The ‘Magic Circle’ technique can be seen as NLP 101 and is based on a process called anchoring. You may have heard of Pavlov and his experiment with dogs which demonstrates this process of anchoring. In the experiment, Pavlov would ring a bell just before he gave his dogs food. After doing this for a few weeks, he noticed that when he rang the bell even in the absence of food, his dogs would start salivating and their bodies would behave as if they were expecting to eat. This was a completely arbitrary induced association created in the dogs between a bell ringing and food being served.

This ability to make associations doesn’t just exist in animals. As humans, we are always consciously or unconsciously making them. If you touch a person’s shoulder every time you make them laugh and you do this two or three times, the fourth time when you touch their shoulder they’ll begin to get in a laughing mood even if you don’t say or do anything funny. So with the magic circle technique, we try to deliberately use  this process of anchoring to induce positive emotional states and keep ourselves motivated.

So let’s practice this technique now. Imagine a magic circle down on the ground in front you. You can visualize it in any way that makes for strong, memorable imagery. Now we’re going to fill this circle up with motivation, enthusiasm, determination, joy or whatever particular emotion you’d like to work with. The first step is to think of a time when you were full of motivation. Once you’re settled in the memory and the feelings it evokes, focus on what color comes into your mind. Use this color to ramp up the feeling of motivation or joy in your body. When it hits its peak and you can feel this motivation in every cell of your being, drop this power down into the circle and once it’s left your body, step out of the circle. Repeat this two or three times. 

If you can’t remember a specific event, another effective way is to think of the most motivational  or energetic person you know. Imagine what it would feel like to be that person and when you begin to feel motivated and energetic, step into your circle and drop this energy into it.

After you’ve filled this circle up two or three times, it’s ready for use whenever you need a dose of motivation. Clear your mind and focus in on your circle and its color. Once you have the  image clear in your head, step into the circle. Almost 80% of people will notice that they begin to feel really motivated as soon as they step into their magic circle. 

If you don’t want to imagine a circle, there’s other ways to use anchoring to get yourself motivated. Some people use a mini-charm. You create a state of motivation or enthusiasm in yourself through a memory or imagination and then touch your mini-charm and visualize all that energy flowing into it. Do this about 5 or 6 times. Whenever you want motivation in the future, grab your charm and wear it around your neck or finger. 

There are countless ways you can do this. The basic premise is that you need a trigger that you associate with motivation or enthusiasm which can be activated whenever you want. Try this out for yourself and watch you gain control over your emotions in a way you never thought possible.