There are several issues that can massively increase your potential for learning. In a previous post we looked at idea about the nature of practice, in this post we will look at the impact of beliefs.
Academic vs Pragmatic Approaches to Learning
When I want to watch TV I turn the TV on, pick up the remote control and select the channel I want to watch. The science behind how a TV works, how the remote control works and you can get even more complex when you delve into the world of quantum physics and the nature of reality.
Understanding these concepts will help you design and develop better TVs and remote controls. They might even help in understanding your relationship with your electromechanical world. But if the purpose was to watch TV then you might be better learning the specific processes of turning the TV on and using the remote control.
Each set of learning is a different approach giving a different result but both are related to TV sets. Understanding your learning outcomes will give you significantly better results.
I was once coaching a woman through her MA dissertation. She had been given a three feet high pile of books by her lecturer saying that she would need to read all of it for research. She panicked and called me.
I got her to outline what questions she needed answers to and what background was relevant to her dissertation. I then got her to skim the content pages of the books looking for relevance. She then could discard one pile and just read the relevant sections of the others. This then set up some more questions and she repeated the process. The result was in one weekend she read everything in those books that was relevant to her dissertation.
On the Monday she excitedly went into college to tell her lecturer what she had done and promptly was roasted alive for not doing the research “properly”. She got a distinction for the dissertation a month later, but she had learnt not to tell the academics that she was not doing proper “research”.
A key issue that happens is that over a course of centuries these two approaches have become mixed to the point where there is a confusion of beliefs that seriously hinder people’s learning. Let’s look at a couple of examples that are close to my heart.
There is a wealth of information, research studies and scientific study that has been done. It really explains in intricate detail some ideas about how some concepts work. If you look into the body of work called NLP and study the Milton Model you will find around 16 Milton patterns and then a whole lot more tweaks, patterns and distinctions. Incidentally if you are not an NLP Jargon Junky the Milton Model is loosely speaking hypnotic language.
Now many practitioners come away from their NLP Course with a whole collection of labels for certain patterns and little understanding of how to apply them usefully in the real world. Whereas I suspect most of them want to know how to use a few key ideas to make a significant difference in their lives and a process that will allow them to simply build more onto those foundations. That is what The Persuasion Skills Black Book is all about.
Several people have criticised the book for not have enough theoretical explanation of what is going on. I would agree and would suggest if they used the material for a few days they would have enough subjective personal experience of how this works. The real issue is that theory is do you want to understand how a TV works or do you want to watch your favourite programmes?
I spent 20 years as a fairly competent guitarist. One reason I never took my music further was a feeling that I had that I did not know music well enough. As a self taught blues guitarist I knew where to put my fingers to create certain sounds.
I could listen to a lot of music and then reproduce it on my guitar. Sometimes it would take one listening sometimes I would have to listen to it many times and have to work really hard at learning it. I was also pretty good at making thing up, the muso word for this is improvising.
But still I had this idea I was not a proper musician. This was based on a few beliefs I had running. Whatever I did I could not understand music theory and struggled learning to read music let alone relate it to my guitar. I also had a belief that music was complex and difficult to understand, what I was doing seemed too easy and therefore I could not have been doing it “right”.
This is why Duncan Lorien’s Understanding of Music Seminar was such a revelation to me. In the course of two and a half days I learnt the nature of practicing properly to the point where you can devolve the whole thing done to ten minutes key focus a day. I learnt all the music theory I needed to talk intelligently to any musos and exactly how I can easily learn to sight read music (I was doing it before the end of the seminar). Even more startling was the fact there were several people that had never touched a musical instrument on the course and they were doing the same.
How was this achieved?
Firstly Duncan throughout the course broke down the beliefs that people traditionally hold around music. He put together all the key distinctions you need to make playing music simple from the nature of what you are trying to achieve, what real practice is and the key simplicity that is always behind the complex.
This idea needs a little explaining so let me give you an example for both learning NLP Persuasion Skills and for Music.
Hypnotic Language Patterns
Having sixteen separate patterns thrown at you all in the context of a hypnosis client and learning does not allow you learn how to use hypnotic language patterns. Having one pattern and fully examine it in many contexts build the background to use that pattern. When you then give a process that shows you how to integrate that into your life you just repeat the process for as many patterns you like.
This is a key simplicity about focusing on the ultimate outcome i.e. using these patterns in your life. A couple of people have commented that they seem to have got more from the book than a few hypnotic language patterns. This is because I covertly engrain the process of learning patterns rather than just give you patterns. If you follow the ideas in the Persuasion Skills Black Book you are learning the process of learning hypnotic language patterns although you might think you are just learning a few patterns.
Music is a form of communication. Imagine the issue if you had to concentrate on forming your words rather than the meaning you intended to convey. How much harder would it me to get your message across to someone? In the same way as a musician if you are totally focused on getting your fingers in the right place at the right time you have no space to develop expression and make your music “mean” something.
By creating exercises that focus on control, accuracy and expression you develop your musical communication skills. The ultimate is when you are performing you can spend your time on getting some emotion and feeling into what you are playing. Arguably this is the difference between some that can play an instrument and a true musician – and Duncan teaches this to complete beginners.
Duncan is only running one seminar in the UK this year. If you want this then click through, check the dates and book now.