Thinking About Your Thinking

In life there are times when we need to make some pretty big decisions. We see this a lot in the world of real estate. Decisions that can affect our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Home is our stability it is where our family lives and where memories are made.

Day 3 is about understanding how we create and apply our thinking. How we experience life through our own filtration system and how we make meaning of what happens around us and what we base our decision making upon.

We experience life through our senses and perceptions then follows a myriad of changes in our physiology, mentally, energetically and this happens instantly. We also have the ability to time travel!

This fascinating topic allows us to take a peek in to what actually happens throughout the internal process of meaning making and how our individual perspectives are formed. Thoughts happen thousands of times throughout our day. Why do we often have problems communicating with others and why we cannot understand why some people think and behave the way they do? Because we are all operating from our subjective distillation of reality.

In fact, if we are to be completely honest with ourselves we are operating on structures that were put in place, when we were very young. The question is what thoughts, beliefs and values are still serving us and what can we update, detox or upgrade in order to make better decisions from new perspectives?

The model I am drawing on is from NLP (Neuro Lingusitic Programming) called The Communication Model. This is one of the simplest and most encapsulating models of our experience that I have come across and wanted to share.

I was once asked why do two people experience the same event but remember it differently? Have you ever wondered that yourself?

Firstly, imagine two or more people experience the same external event, say a car crash, immediately their focus narrows and they begin to scan and filter the environment. They begin to slice and dice the same experience differently. Did you know the more intense our reaction the more we remember not only the event but also what happened in the lead up to it. It’s an evolutionary thing.

Slicing & Dicing Our Experience

Senses – taking in life through our nervous system we predominantly decode through our senses you will be familiar with the terms visual, auditory, kinaesthetic or thinking. We often have a preferred reference if you are a visual person, in this case you will remember what you saw when the accident happened rather than what you heard or felt or thought. For others it may be different.

MetaPrograms – essentially these are particular personality structures and ways of being that we default to for example, you may be a best case scenario person or a worse case, are you options driven or procedural, are you a detail person or a big picture. There are many types of personality profiling for this purpose just know that many of our behaviours and sorting patterns are happening outside of our awareness.

Filters – once we have distilled the event through our automatic programs running outside of our awareness the experience is further filtered by our values and beliefs; what we hold to be truths, our memories and past experiences. We time code such that perhaps in our example of the car crash time went more slowly than it normally would.

Deletions Distortions & Generalisations – Ah the big 3, otherwise known as the God filters. Our brain makes things fit with our world view. What we know for a fact. Some things we genuinely do not see, hear, feel experience even though others around us may. Have you ever done this when you are trying to influence someone we leave some bits out, massage elements of reality and generalise to make it fit with the desired outcome? Importantly we filter in and we filter out.

Movie Making – Now we create a movie about what just happened. Can you begin to see why your movie might be very different to someone else’s?

So now you understand that your model of the world will be different to that of others or as they say in NLP “your map is not the terrain”. We are experiencing a snap shot of the event our version of reality. So too is everyone else.

We will talk later about states and state management but for today I would like to leave you with this.

When we get stuck inside our own head listening to our own thoughts we need to do a stock take and find out what is still really true for us and what is inherited or out dated. If we are using our values, beliefs and history to create the rest of our lives and make life changing decisions surely we owe it to ourselves to find out the truth; the reality of the situation, the reality of who we really are. Find out what programs are “running you”. Do a little housekeeping on yourself. Refine your reality.

Use the thought challenge worksheet from yesterday to help you test your reality!

Stay well.


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