How to be Successful in Life – Success Principle #8

Curiosity won’t kill this cat!

So far, I’ve covered 7 principles of the 10 Principles for Successful Living.  You can find them all under the next section and revisit any you feel you need to.

Our minds are powerful, so manage it so it doesn’t manage you.

How to be Successful in Life – Success Principle #8 is all about curiosity and how by learning about ourselves (and the things we do unconsciously) we can actually do what we do differently and therefore create the change we want to see.

No one can create the change for us, so we need to start to be conscious through curiosity. And, it won’t kill you but will make you much more powerful.

If you’ve covered all the other principles, skip the next section and move onto the next so I can tell you how curiosity can change your life.

And remember, the 10 Principles for Successful Living can be applied to any area of your life whether it be business, health, relationships, wealth or any other area you need to focus on.

The 10 Principles for Successful Living

Quick links to previous principles to refresh or get up to speed.

Principle Number 1:  Boundary Conditions

Principle Number 2:  Cause and Effect

Principle number 3:  What we focus on is what we get

Principle number 4:  The map is not the territory

Principle number 5:  There is No failure only feedback

Principle number 6:  Responsibility for change

Principle number 7:  Integrity and Intent

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Principle number 8: Curiosity is the key

How is curiosity a key to success?

It’s key because with this we can cultivate an incredibly open mind about how you will or can create change, what that change will look like and what that change will feel like for you.

Curiosity is about being willing to question the way things are and then finding new ways and new solutions.

Now in Neuro Linguistic Programming this is called strategy elicitation.

I’ll give you a little technique that will be useful.

When you find yourself doing a certain thing, get curious and ask yourself how you do that. Don’t ask yourself why you do that because this moves you to justification.  Ask the question how do I do that?  How do you go about doing that or creating that?

Now within these questions is built what is called a presupposition.  A presupposition is an assumption, a linguistic assumption.  How do you do that is linguistically assuming that you are doing it, rather than it just happening.

For example, someone says to you, “I’m always getting tired or I’m always getting frustrated” – how do you do that implies or presupposes that they are at cause.  That they are doing something to create those patterns, that neurology.

In using the word ‘do’ they will answer the question.

So, you must be thinking, so they answered the question “so what?”.  Well the power of it is this, when you ask how do I do that, it moves you to cause when you answer, because to answer the question you have to accept that you did it.

You need to get really curious about how you do what you do and whether it is resourceful or unresourceful.

For instance, how do you do sadness?  You might say, “I don’t do it, it just happens”, you might actually be consciously aware of the word do and that’s fine too.  Ask, if I did do it, how do I do it?  And you might say, “I don’t know” and you can ask yourself, “if I did know what would the answer be?”  Now these questions are designed to first bring in Success Principle number one – moving beyond the boundary conditions, because whatever it is you don’t know you need to know to create the change.

It is also moving you to cause (Success Principle Number 2) because now you think about what you do instead of it just happening.

It is also moving your focus (Success Principle Number 3) from what you feel you can’t control and influence to what you feel you perhaps can.

It’s also getting curious about your map (Success Principle Number4).  It is also accepting that being sad all the time isn’t necessarily failure, it is just feedback (Success Principle Number 5)
of a particular strategy and it is definitely moving you to be responsible for creating the change (Success Principle Number 6).

How to do ‘curiosity’

The specific questions I ask you to ask yourself are designed to build in all of the success principles we have looked at so far.

The questions elicit the strategies you use and demonstrate curiosity.


How do you do that?  I don’t know – well if you did know what would the answer be?  Well I guess I just wake up and I feel that way.

How do you know it’s time to feel that way?  I don’t know, it just is.

And if you did know, is there a particular trigger, does something happen, do you have to think a particular thought or do you have to picture something in your mind, do you have to hear something, what is it?

Being curious isn’t just saying to yourself, I’m really curious, you use the strategy elicitation process which is essentially curious.

Now the reason you want to do this is because you want to notice your map of the world.

For example, someone says (or you say) I am always tired or I’m always overwhelmed.  We want to know how they (or you) do tired and how they (or you) do overwhelmed.

You need to know how they or you construct overwhelm. Perhaps it’s every time the phone rings three times in a row, perhaps it’s every time the computer breaks down, perhaps it’s overwhelm every time they watch the news, perhaps it’s every time they have a lot to do.

There will be a trigger, and when that trigger is fired, they would move neurologically and automatically into overwhelm and they are not even aware of it (unconscious).


Get to know your triggers and experiment to create change

Now, imagine the possibilities and potential for change knowing this information.

Imagine knowing or discovering for example that the trigger for overwhelm is every time they (or you) have too many things on their (or your) to do list.

How could you then do it differently?  How do you need to think differently?  What needs to change?

What I want you to do is to cultivate within yourself an attitude of want and curiosity, of want and experimentation, to be curious about how you construct thoughts, behaviours and actions and choices in your own mind.

I invite you to take on this attitude of want and experimentation, to ask questions, to find out how you do something or what led to that choice?

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The Iceberg and Raising Consciousness

The majority of what we do, every decision, choice or behaviour we make is made on an unconscious level.

We think we are consciously choosing.  I now consciously choose salad for dinner, but the decision was already made on an unconscious level.

So, how curious do you need to get to discover how you came to that choice?  You might tell yourself or you might be saying, well I studied a lot of health books and I know that eating salads is really healthy.

But there is more to it than that, because everybody knows in the western world that eating salads are healthy but there are plenty of people not making that choice.  What is the difference?  How does somebody who knows that making healthy choices is available to them choose to eat the fattening foods, deep-fried and cancer-causing foods?  The decision was made on an unconscious level.  You need to get curious about that.

Generally, we are only 10% consciously aware of what we do or how we do it, how we experience something or our decision making around how we will experience something etc, which means that 90% is unconscious (the iceberg under the water – we don’t see it and are unaware of it).

Now, that’s a lot.  Imagine if we could increase our awareness and the impact that would have on our lives.

Get curious about how you make your decisions but I really want you to start getting curious about your unconscious patterns.

Are you choosing a really unresourceful patterns or patterns and if you realise that but don’t know , “how you do it” you have hit a boundary condition which is great because you can begin to move from being unconscious to conscious.

The answer is there, you just haven’t realised it yet.

You need to continue to ask the questions.  How do I know it’s time to do sadness?  If your answer is  “I don’t know”.  Ask, but if I knew the answer what would it be? And the answer may be – “I know it’s time to do sadness when my kids don’t phone, my husband doesn’t pay any attention to me, I definitely, definitely know I am going to be sad then”.

Well now you’ve just gathered up or restored or recovered information that until then had been unconscious.

How can I change a pattern?

Now if your answer to the above scenario was “I get sad because my kids don’t call and my family is not in touch” then you could ask:

Is there anything within my control and influence that I can do to change this?

And you could say, “well I could get onto the phone” and then you could ask when could I do that?

And you could say, “I could do that today”. Excellent, you then ask how would that make me feel?  You might answer, “I would feel fantastic. I would feel really connected”.

So, simply by being very, very curious you have recovered the intent, the thinking, the pattern, the neurology t behind how you did sadness and have started to change the pattern.

You are empowered to create the change.  Now you can move to cause.

Now I have only explored one tiny, tiny step of how to do this.  Obviously, there is a lot more involved to strategy elicitation, there is a lot more involved in the recovery of unconscious choices.

Sometimes we need personal coaching – visit Life Coach Hub or Energy Life Coaching

Neuro-Linguistic Programming

So we are only 10% consciously aware of what is going on with us and 90% unconscious.

We don’t even see it, let alone be aware of it.

I’d like you to read a book called ‘NLP in 21 days’.  I really encourage you to read this book because it goes into this in a little bit more detail.

There is a whole field of NLP that is very, very deserving of your time and your patience and your energy and your focus. Because strategy elicitation to me is just the key sometimes to the breakthroughs.

Moving Forward

  1. NLP in 21 days Invest in NLP in 21 days.
  2. Start to move beyond your boundary conditions, move to cause and start to see how you can create a difference.  See how you start to develop behavioural flexibility.  See how you start to develop the emotional and mental muscle you need to create the change and how you become consciously aware through courage and integrity.
  3. To learn more about raising your conciousness and the Awareness read my article What is the Power of Awareness? Waking to a Life Unimagined!
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To me there is no greater gift than becoming conscious because when we become aware we can do something about it.  We cannot change what we don’t know.

I trust that this particular principle of being curious is going to enable you to enrich your life.

So, get curious about exploring your current map, get curious about what you are doing now, the results you are getting now, how you communicate with yourself right now, your beliefs, your values and your strategies for how you do what you do.

It is only then that you can ask yourself how would you like it to be and can implement the tools and strategies I’ve given you to create the change.

As always, I welcome your questions, comments and feedback so please leave them below.

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