Is it possible to change the nature of a person? Is it possible to develop new traits at the core or to change limiting ones that a person seems to be born with? And even if it were possible, why would anyone want to do that?
When I was 12 years old, my father and I went on a hunt to buy a book on programming because all computer centres back then refused admission stating that I was too young to learn to program machines. My father after carefully reviewing the books at Odyssey, gifted me the book ‘Let Us C’ by Yashwant Kanetkar. Little did we know at that time, that reading that book was going to make me a tech wizard and change my life forever.
Information is great. Knowing something that you didn’t know can change your life. And I truly believe useful knowledge is power. That is why I am a compulsive reader. I spend more than half of my day each day – gathering new information. Having said that, there are areas where just having the right information at the right time is not sufficient. Sometimes, you have all the information you need and you just don’t know how it is going to solve your problem. And then when you go to sleep or play a physical sport and suddenly when you’re least expecting it, you have that Aha moment! This is where the same information that you always had turned into insight. This is invaluable. What are some of those ‘Aha’ moments in your life? And how did it happen? Perhaps you suddenly had a revelation or maybe a friend or a coach helped you come to that awareness. And if you think about it, you may recognize that these ‘insights’ impacted the decisions you made and possibly have changed the course of your life. This is why I say that some insights are just invaluable. Now, are there situations where ‘insight’ is not enough?
Consider Alex, a father who loves his family and is a successful professional. Alex has an anger issue at home. His home is about to split, his wife is considering divorce. Alex feels guilty about the way he behaves when he is angry. He understands ‘Why’ he gets angry. He punishes himself by going on guilt trips and tries everything under the sun to stop his anger. But at the moment when the same triggers in life re-occur, Alex loses his temper and loses control. This is a classic scenario of where Alex needs more than Insight. This is where Installations are necessary. I remember a client sharing her experience in a group about an event with her father that changed him for life. This was a day in her childhood when she was a little girl, her father was in a rage and breaking-things frenzy. In his rage, he starts picking up things that he finds and breaks them by smashing it on the floor. And as he was in this rage moving around, the young girl took a radio her father absolutely loved. It was gifted to him by his father. And she handed this radio to her father. The lady narrated that at that moment – she saw two emotions in the father. It was as if he froze and was switching rapidly between anger and love at the same time. She said after a few moments, he placed the radio on the floor and never broke anything else in his anger ever since. This is an example of ‘installation’ that happens so naturally. The neurology went through never-before experience and fortunately generalized it enough to have created new choices of states of mind in that unique, innocent intervention by the daughter. We have heard of stories where someone goes through a life-threatening situation and emerges as a new person. Perhaps you have heard the story of John Newton, where during a shipwreck, he overcomes his fears and fights for the freedom of slaves from being a slave master. He always knew what he was doing was wrong. He had the information and the insight but he couldn’t overcome his fear until that moment.
Often you notice, that examples of such installation and a real transformation come after ONE such intense moment of need. Or sometimes just by random lucky events like what happened with that young girl. The single most important thing I have learned from John Grinder is to look for answers to the question – what is the structure of such a change and what is the most elegant way to repeat it? The keyword here is elegant. Elegance in this context means the least amount of effort necessary to produce the desired result. Just imagine the possibilities, if ‘installations’ can occur outside of disasters or random lucky events. What if you can design it? The good news is that it is possible to perform targeted installations and the great news is that it can be done very easily with a particular type of story-telling called Metaphors & Parables. Not only is it possible, possibly your grandparent or some random stranger has done one or more installations on you without even knowing the impact of what they have done. In this article, I wouldn’t be getting into the nitty-gritty of how to do such Installations but I just want you to know that it is possible.
Installation Technology – Boon or Curse?
Like every technology, there is also a danger with installations. The ability to make behavioural and habitual changes rapidly is powerful but when used without insight, it can make the problem worse. Sometime back, I met a man who wanted my help to stop his habit of procrastination. Within the first 5 minutes of my conversation, it was evident to me that he didn’t like his job. When we spoke about his job, his jaw muscles towards the left would tighten, a little hoarseness would develop in his voice and the look in the eye and specifically the muscles below the eyelid would tense. And I tested this by shifting the conversation to something else and his physiology would shift in its entirety to a different state and whenever I came back to the discussion of his job — those muscles would tense and the hoarseness in voice would be right back. When I told him that he didn’t seem to even remotely like his job, he said he didn’t but he nevertheless wanted my help to stop procrastinating. This is like him slapping himself and asking me to help him do a better job at that. In the next 5 minutes, I learned that he had a phobia of heights and hence he believed with that limitation he cannot get any another job. So, I help him with his phobia instead and not only does this prepare him to have a new job, but his entire life is going to have a paradigm shift because he is no longer going to have to work his life around that phobia. My guess is, if we had helped him to stop procrastinating, it probably would have led him to some serious conditions in his physical or mental well-being. So, the term Harini & I have coined for the combination of deep insight and installation based on that is ‘Excellence Installation’. Over the years, we have come to the conclusion that Excellence Installation can help a person evolve their nature, develop talent fast, overcome personal crisis and limitations and even get someone to do what they never believed they could. If you want to read more about what is possible with Excellence Installation, you can visit the EI blog here.
When I was 12 I read a book and my life took a new trajectory. But the important thing was not that I read that book when I was 12. The important thing is that I had the right mindset to allow the information in the book to develop and evolve my thinking. My parents have done a lot to contribute to that. Now, that I understand the technology of Installation, I am amazed at how intuitively both my father and mother have done so many ‘installations’ to the core of who I was right at a very young age (6 – 12). So, reading that book doesn’t change anyone’s life. But reading that book with the right mindset, capabilities and intelligence will. Installation doesn’t have to happen randomly anymore. There is a method to it and someone who understand Excellence Installation can easily figure what set of installations will change the trajectory of their own life.
4 Steps to Get Maximum Benefit from Information:
Now that we have got the distinction between information, insight, installation and excellence installation, in the rest of the article I want to share some tips on how to make the most of the information coming at you.
1. Proper Feed-In:
Often, when people learn something new, they have a tendency to learn what they already know. So, you could read something and totally interpret it in a way that makes ‘sense’ to you. And such type of reading will strengthen what you know but won’t give you a chance to learn new things. It’s those things that don’t make sense to you that is new. The stuff that is not yet logical or intuitive to you may have something of extra-ordinary value out there. You may just be in the verge of discovering something you didn’t even know you didn’t know! This was one of the reasons why I would refuse to work with clients until they did the uP! program with me, so that I am sure that I have done the Excellence Installation for the person to not compare and delete new information without fully taking it in, first! This single superior capability can make the difference between people helping you versus people trying to help you. Developing this capability will make your teachers relate to you more than anyone else because people at the top are so used to finding the average joe take everything they say and twist it in their head into what they already know. But when you show that you can take in information properly, you stand out. For me, there was a particular skill where I had the same limitation about 7 years ago. This skill was singing. I had musician friends who would come and explain music to me, mathematically. This helped me perfectly map the notes, octaves and scales in a format I already knew – mathematical progression, but that did not help me learn music. The breakthrough happened when I made a decision to learn music as music was meant to be learned, and like mathematics. This doesn’t mean I stop myself from integrating mathematics and music. It means I will not attempt to that until I am convinced that I have learned music as it should be learned – till I have got to a point where I can actually sing or play an instrument well.
2. Performance State
Believe it or not, how you feel when you read, hear or watch new information impacts the meaning you give that information. This is critical. This is why I love working with top achievers because no matter what is going on their life, top achievers have gotten to where they are now by seamlessly shifting their attention to high-performance states when they need to. It just happens so spontaneously and naturally for them. It’s not an effort such as ‘trying’ to push things behind or ‘trying’ to get on with life. Shifting into high-performance states on-demand is a talent you truly want to master. And if you have the expertise and high-performance states in at least one skill, I can help you generalize it to other aspects of your life. Maybe, in one of my next articles, I could write about how you could do it yourself, as this is a common problem. Consider the example of a talented and celebrated actor – she can get onto the stage and transform herself into the character she is enacting on-demand. She can shift into various emotions on-demand. And yet the same girl, when she comes home to an abusive partner is completely out of choice to walk out of that relationship. The state breakers in your life may not be that dramatic, but you need to train your mind and body to get into the appropriate state when you receive feedback or when you read something important to consider that information, usefully.
Gregory Bateson, an expert in cybernetics (the study of the interaction of complex systems), says that to understand any complex system you need to have a minimum of two descriptions of the same system. This is what this means to you: Let’s say you are learning something complex – definitely represent the same thing in more than one form. An analogy of this would be something like a top view, front view and side view of the house together will give you much more information than the addition of each of the information. The important thing to remember here is that you are not learning 3 different things. You are representing the thing you are learning in 3 different ways. For example, if you are learning a new song, you could learn the tune without the words, you can then learn it with the words, you can listen to an instrumental version of the same song. The more descriptions you have of the same system, the more mastery you will gain over that subject. And the more mastery you gain over that subject the more insights you would develop.
For example, one of my gifts, when talking with someone is to understand their life from their perspective, my perspective and the perspective of their partner. When I complete the map from all these perspectives, I inevitably narrow down to that missing information that is going to be a game-changer in that person’s life. The fact that I do this intuitively, doesn’t mean there isn’t a structure to it! On the contrary, intuitively, switching perceptual positions of this nature is something that we can easily accomplish with excellence installation. This is also why I love Metaphors. And not so over-simplified set of metaphors gives you endless possibilities to represent the same information in multiple forms.
Read this carefully. Sleep is the best form of meditation. It is nature’s way for us to turn information into insight. Want to make the most out of your time? Then invest in getting the maximum output from your day’s effort. And how do you do that? You do that by effectively involving your unconscious processes. There are many ways to do this – meditation, running, swimming, dancing, painting, drawing, singing or just about any activity that involves your full attention but the best amongst them all is healthy sleeping. But remember – NOT all sleep is meditative in nature. However, if you can learn to sleep on-demand and wake up feeling refreshed, you may have just multiplied the time in your life by 10 times. This is my personal secret to accelerated learning. And I have time and again demonstrated not only in my life but also with my participants as to how sleep can accelerate results. So, if you are truly serious about your life and the quality of learning and if you want to convert what you learn into insight, get good sleep! If you have challenges in sleeping well, get help!
Duck, Eagle, and You!
Someone once told me, a duck eats and eats and eats and accumulates weight. To me, that is an analogy of information that can weigh you down unless you convert it into actionable insights like the eagle turning food into energy and then into muscles.
But a duck is a duck and an eagle is an eagle, once a duck always a duck. But you are not a duck and you are not an eagle, you are human. And humans are gifted and born with the gift to evolve. Our neurology is designed to make us adaptable to almost any terrain, climate, and circumstance. The terrible myth that you stop learning when you cross a particular age has limited the human potential for long enough! The myth that change is a slow process has also made the rounds and people have believed that BS for long enough. With breakthroughs in neuroscience, we are learning that human beings are one of the rare species whose brain cells continue to develop even at the age of 80! So, what this truly means is that you can get over any limitation and learn anything and master them. You can get better than your current best. And raise your bar of excellence no matter where you are. It is not only possible to be excellent at more than one thing, but it is also necessary to be a master of many trades. I discuss that in this article on the 6 Traits of Geniuses. I think greatest joy and satisfaction of being human is to continuously progress. And I may not be able to help you experience installations with my writing but hopefully, this article will help you learn better and turn the information coming at you into actionable insights.
1. If you enjoyed reading this article, you may also like my TEDx video. Following is an excerpt from that: “At any stage in your life, there is always an opportunity to continue to EVOLVE… even when you think you are best at it or even when someone says that’s not your strength, there is an opportunity to fix a personal limitation… AND that is what ‘EXCELLENCE’ really means…because…no matter where you are today, what you can do consistently…is only the average. You have a bar of Excellence…and when you reach that, the bar of Excellence has shifted again!”. You can watch the video here.
2. This is the last year (or maybe the last quarter) to secure your access to the A&H Membership: In the last three years, I had to let go of several consulting requests from celebrities, sportsmen and more importantly parents who had unique situations with their children. I did this to make time for the A&H membership, as uP! gave me the platform to develop the Excellence Installation Technology. We gave unlimited revisits and that allowed me to recognize the long-term effects (2 – 3 years) coming from instant installations. Now, I want to get back to my consulting clients. And I can’t do that running 2 batches a month. So, it may appear crazy to do this especially after the last Mumbai batch which was more than house-full with 70 people inside the hall. However, my priorities are my priorities. And I will continue to do uP! till December 2019, to fulfil the 3 Year Promise given to my existing clients. This means we will accept new people but the unlimited revisits close by 2019. And although we did annually more participants in 2016 than 2015, we did only half as many batches. And in 2017 we anticipate we will be doing only half as many batches as 2016 and manage the 20% increase in participants for the year. I don’t want to predict 2018 but my guess is that it’s going to be half many batches as 2017 with double the participants. Note, this is double the participants for the year, that means with half as many batches it would be 4 times more participants in 2018 as compared to 2017. So, if you want my personal help to launch your legacy, and you don’t have a million dollars to shell, make use of the Membership when you still can. Click here to know all about the A&H membership.
3. As A&H Consulting, Harini & I want to accept only 1 Business Client. Our focus is on helping people with unique health challenges as well as modelling gigs that allow us to expand the application of this technology. The reason I will be fully switching into the consulting space by 2018 is that it provides the perfect platform to build my mind-programming wearable gadget that I am working on. To know more about our consulting offering, visit antanoharini.com