You have effective strategies for everything you do. You even have effective strategies for creating your problems.
All behavior has an intent. Between intent and behavior is a strategy to execute that behavior. This awareness and the coding of this structure was the totality of what NLP was in the early 1980s.NLP Volume 1 was the first book to bear the name NLP and describe strategies in depth.
It’s a difficult book to read and I don’t recommend it. Parts of it look like computer programming language and it reads like a an engineering manual. It also assumes that mastering strategies and modeling other people’s success strategies is all you need to create whatever you desire.
Jump forward several years and we know this assumption is not true.
NLP has evolved tremendously since then. Strategies are often completely left out of NLP trainings these days unfortunately.
Why? Because it’s the most challenging and difficult part of NLP to become competent at and the payoff for all the effort it takes to master strategies is low.
Understanding strategies though is still crucial to mastering NLP overall and mastering your life.
Understanding the context in which your strategies occur is even more important and you don’t need to master strategies to get this understanding.
Many people have effective strategies for creating the results they want but are very unhappy. Why? Because life is not about results. Life is about experience. If it were about results then the most cold, emotionless, machinelike people would be the most fulfilled.
You can accomplish everything you’ve ever dreamed of and still feel empty and unhappy. We see this over and over when celebrities, who have everything they could possibly want, are addicted to drugs or when they commit suicide.
Not understanding your effective strategies can be dangerous to yourself and they can be dangerous to the world. Nazi Germany is a good example.
The Nazis had very effective strategies. They were results driven to the point that they became inhuman and robotic and created unthinkable suffering and destruction.
As a NLP teacher I don’t want to turn people into robots. I want to help people become more human and live fulfilling lives. Effective strategies are part of that equation, but there’s much more to it.
When creating a strategy if you don’t understand your intention behind it you may achieve the goal but be unfulfilled.
The result or object of your desire is not actually what you want. When you want something, you’re wanting to fulfill a value you believe having that object or result will give you.
Also, if you don’t explore the ecology of getting what you want you may sabotage yourself, hurt others, or create the opposite of what you want. This is the “careful what you wish for” problem.
You can have effective strategies and you can be very effective when executing them, but without considering context the results may be inappropriate. Always put strategies in the context of your intent (which is your values) and only execute a strategy when you understand how it will affect your own ecology and the ecology around you.
In this video I mention a bodybuilder who had enormous muscles but died young because of the chemicals he had to ingest to achieve his physique. His desire was probably attention. Usually if you go deeper into what is important to people about attention you find that ultimately they want to experience love.
You don’t have to sacrifice your health in order to experience love. There are many better strategies than taking steroids.
The bodybuilder had a very effective strategy for making his muscles bigger but it ultimately didn’t serve him well long term. Not only did it negatively effect the ecology of his body, he can no longer give love to others nor can he receive love, which was likely the ultimate value he was trying to fulfill.
Effective strategies are powerful. When they’re put in the context of your values and ecology they can help you create lasting happiness and fulfillment. When your values and ecology are not considered though, strategies can effectively create your worst problems.