Ever wondered what motivates and moves people to complete a task or make changes in their lives?

Ever been amazed when two people in the same room, experiencing similar inputs react in completely opposite ways?  how does that happen?

This is the realm of the metaprogram.  The term in NLP that signifies overarching preferences to the way we react to stimuli from the outside world.

Over 40 or so years since this rather “techy” term was coined by the early pioneers of NLP, many metaprograms have been proposed and over the next few days we will focus on just a few of them.


Tony Robbins once wrote “All human behavior revolves around the urge to gain pleasure or avoid pain. You pull away from a lighted match in order to avoid the pain of burning your hand. You sit and watch a beautiful sunset because you get pleasure from the glorious celestial show as day glides into night.”

Give us an example…

Lets take for instance Jan who’s seeking the goalof getting slimmer whilst Jim doesn’t want to be fat.  Both of them want to loose weight but one is motivated TOWARDS this goal and the other is motivated AWAY FROM the alternative.  Neither of these orientations is right or wrong, it’s simply the way different people orientate themselves.

This can often be observed in language:

How often do you hear I don’t want?  I don’t want to fail in my exams, I don’t want to feel bad, I don’t want to feel old,  I don’t want to loose.

These statements all give an indication that someone is trying to get AWAY from something.

How often do you hear “I’m trying to get to?”  “I want to win that contract.” “I want to feel fitter.” “I aim to stay young.” and other TOWARDS statements.

This metaprogram is something we discuss in more detail during our powerful NLP course Discover Me


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