Lessons from my three year old – Curiosity is the key to learning        Have you heard the term “you’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting?”

About 150 times a day my three year old Max asks why, how or what?

As a coach, it’s one of the things I love the most about him. As a family of two working parents, it’s also the most time consuming and we should be careful not to dismiss his curious mind, with responses like “it just is”, or “just because” or “I don’t know why.” According to sociologists This early learning period between the ages of 0 and 7 known as the imprint period. This is where your child develops their sense of self, their values & belief systems, their behaviour and their emotional understanding.

So why is this important? 

As adults, we have developed from our imprinting period to create our thinking patterns and our behaviour today. So much of how we think drives how we behave?

To understand this, we need to look at the NLP communication model. It began as a model of how we communicate to ourselves and others. Originally developed by founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder.  It explains how we process information internally then in turn, how we project that externally in our behaviour.

How we understand any particular situation is based on several elements:

Firstly, we take in information through the senses. What we see, hear; including self-talk, smell, touch & taste. In this process alone Cognitive psychology and linguistic analysts, Alfred Korzybski and Noam Chomsky tell us that we have We have 4,000,000,000 bits of data coming at us every second and is absorbed and assimilated through our unconscious mind. Trying to consciously process all this information consciously would literally drive us crazy! So, our nervous system filters it.

We do this through a process called delete, distort and generalise.

1. What we choose to see or not see based on our perception of the world
2. What we choose to hear or not hear based on our perception of the world
3. What we allow ourselves to experience based on our beliefs & values
4. We generalise to understand the world around us based on society,our culture and beliefs

We choose to see the world around us through our own reality lens

“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”— Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)

Then we take into consideration our environment, the energy and space we are in at the time. Is the energy and space around you light or heavy, optimistic or negative, happy or melancholy? What do you remember? Memories are the height of our awareness, they are collections of emotions and experiences that we use to support and influence our decisions. For example, if you remember having a bad experience and the emotion attached you are unlikely to want to repeat that.  So closely related to our memories are the decisions we have made as our decision making process creates our beliefs and impacts our perception.

Our values & beliefs are our evaluation filter, how we decide between good and bad, right & wrong. They are how we decide about how we feel about or act.  Values are what people typically move toward or away from. They are our attractions or repulsion’s in life. Values change with context too. That is, you probably have certain values around what you want in a relationship and what you want in business and they may differ because values are context related, they may also be related to your overall state, how you are feeling at the time. One this is for certain, when in conflict with another’s values or business values there will be significant de-motivation or dissatisfaction.

When we think about beliefs, we know that most people never question them because they believe them to be true, without the presence of evidence, fact or logic. We are only in truly control of three areas of our life, what we think, what we say and how we behave and all three are a direct result of our beliefs, they can inspire or destroy us. This means that it is vital that we start to question the dogmatic nature of our beliefs. We need to see them as movable and changeable instead of seeing then as an accepted principal. Beliefs are our generalisations about how the world is. They are essentially our on/off switch for our ability to contribute and impact the community around us.

Our attitude and our patterns of thinking. Your attitude is a mental state that impacts your thoughts, behaviours and actions or reactions. Your attitudes stem from your beliefs. So, if you believe we are lacking in self-confidence, as far as you are concerned that is your reality, even though it is not true. It is true only when we believe it to be so. Your attitude is directly linked to your ability to thrive. Your advanced patterns of thinking (known as meta programs) control & guide what you perceive. These are not good or bad, just an indication of how someone handles information.

Two examples of these programs include moving towards pleasure or away from pain. “I have a deadline coming up and I am prioritising so I can get the result I want on time.” Versus, “OMG I have two days to complete this task and if I don’t do it I will be in a lot of trouble.” Both are motivators just in different ways.

Finally, we have language. Your language filter is the selective use of words you use create the message you are communicating. Your language has the power to influence resourcefully and un-resourcefully based on tonality, quality, volume and speed.  Your words have their own energy!

We are 100% accountable for the response we get to our communication, and that response will drive behaviour. It is important that we are aware of our tone, speed and the direction of our language as it represents a significant 35% of our message through communication.

All of the above components create the way in which we create our reality internally, see pictures, hear sounds, feel feelings, smell smells, taste tastes and the self talk we have with ourselves. Together and in a micro amount of time, every moment of the day, this process begins and ends creating our personal state, our physiology and our external behaviour. Change your thinking to create new resourceful experiences based on your natural talents and strengths!

So, I picked Max up from School last week and his teacher said to me, “I am amazed at his level of empathy with the other children and his ability to communicate. He talks a lot about so many different things. He is so curious about everything!” I hope as he grows into a young boy, a teenager and a young man this continues to develop as it becomes how my partner and I, his grandparents, and mentors contribute to him and how he becomes a model for the community around us.

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