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Success to S.I.G.N.I.F.I.C.A.N.C.E.

by Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc. M.Sc(Hons)

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE COMPULSIONS
How come some people have compulsions for positive behaviours such as regular exercise, healthy food, and fresh air, while others feel compelled to smoke, drink excessively, and spend their time in smoky casinos or in front of the telly? Why is it that for some people it would be almost impossible for them to go through a day without some form of exercise, while for others it seems almost impossible for them to even do 20 minutes of walking?

How come two people can look at a packet of cigarettes and one says, "Mmmm, I've got to have one", and the other person thinks, "Yuck! Lung cancer and death!". How come two people can look at a 10km fun run and one says to themselves, "Yeah, let's do it!", and the other says "It's too hard, I couldn't run that far".

The reason is that both behaviours are a result of what each person has linked enjoyment and difficulty to - what has been called the pleasure / pain principle.

You only ever do anything because you associate more enjoyment and pleasure with doing it, than not doing it. You only ever avoid certain things because you associate more pain and difficulty with doing them, than not doing them.

An excellent analogy to help you understand this concept is simply that of a computer program: people have programmed themselves to associate pleasure and pain to specific things, and the differences in what they associate pleasure and pain to reflect the differences in their behaviour, personal health and fitness, and performances in their life.

Unfortunately, for many people the choice of what means pleasure and what means pain was wired into them at a young age by their parents, peers, or advertisers, and was not chosen consciously or deliberately. Some people have programs that associate exercise with hard work, or a healthy salad with pain and boredom, while chocolate and coffee is associated with pleasure and comfort! Some people even associate cigarette smoking with manliness, independence, and sex appeal - what a con that has been, yet millions have fallen for it! A classic case I worked with was a girl who had associated being sweaty with being unfeminine - programmed in by her mother at a young age - and this had prevented her from achieving the fitness and health goals she wanted! Every time she got sweaty, she felt bad, so she never really exercised properly.
What do you associate pleasure and pain to? How might you program yourself differently in order to achieve what you want - more success in your business, better relationships, or improved health and fitness? What pleasure and pain associations do you think highly successful individuals have made? How might you use this concept to assist your clients to make positive changes in their behaviours?

THE STRUCTURE OF THINKING
However, just understanding the importance of the pleasure / pain principle still doesn't really provide us with the necessary tools to help others to stop smoking, take up regular exercise, or eat a healthy diet. The real key to helping people change unhealthy lifestyle patterns, is to understand the mental structure behind each individual's own pain and pleasure associations.

It's been truly said that one person's pain is another person's pleasure - but how can this be? What does the person do in their mind to make something pleasurable or painful?

A major reason why people don't take action to follow a program of exercise or a healthful diet, is the way they picture and imagine those activities. Yet these same people have no problem acting on unhealthy behaviours such as smoking, over-eating chocolate or junk foods, excessive alcohol indulgence, and so on. This is so because these negative compulsions are pictured and experienced by the person very differently.

Compulsions are only compulsions because of the way you picture, hear and feel them! But what makes a compulsion, compelling? Why do some people just have to have a cigarette, or eat chocolate, or gamble their family's savings away, or bite their fingernails, or get anxious at the sight of a spider?

We act on compulsions as a result of the structure of our subjective experience, the structure of how we think about a particular thing.

SUBMODALITIES
Every behaviour is a consequence of our thinking - everything we do externally must first happen internally, in our mind. If you analyse your thinking you will notice that there is only a limited amount of choice available as to how you think. Basically you've got five choices, as per our five senses: your thinking is made up of seeing images; hearing sounds or words; feeling feelings; and to a lesser extent, smells and tastes.

Everything we do is a result of using these five sensory thinking components - and in particular, the three primary senses of seeing, hearing, and feeling.

Every behaviour, positive or negative, productive or destructive, healthy or unhealthy first begins as a sort of mental 'program' in the individual's mind before it happens. So essentially, the reason why one person sees cigarettes as attractive and another sees them as disgusting, is simply a result of engaging different mental programs. Likewise, the same is true for exercise or eating patterns - people who exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet think differently about exercise and diet, than those who don't exercise and eat junk food.

The only way to effectively change someone's behaviour then, is to get them to change the mental processes which support the behaviour.

The key here is that each of our primary sensory systems also includes numerous submodalities - which are finer distinctions or refinements of that sensory system. For instance, our visual sense has the submodalities of colour, size, brightness, distance, shape, and so on. Our auditory sense has the submodalities of volume, tone, tempo, distance, and so on. Our kinaesthetic sense has the submodalities of texture, temperature, pressure, movement and so on.

Submodalities are really important aspects of our thinking, because by varying the submodalities of a particular thought, even only slightly, you can totally change your response to it. For instance, if you want to be more motivated, or compelled, to achieve a particular goal or outcome, then picture, hear and feel about that outcome in the same way that you picture, hear and feel about something you're absolutely compelled to do.

If you think of a desired goal, and 'see' it in full colour, big and bright, large, and up close directly in front of you; and say to yourself in a loud, confident voice "YES! I want this, now!"; and feel an excitement welling up within you, and a tingling all over your body - that's pretty hard to resist! In contrast, if you 'see' a goal dim, fuzzy, and distant; say to yourself in an unsure tone of voice "I hope I get this"; and feel unsure and cool, then you're probably not going to have much 'go for it'!

Generally, for most people, visual submodalities of compulsion are: large size, close, colourful, 3-D, bright and moving. Auditory compelling submodalities are louder, stereo sounds or voices, close, with resonant tones. Kinaesthetic, (or feeling), submodalities of compulsion are warmer, faster movement, higher intensity and strong rhythm.

However, there can be individual differences. Do the following exercise to identify the submodalitites that are compelling for you.
EXERCISE : Submodalities of Compulsion

1. Think of something you're really compelled to do. A favourite pastime, something you do if you get half a chance. For example it might be an activity like going to the beach, or tinkering with your motorbike, or maybe a favourite TV program you never miss. [Use a positive activity - something you enjoy doing and is not unhealthy or self destructive]

2. Now think of that activity, and as you think of it, notice the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic submodalities of your thoughts. How do you picture the activity? What and how do you talk to yourself about it? And your feelings?

3. Now think of something that you'd like to be more motivated, or compelled to do. Imagine doing it using the same visual, auditory and kinaesthetic submodalities you use for your compulsive activity.

What if you had a compulsion for positive behaviours and empowering emotional states? The difference between a champion and an average person is simply that they have chosen different things to focus on and get excited about - they have compulsions for positive behaviours like eating healthily, fitness training, and feeling good about themselves, instead of smoking, overeating, sloth and feeling lousy!

Teach your clients to make new associations to the positive behaviours you want them to follow, by having them think of exercising in a bright, close, colourful way in their mind, and re-program their negative behaviours by having them see smoking and junk food as small, dull, and uninteresting. Encourage them to speak to themselves in an upbeat, happy and resonant tone when exercising, and think about watching TV in a dull, monotone, boring manner. Have them feel vibrant feelings of energy and warmth coursing rapidly around their body when they exercise and eat healthily, and have prickly feelings of coolness and disgust for smoking and junk food.

By doing this you're not just showing them how to exercise or lead a healthier lifestyle, you're also showing them how to use their thinking to control their own subjective responses and behaviours - something which will have more far reaching positive consequences to their lives as a whole.

About Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc.(AES) M.Sc.(Hons)
Jeffrey Hodges is a performance consultant to elite athletes, sporting teams and corporate clients. He is the author of the widely acclaimed "Sportsmind - An Athlete's Guide to Superperformance Through Mental & Emotional Training" and "Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings"; creator of the Sportsmind performance enhancement workshops and audio tapes; and Director of the Sportsmind Institute for Human Performance Research.

He is a NLP Master Practitioner and Associate Trainer, and his Sportsmind programs have been endorsed by the NSW Dept Sport & Recreation, and recommended by top sportsclubs and successful athletes. Jeffrey has competed in many sports, notably Volleyball, Squash, Soccer and Golf, and currently trains in Aikido, holding a black belt.

Some of his clients to date include :
Australian Rugby Union
St. Joseph's College
Woodlands Golf Club
Financial Institutions Remuneration Group (FIRG)
Societe Generale
Qld. Swimming
Network for Fitness Professionals
North Sydney and Penrith Rugby League Clubs
Qld. Athletics Assn
NSW Netball Assn
Northern Inland Academy of Sport
Victorian Soaring Assn
Orange Agricultural College Equestrian School
Qld and NSW Departments of Sport and Recreation
Qld Academy of Sport
and the RAAF.

For more information, contact :
SPORTSMIND , 77 FLAXTON MILL ROAD
FLAXTON Qld. Australia. 4560.
PHONE 61 7 5445 7994
email : jh@sportsmind.com.au
website : www.sportsmind.com.au

by Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc. M.Sc(Hons)

Introduction

If you're reading this, you've probably already tasted some success, and are probably among the top 10% or 20% in your chosen sport. However, how can you build upon the successes you've had to really make a significant mark in your sport – to truly stand out from the crowd and leave a legacy as a champion. There have been many talented sportspeople with huge potential – and yet they have not lived up to that potential over time.

Your psychology and your thinking strategies make the difference between someone who just has 'potential', and the person who actually grabs that potential with both hands and makes full use of it in their lives.

So – are you going to become more than just a gifted athlete with lots of potential? I challenge you to actually become outstanding – to become someone who makes a significant contribution to their sport, and to our society.

So, before reading any further, take a few moments to think, now, about what significant achievement you'd like to attain.... then I will take you through a process for how you can actually make it happen.

I've been fortunate to assist with two Olympic Gold medalists, hundreds of national champions and thousands of outstanding athletes and coaches over the past 25 years, and what has absolutely fascinated me is – how does someone take an idea, a wish to say win an Olympic gold medal or a national championship.... and actually make it happen? What are the keys which allow someone to take a dream and turn it into reality?

I suggest there are 12 important principles, or keys, – and I use the word SIGNIFICANCE as an acronym to explain these.

Let's go through them – and as we do, I encourage you to apply each principle to your own dream of significance.

S - State Positively and Precisely What You Want

It's important to know exactly what you want and to focus on what you want, rather than what you DON'T want. Our attention is like a missile guidance system – whatever you focus on, you will move towards. Making your desire precise helps use your unconscious resources to help with the goal, rather than just your conscious will power.

I - Important Reasons

Reasons generally come before actions – rarely does anyone do anything without a 'reason'. So find powerful reasons to achieve what you know exactly what you want want.... rather than excuses NOT to do it! Too often we get caught up in the inevitable challenges and difficulties in our way. However the way to overcome these is to have compelling enough reasons. Write down now half a dozen powerful reasons WHY you want to achieve your goal, and what will it cost you if you DIDN'T achieve it?

G - Turn into Goals

Goals are dreams with a deadline..... and an action plan. WHEN do you want to achieve this by? It's been shown that most people OVERestimate what they can do in 6 months or a year, but UNDER-estimate what they can do in 5 or 10 or 20 years. What is the FIRST STEP? Identify some small thing you can do tonight that will immediately start you on the journey.... And do it!

N - Non-Comparative with Others

Compare how you are today with how you were yesterday, and how you want to be tomorrow. Your competitors are simply yardsticks by which you chart your OWN progress from the past.... to the present.... to the future.

I - Intrinsic Motivation

Do it FOR YOURSELF. Because this is what is in your heart – your heart driven, passion driven desire.... because you LOVE it.

F - Future Self Reference Point

We have a fascination with, and an attachment to, our personal history that is totally unwarranted, and in my opinion, mostly detrimental and limiting to achieving our highest potential. You are NOT just a consequence of the past, but a pre-sequence of a future self who wants to come into being. Use this Future You as a new 'reference point' for decisions/beliefs about yourself, and allow this future self to become your own 'inner coach' and mentor. Most people think they are locked into being a consequence of their past – and it is a seductive belief and can seem very real.... but this is just a default setting on your personal computer. You CAN engage your INTENTION by establishing a relationship with your desired future self – then the past becomes irrelevant, and the future draws you towards itself.

I - Imagine it Happening

Engage the most powerful force in the Universe – your imagination – to ENVISAGE it happening. Just think, if you took just 30 seconds first thing in the morning and 30 seconds last thing at night, and used this time to picture what you wanted.... to kindle the flame of your creative power to INTEND the result you want. If you did that every day for the next six months, do you think that would have an impact? You better believe it will!!

C - Congruent with Your Core Values

There is power in connecting the surface goal you are wanting with the driving core value underneath. We rarely identify the real goal we are actually chasing. People don't want money, or relationships, or possessions.... they want to experience the CORE VALUES those things represent: e.g. security; love; intimacy; freedom; independence; happiness; etc. You can identify your underlying values by using an "outcome chain": Ask yourself "What will this give me that is even MORE important?"

A - Achievable

What you want needs to be achievable – but how do you know? Only YOU can know. As a general rule, if you can't SEE yourself doing it / achieving it, you probably won't. If you can't 'see' it happening, break the goal down to smaller chunks until you can.

N - Never Give Up Mindset

Develop a mindset of PERSISTENCE. Persistence is more powerful than skill or intelligence or good looks. Persistence can get you just about anything you want. How do you develop persistence? Persistence is a mental process which focuses on solutions. Ask yourself : "How CAN I do such and such, or achieve this?", and expect an answer. Your brain is designed as an answer-seeking mechanism, use it wisely. Most people get stuck because they ask the wrong questions.

C - Commit

How do you commit? Establish a routine – something small – and do it every day.

E - Ecology Check

The main reason people don't achieve a specific goal or dream is resistance or sabotage from within themselves. Check for objections WITHIN yourself and WITHOUT from others close and/or important to you or the goal. Are there any 'down' sides? Are you willing to pay the price? Is it worth it? If objections, find a way to either modify the goal, or build a solution to the objection into the process.

About Jeffrey Hodges B.Sc.(AES) M.Sc.(Hons)
Jeffrey Hodges is a performance consultant to elite athletes, sporting teams and corporate clients. He is the author of the widely acclaimed "Sportsmind - An Athlete's Guide to Superperformance Through Mental & Emotional Training" and "Champion Thoughts, Champion Feelings"; creator of the Sportsmind performance enhancement workshops and audio tapes; and Director of the Sportsmind Institute for Human Performance Research.

He is a NLP Master Practitioner and Associate Trainer, and his Sportsmind programs have been endorsed by the NSW Dept Sport & Recreation, and recommended by top sportsclubs and successful athletes. Jeffrey has competed in many sports, notably Volleyball, Squash, Soccer and Golf, and currently trains in Aikido, holding a black belt.

Some of his clients to date include :
Australian Rugby Union
St. Joseph's College
Woodlands Golf Club
Financial Institutions Remuneration Group (FIRG)
Societe Generale
Qld. Swimming
Network for Fitness Professionals
North Sydney and Penrith Rugby League Clubs
Qld. Athletics Assn
NSW Netball Assn
Northern Inland Academy of Sport
Victorian Soaring Assn
Orange Agricultural College Equestrian School
Qld and NSW Departments of Sport and Recreation
Qld Academy of Sport
and the RAAF.

For more information, contact :
SPORTSMIND , 77 FLAXTON MILL ROAD
FLAXTON Qld. Australia. 4560.
PHONE 61 7 5445 7994
email : jh@sportsmind.com.au
website : www.sportsmind.com.au

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