"Wax on. Wax off." Simple instructions Mr. Miyagi gave young Daniel in the 1984 film "The Karate Kid". You may remember that Daniel wanted to master fighting, an outward skill to give him power. A desire rooted in self-preservation. His noble teacher, with many seemingly trivial and obscure practices, gave him so much more. Daniel found self-discipline, self-respect, and found his inner power… what I call Inherent Excellence.
"Wax on. Wax off." was a simple practice to get Daniel out of head-learning and teach his body to unconsciously and automatically react to punches. His hands would simply swing and move the attack out of his way. I’ve picked up this style of offering simple practices and often offer one simple thing for my clients to practice that can transform where they are at and where they want to go. Often, one simple practice can completely transform your life. Simple practices add up to mastery!
An awesome understanding from NLP is that our mind has simple repetitive patterns (or practices) that are really what is guiding us. One such pattern is what we call our "Core Question." We discovered that, in any situation, the human brain asks a question. That question guides our entire experience. For example, take two people, with very different experiences in life. When they meet a stranger, one habitually and unconsciously asks the hidden question "Do they like me?" The other is quietly asking, "I wonder what I can do to brighten their day?" It’s obvious they will have wildly different experiences of life! Situations trigger internal questions. Our questions create the quality of our life.
So here’s a simple practice: Throughout the day, ask yourself this question: "What’s most beautiful about this moment?" Ask it constantly, in every situation, every few minutes. Ask it during the heat of the moment, during an argument, driving, or sitting alone. Ask it inside your head, in various voice tones until you find the one that gives the best results.
Your brain is always asking questions. You may not be aware of it at all, just as you aren’t aware of how you’re brain moves your feet to walk, or forms sentences so you can talk. Notice how powerful that silent brain is in controlling your direction. Practice a new empowering question again and again so you install good directions. Very quickly, your brain will automatically ask the question and again you won’t have to think about it. That’s our amazing auto-pilot program at work. Play with good questions. Simple practices can create an amazing destiny. "Wax on. Wax off." my friend!
You can take some situation you really want to change and find out. What question are you asking yourself? Change the question to an empowering question and you’ll change your experience forever.
Take arguments with your intimate partner. Image being back in the last time you argued. See what you saw, hear what you heard, feel what you felt. Now explore questions that would make you feel that way.
For example, a question an extreme question like, "Why are they doing this to me?" That would assume they are doing something to you. Questions assume something! That assumption will drive everything you see. You won’t be able to see anything else. Don’t believe, try it for yourself.
Now visualize being in the same situation. And practice new questions. Try, "How could I show them I love them right now?" Or, "I wonder what’s going on elsewhere in their life and how I could help them?"
Practice visualizing the next possible argument and asking yourself the new loving question again and again until you automatically hear that question when you think of an argument.
Using your Inherent Excellence
The human brain is simply a computer that takes billions of bits of data, comes up with a simple overly general decision, and stores it for playback in the next situation. Connect that amazing computer to your heart and your spirit to give it better instructions for peace, joy, connection and abundance. Harness that thing between your ears. It’s really simple when you know how, yet not necessarily easy. The first step is that you must WANT to change and then take some time to practice. Even if that is just 30 minutes this evening.
The alternative is that we can continue to sleep walk through life. Blaming others for what’s going on around us. We all know someone like this. Decide to be at the cause of your life. Harness your Inherent Excellence! The magic of your mind, body, heart, and spirit.