Tuesday, 23 November 2010


To get a grip on your emotions, you need to have a basic understanding of what’s going on in your head. You will probably know that your awareness lives in the brain, an extremely powerful organic computer. More powerful and with more memory than the most powerful computer today, and with more nerve cells than there are stars in the sky, it is a truly impressive organ.

This organ is operated by a highly sophisticated suite of software known as THE MIND. The mind is not a physical thing, it is patterns of energy like any software. This software operates a bit like an iceberg, with most of it under the waterline, unseen by the user.

Most of your mind is beyond your conscious awareness. Called the subsconscious, it is a massive database of stored memories and behaviour.
Like Microsoft Windows it comes with a default.
This default doesn’t do logic! Why not?

Your default mode is geared to survival on the African Savannah, where we Homo Sapiens evolved from the last nearly extinct remnant of our predecessor Homo Erectus. Grab it when you can, hoard what you can, and when times are good, breed like mad! That’s what helped you survive in the primal past.

Clearly, the default mode is just not applicable to modern civilisation! This means that your mind needs configuring.

Oddly, the ability to re-configure your mind has been around for millennia, but the trouble has been who’s been keeping the knowledge. Back in the African Savannah, the guy who dealt with wellbeing was the Shaman, who became the priest, the cleric, the llama and so on, and as religion and spirituality has become increasingly divided, and the knowledge fragmented, here in the West everyone eventually got a bit fed up with this, and wellbeing was taken up by the scientists, but they limited themselves to stuff they could measure, and you can’t really measure feelings and emotions.

Fortunately, we live in the information revolution, and all this disparate knowledge is now getting pooled online! Now you don’t have to sign up for a faith, change faith, or abandon your own faith to get the information, and you can utilise the wisdom of the ancients without compromising your own conscience.
What I’m teaching suits any spirituality or none.

Let us first get a basic understanding of our emotions. They are fundamental to who you are, even more fundamental than thinking. Feeling and emotion and desire were there in your life long before language. All emotions are hardwired to lead you to a fundamental desire, the desire of desires. There is a basic fundamental desire we all have - we had it at birth, we still have it and it will be there at death – it is to be comfortable. When I ask my hypnotherapy clients which feeling they want to feel above any other feeling, they invariably say PEACE, because when you’ve been troubled, that’s your idea of comfort.

Any pleasure or desire you can think of, the bottom line is COMFORT. We all want to be peaceful and comfortable. You want what you want because you think that when you’ve got it, you will experience comfort. Even adrenalin junkies! But there is a problem. Your primal instincts don’t want to wait to be comfortable, they want you to be comfortable NOW!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Banish The Doubt - Part 3

Why are so many of us if not all of us experiencing our success being sabotaged from within? Clearly it’s something subconscious because I have absolutely no conscious desire to fail. I want to win, and I want to win BIG! I know exactly where I want to be and where I want to go. So why in certain situations have I screwed up for absolutely no logical reason?

What causes experienced penalty takers to miss penalties? It would be pretty handy to find out wouldn’t it? I would give us something of an edge. Well good news, I’m going to tell you. It’s not something I discovered personally, it’s been known and documented for thousands of years. It was never lost, it’s never been a secret, it’s never been suppressed or covered up, it’s just been plain ignored, possibly because you can’t measure it. That is one great oversight, one great flaw in Western business thinking and intellectual thinking in general – if we can’t measure it, it’s not important. This is plain wrong! Who makes a business successful? It’s people isn’t it? Can you measure human nature? Bizarrely, one man argued you can.

He was named Francis Galton and he invented PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING in the 19th Century. He was the first to propose that if we ask the right questions, do the right tests and measure the responses, we will know exactly how someone will perform. Unfortunately it’s not that simple! It’s also pretty rich coming from someone who had a nervous breakdown as a young man!

Yes you can get a general idea of someone’s aptitude and attitude, but if you think psychometric testing will tell you what someone will do when it comes down to it, you will soon find out that it’s not a very accurate science. As Gerald Ratner has taught us, great performers make gaffs! I’m sure Gerald would have passed every psychometric test going, but no one saw the business “clanger of clangers” coming did they? Least of all Mr. Ratner himself!

My other objection to the use of psychometric testing is that as well as being an unreliable measure, it is an unreliable snapshot of how that person was on that day. It takes no account whatsoever of someone’s potential. People change, they learn and grow, they are being constantly remoulded by their experience.
You are all not the person you were five years ago, and in five years the person you are now will be dead, there will be a new person with your memories but a different perspective.

So then, if you can’t measure it, what is this X-Factor, this hidden phenomenon that is sabotaging us from within, undermining, overriding and negating every positive thinking strategy you’ve heard of? It has several names. In Buddhism and Taoism, it is called the Mind Monkey. Psychologist Sigmund Freud called it the ID – it can also be thought of as the elephant in the room, the “bull in the china shop”, the ghost in the machine, the gremlin in your morale. It is negative emotion.
Negative emotion, (fear, hate and anger) is a very basic very primal force that drives us all and it can override our most sincere beliefs, our strictest taboos, and our firm intentions. Nothing within you can overcome the monsters from the ID, these beasts from the subconscious. In fact they thrive on resistance and suppression. The more you try and pack down your darkest emotions into some deep dungeon within your mind, the greater the pressure, and suppress them hard enough for long enough and one dark day you will find them explosively released all over your life.

The monsters from the ID do not do logic, explanation, argument or containment. The only weapon you have against your emotion is another emotion, and I will show you how to wield that weapon in in the next part.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Banish The Doubt - Part 2

By the time I have concluded this essay, you will have stopped committing a crime against yourself that you didn’t even know you were committing – the crime of subconscious self-sabotage. It is a psychological phenomenon positively rampant in our culture today, and most obvious in England’s performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, where some very talented individuals simply did not translate their talent into success. If they undeniably had the talent, there can only be one reason they failed, and that was due to what was going on in their heads.

Clearly, there must be something more to this positive thinking lark than the standard stuff people are taught, and by the end of this essay, you will have that missing piece from the puzzle, the techniques that will blow away those mental barriers you didn’t know you had.

I’d like to begin with a common analogy used in business coaching circles, and it’s often used as a “closer”. I however am going to use it as an opener. It concerns a £20 note:
Would anyone like this nice new £20 note?
Would anyone like this scrunched up £20 note?
Would anyone like this £20 that I’ve trodden on?

The answer of course is YES to all three because no matter where it’s been it’s still worth £20. Similarly, no matter what has happened to you in your life, no matter how much failure, rejection and betrayal you have suffered, you are still of value, you still have worth, you can still make a difference.

That’s great, and you can accept that intellectually and logically. But there’s a flawed assumption in the fundamental idea of positive thinking, which I will come to shortly, but before I do, let’s look at the theory of positive thinking itself.

All positive thinking coaching boils down to one statement – I heard it first as a child and it’s annoyed the hell out of me ever since – think happy thoughts. If you think happy thoughts you will feel happy, behave happy and consequently your life will be happy. Fantastic, if it works. Of course, on many a coaching course, this simple message is delivered in a more sophisticated manner. You get told that there are many thoughts going on in your head at any one time. Some of these are positive and some of these are negative. You give your attention to the positive thoughts, focus on them and you will feel positive, you will behave positive and your whole life will become positive.

Of course positive thinking is not without some merit. Some people can follow these guiding principles and sure enough they improve. I have found myself that focusing on positive thoughts helped, and took me so far, but having developed to a certain point, I found I was hitting walls.

I found that certain people had the ability to push all my negative buttons and turn me into a rage monster or a gibbering tongue-tied failure despite all my training. I found that some contexts and situations I could not handle, again despite all my training, and I started to observe quite a few business gurus “lose it” as well. I observed sports stars that had top coaches who were nevertheless underperforming in certain situations. But the event that had the most profound effect on my thinking was Gerald Ratner and his famous “my products are crap” speech. How could such a successful talented businessman make such a crass mistake with all his knowledge?