Category: Uncategorised

The clever Principal said “You are going to be fifty anyway”

On a holiday to the Philippines, I was lucky enough to see something both clever and stunning. I went to the north of the country to visit the one thing I really wanted to see there, the rice terraces.  In the mountainous north, rice fields are just as required to grow the crop needed to feed the people as they are in the flatter lowlands.  But with less flat land available, the population optimised what they had and created terraced fields to grow the rice. This is what clever, and in this case stunning, looks like. It embodies the mantra

Purpose – Start where you are; use what you have; do what you can.

If you could only have one of the following, which would you choose? £500k; or greater awareness to a cause close to your heart; or to inspire others to greatness? This week I read one of those ‘great-news-stories’ that pop up every once in a while.  An 11-year-old boy slept in a tent in his back garden for 365 days, the purpose was to raise money for a hospice after fundraising events were cancelled due to covid. After he had done the entire year under canvas, he had raised £500k; he had raised awareness of the cause; and he has become

Commitment to your decision, yet flexible in your approach

Can I do commitment?  Sure, I can.  During lockdown, with gyms closed, I decided to do  ‘Couch to 5K’, the running app. I loved it, I was really exhilarated by the continuing challenge and I completed the nine-week course by running three lots of 5K.  I feel so much fitter for having done it – this is the value I gained by committing to the app.  I run an internal strategy for pretty much most things that I do.  I call it ‘the reward before the work’ strategy. Take my run for example, it is a ‘there-and-back circuit’. As I

Courage: You can always do more than you think

Had Columbus feared losing sight of the shore, he would never have encountered the Americas.  Indeed he would never have had the courage to set sail. Now for some illustrative poetic licence. Constantinople – “The city has fallen; we are overrun by an army which pays no heed to world order.” Genoa, not long after – “The trade of the Silk Road is under threat; commerce that was hitherto lucrative is now thrown into uncertainty and disarray. We must adapt if we are to survive this level of cross-border disruption.  The sea route around Africa whilst long and expensive remains

What would Lady GaGa do?

Key to the success of any endeavour is critical thinking Open a dictionary and search for the word ‘critical’ – the first definition offered will be something on the lines of ‘containing or making severe negative judgements’.  And the doer of such a deed, the critic, is defined in equally negative terms; and not least of whom is our inner critic, that voice which has a right go at us when we prioritise our enjoyment over our chores. Not looking good so far is it?  In medicine, we know the phrase ‘critically ill’ is not good, it means there is

‘Flush’ with creativity

What is it about the bathroom and creativity? Archimedes was famously sat in his bathtub when he had his eureka moment.  My guess is that he had taken to his tub for a good old soak and not to indulge ponderings of the day job.  Yet, that was the moment that his muse struck.  Hello creativity! I suspect that many of us have had a similar experience in the bath or shower, but why is it in such odd places that inspiration strikes?  It is because our conscious mind is focused on a very mundane, very safe, auto-pilot style task,

Curiosity is like being lost in the right direction

“Not all those who wander are lost” I came across the quote from JR Tolkien whilst searching online for some post-covid-19 holiday ideas. My search was random at best, so the irony of his words struck me.  Then I paused and considered whether it was indeed ironic? I asked myself how ‘wandering’ appealed to me so much?  The answer was swift, my search strategy had changed because I am planning on going somewhere completely new to me; I love the uncertainty of it, it has an energy that I thrive on.  As the saying goes, I was getting ‘lost in

Normal, how do we know something is?

In an article about the new normal, Natalie Turner used the phrase ‘a new extraordinary’ – now that sparked something; it invited me to question the concept of ‘normal’. As a Master Practitioner and trainer of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) I spend a lot of time examining the language people use and what it belies; after all, “words speak us more than we speak them” said Hercule Poirot, one of the greatest detectives of all time. Why do people choose certain words & what do they think they mean? Why have they made it mean that? And what else could it

The Illusion of Certainty

I came into 2020 with an undeniable feeling of optimism. I was certain it was going to be a good year. I was sure because it was there in black and white in my diary. Stimulating and worthwhile work for fantastic clients around the world. Training and coaching sessions scheduled right through to November. We all know what happened next, an unwelcome and uninvited microscopic invader come to town. Damn! The certainty on which my optimism was based disappeared overnight, and for a while, it felt like an unmanageable loss. But what had I actually lost? Nothing in life is

Making your suitcase lighter

Lightening your life means lightening the load Four years ago on a work trip to Amsterdam in the Netherlands, my friend lost an earring. Not just any old earring either. A diamond earring. A precious gift from his husband. And whilst in one of the major diamond trading centres of the world, how ironic. My friend told me that losing such a precious thing had sparked feelings of self-doubt and loathing that had stayed with him ever since. Lightening his life this was not! But here’s the thing. The earring was never really lost, because four years later it has

Making good choices

Doing the washing up and listening to Radio 4 this weekend I became aware of an unfolding story centering on a school in a refugee camp. Education, the narrator maintained, was the key to transforming the lives of the children. But what do you teach them? That was simple, ‘I teach them to make good choices’. In NLP we learn from the Presuppositions that having a choice is better than not having a choice and that everyone makes the best choice they can at the time. So why did the idea of making good choices resonate so strongly with me?