NLP Q&A With Subscribers: What Is A Propulsion System?

Mark asked:

"I've read about propulsion systems before but I don't really understand what they are. Could you explain a bit more?"

Building a machine

Richard Bandler, to my knowledge, first developed the concept of a propulsion system and the pattern to install them. When asked about the difference between DHE and NLP, one of the differences he mentioned had to do with motivation. He said that, in NLP, practitioners worked to elicit and amplify motivation strategies. In DHE, practitioners installed powerful propulsion systems.

One way to hallucinate an understanding of the propulsion system is to think of those roller coaster rides we've been experiencing in amusement parks for about a decade now, built with electromagnets. These "new" systems make it possible for a roller coaster to get going at top speed, instead of the usual slow climb, followed by the steep downhill run.

A motivation strategy follows a step-by-step sequence that gets you from one state to a motivated state. You would follow that strategy anytime you'd like to feel motivated.

A propulsion system, on the other hand, is an installed mechanism that maintains you constantly in a state of movement - or so says its creator/developer.

So the real question for us, now, is to understand what they are and/or how they work.

The best way to do this is to actually install one and then analyze how it works. I've actually uploaded a little installation example for you, so you can simply click on the "Play" button below and get a feel for it. (At the beginning, you'll hear me say "Steve here." I recorded this when I used my pen name "Steve Bauer.")

Let's break this down a bit...

You'll notice in the audio that we're working with attraction and aversion. Both are powerful forces to move human beings.

The most simple analogy I can use for the propulsion system is the following: put heaven in front of you and hell behind you.

Heaven should be enough to pull us forward. Problem is, sometimes we get lazy. As attractive as the vision of the promised land might be, we may sometimes foolishly believe that it requires too much effort to get there. So we stop.

Now, when we have hell catching up to us unless we move forward, it becomes a little less comforting to settle down. That's why a critical piece of the propulsion system is a raging pit bull on our rear end.

My uncle once asked me: "What's the fastest animal on the planet?"

I answered: "The cheetah."

He then said: "No way! Put a cheetah on my tail and you'll see I'm the fastest animal on the planet!"

In summary...

Progress is a conquest.

It is not inevitable.

A propulsion system is a tool you can leverage to give yourself an extra "humpf!" in your quest to produce results.

  • I appreciate the post and the example. Examples always help – particularly for abstract concepts. Thanks again – keep up the great work.

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