2-10 Chapter Summary, Bonus Activities, Curiosity Shunt

Chapter 2: Key Ideas

  • The brain operates pretty much on its own, and its focus is survival. The mind is able to focus on more than just survival; it affords us the opportunity to create and choose from a myriad of options.
  • The Well-Formed Outcome process is a deceptively simple set of six key questions that enables its users to flesh out and evaluate a goal before committing to it and a course of action.
  • Feeling uncertain or conflicted can be an internal signal called incongruence. If the conflict is about something unpleasant or something that goes against someone’s values, incongruence can be like a smoke alarm. There may not actually be a fire, but it’s prudent to determine what set it off.
  • The structure of experience is based on five representational systems called modalities: pictures, sounds, feelings, tastes, and smells.
  • Each modality has different qualities, subtle distinctions that are called sub-modalities. For example, some sub-modalities of vision are: location, brightness, and size.
  • Sub-modalities impact how someone experiences a memory. By changing a sub-modality, a person can alter their experience, making it more positive, neutral, or negative.
  • Associating into the picture usually makes the impact of seeing the image more intense (either positive or negative) for the person. Recalling difficult memories in a disassociated way reduces the emotional charge and makes it easier to get the information related to that situation.
  • Feeling an emotion is just an option.
  • Most of our emotions, interpretations, and reactions are so well rehearsed that they’re automatic and the initial “cause” is out of our awareness. To understand what’s going on with you, slow down the mental movie so you can more easily discover the “cue” (picture, sound, feeling, taste, or smell) that produced a feeling.
  • When striving to discover a specific “cue,” some people may discover they are distracted or confused. Often, these reactions are just detours taking you away from the real destination.
  • To improve your focus and productivity, consider asking yourself the following questions at the beginning of every day.

1.  What am I looking forward to today?

2.  Long term, what am I looking forward to?

3.  Am I doing things that lead directly to my goals?

4.  Am I being my best friend and supporter?

5.  Am I in my body and enjoying the gift of being alive?

  • Someone can feel depressed when the three P’s are at work: personal, pervasive, and permanent. Depressed people may benefit from exploring related auditory cues and tinkering with those sub-modalities.


Bonus Activities

  • Over the next several days, when you feel a positive emotion, associate into it and find the “cue”. Then, using the chart below, experiment with its sub-modalities to make the experience of that thought or feeling even better.
  • This week, when you feel a negative emotion, step outside the situation and disassociate from it. Then, find the “cue” and experiment with its sub-modalities to reduce or eliminate the impact.
  • In the morning, consciously shape your day and manage your time by focusing on your goals and encouraging yourself.
  • If you feel confused, check to make sure you’re in your body. Whenever you find you’re in your head, take several deep breaths, focus your eyes upward, and move a little. These simple steps should help you reset mentally and physically.
  • Notice when you find yourself procrastinating about something you want or need to do. Then, slowly rewind the mental movie to before you decided to delay or not to do something. Look for the cue that interrupted your intention and forward movement. Consider using the processes in this chapter to create a shift.
  • If you have an undesirable behavior that you want to change, experiment with the Godiva Chocolate Pattern to reduce its power.


5 Modalities and Key Sub-modalities Quick Reference Guide


Sense Processing Involved Sub-modalities To Experiment With
Seeing Visual (V) • Brightness • Contrast
    • Clarity • 3-D vs. Flat
    • Color vs. Black & White • Movie vs. Still
    • Associated vs. Disassociated • Frame vs. Panorama
Hearing Auditory (A) • Pitch • Volume
    • Tonality • Rhythm
    • Distance • Clarity
    • Resonance  
Feeling Kinesthetic (K) • Location • Pressure
    • Intensity • Temperature
    • Duration • Movement
    • Shape • Texture


 The Curiosity Shunt Installation

Do you sometimes find yourself in situations that make you feel helpless to do anything about it? Perhaps it’s a minor but distracting feeling, like impatience or irritation? Something about a “4” on a scale of “10”? People stuck in an impatient state tend to get in an unproductive loop which actually intensifies their feelings. The creator of this process calls this type of loop thinking “The Boogeyman” because when these feelings “get” someone, it takes some time before the person is released. This process allows you to short-circuit these feelings almost as soon as you’re aware of them. And, what’s really cool is that it will actually change the Boogeyman’s job so his future appearances will do you some good.

This process works like magic when you take the time to fully recall the memories that are asked for. To change your mind, you need to use your complete attention and be specific. Play “full out” and in less than 15 minutes you’ll experience more control over your feelings than you’ve ever had before.


Get Ready: Establish a benchmark of your current state.

  • Think about the feeling you want to change.
  • On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), assign a rating to this feeling.


Step 1: Set up 3 anchors on the floor.

  • On one piece of paper, write the name of your “Boogeyman” feeling; then put that paper on the floor in front of you.
  • Take a second piece of paper and write the word “Curiosity” on it, and drop it a step away from the “Boogeyman” space.
  • Label the third piece of paper “Decontamination” and place it a step away from the “Curiosity” space.


Step 2: Stand in the “Boogeyman” space.

  • Remember the last time the Boogeyman got you with the negative feeling/thinking loop.  Recreate the specific circumstances; How did it start?  What were you saying to yourself? Where in your body was the feeling?  Describe it.
  • When you’ve recreated this experience in detail, step out of it onto a blank space on the floor. That’s right, just step forward out of the “Boogeyman” space and leave that feeling there behind you. You can even shake it off physically to make sure you leave it there in the “Boogeyman” space. It will remain there. Your unconscious knows where it is.


Step 3: Step into and stand in the “Curiosity” space.

  • Remember the last time you were really curious about something. When was it? What specifically were you curious about? Did you picture it in your mind? If you were to see it in your mind at this moment, what would you see? What might you have been saying to yourself? What feelings were you feeling?
  • When you’ve recreated this experience of curiosity in detail, step onto a blank space on the floor.


Step 4: Step onto and stand in the “Decontamination” space.

  • Now, think of a powerful physical pleasure. Something like swimming, skiing, bicycle riding, getting a massage, sitting in a hot tub, really enjoying a refreshing shower.
  • Remember the last time you had the experience. Recall it in specific detail. Were you indoors or outdoors? What was the weather like? Where did you have this experience?  How did it feel, physically?


Step 5: Install the Shunt – Boogeyman, Curious, Boogeyman, Decontamination.

  • Go to “Boogeyman”. When the “Boogeyman” feeling begins to come up step directly into “Curious”.
  • When you have the “Curious” feeling remembered strongly, put your hand gently on the part of your body where curiosity lives. Hold it as if you were trying to keep the curious feeling from being blown away or shaken loose.
  • Keep holding it in your body and step directly into the “Boogeyman” space. Notice how you’re now curious about what caused the Boogeyman instead of just feeling it.
  • Now step directly into “Decontamination”.


Step 6: Re-Install the Shunt – Boogeyman, Curious, Boogeyman, Decontamination.

  • Step into “Boogeyman” and as soon as the feeling starts step over into the “Curiosity” space again.
  • Remember where curiosity is in your body. Touch it and hold your hand there.
  • Now step directly onto the “Boogeyman” again. Notice how taking more curiosity into the space has made the feeling change a little bit more.
  • Once again, step into “Decontamination” and remember your pleasurable experience – how it actually felt physically.
  • Step out of Decontamination onto a blank space on the floor and say your zip code backwards.


Step 6: Automate the Shunt – See yourself as a blur, then be yourself.

  • Now you are ready to move a little faster. While standing outside the spaces, see yourself going through the process you just did, faster and faster. Boogeyman, then step into Curiosity, then to Boogeyman, then to Decontamination – faster and faster.
  • Finally, imagine that you are going through the process yourself, but faster than you could ever do it in the flesh – faster and faster.  Whew!



The desired outcome is to become curious and wonder what is triggering the Boogeyman feeling – instead of getting caught in the loop. How is it for you now when you think about the feeling you had at the beginning?

Comments (5)

Your NLP book with a myriad of practical technics is really great. I’m enjoying it a lot.

Zip code?
“Step out of Decontamination onto a blank space on the floor and say your zip code backwards”.

The purpose is to create a clean break state between steps of the process, to re-direct your attention. It could be anything that has little association with the previous state, and commands your attention.
Reciting a postal code or phone number backwards usually requires conscious effort. Just stating it normally is usually an automatic response requiring little or no attention.

I get it. I need it. I’m practicing. I have been a long believer in what I’m now reading. I read a lot of NLP back 50 years of so when original books came out. I did not get this close to my mind however. Enjoying your book.

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