When you set a goal, or plan a task or project, it is important to have a clear vision of the outcome. Visualisation, written goals, SMART outcomes and Well-formedness are all aspects of this same principal. Create the future in detail and then have a plan that takes you there.

Many of us who set out with a mission find that the reality is very different from the plans. Problems get in the way, costs spiral, a pandemic breaks out or even a war! It is no wonder that many people give up entirely on their goals because they go off course.

A core part of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) aa set of are it’s ‘presuppositions’. These are a set of guidelines that practitioners use to help them be more effective in their lives. One of these presuppositions reads:

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epiphany

When you have been living your life in the same way, sometimes you need an epiphany to overcome it. An epiphany is defined in the dictionary as ‘a moment of sudden and great revelation or realization’. It is a moment in time when one incident – a thought, an experience – changes everything for good.

There are many stories in history of people who have made sudden realisations that changed everything. The classic epiphany would be the story of Archimedes, leaping from his bath, shouting ‘Eureka’ as he came to understand water displacement. Sir Isaac Newton is said to have had an epiphany when an apple fell on his head – illustrating gravity.

These events, if true, were significant enough to change the course of science and mathematics. An epiphany can also be experienced at the personal level too. Any experience that results in a major shift in thinking or a new way of experiencing the world is an epiphany. In his classic book The Dubliners, James Joyce explored personal epiphanies through his short stories.

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The earth in our hands

Some time ago I wrote a blog on metaprograms and the value of ‘chunking’. In a nutshell, when dealing with issues it can be useful to change ‘chunk size’. You can look at things in more detail – chunk down – or you can consider the bigger picture. Both approaches have their value, and there are multiple levels of thinking.

As I write this, the world’s attention is on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and although I am not following it in detail, I definitely think this is a time for chunking up.

At all levels of society there is attention on what we can do to save the planet and our environment. From recycling waste to buying electric cars, many of us are trying to ‘do our bit’. There is plenty of evidence, sadly, that ‘our bit’ is not enough. Every little helps, but a lot helps more, and to do a lot, we are going to have to look at a bigger picture.

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Diverse range of people

When I first started as a NLP practitioner in 2012, I expected to have a whole range of clients. I thought there would be some amazing clients that I really liked working with. There would be some I found a bit ‘run of the mill’. I braced myself for the possibility that I would even find a few that were downright annoying!

It even seemed likely that I might occasionally have to have some very frank conversations and refer some people on to another practitioner.

To be fair, that has happened, once.

But what I actually found, was what I should have known from the start. Every single one of the people I have worked with over the years has been amazing.

Like the mother of three who runs a successful design business from home and wants to write a book.

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smoking, drinking and partying bad habits

You have to wonder if a little NLP might help with Ed Sheeran’s bad habits. In his latest hit song, the singer, songwriter focusses on the bad habits he has later in the day. Some might interpret this as a reference to drink and drugs, and others to partying and one-night stands. As with all songs, the interpretation lies with the listener to a certain extent.

What is a bad habit?

Before you can resolve a problem, you need to be aware that it exists. Often we find ourselves experiencing repeating patterns in our careers, personal life and relationships that we find difficult to explain. Maybe we typically begin a relationship with passion and commitment and then start to develop jealous behaviours or possesiveness that destroys what we have. In a career we might start by loving the job but then get into a loop of complaining and politicising and end up leaving.

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does your partner say sorry

Saying sorry seems such a simple thing. When you find yourself in an argument with your loved ones in particular, things can become very emotional. You can sometimes find yourself saying and doing things that you later regret. Maybe you shouted, or stormed out, or said painful words. I hate you’, ‘I don’t care about you’ or worse. We know how to push eachother’s buttons. Sometimes we bring up past hurts to put the pressure on and increase the power of our arguments. We are seeking a reaction, feeling overwhelmed, angry and upset. We may find ourselves going to extremes in the moment. An apology may come easily to you, so why doesn’t your partner say sorry?

Just because these things happen from time to time does not mean the relationship is broken. We are all individuals, with a host of different values, beliefs and attitudes. It is only natural that conflict will occur between two loved ones, and often around similar themes.

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Controlling anger isn’t something tigers have to think about. These are incredibly beautiful creatures. They represent concepts of pure wildness, untamed beauty, strength and power. Tigers have a reputation for being unpredictable and incredibly dangerous. Keeping a tiger as a pet is definitely inadvisable. It is their wildness that we admire most. A tiger doesn’t need to apologise for being a tiger.

Unlike tigers, we sometimes need to be able to control our anger. Anger is sometimes a perfectly natural response to a situation. Like all emotions it is a signal that something needs to change, and there is something new to learn.

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Man about to set out on his heros journey

Guest post by Ewan Mochrie, author of ‘It’s Time’.

In 1949 Joseph Campbell published The Hero with a Thousand Faces. By doing so Campbell brought into sharper focus the underlying structure of myths and storytelling. This structure is known as the Hero’s Journey. It is an innate human archetype; we instinctively recognise and utilise this pattern, despite having little or no conscious awareness of it. When you read a good novel or watch a good play or film you unconsciously identify the pattern and match the events you are observing to this structure. One of the reasons that you might think a film or novel isn’t good is that the author hasn’t followed the ‘right’ structure. More than this though the Hero’s Journey is playing out in your own life too.

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woman with a question mark instead of face

Self-esteem is defined on Wikipedia as ‘an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth’. Valuing yourself, knowing your core identity and believing in who you are is a key issue that underpins many problems in life. I have written on this subject before.

There are many ways in which we can work on our self-esteem. There are habits we can cultivate. We can change our self-talk – the way we tend to talk about ourselves to others and in our own minds. There are journaling exercises, and many Neurolinguistic Programming inventions. We can see a hypnotherapist or a Timeline Therapist and we can get some coaching.

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ball of string representing how long will it take

One of the questions I get asked in the early stages of working with clients, is ‘How long will it take to get better?’ When you are suffering from anxiety and depression, coping with a phobia or dealing with stressful situations, you want to get better as quickly as possible.

The traditional view of psychiatry is that you go and see your ‘shrink’ every Tuesday afternoon over a period of 2, maybe 3 years. You lie on her coach and tell her everything. How your mother didn’t love you. You father dropped you on the head when you were 6. All the traumatic experiences you endured, and of course every sexual encounter you have ever had. Through this the therapist has you come to some realisation that immediately makes you see the world differently. However once you often have that realisation you still need to work with it and come to terms with it.

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