If you have been following my work for a while, and the work that I do with Dr. Adam Froerer for a while, or quite frankly, the work that we’ve been doing as a Solution Focused Universe team for a long time, then you have heard me talk about presuppositions a lot. And a presupposition is when you presuppose something that hasn’t yet happened.
So here’s an example, and I’m just gonna pick a random goal to use an example. If you want to be a millionaire, you start talking about yourself as a millionaire before you have a million dollars. That’s a presupposition.
It does this amazing thing when you’re in conversations with clients, that builds expectancy and hope for a new future. And it helps their mind, and their actions, and their behavior, align with that new future.
So a presupposition is a super powerful thing to create the kind of desirable change that bring clients into our care. But something amazing happened right in front of the whole world to demonstrate the power of presuppositions.
Right now, as I’m making this video, the NBA is in the middle of their playoffs. Actually, towards the end, the Champion championship series is about to start. And the NBA is the American basketball professional League. It’s known as the National Basketball Association. It’s where Michael Jordan played. That’s the league.
For those of you not in America, not basketball fans, just to give you some context… two of the teams that were playing in the previous round were the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. And the Miami Heat were supposed to lose this series to the much greater, much more talented Boston Celtics.
But here’s the thing, the Miami Heat have a player named Jimmy Butler who just somehow rises to the occasion when he is playing in these really important games against teams that are far superior to his. He just somehow performs better than he normally would, and the Heat won. They beat the Boston Celtics, which sent them into the championship series, where they’re now about to play the Denver Nuggets, which is also a superior team. Miami is supposed to lose.
But here’s what happened. This was so cool. In the previous round, when the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics, they got a trophy for winning the Eastern Conference. The finals of this league is the Eastern Conference playing the Western conference, and whoever wins is the champion of the whole league. And the Miami Heat won the Eastern Conference. They got a trophy. And one of Jimmy Butler’s teammates was holding the trophy from winning the Eastern Conference and went to hand it to Jimmy Butler. And you saw him say in front of everybody with cameras on him, he said, “No, I’m gonna hold the next one.” He’s presupposing that he will get another trophy and he’s saying, “I don’t wanna hold this one. I’ll hold the next one.”
Now look, I am not telling you that because Jimmy Butler is behaving in this way and presupposes this action that he is guaranteed to win. Of course that is not true. Jimmy Butler could lose. But let me tell you what it does do. It guarantees that he is going to show up as the version of himself that is most likely to perform at a level that would make this next trophy, this championship trophy, come into his life. Which is the whole point of presuppositions.
Going back to the previous example I used, if I wanna be a millionaire and I presuppose millions of dollars, like, “When I become a millionaire, I’m gonna buy that house, or I’m gonna buy my mom that car. When I become a millionaire, I’m gonna do these things.” Does it guarantee you will be a millionaire? Of course not. But what it does do is it puts you in line with accomplishing the thing that you’re hoping for. It sets you up to behave in a way that is more likely than not, to have that happen.
Now, in this case, it’s basketball. So Jimmy Butler may lose cuz there’s a whole ‘nother team that’s gonna influence the outcome of this. But by being the type of person that would see this trophy and say, “I don’t wanna hold that trophy, I’ll hold the next one.” He’s making sure his behavior is in alignment with change.
Now, I’m gonna give you another example from my life. I’m making this video from Dallas, Texas, which is where I live, but it’s not where I’m from. I grew up in Massachusetts and I came to Texas with nothing. I mean, I came to Texas, like, “You came in with like the last fumes of gas.” I moved here in 1996, me and my family, and we had everything we owned in a Ford escort and we came in on the last fumes of gas.
My life, everything in Massachusetts, had gone so difficult for my mother and myself and my brother. This is where we came. And I remember driving around Dallas. For those of you that have seen the Dallas skyline, there’s a tall building with a ball on top of it. And when I got to Dallas, I asked my aunt, who lived here, I said, “What’s that?” And she said, “There’s a restaurant in there that spins around.” And I was like, “Oh, cool.” Knowing that I don’t have the money to go to that restaurant, I have no expectation I can go to that restaurant. I started telling myself, “One day I’m gonna have dinner there.” And as I drove around Dallas for the next few years, I would say, “What’s that?” And someone would say, “Oh, that’s this hotel that’s really well known.” I’d be like, “Okay, one day I’m gonna stay in that hotel.”
Just having that future focus of presupposing change puts you in line with having those abilities.
I’ve now had dinner in that restaurant that rotates. I’ve now stayed in those hotels where I drove by and was like, “I’m gonna stay there one day.” I’ve now visited places in the Dallas area because… and I was not even realizing it… I mean, I was 19 at the time, but…
I was behaving in a way that put me in line to affect change.
That’s the lesson I want you to get.
When you watch this basketball series, I have no idea who’s going to win. We’re actually making this video on the day when the game’s gonna play. There’s actually a truck, I’m pointing, but Dennis is great, he’s gonna show you where I’m pointing while this is happening. (Dennis is my camera guy.). There’s a truck right there advertising “The NBA final starts tonight. Anybody want free coffee?” And they’re trying to get people to watch this game. So I have no idea what the outcome’s gonna be, but I do know Jimmy Butler is behaving in a way to make sure he shows up at his best version of himself in this basketball series, which of course makes it more likely that he will win. Not a guarantee, but…
That’s what we have to do, we have to behave and talk and act in such a way that brings about the things we’re desirous of.
For Jimmy Butler, it’s an NBA championship.
For a lot of you, it could be happiness, it could be a better job, it could be a better, more satisfying relationship, it could be whatever.
Presuppose the kind of change you want in your life through your words and through your actions. And you’re much more likely to have them.