In live interview with NLP Life, Dr Richard Bandler describes what it takes to be resilient to what life throws at you.
Dr Richard Bandler,
Co-creator of NLP
I don’t care who you are, bad things will happen in your lifetime.
Every love story ends in tragedy because somebody’s going to go first, whether they leave somebody or die, it’s going to happen. Every pet you love it’s going to end in tragedy, so part of having good things is that they come to and end.
People lose good jobs, the economy is tough now, a lot of people are having a hard time.
With resilience, it’s not so much you're recovering, but you’re being determined to go back and find the good stuff. It’s about not looking backwards, it’s not that you drag yourself up and overcome difficulty no matter how bad it feels, it’s that the worse things get the more perseverance you get.
Determination is one of the most powerful things I teach most of my clients. They’re not determined enough to clean up the inside of their mind and focus on what they want. I've spoken to a lot of people who made it through things that should be impossible; concentration camps in World War II, prisoner of war camps in Vietnam, just the worst of the worst things.
There were certain things they had. One is a sense of humour, and the other is they kept looking in their mind, thinking about where they wanted to go, "some day I’ll be out of this mess and I’m going to do this and I deserve it," instead of feeling bad about where they were even in the worst of circumstances. You take one person who was in the camps in World War II and they’re devastated by it and they live with nightmares and they never get over it. The guy who is on the bed next to him got out, got a job, got married, had a great life, has a wonderful sense of humour. When I met these Holocaust survivors and I realised some of them were devastated by it and some of them became impervious to it.
Some of the guys that I talked with were Prisoners of war in Vietnam, locked up for eight years and beaten regularly. They didn’t let them talk to another person, they were in a cell by themselves. So what they did is they went in their brain and they planted a farm. One of them had grown up on a farm and he visualised a field in his mind, slowly ploughed the field, put every seed in and sat and watched it grow, even when they were beating him on the feet with pain, he was growing his garden and telling himself, "Someday I’m going to be out of this and I’m going to plant this field for real". So, you make vivid goals that tell you no matter how bad it is, it’s going to be over, as opposed to saying to yourself, "I’ve lost this and I’ll never get it back, it’s never going to happen". It’s the tone of your internal voice and the clarity of your images about the future instead of blowing the past up and making it big and horrible.
All the people I meet that are devastated by bad memories are still looking at them. If I came over your house and painted an ugly picture on your wall you’d paint over it but yet people leave in them in their minds year in and year out. What I do is try to teach people to redecorate the inside of their head so it’s futuristic and it’s a good place to live.