From a NLP and a Neuro-Semantic perspective, it is always and only inside-out. And what is? Everything—anything and everything important in human experience is an inside-out phenomenon.
Wealth is inside-out. I discovered that in the modeling project that I did back in the mid-1990s, and why I gave it the title, Inside-Out Wealth. Success is inside-out. That’s why I wrote Winning the Inner Game. Values is inside-out, so is identity, esteem, creativity, health, leadership, and so on.
And why? It is all inside-out because meaning is an inside-out process. “Meaning” doesn’t exist on the outside, it is an inside-out process. You have to go in if you want to create meaning and after you go inside, then you have to actualize it on the outside. It is what you do on the inside that determines your success, effectiveness, and results on the outside. Further, it is the quality of what you do on the inside that determines the quality of your experiences on the outside.
I knew this before I found NLP, but I really didn’t know how to capitalize on the advantages of this. It was with the detailing of the map / territory difference that NLP offered that really enabled me to understand and translate a richer inside-world to the outside. With the discovery of the Meta-States Model, new tools emerged for this. One set of tools was frame detection, frame changing, frame analysis. In 1998 this became the frame games approach. And that led to a series of books, Games Fit and Slim People Play, Games for Mastering Fear, Games Business Experts Play, and Games Great Lovers Play. That also led to a wide series of trainings and training manuals— Inner Games for writing, learning, selling, etc.
The inside-out principle also gives us a guiding principle in Neuro-Semantics. I think of it as the secret for being a professional community. This first of all means that professionalism is an inside-out process. First you have to develop an inner competency, inner knowledge, inner authenticity, integrity, and passion. First comes the inner empowerment and then comes the outer unleashing and actualization. To turn this around, to try to first have the outer recognition, reputation, and success invites a person to emphasize external signs over internal reality. It encourages external PR (public relations) and image over internal authenticity.
The inside-out principle speaks to the subject of branding. The best branding is also inside-out. And how does that work? First you develop the inner reality of knowing your stuff and the inner skill of being able to deliver what you offer. Once you can do that, then you are ready to let the outside world know. Then comes your external communication of what you have created and are able to innovate. So you market and publicize to thereby create your reputation in the minds of people. That’s your brand.
The inside-out principle says that everything is created twice— first inside in your mind, imagination, hopes and dreams and then outside as you innovate in the world. It is the same process that governs creativity and innovation within any industry or business. As such, it is the most natural sequence of how new things are generated. Yet in spite of this, so many people (perhaps most people) try to do it backwards.
First they want health, energy, vitality, a gorgeously fit body and then they will be able to choose the exercise of their choice and fully enjoy it. Backwards! First they want fame and fortune and great position and then they will develop the required knowledge and skills. Backwards! They first want to get rich and then decide what they really want to spend their lives doing. Backwards! Lottery winners have repeatedly proven that this is backwards and ineffective.
To put your highly desired outcome first and then you do the work of getting there is not only backward, but ignorant, stupid, and impossible. Life just doesn’t work that way. And that’s why persistence, patience, resilience, commitment, ongoing learning, continuous adjustments, and generative change are always listed as essential keys to success. If that sounds old fashion, then reframe it as being well-documented and credible evidence of these critical success factors.
And if it sounds like a lot of work, that means that you have not yet created the inside understanding, know-how, and passion for the outside stuff. How can I say that? Because once you win the inner game and succeed with this inside stuff, then it is no longer “work.” The effort transforms into fun, excitement, and play. It is the effortfulness of a child at play ... lots of effort, lots of movement, expenditure of energy and yet for the child, it is not “work.” It is play. It is fun. So with every application of the inside-out principle.
When someone notices me reading, scribbling notes, typing away at my lap-top and says, “Wow! A lot of work; you work so hard.” I hardly know how to respond. It completely jars with my inner experience:
“‘Work?’ Are you kidding, this is fun! I’d pay to do this! You can’t keep me from this. I’m delighted, thrilled, passionate about doing this stuff. I’m exploring and discovering; it’s like a treasure hunt.”
This is the power of finding a self-actualizing passion. The day you find it is the day you Quit Work! That day becomes the end of doing things based on external motivation! And that day may be the day that you put forth much more effort and energy in what you are doing— but of course, on the inside, you are at play, having fun, and delighting yourself in something that calls to you from within!
May you find your self-actualizing meta-need and post your address in Meta-Land as your live your Meta-Life with all of the Meta-Vitality that fulfills your highest and best Meta-Identity!
Dr. Michael Hall Ph. D.