NLP hasn’t evolved very far since it was first conceived. As an NLP Trainer with 16 years Coaching and Hypnosis experience, all Jonathan Clark sees is more of the same. So he’s done something about it…
Interviewer: I was so impressed with your skill and depth of knowledge and ability to help people truly change their lives and things have really developed since then, haven’t they, you’ve now developed your own methodology called HGE, it’s a definite breakthrough or progression or evolvement might be a more appropriate word from NLP I think, and its really fascinating to me because I think NLP has done the world an incredible service but at least to me seems to have stopped progressing, but I think certainly what you do Jonathan is a really fresh and by what I’m seeing a more rapid way of truly evolving all these desires we have as human beings in health and relationships, money, business and so its very, very fascinating so you’ve written a book – we are now basically talking about that book or talking about HGE really. Let’s get straight into it, so why don’t you start Jonathan with a brief history of what NLP was and why you got involved, and then what began to frustrate you leading to your own HGE involvement.
Jonathan:Well there’s an old phrase that says that people get into personal development either out of desperation or inspiration and I’ve yet to meet someone who is inspired to do it. I was the shy specky kid with asthma and a duodenal ulcer by the time I was sixteen because I was so scared of talking to people, and I got into it purely because my brother studied psychology and I read all these books and found it fascinating. If I could burn a whole in my stomach with my brain what could I do that was a little bit more useful?
And so I started learning all these things for my benefit – I got into personal development, and found a lot of that stuff was very conscious, very techniquey, very kind of… you had to force yourself to do it, it was like affirmations, telling yourself “you’re happy, you’re happy” when the other part of brain was screaming at you that you’re not happy at all.
So I started to look at Neuro Linguistic Programming, NLP, hypnosis, life coaching, Feng Shui, energy work, a lot of the people I was listening to had some sort of esoteric discipline as well and in fact if you look at all of the major personal development people, all the big names they all look at some kind of esoteric spirituality aspect and that intrigued me – I thought maybe I’m missing something, maybe there’s a side of life I don’t know anything about, I didn’t ever look at that kind of thing, in fact I poo poo’d it.
NLP I found to be very practical hands on, you could read it and use it the same day – you could fix phobias in under an hour, you could take away nerves, you could make people confident, you could change beliefs, you could do amazing wonderful things in a very short space of time which really blew my head off – the ulcer disappear, my asthma disappeared, I got fitter and healthier, started taking care of my physical body, changed career completely.
Interviewer:Ok and this is all self done.
Jonathan: Incredibly powerful self-work, and I had never seen it fail, I had only ever seen NLP work, so my enthusiasm took off like a house on fire and I started sharing it with people, I started running seminars at weekends, I started working with individuals and because I didn’t know it might not work it always did. After 2 years of working with people in the field, and actually working with exam nerves and phobias and confidence, ME, massive health shifts in people, stuff you wouldn’t believe, transformational health changes, I thought one day somebody might actually ask me for a certificate, or a qualification and because my background was financial services I very much believe in that stuff, I thought right I’m going to have to go and get trained.
Then I discovered that issues would come up with students and the trainers were unable to bail them out, the trainers actually had no field experience, they were textbook perfect but had never worked with people in the real world so I had to keep bailing people out because I had been doing in for two years, and that really was a huge convincer to me about my ability, and it surprised me and also kind of disappointed me as well that the household names in the field weren’t actually up to scratch, in my opinion, I coined a phrase “always a trainer, never a therapist” because they could talk about it, there’s a lot of text book people out there but when it comes to the real world application they just haven’t got the chops for it.
Interviewer:It’s the age old thing about teachers isn’t it?
Jonathan:Correct, as apposed to coaches – Coaches do it. But, so having done that for a while I decided I could help people more than what I am currently doing in my current career, which is a financial advisor, I was getting great results using NLP in the financial services, my sales doubled and my appointments halved, and my managers wondered what I was doing, and all I was doing was some of these techniques, rapport techniques, building connections with people, having people like you and trust you, having two way trust going. I then decided I’m going launch my own business and do this on the side, build it up and then eventually go self-employed.
I did that, my income immediately doubled after two months I was working half the hours, and I had always been taught that self-employed businesses fail within the first two year and those that succeed fail within the next two years. I’m helping people and doing something that I felt I was born to do and I’ve basically been doing that ever since. Now I have looked at the current stuff that I’ve been training and thinking this needs to grow and evolve, there are certain things that most personal development areas don’t cover, or there’s certain holes or certain gaps, I’ve plugged them and I now want to get them out to the world.
Interviewer:OK, so now tell us what HGE is and maybe you can preface that by saying what these missing links were that were frustrating you.
Jonathan:Well, what often happens with most technique based skills is that there’s often heart missing, there’s often a kind of humanity aspect, and they become very cold and calculating and very kind of logical and sensible, and for a lot of people that’s not enough, a lot of NLP people are very academic and very much into systems orientation and the way things work, however, for something to give you complete balance, if you really want to be successful in all areas you need to include a more humane, what would you call it . . holistic approach as well, so there has to be some kind of higher purpose, there has to some kind of creativity or inspiration behind it.
It also excluded people who wanted a more spiritual experience, typically if you look at any of the mind disciplines out there they’ll either be very conscious, logical academic or they’ll be very kind of spiritual, esoteric and most people fall into one or the other, what I wanted to do was bridge the gap and explain why both sides have advantages.
Also NLP has been around for a long, long time but it isn’t developing and evolving itself in my opinion, there are too many cliques, too many politics and people arguing who the original inventors were and not enough making it user friendly and making it publicized.
The UK aromatherapy guild released statistics last year to say that 25% of qualified aromatherapists actually earn a living doing it. Coach University recently sent out statistics talking about the 30,000 life coaches on the planet, I think 10% of them make a living from it, and making a living was £15,000 a year or less.
Interviewer:Doesn’t surprise me, is seems that any training method, it’s very few people who actually apply it and actually sustain it.
Jonathan:That’s the problem with most conventional training, it doesn’t do that, what I looked at was answering these niggles that had always been around for me and people would bring these up to me and I had the sort of standard stock party line phrases that everyone else had but I just felt as if I wasn’t walking my talk and I was hypocritical until I got them fixed, so I’ve spent the past sixteen years tweaking this, developing it and answering those questions for myself. I had to fill those holes, and I feel as if I have.
Interviewer:Yeah ok . . . good.
Jonathan:For those of us who want the balance and the success and want to ‘thrive’ instead of just ‘survive’, then there’s a kind of four areas you need to look at -there’s four aspects to you, you have a spiritual aspect, you have a mental aspect, you have an emotional aspect and you have a physical aspect, and if you fail to take care of one of those areas in your life . . . it will bite you!
It is as simple as that, people who have the money, the toys, the things they want to play with, the supportive environment, the bank account, the relationships and all the external physical tangible things, those are great, but not just on their own. Ideally you also want to have the ability to understand your own emotions and to be able to change your emotions, not be burdened with traumas and hassles from the past, ideally to change that and let it go, also the ability to think flexibly and creatively, so that you can think outside the box and think laterally and come up with solutions to your problems, and also to have the freedom to choose your spirituality or your esoteric development or whatever path you want to follow. I think we all have those four god given rights and the one that you fail to nourish and nurture, is the one ultimately which will come up in your life as a problem.
I think this is the key, I think understanding HGE enables you to understand every other practice discipline, procedure, process, every other ‘ology’ out there. HGE explains the mechanics of how they work, so that’s going to save you a lot of time and money buying useless books or pointless treatments or courses that promise a lot but don’t deliver much. You’ll actually be able to predict and understand how something works and why it works or also predict why it won’t work in advance. I’ve spent 16 years mastering this stuff so you don’t have to.
Interviewer: Alright, so what’s your universal message, when you say it like that?
Jonathan:You can change anything about yourself that you don’t like and you can have anything that you want. HGE is full of real practical ‘hands on’ go and do this now, you’ve learned about it, now go and do it. If you’re willing to do those things you will get immediate results in your world, that are categorically there in front of you, tangible. And that’s what personal development fans want.
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