In the mid 1980’s we posed the following question to an NLP practitioner training:
“If, right now, you think of something that you want to do later,
how do you program yourself, so that in fact you will do it at the appropriate time?”
We gathered a variety of different responses from participants, noted the advantages and disadvantages of each, extracted the general principles involved, and summarized them into a general format for teaching others how to do this in a way that is effective and dependable.
Learning the skill of “future pacing” with precision has a wide range of practical applications:
- Assisting a client to have a new response right when they need it
- Helping kids remember when and where to do a specific thing
- Recalling items you need when at the grocery store, without writing down a list
- Remembering to ask a specific person about something when you run into them
- …and much more!
Nowadays there are “apps” for this, like location-based to-do lists that pop up on your smartphone when the GPS indicates you’ve reached a particular destination. But why only make your phone smarter when you can install this “app” in your own brain, thus making you smarter (and it works even when your smartphone’s battery is dead).
Future-pacing is an essential skill for coaches, therapists, people interested in personal development, or anyone who wants to improve their ability to remember to do something at the appropriate time and place, automatically.
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