Daily Archives: March 25, 2015

The Nature and Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations


Adam Smith Wealth Nations Summary
In the first sentence of “Wealth of Nations, Smith explained his conception of the nature of the wealth of nations. In so doing, he separated his views from those of the mercantilists and physiocrats.

The annual labour of every nation is the fund which originally supplies it with all the necessaries and conveniences of life which it annually consumes, and which consists always either in the immediate produce of that labour, or in what is purchased with that produce from other nations.

In a number of places throughout Wealth of Nations, Smith berated the mercantilists for their concern with the accumulation of bullion and identifica­tion of bullion with the wealth of a nation. Smith believed, in fact, that most mercantilists were confused on this issue. For him, wealth was an annual flow of goods and services, not an accumulated fund of precious metals. He also revealed an understanding of a link between exports and imports, perceiving that a fundamental role of exports is to pay for imports. Furthermore, in his opening sentence he implied that the end purpose of economic activity is consumption, a position he developed more fully later in the book. This further distinguishes his economics from that of the mercantilists, who regarded production as an end in itself. Finally, in emphasizing labor as the source of the wealth of a nation, he differed from the physiocrats, who stressed land.

Smith went on to suggest that the wealth of nations be measured in per capita terms. Today when it is said, for example, that England is wealthier than China, it is understood that the comparison is based not on the total output or income of the two countries but on the per capita income of the population. In essence, Smith’s view has been carried forward to the present. In the same paragraph in which Smith stated that consumption is “the sole end and purpose of all production,” he rebuked the.mercantilists because in their system “the interest of the consumer is almost constantly sacrificed to that of the producer” and because they made “production, and not consumption . .. the ultimate end and object of all industry and commerce.”

So much for the nature of the wealth of nations. The rest of Smith’s book is concerned with the causes of the wealth of nations, directly or indirectly—some­times very indirectly. Book I deals with value theory, the division of labor, and the distribution of income; Book II with capital as a cause of the wealth of nations. Book III studies the economic history of several nations in order to illustrate the theories presented earlier. Book IV is a history of economic thought and practice that examines mercantilism and physiocracy. Book V covers what today would be called public finance.

Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Smith held that the wealth of a nation, what we today call the income of a nation, depends upon (1) the productivity of labor and (2) the proportion of laborers who are usefully or productively employed. Because he assumed that the economy will automatically achieve full employment of its resources, he exam­ined only those forces that determine the capacity of the nation to produce goods and services.

Productivity of labor. What determines the productivity of the labor force? In Book I, Smith stated that the productivity of labor depends upon the division of labor. It is an observed fact that specialization and division of labor increase the productivity of labor. This had been recognized long before the publication of Wealth of Nations, but no writer emphasized the principle as Smith did. In our modern economy—even in the academic world—division of labor is widely practiced, with notable influence on productivity. Smith illustrated the advan­tages of specialization and division of labor by borrowing from past literature an example that measured output per worker in a factory producing straight pins. When each worker performs every operation required to produce a pin, output per worker is very low; but if the production process is divided into a number of separate operations, with each worker specializing in one of these operations, a large increase in output per worker occurs. In Smith’s example, when the process is divided into eighteen distinct operations, output per worker increases from twenty pins per day to forty-eight hundred.

It is interesting that although Smith recognized the economic benefits of specialization and division of labor, he also perceived some serious social costs. One social disadvantage of the division of labor is that workers are given repetitious tasks that soon become monotonous. Human beings become ma­chines tied to a production process and are dehumanized by the simple, repeti­tive, boring tasks they perform. But Smith had no doubt that human welfare is, on balance, increased by the division of labor.

The division of labor, in turn, depends upon what Smith called the extent of the market and the accumulation of capital. The larger the market, the greater the volume that can be sold and the greater the opportunity for division of labor. A limited market, on the other hand, permits only limited division of labor. The division of labor is limited by the accumulation of capital because the production process is time-consuming: there is a time lag between the beginning of produc­tion and the final sale of the finished product.

In a simple economy in which each household produces all of its own consumption needs and the division of labor is slight, very little capital is required to maintain (feed, clothe, house) the laborers during the production process. As the division of labor is increased, laborers no longer produce goods for their own consumption, and a stock of consumer goods must exist to maintain the laborers during the time-consuming production process. This stock of goods comes from saving and is, in this context, what Smith called capital. A major function of the capitalist is to provide the means for bridging the gap between the time when production begins and the time when the final product is sold. Thus, the extent to which production processes requiring division of labor may be used is limited by the amount of capital accumulation available. Smith therefore concluded: “As the accumulation of stock must, in the nature of things, be previous to the division of labour, so labour can be more and more subdivided in proportion only as stock is previously more and more accumulated.”

Productive and unproductive labor. The accumulation of capital, according to Smith, also determines the ratio between the number of laborers who are productively employed and those who are not so employed. Smith’s attempt to distinguish between productive and unproductive labor became confused and reflected normative or value judgments on his part. However, it manifests an awareness of the problem of economic growth. Labor employed in producing a vendible commodity is productive labor, Smith held, whereas labor employed in producing a service is unproductive. As an advocate of the changing social and economic order, he postulated that the activities of the capitalists, which resulted in an increased output of real goods, were beneficial to economic growth and development, whereas the expenditures of the landowners for servants and other intangible goods were wasteful. “A man grows rich by employing a multitude of manufacturers: he grows poor by maintaining a multitude of menial servants.”10 According to Smith, what is true of the individual is true for the nation; thus, for the economy as a whole, the larger the share of the labor force involved in producing tangible real goods, the greater the wealth of the nation. Capital is required to support the productive labor force; therefore, the greater the capital accumulation, the larger the proportion of the total labor force involved in productive labor. “Capitals are increased by parsimony, and diminished by prodigality and misconduct.”

This distinction between productive and unproductive labor also affected Smith’s view of the role of the government in the economy. Just as the expendi­tures of the landowning class for servants and other forms of unproductive labor are detrimental to economic development, so is some part of government expenditures. “The sovereign, for example, with all the officers both of justice and war who serve under him, the whole army and navy, are unproductive labourers.”12 Smith insisted that the highest rates of economic growth would be achieved by distributing large incomes to the capitalists, who save and invest, and low incomes to the landlords, who spend for menial servants and “who leave nothing behind them in return for their consumption.”13 Furthermore, because economic growth is inhibited by government spending for unproductive labor, it is better to have less government and, consequently, lower taxes on the capitalists so that they may accumulate more capital.

Sleight Of Mind, Seeing Through The Illusion


Nobody Cares More About Your Money Than You Do

This article is the 12th of a 14-part series that explores the core tenets of Get Rich Slowly.

I’ve read a lot of stuff lately about how scammers take advantage of other people. (Example, here is a brief summary of seven psychological tricks con artist use.)

(Excerpt from Lloyd Morgan)

Seven Psychological Principles Con Artists Exploit

Inherent human vulnerabilities need to be taken into account when designing security systems/processes, suggests a study that looks at a dozen confidence tricks from the UK TV show “The Real Hustle” to determine recurring behavioral patterns con artists use to exploit victims.

This study was a carefully constructed collaboration between Frank Stajano of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory and Paul Wilson, writer and producer of the aforementioned TV show (Wilson was an IT consultant for twelve years before moving into entertainment).

The seven principles of human behavior that con artists exploit, according to the article:

The distraction principle: While you are distracted by what retains your interest, hustlers can do anything to you and you won’t notice.

The social compliance principle: Society trains people not to question authority. Hustlers exploit this “suspension of suspiciousness” to make you do what they want.

The herd principle: Even suspicious marks will let their guard down when everyone next to them appears to share the same risks. Safety in numbers? Not if they’re all conspiring against you.

The dishonesty principle: Anything illegal you do will be used against you by the fraudster, making it harder for you to seek help once you realize you’ve been had.

The deception principle: Things and people are not what they seem. Hustlers know how to manipulate you to make you believe that they are what they want you to perceive.

The need and greed principle: Your needs and desires make you vulnerable. Once hustlers know what you really want, they can easily manipulate you.

The Time principle: When you are under time pressure to make an important choice, you use a different decision strategy. Hustlers steer you towards a strategy involving less reasoning.


It’s easy to think that those who lose their money are just unfortunate suckers. That’s not always true. The most intelligent people are more likely to fall victim, the less intelligent individuals are least likely to become a victim of manipulation because they use more common sense than logic.

On some level, the same thing happens all the time with bankers, brokers, and real-estate agents. Even with friends and family these folks may not be con artists, we’ve all at some point allowed these other people to tell us what we should do with our money. We let ourselves believe that they’re able to make better decisions about our financial situation than we are.

Sometimes they can, but more often than not, they can’t or won’t because the truth is, your money just isn’t as important to anyone else as it is to yourself.

One of the most powerful lessons you can learn is that nobody cares more about your money than you do. When you realize this, when you take responsibility for making your own financial decisions (instead of letting others make them for you), it can bring a tremendous sense of power and control to your life.

Trust no one

If your real-estate agent says you can afford a particular house, don’t just take her word for it. Run the numbers yourself. Set your own budget for a mortgage; don’t just trust the mortgage broker or the bank. Of course they think you can afford more they have commissions riding on it!

If your insurance salesman tells you that whole life is better than term, don’t just take his word for it. Do your own research. Find out what’s right for your situation. (Hint: It’s probably term.) Of course he wants you to buy whole life he’ll make five to ten times more than he would if you bought term.

If your lawyer tells you to create a living trust in addition to a simple will, don’t just take her word for it. Dig a little deeper. Learn what a living trust is. Find out why people use them. Ask yourself if this makes sense in your circumstances. You may very well decide to have your lawyer create a living trust or you may decide that $800 is better spent elsewhere.

If the salesman at the Mega Mart argues that you should take out an extended warranty on your new 180″ deluxe di-lithium-drive television, don’t just take his word for it. He has zero motivation to give you advice that’s in your best interest. His advice is based on what’s in his best interest, which means more money in his pocket.

If your favorite personal-finance blogger urges you to invest in index funds, don’t just take her word for it. Read up on the subject yourself. Though it’s unlikely that a blogger is going to profit from your investment choices, it’s very possible that her investment goals and your investment goals are different. Maybe she’s well off and merely wants to match market returns. Maybe you’re young and would like a little more risk. Make time too use the blogger’s advice as a starting point, but do your own reading, your own planning, and make your own investment decisions.

When you see an ad on television, on a blog or in a magazine, don’t just believe what the marketing copy tells you. Of course the latest Trends are the best! That’s what all ads say, right? Big corporations don’t have your best interest at heart. All they care about is the bottom line. To get the facts on quality and performance, check out impartial reviews through Amazon, Consumer Reports and your friends.

The truth is out there

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that it’s bad to talk to a financial planner or to use a real-estate agent to buy a house. You should absolutely have a team of financial advisers. Heed the advice of experts. Listen to what they have to say. But don’t follow their recommendations blindly.

The advice that others give you is almost always in their best interest, which may or may not be the same as your best interest. Never forget this. Don’t do what other people tell you just because they have authority or because they have a silver tongue.

Read. Research options. Understand the pros and cons of every choice. (Because every choice will have its pros and cons.) Don’t become obsessed with perfect, and be willing to make mistakes. Realize that what’s right for one person may not be right for you.

And, especially, never make a financial decision under time pressure. If somebody tells you this is a limited-time offer and you need to act fast or you’ll miss out, then miss out. It’s almost always the best choice. (Creating time pressure is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and an easy way to get people to go against their own best interest.)

Know what’s important to you and why. Use this knowledge to set goals. And use these goals to direct your choices. When you have a why, it’s easier to trust your own judgment.

Do these things, and you’ll appreciate that nobody cares more about your money than you do.

Master NLP Sub-modalities


Master NLP Sub-modalities…. 
And change the way you feel at any time & in any situation. Use NLP submodalities to thwart fear, raise confidence and blaze passion anytime, anywhere.

The brain uses submodalities as a medium to represent feelings.

Our experience of the world is acquired through the data gathered by our five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell and touch) and the interpretations of the data by our brains. However, that is not all there is to it. Our interpretations of the data are also affected by submodalities.

What are NLP submodalities?

NLP submodalities simply are the manner in which we internally re-present the data gathered by our senses. When the manner of re-presenting the data is different, the experience of it is also changed. So ultimately, the experience you have of something is not so much due to what you see, hear or feel, but rather how you re-present it internally, or in other words what your submodalities of those experiences are.

You can change the feelings and level of intensity of an experience by altering the submodalities you associate to it. Whether you feel happy, sad, excited or bored about an experience is because it is affected by the submodalities you associate to that experience.

Think of NLP submodalities as blueprints or codes of your experience. We have different submodalities for different feelings. When you run a certain submodalities, you will feel a particular experience. When you run this submodality you will feel happy. When you run another, you’ll feel sentimental and so on.

Ok great, how do I know what my submodalities are like?

As mentioned earlier, submodalities are the way we re-present data gathered. This means how we re-present something that we have seen, heard, feel and smell internally in our minds.

Example of the different submodalities of re-presenting what we see (visual) internally is the brightness of image, the size, color, movement etc. So if we visually replay an incident in our minds and make it very bright, colorful & large as compared against the real experience, it may make the experience more intense or less intense or totally change the feelings. It all depends on a person’s individual submodalities blueprint.

For auditory (sound) submodalities, it will be made up things like what the tone, volume, pitches or the sound is represented internally. Whereas kinesthetic submodalities are like the type of sensation felt (warm, cold etc.), movement of the sensation and at which part of the body is it felt.

How do I use NLP submodalities?

NLP submodalities can be used to change how you feel about a past incident, an anticipated future incident or even your current state. Here is how to do it:

1. First of all we discover your submodalities blueprint – visual, auditory and kinesthetic – for the desired response that you want (e.g. happy, excited, neutral, calm, passionate etc.).

Find out what submodalities you run internally whenever you feel happy, excited, creative, focused etc. Each of us has a unique submodalities blueprint for different feelings.

To find out what your blueprint is, do the following. Think of a past experience when you were happy, Re-live that experience and replay that memory in your head. As you do that and as you feel happy, note down the submodalities (visually, auditory and kinesthetically) associated to that happy memory. Do that by going through the list of submodalities questions below and recording the attributes for as many as possible.

So for example you may find out that when you re-run that memory, the image is large, bright, and colorful and you felt a fuzzy feeling near your heart.

It practice can be done by yourself, however it is easier to get someone help you. That way, you can fully concentrate on re-living your experience and picking up the submodalities attributes while your partner can ask you the questions from the list and record down your blueprint.

2. Next, after recording down the blueprint of the submodalities, internally re-run any experience but this time when re-presenting the incident in your head, deliberately change it to the submodalities attributes identified earlier.

So using the earlier example, start replaying the memory as usual then deliberately make the image of the memory bright, large and colorful. You will find that happy feelings with arise as you do that. Change the visual, sounds and feelings (kinesthetic) to align it to the submodalities blueprint that you identified.

When you change the submodalities of an experience to align it with the submodalities blueprint of a particular feeling, you will give the experience that feeling.

List of submodalities

Here is a list of NLP submodalities. When finding out your blueprint, use this list as a guide.


Color: Is it in color or black & white? Are the colors vivid or washed out? Is it full color spectrum?

Brightness: Is it brighter or darker than normal? What is the degree of brightness?

Contrast: Is it high contrast or low contrast?

Focus: Is the image sharp or fuzzy?

Texture: Is the texture of the image smooth or rough?

Detail: Are there foreground and background details? Do you see the details as part of a whole or do you have to shift focus to see them?

Size: How big is the image? (Specific size)

Distance: How far is the image? (Specific)

Shape: What is the shape or the picture? Square, round, rectangular?

Border: Is there a border to the image? Does the border have a color? How thick is it?

Location: Where is the image located in space?

Movement: Is it a movie or still picture? How fast is the movement, faster or slower than normal? Is the image stable? What direction does the image move to?

Association/Disassociation: Do you see yourself or do you see the event as if you were there?

Perspective: From what perspective do you see it? (For disassociated) do you see yourself from front, back, left or right?

Proportion: Are the sizes of the things in the image in proportion to one another? Are there larger or smaller than life?

Dimension: Is the image 3D or flat?

Singular/Plural: Do you see one image or more than one? Do you see them together or one after the other?


Location: Where does the sound originate? Do you hear it from inside or outside?

Pitch: High or low pitched? Higher or lower than normal?

Tonality: What is the tonality?

Melody: Is it monotone or melodic?

Volume: How loud is it?

Tempo: Fast or slow?

Rhythm: Does it have a beat?

Mono/Stereo: Do you hear it on one side or both sides?


Intensity: How strong is the sensation?

Quality: How would you describe it? Tingling, warm, cold, relaxed, tense?

Location: Where do you feel it in your body?

Movement: Is there movement in the sensation? Is the movement continuous or does it come in waves?

Direction: Where does the sensation start? Where does it move it? How (in what direction) does it move?

Speed: Is it a slow progression or does it move in a rush?

Final thoughts…

A way to mitigate this problem and to have a greater impact is to combine NLP submodalities with NLP anchoring techniques. First use submodalities to bring yourself to a peak state then anchor that state. Submodalities and anchoring are complement each other and is very powerful when used together.NLP submodalities are a very powerful technique. Just by changing the submodalities, you can change the feelings and intensity of any situation. However on the down side, you need to deliberately run your blueprint in your mind. This may not be ideal in certain situations especially when there is the presence of other people around you.

To YOUR Continued Success,


NLP Anchoring Techniques


NLP anchoring is one of the most popular NLP techniques out there because of it’s power and immediate impact. With it you can choose to deliberately put yourself in any chosen state such as happiness, energetic, confident, cheerful, creative, calm etc. in the blink of an eye.

The term NLP anchors came about by liking the impact of the technique to that of a ship’s anchor. What is the use of a ship anchor? It is to keep a ship in place when it is not sailing. This is to prevent the ocean waves from pushing the ship away. The anchor locks the ship in a specific location.

In the same way, NLP anchors does to us what a ship anchor does to a ship. It keeps us in a certain place (or rather a certain state for a more accurate depiction). By setting up NLP anchors to different states/mood, whenever we trigger that anchor we will immediately be brought to that state.

How does NLP anchoring works?

Ever heard of Russian physiologist & psychologist Ivan Pavlov? He is most well known for his findings on human and animal conditioning. While doing a research on dogs’ digestion, he discovered this phenomenon. When it came to meal time, Pavlov would use bells to call his dogs to the food. After repeating this numerous times, he found that even without any food, the dogs would salivate from hearing the sound of the bell.

By doing so, Pavlov associated the ringing sound of the bell to food. And the numerous repetitions have conditioned the dogs to respond to the ringing bell just like how they respond to food.

This is how NLP anchoring works. By conditioning responses to unique NLP anchors, we are able to deliberately get into specific states just by triggering the unique NLP anchor. Just like Pavlov’s dogs.

So NLP anchors are really a stimulus for us to get into whatever states we want. Similarly as Pavlov uses the ringing bell sound to act as a stimulus, with NLP anchoring, we can set certain anchors to act as the stimulus to certain states. And after many repetitions, the association between the NLP anchor and the state will be conditioned.

How do I set NLP anchors?

The premise of setting NLP anchors is basically the same as Pavlov and his dogs. You set an NLP anchor by associating a unique trigger to a certain state. When in that state, trigger a unique anchor to associate the anchor and the state together.

After repeating that process numerous times, that state will be conditioned to the anchor. Subsequently when you trigger that anchor later on, it will bring you to that state.

Here’s an example. When you are in happy state, anchor that feeling to a unique trigger, let’s say a light pinch on the palm of your left hand. Repeat that process numerous times. Once it is conditioned, each time you pinch your left palm you will be in a state of happiness.

The steps below are the way to set NLP anchors. Let’s say you want to set an anchor for happiness.

1. Get yourself into a happy state. Think of a past experience when you were happy. Construct happy thoughts and images. Visualize yourself and your loved ones smiling, laughing etc.

2. At the peak of your state, at the most intense feeling happiness, fire off a unique anchor. Let’s say to pinch your left palm. Fire off the anchor a few more times (means pinching your palm a few more times) as long as you are still in that peak state.

3. Change to a neutral state. Break your state by standing up, moving around, shaking yourself out of it. Then repeat the process again. After numerous repetitions, the state will be anchored into you.

A fairly simple process although getting into the desired state in the first place may prove to be a problem for some people. The best way to get into the desired state would be to remember and re-live the memory of past experiences when you were in that state. When there isn’t any relevant past experiences, constructing images or sounds of situations with that experience may help.

Another NLP method may help to get you into a desired state as well. NLP submodalities involves mapping the blueprint of feelings & states, so that whenever you run the blueprint, it will get you into that state.

Your anchors can be a touch at a specific area, a pinch, pressure (pushing in), saying a word or making a sound, looking at a certain image, listening to a sound, a certain music, song, ring a bell etc. It can be anything that our sensory cells can pick up.

However a point to note is that anchors that are made of any type of physical touch is usually a stronger compared against the sounds or visual triggers because biologically a physical touch or pressure has a stronger sensory impact on the body.

The effectiveness of an NLP anchor that you set depends on the following ;

• The intensity of the state – the stronger the intensity the better. Likewise if you set the anchor in a low intensity state, the effect will weak.

• Timing of the anchor – The timing of triggering the anchor is just as important. To be most effective, only trigger the anchor at the peak moment of the state. At it’s most intense moment.

• Uniqueness of the anchor – Make sure your anchor is unique. Something that you don’t normally do, see or hear everyday. For example actions like scratching, snapping your fingers or clapping hands are pretty common and we do it quite often. Use something really unique which isn’t part of your daily routine or gestures.

• Number of repetitions – Naturally the more repetitions you make, the more conditioned the anchor becomes. So make sure you do enough repetitions to make it conditioned.

Advanced NLP anchoring

Moving forward from the basic anchoring technique, in the more advanced NLP anchoring technique we involve 2 anchors. There are 2 ways to use this technique ;

• 2 positive anchors can be paired up together so that the 2 strong states will be integrated together. This is called Integrating Anchors.

• 1 positive and 1 negative anchor are paired up. This is done to chain the negative anchor to the positive one. By doing so, whenever you start to feel the negative state it will flow to the positive state. This is called chaining anchors.

Integrating Anchors

Here is the process for integrating anchors.

1. Using the same method as above, get yourself into a desired state #1.

2. At the peak of the state, fire off a unique anchor, anchor #1.

3. Break your state by standing up, moving around, shaking yourself out of it.

4. Repeat a few times.

5. Now repeat the first 4 steps with another state and anchor. (state #2 and anchor #2)

6. Integration. Get into state #1 & fire anchor #1. While experiencing that state fire anchor #2. Let the 2 experiences mix and watch and listen to everything that happens as those two experiences combine to make you even stronger and better.

This can be used for example in integrating energy and creativity together so that you can perform even better in your job.

Chaining anchors

Chaining anchors can be used to bring yourself from a negative state that you usually feel to a positive one. For example you usually get upset when stuck in traffic jam. By chaining anchors, you can chain the state of calmness to it so that the next time you are stuck in traffic, you instead of being upset you will be calm.

Here is how to chain anchors using the example above;

1. Get yourself into a calm and relaxed state.

2. At the peak of the state, fire off anchor #1.

3. Break state and repeat steps a few times.

4. Now visualize yourself stuck in traffic. Experience the unhappiness and feeling upset.

5. Fire off anchor #2 at the peak of the state. 6. Break state and repeat a few times.

7. Now chain both anchors together. Start by visualizing yourself in traffic, then fire off anchor #2. Visualize yourself as you start to feel upset because of the traffic (fire off anchor #1) suddenly you feel a calmness and relaxed feeling.

In chaining anchors, make sure that your negative anchor is not too intense. Your positive anchor must be stronger than the negative anchor. Or else the stronger negative anchor will overpower the positive anchor instead and turn it negative.

Going from here

That’s about it for NLP anchoring. Practice makes perfect. The best way is to have someone who has mastered it physically guide you through it. Nevertheless you can follow the guidelines above and experiment with it. The good thing is that if you are doing it right, you will immediately know it because of it’s impact. So there’s no guessing whether you got it right or not.

Take some time to master it. As long as you follow the steps and take note of the 4 keys to effective anchoring, you’ll be fine.

Have fun!

NLP Reframing – The Past Does Not Equal The Future


NLP Reframing

We base NLP reframing on the idea that all meaning depends on your point of view. To reframe something is to change its meaning by putting it in a different setting, context or frame.

For instance, a nasty experience can seem funny when put in a long- term frame. It is one of the most useful NLP techniques.

The meaning of any event depends on how we frame it. When we change the frame we change the meaning and with it our responses and behaviors. For instance if someone goes to a party dressed as a skeleton the meaning is different depending on whether it is Halloween or a funeral. My response to someone slipping on a banana skin is different as an observer than as a victim.

Reframing is not new. Many fables and fairy tales include behaviors change their meaning when the frames changes. The different looking chick seems to be an ugly duckling. He has been comparing himself to all the other ducks, and now he is a beautiful swan.

Humor and creativity

Reframing often appears in jokes. What seems to be one thing shifts and becomes something else. The set up takes you down a path and the punch line sends you somewhere else.

Reframing is part of creativity: it’s about taking an ordinary event or thing and putting it in a new frame that is useful or enjoyable. The inventor of Velcro noticed how difficult it was to get burrs out of his clothing. He decided this could be useful for attaching things together.

Context reframing – a different point of view

The basis of NLP reframing using context is the NLP Presuppositions that every behavior is useful in some situation. By thinking of a useful context, you can change your response to that behavior.

When you try to get a friend to think about things differently, see another point of view law or consider other factors, you are trying to reframe events to get a different response. Putting a positive spin on ideas in politics is a typical use of reframing.

Content reframing – positive intent and purpose

Another NLP presupposition is that all behavior has a positive intent. Finding the positive intention of a behavior is the other kind of NLP reframing. Do you believe that all behavior has a positive intent?

Generally, you do not intend to harm people with your words or your action, even if the effect is different. Where you or someone else did intend harm to another, there is still a positive intention for the self. That is to feel safe, powerful, in control, prevent the person doing something again, or as punishment.

In evolutionary terms, our brains don’t do anything without some underlying purpose. Our brain’s functioning is always of benefit overall to the survival of the species. We might feel it isn’t acting in our short-term personal interest sometimes, but there is always a purpose for our behavior and responses.

For example, finding that the positive intention of a teen’s rebellious action is to become an independent, capable adult can change the way both parent, and teen views that behavior.

The Six Step Reframe NLP Technique

Bandler and Grinder developed the six-step reframe technique from their study of Milton Erickson (ideomotor signals) and Virginia Satir’s work with parts. They included it in their book Frogs into Princes.

When we are young, we try out different behaviors and some of them work. We keep the ones that work, even when times change and those responses may not be the most useful ones. Throwing a tantrum at 4 might get us what we want, at 44 it probably won’t work so well.

Behind every behavior is a positive intention – this is one of the basic NLP presuppositions. Motives drive behavior. Our brains do nothing without some (usually unconscious) purpose.

To me the six step reframe is a powerful and underestimated NLP technique.

The Process

Identify a troubling behavior or response, something you would rather not do or feel.

Establish communication with the part creating the unwanted behavior or response. Ask if it would be willing to communicate consciously. This communication might be a sensation somewhere in their/your body, a picture, voice or sound. 
When you get a signal, first thank the part for responding. When we have fought against particular behaviors, they can feel alienated, so it’s useful to be polite.

Find the positive intention. Ask the part “What do you want? What positive thing are you trying to do for me? The key here is to recognize the difference between the parts intention and the way it is going about getting it
Have you ever tried to be helpful and the person misunderstood your intention and got annoyed? How does it make you feel? Are you likely to help a second time? 
Our unconscious parts feel the same. Here they are doing the best they can to achieve something for you. Is there thanks or even appreciation? We might have a long history of fighting and shaming this response. 
If a neighbor repeatedly told you what a worthless lazy bum you were for not mowing your lawn more often, would it inspire you to mow? I have no idea why many of us think shaming works to change behavior. It doesn’t work for me. 
Assuming that this aspect of self has a positive intention can create rapport and therefore makes it more willing to cooperate.

Ask for help from their/your creative part to create three alternative ways to get the intended outcome.

Have the part evaluate these new choices. Are they acceptable? Will they be as good as or better than the previous behavior? It needs to be willing to try them out for the next month or longer if appropriate. 
The key here is negotiation. If the part with the unwanted behavior is not happy with these alternatives, it is unlikely to give them a go. If you have ever agreed to something because you were bullied into it, you’ll know how important willing commitment is. 
If the alternatives are not acceptable, go back to step 4 for better choices.

Check for objections with other parts with an ecology check and future pacing. When we change behaviors, we can affect other people and aspects of ourselves. Even changes we think are fabulous have unintended consequences. We get our new car, but our camping gear doesn’t fit in the boot. 
If there are objections, put them through the same process from step 2 what is the positive intention etc.?

Mind lines: lines for changing minds – L. Michael Hall and Bobby Bodenhamer

Mind lines connect language to things and events that carry meaning. There are seven basic mind-shifting directions and 26 mind line patterns, which reframe reality.

Check out Mind-lines: Lines For Changing Minds at Amazon

Robert Dilts identified 18 key reframing patterns in Richard Bandler (learned from Virginia Satir, Fritz Perls, Milton Ericksonand Frank Farrelly), and called them “Sleight of Mouth” patterns.

Michael Hall’s mind lines model sorts and extend these patterns into seven categories based on his Meta states model.

Language powerfully affects mind and emotional states. Although words are almost totally powerless to change our external reality, they have almost complete power over our internal reality. A tiny idea can start a revolution or trigger depression.

Framing and Reframing

We can change our perceived reality by using the process of framing and reframing. Nothing inherently means anything; it is only our associations.

Bandler and Grinder called the Meta model and Milton model change patterns reframing. Every mental image has both an internal content and format and an external environment or context

Content — inside the box. Details of the external behavior and the internal states. How else can I view this? What other perspectives could I use? What are some viewpoints others might use?

Context — outside the box. Setting a higher frame on the belief or ideas i.e. Meta stating. Out framing the external behavior or the internal state with some other concept, ideal meaning. In what context would this behavior be useful?

Content reframe changes the meaning of an experience. A context reframe changes the perception of the problem while keeping the meaning

The one who sets the frame governs the experience. Someone or some idea always sets the frame. Awareness of the meaning process gives us control over it.

Conversational reframing

Sleights of mouth patterns are about persuading others and ourselves conversationally. The model, based on the Meta model, persuades by transforming meaning. We also use them to repel ideas and maintain our beliefs

A conversational reframe is a quick way to redirect our brain to a new point of view. It avoids resistance


Beliefs often relate to “shoulds”. They are our assumptions about causation and meaning. They confirm our models of the world. Beliefs become organizing frames of reference that allow us to focus on what’s important. They are the validated thoughts that encode our sense of reality that get manifested in behavior.

A belief has at least two levels of thoughts

A set of representations about something

Thoughts of confirmation and validation about these representations. You can think all kinds of things without believing them. You cannot change a belief merely by changing the submodalities, it needs conviction. Beliefs feel real and act as commands to the nervous system. The “yes” validates the thoughts.

The Mind Line Patterns


De-framing enables us to take meaning apart by testing stability. We want to expose the faulty logic and unuseful consequences

Make it more specific. We create beliefs by generalizing, deleting and distorting. They depend on vagueness. We can use the Meta model to test the reality of the belief or meaning.
Sequence – examine the logic and structure. If the logic doesn’t hold, it messes up the program. We can say this means that, or this causes that.
Content reframing

Here we are changing the meaning inside the box by saying that an event, experience, person or idea is not one thing but another. We call them new names, we redefine them, and we substitute one term for another.

Content reframing – redefine the external behavior – call it a different name
Content reframing – redefine the internal state. What the internal state really means is … What the internal state really causes is …
And 6. Reflexive reframing Here we are turning either the external behavior or internal state to self or listener. The purpose is to reality test the idea or belief

For example, “saying mean things makes you a bad person”. “What a mean thing to say.”
Counter framing

Here we are reversing meaning in order to create fresh meanings. How is the whole thing the opposite of what you thought? When a belief becomes a frame of reference, we move through life searching for evidence for it. You can find evidence to support just about anything.

Counter examples
here we are reality-testing beliefs by examining at what times or places it doesn’t occur. “I lack energy”. To do what? At what times, according to what standards?
Pre-and post-framing

Here we are learning to play with the concept of time, consequences, intentions and causation.

Positive prior intention framing
Invite the person to find more effective ways to accomplish the positive intention. By guessing the positive intent of people’s behavior, it shifts attention from negative behaviors.
Positive prior cause framing
We are usually skilled in identifying negative things that cause us to do things – blaming and justifying
First outcome framing
Discovering the future consequences of our behavior. This is a more confrontational stance
Outcome of outcome framing
Changing our time frames alter meaning. What will the behavior could cause over time?
Eternity framing
How does the behavior fit in the overall picture of your whole life? How will this look 50 or 100 years from now? The small size of our fear in a larger perspective
Out framing

Context reframing is Meta stating. In what situation is the behavior useful?

Model of the world framing is the ability to hold our maps more tentatively. Notice what happens when you say “this seems like my X”. Or how long have you thought this car belonged to you? Our internal representations of things are not the things.
Criteria and values
When we reframe something as valuable it allows us to reorganize ourselves in terms of that value. You can texture the state of anger so it becomes something valuable and useful, for example respectful anger. “Stress causes me to eat chocolate”. “Is avoiding stress more important than being healthy?”
“Allness” or universality framing
What if everyone did this all the time? This pattern pushes the belief to its limits. We typically expressed beliefs in absolute terms. “Allness” words don’t make room for exceptions.
Necessity framing
We typically use one particular style to frame our world.
Necessity – obligation and force (have to, must, ought to)

Possibility – opportunities and desire (get to, want to, desire to)

Impossibility – lack of possibilities or options (can’t, won’t, it’s impossible)

We can use Meta Model questions to challenge this framing. What would happen if you did? What stops you?
Identity framing
There is no such thing as sameness. We live in a world of processes; nothing is static. Can you describe self without using the to be (am, is, are) verbs? Whatever we identify with sets a self-organizing frame. For instance “I am an accountant — begin to see yourself as only that”
Framing all other abstractions
What principle would empower this person? What idea will make this belief more empowering?
The unreality frame uses words such as seems, appears, thinks, and looks like. These words imply doubt and loosen up our beliefs.

The self and other frame emphasizes the word “you”. It suggests that your model of the world is different from my model of the world. So for you it seems that being late means I don’t care?

The tonal emphasis frame emphasizes different words to change the meaning. “So you think being late means I don’t care?” is different from “So you think being late means I don’t care?”

In English we ask a question with a rising inflection at the end of a sentence. A command has falling inflection. “We are going to breakfast?” Is different from “we are going to breakfast”. You can embed a question or command in a sentence so it is received unconsciously.

Time Zones frame distinguishes current situations that are now occurring from situations in the future or past. For example “have you always thought about it this way?”

The realization frame acknowledges the changes we make. We often don’t realize the difference our efforts make, we discount our achievements and progress. How does it feel to realize this?

Ecology framing is this belief useful, empowering, limiting, balancing, enhancing? Does this way of thinking serve you?
Analogous framing – reframing using Metaphors and Stories

Metaphor framing
Involves conveying a message in terms of something else. Telling a story that has a similar structure to the problem. Stories are less threatening than advice.
Additional mind lines

Both and framing
Instead of either/or, we find a middle ground that includes both options
Pseudo word framing
A” real” word has to function as a symbol of something. Failure is some vague thing to avoid. You can fail but not experience the nominalized entity of failure. Is it a legitimate concept you want in your world?
Negation framing
Command negation – do not X. You first have to represent it and then make it go away. Don’t think of pink elephants dancing in the ocean. You can also frame a thing as invisible by creating and setting a negation frame. This can loosen up beliefs.
Possibility and “as if” framing
What would it be like if? If it were possible, what would you be thinking, feeling, doing?
Systemic and probability framing
Linear thinking enables us to sort and separate, sequence and program so we can create models and step-by-step procedures. Non-linear thinking enables simultaneous information. It connects previously separate and fragmented elements
Decision framing
We often theorize, analyze, diagnose and talk but don’t decide and take action to do something. Deciding literally means cutting one thing from another. When we say “yes” to something we are saying no to another, we cut off our options. We cut away what is important from what is unimportant. 

A clear-cut decision empowers us to act on our decisions. We can also stand back to look at what decisions are currently driving our actions.
Using Mind Lines (Conversational Reframes)

When you offer someone a mind line, you are playing with meanings. You therefore need sufficient rapport, pacing and trust and respect. What are the benefits of the belief? What difficulties and limitations has it created?

Is the difficulty simple or complex? A phobia is a simple anchored response. Low self-esteem is complex with associations, levels and meanings.

Problem states can undermine and limit our effectiveness. Make sure you reframe your own stuff.

The Process of Well-formed Outcomes in NLP


Studying the behaviors of successful people, Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the creators of NLP, concluded that successful behaviors are the results of the goals that have been taken through the process of well-formed outcomes.

They discovered that the ordinary people and the successful people think differently when they make decisions. The successful people envisage various conditions and different dimensions of a goal and its results before they begin. The ordinary people just begin.

Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the creators of NLP defined a well-formed outcome in (1979) Frogs into Princes as follows:

“A Well-formed outcome is a term originating in Neuro-Linguistic Programming for an outcome one wishes to achieve, that meets certain conditions designed to avoid unintended costs or consequences and resistance to achieving the goal resulting from internal conflicting feelings or thoughts about the outcome. Thus, a high quality outcome is more than a vague wish or goal. It is an objective or goal that is integrated with all aspects of one’s life (morals, ethics, relationships, finances, health, body, etc.) and has a process of accomplishment that respects and supports the current desirable circumstances in one’s life.

A high quality outcome is (in a sense) consistent with forward-thinking action as well, or alternatively have been clearly and well enough defined to be prima facie free of common “muddy thinking”. By applying all of the well-formedness conditions to a goal or outcome, and adjusting the outcome specifications accordingly in the process, you create a Well-formed outcome.”

When NLP became popular different people from different disciplines used the same principle but defined it in their own words and experiences. All of these different explanations showed different aspects of well-formed outcome although each person my place emphasis on one aspect of it. Jules Collingwood, an NLP trainer, described it:

“A well formed outcome is like an opening gambit in chess. It sets the scene for the rest of the game, and the level of attention given to plotting the outcome has a direct bearing on the ease with which desired results are achieved. A well-formed outcome makes the difference between wanting something in theory, and becoming able to go and get it in practice. This is not the same as taking a position about something. A well-formed outcome describes something that its user wants, in sensory based, positive terms. It includes a description of what the user wants it for, and the terms, conditions and environmental contexts in which the user wants to have it. It includes consideration of different approaches to the outcome, and time frames, costs and consequences to interested parties, and whether it is within the user’s control.”

Process thinking and forward-looking are two important issues in NLP as they determine the path and destination. Every action has some consequences. Some of the consequences are predictable and desirable and some others are not predictable but when you do them they get usually out of control. The way we define a goal or an objective is to make sure that we understand what we want and what we do not want after it is realized. What we do not take into consideration is what happens when we get what we want and what we do not get when we have it. The objective of a well-formed outcome in NLP is to make sure that we consider and examine in details different aspects of the goal.

“When our wants, dreams or wishes are refined using this process they become more believable and realizable. This is why they are then described as being `well-formed’ outcomes. The term ‘well-formed’ has been around in NLP for over 30 years. However, as with many NLP terms, this name gets in the way of understanding the simplicity of the model. Some people, to make things even more obtuse, even refer to the ‘well-formedness conditions for an outcome’.

Simply put, what the term really means is that the outcome has been refined or checked against six tests and once it ‘passes’ these tests it is well-designed, or, if you must, ‘well-formed’! You can use this process to clarify your own wishes so that they are more realistic, action-focused and to assist others in doing the same.”

One action can determine a large part of your life if it is not examined fully and completely. If we have any idea of NLP or a well-formed outcome we would behave very differently. The aim of a well-formed outcome is not to stop people from doing things or making decisions immediately but the objective is to ensure that at each phase of an action or goal setting is fully recognized and understood.

Your history follows you wherever you go. Be careful what you leave behind as it may capture you one day when you don’t need it at all. Whatever you do may emerge in your life somehow later. You will enjoy or suffer the consequences of your actions. To make sure that NLP can help you in processing a well-formed outcome, six major questions must be asked. Each major question includes some subordinate questions to clarify those aspects of the goal that are usually neglected.

Well-formed outcome is a six-step process. Richard Bandler and John Grinder, the founders of NLP defined well-formed outcome in this way:

The well-formedness conditions:

1. Be stated in the positive (that is, what you want, rather than what you don’t want), see positive and negative

2. Be capable of representation in the sensory representational system (tangible rather than theoretical or conceptual: able in principle to be evidenced through the senses when attained. Thus, seen, heard or felt)

3. Be possible and achievable

4. Have all the resources (people, psycho-physiological states, time, capital, equipment, or material) required or accessible.

5. Have a defined time frame

6. Be ecological in having consideration for cost and consequences for oneself and others affected.

The 6 Qualifying Detailed Questions
NLP trains you to ask these questions from yourself and others when you train them in order to shape their attitude in a way that focuses on well-intended results.

1. Be stated in the positive

Everything starts with the big question and the most important question of life: what do you want? This question is valid for the whole life or for a very small event. Possibly this question has been asked more than any other question in the history of mankind. The big problem is also that most of people do not know what they want. When you wake up in the morning, the first question arises in your mind is what I do today? Where I go today? What I want to achieve today. Even if they are not asked consciously they pester your mind even if you do not respond to them. If you don’t know what you want, you don’t get anything or you may get what you don’t want to have. If you don’t know where you want to go, you may never go anywhere or you may end up where you didn’t want to go. If you do not have a plan of action for everyday you may not do anything or you may do something that you shouldn’t do. These are the questions that NLP developers reflected on for some time and realized that successful people always know what they want, they know where they go and they know what to do and how to do it.

2. Be capable of representation

When you realize what you want, you have to know how you would know when you had it. In fact you must have a very clear picture of having it in your mind so that you know when you have it, it will look like the way you have figured it out. This is also a very important part in NLP as it would use your sensory systems to figure out the whole process and the end result.

3. Be possible and achievable

You have to make sure that what you want is possible and achievable so that you cannot go after things that are not within the framework of your capabilities although you may never know how much capabilities you have. Most of the people do not know their capabilities. That is the reason that they do not go for bold actions. NLP gives you confidence that you can develop unimaginable capabilities for achieving outstanding results even if you may think that they are not possible at the beginning. The important thing is what ever the goal is, you must believe that it is achievable and possible even if other people tell you that you cannot do it or it is not possible because when other people say something like that, they talk about their own limitations and not your capabilities. NLP is about unleashing your capabilities.

There are major differences between NLP goal setting, NLP well formed outcome and wishful thinking. Wishful thinking is what most people do during the day and the life. They wish that they had this and that without turning that wish into a goal and taking the goal through the process of the well-formed outcome. Remember that the goals have outcomes. And outcomes are intended or unintended. The goal setting becomes more realizable when it is conducted through the process of well-formed outcomes.

4. Resources

Collin Powell once said the secret of success is adequate preparation. For each goal that you want to achieve or any well-formed outcome that is supposed to be accomplished you need a wide variety of resources and preparation. NLP emphasizes more on mental and psychological resources. Other resources may be financial, intellectual, professional, educational and many other things. You need to think about all these resources you need to have before starting a goal if you do not want to get frustrated at the middle of the project and abandon it. Millions of projects are abandoned everyday and every year because all the requirements for their success were not thought of and provided when they began the project. NLP draws your attention to preparing what ever is required to succeed and providing it.

5. Have a defined time frame

Timeline has a particular importance in NLP as everything happens in time and place. You must therefore have a timeline for starting a goal and completing it. Thinking in terms of Timeline requires what I call systematic thinking in which you start from the beginning and go step by step systematically until you accomplish it. The example is start from A, then go to B, then go to C and then go to D to until you reach Z. You need always a place and context in which you want the well formed outcome to be achieved. As an NLP trainer I have realized that the context in which to achieve a goal is very significant. And context makes goals more specific and related to specific places, issues and people. As much you need a timeline in NLP you need a context too. You need to know where you want to do it and when you want to do it. Creating a Timeline for starting and finishing a project compels you to work according to deadline and finish it accordingly. At the same time when you divide the job into small pieces of A, B, C… you make it easier to accomplish.

6. Be ecological in having consideration for cost and consequences for oneself and others affected.

This is the last important part that I have been talking about in the previous articles: intended and unintended consequences for yourself, for others, and four everything else. You have to think what would happen to you when you have achieved it. There are a lot of people who go to NLP courses and consequently they begin to improve themselves and they expect the members of family to do the same thing but they do not show any sign or willingness to improve themselves. This creates tension among the members of family as the expectations among them will change. You may write a book and do not think of the consequences. You may face the situation that Salman Rushdie encountered when he wrote the Satanic Verses.

If you follow these simple steps of NLP and well-formed outcome when you set a goal, make a decision and prepare a project, you are more likely to achieve success.

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