David Laroche : Hello. Cheers. Today I am glad because I am with an amazing guy. You will love this interview, so follow this interview. You can see his book in French, “Etre Coach” so “From Coach to Awakener.” He is Robert Dilts. He's with me to answer my questions. Hello, Robert.
Robert Dilts : Hello, David.
David Laroche : How are you today?
Robert Dilts : I'm great.
David Laroche : You are in Paris?
Robert Dilts : Yes.
David Laroche : Yes. You're my first English interview in Paris.
Robert Dilts : In Paris?
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Wow. Okay. Well, it's always good to be the first.
David Laroche : Yes. You are the writer, author, and one of the founder of the NLP. According to you, what is NLP and how we can use it?
Robert Dilts : Well, NLP is basically a set of…it's a model and a set of skills that we can use to achieve success in may different areas. The basic idea of NLP, the N of NLP is about the nervous system it says that the basic ideas. Our nervous is a filter on the world and that depending upon how we use that filter, either we're able to perceive a lot of possibilities, a lot of choices, or in other states we don't see very much at all. A lot of my work is about how we can bring ourselves, our body, our nervous system into what I would call a generative state. The ability to be creative, to be innovative, to create the life that we want together with others. NLP is about finding how people who are successful achieve their successes using language. That's the L in NLP. So neuro-linguistic programming. Programming means how do we put our nervous system and our language into the…let's say the sequences, the states, to be able to achieve what we want to in our lives.
David Laroche : Yeah. They love because they meet a lot of other people and what is the best strategies to model someone quickly.
Robert Dilts : Well, there are two ways of modelling, the two basic ways of modeling, one is a more conscious approach where you're asking questions that we sometimes refer to it as analytical modeling meaning…
David Laroche : What kind of questions?
Robert Dilts : We say the basic questions formed a feedback loop. You have goals. What are your goals. Two, what is your feedback if you're reaching those goals.Three, what do you do in order to get to them. And four, what happens when you run into problems. These are the basic questions. And then you would look at how people use their…we would say in NLP the sensory representational systems that is their eyes, but also their ability to visualize. Ears, their inner voice, body and feelings. What are the things that people do to achieve or say how you represent the goal. Do you visualize it? Do you use words? We find, for example, the people who are most successful at something don't just have word. They don't just say, “Oh, I want to succeed.” You have a picture and you have not only a literal picture like an image of yourself, but often people have a more symbolic image. And then most importantly, it's not just something that is in the head. People will have a what we call a somatic model, a somatic representation of what they want so that you feel it and it's like this goal is alive inside of you. I find this all of the successful entrepreneurs that I have talked to and that I've met that the goal is not something out there. “Oh, maybe someday I'll get it.” It's inside . You just leave it. It's in the body. You dream it. You live it. You sleep it. It activates what we would call the creative unconscious because part of the problem is that our conscious cognitive mind is pretty limited. For example, in my study of the strategies of genius life…
David Laroche : Yes. It is one of my question.
Robert Dilts : Mozart, Da Vinci, Einstein, etc,. You look at these famous geniuses and they all will say, “It's not my cognitive mind. It's not analytical. Just either mathematic or cognitive understanding.” There's a whole world of this creative unconscious. So speaking of that, the second way of modeling quickly is what we would say in NLP…I put myself in the shoes of the other person. We say second position. First position is my own point of view. Second position is taking on somebody else. Third position is looking at it more distantly like an observer. If you make this combination, the fastest way to model is the combination of the more analytical, but then the more unconscious way of absorbing what we can feel from somebody. It's not just magic they've discovered in the last 50 years what they call mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are parts of the brain that if we're looking at each other, they call it mirror neurons because literally the part of our brain is mirroring what we see the other person doing. It's why, for example, if you see children, they can watch somebody do something and immediately do it because these mirror neurons are activated. They say 15 to 30% of some parts of our brain are mirror neurons which means that we can absorb without thinking about it. They're not a conscious part of our nervous system, but we can absorb what people do. Again, I think if we use
this combination of the second position and then asking a few very…
David Laroche : Key questions.
Robert Dilts : Specific key questions. Then you can model quickly. The other thing that in my work and it's what this “Etre Coach” is about is we also would say that there are different levels of programming. So one level is about our relation with the environment. Right? We have our eyes, our ears.
David Laroche : You answer all my questions. Perfect.
Robert Dilts : There is this part. But in order to do something, to change that environment or to respond to the environment, I do it with my body, with my behavior. So we have environment and then behavior. But how does my body know what to do? It's because I have my brain and other parts of the nervous system which develops certain capabilities. To learn a language is not just saying the word, it's also understanding a kind of a mental map or a cognitive map of something. This would be the third level. We would say the environment level is about where and when. Concrete. Behavior is about what do I do physically. The capability level is how do I know. I need to use judgment. I need to understand. That's more in let's say our not only our cognitive strategy, but also in a certain level of emotional intelligence. But above that, fourth level, is what we would call beliefs and values. Belief is something different than just an understanding because you can understand something and not believe it. Believing it is something that goes more deep into the nervous system. We say it's about why, not how or what or where or when, but why do I do something? So belief has to do with our motivations and also our sense of permission. And what I would say is that most of the successful people in the world don't just have better capabilities. There's a lot of smart people. There's a lot of people who are good at learning something they know a lot, but they're not successful because they don't believe in themselves. They don't believe in what they're doing. And so belief is probably one of the key success factors in people who do something well. And above that, above the why, there's the who. How do I see myself and who do I see myself as in the world? And I usually say, “This has to do with two things. My role in the world or who am I-“
David Laroche : Your mission.
Robert Dilts : And then my mission.” Because my role is well, who am I in terms of like okay, I'm a trainer, or I'm a father.
David Laroche : Can you work?
Robert Dilts : But my mission is what I am uniquely bringing into me. So for example, I mean you are who you are because you are pursuing a mission that is very unique. I don't think anybody else can do it exactly what you do because you're using all of your beliefs, your capabilities, your behaviors, to bring something into the environment and bring it to other people. This also then has to do with the final level of even above identity because in NLP we would say that people are what Arthur Koestler and Ken Wilber call a Holon. A Holon means “I am whole person. I am made of other wholes. I have a whole eyes and a whole heart. I'm made up of other wholes. But I am also part of a bigger whole. I am part of a family and I'm part of a profession. I'm part of a community. I'm part of the planet, the world.” What you find is the most successful people and certainly the geniuses have an ongoing sense of they… yes, I am me, but I am part of something bigger, greater. And I serve something greater through me. That's what we would say is the vision and purpose.
David Laroche : You found that a lot of successful people have this vision.
Robert Dilts : Yes. Exactly.
David Laroche : Do you think everyone can find this kind of vision?
Robert Dilts : I do think everybody can. I think it's challenging. This is the interesting thing now about programming. People think, “Oh, neuro-linguistic programming it means that you are your programming.” And I would say, “No. We are more than a programming. But I am not my programming.”
David Laroche : My behavior.
Robert Dilts : When we come into this world, we have an identity. This is this idea of that level of identity that is not yet shaped by programs. It's an incredible let's say quantum of potential and that potential becomes expressed in the world through programs, but we are more than that programming. And I think when we talk about this idea that everybody have the possibility to have a vision, if you look at any baby, any young being, they are not limited by programming yet. You spend a day with a two year old and they are full of energy. The world is full of possibilities. They are learning, learning, learning. Now what happens is you start to get programmed by your parents, by your school, by your society, by your environment. I read a very interesting study. Just to think an interesting example of this by the people that observe…they have a whole way of looking at behavior where they have a hope calculus, a mathematics of behavior. So for example, I say if you watch a baby that's a few months old for one hour, that baby in one hour will make a thousand different movements with his body. If you take the same child when they're 10 years old and you watch them for an hour, you won't see a thousand movements anymore. You'll see a few hundred movements. If you take the same person and they're 30 years old and you watch them for an hour, you're going to be lucky to see a hundred movements. So what's happening? Well, on the one hand you can say, “Well, we become
more efficient. We don't use as many different behaviors.” But I think the other unfortunate part of it is that we also become more…
David Laroche : Rigid.
Robert Dilts : Rigid, limited. And I think what happens in our behavior also happens with our creativity, with our vision. When you're a child, everything is possible. Then you begin to get programmed and some intentionally, teachers tell you sit still. Listen. You should be seen and not heard. Don't express yourself. But also just of our life we are wounded emotionally in various ways. It's impossible to avoid it. And in fact, every successful person has also been wounded. But one of the interesting things I find and I don't mean just physically, but a little emotionally, psychologically, but they're able to transform those wounds into the basis of a kind of mission as well. So that woundedness becomes actually a motivation to make a positive difference in their lives and other people's lives. This has to do with again, our ability to stay connected with vision, with what I'm calling this a generative state. One of the things we would say is that what is NLP? I always like to say, “You know if you go to Rome in the Sistine Chapel, and you see there's this painting by Michelangelo on the ceiling where God is reaching down and Adam is reaching up and their fingers are about to touch. I say NLP is that little spark in between the two fingers, so that to me, what this image of God represents is what we would call the world of quantum imagination.”There's many, many possibilities. And our world is created because certain people are able to reach into that world of possibilities and bring in iPads, iPhones, digital video. They're always possible. They were possible since the earth began, but they're not created until we can open our filters, our imagination. Begin to envision them and then find a way to bring it across this bridge into the everyday reality. Mechanical, classical reality. You have this quantum world of possibility and a classical reality. Geniuses and successful people are the ones that can cross this bridge and access to it, but then find a way to bring it and manifest it here.
David Laroche : Not only idea but also the ability to create.
Robert Dilts : This is why I was saying. This is one of the places where belief becomes so important. There's a saying that people say…
David Laroche : It's amazing for me because I was just thinking and you answer my questions without asking you my questions.
Robert Dilts : We have a good resonance. I was going to say that in my modeling work for example, to me, Walt Disney represents a really great example of this where he was this…he had his three basic ways of using his filters. The dreamer, opening to what I'm calling this quantum imagination. The world of possibilities, but then the realist, so I've got to make it. If it stays just an idea, so I've got to believe in it. I always like to say people are often going, “Well, when I see it, I'll believe it.” And I say, “By then it's too late. I mean you don't need to believe it anymore.” You need to believe in something before it's real. I work with people who
have a lot of health problems. My mother for example, had a stage 4 breast cancer and was told that she didn't have more than a few months to live and she ended up living another 20 years. Almost 20 years, 18 years. So I always like to say, “When do you must need to believe that you can be well?” Not when you're well. It's when you're the most sick. It's actually when reality is the opposite. That's what you have to believe it's possible to create something else.
David Laroche : How we can create this belief? When I do interviews of successful people, it's amazing what are their belief systems. And I can write those beliefs and just say to my audience, “Okay. Believe that.” They say, “Okay.” They believe in themselves. They believe they can do it, but how can I believe it too?
Robert Dilts : Yes. That's a great question because… I mean this is exactly what we mean by neuro-linguistic programming. A belief is a classic example of a neuro-linguistic programming. There's a linguistic part. What you can write down. What you can tell people. But that's not the belief yet. That's the linguistic part of the belief. Now you got to get it into the nervous system. Actually in the “Etre Coach” book, there's some work on beliefs. I mean one of the very basic starting points is you've got to get it not just here, I've got to get it here, here, here. One of the things we have to realize is that our brain is a big part of our programming, but it's not all of our programming. They realize now there's a brain in the belly. They call it the enteric nervous system. There's 140 million nerve cells there. There's 3 trillion connections. They said that's as many connections as in a cat brain, so you have a cat brain here at least. And also in the heart. In the heart it's not just a pump that is run by the brain. It actually also has its own system. And I have a colleague, for example, who was head of surgery at Harvard University Medical School where they did heart transplants. He was telling me about a patient, a very common experience where his patient got a heart transplant and after he recovered he started acting strangely. Like he started craving foods that he never liked before. He become obsessed with a certain kind of music. And he would find himself going places and he didn't understand why he was there. He thought he was going crazy until they got permission to look into the life history of the donor where the heart came from. And they found these foods were the favorite foods of the donor. The donor was a musician and this was the music that he played and that all of these places that this guy would find him…the patient would find himself going to was somewhere or something significant had happened in the life of the donor. Somehow this knowledge was transferred in the cellular memory or in the memory of the heart. So it's not just here that we have intelligence. It's here. It's here. And to believe something, yes, you've got to have it here, but it's got to be here and here. There's actually an assessment that we do where you say something and you really sense for the resonance.
David Laroche : Let's take an example. For example, I want to…can I say reinforce?
Robert Dilts : Yes.
David Laroche : I want to reinforce the belief that I can be successful in English.
Robert Dilts : Yes. Good. That's great.
David Laroche : Because I am speaking in English now and I want to do speaking, engaging in English. And sometimes I would not have the best English. How can I do…
Robert Dilts : Okay.
David Laroche : Being a little bit the best belief I can.
Robert Dilts : First of all, usually to do something like this, you build a belief system. It's not just a single belief. There's five basic beliefs. First is I want it. It's important. I mean for example, you have to believe it's important to learn English because there's a lot of other things going on in your life. And you could go, “Yeah. I want to, but you know, it's number 25 on my list.”
David Laroche : I can say you I want it.
Robert Dilts : The second is that it's possible. I believe it's possible to learn English. The third is that it's appropriate, meaning it fits for me. Because this is very interesting. Some people will go, “Yeah. Well, it doesn't fit in my life.” Sometimes we say it's about fitting, about it being ecological. So Does it for you?
David Laroche : I think so.
Robert Dilts : But I think so is not so much…that's an interesting one. Okay. We'll come back to that in just a moment. The fourth one is I'm capable. I have the ability and I have the support.
David Laroche : I think it's maybe here that I am struggling because I'm learning English, but it's slow. It is slow so sometimes…
Robert Dilts : We'll come back to that one. You go, “Yes. For sure. I want it. For sure it's possible. Maybe the fit, I think so. I'm struggling a little bit when I'm capable.” The final one is I deserve it. I merit it. I'm worth it. Good. Good. I like that. But also then and I'm responsible to do it. It's up to me. It's you to you. Okay. Those are the five. And you can already tell even just by going over them some are more strong than others. Now the other thing we would do for these ones that are not so strong, like you said, “All right. I'm capable. Let's look at this one.” And capable means I have the ability, but also the support. I got the support that I need and I have the ability. Now what you're going to do is first of all, when you think about it, this comes back to this notion of having your outcome, your desired state. Because it's abstract to say, “Learn English.” So one of the very first things you would want to do is to have, since you already say, “I want it and it's possible,” to have first a mental image of yourself-
David Laroche : I have one.
Robert Dilts : To see it.
David Laroche : I can see.
Robert Dilts : Remember I wasish, how would you show it with your body? Would be like that? Would it be like this?
David Laroche : I can see myself moving in the stage. On the stage.
Robert Dilts : If you were speaking on the stage in English, what would you look like? You don't even have to say the words, but what would you be…
David Laroche : I think it's kind of flow.
Robert Dilts : Flow like this.
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Okay. So like this. Okay. Now you're going to take that image. You're going to take that feeling. Take the, of course, the statement of the goal I can learn English. And now as you see that, you're suddenly going to say, “I am capable. I am able to learn English.”
David Laroche : I am able to learn English.
Robert Dilts : Now check in here in your head and say it again. “I'm able to learn English.” You can say it out loud.
David Laroche : Okay. I am able to learn English.
Robert Dilts : Now in your head right now, how much… I mean you know that you belief other things. Think of a few other things that you believe. On a scale of zero to 10 in your head, would you say it's 10? Is it five? Is it six? Is it two?
David Laroche : Seven.
Robert Dilts : Seven?
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Now here in your heart, you can say it again.
David Laroche : I'm able to learn English.
Robert Dilts : I mean you know yourself that when you believe in something, your heart is a big part of it. Why does this resonates in your heart? Zero to ten. It's about seven? Is it more?
David Laroche : Eight.
Robert Dilts : It's eight?
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Third is going to be here. People talk about it. I have a gut feeling. So again, I'm able to learn English.
David Laroche : I am able to learn English. It maybe less here. Six maybe.
Robert Dilts : It's interesting because I know that as you're saying it…it's one of the interesting things about being a coach on the outside. Your voice was very different.
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : It was more flat. I'm able to learn English. There's two ways that you can increase your belief and NLP offers two of them. One is by changing around the way that you are experiencing it to yourself. We call these things the representational systems. Pictures. The words. The feeling. There's also the quality of those that we call submodalities. For example, you see that the picture in your mind that you see of yourself. How close is it? How big is it? Is it color? Is it moving?
David Laroche : Color moving maybe size like that. The distance is one meter. I can see myself…
Robert Dilts : For a moment if you brought it closer, bring it to a half a meter.
David Laroche : Okay.
Robert Dilts : Say, “I'm capable.”
David Laroche : I am capable.
Robert Dilts : To do that. To learn.
David Laroche : Yes. I can do.
Robert Dilts : What happens? Here. Here. Here.
David Laroche : I felt immediately difference here. It's the first one. Then maybe more here. And I can feel now…
Robert Dilts : Now something more here?
David Laroche : Yes. Difference here.
Robert Dilts : Notice. This is the magic of neuro-linguistic programming. We all have this capability. Nobody teaches us that at school. Nobody even teaches us that in transformational seminars that hey…it's the way that your nervous system…this is what I'm calling about the filters. This was this quantum possibility. A possibility for you to be able to speak English very, very well. Right now it's out there in that world of quantum possibility. To bring it here, you adjust these filters. Believe me. A lot of learning anything, but especially learning language is not a conscious cognitive study. It's like a child. A child doesn't learn a language by looking in books. You absorb it. But my point is by adjusting the way that you're thinking about it, it already makes a difference. We can also look at a couple of other things. You could go directly to the feeling here. When, for example, down here in your stomach when you were saying, “Maybe it's less than seven,” how do you know it's less than seven? Do you feel something there? Do you feel a tightness? Is there a temperature? I mean really when you're thinking, “I'm not so sure,” what does that feel like?
David Laroche : It's maybe a kind of pressure.
Robert Dilts : A pressure?
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Now if you are able to adjust for a moment, take a breath and lighten that pressure, and then say, “I'm capable to learn English.”
David Laroche : I am capable to learn English. It's making a difference.
Robert Dilts : It's making a difference.
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : That ‘s the notion. What you're experiencing right now is the reality of neuro-linguistic programming. What's going to be interesting is, and this is the idea of belief, remember we said belief isn't the same as the capability, but it opens that door and because if I'm sitting there going, “Okay. I'm going to try to learn English…”
David Laroche : Okay. You start to feel it.
Robert Dilts : Now you start to feel it. Now here's another strategy. I can adjust my own inner experience, but we can also use role models and mentors. Remember we talked about modeling. Here would be just a very simple example on this.
David Laroche : You have to do it after.
Robert Dilts : Yes. If you think about your heart, your head, your heart, your belly, who is somebody that you really…well, first of all, if you were going to go from say seven or eight to nine or a ten, what resource would you need to have in the head, or the heart, or the belly? What would have to be there for you to go, “10?” Would it be confidence? Would it be enthusiasm? By resource I mean something inner. Would it be if I had more confidence?
David Laroche : It's a power of self-confidence, but maybe I represents that with power.
Robert Dilts : A personal power.
David Laroche : Yes. Personal power.
Robert Dilts : Now who would be your role model or your mentor for that personal
power and that confidence? Who do you know? I mean you've interviewed hundreds of people, so I'm sure that you probably met somebody that has exactly that confidence and personal power that you
would need to be able to learn English. Who are them?
David Laroche : It's not someone I interviewed, but I have another people during my interviews.
Robert Dilts : It doesn't have to be someone you…
David Laroche : I have two people. A French one who is Usama Ama is a French, but I love the way he speaks English. The other one, you know him, it's Tony Robins.
Robert Dilts : Tony Robins.
David Laroche : The way he speaks and the confidence he has. Both personal power.
Robert Dilts : Okay. We're going to take both of these guys?
David Laroche : Yes. What's the name of the first guy?
David Laroche : Usama.
Robert Dilts : Usama.
David Laroche : Ama.
Robert Dilts : Ama. Usama Ama. So right now if you were going to have Usama Ama around you to support you, remember I said it's about capability and support, where would you experience his presence? I mean would it be to your right, to your left, behind you, in front of you?
David Laroche : Here.
Robert Dilts : Right there. And where would Tony be?
David Laroche : Maybe here.
Robert Dilts : There. Now for just a moment, remember we were talking about this idea of quickly modeling, if you just put yourself into Usama Ama for just a moment, looking at yourself like to his eyes, what would be his message to you? Now you're him. What is your message to David? Usama Ama. David's going, “I want to learn English,” but what is your…and your his role model and his mentor. What will be your message which might be in words that might just be…
David Laroche : I have a message. Practice.
Robert Dilts : Practice?
David Laroche : Yes. Practice.
Robert Dilts : Practice.
David Laroche : And also just go to U.S.A. and speak.
Robert Dilts : Just go and speak. Practice. Go and speak. Now come back to yourself and you're gong to take that message in your head, in your heart, in your belly. Practice. Just go and do it. You feel his presence and feel that message in your head, in your heart, in your belly, and now say again, “I am capable to learn English.”
David Laroche : I am capable to learn English.
Robert Dilts : You'll Notice. I even see when you say that, it's your breath afterwards that… I mean as an NLP person who is a coach, I can see your nervous system processing that really differently right now than when you started. Now we're going to really add more here. And so let's take Tony. For just a moment, you again, leave yourself. Put yourself in Tony's eyes and you're looking at yourself like he's in front of you, but now you're him looking at you. So you're Tony taken on his belief, his experience in him, and what is your message as Tony to David? We call this speed modeling. So you're Tony now and you're, “I have this message for David.” What would you say to David?
David Laroche : Yes. I have two message. Take risks. So I maybe…I mean for me to do speeches in English. Not only to go in to U.S.A., but directly speak English and the other things to be able to …an English environments. Yes. To have more English entrepreneurs.
Robert Dilts : Great. Now before you leave Tony, the other thing I want you to do is as you are in Tony and you experience him, what do you experience most about the difference between being in his body and his nervous system with that sense of power and confidence than yours when you're trying to learn English? I mean I'm sure you have confidence a lot of others, but do you notice and where do you experience it as Tony? This is where we're talking about modeling somebody really quickly.
David Laroche : The main difference we're talking about is more about my mental. It's the feeling that nothing is impossible.
Robert Dilts : Great. Just for a moment, what is that? Because you said it's a feeling. Go a little bit more deeply into that feeling. If you're Tony, where and how do you have this feeling? As you said it's in the head. It's more mental. But how do you experience it?
David Laroche : Thinking of the flow in all the… it's part of my body. Yes. It doesn't move.
Robert Dilts : Just like a quality of movement.
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Great. Another big part of NLP is anchoring. First of all, put yourself in Tony. Find your anchor. And then anchor would be either a movement or an image. Something that allows you to go and get access to this right now. Right away. As soon as I do it. I see you breathing, but if you were going to make a movement or a gesture or a touch of yourself somewhere, what would you to do to anchor this feeling of everything is possible?
David Laroche : Yes. I have one anchor. We still need it because I met him in Chicago.
Robert Dilts : He's a great guy. He's a great, great guy. So now come back to yourself. Now you're going to go, “All right.” You take his message. Take risks. His message was build an English environment, but you're also taking that feeling and you're going to go, “I can learn English.”
David Laroche : Okay.
Robert Dilts : Ready? I'm capable. I am capable.
David Laroche : I am capable.
Robert Dilts : Now check your head, your heart, your belly.
David Laroche : It's different.Thank you. I will invite you to my next speech.
Robert Dilts : It's a deal.
David Laroche : Thank you very much. Huge example.
Robert Dilts : I mean I think the best way rather than to just talk about something or explain it is let's do it. We're going to find out. We're going to find out how well this works. I mean so it's not just a theory. This idea reaching into this world of possibilities and bring it into this reality. I mean that's how you do it. I mean there are strategies. There's learning strategies for learning languages, but my experience has been that with beliefs, our capabilities are not only our conscious understanding. I was talking about my mother. This is exactly the first thing I was doing with my mother because my mother was told by the doctors,”You're going to die.” I was saying,”What's your goal? What do you want?” She said, “Well, I don't have a future.” I said, “Wait. If you did, what would it be like?” And it was very interesting by the way. I think this is an interesting lesson for us. Because my mother first got this breast cancer, she got it twice.The first time all she wanted to do was get rid of it. It scared her. It was something that she thought was an obstacle. She just wanted her old lifeback. She wanted her old life back as quickly as possible. So she just had it removed. She went right back to her old life and didn't change a thing. So it was a surprise to her, but maybe not so much of a surprise when less than two years later, it came back because maybe the things she was doing in her old life were part of what created it. So now actually this is the interesting thing. The second time this crisis was the worst thing that ever happened to her in her life. She felt like her life was over. Then for sure her old life was over. What's interesting then when I started saying, “Okay. Maybe it's over, but what would you want if there was a future that was worth living for. What would it be?” You know what the interesting thing was? The thing she began to see were nothing like her old life. I want to be a singer. She wanted to be an actress.
David Laroche : She started to have authorization.
Robert Dilts : And open into because what happens we get limited by our programming. We get stuck in security and safety. She wanted many things like she would have been a nurse. In her new life she wouldn't be a nurse, she would be an actress. By the way, it was very interesting because I remembered being surprised once I turned on television and there is my mother on television or walked in to our local bank and there's a poster and it's my mother's face. She became an actress. My point is first she had to have that idea of it. And then we have to say, “Do you want it?” Then is it possible? Then does that fit with who you are? Then are your capable to do it? Then do you deserve it? And one of the most difficult ones for her was do I deserve it. This is the interesting thing
about programming. Because it's not that somebody told her, “You don't deserve it,” what happened…
David Laroche : Was it hard for you to do that with your mother?
Robert Dilts : No. But I do want to say something because I think it's important to say. Because sometimes people here at the store they go, “I should do that with my mother.” I think your motivation has to be clear. In psychotherapy the say, “Oh, you're not supposed to work with your family because you have to have a certain distance.” But what I find is that it's not so much the necessity of distance, it's what is your motive. If I'm doing it for myself, then it's not helping somebody else. What often happens with people when they're doing any kind of coaching is it becomes about me. I want to succeed. I want to do well. I'm going to make sure this happens. It starts becoming not so much about me helping you, as me proving myself. The very first thing I had to do
with my mother before I said anything to her was I had to go, “What is my motivation? If I'm truly here because I think there's something I could
offer her as help, then why not?” If I start going, “Oh, I'm too scared and
I feel responsible for you,” now, I'm not really being a coach anymore. It's more about me. When I talk to people about working with people that you're close to, you have to be able to be in that place of service and for me, that was something that was clear. I can be of service. Then I could help her. What I was going to say that was very interesting is when we got to this place of do you deserve it, it wasn't going in here and here. In her mind she's thinking, “Of course I deserve it.” So we just said, “Let's look here.” Actually what's interesting is that what came out was that my mother's mother and her older sister had both died of breast cancer. And nobody ever said anything. There was nothing verbally spoken, but the feeling was who am I to be any better than them? These were my role models. They didn't live. I don't deserve it. There would be almost like disloyal to them. It would be like breaking something. And this another very interesting part of NLP. Rather than trying to argue that or say, “Oh, that's wrong. You shouldn't think that,” all I said was I think disloyalty is… I hear that loyalty is a very important value. It's loyalty and connection. I said, “But what I notice is you're only looking to the past. If you look just far to the future and you saw your daughter, my sister, and your daughter's daughter are looking at you, like you're looking at your mother, what would you want them to be loyal to?” Of course, in a fraction of a second, it was clear. “Well, no. I wouldn't want them to think they have to die to be loyal to me.” This is a great thing about NLP. In one second, this big problem is gone. Not because you did anything magical, but because suddenly now I have a bigger picture. If I'm only
limiting to this and I'm looking to the past and what the reality has been, as opposed to what it can be. Anyway, in that moment, she was clear. Well, what I would want is to be the best of myself and deal with any crisis not with depression and negativity, but will all of my resources.
And that's what began this journey of a remarkable recovery and 18 more years. She used to say, “I got lucky. I got two lives. Most people only get one. My second life was so much better than my first.”
And then she would say, “Getting the cancer the second time was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
David Laroche : I was thinking to ask you is it an opportunity for her.
Robert Dilts : But this is what I find is very interesting about NLP. Right? The worst thing that ever happened to her becomes the best thing that ever happened to her. What's the difference that makes a difference? It's not the thing. It's not what happened. It's you and how you engage it. And as you engage it, with your generativity and your resources, your full belief, you can do it. I know English will be a piece of cake.
David Laroche : Easy. You told just before about genius and Einstein told a lot about the power of imagination. Do you think how we can deal up or maybe unleash our imagination?
Robert Dilts : Well, first of all, this is one of the things actually I'm doing even here in Paris. We just started last week a course called generative coaching. And generative coaching is precisely about this. The idea of generative. Because genius is the same word as generative. It begins with your state. NLP says, “Everything beings with your state.” There's a difference between what we call a coach state and a crash state. A coach is the letters that means I'm centered in my body. You have to do it. You ground your feet. You find what's called the vertical axis. Vertical axis means that you're not like this or this. It doesn't mean it's not rigid. What you find is that the spine, all of the nerves that come everywhere in the body come through the vertebrae. If I do this with my spine, I'm actually distorting and shutting things. Your vertical axis doesn't mean your straight upper body because also your spine is meant to be like a…if it was perfectly straight, you would damage yourself just walking because they would be hitting each other. It's more like a strength. The idea is you want the channel open. That is just centered and then the centering in all performance arts whether it's martial arts, singing, dancing, presenting, you center. You don't center here. You center there. In fact, the more challenging something is, you got to center lower. If you're going to break a board, you're not going to break it from being centered there. You're going to be there and all of your power comes from there. The centering is I'm in my vertical axis and this literally the physical center of the body. It's in between the feet and the head. The hata they say in Japan or tan chen in China. And it's not just a physical center, it's an energetic center. You center there. Then you open. Then you're going to open the heart center or open the chest. Like if people do this. If you close it, this is not confident. So you open it. You don't puff it, but it's open. But also the heart center is open. Centered. I even have people neuro-linguistically down in the belly. You can bring the words to the belly. I'm centered while I'm pressing. In to the heart, I'm open. Then the A of coach, C-O-A is alert, aware, awaken, conscious. This is in the head center. My eyes, all the distance censors are here. Eyes, ears, nose, mouth so you awaken the head and then that awakening extends to the whole body. So you're aware of the whole body. That's the A. Centered. Open. Aware. The second C. So C-O-A-C is connected. I'm connected to myself and I'm connected to…so I'm a whole in a holon. I'm connected to the earth. Up the vertical access to the crown at the head. I'm connected to the sky, stars. It's what geniuses do. I feel a sense of connection to a larger self. Centered. Open. Alert.
Connected. So is Mozart. People like Mozart. You got to understand. People like Mozart didn't say, “I sat there and I figured out the music.” He said, “Basically the music came to me. I didn't make it.” Every genius will say, “It comes to me.”
David Laroche : Inspiration.
Robert Dilts : “It comes through me. It comes to me. Not out of my conscious mind. I need my conscious mind to structure, but it's the editor, not the author. The author is the creator of unconscious. So I open that channel, connect it. And then the H of COACH is in English we would say holding, but in French it works by saying hospitality. I'm centered. I'm open. I'm alert. I'm connected in myself, to my environment, and welcoming. So that's first step of any kind of genius is it starts by opening this generative state. Then to direct it I've got to set an intention. I bring something to it like learning English.
David Laroche : You mentioned intention and goal?
Robert Dilts : The difference between an intention and a goal and this is actually fairly important from a genius perspective, in a goal I know what is the destination.
David Laroche : The results.
Robert Dilts : With an intention it's a direction and I'm not sure what I'm going to find when I start. It's more of an exploration.
David Laroche : I'm going here.
Robert Dilts : I'm going that way. Like in my mother's case, my mother didn't say, “Well, in two years from now I'm going to be doing this.” She said basically, “I choose to go in the direction of health. As far as I can go and whatever that will be.” It's more generative because it's not they say convergent. I'm not just going to a certain point. I'm actually opening-
David Laroche : The field of possibilities.
Robert Dilts : A field of possibilities. Then you set an intention. In this way we were talking about…we usually say five words or less. If you have somebody and you're coaching somebody it's like, “Well, my intention blah blah blah,” they're not going to remember it anyway.
David Laroche : Can you give an example of your intentions?
Robert Dilts : Sure. My intention, for example, is almost always about creating a world to which people want to belong. Create a world to which people want to belong. That could be make it a context in which people strive including myself.
David Laroche : Is it different for you than your mission?
Robert Dilts : Well, the intention is connected to my mission. Actually what you find is an intention has these different dimensions of mission. That will be part of it. Vision and ambition. Ambition is also very important. My mission is what I'm bringing to others. My vision is what I want to see in the world. But my mission what I want to see in the world isn't about me. My mission is about me. That's why we say it's part of my identity.
David Laroche : [inaudible 00:54:12] His vision was to have the world in peace.
Robert Dilts : That's his vision, but his mission was something very specific. His mission was to be a leader and making that happen. You take somebody like… I have to say this about Kennedy. Kennedy at the same time was saying, “We want to put a vision to put somebody on the moon. We will go to the moon.” But Kennedy's mission wasn't going to be an astronaut. That wasn't his mission in that his mission was to lead and to create the political energy and the structural energy to make it happen. Mission is different than vision. Vision is what I want to see. Mission is what I can do to…
David Laroche : Have the vision start.
Robert Dilts : Now your ambition is basically how am I going to grow through this? Ambition is this desire for growth and mastery. That's about me. Vision and mission are about something outside of me. My ambition is what kind of life do I want to make. What is my life? And that my life, of course, relates to my mission, but it's also my life. Like Steve Jobs said. He said, “Your time is limited so don't waste it living somebody else's
life. Don't get caught by the dogma,” he says. “And don't let the noise of other people's opinion drown out your own inner voice.” Another part of this is what is my life. My example of my mother. That was precisely what happened. Her old life was not her life. It was the one that she thought she should have. It's what people give you appreciation for. They say, “Oh, yeah. Good girl. Good girl. Good boy.” But your life might not be that. It might not be what your parents think you should do. It might not be what society says is the right thing. So your ambition is also as important as your mission and your vision because it's like my vision for me. How far do I want to go? An athlete, they have a mission. They're serving their team, but they also have their ambition. I want to achieve something. For you, you have your mission bringing things into the world, but you have your ambition which is I want to achieve a certain level of recognition, a certain level of status because when it really works well, that ambition supports the mission and the vision. And that's
when you really get success. What I see a lot of people struggle is their
ambition…either they think ambition is bad so they don't have any, or their ambition is in conflict with their mission. I'm trying to build this life of
myself even though my gifts would be to contribute here. I think I have to do this. Or people get too caught in their own let's say…if you have
an inflated sense of yourself. Then people get…they get so stuck in their own level of achieving. Just as an example, there was a person that I was a coaching some couple of years ago. A good person who actually here. He's a young guy maybe in his 30s. He's already the CEO of his division of his company. He seem to be successful, but when I was…he
said, “Yeah. Our company's been growing.” He says,” I got this job. I get a lot of recognition. I'm well paid.” I said, “Yes, so what's the problem?” He said, “Well,” he said, “Given the way this job is and how it's structured,” he said, “I'm not going to work with a sparkle in my eye.
There is no sparkle in my eye. I got 20 more years here. I don't want to go to work as zombie.” I said, “Well, what would you a sparkle in
your eye?” At first he said, “Oh, that's crazy. It's crazy working here.”
David Laroche : Little people who can say that.
Robert Dilts : I said, “Maybe it's crazy, but I'm from California. It'd probably be difficult to surprise me too much.” But anyway, what he said was something like, “What I would do is I would leave all of this and I would go into the desert and help people who are suffering that couldn't help themselves. That's what would bring a sparkle in my eye.” He would basically leave this whole corporate world. What he was saying is. “I achieve this ambition, but there's not feeling of mission there.” So I said, “Okay. Wait. It's not either or. But if you want to really hold these two desires, your desire to serve the world, but also…because he said, “It's crazy. I can't do that. I have a wife and four children. I'm the CEO of this company.” But we started to holding that and making room for it because this is where the programming comes in. He couldn't see any way. This was his only image of what that kind of service would be like. That's where programming comes in. It was only representation of living from the heart. This opens a lot of possibilities out there. There was a long journey. I mean a couple of weeks journey but he's now the head of the company and still in the same company, but doing things in a way it's
the same and in a way it's completely different. This is what I think a lot of this idea of don't be trap by the dogma. Listen to your inner voice. Look out there. There's many, many, many possibilities. There's a whole world of possibilities.
David Laroche : What's the changes he makes?
Robert Dilts : Well, first change that he made was what I was saying about Steve Jobs. He started to realize how much of his life was trying to please others, trying to do his duty. He was very duty driven and he never had time for himself. As his coach, some of my first assignments were I said, “Make time for yourself.” Carl Jung. Carl just said, “You have to make time for things in your life that have nothing to do with your family and nothing to do with your work.” That means it only have to do with you. For a lot of people, a lot of really driven people, the only way they do that is through addictions. Through drinking, through smoking. It's the one thing they do for themselves, not for anybody else. It's what they do for them. I say, “You got to make time for things that you do for you.” For me for example, everyday I run. I run for an hour to an hour and a half. And I do that not because I'm trying to, it's because I love it and it's the thing I do for me everyday. And in that time, that's when I open my generative state and when I'm out running, everything is possible.
David Laroche : The conclusion can be to do what we love everyday. Sometimes the field of possibilities.
Robert Dilts : You got it.
David Laroche : I love this answer. I have to make a difference in my own life because when you do what you love, it's not maybe easy just for me for example, to see the difference between work and to do something for me.
Robert Dilts : Exactly.
David Laroche : Because when I'm doing that, I don't know if I'm working.
Robert Dilts : Believe me I know it. I know what you…
David Laroche : When do you know the difference?
Robert Dilts : This is where I think it becomes very important. It's an awareness practice because it's easy to get caught into this… I'm talking about COACH state. In NLP we have a term that's called calibration. Calibration means it's a quality of self-awareness. It comes from a very technical inner, but you calibrate an instrument meaning you're really knowing how well it measures and verifying measurement. With self calibration, it's about knowing yourself. If we take coach as one side, the other side is what we call crash. So you either coach or crash. Crash is another set of letters. Instead of centered, I'm contracted. There's tension. Instead of open, I'm reactive. I'm just reacting. This is coming in as reacting instead of open. Instead of aware and alert, I'm in the crash A as analysis paralysis. Instead of connection, that's separation. Disconnecting here from my body, from my friends, something like this. The H in crash, instead of hospitality, hurting, or hating, or something like
that. You have coach on one side, crash on the other. It's not all or nothing. It sometimes you find yourself I'm just I'm at my desk and I'm not breathing. That's already telling me maybe I'm not… I mean yes, I'm doing what I love but I'm getting also caught in this programming of I have to finish this. I got to do it. If I don't do it, something will…
David Laroche : You do what you love, but there's a right way.
Robert Dilts : Exactly. You start pushing yourself and that's all because of unconscious programming. There's this great article I saw by the way that I think is very interesting for us, for people in general. It's called “The Five Lessons From Dying People.” This woman was a nurse.
David Laroche : I know this.
Robert Dilts : Have you see this article?
David Laroche : Yes. I show that in all my conference.
Robert Dilts : Yes. I think that tells us some things.
David Laroche : Yes.
Robert Dilts : Living art and live your life to keep connection with your friends. To express yourself. What is the inner that you're feeling. To let yourself be happy. Can I allow myself to be happy in what I'm doing? I often use those two as my-
David Laroche : To remember.
Robert Dilts : To remember.
David Laroche : I have a last question.
Robert Dilts : Yes.
David Laroche : Because a lot of people in my audience are coaches, I have more and more questions that they asked me how to become better coaches. What are the difference between a powerful coach and maybe a basic coach.
Robert Dilts : Well, I think first of all, already you said something if you look at our levels, you said something really important. With people when we have a class, you learn behaviors and capabilities. You have to be exactly the same level of skill. That's very different than you have these other levels. Motivation. Balance. Is a coach a role? I'm a coach. Or is coach a mission? That's why we set that level of identity and not everybody even takes on coach at the level of identity. What does it mean at the level of identity? I am a coach. The other part has to do with your purpose, with your vision. I think being the coach is not just a set of skills. I teach NLP classes and coaching classes. Basically all the tools, all the models, reach the level of capability. How? But to go to the next levels, nobody can teach it to you. It's not a function of somebody explaining it to you. As we were just experiencing. Belief is something that happens inside of you that's relating to your goals. Then there's your mission, your identity. For me, the difference is that the powerful coaches are the ones where coaching is not just a skill. It's a value. It's a mission. It's a purpose. It's what their life is. It's like when they're coaching, they're going, “This is what I was made to do.” Not, “Well, this is how I'm going to earn my next money.” It touches here, here, here. It brings on your fire.
David Laroche : Yes. I can see that. I would like to know the difference between how to use tools and intuitions. Sometimes I'm struggling because I do see that it's not in the tools. I just follow my intuition. Do you think every coaches has to be ready to not follow the process of a tool?
Robert Dilts : Look, tools are tools. As we said, exactly in this program that I'm doing on generative coaching, maybe we can call it generative coaching, it's not just regular coaching where I can only use these toolboxes. Generative means that sometimes I'm going to create something that I don't even know. Here's the important thing. To be truly generative, we say the basic definition is generative is 1 plus 1 makes 3, not 1 plus 1 makes 2. If I'm only using my tools, 1 plus 1 makes 2. In real coaching meaning in generative coaching, I'm in my generative state, you're in your generative state, and something magic happens between us.
Something begins to come that neither of our conscious minds would have ever thought about or expect it. Something begins to emerge. When my mentors and role models was Milton Erickson. He was probably the most successful therapist/coach that has ever lived. Believe me. When we would go down and try to interview Erickson like this,
“Milton, what do you if I have this plan, what would you do?”
David Laroche : I don't know.
Robert Dilts : I don't know. He would always say I don't know. I really don't know what that particular person in that moment. I don't know. But, he would always add, I'm very curious to discover what's possible. I'm very curious to discover what's possible. I think that's the moment where what we're calling intuition is what we're saying is the creative unconscious. It's not just anything. In our work with generative coaching, we talk about discipline, flow. Discipline, flow. Discipline means I practice let's say 10,000 hours. I practice, practice, practice. But flow means I'm not rigidly held. I'm also open to let something come. You have a right brain and a left brain. The left brain is okay, here's the tool. The right brain which is equally there is here's something that I never thought of before. Here's something nobody's ever said before. Nobody said they've done before. Are not following the rules in the book. Nobody's ever done this before. That's what Erickson did. How many things you read nobody ever did before? That's why he's a genius. That's why he's generative. I often like to give the example of this so called “Miracle in the Hudson.” It was about three and a half years ago. This pilot's taking off out of New York City Airport and right at the key part of take off, they suddenly come across an unexpectedly a big flock of birds. So many birds have pulled into the engines of the airplane that they both shut down simultaneously. Now you're like couple of thousand meters and suddenly there's no engines and the plane is going down. What do you do? If you crash and panic inside, if your state is not generative, it's not a miracle. It's a disaster. This pilot has to keep in his coach state. Centered, open, aware, connected, and basically welcoming what's there. If you don't welcome what is, if you're going, “This can't be happening. This can't be happening.” So you've got to, “This is what's happening.” They were telling him, “Turn around and come back to the airport.” He's like, “No, that's the rule. Okay? Forget that.” He was like, “Go to the nearest airport.” “No, forget that.” But obviously also he's in a situation where you can't look in your pilot manual and say, “Okay. What's the tool? What's the procedure?” There is no procedure. Nobody's ever been in that position. You got to make it up. You got to create the miracle. Nobody's going to be able to give you the recipe. You've got to rely on your skill and your intuition. He was able to guide the plane. The only place he could see to land it was in the Hudson River. He'd done gliding before, but in the little planes. Not in a passenger jet. He's having to use skills, transfer these skills, uses creative unconscious. He gets the plane lands it there. First of all, the first difference between a miracle and a disaster is his state. If he loses his inner game, if he crashes inside, it's going to crash on the outside. When he lands the plane, he walks the entire length of the plane twice to make sure nobody's left on. He's the last one off. Everybody survives. Very different than certain Italian cruise ship a couple of years ago. This Korean Ferry that just was a big disaster. When the crew and the pilots are off first. What allows him to do that is his state. Now they asked him, I think this is very interesting, very, very interesting, maybe a good way to summarize the interview. They said, “You landed this plane. You seem so calm.” They said, “Weren't you afraid?” He said, “Are you crazy? I've never been more afraid in my life. Are you crazy?” He said, “And I've never been more calm in my life.” What do you mean? Of course, he said, “I'm afraid as a whole, but there's more than that.” Actually they said, “Well, what helped you to be calm even though you were in this dangerous situation? You were never more afraid in your life.” I always like to point out by the way that if you're not afraid, you don't need courage. Courage is irrelevant. It's unnecessary unless you're afraid. What is courage? Courage is I'm connected to something bigger than the fear. Fear is there. I'm connected to something much bigger than that. So then they asked…
David Laroche : Your brain follow what is the bigger contrast.
Robert Dilts : Exactly. You have three brains they say by the way. You have a reptile brain, a mammal brain, and then the human brain. When you're in fear, fear comes from the reptile brain and the mammal brain. That's why I always tell my coachees, I say, “I will have to let you know that no amount of coaching, no amount of drugs, is going to take away your fear. You will always have a reptile brain the rest of your life. The good news is you've got much more than that. You will feel fear. You will feel anger. You will feel sad. You have a reptile brain, but you're much more than that. So that the skills are about how do I…and especially in a dangerous situation, how do I connect out to that generative part, that quantum imagination. This pilot said four things that I thought were really interesting. The first thing he said was one of your mentors told you about learning English was practice. He said, “I never was in that situation before, but I have a lot of practice staying calm. I practice a lot managing myself, my state.” He said, “I had a lot of experience.” The way he put it, he said, “I think I had enough experience in my bank that I can make a big withdrawal.” Use that experience. The second thing he said I think is very interesting is he said, “Well, yes, I was afraid for myself, but I'm the pilot. It's my mission to land the plane safely. Yes, I'm me, but I'm more than me. I'm something bigger than just me. I'm the pilot. I'm the leader. It's my mission.” First practice. Then staying connected to something, an identity beyond your individual role, individual self, because your mission is what connects you to something bigger. The third thing he said was interesting because we were talking about your mentors and your role models and your support. He said, “Well, I was able to stay calm because the crew was so calm and the passengers stayed calm.” So they asked the crew, “Why were you calm?” They said, “Well, the pilot was calm and the passengers were calm.” They asked the passengers, “Why were you calm?” And they said, “Well, the pilot stayed calm and the crew was calm.” So they created what we call a field. All those mirror neurons are supporting each other-
David Laroche : Environment.
Robert Dilts : Environment. Actually the fourth thing he said that I thought was really interesting and it goes back to something I said before about transforming our roles. He talked about the suicide of his father which some years before. His father had committed suicide and it was the biggest trauma in his life. But he said, “I made this commitment during my father's suicide that I would never stand by and if I could do something to help.” He said, “My father's suicide was very present in me in those moments when I was landing that plane.” He said, “I was so committed to saving those people exactly because I couldn't save my father.” Instead of having that trauma bring him down, he transformed it into a power and into purpose. That's what I was saying. We transform our wounds, our failures into our commitment. We don't let it go. “Oh, I failed. I'm so bad. This was terrible.” You take the wound and that's what actually helps you sometimes to get through. Again, practice, connecting to something bigger than yourself, gathering around you a field of support, again, that's what Tony said in your inner mentor, build your environment of English, get it around you, but also take that power to transform. You draw upon your commitments. I'm committed to this because I don't…like in my mother's case, I'm going to take the worst thing that ever happened, it's going to be the best thing that's ever happened on what I refer to as crisis. I'm going to transform.
David Laroche : Okay. How the people can follow you or find your books? Many ways.
Robert Dilts : Well, I have a website. The first which is very difficult to remember. robertdilts.com or nlpu.com. They're the same. NLPU stands for NLP University and we have school.
David Laroche : Where?
Robert Dilts : In Santa Cruz, California. Now I travel a lot, so it's not an all year school, but it's at the University of California
in Santa Cruz. It's a summer school. It's residential. People can go there. The programs are usually about 12 to 14 days residential meaning you live there. And it's where NLP was born. It's like going to Mecca. It's the birth place of NLP. It's a beautiful environment. That's one place. And then I do travel around the world as, for example, here in Paris I do programs. Those are all in my website under my schedule and my books are also on the website and on Amazon.
David Laroche : Yes. Great. Thank you very much.
Robert Dilts : You're very welcome.