You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Once upon a time, a sparrow, who had laid three eggs in her nest, went out to get food. When it returned, it saw that one egg was missing. That egg was picked up by a monkey, who took it to a farm and placed it amongst the eggs of a hen. At the expected time, the chickens came out and so did a little sparrow. The sparrow followed the lifestyle of chickens and never learnt to fly.

“You don’t know what you don’t know.”

The sparrow never knew that it was not a hen. Why? Because every creature on this planet has a limited knowledge. Yes! Every creature including the big thinking hats amongst humankind too. Be it Steve Jobs or Satya Nadela, nobody knows it all. 

Believe it or not, many of us have been that sparrow who was designed to fly, but remained unaware of its own capability. What makes us different from animals is NOT the learning, but the conscious awareness about the power of learning. Knowing that we don’t know is the first step towards knowing ourselves and our egos deeply.


“You don’t know what you don’t know” – this phrase highlights the importance of understanding the limitations of our own knowledge. It reminds us that we may not be aware of important information or insights that are crucial to making informed decisions. This applies to all areas of life, from personal relationships to business and management.


The repercussions of discarding this mindset may result in lack of ideas, rigid mindset, high-level stereotyping, cognitive biases etc.


At its core, the phrase “You don’t know what you don’t know” is about humility and self-awareness. It encourages us to acknowledge that there may be gaps in our understanding and that we should always be open to learning new things. It also reminds us to be cautious and humble in our interactions with others, recognizing that they too may have valuable insights that we are not aware of.


One of the most common examples of “You don’t know what you don’t know” is in the realm of technology. Many people assume that they are knowledgeable about technology simply because they use it every day. However, the reality is that technology is constantly evolving, and there are always new developments and innovations that we may not be aware of. For example, most of the daily users of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are not experts in the complex algorithms that power these platforms, and we may not fully understand the impact that they have on our lives.


In business and management, the concept of “You don’t know what you don’t know” can be particularly important. Business leaders must be constantly vigilant, seeking out new information and insights to stay ahead of the competition. They must also be willing to admit when they don’t know something, and seek out the expertise of others who may have a different perspective. 

The advent of Artificial Intelligence tools like ChatGPT is also the result of a similar mindset, where we as humans accept that we don’t know what we don’t know.


Finally, “You don’t know what you don’t know” is also applicable to personal relationships – whether romantic, platonic, or professional. It is important to recognize that we don’t know everything about the other person. We may make assumptions or judgments based on incomplete information or our own biases, without fully understanding their experiences or perspectives. By recognizing the limitations of our own knowledge and being open to learning more about others, we can build stronger, more meaningful relationships based on trust and mutual understanding.


While embracing the principle that “You don’t know what you don’t know” is what can make us humble, empathetic and curious individuals, it can also be uncomfortable and challenging at the same time. Discomfort and challenge are often signs of growth and learning, that makes us more resilient and adaptable individuals.


Few months ago, I decided to enrol into a course, and even recommended the same to two of my friends from coaching community. One of them declined saying that this course is nothing but NLP wine in a different bottle, and that he is already an expert in NLP. This made my other friend wonder and she asked me why I am still interested in this course when I am already a Certified Master Trainer of NLP.  I shared my reasoning with her – “NLP is everywhere without it being called NLP. There are some NLP “experts” who see NLP everywhere and say ‘oh I know all this already’. And there are other NLP “learners” like me who see NLP everywhere and say ‘wow there is so much more to learn in NLP’. That’s the difference that makes the difference. By exploring what I don’t know, I will learn what I don’t know.”

Learning and growth are ongoing processes. We will never know everything there is to know, and there will always be new challenges and experiences to navigate. By embracing a growth mindset and committing to lifelong learning, we can continue to evolve and improve as individuals.

“If you are not willing to meet uncertainty, you will kill possibility.”

– Keren Eldad, Founder of With Enthusiasm 

To sum it up, in order to be ready to know more, we have to accept that we don’t know what we don’t know.

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How to Banish Clutter and Leave Stress Behind

How to Banish Clutter and Leave Stress Behind

Deadlines, financial difficulties, and competing responsibilities are some well-known causes of stress in our lives. Research shows that clutter can also be a hidden cause of stress at home and work. Experiencing less stress in your life may be as simple as getting rid of your excess stuff!


A 2011 study at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute examined the effect of clutter on the brain. According to the study, “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex,” clutter does more than take up space in our homes and offices:


Clutter limits the brain’s ability to focus and process information.

Individuals that limit clutter in their home and work environment are less irritable, less distracted, and more productive.


Try these steps to pare down and organize your belongings:


  1. Start small.


If you’ve been living with too much stuff for a long time, you probably feel overwhelmed at the thought of going through your things. Maybe you are uncertain about how to even begin. Get started by setting small cleaning and organizing goals.


  • Avoid setting an unrealistic goal of cleaning your whole house overnight. Set small goals, like organizing a desk or closet. As you experience success on a small scale, you’ll receive the boost in confidence that you need to continue your efforts.


  • Once you have established order to a small space, keep going. Build upon your success. After your drawers and closets, focus on cleaning an entire room. Clean and organize one room at a time until your entire home is filled only with necessary items that you use on a regular basis.


  • Keep your closets and drawers organized by adopting a “one in, one out” rule. Get rid of one old item each time you buy something new.


  1. Be ruthless.


If you haven’t worn or used an item in a year or longer, do you really still need it? Get rid of duplicate items, as well as worn out and broken items that you haven’t fixed.


  • Items received as gifts from loved ones can be particularly difficult to part with, especially if the loved one is now deceased. Take the time to acknowledge your loss, but realize that holding on to your loved one’s possessions won’t bring them back.


  • One option that may make it easier to part with an item and honor your loved one’s memory, is to sell the item and donate the proceeds to their favorite charity.


  • If you feel guilty at the thought of throwing an item away, consider donating it if it’s still in good condition. This boosts your energy and self-esteem, in addition to getting rid of your clutter!



  1. Straighten the focal points of your bedroom, living room, and kitchen at the start of each day.


Set the tone for your day by spending 15 minutes straightening the central areas of your home each morning.


  • Make your bed, wash any dirty dishes, and eliminate clutter from the living room, counters, and kitchen table.

  • Reverse this strategy at work, and clear your desk before you leave at the end of the day.

  • By removing the clutter from these key areas, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed when you return.


Having too much stuff is visually distracting and it adds to your daily stress level. Following these above simple steps will contribute to greater feelings of serenity in your life as you say “goodbye” to clutter.



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How does Modeling work in NLP

How does Modeling work in NLP

Modeling of exceptional performance behaviour requires observing and laying down the underlying processes inherent in that behaviour. It requires breaking down a complex system or a series of events into chunks small enough to be understood and reproduced.

What is the purpose of behaviour modeling? The point is to create a useful map or model of the behaviour for the purpose of reproducing or copying it by anyone who may want to. By identifying the individual elements that make up the essence of the behaviour, in a practical sense a person can reproduce the desired response or outcome. The model must give a description of the necessary thoughts and actions needed to achieve results that are similar. 

The development of Neuro-Linguistic Programming came about from the modeling of the thinking processes and behaviors of humans. It starts with learning about and understanding how the brain operates (neuro), and analyzing non-verbal and verbal language patterns (linguistic). Then a sequential set of strategies or programs (programming) teaches how to transfer the skills to others.

Richard Bandler began to model particular language patterns and behaviours that he observed from Fritz Perls (Gestalt therapy founder) and Virginia Satir (one of the founders of family therapy and systemic therapy), and, later, the founder of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, Milton H. Erickson, M.D.  

The initial techniques of NLP came out of the language patterns and body gestures of the very talented and skillful therapists noted by Bandler and also observed by John Grinder, a linguist who later teamed up with Bandler. The “magic”, that these exceptional therapists were able to achieve, fit into a structure that could be understood, transmitted through communication, and executed by ordinary people, not just the master therapists who originated these triumphs. This became the foundation for NLP. 

Grinder observed Bandler at work one day and noted how Bandler was able to influence people with his use of language. Grinder had a sense that something systematic was occurring. Neither could explicitly describe the process. Bandler knew he had somehow picked it up from Perls and Satir. Grinder realized that if Bandler could teach him to do what he (Bandler) was doing, he could then put the process into a formula that could be articulated and copied.  

The tools and techniques developed within NLP identify and lay out specific patterns of human verbal and non-verbal interactions – fundamental characteristics of how people express themselves and behave. One of the most basic objectives of NLP’s use of modeling is to put these observable key behaviours – verbal and non-verbal conduct – into appropriate and actionable steps that produce desired results. 

It is not to distill the modeling process down to one “essential” or “correct” characterization of the cognitive process of any particular individual. Rather, it is to enable us to create a map whereby we can apply in an effective and advantageous way, certain strategies that we’ve modeled. The primary goal is to enable us to be more effective in our interactions and dealings.  

The exactness of the map – how closely it follows reality – is less important than how useful it becomes. The modeled strategies may be used to achieve some purpose that is constructive and functional, and it may be similar or different from the initial use of the model.

To find out more about my live online interactive workshops and courses on Neuro Linguistic Programming, check out www.learnnlp.in

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How to banish unwanted thoughts

How to banish unwanted thoughts

We all have them from time to time – some nagging thoughts keep popping into your head, and you can’t seem to banish them. They keep coming back at inopportune times, or whenever you least expect it.

You keep trying to change the thought, focus on something else. But the unwanted thought and the feelings associated with it keep nagging at you.

So how do you get rid of it? Is there a way?


Here are three simple yet powerful ways to banish unwanted thoughts using NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming).

Much of our daily activities and thoughts are unconsciously and unintentionally operating. If we can learn ways of getting better control over our thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and if we can be in control of how we respond to various situations, we can attain greater success in many areas of our lives.

NLP teaches, among other things, that our physiology, feelings and thoughts are interrelated. Our emotions and thoughts ebb and flow, and sometimes we get stuck with a repetitive and unwanted thought. We call them bad thoughts. It does not help to try and think of something else or deny that they exist. Attempting to avoid the thought keeps you paying attention to it, and in some ways, reinforces the thought.


1. “It’s just a thought!”

Making the connection between the thought and the feeling that arises from it is the problem. Thoughts and feelings are neither positive or negative, it’s the label we ascribe to them that colors our view of them. A thought or an emotion is just a thought or emotion; it has no “meaning” in and of itself. It may be an opinion or idea about something. It is when we attach feelings to our thoughts that they become powerful – and especially if we choose to act on them; that’s when we incur problems.

You may think your thoughts and feelings are real and not imagined, but keep in mind that there are usually many different ways any situation can be interpreted.

Everything we experience is filtered through our senses, our expectations, and our past experiences and how we learned to interpret them. The subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imaginary.

The beliefs we hold tend to distort “reality.” The mind selectively chooses evidence that supports the belief, rejecting anything that does not support it.

Often in a given situation, there is an associative thought, which is a past memory of an experience that gets connected to a particular feeling or emotion. You can learn some effective strategies to banish or disempower these thoughts.

When you get an unwanted thought, remind yourself that it’s just a thought. It doesn’t mean it is real or true.

You’ll start to realize these thoughts are not worth thinking. The connection between the thought and feeling gets interrupted and broken, as the mind will get bored with them and pretty soon, you will not be thinking them.


2. Intentionally invite the thought

Allow yourself to intentionally call up the thought at times and situations that you choose. When we expect a thought to occur, it does, and then thinking about having the thought leads to anxiety and fear about having it. Resisting the thought will make it persist. This is a natural thing that happens occasionally to people.

When you deliberately think the unwanted thought, associate into it; be in your body, seeing, hearing and feeling what you see, hear and feel. Repeat this exercise at various times during the week. An amazing thing happens–the brain starts to learn that the thought is something that can be switched on or off at will. It is no longer automatic, out of your control.


3. White it out

A great technique is to let it go to “white out.” You’re having your unwanted thought, you say to yourself “It’s just a thought,” take a deep breath, relax, and see the image go to white out, like turning up the brightness knob on your TV until the picture fades to white. Practice as much as is necessary; you can learn to white it out instantly.

Do share in the comments below which technique works best for you. Bid farewell to unwanted thoughts.

To find out more about my live online interactive workshops and courses on Neuro Linguistic Programming by clicking here: https://w3coach.com/events/

For more powerful and relevant articles and secrets on enhancing your Wealth, Wisdom and Wellness, follow me on my personal blog https://w3coach.com/blog/ now.

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How you can use NLP in business

How you can use NLP in business

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) holds great power when it becomes achieving excellence in business. It teaches skills and techniques to give you instant rapport, which is of utmost importance in the business world.


What’s important about establishing rapport with someone you are doing business with?

Once you have established rapport with someone, you have made a connection to that person on a gut level. They feel a sense of trust around you. They feel that you are similar to them, that you have similar tastes and values, so you understand them, and understand their needs.

This gives you a huge advantage if you want to persuade someone to see your point of view, get them on your side, to rally for you, or get them to buy something from you. They see you as someone who is looking out for their interests, because you care about them. And much of these feelings originate in their subconscious mind. It is not so much a conscious awareness, and this in itself gives you a great advantage. Why? Because the thinking and analysis is removed from their conscious mind. What is left is relegated to their unconscious where all these good feelings that have arisen settle into simply a vague, gut feeling of liking and trusting you.   

To say that going through an NLP training is a life-changing experience is an understatement. There are certainly huge advantages to people in the business world who learn NLP techniques, in the areas of management and administration at all levels within an organization. It is excellent for executives, directors, trainers, receptionists and all secretarial staff, as well as people in sales, finance, human resources and counselling. It is beneficial also to all those on staff involved in engineering and technical divisions within a company.

What are some of the areas in business that NLP techniques teach to employees?

It teaches how to define strategies that are realistic and to set goals that can clearly be attained. It provides ways to reduce conflict in the work environment by allowing for new and unusual ways to re-frame situations, to see things from a perspective that might not have occurred to the individual prior to their NLP training. It reduces stress by understanding how to work around potentially stressful situations, and how to minimize stress by looking at the situation in a different light.

It can help increase productivity and sales performance by teaching ways to derive satisfaction from work, and by improving rapport–building better relationships among employees and customers alike. Other benefits include enhancing the skills of staff involved in customer care, and helping to minimize loss of customers. It improves the effectiveness of people in the work environment which increases their self-esteem and pride in their work, which increases their company pride and loyalty–and that can lead to increased profits to the company.

In short, NLP teaches those involved in the business world to pay close attention to those around them and be very observant to what they see and hear and sense. In effect, this enables them to step into the other person’s shoes as that other person experiences their world, which makes for more highly effective performance in whatever level of business in which the practitioner is working.

Find more books recommended for NLP on www.w3coach.com/nlp-books

To find out more about my live online interactive workshops and courses on Neuro Linguistic Programming by clicking here: https://w3coach.com/events/ 

For more powerful and relevant articles and secrets on enhancing your Wealth, Wisdom and Wellness, follow me on my personal blog https://w3coach.com/blog/ now.

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How it all began – the History of NLP

How it all began – the History of NLP

It all started in the early 1970’s in Santa Cruz, California, when Richard Bandler, then a 20-year-old psychology student at U.C. Santa Cruz, met and became friends with Dr. John Grinder, who was in his late 20’s and an associate professor of linguistics at the college.

NLP is often said to have originated through the work of a computer programmer and a linguist. This is because Bandler started out as a student of mathematics and was also studying computer science. He eventually became more interested in the behavioral science field and switched his major.

Bandler became fascinated with the methods used by Virgina Satir, internationally esteemed family therapist; co-founder of the Mental Research Institute (MRI) in Palo Alto, California. He also studied the work of Fritz Perls, highly regarded psychiatrist and psychotherapist who developed a form of psychotherapy that he coined Gestalt Therapy. Influenced by Perls’ work, Bandler started giving workshops and study groups that were centered around gestalt therapy. 

Bandler and Grinder started working together with the aim of developing a set of rules and principles that governed the language structure of gestalt therapy. In particular, they wanted to define the techniques and skills that would enable people to overcome their obstacles and issues. Their approach was to use whatever worked; if it didn’t work, they would move on to something else that did work. They analyzed the writings and recordings of Perls and Satir in an attempt to extract the essence of what made these two therapists exceptional and excellent in their work. 

This early work studying the techniques of Perls and Satir brought about two books by Bandler and Grinder, The Structure of Magic, Vol I & Vol II, which identify examples of language patterns that are characteristic of effective therapists, published in 1975 and 1976, respectively. Another book written by the duo, Frogs into Princes, published in 1979 and targeted mainly to therapists, is basically a transcript of an early seminar on the teachings. 

They were getting outstanding results from modeling the therapy methods of Perls and Satir. Other influences came from Gregory Bateson, (Anthropology and Cybernetics), Alfred Korzybski (General Semantics), Milton Erickson (Medical Hypnotherapy), and Noam Chomsky (Transformational Grammar

Particularly captivated by Milton Erickson’s approach, Bandler and Grinder incorporated Erickson’s manner of Conversational Hypnosis into the NLP toolkit; a way of speaking to the unconscious that was “artfully vague” and did away with authoritarian suggestions that Erickson felt were much more likely to be met with resistance from the unconscious. This approach of Erickson’s became a core characteristic of what was termed the “Milton Model,” a codification of Erickson’s hypnotic language style. These patterns have been elaborated in the book Patterns of the Hypnotic Techniques of Milton H.Erickson, Vol I & Vol II.

As their knowledge and insights developed, the pair tried these techniques out on friends and colleagues, which included Leslie Cameron Bandler, Robert Dilts, Judith DeLozier, and David Gordon. Each of these soon helped expand the work as the enthusiasm grew from this creative group of contributors.

Many of the NLP techniques that are in use today grew out of the research, ideas and trainings offered by these people and others who have continued to add to and develop the expanding scope of NLP practice.

An extremely insightful and riveting read for anyone interested in NLP is the book The Origins of Neuro Linguistic Programming, which brings together the recollections and thoughts of some of the main protagonists from the very early days of NLP. 

Find more books recommended for NLP on www.w3coach.com/nlp-books

To find out more about my live online interactive workshops and courses on Neuro Linguistic Programming by clicking here: https://w3coach.com/events

For more powerful and relevant articles and secrets on enhancing your Wealth, Wisdom and Wellness, follow me on my personal blog https://w3coach.com/blog/ now.

Click here to connect with Your W3 Coach across all digital platforms.