In our journey so far we have looked at a number of different filters that contribute to our internal map of reality. Currently we are looking at strategies, which are sequences of internal representations that lead to an outcome such as a feeling or an action.
There are many different types of strategy, and there are too many to deal with in this series. Last time we considered the motivation strategy. Next we will look at learning strategies and how to work out our strategies.
People learn things in many different ways, these ways all being strategies. If you want to learn something, you always have a strategy to learn it. That strategy may be effective or ineffective for some people. An ineffective strategy will always lead to something not being learned.
An effective strategy for learning has several attributes:
- Make an internal picture or sound of learning something. Make sure that internal representation is positive. Think of a time when you learned something easily. Feel what you felt, see what you saw and hear what you heard. If other senses were involved, use them as well.
- Use chunking to break the task up into manageable bites. You can’t write a PhD in 1 week, let alone understand quantum physics! Most textbooks start with the ‘big picture’ of a topic first, then chunk down to each concept progressively. Teachers and Professors assist as well.
- Get feedback along the way. Have a way to test your learning. Most courses have some form of assessment, but if you are learning on your own, you need a method to test yourself. This applies to things not learned in school as well!
- When assessing your progress, always measure with respect to how far you’ve come, not to where you’re going. This will give you a positive frame to work with and keep your motivation going.
- Know when and how the strategy should be exited. This may be easy if you are doing a course that has a specific pass mark, but if you are self guided, you need to know the end point of the strategy. Some people can miss the end of the learning and get bogged down in chasing clarity.
- Be aware that you might not understand some things on first exposure. Many concepts can be complex and require several attempts before full comprehension is achieved. If you don’t understand something initially, set them aside temporarily and come back to them later. The mind can understand very complex things but the conscious mind often steps in the way of immediate comprehension.
- You can use modalities and submodalities (see Part 6 of this series) to help represent concepts such as ‘understanding’, ‘easy to learn’, etc.
For instance, for ‘easy to understand’ you could visualise the result as a picture, and you could make the picture large, to the top left, in colour, bright, etc.
Similarly if you preferred rep. system is kinaesthetic, represent it as a warm feeling centred in your body. Represent these concepts in whatever your preferred rep. system is.
- If you downloaded ‘ImagineAction‘ from the previous article you can also use that to pass into the future and see yourself as having learned what you wanted to learn.
The learning and motivation strategies are just 2 examples of strategies and are fairly important for life in general.
Whilst we can’t go into detail on every other strategy there is, here are a few of the more important ones:
- Motivation strategy (we’ve looked at this)
- Decision strategy – what do you do when you make a decision?
- Convincer strategy – what happens when you become convinced of something?
- Reassurance strategy – what happens when you are reassured?
- Attraction strategy – what happens when you are attracted to someone?
In fact, for any one thing that you want in life, there is always a strategy to get it.
Conversely, for everything you DON’T want there is also a strategy!
Spend a few moments now thinking about these strategies, how you may be implementing them, and how to improve them.
In the next part of this article we’ll discuss how to figure out your strategies.