Have you met the “puppet master”?

Posted by: admin  :  Category: NLP

Mary was a simple girl I knew back in the day when I used to be an employee. She was very attractive, intelligent and quite fun to be with…the proverbial “girl next door”. Nonetheless there was something about Mary, something that made her “stand out”. Mary was, for the most of the time, either on the attack feeling angry or feeling helpless like a victim. And the cause of this, as she kept pointing to, was either the folks around her or the circumstances she was in. These “made her” feel either irritated and angry or fearful and depressed like a victim.   


 “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

- Socrates


Now before we go on to label Mary “crazy” or give her the “fortune cookie” advice of, “Nobody can make you angry unless you allow them to”, let us take a few steps back and ask ourselves this question: “HAVE WE NOT DONE THE SAME?” Have we not said to ourselves that the problem and the cause of our anger, frustration,  “being made used of” and helplessness was always that other person, that someone else, that situation, the husband or wife or them “crazy” in laws, neighbor and even the dog across the street! 


“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.”

- Tao Tzu


To be honest, I too have felt this way on many occasions. On some days, I felt so sure that it was that “other person or circumstance” out there that was pulling my strings! They were setting the frame for the meanings that triggered either feels of angry or victimization in me! The end result of such thinking is a crazy sense of being out of control and being controlled by others….the “puppet masters”.


So that begs the question; “Who really are the puppet masters of our lives?” Who are the individuals who are regularly pulling our strings, who are making the “meanings” in our heads? (We do not really respond to the stimulus out there but to the meaning we have of it within) The answer each of us gives to these questions will determine the level of our sanity, happiness, joy, contentment, efficacy, etc! 


“He who finds himself, loses his misery.” 

- Matthew Arnold


For me the answer to lies in the Neuro – Linguistic Programming (NLP) presupposition thatMEANING IS CONTEXT DEPENDENTand thatcontextor framehappens in our minds! We are the “context” givers or framers of our meaning! Meaning is a mental construct, it exist in the mind of the perceiver rather in what is being perceived.   


For example imagine that you are taking a leisurely stroll in the early morning in a park with your significant other away from all the cares and worries of the day, the air is fresh and crisp, the grass looks seductively green and the water in the nearby pond calm and still, mirroring back the green surrounding. You feel alive as your sense awakens to these surroundings as the soft early morning breeze cresses the skin of your face.


What would this experience mean to you? How would you frame it?  Would you frame it as a calming experience or a refreshing and stress reducing one? Would it mean a healthy inducing activity or a romantic and intimate experience? Or would it be a combination of all of these?


Whatever you call it or whatever meaning you give it, it s this meaning that “pulls your strings” and produces in you the emotional and physiological states of freshness, calmness, intimacy or a combination of these.  


Now imagine as you continue this leisurely stroll in this park, suddenly two young boy violently bumps into you as they run swiftly by, causing your shoulder to crash into your own chin. You feel a sharp pain run through your face as your shoulder feels stiff. The young boys do not pause to apologize nor turn around to give you a glance and within seconds they disappear into a group of strollers ahead.


What would this experience mean for you? How would you frame it? Would you frame it as a rude encounter with a couple of disrespectful and ill mannered youths? Or would it just be the expected behavior of young and enthusiastic boys running in the park?     


Whatever you called it or whatever meaning you gave it, it is this meaning that “pulls your strings” and produces in you the emotional and physiological states of anger, irritation, victimization or amusement, or perhaps a combination of these.


“What the superior man seeks is in himself;  What the small man seeks is in others.” 

- Francois La Rochefoucauld


Now, have you met the “puppet master” yet? If you just have, just introduce yourself to you! Get acquainted. He holds the secret to your happiness, performance, love, joy, achievement, sanity, etc!  



What are the practical and potentially life changing implications of the presupposition that meaning is context dependent? Well, it either can send you to hell or heaven, heal or wound, create black or white magic, drive you insane or keep you sane even in the most insane of circumstances!


Now if we push this presupposition further, we can develop the attitude that “nothing inherently means anything” (The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min). This in turn would give us the dynamic mental elasticity and awareness to avoid instant and habitual buying into any “meaning”.    


“If meaning is context-dependent, then any word, phase, statement, event, behavior or relationship can be rendered meaningless by a different frame  and be given new textures by other frames.”                                                                                                           

 – The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II,  L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min


This empowers us to choose different frames of meaning that will enhance our mental and emotional well being and efficacy as well as reframe old disempowering thoughts, experiences and beliefs. It would enable us to quality control our thinking-feeling states and its ecology! Now imagine the healing that you could bring yourself and others, imagine the productivity and competency you would be able to generate!


Want more proof of how our framing affects our meaning and produces its results in our neurology and physiology? Just take a look at the picture below…what do you see? What would you choose to see and not to see and what difference would that make for you?



Now, would you be able to do the same for any other past experience that still troubles you? Would you be able to actively use this mental flexibility in the future to keep you sane and empowered no matter what you see and hear?  


 “Since meaning is context – dependent and we can change meaning by changing context, and since nothing means anything, we can step into higher frames of mind and know that we are the meaning maker.

– The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min


So have you met the puppet master yet? Get acquainted really well. Know the secrets he or she holds and learn to master them and use them to generate transformation! Whenever you get lost or seduced by toxic frames and states, keep asking yourself: Does this way of thinking and feeling serve me well? Does it enhance my life? Does it empower me as a person?


We are the ones who attribute the meaning. ……Every meaning maker, consciously or unconsciously, has choice regarding which meaning to give things.”

– The Users Manual for the Brain Volume II, L. Michael Hall, Ph.D & Bob G. Bodenhamer, D.Min


Don’t let others or circumstances out there pull your strings……learn to pull them yourself and make a committed to self mastery, sanity and happiness!   


Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!

Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources. He has more than 14 years experience in Sales, Marketing, Business Management and Talent Development. He holds a MBA from Gordon University, Illinois, is a Certified & Licensed Trainer of Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA), a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.  You can follow Conrad on facebook!