“Friends are like a book: they open up the whole world for us. But they can be divided into good and bad. The right sort can help you, but the bad sort will bring you a great deal of trouble and may even lead you down the wrong road. Being able to choose your friends wisely is extremely important.” Confucius as interpreted by Yu Dan, author of Confucius from the Heart
A NLP modeling project by Tom O’Connor – NLP TIMES (NLP Videos and Trainings)
NLP meta-programs are perceptions or mindsets and behavioral patterns that operate at an other-than-conscious level. Meta-programs are filters through which we perceive the world. An example is the old maxim is the glass half full or half empty. By understanding and appreciating other people’s models of the world that may differ dramatically from our own we can learn how to do things better.
Modeling subject: Jan Cisek – Master PhotoReader and Speed Reader
1. Chunk Size: Global vs. Specific
Spd Rdng Student: Global
When spd rdng speed readers tend to go global and take in the big picture. The field of vision is broad and the area of focus tends to be on “Concepts” and “Ideas”, getting a Gestalt view. You sort for information at global level. Global chunk style tends to lead to deductive processing and permits the speed reader to take large mental quick cuts through large volumes of information. There is quite a high level of generalisation. This differs significantly from a person who’s meta-program who is detail based. They will tend to focus on the low level information, needing to acquire all the details and feel the need for multiple examples and overlapping of information before they feel they are comfortable with the material.
2. Relationship Sort: Same/Difference/Continuum
Spd Rdng Student: Difference
How you tend to process information when speed reading is by slicing for differences. Asking questions like “What different here? What concepts can I pick up that are different from my model of the world already?”
Sorting by difference tends to ensure and allow for the speed reader to bypass the need to read lots of details. This meta-program also links in with cross referencing that you automatically do (particularly when you process syntopically) with information you already know.
3. Representation System: Visual/Auditory digital/Kinesthetic/Gustatory
Spd Rdng Student: Visual (lead), Kinesthetic (Reference)
When you’re speed reading, the dominant representation system being used is visual. However it would appear that while you lead with the visual representational system, allowing you to process and sort large volumes of information, you rely on the kinesthetic for confirmation on many key aspects (such as value of content in the book, the morphic field, sense of “is this book worth spd rdng). While traditional readers may use visual as the lead reference system, it is speed readers emphasis on accessing and using their kinesthetic sense that markedly differ.
4. Information Gathering Style: Sensors/ Intuitor
Spd Rdng Student: Intuit
Although you will adopt different meta-programs dependant on different aspects of the spd rdng flow. The speed reading student tends to exhibit an intuitor style or information. Intuitors tend to intuit things through their internal knowings, experience and feelings. This allows the speed reading student to take a more holistic approach to processing information.
5. Information Gathering Style: Downtime/Uptime
Spd Rdng Student: Downtime
The spd rdng student tends to be in downtime when speed reading. This state involves the speed reader going “inside” and become absorbed in the process and removed from the external world. It allows for a concentrated focus on obtaining your outcome and the re-assessment of “how am I doing? Am I getting closer to my outcome? Do I need to access other areas?”
6. Value Direction: Towards/ Away From
Spd Rdng Student: Toward
The speed reading student is drawn towards their outcome when speed reading. The are seeking specific concepts, understanding and themes which will make a difference. Once they have decided that a book is worth speed reading they search out for particular information (visual) and rely on their feelings (kinesthetic) to advise when they are “done” with a book or if they require another pass.
7. Frame of Reference: Internal/Internal with external check/ External/ External with Internal check
Spd Rdng Student: Internal with an external check
The successful spd rdng student tends to have a very strong internal frame of reference when it comes to speed reading books. They are lovers of knowledge and reading and rely on their own “gut” feeling when evaluating a book and also assessing if they have obtained all they need. They can use an external check when they are looking to obtain input on good books to read or afterwards where they are reconditioning their learning and discussing/teaching/exploring the books concepts with a fellow speed readers.
8. Goal Sort: Optimiser/ Perfectionist/ Skeptic
Spd Rdng Student: Optimiser
The spd rdng student is noticeable by their easy approach to their information processing. They tend to focus on optimising “% of time invested vs. return on new ideas or knowledge obtained”. They differ from perfectionists (traditional school of reading) who have been conditioned to need to read every word and “you don’t know it if you haven’t read every sentence”.
Spd Rdng students are easy on their needs for “knowing everything” and realise that the information they require can be gathered in an easier flow like information gathering approach.
9. Time Experience: In Time/Through Time
Spd Rdng Student: Through Time Focus
Spd Rdng Students when speed reading and evaluating the material to work with tend to be aware of the time being spent. They are less “in time” focused, i.e. unaware of and totally lost in time. The traditional reader tends to be very “in time” focused and has a beginning but no end planned in mind.
10. Completion/Closure: Closure / Non Closure
Spd Rdng Student: Non Closure
The spd rdng student tends to have a relatively high tolerance for non closure, being able to open up several loops of information streams and join the dot’s of an authors thinking to bring together a global/ gestalt view and understanding of the concepts at play. A traditional reader will tend to have a very high need for closure and in comparison to the speed reading student will be quite passive in enquiring and holding open a number of information loops.
Not all meta programs hold the same influence or weight when a student is speed reading, some are more relevant than others, therefore the key list I’ve see so far are:
Priority of Influence:
Global chunking style
Sorting for difference
Strong towards motivation – outcome driven
Low level for completeness
Rep System: Kinesthetic
Recessions are times of great change and sometimes upheaval.
People who struggle often do so because they cling to the past rather than embrace the ‘now’ and the future. It’s essential for us to stay on the cutting edge of innovation through a lifelong pursuit of education. The most successful people and entrepreneurs are those who are constantly reading, attending seminars, engaging with mentors, and exposing themselves to new ideas and adventures. What are you reading today?
“In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, or for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning to learn.” John Naisbitt
In a complex society, knowledge has come to mean knowing where and how to find out something, not just knowing.
Speed reading is about speed as much as about slow reading
With speed reading we create more time to reflect – our reflective intelligence is critical to learning and our moral standards. Read previous post. In Praise of Slow – How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore one can learn the importance of taking time to reflect and slow down.
Both me and Nanette can read very fast when we need to. But we take time to read slowely – usually for pleasure. Novels, poetry, philosophy, etc lend themselves to reading slowely. Never before the balance between fast and slow was so important. Spd rdng is like driving a car – sometimes we use the first gear, sometimes the second, the third, the fourth, etc. Most people though read like they would read in the first gear. Speed reading is about changing your gears of reading depending on the context of your reading.
Can reflective intelligence survive in the fast media environment?
Following from the previous post about how the speed of Facebook and Tweeter are shaping our moral compass.
David Perkins (Harvard) thinks that reflective intelligence (RI) is the most important one to learn. It’s being aware of your learning and thinking habits and how to improve them. It’s thinking about thinking – meta-thinking.
What brings me most joy when learning? Why?
What do I not understand?
What can I do to understand better? (Ask a friend)
What is the biggest success / aha moment? Write it down & use symbols.
What works and does not work for me?
The moments of learning…
How to switch on your reflective intelligence?
1. Notice what is working – write it down
2. Be grateful – gratitude feedbacks to your subconscious mind what you want and what is important to you
3. Get inspired and motivated by people’s aha! It stimulates your reflective intelligence and executive functioning. Revitalising. Strangely Twitter can be used to post those inspiring AHA! moments – follow us on http://twitter.com/Spdrdng
New research suggests that fast social portals can be damaging to us – especially young people who’s brains are still developing.
‘If things are happening too fast, you may not ever fully experience emotions about other people’s psychological states and that would have implications for your morality,’ said researcher Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, from the University of Southern California. Brain imaging tests showed that humans can respond in fractions of a second to signs of physical pain in others; but admiration and compassion – two of the social emotions which define humanity – take much longer. Digital media may direct users away from traditional avenues for learning about humanity, such as literature or face-to-face interactions, Ms Immordino-Yang added. ‘When it comes to emotion, because these systems are inherently slow, perhaps all we can say is, not so fast,’ said Antonio Damasio, who led the research. Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, who led the research said: “What I’m more worried about is what is happening in the abrupt juxtapositions that you find, for example, in the news. He said the research was vital because admiration, “gives us a yardstick for what to reward in a culture, and for what to look for and try to inspire”. Mr Damasio said that Barack Obama, who was inspired by his father, showed how admiration could drive a person onto great things, adding: “We actually separate the good from the bad in great part thanks to the feeling of admiration. It’s a deep physiological reaction that’s very important to define our humanity.”
Is it possible to read faster with increased comprehension?
It may seem counter-intuitive but reading faster equates with comprehending more. In fact, individuals who read at slower rates are likely to comprehend less. It makes sense when you realise that the more information your mind has the more it will comprehend. Our advice is always to read faster in order to understand more. The brain-friendly way to more understanding is to get the big picture of the subject first. Reading faster, reading more will give you a bigger picture.
Did you know? In the world of information overload – just a few more facts – watch this video clip
20 years ago 80% of knowledge resided within the books. Now it’s only 20% because the world is changing ever faster. We need to be open to new and unknown connections with people and content.
The people of India love spending their time with a book in their hands. Such are the results of a survey conducted by the public research agency NOP World Culture Score. On average they spend 11 hours reading every week. The world average for book reading is – according to the survey – 6.5 hours. And Poles much the average ideally, putting them in 13th place. We’re behind the Chinese (8 hours), the Czechs (7.4 hours) and the French (6.9 hours), but then the Americans are way behind us (23rd place – or 5.7 hours), as are the Brits (5.3 hours, given 26th place). The Koreans read the least (3.1 hours)
How to get higher degree faster – start earlier
The notion of commencing university education at school was born out of his own precocious boyhood in the United States. “When I was at school academics from the University of California at Berkeley came and taught me some classes in speed reading,” he explains in his quiet drawl. However, since they had no way of imparting an entire degree to a child Kelley went to university early, at 15.
The idea is the brainchild of Paul Kelley, Monkseaton’s American headmaster, who just loves to push the boundaries. “If every school were to make this available, think how much money each student would save by not having to go to a university – and they’d get a step ahead in the jobs market. After all, you are at a huge advantage if you have an honours degree when your peers only have A-levels,” he says.
WEIRD: Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, But the wrod as a wlohe. And you touhhgt taht sepllnig was iprmoetnt!
In the same way you don’t need to read every word in a sentence to get the message.
In the end, quality tells. People may have bought The Da Vinci Code in its millions but, when asked to name the most precious book they have read, they relegated it to 42nd place and chose Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
In the poll for World Book Day today, the highest-ranking contemporary adult fiction novel is Sebastian Faulks’s Birdsong, which came only 17th. Read more on this
Speed up your reading with iPhone
Reading on the iPhone can be quicker because the screen guides the eyes better. Also with the ease of scrolling and the smaller article sizes on many web pages – all means that information can be processed a lot quicker than by previous means.
Did you know?
Studies show that people read around 10Mb worth of material a day, hear 4000Mb a day and see 1Mb of information per every second.
Going night after night without sleep makes us absent minded, and now we may know why
Going night after night without sleep makes us absent-minded, and now we may know why. In rats, sleep deprivation causes stress hormones to accumulate in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which in turn stunts the growth of cells that lay down new memories.
“This decrease in neuron production coincided with an increase in the major rodent stress hormone, corticosterone,” says Elizabeth Gould, head of the team at Princeton University that made the discovery. When Gould stopped production of the hormone in rats by removing their adrenal glands, the animals carried on producing new neurons as normal despite being deprived of sleep (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0608644103).
“We concluded that sleep deprivation decreases neurogenesis by elevating stress hormones,” says Gould. The results tally with earlier studies showing that sleep-deprived people are worse at remembering how to do newly learned tasks than they are normally. “We know that sleep deprivation is stressful, and that it impairs certain types of learning and memory,” she says.
Derk-Jan Dijk of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at the University of Surrey in Guildford, UK, says the results are the first to provide a plausible mechanism explaining how a lack of sleep damages memory. “It points to the importance of sleep in the right hormonal conditions,” says Dijk. “These are altered if you sleep at the wrong time of day, or if you are stressed generally,” he says. The results explain how shift work might damage memory by producing “a different hormonal milieu”.
“The results are the first to provide a plausible mechanism explaining how a lack of sleep damages memory”
However, Tarja Porkka-Heiskanen of the University of Helsinki in Finland says that may be going too far, as the 72 hours of sleep deprivation experienced by the rats is exceptionally long, equivalent to several days in humans. Sleep deprivation can damage memory, but only “in extreme cases”, she believes.
Do we make decisions rationally or emotionally? Both.
The Decisive Moment – the new book by Jonah Lehrer – is about how we make decisions – except it’s not ‘us’, it’s our brains. It turns out that decision making, far from being the rational process we all like to pride ourselves on, is actually led by our emotions, which are largely beyond our conscious control.
‘Even when we think we know nothing, our brains know something,’ Lehrer says – ie we know much more non-consciously than comes to conscious awareness, and our brains use this information to make decisions, sometimes in the face of what we know logically.
This is what we teach on our speed-reading/photoreading courses – that the non-conscious mind is our learning brain taking in huge amounts of information that we are not aware of. And we use this fact to encourage people to read more quickly, using speed reading eye patterns to look for ‘hot spots’ of key information, or to trust when using the downloading/photoreading technique that the information really is going into your non-conscious mind!
One message: if you are already an expert on a subject, then trust your gut reaction when making a decision. If you know little about the subject, then find out more and make a logical decision.
By the way, one decision we can help you make. If you want to get a copy of the book, make sure you get ‘The Decisive Moment’ and not ‘How we decide’ by the same author. Turns out it’s the same book with a different title and a higher price! How rational is that???
A 30-year study found that happy people read more books, newspapers and socialise more, while unhappy people watch more television.
“TV doesn”t really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading does,” said University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson, the study co-author and a pioneer in time-use studies (that appeared in the December 2008 issue of the journal Social Indicators Research /ANI). “It’s more passive and may provide escape – especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise,” he added. During the study, the researchers analyzed two sets of data spanning nearly 30 years (1975-2006) gathered from nearly 30,000 adults. It showed that unhappy people watch an estimated 20 percent more television than very happy people. The unhappy people were also more likely to feel they have unwanted extra time on their hands (51 percent) compared to very happy people (19 percent) and to feel rushed for time (35 percent vs. 23 percent). Read more about this study
Do you want to feel better or change your mood? Do you want to feel more energetic? Read faster!
Speed reading and photoreading is the answer. Research done in Princeton University (Emily Pronin – read the ABSTRACT below) suggests that people who speed up their thinking with timed activities such as reading fast a piece of text that scrolled quickly – felt happier and more powerful, creative and energetic. Read more on this research (Psychology Today)
Manic Thinking Independent Effects of Thought Speed and Thought Content on Mood by Emily Pronin ( Princeton University) and Daniel M. Wegner (Harvard University)
“ABSTRACT—This experiment found that the speed of thought affects mood. Thought speed was manipulated via participants’ paced reading of statements designed to induce either an elated or a depressed mood. Participants not only experienced more positive mood in response to elation than in response to depression statements, but also experienced an independent increase in positive mood when they had been thinking fast rather than slow—for both elation and depression statements. This effect of thought speed extended beyond mood to other experiences often associated with mania (i.e., feelings of power, feelings of creativity, a heightened sense of energy, and inflated self-esteem or grandiosity).” Download the paper
Perfectly logical way to read
The quest for the perfect method of reading that does everything and works for everybody is silly, since different readers have different requirement. In similar way, that some people own more than one car, since no single vehicle meets their needs. Speed reading and strategic reading offer diverse ways to design your own reading styles that can be adopted to changing needs. Dynamic, intelligent, adaptable, strategic reading is the logical next step.
5 of the top 10 books sold in Japan in 2007 began life as cellphone novels – books typed in text-speak and then posted online.
In Japan, a new literary genre has taken off. It’s called keitai shosetsu, or the mobile-phone novel.
These short books are written by text message and posted on the web. The stories have taken a particular form; most are written by and for young women and are about difficult subjects such as pregnancy and abortion.
These novels are hugely popular. Maho i-Land, Japan’s largest mobile-phone novel site, contains more than one million titles. The site is visited 3.5 billion times a month.
Publishers have caught on, and text-created books top many Japanese bestseller lists. Love Sky by Mika, and its sequel, have together sold 2.6 million copies. Many titles are filmed or made into manga cartoons.
Critics argue that predictive text makes the books repetitive, but the cellular age has turned Japan into a land of quietly tapping thumbs and wild imaginations.
In case you were worried that the abbreviations commonly used in text messages might be hurting the nation’s (or your child’s) literacy – you can relax. Apparently it’s doing the opposite.
The more children send texts using abbrvtns, the better their reading ability! Apparently with all the texting, children are reading much more these days, and playing with the language is an important part of learning how it works.
We teach both that reading more (of anything) will improve your reading – and that it’s important to get the message from what you read rather than concentrating on the individual letters (or even the individual words). And it’s no coincidence that we called our book ‘Spd Rdng’!
By the way, have you already seen the following on the internet?
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. And you touhhgt taht sepllnig was iprmoetnt!
Further info in the New Scientist 22 Feb 2009 reporting on research ‘Exploring the relationship between children’s knowledge of text message abbreviations and school literacy outcomes’ by Plester, Beverly1; Wood, Clare1; Joshi, Puja1, published by the British Psychological Society in British Journal of Developmental Psychology, Volume 27, Number 1,March 2009
Remembering what you read is as important as taking in the information.
On our speedreading/photoreading courses we have been teaching that linking specific ideas/words to gestures can help you remember them – something that can be particularly useful for actors.
Now, Dr Susan Goldin-Meadow of the University of Chicago, has done some research into hand movements which seems to prove that if you make appropriate hand movements, it can help you think.
And since the beginning of good memory is how you ‘lay down’ the information in the first place, it obviously makes sense to gesture as you speak the information you want to remember (see technique number 22 in our forthcoming book ‘Spd Rdng – get up to speed with your reading’).
Does that mean that Italians – famous for their extravagant gesturing – think and remember better than the rest of us?
Check out the report in The Economist, 19 Feb 2009 for more information.
Look out for us in the Guinness Book of Records – Spd Rdng: The Speed Reading Bible
We’re sending our book Spd Rdng Bible to the Guinness Book of Records to be included for having the longest subtitle! Which is: “Learn speed reading techniques and habits with proven results for you to apply immediately to any reading material (books, reports, journals, manuals, textbooks, online texts, ebooks, etc) so you can read more, more quickly, more effectively, whether you are a professional, an entrepreneur, a student or teacher, a home educator, or simply interested in your own learning and personal development, in any subject (including business, medicine, law, IT, acting and languages), by showing you, among other things, how to use your eyes more efficiently, remember more, access your learning intelligence, focus on your purpose, take meaning from the minimum of input, find the hot spots of information you need, and put it into practice, with the result that you free up time and save money as you become more successful in business and life.”