- Thoughts for inspired living

April 10, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:52 am

I love to take pictures. I don’t do it as much as I used to but I like the whole process. It seems the people who are really good at photography employ a skill that most amateurs like me don’t take into account.

An appealing photograph is usually cropped from the original. That means they focus on an area of the picture that has the most appeal and resize the photo to include only that section. This allows the distracting portion of the picture to go away.

They, in essence, are reframing the picture to showcase a quality that may have gotten overlooked when there was too much detail to experience.

NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) uses Reframing as one of its many tools to get people to reframe situations in their life to focus on an area that may have gotten lost in all the detail.

Reminds me of a story . . . Many years ago I took NLP training and was captivated by this reframing technique for refocusing a client on an area of a situation they had been ignoring. They had the frame around one portion of their picture and you would offer up another scenario which put the frame around another section and help them see their situation in a whole new light and discover something helpful in the process. It dawned on me after studying and practicing this technique, that my wife did it naturally. She didn’t take the NLP class and she was world class at reframing. I pointed it out to her and she was oblivious to how she did what she did. She just did it. It was amazing to watch. She did it with everyone – neighbors, friends, co-workers, family members, total strangers and me. The outcome was she always left you in a better place than she found you. It’s quite a skill.

I was walking yesterday and had this Grasshopper moment. As human beings, we issue a lot of judgements in our head. We judge people and situations all the time. This has its place but for the most part it’s counter-productive and limiting. Then I got the gift of awareness to take a judgement that popped in uninvited and reframe it with just the facts.

Let’s pretend you are walking along and you notice a dog run into the street and almost get hit by a passing car. A judgement that may pop in is: “What careless owners, they should keep their pet under control and keep it out of harm’s way. Don’t they know any better? What an uncaring lot they are.”

What if, after the judgement pops in, you catch yourself in judgement mode and reframe the situation to exactly what the reality is and no more. “The dog ran into the street and the car missed hitting her.” The reframe doesn’t carry all the emotional baggage and self-righteousness with it and doesn’t occupy your mind with an interpretation that has no upside.

Imagine for a moment that you choose to approach the dog owner about this incident in a judgemental frame of mind. You would be bringing an aura of superiority with you that has a deafening effect on peoples’ hearing. Taking time to reframe the judgement into the facts would allow you to present your evidence without the smell of sanctimony.

The benefit of a judgemental reframe is twofold:

1. You get to clear your head of clutter quicker.

2. You spare yourself from having a fruitless conversation with another.

Don’t bother beating yourself up for judging. That’s just more judgement. Humans have judgement as part of the software package. It has its uses. One of those uses is not a pointless conversation with yourself about your or someone else’s shortcomings. They’re going to be there whether you judge them or not.

Take this judgement reframe for a test spin and measure your own results. How you know you are successfully doing it is measured by the number of more peaceful moments that you receive.

Leave yourself in a better place than you found you.

All the best,


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