Hello, and welcome to Get Yourself Optimized. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer. Today, we have Bart Baggett with us. Bart is a really cool guy but let me tell you a bit more about him. He is a 10-time author. He’s appeared on over 1,500 radio and TV shows including CNN, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. He’s appeared in over 14 feature films. He has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, by CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield, Larry King, and Paula Zahn. He’s the founder of Handwriting University and author of The Magic Question. He is also a TEDx speaker. His TEDx talk, The Neuropathway to Happiness, is a must-watch so be sure to check that out. He’s a forensic handwriting expert, a professional speaker, a true renaissance man—it sounds really impressive, Bart!
You are very generous, thank you!
Thank you for joining us today. I want to geek out on handwriting analysis, on hypnosis, on neuro-audio therapy, and a bunch of stuff that will help people to really optimize their lives. But let’s start with hypnosis because I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there about hypnosis—that people can be hypnotized to do things they don’t really want to do and that there’s a lot of fakery in hypnosis and so on and so forth so let’s debunk some of these myths and really get to the core of the value of hypnosis for somebody.
I think, first of all, that when people hear handwriting analysis or hypnosis, they may want to tune out because they don’t think it’s relevant to them but I learned both of those skills when I was about 14 and 15 but completely in a therapeutic way. Like, I just found, I stumbled across a guy, who was an expert in both hypnosis and this thing called handwriting analysis, which I thought was just a load of crap. I really was just like, “This is stupid! This is ridiculous! You can’t tell anything with handwriting. Hypnosis, blah-blah-blah, I don’t want to be hypnotized and talk like a chicken.” I was wrong on all those things. You know, this guy really had such personal experience and such a following that I thought, wait a second! If these tools can help me boost my self-esteem—you know, I was 14-15 years old, if they can help me talk to girls and they can help me make better grades, maybe I should listen.
And even 30 years later, those same benefits apply so, you know, sit there with an open mind because I’m definitely not one of those foo-foo women sitting in a “psychic eye” with a plastic Jesus behind me—that’s not me. I’m a geek. I’m like you are—super analytical. You know, if it’s B.S., I’ll say it’s B.S. If it’s useful, I’ll use it in my own life and I have found both those skills incredibly useful not just from a personal level but also with our people around the world because we’ve got people in 20 countries that buy our products, listen, and download the Neuro Audio Therapy and they have changed. And so, if you’re one of those people that maybe thinks maybe I could get more self-esteem, or maybe I could talk to somebody, or maybe I’m wondering why I have that inner voice that has self-doubt, I think this episode will be really useful for you.
Perfect. So, what’s the process for hypnosis? I’ve never tried hypnotherapy session. What am I in for? What’s the benefit over that versus some other type of therapy?
What’s really interesting about hypnosis is, it’s probably 50 years old and it, essentially, is this: It is accessing your unconscious mind in a particular state where you’re most receptive. I’ve seen and I’ve known people that do stage hypnosis where people get up and do ridiculous things on stage, that’s not the typical person and that’s probably not you and that’s definitely not me. You know, when I’m sitting as audience, I’m like, “Why is he doing that? This is ridiculous!” so there’s a term called ‘natural somnambulist’, which, essentially, is about ten percent of the people are highly suggestible and those are the ones that are used on stage so we’re not even having a conversation about stage. So, really, to put it in the most simplistic terms is this: When you fall asleep at night, you’re lying in your bed, you’re wide awake thinking about your to-do list, and you go through a couple of stages from wide awake to that sort of lowly, kind of sleepy state where you hear the water faucet and all the noises seem really big—you know, that’s like a beta state then you go through theta and then you go through delta.
Delta is the deepest sleep so then you know that if you can’t get into delta if you cannot sleep so those stages of your mind-awareness are actually tracked in waves. They’re actually very technical and very scientific in the waves so hypnosis is nothing more than creating suggestions to your unconscious mind usually in the terms of words while you’re in the most receptive state. It really is that simple. So, over the last 30 years, they have things like mind machines, which is, basically, lights and sounds to take you into that altered state. You know, back in the 60’s, you had to really master transcendental meditation in order to get your mind into like, an alpha-beta-theta state—well, not beta because beta is wide awake—so without taking 45 minutes to put yourself in that meditative state, you can get there in like, 90 seconds these days. That’s the whole basis of what we created called, Neuro Audio Therapy. It’s to get you in that receptive state then when you’re in the receptive state, we give you commands and so, really hypnosis is nothing more than embedded commands like, “You’re good enough,” or “You’re smart enough,” you know like the old Saturday Night Live, but in a motional state where you’re receptive. It’s not that magical and it’s not that scary, it’s just really useful in the in the idea that your inner voice and an outer voice, say a hypnotist or even an audio program can give you embedded commands to help you start believing things that you don’t normally believe.
Right, so let’s differentiate self-hypnosis from hypnosis done by others to you. So, you get into a therapy session and somebody hypnotizes you versus you’re self-hypnotizing?
Well, self-hypnosis is really a misnomer because everything is self-hypnosis—you’re giving permission. The only difference is, you’re either talking to yourself, which is very difficult because if you really release and let go in the sort of that alpha’s brain, your mind jumps all around the universe so it’s very difficult to sort of read a script and hypnotize yourself while you’re in a super relaxed state. What’s easier and what I even do myself is, I record like, I have a six-minute meditation every year that I record just like using this microphone and it is things like, “Bart, you know you’re living a great life,” or “You have a wonderful relationship,” or “This is how much money you have in the bank,”—they are sort of embedded commands of “This is the life at the summit.” What I do is I do that, combined with a certain music and background noise, so that I can actually relax and just almost fall asleep but my own voice is telling me how this is and what that does unconsciously, it makes my brain more attune to opportunities.
Let’s say that I’m only making half a million dollars a year but I want to make two million dollars a year so I will pretty much delete all opportunities to make two million a year because it’s not resonating with me as a reality. But if I tell myself that, constantly in the state of mind, that I’m the kind of person that makes two million dollars a year, I’ll sit there and I’ll listen to the table and know, “Wow, there’s an investment opportunity!” so you begin to see opportunities in ways that you wouldn’t see if you are pre-framed to look for it. That’s really one of the basis of the new book called, The Magic Question. It’s, “How can I double my income?” or “How can I have a good relationship?” Begin to look for things that may be outside your comfort zone. I think self-hypnosis is just a matter of not spending a hundred bucks an hour on a therapist, or not having somebody talk to you and really controlling the input, so if you can do it by yourself then you can just lean back and meditate. Self-hypnosis is really just a fancier version of meditation with you guiding the input versus a stranger.
That’s amazing. I actually created an audio about five minutes long. I put classical music—I’m not really a fan of classical music. That’s not my primary type of music and I don’t listen to it normally but I chose the classical song in the background—and then, I recorded affirmations, as you say, like, “I’m a man who does what he says he’s going to do,” or “I am intentional with everything I do,” or “I have this or that in my life,” and it’s pretty cool. It’s a different sort of approach to Tony Robbins’ “getting-a-peek” state and “Say yes!” and “I’m a leader!” or you know, whatever.
Let me address that. The reason affirmations only work 50% of the time in every research of less 20 years is because our unconscious mind has a set of beliefs and attitudes about the world and you’re probably unaware of what those are. If we talk religion or how the world was formed, you can find these core beliefs and you can argue them. However, most of the beliefs are kind of hidden and we don’t know so if an affirmation says, “You’re good looking guy,” but your 35 years of experience says that you’re just average, your unconscious mind goes, “Oh, man! That’s crap!” like you fight that at the unconscious level so the affirmations are hitting a wall. Affirmations are useful some of the time and that’s good so I converted that into a question. So instead of, ”You’re a good looking guy,” it’s “Hey, how good looking do you feel today?” and so that question opens up only one answer—I’m either really good looking or super good looking and like, there’s not a “no” there. That’s one of the secrets of The Magic Question.
The second thing that you did really brilliant is that you stumbled upon classical music but specifically, baroque music has the same cadence as the alpha brain state. So, baroque music puts you in an altered state by nature and I’ll tell you where I discovered this—I was 19 and I was just discovering handwriting and publishing my first book and products and I went to a seminar. The whole thing in this two-day seminar was this guy who was basing everything on this research where they played rock music to an atrium full of plants and now plants, of course, are not sentient beings and you could argue that but they played rock-and-roll music to plants for eight hours a day and they played baroque-specific classical music to plants for eight hours a day as well and guess which one thrived and which one wilted?
Hmm, so the baroque music got the plants really thriving then?
Really, really thriving. And so, based on that premise, and this was 25 years ago, this guy was like, “Hey, you should do affirmations over baroque music,” so you, basically, stumbled on what the research says is the best music and rhythm to absorb an affirmation and in using affirmations. What we’ve done with the Neuro Audio Therapy is instead of baroque music, we’re using the binaural beats, which goes “bup- up-up-up-up-up…” at the right tone, as well as stereophonic sounds, as well as some relaxing music, as well as a certain cadence of not just affirmations but neuro-linguistic programming and kind of a timeline therapy so we’re stacking seven modalities into these programs and I think that’s why there’s kind of a resurgence of hypnosis downloads, a resurgence in this, you know, “I’m going to take 20 minutes today and program my brain like, I’m going to make my brain mentally fit,” and we see the research not just for music but all the neuroscientists are saying that we have neural plasticity in our brain. We can regrow neural pathways, we can regrow areas of our brain and stimulate it in ways that we just didn’t think about 30 years ago so what you’re doing is really great and I can’t wait for you to experience some of this new technology.
Oh, I can’t wait to! I have to give credit where credit is due. I didn’t stumble upon using classical music in the background for the affirmations. It was actually a recommendation from Ephraim Olschewski, who was a guest in another episode of Get Yourself Optimized, and that was a really cool insight that he offered me. You mentioned a couple of things and we got to dig into a bit more like binaural beats, timeline therapy, and NLP. If you could explain binaural beats and what the idea behind that is and why it works if it works? You tell us.
Yeah, back in the late ’80s and ’90s, they came up what some called “mind machines.” Mind machines were lights and sound—they’re called, “the light and sound machines.” You put these goggles on and it’s not the 3D world we’re seeing now with the computers. It’s really simple—you close your eyes and there’s four lights. They’re blue or they’re red but they just blink. They blink and so they, basically, pace just like the dog at the track is paced by the little dog running all the horses. Like, it’s pacing so you get paced by people around you. You get paced by music. It’s hard to listen to a great song without moving your hips a little bit so your unconscious begins to get paced by the rhythm of the lights and since your eyes are closed and the lights are like, two inches from you, it’s almost like a light show or like a firework show and it’s really fun, actually.
If you listen to, you know, The Crystal Method, you can get hyped up and you’re to get excited and it’s going to be really fun and you’re ready to go but if you listen to baroque music with those lights, it matches the rhythm. So, they start with the lights and then, they’re like, “Well, this is kind of boring. Let’s add some sound to it,” but instead of music they just added beats like drum beats and so the binaural beats are, essentially, beats but then, because you have two ears, they separate the channels and it goes to the left to right so it almost feels like, you’re having a three-dimensional experience with nothing but headsets and lights. That was 30 years ago so that same technology exist and it’s kind of evolved a little. You have like, 30-minute sessions and 45-minute sessions and those are what we used in our Neural Audio Therapy programs so that people would quickly go into an altered state because if I tell you that you’re a millionaire and you’re going to buy a new house this year, it lands on deaf ears because it has all these blockages of reality. If you can bypass that into an altered state, there’s a better chance for you to go, “Yeah, I can see that. I can actually feel that,” and if you can see it and feel it, there’s a better chance for you to see opportunities and take action.
Yeah, very cool. There are some apps, I think, for the iPhone and so forth for binaural beats. Is there any that you recommend?
I haven’t ever used any. What I tend to do is, take some of the ones off the mind machine and then just extract or maybe kind of manipulate them, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. In itself, binaural beats aren’t going to change your life. They may help you meditate faster so if you’re already a meditator, you’re going to meditate quicker and get in the altered state faster, especially for those of us that are beginning. I’m not one and even though I spent seven days with Deepak Chopra back in the ’90s, I never really loved sitting in a corner by myself for 30 minutes meditating. It just didn’t thrill me but I really enjoy listening to the binaural beats and the light sound because it gives my mind something to focus on. And so, I like that and if you add an audio track then it really feels like you’re doing something useful with your 30 minutes.
Yeah, cool! So, timeline therapy—could you describe that a bit?
Yeah. I think timeline therapy came out of neuro-linguistic programming. As we look back, and if none of this resonates with you, I’ll just give you a brief history—Richard Bandler and John Grinder based this study on Milton Erickson, who was this amazing hypnotherapist and the reason he was so amazing is partly because he was sort of old enough and decrepit enough that he couldn’t move much and so he’s in a wheelchair. He had to learn how to get the results from his client without anything fancy so he literally talked like this. It was just words so without any intonation and without any fancy hypnosis, he literally learned how to radically change people’s lives. You know, bed-wetters, paranoid people, and schizophrenics—all from his language. So, basically these two guys got the structure of language and figured out what he was doing and why this therapist was so effective when most people basically just sat in a chair and talked then took their Mercedes because you charge $200 an hour but no one gets any changes from the usual psychotherapy from the ’60s.
They studied neuro-linguistic programs where the foundation here from Tony Robbins—his beginnings and his studies back in the ’80s with these guys and a lot of what’s commonly called communication these days—you know, sight, sound, audio-visual—that’s all from this research. Well, one guy decided that he wanted to go a little deeper so after he kind of figured out that hypnosis was useful and that most people’s core issues—and this is his belief and I can’t really argue—come from a root cause then the question was, how do you go to this root cause and how do you change it? So, here’s just a crazy example in my seminars. Let’s say that you were attacked by apes when you were 12 and you were molested by a bunch of apes, which is such a ridiculous image. I think everyone can be like, “Oh, that’s ridiculous!” so you have this image and now you’re terrified of like monkeys and apes.
You have to go back and you can’t change the past because it did happen but what you can change is reframing the entire memory structure of that event and you can reframe it in color, sound, texture, and you can move the picture from front of your face to behind your face. All these different therapeutic stuff, which takes an exquisite level of therapy to help someone over a phobia. So, now example, it’s just a phobia. What Tad James did, who I think is one of the guys—he gets the credit and you know Richard Bandler probably should get credit as well—but instead of just saying, “Go back to the past,” they gave time a structure and so, I’ll ask you, when you think about the next interview you have because you have a couple of interviews today, is that in front of you or behind you?
Well, I’ve had several already behind me for the day and I’ve got one coming up so—
So, language-wise, you just said behind you and in front of you.
Which means, somewhere in your brain, you’re sorting by time. So if I can ask you—I just want you to point your finger straight up and you can do this at home. If you could point to where those interviews were that you’ve already done, where would your finger go?
So, literally, behind you. What about the interviews next week? Is that behind you or in front of you?
In front of me.
So, literally, what you’re doing unconsciously is, you’re creating a line in a three-dimensional world, which doesn’t exist, from behind you to in front of you. So, that’s pretty much called healthy—like, things are behind you and in front of you but if you, for example, know had a divorce impending and all the bad stuff that she did to you is right in front of you then your timeline is warped into a U, and now you can’t get over the past. So, a therapist, a very sophisticated NLP therapist on timeline would, basically, redirect that timeline to put things in the past behind you because you can’t access them as quickly and in front of you so really the long way around the barn is to say this: We all have a structure of time and some of us don’t have it in a particular line.
Timeline therapy, instead of saying, look, instead of just, you know, imagining back in the past, when the chimpanzees molested you when you were eight, let’s float above, see this line, go back moment by moment into the past, and then find that event and reframe it restructure it, relabel it, change the soundtrack—I mean, think about an old movie. If you changed an old movie, like an old John Wayne movie and put cartoon music next to it, the entire emotion of that scene would change and so, that’s how you do that. So, you’re, basically, rewriting your own memories in time line. In one of our programs we called, Rapid Goal Achievement, we don’t deal with the past but we go into the future. You go into the future in your timeline, which, for your case, is in front of you, and you see, you feel, and you touch.
You had this experience of, let’s say, having your child graduate from high school, or having your child graduate in college, or having or winning an Oscar—whatever that thing is—but you see it and feel it but you put it on a timeline so it feels so real for you. Your timelines may be different than mine so that’s the essential structure. You’re really just blending in the natural structure of your memories, your future, and the way that you think anyway, and then adding that information onto your structure. That’s why it’s more effective. Goal-setting is not very effective because people are just putting out a piece of paper and you’re letting it go. What’s more effective is, take that goal, see it, feel it, own it, have the emotion, and then drop it in your timeline and it feels like you’re heading that direction anyway.
Amazing! So, what would be some of the other aspects of NLP or neural-linguistic programming that are particularly impactful for folks besides a timeline?
Yes, so many people use NLP every day. My father was a top salesman at one of the life insurance and investment companies back in the 60’s called IDS, which was officially bought by American Express and he looked at me and goes, “Bart, this is nothing new. I’ve been doing this for years. All good salesman know this. All good salesman know to pace, to mirror, to lead, and to use the same words,” but what my dad didn’t do and most people didn’t do is that they didn’t categorize it, structure it, and give it labels so that you could then teach it. And so, for example, one of the things that we constantly do in all of our coaching sessions around the world that help people with transformation not only through handwriting but also through this therapy is we say, “Look, you have to listen and you have to elicit someone’s values,” so this is not an idea that is so incredibly useful from NLP but those people really dug down to help people identify it so when you identify somebody values, which is a series of questions you know, what’s important about a relationship and what’s important to you about career—okay, well, making money is important and significance is important so if you had to have one or the other, which one would it be?
So, you end up getting a category of 1, 2, and 3 of what’s most important. Here’s a tip I’ve learned from Tad James, which completely changed my financial life: If you take what’s important about your career and you answer that question. In fact, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to put this entire hour on that page we’re talking about so you guys can listen to this class. It was such an interesting class in how to do that so, I’ll give you the two-minute version then, Stephan, we can have them download the whole class-but it’s, basically, this: What’s important about your career? And you answer with a bunch of words so I’ll ask you, what’s important about your career?Most people didn’t categorize NLP, structure it, and give it labels so that you could then teach it. Click To Tweet
Making a difference in people’s lives.
Cool! Making a difference. What else is important to you?
Having a profound impact across lots of people’s lives and a profound deep impact so, touching millions of lives and having a profound impact, not just on a superficial level of impact.
That’s fantastic! And if you had both of those, what else would be important for you to get up and be excited about a career?
Just being able to feel like I’m in control of my destiny and not controlled by external influences. To feel empowered, powerful, excited, and enthused.
Fantastic! So, enthused, empowered, and making a difference. I would spit those words back at you.
When I did this when I was like, 24, I had published a book but I wasn’t making very much money and so, for me, the answers were things like, I want recognition, I want to make a difference, I want to help people,—very similar to your answers. But what I didn’t include—and this is really interesting and I really fought this idea—what Tad says, if you can do this exercise and really go deep and list like, five or six key emotional values in your career, the people that have the idea of making money, in the top three, after you’ve really sort of them, will end up having a very financially-lucrative career. Those people that, literally, after you’ve asked them—and I never ask you this question so I didn’t ask how important making money was and etcetera—but if you keep pushing that to like, 7, 8, 9, and 10, those people will consistently make choices to make a difference, to help people, or to do charity but they want to always make money so it’s a really interesting thing and what his advice to me was, because my “making money” was like, 6 or 7 and he’s like, “You’ve got to put that at number two. You don’t put it above ‘making a difference.’
You don’t put it above ‘being ethical’ or whatever answers you have but you have to somehow make a choice that making money,” and what happened for me was, all of a sudden, the things like status, acknowledgment, and respect became less important than making money. And so, every day after that, my entire idea changed where I spend my time, where I spend money, what projects I write, and what books I write, etcetera so making money in a business context—not in life and not in charity but in a business context—I’m like, “Okay, am I going to make money at it? Is it going to make a difference? Does it match my values?” and that profoundly changed my trajectory. And so, my advice to you, guys, is if you really do that exercise and run through that and making money 6, 7, or 8, two things are happening: either you have plenty of money and it’s not important now because you’re just doing it to make a difference—which does happen, by the way, when people have lots of money, they spend a lot of time in charity making a difference—but if you don’t have a lot of money, you’ve got to move that value up. Does that make a lot of sense?
Yeah, for sure! So to the folks who are listening, if you, guys, want to go through this exercise or you have a product that people can download, it’s an information product on this whole process—
Yeah, on this process, I’m giving this to you as a gift. I didn’t even know we’re going to talk about it but I did a tele-class a long time ago about values and we go through that process. It’s like an hour class and I’ll stick it on the page but there’s also a one called, Unstoppable You, which, literally, is like, a 12-hour seminar on a lot of the talks that we’re talking about: NLP, timeline, etcetera but also have links to there with some discounts so the page is going to be BartBaggett.com/geek. G-E-E-K. You just have to spell my name right, I don’t know how many Bart Baggett’s there are in the world but BartBaggett.com/geek—I’ll make sure I have that one hour class because it’s really useful to go through so if you’re struggling with money or you’re struggling with love, elicit your values, and then it’s pretty easy to make some changes.
Wow, that’s great! Thank you for that free stuff for our listeners. That’s really generous of you. We’ll put links in the show notes, folks, as well if you’re driving or whatever, don’t try to pull over and jot it down on your iPhone. You’re fine—keep driving and just check out the show notes later on. So, you mentioned pacing and leading. You mentioned mirroring. How do those fit into, because those are key NLP techniques, how do those fit in as well?
Well, they fit into sort of sales and persuasion, probably the most obvious, like 20 years ago, when the seduction movement started, the people who led that movement were all about using these therapeutic techniques to seduce people—seduce men, seduce women, and basically, manipulate people. So, salesmen, back in the late ’80s and ’90s were just using these techniques to manipulate people to buy things, and even on commercials, you’ll still see language such as, “Stop! Grab a pencil,” or “Imagine yourself having this wonderful house,”–those are all hypnotic language embedded into commercials. They’re everywhere. Once you learn this, you sort of realize that the whole world is a bunch of manipulators trying to get your money and your time. And so, when you look in advertising, it’s really, really obvious that they’ve studied this language. However, I don’t use it for that.
I use it for therapeutic purposes so if you take the same thing that can hypnotize the masses into buying something or driving a certain car and say, “Well, what if I could hypnotize myself to make more money, or to be more loving to my wife? What if I can hypnotize to get up and go exercise or stop smoking or lose weight?”—that’s where I think the power of self-hypnosis lies. What we teach is, we teach our counselors to use handwriting analysis to understand their deepest fears like a sensitive criticism, or you have a self-esteem issue, or being defensive—all these big fears and we said, “Okay, here’s how we can change this. Here’s a 30-minute neuro-audio therapy. Listen to it every day. We can talk about your handwriting if this is a neurological projection of these fears,” and some people have found a lot of benefit in changing their handwriting as far as like, a daily exercise as well as just counseling and talking about it.
For most people, if you bring the awareness up about the fact that, “Oh, you’re really sensitive and that you’re extra sensitive to criticism, and when you get your feelings hurt, you get defensive,”—if you bring that to the awareness, most people have a shift. Most will go, “Wow, that’s really true. You know, my wife says that or my girlfriend says that I’m too sensitive,” and then those don’t become fights anymore. Those become conversations about, “Hey, are you feeling sensitive?” and then there’s no fight. It’s like, “Yeah, maybe I’m sensitive!” It’s really remarkable just what awareness can do and I think that’s why so many people love the idea of analyzing handwriting because it’s such a good projection of who you are at the unconscious level. It’s very honest and raw and even though you may just get it done once in your life, you may save that report forever. You’re reminded of like, who you were then and if you don’t like who you were—like, I didn’t like that I was stubborn. I didn’t like that I had a low self-esteem. I didn’t like that I cared too much what total strangers thought so I changed it. I changed my personality. I’m not as sensitive. I am braver and more confident and I changed it and I think I’m a better person because of it.
Yeah, so when I hear of handwriting analysis, I think of analyzing other people’s handwriting to see if, perhaps, they’re trustworthy or not, like, there’s a certain Felon’s claw, hook, or whatever—
Felon’s claw, Hell traits, Bipolar disorder, The Evil—there’s a lot of really negative traits and those are great if you’re doing business, if you’re hiring people, if you’re single and you’re dating like, all that’s really great to understand people that you’re investing time, money, or emotion in. I think the biggest benefit is that self-analysis just to find out where we are but once you’ve done that, how can you use it? One of those popular uses we found recently is, hiring. And today, as we record this, in most people who find jobs online, they submit online, they type everything, and are not even going to handwrite anything until you get hired so we created a whole process to run ads and then have people handwrite applications and they’re not even aware that they’re answering really strategic questions so we’re not only analyzing the content of whether they can actually, you know, write and put the English language together but the handwriting.
We recently did a consulting with a small veterinarian in Texas and we said give us the personality traits of your favorite employees, you know a small mom n’ pop operation, and they gave us handwriting samples of their favorite employee and the handwritings of the people that simply didn’t work out and immediately, there is a pattern that the big, bubbly handwriting, they are really friendly and they’re very simple, wonderful, happy-go-lucky individuals and we go, “Great, we’ll find people like you,” and of the applications, as soon as they pass and they get the written application, which was the prerequisite before they even had an interview, anybody with a small, super choppy handwriting was not even considered so we wanted somebody like their previous employer, which is big, bump, bubbly, and happy handwriting, for a front desk job. It doesn’t mean it’s good or bad, like if you’re listening to this and you’re a complete nerd, you’re a program C++, you’re an SEO expert like you are, you probably have a smaller handwriting, which is terrific for certain jobs but I wouldn’t put you at the front desk and be a receptionist, Stephan, because you’re probably not that guy.
Yeah, I’m not that guy. Great, so this is a great screening technique for hiring and onboarding new staff. There is another technique that I learned from another friend in a different Mastermind and his name is Sam and he calls it “The Honesty” test where he just asks what’s the most important thing out of these three things or four things for you—is it attention to detail? Is it being proactive? Is it honesty? And he’ll just rattle off 3, 4, or 5 things and the only right answer is honesty so somebody who doesn’t rate honesty as the top most important thing is probably not that honest so that was an interesting test. Do you have anything kind of similar to that? Or, what’s your take on that?
Yeah, I mean, that’s, basically, values elicitation. He’s asking in a very covert way what your values are and it’s funny because I always teach my students, if you ask an employer what he wants in an employee, he’ll always say, “Hardworking, honest, and on time.” but again, these are the normal things and that’s just so normal. Any employee knows to lie and do that but the challenge is, he really doesn’t want honesty in every job. That’s not important. If you’re handling money, integrity and honesty is incredibly important, right? But if you have them in a phone room where they’re just doing customer service, that’s not nearly as important as friendly. One of the things that we have to teach our certified handwriting experts to understand is interviewing the boss or the supervisor is so important because they don’t know what they want. They don’t know what is the most important criteria until you really dig into it and I would argue with him that honesty is not the most important—friendly, or kind, or the ability to get yelled at and keep your cool is so much more important than honesty in certain jobs—customer support jobs and that kind of jobs, etcetera.
You know, for example, a cop, honesty is not the most important in a cop. In fact, there’s all kinds of situations where cops just can’t tell you the truth. I mean, if you’re talking down to a domestic violence victim, honesty is not the best like, “You know what? He does hate you and he does want to kill you,”—that’s not the most important thing when you’re talking down to people with a gun in a domestic violence. But certainty, confidence could be, I mean, there’s so many good exceptions that rule so what I’m seeing with your friend and, no offense to him, that’s his values projecting on his company. That’s his company but if his company had a hundred employees, I would assure you that honesty would not be the most important in every job. That’s really interesting here because we all want honest people. I’m not saying you should not get honest people because you don’t look at handwriting and get an idea of their integrity but I would argue that, let’s say, sales ability, or charm, or precision for money handlers, is much more important. If you had two equal candidates, you would pick the one with precision and that’s a good thing because we can weed out so many people quickly through the questionnaire, which is not just handwriting but it’s also a questionnaire.
We have this great thing where we customized the question like, “What are you good at?” and “Rate yourself on a scale of zero to ten,” and one of the things that we put is, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and things like that, and for the people who are older, they’re just like zero on Snapchat, zero on this, and 1 on Facebook–they barely know how to use it, right? Well, some employers don’t want their employees wasting time on social media so we actually look for the people with zero and 1’s because we know that they’re not predisposed to sit around the front desk and play on Instagram. Sometimes, there are trick questions and that’s all part of the application process to weed out people that might be presupposed to sort of waste time. I think the interview is really key and you have to sort of learn how to really dig into the position in a way that’s much more psychological than even the supervisor knows.
Wow! That is such a crucial distinction—thank you for that. So, handwriting analysis for self-help therapy—what would be some crucial things for people to know about for handwriting analysis? Are they going to need to become handwriting experts on themselves to study their own writing? Do they send that out to an expert and get that analyzed and then do something with that?
Here’s what I would do—if you’re just mildly curious, go to the website called handwritingwizard.com, which is free and it’s my website, where you’ll be able to analyze your own handwriting from a software program and it’ll be about 80% correct, which you know will have you look at your writing if it’s big, or if it’s small, or if it has little things and you’ll say, “Wow! This is pretty cool.” Now, there’s a deviation there because you know your eyes don’t see what my eyes do. If you really want to see it, give it a chance, you’ve got to get someone to certify. The problem with this field is, and ever since I started, there’s too many people that are not very talented at this but they say they’re talented so it’s kind of like, you know, an acupuncturist or a medical doctor that says they can cure cancer but they can’t so there’s a lot of really bad people—not bad people—very unskilled people claiming to be handwriting experts. So that’s the rub.
If you get someone with my skill level or anyone that’s graduate from Handwriting University, you’re going to get that “Aha! Oh my God! How did you see a hand injury on my school or let me talk about my dad,” and you’ll get that “Aha!” moment. I think for less than a hundred bucks or so, you can get a consultation and you can get a little starter kit—all that is probably a great place to start because it’s a profound moment to have a third party that doesn’t know you on the phone and going, “Hey, let’s talk about your issue with your mother because you think you resolve them but you haven’t”—that’s a profoundly interesting conversation and that place you’re going to do that is this website called handwritinganalysis.org and there’s a listing of people in every country around the world that are certified and they can do an analysis for you or even kind of help you get started learning it. Those are two things: pay professional for couple hundred bucks or less and get that analysis and written report or go to handwritingwizard.com and just do it for free and see if it gets you 75-80%, which is most people say that software is pretty darn good.
That’s great! You’ve talked several times about neural-audio therapies and there’s a product that you offer that does this therapy. Let’s make sure that people are very clear what neuro-audio therapy is and what resource would you recommend to folks? Where that resonates for them and they want to try that out?
Sure, Neuro Audio Therapy is sort of my version of meditation and guided hypnosis. So, it’s definitely not hypnosis. It’s a combination of NLP, binaural beats, guided hypnosis, and meditation. Neuroaudiotherapy.com is the website that shows the products—and we’ve got five more coming out this year—but I think there’s Goal Achievement, there’s Overcoming A Fear of Rejection, there’s Unstoppable Confidence—three really big things that most people like. And I’ll put in our page, the BartBaggett.com/geek page, I’ll put some links to our discounts because they’re not always $97 or $197, there’s some really good offers like, for $10, you can try one—that Overcoming Fear of Rejection is amazing and the one called, Fearless Living.
That is a really good way to start and you don’t know anything about handwriting and NLP, all you do is download the audio, put your headset on, and close your eyes. Literally, it walks you through the process of like, see this, feel that, hear that, and so that’s something called Neuro Audio Therapy. I guess you could compare it to guided hypnosis or you can compare it to hypnotic music but it’s so much more than all those separately combined. I think the closest you can compare it to is the audios by John Astaroth, which combines some binaural beats and different stereo voices. He’s very good at that particular genre but a Neuro Audio Therapy is exclusively with me and another guy named Mel Zabel, who kind of coined that term and kind of combined all these modalities into a therapeutic foundation.
Very nice, and so you wrote a book about this—the process of The Magic Question, could you dig a lot deeper into that?
Yeah, I’m really happy to say I was teaching a seminar called, Unstoppable You, which is like a two-day intense seminar where we combined handwriting analysis, and values—all that sort of stuff, kind of like, Tony Robbins’ three-day Personal Power seminar and one of the areas that we talked about was this idea of a magic question and people were so interested and they are like, “What about money? What about love? How can I double my income?” and they, themselves, began writing questions that far exceeded my idea of, “Hey, if you use a question, instead of an affirmation, your brain has no resistance.”
Just the basic fundamental so when I wrote the book, I was like, “I’m just going to take this one-hour seminar and make it into one simple book,” and it ended up being a two-hour audible book. It’s one of the best-sellers. I’m really happy to get royalties from audio, I must be doing something right since it keeps increasing in sales every month and Amazon—it was like, a best-seller the first week and there’s 141 review but the point is, it’s a short book, it’s one idea, and so all I do, and here’s my recommendation: You take an index card and instead of writing a goal or an affirmation on it—well, let me start with you, Stephan. Why don’t you pick one thing that you want this year as a goal? And let me help you reframe it to a question so you can understand it.
Okay. I want to build 15 pounds of muscle.
15 pounds of muscle so that would be a traditional goal, I want to build. So, the tradition is to say, “I want about 15 pounds of muscle by August 1st,”—that would be a traditional goal. An affirmation is, “I’m a bodybuilder. I like weightlifting. I love going to the gym,”—that’s an affirmation. So, I would say what you do is take that postcard—and the reason I use a little postcard or an index card is because it’s small and you can’t write a paragraph. You can only write one sentence—so I would say, “How much fun is it going to be to build 15 pounds of muscle?” Go and repeat that for me.
I wonder how much fun it’s going to be to build 15 pounds of muscle?
That’s it! And so, if you put that on your mirror every morning, all your brain thinks of is, it has to answer the question. It’s either a lot of fun or it’s a whole lot of fun. There is is not an option for “It’s going to suck to go to the gym,” like, that doesn’t happen because you didn’t ask that question. It’s that simple. As you take anything you want, you reframe it to a question and then your brain finds answer. One of my favorite is, “How can I double my income?” or “How easy and how fast can I double income?” or “How much more loving can I be to my wife today?” –so basically, it’s loving or more loving. “What can I do to make her feel loved today?” If everyone who married would put that on their counter, they would start the day with, “What can I do to make her feel loved?” and you would unconsciously ask that question throughout the day and that’s how simple the magic question is to kind of retool your life and, basically, get what you want in half the time.
Well, that’s amazing. Tony Robbins talks a lot about questions and he has this whole process that you go through a date with destiny where you figure out what your primary question is and which is the one that kind of subconsciously runs your life like if you have a primary question like, “How can I stay safe?” That’s going to really limit your life and the things that you achieve and the people that you meet and so forth and we’re unaware of that. So, how does somebody access that internal tape that’s running a lot of their lives and they don’t even realize it?
I think that’s a great observation and everything he does, he’s so good at what he does. I coined the term “magic question” but it came from something called, The Direction Question, which is getting Rex Sikes, who is one of my certification teachers in NLP and he probably also blended it from so all these great people before me came up with these structures. I think what I did as well, I just made it so simple like, putting the index card and just use it as a tool but Tony’s correct. One of the great things that I’ve noticed in people who have read the book and give me testimonies is, for the first time in their life, they realize that they have an internal voice that they can actually control and listen to because people don’t really understand that they’re kind of a witness to their own life. They just see it as this voice has always been there.
Back in 1880, they would put you in insane asylum for admitting that you had a voice in your head but now, we know. Now, we have a voice in your head but it’s controlling you and you have the power to control it so just that observation by Tony saying, “Hey, what makes me safe?”—that question has been running your whole life, not until you establish your values and what’s more important because the same person who asked, “How do I get safe?” also puts safety as a very important value. Now, if that’s set as the most important value, you’re never going to get a motorcycle, you’re never going to take a big risk, and you’re never going to leave your job to open your own business because that’s running your life. So, if you’ve decided consciously, “Hey, I’m not going to have ‘safety’ as the most important.
I’m going to have happiness as the most important or I’m going to have adventure as the most important,” then you would write a new question—“What can I do to have great adventures?” and if you asked that question, you’re going to find yourself on Google and on Meet Up and you’re going to go find people who rock-climb and you’re going to find ways to have an adventure. He’s absolutely correct. The quality of your questions is the quality of your life and he said that way before I did The Magic Question but, specifically, that’s a very broad statement. I think what I did is, I made it so simple. You could write it on a postcard and people resonated with the simplicity of taking something as complex as the unconscious mind and putting it on an index card and waking up and go, “Oh, how can I double my income?”
Yup, absolutely! Well, so this has been an amazing episode. I’m really inspired to go and set up the—first of all, I’ll read the book, The Magic Question, then come up with some really powerful questions that are going to set me up for success. I’m going to definitely do that and I encourage all my listeners to go to that page that you set up and get the free downloads, buy the products from you at discounts so it sounds good and very generous of you to offer that.
Well, thank you. Let me do one more thing, I’m going to do just The Magic Question, we have the rights to distribute it as well as an audible, I’ll just give a copy of it away and if you wait 24 hours, the audiobook comes in your email so I’ll just add that link to the free download for The Magic Question and then you’ll be able to get the audiobook as well and you can save yourself $6 on audible so that will be another free gift for you, guys, if you want to have a free copy.
Oh, that’s very kind of you again. You are a gentleman and this has been really eye-opening, I think, for a lot of our listeners and inspiring too. You’ve done a lot to help lots of people. Folks, if you go through the transcript and the checklist that’s included with the transcript, I think you’ll get some really profound impacts and also go to BartBaggett.com/geek page that Bart has set up for you, guys. So, any final parting words that you want to share, Bart?
I’ve got to tell you, it’s a real fun to dive deep into this kind of stuff, like it’s, literally, or 6th, 7th, or 8th-hour seminar and we get to talk about this sort of level of values, timeline, and this really cool stuff, which I think makes a profound difference because most interviews on CNN or even radio shows, they’re just like, “Hey, let’s look at Kanye West’s handwriting and tell me if he’s a jerk,” or “Let’s look at Taylor..”–like, that’s not that interesting to me. What’s interest is a profound life-change and people that are smart enough and deep enough to really dive deep as to, “Why does this work?” or “Why is his handwriting so useful?” and “Why does this language really work?” and we have explained it from NLP, to hypnosis, to Baroque music—I mean, we covered a lot of stuff so I just give credit to you for being a great interviewer and smart enough to ask good questions.
Oh, thank you! You’re very kind. All right, so thanks again, Bart, for imparting such great wisdom and thank you, listeners, for giving us your time and attention during this episode. Catch you on the next episode! I’m Stephan Spencer, your host of The Optimized Geek.
- Bart Baggett
- Bart’s One Hour Class, Free Gift!
- Handwriting University
- TEDx The Neuropathway to Happiness
- Handwriting Wizard
- Handwriting Analysis
- Unstoppable You
- The Magic Question
- Ephraim Olschewski – previous episide
Checklist of Actionable Takeaways
Rephrase your goals to create more possibility of getting what you want-if you want to gain 15 pounds of muscle, you could say “How much fun is it going to be to build muscle?”
Create a 30-60 minute recording of yourself using hypnosis techniques and affirmations, set to baroque music.
Get Bart’s free gift at BartBaggett.com/geek. It’s a one hour class that is useful to go through if you’re struggling with money, love, or your values-it makes it easy to create change.
Use timeline therapy to create positive feelings around a hurtful past, re-write your experiences by thinking about that moment and finding the good in it.
Does your current path match your values? For hypnosis to work, you first need to decide what is most important for you to achieve at this time.
Analyze your own handwriting at Bart’s free website handwritingwizard.com to get some insight on your personality and values.
Meet with a professional hypnotherapist if you don’t feel that self-meditation can get you into a relaxed or open state.
Read Bart’s book The Magic Question to learn how to begin to looking for new opportunities that would generally be outside of your comfort zone.
If you are hiring employees, consider using handwriting analysis with written applications to determine your applicant’s values and personalities.
Remember to give yourself permission to be open. Whether you are using self-hypnosis or guided hypnotherapy, the ultimate decision to accept the information is up to you.
About Bart Baggett
Bart Baggett is a forensic handwriting expert, professional speaker, and author. He’s appeared on over 1,500 radio and TV shows, plus over 14 feature films. He’s the founder of Handwriting University, Neuro Audio Therapy, and author of The Magic Question Book.
Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments, or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Stephan Spencer, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.
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