What do you think about when you think of the movie The Terminator? No doubt an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger pops up in your mind, and you hear his infamous line: "I'll be back."
Remember, "Houston, we have a problem" from Apollo 13? What a riviting statement! Movies have the ability to mesmerize and entrance entire audiences, to move people in and out of emotional states at will.
Now, what exactly is it about movies that yield this power and influence? It's due in large part from the script. I say in large part, because the music and other sound effects play a significant role. Concerning scripts though, what is a script? It is simply language constructed in such a way to create desired outcomes. Language, and language patterns employed by masters of language to move human beings in the direction chosen.
A talented scriptwriter can write her own ticket. She will have a waiting list of those desiring to give her money, attention and notoriety. Such a scriptwriter has the ability to take people places they most want to go and to enjoy every minute of it. Any individual who has such a command of language and can skillfully choose patterns of language can write a blockbuster script or a heart-felt love letter, or soothe a tormented soul---with words. The right words can and have inspired a nation and changed the course of history.
I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!
If you move into the realm of music and think of songs, do you remember Helen Reddy unabashedly singing "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!" How about Frank Sinatra, the "Chairman Of The Board," who told the entire world "I Did It My Way." What about Elvis Presley holding an audience in the palm of his hand with "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and Tina Turner asking, "What's Love Got To Do With It?" or, "Hey Hey We're The Monkeys" by who else…but the Monkeys! And who can forget the one and only Louis Armstrong reminding us of "What A Wonderful World" it is that we live in! Now, moving into an entirely different world, how about Eminem's "Without Me," and his "in your face" lyrics stirring up a little controversy?
"Words" Are... More Than Just "Words?"
Movie scripts and songs are just words. Or are they? The fact of the matter is that they are much more than just words…much, much more. They are instruments. They are tools. They are conveyers and instigators of emotional states, visual images and overall human experiences. And, as said before, they can be used to move not only individuals, but also nations. Winston Churchill used the tool of language to powerfully challenge the British people to uncommon efforts to win the Battle of Britain. Churchill changed history with the words, "Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'"
"Gentlemen, It Is Your Choice"
The individual who has the most command of language and of language patterns will be the one to lead others in the direction she or he desires. Churchill was once addressing his newly acquired officers after taking command of a battalion in WW1. The problem was their obvious lack of enthusiasm for his leadership. Just how was he going to mobilize his men and gain their respect? That was not a problem for Churchill, as he elegantly entered their model of the world and simply said, "Gentlemen, I am now your Commanding Officer. Those who support me I will look after. Those who go against me I will break. Good afternoon gentlemen."
Now, you might not be leading a battalion, however, you have no choice in whether or not you lead yourself. And how you communicate with yourself, the precise words, and the structure of your language patterns will determine the quality of life you lead, period. Is there any skill-set worth more to you than your ability to language your future in such a way that you find yourself having the ongoing experiences that are truly worth having, whatever that would mean to you. We only have one life here on this planet, as far as I know. And even if you believe otherwise, why not have the best life you can possibly have, moment by moment, right now?
BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine
Moments such as this does not happen by accident any more than building what BMW calls "The Ultimate Driving Machine." Such a machine is engineered with precision and attention and that is why it commands respect from so many. And the engineers who build such automobiles took it upon themselves to educate and train themselves in their art. They were not handed such skills upon birth. No, they made a decision that they desired to build the finest driving machines they were capable of and they devoted their time and energy in learning how to do just that. And, each engineer today continues to do so, and if not, he or she will no longer take their place alongside the other men or women who realize the necessity of honing their skills--if they desire to build something worthwhile. If they should lose their place of honor, I guess they could always apply for work at Saturn, could they not? Imagine that! An engineer capable of designing and building "The Ultimate Driving Machine" toiling away churning out mundane cars for Saturn. Not a pretty picture.
Now, what does that have to do with you or me? It has to do with the notion that you and I are capable of building what we truly desire in our lives rather than settling. And at this point, the question of the moment is, "How do I go about doing this?" In my private coaching practice, and as I interact with others, I hear and observe behavior that communicates something along this line: "How can I build the reality I want, the relationships I want, the income I want and the overall experiences I want when the tide is going against me? How can I build a BMW when I do not know how to do so, and when I do not even have the parts to assemble?"
How To Do What You Cannot Do
So, how does one go about building what they desire if they believe they do not know how to build "X" or that they know how and yet do not have the materials to assemble "X."? Let me give you an example. Not too long ago I was talking with someone who had transformed her body by shedding excess fat and building fat-burning muscle, lean muscle that suited her body just fine. Not the extreme muscle you might see on someone competing professionally, but lean, feminine muscle. This friend of mine had learned a great deal about nutrition, exercise, behavior change, and overall had become more and more adept at creating the life she wanted. One day, she decided she wanted to become a personal trainer and share with others what she had used to make dramatic changes in her behaviors. When she thought about going for it, she felt both excited and "stuck" at the same time.
Why? In part, because while she really did desire to help others as a personal trainer, at the same time, she believed the tide was against her, because the "competition" was so great, and even more, she did not have the credentials she thought necessary to get clients, meaning she was not a "certified" personal trainer. So, who would hire her? In her mind, the "tide" was against her, she did not have the necessary "parts" to build her business, and she did not know how to go about getting clients.
Now, the good news is that this was all a construct of how she was "languaging" these matters to herself, and then in turn, creating her reality, a reality she said she did not desire! In her mind, she had to have "proper credentials" to be a personal trainer. Then she began using the communication skills she had learned to take her in a more useful direction. She applied the question "how do I know?" to the belief of having to be certified as a personal trainer. She asked herself, "Who says I have to have that?" "Who made up that rule?" Even if that "rule" were "true," then exactly which certification body would be the "right" one? Who determines that? Which one was the one that would give her "permission" to help others do what she had done! My friend realized that the only "permission" she needed was from clients, not from anybody else. And what would those clients want? Results. They would want more health, to learn how to shed fat and build muscle. And, she knew how to give them these things.
My friend got to thinking on a different level and asked herself, "What is more important here, that I have a certain credential…or that I can deliver results? After all, there are many personal trainers who are credentialed who do not deliver the goods." As she realized that, she began to move forward. Then she got a call from someone who had been referred to her and she had her first client. This new reality she began creating for herself was a construct of how she had been "languaging" things to herself... just as surely as the previous reality she had been creating for herself was a byproduct of how she was communicating internally. There is power in language and that power can move us in the direction we desire or in the opposite direction.
If I say to myself, I want to lose weight, but I can't, (as I have said to myself in the past) then where am I to go from there? I will create a "stuck" condition for myself . To gain traction and move out of the "stuck" condition I will need to know how to language matters in such a way as to move forward? What if I said to myself "Do I know for a fact that I cannot lose weight? If so many others have lost weight, how do I know that I can't?" If I talked to ten others who once believed they could not lose weight but did it anyway, what would they say to me? What if one of them told me "Alan, if I were you, I would lose that belief because it will get you nowhere good." And, what if another person said, "Don't you think that the more important issue is learning how to love exercise and healthy eating, because if you do that, the rest will take care of itself." And another person might say, "I can understand why you have thought you can't lose weight. I used to think that myself until I educated myself about how many different types of really delicious and healthy foods there are. I really had no idea. Now I know how to make a chocolate protein shake with half a banana that is so delicious you would think it was a milkshake!"
With these new perspectives I will gain traction and begin moving forward in a different direction. Instead of being stuck I would be energized and mobilized. It really is easy to lead yourself in the direction of your goals and desires if you have effective "languaging" skills. The fact is, that anytime you or I have gotten ourselves stuck, it is because we were using "languaging" patterns that were powerful enough to move us away from our goal. And guess what...we learned whatever language patterns we used to keep ourselves stuck. To move forward is simply a matter of learning how to language our understandings and perspectives in a manner that takes us into our desired future.
At Least 17 Language Patterns
What I am talking about is a skill set that can be learned, period. Is it not worth learning?! There are at least 17 language patterns that have been identified and are available for anyone to learn.
These 17 patterns are tools to be used to generate and accelerate momentum, especially if you unintentionally get yourself stuck in some way. Think about language patterns as a resource you can use in at least the two ways just mentioned. I recently heard about someone who loved to take his truck off the beaten path. He never got stuck, no matter what terrain he found himself in. He had equipped his truck with a wench and whenever he got stuck, he would simply secure his chain around a tree or other object and engage his wench, which in turn would simply pull his truck over any obstacle in his way, such as a fallen tree, or a deep mud pocket. He went anywhere he wanted to and had the time of his life. Language patterns are like that wench. We cannot avoid obstacles in life. We can, however, acquire and learn to use a wench.