If one is contented wherever he goes, he will be at ease wherever he may be. Even life and death cannot affect him. How much less can flood or fire? The perfect man is not besieged by calamities, not because he escapes from them but because he advances the principles of things and goes forward and naturally comes into union with good fortune.
— Guo Xiang

I am right slap bang in the middle of a Practitioner training at the moment, they are always exhausting, but very rewarding, with the different people we get on the courses all wanting to use NLP in their own unique ways. As Richard Bandler says, us NLP Practitioners should stick apart, we should be more Discordian about the whole thing. NLP grows from people applying it to different areas, not just all of us becoming “NLP clones” or “NLP Robots”.

Anyway I digress, I really wanted to spend some time over the next few days talking about sensory acuity, as without that everything else is useless. Sensory acuity for those not acquainted is about tuning your senses right up to take in as much information on the conscious and unconscious level as possible as the more information you have the better decisions you can make. We have a tendency to generalise distort and delete the information we receive from the five senses, we have to, otherwise our heads would explode or we would spend so long processing the information we would never do anything. But sometimes we just filter too much out, it learning to filter out the truly unnecessary and to pay attention the necessary (at any given moment).

To do that firstly we have to spend as much time in the present moment as possible, if we are not here now how can we pat attention to the here and now? It is a very Zen thing – Zen teaches us that we should live in the present moment, the past has gone and the future hasn’t happened yet, so what is the point dwelling in either? The teachings of Zen are that everything is a meditation and you should pay full attention to what you are doing at that time, whether it be eating, working or whatever. OK, maybe all the time is a bit extreme, sometimes it is fun to wander off into a daydream, right? But very sensible advice when you are driving a car! The question is how? Well the one way I was taught was to focus on your breath. When you catch yourself wandering off somewhere other than here and now, just return your focus of attention to your breathing for a moment, correct your posture and then return to the outside world. Why our breath? Because it is always there. It is something you can always focus on.

Next time I will teach you the fun to had with other awareness techniques

Until then be well!

Matt

Phew! Time flies doesn’t it? I can’t believe it has been so long since I have last written, and there is me saying this a daily tip. Lucky if it is a monthly tip at the moment!

So, on the theme of time I thought I would share with you the process of how to slllloooooooowwwwww tiiiiiiimmmmmmeeee dooooooowwwwwwwnnnnn….

It is pretty easy really, the key id your peripheral vision. We are used to only using about 100 degrees of our vision where can see almost 210 degrees round, Now if you widen your focus to encompass more of your peripheral vision you will naturally start to speed up your reflexes or to slow time down so you can act faster. This is great if you just need that extra few minutes in the day, need to speed your reflexes up (say, you do a sport like squash or martial arts).

To widen your focus do 2 things:

1. Imagine there is an orange on the crown of your head and you can see it even though it is directly behind you.

2. Get your hands and put them up by your ears about a foot away on each side and wiggle your fingers. You should be able to see them wiggling, now slowly move your hands backwards until you can just see the tips of your fingers wiggling. Notice how far back you can see.

When you want to speed time up just go through these 2 steps.

Until tomorrow (hopefully!)

Matt

I have been away for the weekend with my Co-trainer Bob Spour doing “survival training”, Bob was in the SAS and runs SAS Survival trainings (go to www.sassurvival.co.uk for more info). Whilst “surviving” or doing “bush craft” or whatever you want to call it, you notice very soon that it is your psychological processes that dictate how well you will do, whether you will survive or not, much more than your physical capability. It is surprising how little sleep and food you can survive on and still function at 100%, IF you have the right mental attitude.

The secret is to get organised and stay positive, organisation is essential, but so is stopping those negative thoughts sneaking in. One way to do this to do a “Negative Thought Fast”, this works like this: Every time you find yourself in a negative thought cycle, whether that be shouting at another driver or just generally being down in the dumps, turn the negative thought round to something positive; think what you can do about it NOW and if there is nothing to you can do right now, put it to one side (actually move it to one side in your head) and leave it there until here is something you CAN do about it. Practice it for a few days and you will find a massive change in your mood!

Until tomorrow
Matt

“By a man’s finger-nails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boots, by his trouser-knees, by the callosities of his forefinger and thumb, by his expression, by his shirt-cuff – By each of these things a man’s calling is plainly revealed. That all united should fail to enlighten the competent inquirer in any case is almost inconceivable.”

“What do the public, the great unobservant public, who could hardly tell a weaver by his tooth or a compositor by his left thumb, care about the finer shades of analysis and deduction!”

“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details. My first glance is always at a woman’s sleeve. In a man, it is perhaps better to take the knee of the trouser.”

– Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Sensory acuity or observation is the essential key to any communicative art, whether that is management, therapy, teaching etc. We, as humans are much more predictable than we would like to think and by being observant you can appear almost psychic. In fact the is a whole field of “mentalism” (the field in magical entertainment of appearing psychic when you are not) called “Cold Reading”, which utilising many observational skills.

How do you tune up your senses in this way?

Simple: PAY ATTENTION!

If I meet someone new, I always build a “30 second profile”. I will look at their clothes, jewellery, eye colour, hair style, the way they walk, stand carry themselves, the way they talk, accents, catch phrases, descriptive words and build an idea about that person in my head. The idea I get about the person maybe wildly wrong and is purely a bit of fun on my behalf. But it helps me to get used gathering information, this information may be useful at a later date, to help me communicate better with that person.

Hello! Those of you that know me or have visited my site www.personalchange.co.uk know that I used to reguarly post a daily(ish) NLP tip or musing on my home page and then email it to anyone that subscribed to my mailing list, in an attempt to have some form of more personal interaction with my visitors. However due to technical difficulties I could not longer easily post to my homepage and the idea was going to waste.

So! In attempt to start up that service again and get some musigns out to my “loyal viewers” I have set up this external blog. I am new to this so please bear (or is that bare? I am never sure…) as get the hang of it and get everything set up!

More soon (hopefully tomorrow)…