Category Archives: Cartesian Coordinates

10 Hints & Tips for surviving a temporary recession – HT Seven

Shifting Perspectives 2008The ability to change perspectives is one of the single most powerful tools there is. And the great news is that each and every one of us has this innate gift. Unfortunately we don’t always choose to use it though as is clearly being demonstrated in Israel and Gaza at the moment.

Children ( and some adults still ) have a wonderful ability to radically shift perspectives from what can appear to be one reality to another.  This ability in children may be because they haven’t yet developed rigid belief structures that prevent change and essentially close down possibilities.

For a moment think about your own thoughts, values and beliefs about the current conflict in Israel and Gaza. Now, if you can, think about it from a Hamas ‘freedom’ fighters perspective, what would you have to believe and value in order to operate this way? Now think about it from say an Israeli soldiers perspective, what would you have to value and believe to be true to act this way? Now come back to being yourself.

OK, now, if you found these two other world views uncomfortable, tricky, wonderful or impossible this is likely because they conflict or disagree with your own beliefs and values.  This is OK, this is not an attempt to begin world piece it is an illustration of beliefs and values in action, at work; yours.

Beliefs if you believe in them are like a glue holding the fabric of your reality together, if you like, the warp and the weft that keep things in place. And for most of the time this works really well.

In a simplistic world view each set of perspectives including your own are perfectly right and valid from the perspective of the individual. You may not agree or condone what is happening from your own perspective and this is about your own beliefs and values.

Loosening and softening limiting beliefs – Gaining new perspectives

The ‘What Do You Want’ question will illuminate some goal or outcome. A great many people that I am work with want to ‘Stop Worrying about xxx’ or ‘Dont want to feel zzz’. This to say the least is a very very reasonable outcome.

In the post H&T Four, you were invited to explore the question ‘What Do You Want’? using the NLP Well Formed Outcome process.

You were also invited to state your goals in a certain way. To state them in terms of not what you don’t want but in terms of what you want. So that is your goals stated in the so called ‘positive’.

Irrespective of how you stated your goals here is a neat process that explores and loosens the underlying beliefs relevant to the goal.  This is a process that will generate different perspectives about your outcome / goal.

For each goal, I invite you to answer  the following questions in the order thy are presented. Of course you will do them in the order you want. My experience is the order does have significance so choose wisely.

pick and write down three goals you want to explore. For each goal answer all of the following questions. Please take the time to really consider all of your answers before moving on to the next question.

  1. What will happen if I do achieve this goal?
  2. What will happen if I don’t achieve this goal?
  3. What won’t happen if I do achieve this goal?
  4. What won’t happen if I don’t achieve this goal?

These four ‘Cartesian questions’ especially Q4 tend to open up our own perspectives and encourage views of different yet related possibilities and outcomes.

For all of your goals, well at least the ones you want to work with go ahead and use this reasonably rapid process to generate new perspectives and explore the validity and possible consequences.Success

The next hint and tip will require you to have used these Cartesian questions and the Well Formed Outcome process on your goals. It will also require that you have refined your list of goals down to only the ones you are really committed to achieving.

I suggest picking just three that are most important to you as having too many goals and doing nothing about them is a potential recipe for procrastination.

The next hint and tip will be about creating and maintaining the right motivation to help you work towards getting what you really want.

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Cartesian Questions

Here is a very simple yet highly effective set of questions that are used to explore outcomes and consequences and the overall ecology of some decision.

When you or someone else is faced with making a decision, check out the effects, consequences and outcomes while exploring the overall ecology.

Here are the four questions. Ask them in the order presented.
After asking each one, ask

“and what else?”

  • What will happen if you do ‘X’
  • What wont happen if you do ‘X’
  • What will happen if you don’t do ‘X’
  • What wont happen if you don’t do ‘X’

For Example:

My friend John said just a day or two ago “I want to quit my job and do something I really enjoy”.

So I asked – “What will happen if you quit your job”
John Replied – “Feel very good, My wife will be angry, Work will be pissed off with me and I will think about doing something worthwhile.”
“And what else?”
“There will be enough money to live on so I could do some retraining”
“And what else?”
Hmmmm

So John, What wont happen if you do quit your job?
What wont happen? I wont, we wont go on holiday this year, Sarah wont get her new car and I wont renew my sports subscription
“And what else?”
I wont feel miserable doing a worthless job, I wont listen to my incompetent boss
And what else?

And so on and so forth, you get the picture. This process is about exploration with rapport. Its about asking the questions with genuine curiosity and facilitating an information gathering process.

happy processing