IN SHORT: Our visits to other people’s worlds give us a chance to grown and expand our own, so why on earth wouldn’t you want to take a trip like that..?!
“Being comfortable isn’t the way to learn to expand your abilities.”
[Thomas Perry, US author]
(1180 words, approx. 7-11 mins to read)
My wonderful wife recently bought me a Kindle – an e-reader that I can carry a whole library’s worth of books around on in a device around the size of a large paperback but the thickness of a pencil.
To start with I set about finding as many freebie books as I could and, as some of you may know, many older books are now out of copyright and electronic versions are pretty easy to find. One of the many books I downloaded, which I’m sightly ashamed to say I’d never read before, was Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels”.
…read the rest… »
IN SHORT: NEED is not enough, you have to WANT it. GOALs are not enough, you need some “If… Then…”. And Look UP!
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”
[Helen Keller, 19th/20th-century deaf-blind author & activist]
(1208 words, approx 7-12 mins to read)
December and January have, for me at least, felt very ‘stop-start’ in terms of effort and rest, rather than a more sedate ‘slow down, speed up’ progress, hence the later-than usual timing of this ‘slice’.
What I thought I’d share with you, instead of one central theme, are three related pointers: …read the rest… »
IN SHORT: What is it that gets you up and out of bed, active and focused, every day? Duty? Work? Paying the bills? Guilt? Habit? … Or do you have a real PURPOSE to your life that can’t be diminished and instead seems more compelling as you live it out?
“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.”
[Og Mandino, 20th-century American writer & psychologist]
“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”
[Satchel Paige, 20th-century American baseball player
& the 1st from the 'Negro League' to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame]
I want to introduce you to someone who’s been an inspiration to me at various points in my life. That’s not to say I agree with everything he does or says – quite the opposite at times – it’s more the way he goes about doing and saying those things, and basically his attitude to life that inspires me most. …read the rest… »
IN SHORT: Sometimes the only way to manage chaos and find clarity is to stop trying to manage the chaos and let clarity find you.
[932 words, approx 5-8 minutes to read]
Some of the following tale is true, some is fiction, but could be true.
None is intended to deceive, all is food for thought.
Most of us have seen a snow-globe at some point. Some of you might even have one or two at home. There are even a few people who collect them – perhaps you know one of them..? …read the rest… »
IN SHORT: Life is a game of join-the-dots. Although you can’t change the facts of your past, you CAN change what you do with it, how you let it make you feel, and where you go forwards from it – you get to choose which dots you use!
“From now on, I’ll connect the dots my own way.”
[Bill Waterson, US author of the 'Calvin & Hobbes' comic strip]
(792 words, approx 5-8 mins to read)
(This month’s ‘slice’ sort of follows on from last month’s ‘Making Meaning’ article, and here we’re focusing more on what we do with strings of experiences rather than just individual ones.)
Do you remember doing join-the-dots pictures when you were young (or maybe even when you were older too)..?
…read the rest… »
IN SHORT: We are the authors and editors of our own ‘life dictionary’ and, just as language evolves and the meanings and usage of words changes over time, there’s no reason at all that the meanings and usage of our daily experiences can’t be changed for the better over time too.
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is,
but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.”
[Viktor Frankl, 20th-centrury neurologist, holocaust survivor, author & therapist]
“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way
we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
[Hermann Hesse, 19/20th-century novelist & Nobel prize-winner]
(1288 words, approx 7-10 mins to read)
“They’d left the place in a total mess. …read the rest… »
IN SHORT: If at first you don’t succeed, and the second and third attempts fare no better either, GET HELP! Help either in learning how to do it well, or help in actually doing it, or both. Either way, seeking assistance is a sign of bravery, commitment and strength.
(1100 words – approx. 6-10 minutes to read)
It’s a strange phrase when you think about it – “Do it yourself” – an expression of empowerment and self-sufficiency that, with a twist in vocal tone, could easily become a terse and dismissive retort…
…read the rest… »
IN SHORT: People say life’s all about give and take. It’s not – givers and takers are game-players. Life is all about SHARING…
“Games are a compromise between intimacy and keeping intimacy away.”
[Eric Berne, 20th-century Canadian psychiatrist & author, creator of Transactional Analysis]
(1315 words – approx 7-12 minutes to read. It’s a long one this time!)
Last time we talked about the perils of running on empty and how important it is to take responsibility for refuelling before we hit the ‘red zone’ on our personal fuel gauge.
I promised this time we’d talk about the games people play – that’s not just other people though, it includes you – in order to try to get other people to meet their needs instead of taking responsibility for themselves and sorting out how to meet their own. …read the rest… »
IN SHORT: No matter what our life is like, we all need to watch for signs we’re running low on fuel, and take steps to recharge. But first of all we need to know what we’re watching for…!
“Real difficulties can be overcome,
it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.”
[Theodore N. Vail, 19th/20th century US Telephone Industrialist]
(1181 words, approx. 6-10 mins to read)
Have you ever, like my unfortunate self a few days ago, experienced the frustration of going to make a much-needed cuppa and found the cupboard totally bereft of tea bags..?
Or maybe you’ve faced the predicament of running out of toilet paper at a crucial moment (!) and found that there were no more rolls in the house bathroom..? …read the rest… »
This morning I’m sitting in Starbucks finishing off a few articles that I’ve so far not managed to finish. However, I remembered that I had no cash in my wallet when I left home this morning… …read the rest… »
I’ve been interviewed and published in a short piece on envy and regret for “The House of Good Fortune” magazine – not sure about the possible psychic connotations of the publication title though..!
You can read it at http://bit.ly/cT7lOL and the article is on page 30.
Reserve space in your diaries for 12:30 – 1:30pm on Tuesday 11th May – we have the second of our “Taste of Hypnosis” events!
This time we’re being hosted by Merseyside Play Action Council at their offices in Bridport Street, Liverpool (click here for a map). It’s within a hundred yards or so of Lime Street station, 1/2-mile from Queen’s Square and there’s parking nearby too.
All we’re asking is a £5 donation to our hosts, in return for what I’ve promised everyone who attends in our flyer here – A Taste of Hypnosis – MPAC.
To book your place, you can either email email@example.com, call or text on 07730 651618 or register on Facebook here if you’re definitely coming.
IN SHORT: Hiding behind every problem and issue we face in life is an opportunity for you to become something more than you were before. You can seek it, find it, take it and find yourself growing, or you can ignore it, miss it, throw it away and instead find your life shrinking…
“A man has no more character than he can command in a crisis.”
[Ralph W. Sockman, 19th/20th century theologian and church leader]
“A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind.”
[~825 words: approx 5-8 mins to read]
It’s amazing how much chaos one big cloud of dust can cause, isn’t it!
…read the rest… »
I was out running on Saturday, feeling quite smug with myself at about the 6 mile point of a 9 mile route, when I spotted an old man up ahead. I’m assuming he was old – he appeared to be in his late 70s at a guess – and very frail as he was walking with one of those zimmer frames with wheels on, …read the rest… »
IN SHORT: Losses, great and small, bring grief that if denied will lock us into limbo between past and future; we need to allow ourselves to accept the loss and grieve before we can move on to whatever life has in store next.
“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.”
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief… and unspeakable love.”
[Washington Irving, 18/19th century American writer & author]
(1069 words: approx. 6-10 mins to read)
Roughly a year ago a good friend of ours told us …read the rest… »
Liverpool Event Flyer
I’ve teamed up with Regus Liverpool to put on a ‘Taste of Hypnosis’ event in support of Marie Curie Cancer Care.
It’s on Wednesday April 14th, from 12:30 – 1:30pm – a lunchtime, so you needn’t take time away from work.
We’re holding it at the Regus Liverpool Centre, Horton House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool L2 3PF.
In return for some fantastic insights into how your mind works and some simple demonstrations of how hypnosis can help you personally and professionally, all we’re asking is that you bring a £5 donation to Marie Curie Cancer Care with you.
We’ve had enquiries about this event even before we announced the details, so we know it’s going to be popular. However, there are only 20 places to be had which means you MUST pre-book, either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 07730 651648 immediately!
Click here for a flyer and more information.
Remember – places are limited so book now.
Research published last year and summarised in this article in the latest issue of Scientific American Mind shows that developing babies begin forming memories before they’re born, including voices, music and even threatning vs. safe noises. This supports what many therapists and other personal development specialists have suspected for years – that even our pre-birth womb experiences shape our post-birth lives.
Makes you think…
IN SHORT: Stubbornly banging your head against a brick wall isn’t going to knock it down – you’ll just end up with a headache and a wall still standing.
“The bend in the road isn’t the end of the road unless you refuse to make the turn.”
(910 words, approx 5-8 mins to read)
A few weeks back, when the snow and ice in Liverpool was pretty much at its worst, I took to the road on my mountain bike, suitably prepared and wrapped up warm, in order to get to a client meeting.
Odd, you might think, but remember that a significant fraction of the nation seem to have forgotten the ‘can do’ spirit of previous generations and decided not to venture off the couch to seek alternative ways of getting around, particularly to work.
I wasn’t going to let a client down, so …read the rest… »
Many of you already know that 2010 is the official ‘Year of Health and Wellbeing’ in Liverpool, with businesses, organisations and individuals taking extra steps to help their employees, contacts, customers and clients and themselves make sure they get to Christmas 2010 in better shape than they started.
And I want to do my bit too. So here’s how I’m going to start the ball rolling! …read the rest… »
I’ve been asked quite a few times just how effective hypnosis is, and whilst I know the results are great for my clients, I decided to go hunting for some more widespread statistics. I found a great summary of a variety of research studies and surveys, and the bottom line is as follows: …read the rest… »
I came across this fantastic quote today, courtesy of Clive Gott, from a conversation between Buddha and one of his followers:
“If I offer a gift and you refuse that gift, to whom then does the gift belong?”
The follower answered “It belongs still to you.”
“So,” said the Buddha “if I offer an insult and you refuse to accept it, to whom then does that insult belong?”
“The truth is heavy, therefore few care to carry it.”
“Men stumble over the truth from time to time, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened.”
[Winston Churchill, UK war-time Prime Minister, politician, artist & writer]
(1228 words – approx 6-9 mins to read)
Well, that was 2009.
Since we ended last year with the theme of honesty, I thought I’d start 2010 on a similar note. I’ve got a couple of questions I’d like you to answer truthfully – I won’t make you swear to tell it, I’ll just assume that because you want to get the most out of this, you will be totally honest, at least with yourself: …read the rest… »
“The greatest way to live with honour in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
[Socrates, 4th-century BC Greek philosopher]
“Truth fears no questions.”
(912 words – approx. 5-8 mins to read)
Take a moment now to think of a few quotes or sayings you can remember about honesty.
Chances are at least one of them was “Honesty is the best policy” or something similar. But is it always what’s best?
We are all actually dishonest – deceptive – about three times in every ten minutes of normal daily conversation, according to psychologist and deception expert Paul Eckman. If you’re surprised by that, or perhaps insulted and would protest that you’d never be that dishonest, bear in mind that there’s more than one type of dishonesty. …read the rest… »
“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.”
(1208 words; approx 6-9 minutes to read)
Have you ever been so focused on and driven by something it bordered on, or perhaps tipped into, obsession?
I’d assumed I’d written all I could about desire and focus for the moment, but then I found myself listening to an interview with Ellen Macarthur (now a Dame) – famous for her solo sailing exploits and many sailing-related records, including breaking the women’s world record for circumnavigating the globe solo at the age of 24, and both the men’s and women’s record four years later.
During the interview she talked about how she had become obsessed with sailing after her first time in a boat at the age of four. When she, later on but still a child, decided she wanted her own boat, she even saved the change from her school dinner money in order to buy one, making choices as to what she’d have for lunch based on maximising the change she’d get. …read the rest… »
Last week’s New Scientist has an article on the reality of Hypnosis vs. just imagining or playing along – http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20427291.200-look-into-my-eyes-the-power-of-hypnosis.html?full=true, citing a number of experiments and research studies that show how hypnosis can change the function of the brain!
(831 words, approx 5-8 mins to read)
(This article appeared in issue 13 of ‘Liverpool Lifestyle’ magazine from Aintree Publishing – the version here is a slightly different draft to the magazine article, which can be viewed at http://bit.ly/yRjnu)
I’d like to talk about New Year’s Resolutions.
Yes, I know we’re not even into autumn properly yet and Christmas is still months away, but bear with me and I’ll explain myself in what follows.
You see, I think we have it all wrong when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. …read the rest… »
Steve has an article on New Year’s resolutions (yes, perhaps an odd time of year to write about them, so read the article and find out why..!) published in the latest issue of Liverpool Lifestyle magazine. You can read it here: http://bit.ly/yRjnu
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
[Anthony Robbins, US self-help expert, author and adviser to leaders]
(1066 words, approx 6-8 mins to read)
In our last ‘slice’ we talked about AWAY-FROM and TOWARDS types of motivation, and I made the assertion that the only way to achieve long-lasting, fulfilling and satisfying results was to make sure that your motivation was mostly, if not fully, of the TOWARDS variety.
If you still haven’t quite got why, even after a quick reminder by re-reading the last slice if you need to, imagine trying to drive using only your rear-view mirrors, or trying to run somewhere with your head turned to look behind you all the time. …read the rest… »
Just found this article about a research study from Harvard that shows how relaxation techniques such as meditation can affect your body at a genetic level, enhancing your ability to stay well, fight disease, handle stress and even in some cases fight cancer and improve fertility.
“Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don’t want.”
[Hannah Whitall Smith, 19th/20th century Quaker author and activist in the Women's Suffrage movement]
[I wrote about this general concept a good few years back now and touch on it every so often, but after the last two 'slices' on Desire here and here, it fits really nicely and will serve as a timely reminder.
What follows is, I realise, an over-simplification, but I’ll go ahead with it anyway because it’s often only through considering things simply that we uncover the most useful truths within…]
(1278 words – approx 6-8 mins to read)
What pops into your mind as you roll those two phrases around in your head:
Just a quick post – I came across this old Italian proverb a few days ago – something to ponder about the need to follow your thinking with doing:
“A hundred wagon-loads of thoughts will not pay a single ounce of debt.”
“Apetitus rationi pareat” – “Let desire be ruled by reason.”
[Cicero, Roman author & politician, 1st-century BC]
(1093 words – approx 5-7 mins to read)
Last time we discussed how powerful an emotion Desire can be, how it’s useful when focused appropriately and how, when we allow it to lead us or even consume us, it can transform into something dangerous and debilitating.
I left you with a question, after the “What do you want?” and “What are you prepared to do to get it?” ones, which was:
WHY DO YOU WANT IT?
…read the rest… »
I ran the Edinburgh marathon today – toughest thing I think I’ve ever done so far actually. I didn’t beat my target time of 4 hours and, as I was driving back to Liverpool with aching legs and a sense of disappointment, a song on the radio caught my ear – “The Climb”. Yes, it’s teen-pop, sung by Miley Cyrus, but the words to the chorus struck a neat little chord:
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side,
It’s the climb.
I came across this article a while ago and thought I’d write a timely reminder of how your sleep (or lack of it) can actually affect your weight.
Researchers at Stanford and Wisconsin Universities have discovered through a series of experiments that sleep affects more than how tired we feel – it has a profound yet unconscious effect on our appetite. …read the rest… »
“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
[Mario Andretti, Italian-born racing driver.]
“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
[Napoleon Hill, 19th/20th century US author and presidential adviser]
“I stood, nose pressed up against the toy shop window, gazing through at it, my eyes tracing over each feature, every detail of it, until I could almost feel the surface under my itching fingers. Somewhere deep inside I felt a cavernous space open up, a void that happened to be exactly the same shape and size as the very thing I was fixated on. Right then and there I knew that, however long it took me, I would be saving whatever money I could – pocket money, birthday gifts, odd-job payments – until I had the amount that the neatly written numbers on the precisely folded card in front said would be required in exchange for this marvellous item.”
Have you ever wanted something so much you actually felt the want – that yearning, a hollow space that you knew could only, can only, be filled by possessing whatever, or whoever, was the object of your desire? …read the rest… »
To make the most of ourselves we need to invest in ALL of ourselves.
“Break up your unploughed ground, and do not sow among thorns.”
[Book of Jeremiah, Hebrew Scriptures / Christian Old Testament]
“Every loaf of bread begins with a seed sown and watered.”
[1313 words, estimated reading time 6-10 mins]
I’m going to tell you a story, so if you want, I’ll give you minute or two to get a cuppa or whatever else you might need to help you get comfortable first. …read the rest… »