NLP Putting Things into Perspective Pattern


This is a simple NLP pattern that I put together based on a conversation that I had with a buddhist monk when I was in my early 20s traveling in Thailand. As a typical 21 year old, I had many questions in life that I was seeking answers to. And my question was: “how do you really know if a problem is a problem?” His answer was very Yoda like,and I didn’t quite get it. When he saw the look on my poor conflicted face he explained that a problem is to be evaluated based on the fact if you will still care a week from now, a month from now, a year from now, 10 years from now, at the end of your life etc.

This concept can easily be filtered into a mini-NLP pattern using concepts of dissociation:


  1. Imagine a movie screen right in front of you, and watch a movie of the problem.
    If you fear it is too intense to do so, then float your awareness out of your body, as if in the project booth of your movie theater. This allows for not just a single dissociated, but a double dissociation. Where you watch yourself, watching yourself. You could play the movie in black and white, to create a third dissociation even.
  2. Notice where the movie starts and ends. And already rate the intensity of this problem for yourself between 1 and 10.
  3. Add 10 minutes extra after the movie, rate the intensity again.
  4. If there is any intensity still left, add a month.
  5. If there is any intensity still left, add a year.
  6. Etc.
  7. Imagine yourself at the end of your life, would you still care?

You could also add time before the movie. Placing it into the perspective of life as a whole.

This allows mini NLP pattern allows you to gage how big of a problem you have, and gives you the ability to determine as to what perspective you should place your response in. This prevents you to have a melt down over something, that you inherently won’t care about next week. Like getting upset at a driver on the road. Or your train being late.