- Thoughts for inspired living

March 1, 2018

All Out

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Morgan @ 8:32 am

AngryWhen you hear yourself or someone else say “All,” you are encountering an opinion. The person uttering “All” believes they’re stating a fact.

When I took NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) training I learned you can challenge words like “All,” “Every” and “Never.” The recommendation is to respond with a question mark after the word: All? Every? Never?

The purpose of the challenge is to show that the hard assertion has holes in it. It helps people move from “Solid” positions to porous ones that give them more options.

Monitor your use of these words and discover that your Rock of Gibraltar is more like a sand castle.

Reminds me of a story . . . One of the radio commercials our company runs features a person who refers to himself as an “Ex-Marine.” Over the years, I have received a handful of complaints about the man using the term. Here’s a word-for-word example: “Your ads on the radio are fake. One guy says he is an ex-Marine. No Marine would ever use that term. There are Marines and former Marines.”

Notice the word “No” – a second cousin to “All” – is an opinion, not a fact. The facts are that both the person offering the unsolicited testimonial and the person who recorded him were both members of the Marine Corp. Neither Marine had a problem with the term.

I have no doubt that there are Marines who agree with the complaining email about the use of the term “Ex-Marine.” What the passionate complainer doesn’t recognize is the fallacy of “All” and how it limits his options.

My experience is that compromise with an “All-er” is difficult, but not impossible. If you can help someone recognize they are expressing an opinion vs. stating a universal truth, your chances for compromise expand.

Years ago, I heard this observation: The more flexible you are, the more options you have. The rub is this: If you have ALL the answers, there are no more options.

All the best,


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