Martin Messier

January 12, 2024

I love when science studies edge cases.

This morning, I discovered Stanford had conducted a study on the effect of Tony Robbins's events Unleash the Power Within and Date With Destiny on people who suffered from depression.

The results are worth reviewing.


Finding #1: Date with destiny is more effective in treating depression than traditionally studied treatments.

Finding #2: Study participants report a +50% increase in positive emotions and a 70% decrease in negative emotions.

Finding #3: Study participants saw a 38% decrease in anxiety during the pandemic, even 11 months later, while the baseline showed a 28% increase.

Finding #4: Tony Robbins event participants experienced physiological shifts that created a measurable change and lasting effect. 

300% Increase in cognitive performance 

159% Increase in learning hormones 

139% Increase in performance biochemistry


Here's a summary video where Tony presents findings:

Here is the full website on the research, where you'll find links to the original published peer-reviewed study:

Clearly, knowing NLP and learning from John Grinder pay dividends.

Martin Messier

January 8, 2024

My daughter is just a joy of a girl. Outstanding student, great singer, dedicated young professional, and just a delightful human being... She's definitely daddy's pride and joy.

On Saturday, she came to me and asked for my help. She told me she was experiencing a conflict about which path to follow. She has been torn between pursuing a career as a singer vs an actress. This dilemma revealed her challenge in making decision.

I sat down with her and started asking her about what she was experiencing. Within a minute, we nailed that she was afraid of making the wrong decision and nailed this as the cornerstone problem causing the conflict.

I asked her to get me a notebook and a pen, and started walking her through the sequence of questions I teach in Meta Model Mastery, in that precise order.

In less than 10 minutes, we were able to map out the entire "complex" that was making her miserable, and it came down to a simple chain:

If I don't know what to do --> I'm going to get lost --> I'm going to get scared

Two minutes and a reframe later, problem solved!

(Let me know if you'd like to know what the reframe was.)

Yesterday, she came back from work and shared two things with me that I loved:

1. She had used the exact same step-by-step process with her boyfriend that same night and helped him solve his problem, relieving massive stress.

2. She now felt tremendously excited about moving to Toronto to begin pursuing a career as an actress in musical theater.

I got a kick out of her stories.

First, because she was able to help her boyfriend without ANY training in Neurolinguistic Programming by simply applying a turnkey process she went through herself.

Second, because I always enjoy when simple changes start rippling into my clients' lives and boost their ambitions.

And it all starts with the simple understandings I share in Meta Model Mastery. And you can learn them in less than 45 minutes until tomorrow night.

Martin Messier

January 7, 2024

When I decided to create a training program on the Meta Model, I examined what most NLP students complained about when it came it to putting it into action β€” then set out to correct the training errors that gave rise to those issues.

These issues are caused by flaws in training. I designed training that overcame each of these flaws. This has made the Meta Model accessible to any NLP Practitioner and helps them put it into practice confidently. Dozens of students have already gone through Meta Model Mastery. It helped them finally put the Meta Model in action. It works.

Five issues resolved

Meta Model Mastery helps NLP Practitioners correct the five core issues they face when attempting to use the Meta Model in their everyday life or in their work.

Uncertainty about when to use it

Traditional NLP training leaves students with the impression that they should use the Meta Model only when they are coaching or counseling someone.

Meta Model Mastery offers distinct examples with commentary, offering many different scenarios and how to approach them creatively using the Meta Model.

Feeling mechanical and unnatural

Traditional NLP training makes you sound like an FBI interrogator when you use the Meta Model.

Meta Model Mastery teaches you the combinations of language and attitude that make it sound completely natural.

Forgetting question categories

Traditional NLP training chunks the Meta Model into 27 patterns. They're impossible to remember.

Meta Model Mastery rechunks the Meta Model into only 5 intuitive questions.

Disrupting the flow of conversation

Traditional NLP training teaches you to "challenge" the person you're speaking with.

Meta Model Mastery helps weave the Meta Model into the natural rhythm of any conversation with finesse in a way that enhances the conversation.

Over-analyzing the person's speech

This is due to traditional NLP training teaching Meta Model "violations" to look out for.

Meta Model Mastery shifts the guiding paradigm of the Meta Model so the Practitioner truly interacts with others rather than analyzing what they are saying.

If you're interested, you can enroll in Meta Model Mastery until Tuesday night. It hasn't been available for enrollment in over a year, and will probably not be available again until next year.

Martin Messier

January 6, 2024

Think of a scenario where an NLP practitioner is working with a client who says, "I feel stuck." This statement is vague and leaves much to interpretation. Without sensory acuity, a practitioner might miss the subtle cues that are key to understanding the client's underlying issue.

Sensory acuity in NLP refers to the ability to notice and interpret these subtle cues – changes in tone, body language, and facial expressions that often speak louder than words.

The Meta Model becomes an indispensable tool to bridge that gap. As a navigational tool, it not only clarifies language but also trains the practitioner to be attuned to nuances in the client's responses.

By consistently using the model's questions, NLP practitioners can enhance their sensory acuity. This heightened awareness allows them to pick up on the unsaid, the subtle shifts in emotion and thought patterns that are crucial for effective interventions.

Start by familiarizing yourself with the basic components of the Meta Model. Understand the three main categories: deletions, distortions, and generalizations. Each of these elements helps in identifying the missing pieces in communication.

(If you want a much simpler approach, use the five intuitive categories I teach in Meta Model Mastery, which will show you what you need to know in 45 minutes to use the Meta Model proficiently.)

Next, practice active listening. This involves not just hearing words but also being attuned to the pitch, pace, and pauses in speech. Observe body language closely. A slight shift in posture or fleeting facial expressions often reveal more than words could.

Then, engage in reflective questioning. Questions like "What specifically makes you feel stuck?" or "How exactly do you experience that feeling?" compel both your client and you to focus on details. This practice not only clarifies communication but also trains the practitioner's senses to be more receptive to non-verbal cues.

Finally, apply this in real-life scenarios. Whether in professional settings or personal interactions, utilize the Meta Model to deepen your understanding of communication. Pay attention to the responses you receive and observe the difference in your sensory awareness.

Martin Messier

January 5, 2024

For those already versed in the realms of NLP, the Meta Model is a familiar concept. But here's a thought that might elude them: mastering the Meta Model offers the highest ROI on NLP learning.

Consider this: during Practitioner training, the Meta Model is presented as yet another "technique" in the NLP toolkit, diluted away by other components of the NLP canon.

However, the Meta Model is not merely a tool in your NLP toolkit. It's the Swiss Army knife that brings a multiplier effect to every other technique you possess. Whether it's Sleight of Mouth, Sub-modalities, or complex strategy work, a deep understanding of the Meta Model accelerates and amplifies your effectiveness. It's like upgrading from a manual toolkit to a high-powered, precision-engineered machine.

However, the sad truth is that many NLP practitioners skirt around the edges of truly mastering the Meta Model. It's like owning a Ferrari but only driving it in first gear. The potential for speed, power, and agility is there, but untapped.

The Meta Model is more than just a pathway to understanding someone's issues, whether it's a client or a team member. It's a versatile instrument that can be wielded in countless contexts - from persuasive communication and problem-solving to spiritual development and self-mastery. It transcends the therapeutic setting, becoming a tool for transformation in every aspect of your life and the lives of those you touch.

But here's the kicker: most people don't realize the full spectrum of its applications. They don't recognize that mastering the Meta Model is akin to gaining a superpower in communication. Truly mastering it is like discovering a hidden room in a house you thought you knew well.

As we step into 2024, I challenge you to look at the Meta Model not just as another module in your NLP curriculum but as the key to unlocking your full potential as a practitioner, coach, consultant, leader or changemaker. Whether you're designing a new business venture, leading a team, coaching a client, or navigating personal challenges, the Meta Model equips you with the acumen to identify and understand limitations and misconceptions with precision and grace.

In a world overflowing with information and techniques, the true mastery of the Meta Model is an act of simplicity and depth. It's about going back to the basics, but with a perspective that sees the infinite possibilities in the fundamentals.

So, as you delve deeper into your NLP journey, remember: the real power lies in mastering the Meta Model. It's not just another tool; it's your unfair advantage.

And to celebrate the new year, I am re-opening enrollment in Meta-Model Mastery until Tuesday.

Martin Messier

January 3, 2024

Often, in coaching and leadership, the most powerful tool is not the loudest voice, but the most insightful question.

Let's picture this: as an NLP Practitioner, you're engaged in a dialogue, the usual back and forth. Beneath the surface, though, there's a deeper level of engagement happening: the Meta Model is playing its invisible tune in your mind.

The beauty of the Meta Model is not in its overt display but in its covert operation. It's like a chess grandmaster who sees not just the move in front of them but the next five moves ahead. When you deeply understand the Meta Model, you gain this foresight in your conversations. You're no longer just responding; you're strategically guiding the dialogue, uncovering layers of meaning that were previously hidden.

By the time you voice the question, you've already asked it in your mind, as part of a constellation of other questions about what the other person is describing.

And here's where improvisation comes in – the ability to adapt your questions and responses to the flow of the conversation, making each interaction as unique as the person you're speaking with. Ponder how sophisticated the process becomes when you blend in intonation, intention, and attitude with the words of the question...

Think of it as a jazz musician improvising a solo. They know the scales and chords, but the music they create in the moment is unique, responsive to the rhythm and mood of the piece. That's the Meta Model in action – a framework that allows for boundless creativity within the bounds of effective communication.

Delve into the Meta Model. Understand it, practice it, and then, let it blend seamlessly into your conversations as you become unconsciously competent at using it.

Martin Messier

January 1, 2024

Happy New Year, esteemed readers! As we step into 2024, let's begin with a dash of NLP wisdom, focusing on anchoring, meta-model questioning, and future pacing to create a year that resonates with accomplishment and fulfilment.

Firstly, establish powerful anchors for 2024. Choose a moment from the past year that filled you with confidence or joy. Relive it in your mind, feeling that surge of positivity. Now, anchor this feeling with a gesture or a word. Whenever you need a boost this year, activate this anchor to summon instant motivation and happiness.

Next, as you set your goals for the year, question any vague or limiting beliefs. Ask yourself: "What specifically do I want to achieve?" and "How will I know when I have achieved it?" This clarity will cut through ambiguity and set you on a precise path to your objectives.

Lastly, engage in future pacing. Imagine yourself at the end of 2024, having achieved your goals. What are you doing? Who are you with? How do you feel? Imprinting these detailed future memories will guide your subconscious towards making these visions a reality.

May your 2024 be a masterpiece of intention and achievement, sculpted with the tools of NLP. Happy New Year! πŸŽ‡πŸ“˜βœ¨

Martin Messier

December 30, 2023

As coaches and change agents, we often find ourselves standing at a crossroads. One path leads us down the familiar route, where our own perspectives and experiences dictate the journey. This is what we call in NLP "First Position" – a comfortable and self-assured stance. But what if, just for a moment, we venture down other paths?

Imagine, as a coach, stepping into the shoes of your client. This "Second Position" isn't just about seeing through their eyes; it's about sensing their heartbeats, feeling their fears and aspirations... It's a transformative experience, not just for them, but for you too. It's where empathy blossoms, and real connections are forged.

Yet, there's a third path, less traveled but equally enlightening. The "Third Position" – an observer's perch. From here, you're neither in yours nor your client's shoes; you're the wise old owl in the tree, watching the interaction with a calm, detached understanding. This vantage point gives you the clarity and objectivity needed to guide effectively.

So, here's a tip gained from years of coaching: Begin your sessions firmly rooted in your perspective – understand where you stand. Then, gently shift into your client's world, empathizing, understanding. And finally, ascend to that observer's perch. It's from this holistic view that you'll see not just the trees or the forest, but the entire ecosystem in which your client thrives.

For a coach, embracing these perceptual positions isn't a technique; it's tapping into the wisdom of seeing the world through multiple lenses and, in doing so, helping others find their path, their edge, and their truth.

Martin Messier

December 29, 2023

What if the key to breakthroughs in coaching didn't lie in what people think, but in HOW they represent their thoughts?

Often, we focus intensely on the content of our clients' or teammates thoughts, emotions, and experiences. We dissect their stories, analyze their beliefs, and challenge their perspectives. But, what if the levers to breakthroughs lie deeper? What if it's not just about the thought itself, but the very fabric of how these thoughts are structured and represented?

Meta-modalities offer us a unique lens to view and help shape our clients' internal representations.

(This a core concept traditionally known as "sub-modalities" in NLP but later updated by L. Michael Hall and Bobby Bodenhamer in their book "Sub-Modalities Going Meta". It's hairy reading, but absolutely worth the time and effort.)

These fine distinctions in how we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste our thoughts can be the hidden levers that unlock massive shifts in perception and emotional response.

Imagine a client who constantly battles with self-doubt. They might 'see' their failures as looming, vivid images or 'hear' their internal dialogue as a loud, critical voice. By helping them adjust these meta-modalities β€” dimming the brightness of those images, or softening the tone of that inner voice β€”suddenly, they begin relating to their goals and desires differently.

As leaders, understanding and utilizing meta-modalities allows us to go beyond surface-level conversation. It empowers us to guide our clients in reshaping their internal landscapes. A slight tweak in the 'zoom', 'brightness', or 'volume' of their thoughts can lead to profound shifts in their emotional world.

Explore this fascinating realm. Start paying closer attention not just what people are thinking, but how they are thinking. Pay attention to the qualities of their internal representations. Experiment with adjusting these meta-modalities using language and observe the powerful impact these adjustments can have.

This approach is about transforming how thoughts are experienced. It's a journey into the architecture of our internal world, and it can be the gateway to breakthroughs in leadership, coaching and sales. The subtlest shifts could lead to the greatest transformations.

Martin Messier

December 28, 2023

Consider this: every successful person has a set of strategies they live by. But what if the real secret weren't in the strategies themselves, but in how they installed them?

In the world of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), we often talk about strategies and how to apply them, but seldom do we dive into the art of installing them. It's not just about identifying a great strategy and eliciting it, but how you engrain it into your being, making it a natural extension of yourself.

Take, for example, a strategy of positivity. You could read a thousand books on positive thinking, but until you install this strategy into your daily thought process, it remains just that – a strategy, not a transformation. The real magic happens in the installation – it's like planting a seed in fertile soil, nurturing it, and watching it grow into a towering tree.

The key to effective installation is alignment with your core values and beliefs. It's about creating a harmony between what you want to achieve and what you inherently believe. When these align, the strategy becomes second nature, like breathing or walking.

Keep in mind that strategies are tools, but installation is the craft. It's the difference between owning a paintbrush and creating a masterpiece.

The next time you come across a strategy, ask yourself, "How can I install this into my life?" Be sure to come up with a useful answer.