The way a student thinks determines their results.
If a student thinks the right thoughts then they’ll learn the right information. When they learn the right information, they’ll pass the tests.
The way a student thinks decides if they can:
- Overcome procrastination
- Stay motivated while studying
- Listen in class
- Feel good doing it.
NLP’s Crazy Background
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP for short) can change the way you think. A quick read of Wikipedia will suggest I’m crazy for saying that. In the 80’s, there were tons of studies debunking a wide variety of claims made by NLP’ers. Since then it’s been labelled a pseudoscience. I agree that it mostly is.
NLP is a very open field with plenty of over the top crazies spouting over the top crazy kinds of things. No one has ever disproved the fundamental models originally created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler.
Here is why that isn’t relevant:
John Grinder, one of the creators of neuro-linguistic programming worked with Milton Erickson. Milton Erickson was a the leaders in the field of hypnosis. He helped hypnosis leave the realm of pseudoscience and gain mainstream acceptance. It certainly was used before him. It just probably wouldn’t have been used as much after him if he hadn’t shown up.
Hypnosis is a field that’s known for stage performers getting people on stage to act ridiculous. It’s also used for changing the way a person thinks. Neuro-linguistic programming is an outgrowth of this. It’s mostly marketing BS but that means something for the same reason the audience member invited on stage doesn’t care that their shoe isn’t a phone.
It’s about influencing the way you think.
The way you think can change everything about your life (from your perspective.) It is everything.
You Can Change Anything
That’s just a fancy way of saying, feeling in control of your own life.
If you’re in control of your own life then you’re probably happy. You can have all the money in the world. You can have all the friends you could ever imagine. You can have anything in the world but if you don’t feel in control of your own life, you’re probably not happy.
Autonomy is just a feeling though. A prisoner could feel more autonomous than a free person that needs to work a 9 to 5 job. Circumstances don’t determine a feeling. A person’s perspective on those thought patterns determines a feeling.
If that prisoner looks at daily imprisonment as the opportunity to correct himself then he could feel amazing. If that 9 to 5 employee feels desperate to hold on to the job because bills are piling up then he’ll feel miserable.
Science has spent decades trying to understand how to understand these differences. How can massively successful people still be unhappy while complete failures can feel amazing?
Hypnosis has a model.
Behavioralism has a model.
Neuro-linguistic programming is another model that invites you to take control of just about everything in your life.
Is it real control? Some of it.
Self-Hypnosis Gives You Unlimited Control (Of What Matters)
If you let yourself really believe that your shoe is a phone then you’ll answer it (when it rings.)
If you let yourself really believe that you can influence other people then you’ll try to do it. If you don’t believe that you can influence people then you’ll probably never even try.
If you think you can study in less time then you’ll try to do it. You might succeed. If you think it’s impossible then you’re guaranteed to never do it.
Neuro-linguistic programming invites you to be autonomous. When you feel in control, you act like someone in control. Have you ever heard the question:
“What would you do if you could do anything you wanted?”
This question is supposed to get you to dream big.
Neuro-linguistic programming can be a form of self-hypnosis. It can get you thinking you can do it. That may be wrong but the only way you’ll ever know is if you try. When you work hard towards a goal that you think you can achieve, you’re getting closer. You’ll certainly end up closer than if you never even tried.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming Yourself Into The Perfect Learner
you’re a regular reader to this blog then you might have already caught onto this:
The 15 Minute Study Strategy is influenced by NLP. It’s a combination of the latest scientific studies in learning, personal experience, and a nice hint of NLP. It’s using NLP to influence the way you act in a way that science suggests will be successful.
Here is the biggest things you should be aware of:
You Can’t Hate Studying!
Sure… studying can be unpleasant. It can be a bit boring. It can be something you prefer not to do. It cannot be something you absolutely hate if you want to be good at it.
In high school, I struggled studying. That’s because it made me think of school. I hated school. (Talk about the total killer of autonomy.) That ruined every attempt at studying. Most of the time, I would procrastinate. Some of the time I would open the books and get distracted. Only once in a very long while would I learn something.
The 15 Minute Study Strategy changes these negative emotions on multiple fronts.
First, it reduces the amount you study. That means you spend less of your day miserable.
Next, it focuses you on results instead of time (or pleasing your teachers.) As long as you get the results you want, you’re okay. You’ll never have “enough” time to study. You’ll never please people that want the absolute best for you because they’ll always want more.
It also gives you a memorization-centric strategy. Active recall is one of the best studied learning strategies today. It’s results oriented. That means you’ll see your own progress at the end of the session.
There is a ton more to it but the fundamental goal of all these pieces is to change the way you think about studying. Studying doesn’t have to suck!
How Can You Hate Studying Less:
- Study less time
- Set achievable goals
- Enjoy the subject
- Get immediate rewards
- Focus on the long term rewards
But Really… You Can’t Hate School!
I used to fit into this category.
When you hate school, you’re going to struggle with motivation. It’s hard to motivate yourself to do things you hate.
As a student, you probably don’t feel much autonomy when it comes to this aspect of your life. I’ve said this before but it’s important you realize it. Your parents say you have to go. Your teachers don’t let you leave. You have to raise your hand to use the restroom in high school. That’s the ultimate killer of any feeling of autonomy. The whole environment seems shaped to destroy a certain brand of student’s joy in life.
Of course, it doesn’t do that to every student.
Some students thrive despite that environment. (My experience suggests introverts are more likely to struggle in the school environment. Extroverts at least get the pleasure of hanging out with a bunch of people. Introverts just get worn down by it.)
The following statement is controversial. I understand why but it was fundamental to my own transformation:
You should consider dropping out.
Most students reading this blog have this choice. (If you’re below a certain age then you might not be able to yet. You could still consider stopping showing up. They’re not going to chain you to your desk.)
I know… the world keeps telling you that you don’t have a choice. Drop outs are ridiculed. Your parents will think you’re crazy. Your friends will probably get weird around you. Things will change dramatically.
Think about the things that will change if you drop out.
No… don’t just quickly think about it. Spend some time thinking about it. Spend a few weeks thinking about it if you have to. Then make an informed decision.
Naturally, I think you should stay in school but only you know the facts of your own situation. It’s not my decision. It’s your decision.
After you do this you might notice your newfound autonomy. You don’t “have” to go to school. You’re choosing to go to school. If you don’t believe that yet then start thinking about it again.
Here are some other things you should consider to change the way you think about school:
- Focus on the things you like
- Find ways to spend more time with friends
- Don’t take it too seriously (B’s are cool too.)
- Catch up (As long as you feel behind, you’re going to struggle to enjoy it.)
- Take control of school (this may mean skipping or upsetting others.)
Neuro-linguistic programming is a deep subject that can give you control over the way you think. It’s not a magic formula (and it’s not exactly what their sales pitches will tell you) but it can work.
This article is just an introduction. There are practical steps that you can take to change the way you think about school and learning. They can increase your motivation. They can also make the process a lot more fun.
Smart Student Secrets is going to be introducing a new series in the members only area of this blog. Access to that section is currently free (but we’re debating changing that soon.)