“Superlative – an adjective or adverb expressing the highest order, quality, or degree”
[Please note, this was originally an article I wrote, entitled 'Exquisite Superlatives', that was published in Anchor Point: The International Journal of NLP, September 1994]
As you are aware, the words you use and your semantic response to those words – the meaning you make from the words – inherently determines the quality of your life and your experiences. And the most exquisite thing about being human is that you get to choose! You get to choose the qualities with which you relive and represent your memories to yourself and others, and how you future-pace your ongoing actions and immediate experience.
For example, at some stage you could choose to enjoy some pleasure, or you can ferociously decide to be completely enveloped with intense and exquisite pleasure NOW!! Which would you prefer? It’s your choice! Like playing a musical instrument though, the secret to mastery is both in practice and in having a superb repertoire to choose from. Having only a few notes or chords won’t allow you to play full and melodious songs – Won’t allow you to play those beautiful songs and music that magically lift you up and take you to the most incredible places.
Developing a magnificent repertoire
So the key is in developing a working repertoire of fantastically descriptive words – evolving and refining a list of distinctions about life and living – a set of exquisite superlatives. By producing this list of exquisite words – words that have a deep, intense, visceral and profound meaning to you, words that are juicy, ferocious and unsurpassable – you get to alert your conscious and other-than-conscious attention to these qualities of ‘being’. You get to practice them and to elegantly facilitate the submodalities of superb, ongoing experiencing.
And you know, Richard Bandler is an excellent example of someone who uses words superbly to add juice to his life and to those around him. Richard doesn’t have “curiosity” in his life, he does “wanton curiosity,” he doesn’t expect his seminar participants to have “resolve” about their learnings, he demands that they have “ferocious resolve.” And words are intensely powerful.
Create a List NOW!
I know that much of this is obvious, and yet how often is it that consistently putting the simple and obvious into practice gets over-looked? As Moshe Feldenkrais might call it: ‘The elusive obvious’.
So create a list of superlatives to enhance your languaging. Through the action of creating and using your list, you will have developed an immense repertoire of descriptive qualities you are using to directionalize your living. And to gracefully assist you in this fantastic process, I share with you the following list. Use it to form the basis of your own ultimate transformational dictionary.
The Super-duper Hyperflockulated Exquisite Word List
elegant glorious priceless magnificent
keen amazing tremendous scrumptious
intense fragrant prime pure
brilliant splendiferous sensational fabulous
ferocious magic superfine absolute
profound exquisite fantastic immense
succulent total utter gorgeous
unsurpassable keen fierce extreme
ultimate ultra spectacular captivating
consummate wanton delicious thrilling
awesome immense transcendent radical
tatalizing luxuriant sublime wondrous
voluptuous outrageous splendorous entrancing
vivacious delightful beautiful stupendous
Own this list, flesh it out, add to it and enhance it. Play with categorizing it into V,A,K,O,G,Ad (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory, Auditory Digital – Language) sections to gain even more distinctions. And tomorrow, don’t just get out of bed and have a shower, instead, ferociously launch yourself up and have a delicious and delight-filled shower; don’t just have breakfast, do a fabulous and incredible breakfasting; and don’t just have a nice day, do a sensational and unsurpassable day! The choice is yours.
Using your Superlatives
Let’s play with this a little to gain a deeper understanding of its usefulness. Think of something you like and notice the submodalities of the experience. Now, think if something you are absolutely ecstatic about – what are the submodality differences?
Ok, now think of some part of your day that was just average, just alright, nothing special, and as you picture it in your mind, repeat the words: “spectacular, superb, exquisite” out loud, 3 or 4 times. And say them with meaning. Notice the changes that occur in the submodalities of the experience. Powerful, wasn’t it now?
This is an example of the entrancing effect that exquisite superlatives can have on your neurology. And by the way, you also get to choose the submodality effects that the words produce. For example, you might anchor sparkle and glitter to the word “awesome,” an intense surround-sound lion’s roar to the word “ferocious,” or even a full-body, lustful flush to the word “outrageous”. Then when someone asks you how you’re feeling, tell them “outrageously, ferociously awesome” and then STAND BACK!
Just imagine what you can do with this. What amazing submodality effects would be sublime to link to the word “immense”? What about “profound”? It’s a difference that truly can make a total difference.
Congruence - Becoming a Master of the Non-verbal Superlative
As you probably realize, the way you say the words is as important as the words themselves. And as a friend of mine, who is outrageously successful in getting what he wants from life said, “You know, it’s not only the exquisite words you say, it’s also the exquisite way you say them. When you express them with all of your body, all your mind, with total glorious abandon – when all your non-verbals completely and congruently match your words – then things really start happening.”
So now practice putting “oooowwwssshhhh” into the expression of your life. Explore the quality and intensity of both your repertoire of non-verbal superlatives and the non-verbal expression of your verbal superlatives. Get that orchestra hopping, turn up the volume, and make congruence a totally happening thing!
Using your NLP Skills
Some of the other ways you may want to use your powerful NLP skills to ensure that you get more and more vivacious delight from your life are:
- New Behavior Generator
Create a powerful part to use exquisite superlatives with unconscious competence.
- Timeline Installation
Create a compelling future by placing captivating reference experiences of using superlatives to make an intense difference along your timeline.
- Submodality Facilitation
Don’t just design the submodality experiences of each superlative, go further than that and amplify and intensify the submodalities of how you are valuing these ideas. Map across to the submodalities of utter fascination or magnificent obsession.
You may also wish to place your list in a position where you will read it again and again – especially in a place that is unconsciously linked to important values in your life or living. For example, eating is an important and deeply salient (to the gut and heart brains) life function, so paste your list brightly and boldly next to the kitchen table, and peruse it as you eat breakfast each day. Preparing your mind for the delicious day that lies ahead.
Try watching some Bandler videos to note how Richard uses words exquisitely and to such great effect. Or gather some friends and have a superlative word party.
Use your words to profoundly enhance the music of your life.
And finally, play with these words, explore them, make them your magnificent obsession. They truly are superlatively exquisite.
life enhancing thoughts,