Experienced NLP practitioners will have no trouble making immediate use of this book. They will recognize many of the patterns, and find excellent new ones to learn. We recommend that these practitioners at least look through all the patterns; they will see some improvements to many of the patterns, and will get a clearer understanding of some patterns because of how clearly the steps are presented.
The beginner will appreciate the structure of this book. The first section has the more fundamental NLP patterns. These will round out their repertoire and build confidence. The patterns come in three main flavors. Those that you can easily try out on yourself, those that you can try on clients or other appropriate people, and those that require some structured participation of two or more people. Each pattern states what is needed early on.
“I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”
– Mother Teresa
All readers will appreciate how the patterns arc provided. Whenever possible, credit is given for the development of the pattern. Each pattern has an introduction that explains its purpose. The patterns arc each divided into steps. The first sentence of each step is a reminder statement so that, once you know the pattern, you can just look at the reminder statement to proceed. This will also help you memorize your favorite patterns.
As you build mastery with these patterns, we encourage you to build intuitive flexibility and creativity. The patterns and additional material will help you to see how the presuppositions and knowledge of NLP are put into action. This insight is a very good source of this creativity. This takes you beyond the cookbook approach of steps and into a level of mastery that allows you to improvise solutions to new challenges. Just as a jazz musician practices scales and time signatures to build improvisational skill, NLP practitioners practice the principles and techniques of NLP to gain subconscious mastery.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
As you get started with this book, have a pen or highlighter handy and mark the patterns that you want to learn or review. Highlight any words in the steps that will help you gain mastery. Be sure to stay connected with life, and have a good time. Joy and humor are great facilitators of learning and creativity.
And one last, very important, piece of advice: Learn with others. NLP has been around for more than three decades now, and there are surely people around you who are as excited about learning NLP as you are.