I had lunch with a stranger today – and it was the most fascinating 90 minutes I’ve experienced all year.

Lara Wentworth is an expert in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and has a deep knowledge of human behaviour.

I’m having lunches with 500 strangers in five years. Lara was my fourth lunch. And I learned so much from her in such a short amount of time.

The values and behaviours we exhibit today, Lara explained, are shaped by the lessons we absorbed – or the ‘programming’ we received – during our first seven years of life.

Someone may say or do something to us that is innocuous – yet it can trigger negative thoughts because of the way it taps into the programming that’s buried in our unconscious mind.

That partly explains why most of us are susceptible to ‘impostor syndrome’ (the idea that we’re undeserving of our successes).

Lara used to suffer from impostor syndrome, but learned to overcome it by changing the way her conscious and unconscious mind operates – changing her programming, in other words.

I’ve long been fascinated by NLP. After lunching with Lara, I’ve decided to do a course. I’m looking forward to better understanding my mind, and that of others.