How important is the language you use; the language that you use to talk to yourself and others. There is one whole new science behind understanding how the language we use affects our behavior and actions. It’s called NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming.
NLP is taught in over 150 countries. In a span of just over 40 years, it has emerged as the single most important method of effecting change in human behavior. Let us pick a few important ideas from this fascinating new field of psychology and see if we can apply it to our life.
The way to understand how our neurology is affected by the language we use, and how it shapes our life is at the central crux of all NLP strategies. The words we use, the way we use them, the intonation and stress patterns of these words and the meaning we give to them eventually shape our reality.
The language through which we shape our understanding and thinking can be put into two main categories; specific and vague language. Every single conversation we have with ourselves and others can be grouped into these two categories.
By paying close attention to how we are talking to ourselves we can not only understand how these two language patterns are functioning, but also we can change and reshape them to achieve our desired results.
Let us take an example; ‘I ate breakfast at 8:00 AM yesterday morning’ is an example of specific language. ‘I am going to work harder’ is an example of vague language. In our day to day living we use vague and specific language in different scenarios. Knowing how this kind of language pattern is shaping our reality is very important.
For example, the whole field of astrology is simply based on using vague language. Not to say that the field of astrology is false; but how often have we heard an astrologer speak this way; ‘Tomorrow at 6:25 Pm, you will hit your right leg to the left wall of your newly built house!).
‘You will succeed soon’, ‘You will make new friends’, ‘There are great possibilities for your future’, ‘If only you can focus, you will go places’. All these are examples of vague language, they contain no specifics whatsoever.
Just try this exercise; for one whole day, listen carefully to everything people around you are talking about. Just mentally categorize the statements you hear into vague and specific language. This simple exercise will give you a marvelous insight into what is happening around you.
Using vague and specific language in appropriate contexts can become a very effective learning strategy. With the understanding of this difference you can restructure your learning methodologies. Once you are able to identify the difference, you can alter the way you talk to yourself to bring about the desired changes within you.
The more specific and rich your conversation is in details, the more possibilities there are of it becoming a reality. So instead of talking to yourself vaguely like ‘I am going to work really hard for the next three months’ express your action in specific terms like ‘I am going to wake up at 5:00 instead of 8:00; I am going to take a break after 2 hours of studies instead of 1; I am going to keep my cell phone switched off for 6 hours every day (there is no way I am going to do that!) and so on.
We will explore this topic further in future articles…….