Build it and they will come
This week Lego announced that its revenues for 2016 were £4.4 billion, the highest that they have been in the Danish company’s 85 year history. I must admit that I’m a little bit of Lego fan myself, particularly now that I have a school age grandson who loves Lego. One of things he got for Christmas was a Lego Millennium Falcon. Though he’s good a builder himself, he did get a fair amount of help with this particular construction. As you might imagine, you get bags and bags of little plastic parts and a monstrous instruction manual. Then slowly over time, bit by bit, the order of the spaceship emerges from the chaos of small components on the table in front of your eyes. It is a reasonable metaphor for life too, the only difference being that you don’t often know whether or not that you have the ‘right’ instruction manual, or even all of the pieces, when you start building.
NLP has often been described as an ‘instruction manual for the mind’; because it tells you how you think and produce your behaviour. Often as we grow up and pass through the schooling system we are taught what to think, and not so much about how to think. But NLP teaches you how to think, not what to think. So if you build better rapport between your conscious and your unconscious mind; if you become the master of your emotions and not their slave; and if you learn how to communicate better with those around you, what then will you construct in your life?
I often hear people say that they have a passion to do something different in their career, or that they want to find a new partner, or to improve their health, or family life. They often sound like it’s something that excites them, but they don’t always believe that things can work out the way that they want them to. Let me assure you, as best I can, that once you start to take action in life all the pieces you need will be there, just whenever you really do need them, and not before, or afterwards. The instruction manual for life is simply to follow your excitement, as far as you can, to the best of your ability, without insisting how things should work out. If we return to our Lego analogy for a moment, just do what excites you, as you do the pieces arrive when you need them, and it will be obvious how to put them together. As the building progresses you may even discover that you thought you were building a small X-Wing Fighter craft, but actually it was the Millennium Falcon all along.
Though I am in real danger of mixing my metaphors, just to illustrate this point let me share with you another story. It’s a short Chinese metaphor which popped into my inbox this morning from a student. Legend has it that long, long ago, a man was fishing in the Pearl River with a straight hook. A wise man came by and said to the man “You can’t catch any fish in this way. Bend the hook so that it can hold the bait better and the fish will not escape either.” The man simply replied with a smile and silence. Days passed, weeks passed, months passed. He fished the same way. One day, the king heard this story and being curious, the king visited the man. The king asked him “Why are you fishing in this way? You will never catch any fish like this.” The man said “I already have. Those who will come have come, never mind the rest”.
Never mind what other people may think, never mind what they may say, follow your passion in life, do what it excites you to do. Be the architect and the engineer of your life; build it and they will come, never mind the rest.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney