The ultimate innate power
For many years, the founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder began their workshops with the following question
"Who is driving the bus of your life?".
Their contention was that the fundamental principle in personal change was about taking responsibility (response-ability) for your thoughts, feelings, behavior and hence your results.
One of the most pervasive myths in the prevalent culture today is that we are entitled to a great life - that the world owes us lifelong happiness, entertainment, exciting career opportunities, good health, fulfilling relationships and wealth. But the truth is that there is only one person Responsible(Response-able) for the quality of your life - You. And i mean this in the most empowering way.
You can look at the life of any great human being who has achieved anything worthwhile and you will notice that they have Responded with great Resourcefulness in times of adversity and challenge to achieve success. Famously, Viktor Frankl, the Austrian Neurologist and Psychiatrist survived the Holocaust and came out stronger and also went on to develop a system that enabled people to find purpose, meaning and direction in their lives while millions of others who experienced the holocaust and survived had lost all sense of humanity and suffered from past trauma.
More recently, and with relatively lesser intensity, the same fundamental principle was in operation when the captain of the Indian cricket team, MS Dhoni responded with composure, focus, power and skill to lead the team to victory from the brink of loss in a nerve-racking (for most other people atleast) final over.
These are just a couple of examples that demonstrate that it is not the events in our life that are the determining factors in our life but our response to these events.
If we want to be successful in the long-term we have to take 100% responsibility for everything we experience in our life. This includes the results you produce in your work, your personal achievements, your health and physical fitness, the quality of your relationships, your wealth, your emotions, your behavior, your habits - everything!
This is indeed a simple principle; may not always be easy but it is still necessary and simple.
Many of us may have been conditioned to blame something outside of us for the aspects of our life we do not like but it does not get us anywhere. In fact, most of the times, blaming, complaining and making excuses are a drain on our energy and emotional resources which can otherwise be used to achieve our goals. But as everything else in the human neurology we have been conditioned with these patterns of thought, feelings and behavior and they have become automatic with repetition. They have become our habits.
Everything you experience today is the result of choices about how to respond that you made (or did not make, which is again a choice) in the past. If there is an area of your life where you are not happy with the results you are producing now, paradoxically, you gain the Power to change the results when you take complete responsibility i.e exercise your response-ability. Between the events in your life and your response to them lies your ability to choose. You can choose to respond better. And this is in fact the predominant attitude in NLP, that you are incharge of your life. The methodology and all the techniques of NLP just serve as the tools you can use to create and adopt new and empowering responses easily for yourself.
Personal Responsibility leads to Personal Power.
The most wonderful thing about this is that you already have this power within you. And you only enhance this ability to choose your response to the situations in your life by practice. So, here's an exercise for you: Starting now, for the next seven days, pay attention to how you are thinking, feeling and behaving in response to the various situations in your life. Be aware of the outcomes you are producing because of that.
Also think about what outcomes you would want to create in these areas and how you would want to respond(think, feel, behave) to practically achieve these results.
In the next few articles, we will share with you simple and effective tools you can use to start enhancing the quality of your responses and hence your results.