Look Inside the Human Mind for Answers to All
Your Relationship Needs
We all have people in our lives that we
just don't understand. And we've all had those moments
when we wished we could crawl into that person's mind and
ask, "What are you thinking?"
Lowell Jay Arthur, a practitioner of
Neuro-Linguistic Programming, deciphers some of the
mysteries of the human mind through his Motivation
Profile. These five "metaprograms" distinguish different
motivation styles, making it easier to understand why
people do what they do. Read on to get a closer look into
how your colleagues make decisions.
What motivates you? Ever wish you had a
magic wand that could motivate those around you? Ever
wonder what you could say to people to get the results
How many times have you asked these questions of
yourself and others you interact with, including friends,
family and co-workers? The answers always seemed so
intangible because people are too complex, too
But what if it were possible to know the answers
to these questions by understanding the human
Impossible you say? Lowell Jay Arthur, the
KnowWare® Man of LifeStar, Denver, works with people
to master the mysteries of the most sophisticated
computer ever-the mind. Arthur, a practitioner of
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and co-author of "The
Motivation Profile," helps people discover motivation
techniques through five mental triggers rooted in
The Human Brain-With an Instruction
Neuro-Linguistic Programming studies the structure
of how humans think and experience the world. Through
NLP, Arthur styled five motivation triggers designed to
target individual characteristics and learning styles to
promote successful relationships. "There are a few mental
programs that run in the background of your mind. These
"metaprograms" (filters through which one perceives the
world) filter your experiences and trigger your
responses," states Arthur in his book "Motivate Yourself!
(and everyone else)."
Arthur continues, "Each metaprogram determines how
you jump into action. Do you get moving by imagining the
benefits of what you're going to do or do you imagine the
consequences of not doing it?"
What Moves You?
"Imagine that you are the captain of your own ship
and that your life is a journey, a voyage of discovery,"
states Arthur in "The Motivation Profile." "Each of us
can be thought of as a different kind of ship, each with
a different purpose that lies waiting to be
discovered...The Motivation Profile will help you map
your beliefs, values and mental programming, along with
your current location, heading and speed."
By understanding your motivation trigger, you'll
learn about your "self," your primary motivations and how
to motivate yourself and others.
The first metaprogram Arthur identifies is
"toward-away." Some people are motivated toward
opportunities (toward pleasure) and others away from
consequences (away from pain.)
The "internal-external" metaprogram differentiates
between how some people gather information and decide
internally, while others decide based on external
"Ask yourself this question," says Arthur. "How do I know
if I've done a good job?" The internal response is, "I
just know." The external response is, "Other people tell
Imagine a customer service employee. Would you want that
person to be internal or external? If they are overly
internal, they may treat the customer rudely. If they are
overly external, they may give away the store. A balance
would help align them first with the customer (external)
and then guide them to useful choices (internal).
The "options-procedures" metaprogram distinguishes
between those who make choices and those who follow
steps. "Options" people give a list of criteria, while
"procedures" people tell a step-by-step story.
In jobs where consistency is essential, such as
airline mechanics, nursing and managing a restaurant,
"procedures" people are a good choice. "Options" people
are suited towards creative, inventive jobs.
For the next motivation trigger Arthur explains,
"'Active-passive' metaprograms determine whether you will
jump into action or wait for someone to tell you what to
do. This metaprogram can also be described as proactive
Arthur explains, "In the workplace, there are jobs
that call for active and passive metaprograms. A
salesperson has to be active to make sales calls. A
"passive" person might be ideal for processing invoices.
Just as a passive person might be miserable in sales, an
"active person" might be bored to death processing
The fifth metaprogram group differentiates our
response to change as "sameness-progress-difference."
This metaprogram determines how flexible and resilient
you are to change. According to Arthur, "In today's
turbulent times, knowing how to respond to change is
critical. Recognizing your response and tuning in to
support will be essential to personal and professional
survival and success. In changing environments, the
adaptable people will survive and thrive."
"'Sameness' people want to stop the onward rush of
change, even go back to simpler times. 'Sameness' people
initiate change every 15-25 years and represent only 5
percent of the population.
"'Progress' (evolutionary) people like to
constantly improve things," Arthur continues.
"Progressives tend to initiate change every 5-7 years and
represent 65 percent of the population. These people
thrive on continuous, steady improvement and are the
"'Difference' people always want to shake things
up, to change things for the joy of changing them. They
are innovators, resist stability and thrive on change.
Difference people like to initiate change every 18-24
months and make up 30 percent of the population." states
It's All in the Language
Now that the five metagroups have been defined,
what can you do with this information to motivate? Arthur
explains that these five motivation styles have
irresistible language that will motivate them to action.
"The difficult people in your life are most likely
opposite of your style. Once you learn their language,
you'll be able to communicate and motivate them more
For the first group, "toward-away," "toward"
people use language that talks about benefits (pleasure)
of having or doing something. "Away froms" will talk
about the absence of negatives. A manager might approach
a toward person by offering the positive incentives that
person will gain from a successfully completed project,
while for an away from person, they might mention the
lighter workload they will have once the project is
To appeal to "internal" people, a person has to
offer them information. For example, stating "This model
comes with everything from the bare bones, to a deluxe
suite of options. You decide which options are right for
you," allows them to make their own decisions. To appeal
to "external" people, talk about the avoidance of
"Through this action, you will not lose your
"Options" people want to know about choices: "Have
we investigated all of the available alternatives?" They
are motivated by offering what to do and letting them
figure out how to do it. "Procedures" people want to know
the plan, step-by-step. They are motivated by specifics
and avoiding choices.
For the "active-passive" metaprogram, "active"
language involves statements of what is going to be done.
The "Just do it" people could be heard saying, "Consider
it done!" or "Let's make it happen." "Passive" language
involves questions like: "What do you want me to do?" and
"How do you want me to do that?"
"Sameness" people like to hear the words "same" and
"pattern." For progress people, their watchwords are
"better," "improved" or "progress." "Difference" people
are drawn to things in terms of "new" and
Abracadabra! That magic wand you've always wanted
is now yours-motivation tools made easy.