learn. This attitude is critical. Think of the intense curiosity of a six year old on the day before Christmas who knows there are lots of exciting presents hidden in the house somewhere. That curiosity, combined with a burning desire to learn about effective communication strategies and methodology is what will surely take you down the rabbit hole.

The Perception and Reality module is unique to Dynamic Mind Works and Robb Whitewood. You can study Perception and Reality within the NLP Practitioner course. Sign up from the home page to gain access to 8 NLP videos.