Friday, January 1, 2010

Future Pacing is Life Enhancing

Blu-tacked high on my bedside table, in a position I can easily see every morning when I awake and every evening before I drift off to peaceful slumber, is a delightful sign that my beloved made, that says:

"Future Pace for a life of Excellence!"

The sign is filled with stars and sparkles and beautiful artistic colours, and reminds me to do 'Future Pacing' each morning and every night.

Future Pacing is an NLP technique that is incredibly life enhancing, so it's time I shared it with you. It's also quite germane to the beginning of the New Year - a time when people do a usually ineffectual form of future pacing called the 'New Year Resolution'. Hopefully, by understanding the components and competencies involved in effective future pacing, you will be better placed to do a much more life enhancing version and begin to future pace a wonderful year ahead.

You cannot NOT Future Pace

You know... Future pacing is also an underlying and ongoing process by which we construct and create our reality. You cannot NOT future pace, you are doing it all the time...

So what is Future Pacing? Let's explore that in some detail now.

Future Pacing as Mental Rehearsal

Future Pacing is a technique of mentally rehearsing and guiding your unconscious mind to produce a desired behaviour and intended outcome in a future situation. It's a request that directs your unconscious mind to generate specific patterns, behaviours and results in your life.

As Wikipedia describes it:

"Future pacing can be used to 'embed' change into the contexts of the future. It gives a person the experience of dealing positively with a situation before they get into that situation in reality. This is based on visualization where the mind is assumed not to be able to tell the difference between a scenario which is real and one which has been clearly visualized. The theory is that, having visualized positively, when the subject encounters the situation again in reality the visualized experience will serve as a model for how to behave, even though this experience was imagined. The mind cannot tell the difference between the visualization and reality so it accepts the visualization as reality and makes the change."

"Future Pacing gives your Unconscious mind the roadmap needed to easily accomplishyour goals and dreams."

So how do you do it?

First see a picture of yourself in the context or situation that you want a specific behaviour or outcome to occur. Notice how you look, what you are doing, how you sound, the qualities of your movements and actions that are occurring as you achieve your outcomes. Then step inside yourself and be associated into this experience, see what you'll see in the situation, hear what you'll hear, and feel what it's like to be successfully performing and achieving your desired outcome now.

The idea is to rehearse and associate your new behaviour to the external cues that naturally occur in the situation in which your change is desired. That way the environmental cue serves as a natural and unconscious anchor or trigger for your desired outcome.

It's similar to the NLP New Behaviour Generator technique and is most powerful when enhanced using the NLP model of hypnotic languaging that Bandler and Grinder, the developers of NLP, created through behavioural modelling of Dr. Milton Erickson - The Milton Model.

NLP Milton Model - Hypnotic Languaging

In a sense, every word you use is a hypnotic command to your unconscious mind to re-evoke the experience that is associated with the word. When you hear or say the word 'lemon' your brain re-evokes the full Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic (feelings), Olfactory & Gustatory (VAKOG) associations and experiences that the word represents (re-presents to you).

So you know that the set of phonemes that make up the word or label 'lemon' mean a yellow fruit, that tastes sour, has a tang and a citrus fragrance, can be used in cooking etc. You are likely to remember times when you tasted a lemon or had lemon juice on your tongue. You may also notice that just reading the above has caused you to start salivating, as your brain remembers what the sour taste of a lemon does on your tongue. The word is a powerful anchor that re-evokes the experience.

So whatever you think -- verbally, visually and kinesthetically -- acts like a future pace and embedded command to your unconscious patterning system. In that way, you cannot NOT future pace. Every thought is like a piece of programming to your unconscious mind. If you are about to hit a golf ball, and you say to yourself 'Don't choke, Don't miss, Don't stuff up' then your brain will picture the very thing you are saying you don't want to do, and it will act like an embedded command, a future pace, to produce the requested pattern...

There are a lot of distinctions in the NLP Milton Model on how certain sorts of words and ways of expressing yourself can act much more powerfully with the unconscious mind. Not all words or all ways of expressing yourself are as equally effective at programming the patterning system of the unconscious mind. And in future blog entries I'll talk more about the life enhancing details of this.

For now though, the life enhancing take home message is....

Everything you think acts as a Future Pace. It guides and requests your unconscious mind to produce the requested outcome. This means you have to listen to and watch what you say! And use your languaging carefully, thoughtfully, ecologically and powerfully to guide your life to what and how you want.

As Robert Anton Wilson points out in his wonderfully life enhancing book 'Prometheus Rising', our brains contain two powerful agents - a thinker and a prover - and:

"As the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves!"

There is a part of your unconscious mind that generates and recapitulates your thoughts. You bring forth into your world that which you think about.

Obviously there are physical constraints on this. It's not some mumbo-jumbo magic. You can't future pace an elephant into your living room just by thinking or saying the words. However, when it comes to generating mind/body states, to influencing your Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (the influence of the mind/body loop on health), to guiding the emotions you feel, to altering your moods and perceptions and the myriad other patterns that generate your phenomenological world... Then, as sages have pointed out over the ages, your thoughts are powerful!

So... Future Pace for a life of excellence! Every night and every morning, before sleep and before arising. Think through, plan, project and ask your powerful unconscious mind for what specifically and how specifically you want to generate your ongoing future.

It works!!! Well, it works for me and for those I've taught the technique to. And it really is incredibly life enhancing.

Future pace the quality of your sleeping and dreaming. Future pace your healthing. Future pace the quality of your waking and your day. Future pace your loving and interacting with those you care about. The more you future pace, the more successfully you'll continue to generate a wonderful life.

Future pace!!!! It truly is life enhancing.

Want to learn more, get a copy of my book: Avoiding the Enemies to HAPPINESS!

many smiles and great wishes for the year ahead

I highly, highly recommend reading RAW's wonderful and life enhancing book:

and if you are interested in reading about the powerful NLP Milton Model:


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