Logical levels are a tool, used in NLP, which will allow you to better understand your mode of operation and the impacts of your decisions on your life.
These levels are a set of processes interconnected with each other in a hierarchical manner. The principle of these levels is that a change made at a given level will have an impact on the lower levels but not on the higher levels. To solve a problem, you have to go up and go up one level of the pyramid to analyze and understand the blockage. You’ve probably heard the famous quote from Albert Einstein “You can’t solve a problem with the same way of thinking as the one that caused the problem”
The logical levels are made up of 6 levels: Environment, Behaviors, Capacity, Values / Beliefs, Identity / Mission and Vision.
To illustrate this tool, I share with you the Legend of the Potential Prince, a story I read in the book Coaching with NLP by Christiane Grau Martinet. You can get this book on Amazon in French (affiliate link)
This story illustrates very well this concept of logical levels and the importance of being aligned with all the levels of this scale.
The legend tells us the story of a King who lived in very ancient times, so ancient, that only a few have remembered it. He reigned over a kingdom far away, so far away, that no one knows where it is. The King ruled his kingdom with talent, his people loved him and recognized the wisdom he used in his daily actions.
Observing through the window the play of the sun caressing the landscape at the end of the afternoon, the King listened to the music and the laughter which came to him from the village hall where his people celebrated the 18 years of his son; the young Potential Prince.
The time had come for him to step aside and entrust the kingdom to his son. He had him called.
“My son,” he said to him, “you have now acquired a great variety of talents which you will need to act as King and lead our people to their destiny. However, you still have to pass one last test, the test which will demonstrate, if you pass it successfully, that you are worthy to succeed me at the head of the kingdom. “
At these words, the Prince felt a great wave of enthusiasm and energy rising in him. The moment had come, he seemed ready. He replied to his father: “My father, I am ready to face this ordeal. What will I have to do to be worthy to succeed you at the head of the kingdom? “.
“My son, you will have to demonstrate that you control the kingdom and that it works for the greater good of your subjects”
“My father,” said the Prince, whose face lit up with a broad smile, “this problem is easy to solve, I will control the environment of the kingdom.” Nothing will happen anywhere, at any time of the day or night without my control. So I will control the kingdom and be worthy of being the King. “
“My son,” said the King with an amused smile, “you are very presumptuous! Even if it was possible for you to control what is happening here at all times, it will soon be an inanimate kingdom of which you would be the King, because the smallest event could not take place there without you approved. ” These words were not enough to undermine the Prince’s determination. In a strong and assured voice he immediately replied:
“Never mind, I will control the behavior of my subjects. So they will only do what is right, I will control the kingdom and I will be worthy of being King. “
“My dear son, are you not afraid of making them brainless automata whose smallest gesture would depend on you and lose all the naturalness and spontaneity that characterize life? «
“You are telling the truth, father, I will rather build a training institute. I will train my subjects there on what it is good that they know and do and what they should avoid doing. So I will control my kingdom and be worthy of being King. ”
“My son,” said the King, more and more amused, “this is better, you want to cut off the creativity of your subjects and thereby make them dependent on you for the development of their capacities. “
The warm voice of the King lets pierce a hint of mockery which began to undermine the Prince’s splendor. It calmed down as if stung in the heat. Sometimes he seemed to be looking for the image that would give him the key, sometimes to listen to the voice that would inspire him. His face suddenly lit up and he said, “This time, father, I believe who I found. I am going to make happiness compulsory, it will develop in my subjects’ strategies and behaviors having positive repercussions on the environment, in this way I will control my kingdom and be worthy to be its King. “
“Well done my son, you seem to have a knack for forgetting the basics. Admitting that you manage to freeze the emotions of your subjects, how will they then know to navigate life without a compass that guides them towards what is good for them while avoiding what is not? And how will you manage to know the climate of the kingdom for lack of the richness of the emotions which will no longer be able to express themselves to inform you? “
The young Prince felt perplexed but he didn’t admit fighting yet. How could he control his kingdom if he controlled neither the environment nor the behavior of his subjects, their abilities, nor their emotions? Apart from himself, he saw nothing else to control: He said in an unsteady voice: “I see little more than me. Is this the answer, my father? By controlling myself, I will control my kingdom and be worthy of being King. “
His father smiled; in his eyes, tenderness had replaced mockery, he said to her very gently: “My dear son, that’s enough for today. The celebration in honor of your 18th birthday has put an end to your strength. What subject would a man under control want for King, even his own? How would you be available to others if you spend your time watching yourself? I invite you to go to bed, the night brings advice! Tomorrow morning you will no doubt understand what it is enough to control everything without having to control everything. “
Without waiting, as long as he was filled with humiliation at the thought of not having found the key to this seemingly simple puzzle, the Prince won his room and fell asleep.
During the night he had a dream. In this dream, he began to fly and rose so high above the castle that the details faded, giving way to a global image that emerged before his amazed eyes. His perception of time changed as the picture widened and he soon saw not only the whole kingdom but also a whole history, past, present, and future. He understood the unity and the deep coherence of this story, meaningful over time. He lives harmony in the growing diversity of forms and how it made the richness of life. Each contributing to the well-being of the others in a symbiosis of which he had hitherto been oblivious. It was as if a wall had just crumbled, leaving his life filled with wonder and delighted with the meaning of everything. He understood in this luminous perception the meaning of the ordeal that his father made him pass. In that instant of eternity, he had become the Bearer of the Meaning and that was his role as King.
Thus, from identity to the perception of the environment, all of its subjects would freely align themselves with this desirable and meaningful vision like a flight of warblers on the starry sky to fly towards its migratory destiny. It is by the sense that he controlled his kingdom and would be worthy to succeed in his father. He would bring to his people, day after day, his rich vision of the meaning of life, of this ever-renewed creation, entirely oriented towards a more generous, and more beautiful future in which his subjects would like to participate and belong.
The sun filled with light the room where a new King had just woken up.