All posts by Keith Stammers

Peak performance in sports.

To excel in your chosen sport, and be the best you can, means using your own natural resources, new techniques can be learned from other sports people, to enhance your existing skills. In this article I will explain some of those techniques and I would suggest you try them all out, and keep doing those that work well for you.

The following information is printed to give you an insight to why and how specific techniques work, and I have tried to explain the theory and process in layman terms, making it simple for anyone to follow.

The 5 senses, 1. visualisation, 2. internal voice, 3.kinetics= [muscle memory ] kinasthetics=[ internal feelings ] 4. olfactory [ smell] . 5. gustatory [ taste].The 6th sense -  the vestibular= [inner ear - balance/motion and time ] this also lets you know the difference between past and future, and gives you a sense of time The more senses you can involve the more real the imagined experience will be, this will become apparent when you consider mental rehearsal, as an aid to physical practice. There is a theory that everyone experiences synesthesia [ sensory overlap, where more than one sense works at the same time] – this is for example, where we hear, taste, feel etc – something that we see. Now I know that this might seem unusual to you, but consider some of these examples : A loud colour. When someone says that something sounds fishy.  A sharp taste. A warm voice. The sweet smell of success. You could cut the atmosphere in the room with a knife. You could feel someone looking at you. The theory is that we all have these synesthesias all the time yet we are not consciously aware of them, but often they come out in the phrases we use.The reason that this is useful to know is that sensory overlap can be used in mental rehearsal / practise , opening more new neural pathways, making the rehearsal more real and using more of your own natural existing resources. Albert Einstein used sensory overlap as an exercise that he practised for many years, he did this to improve his intelligence levels, in that the more senses used – the more areas of the brain were involved, thus using more of the brain for his problem solving/ creativity, insight and understanding, opening up more neural pathways, if you can make this a habit you will be using more of your natural resources all the time.

1. Visualisation – Before I go into detail, many people claim that they can not visualise [ they may just not be consciously aware] , so just as a short test try to answer these two questions :  1.What colour is your front door? 2. Where in your bedroom, is your bed situated? For both those answers you would have had to visualise, and what ever clarity you used to answer the question, would be perfectly adequate for sport visualisation. Counter to popular belief it does not have to be like a high definition full colour film and in minute detail.

Practise – look at an object, then close your eyes describing it in detail, keep checking as you go for feedback, and as you do your picture definition and clarity will improve, as it does it will become easier to construct visual scenes/ scenarios, with more clarity.

2. Inner Voice – Again many people claim no inner dialogue [ if you just thought, "I don't have internal dialogue !", when you read that statement, it would have been your inner voice that told you that] . A test that can be used for this is to hold your breath for as long as you can and your inner voice will kick in telling you to breath. The technique with inner voice is to make the voice soft, supportive, friendly and positive, rather than harsh or critical . Experiment with the inner voice close your eyes and point to the direction it comes from, change where it comes from and notice the difference. Do the same with the speed of the voice, and the tonality, when you find one that supports and empowers you make a choice to keep that one. [ Some use a mantra to silence the voice, as in meditation, yet the voice if positive and supportive can be a great aid ].

Practise – Change the inner voice/dialogue, by changing the speed of the voice, tonality, direction it comes from, volume, what it says, etc. And when you find one that suits you try it out for a while and see how you go.

3. Kinetics- muscle memory will be incorporated into the neural pathways when you mentally rehearse your sports movements even when your body is not obviously moving, remember all mental rehearsal should be perfect moves, as perfect practice creates perfect results.

Practise – When visualising with your eyes closed, imagine that you are actually carrying out the moves [ even without physical body movement ] your movement will be recorded in your muscle memory, remember perfect practise makes perfect.

Kinasthetics- internal feelings, these to can be controlled or programmed in to be automatic, so you first need to be clear on the main state / emotion that you require, for example – calm, focus, energy, confidence, etc [ what ever you personally prefer as your peak state for your sport] Once you know the state/emotion you require, the more you access it the easier it will become to recall it at will. Think of it like conditioning a muscle, and it will become second nature.

Practise – For each state / emotion, just close your eyes and remember a time when you experienced the required state, hold the state, become aware of where the feeling is in your body [ eg: chest, stomach etc] Imagine the state intensifying, hold it , then relax. Do this until you can access the required state quickly and at will.

4.Olfactory – smell, they say women are around 10 times more sensitive to smell than men, yet a smell can elicit a forgotten memory very fast, a powerful sense that works directly on the brain. The smell of a soap used at junior school, or a perfume can remind you of someone you once knew. If you are able to incorporate this sense it will make your practices/ rehearsals even more vivid.

Practise – smell + taste – do this with a partner, blindfolded try to identify 10 different foods/ fruits etc first by smell than by taste, to check smell and taste memory get your partner to identify the food/fruit and when you think you recall the smell and taste check both against your memory by smelling them then tasting the item.

5.Gustatory – The sense of taste, closely connected to smell it works in the same way.

6.The Vestibular – the inner ear – gives you a sense of balance, motion, and time and space, this sense is not classified within the 5 senses but is a powerful sense none the less. All movement relies on this sense, working in co-ordination with the others.

Practise – in a safe area with a partner, blindfolded walk in a straight line, walk backwards for 20 steps in a straight line, try to find your way around your room blindfolded. Your recall for past and present is used every day , recall what you had for lunch for every day for the past week, who you met and what you did on each day, remember each exercise opens new and strengthens existing neural pathways.

So how do you use these senses for sport performance ? First you might practise each one and experiment with each individual sense, find what is comfortable and easy for you to use[ senses that are less easy to use will be only because they are less familiar- persistence will pay dividends], test the limits, much as you would with a new car, see what they can do. The  aim is to customise/ tailor, something unique to suit your requirements. Maximising your resources is the aim. Remember there is no best way, it’s just a matter of finding what is best for you.

Once you have familiarised yourself with the individual exercises then link them to your sport in mental practise, this will be easier with some senses than others, yet the ones you do not usually use may make the most positive and noticeable impact on performance. There are no set rules with this, it’s a matter of trying out exercises and keeping what works for you.

 

High Performance loop, The 3 step process.

If you would like to improve your performance / productivity / skills, then try out this process for 7 days, the results will amaze you. Whether it’s to improve your golf game, or to do better at your work and get that promotion  you want, or you might be a student studying for an important exam, this flexible and easy to use, “3 step process”, will give you a quantum leap.

Where does this process come from ?

Back in the 1960′s the American forces were looking for the fastest method that could be used to teach new recruits, new skills, the method had to be reliable, easy to teach to instructors and  easy to use for new recruits, and produce guaranteed results. Rather than trying to invent something new they researched what it was that people who got outstanding results already did, they studied the best sports coaches, outstanding business trainers, and teachers with top performing students. And what they found  was a process that right from day one, immediately showed noticeable improvements, and those improvements continued for as long as the process was followed . What they discovered was a constant improvement loop, a virtuous cycle so to speak.

“The 3 step process”.

Step 1. Focus.

You state exactly what you want, your goal / target / objective, must be stated in the positive [ by that I mean what you want and not what you don’t want, for example I want to reach 9 stone is positive, yet I want to loose weight is negative and states what you don’t want [= weight ] . I want to run 100 meters in XX seconds is positive]. The more specific you can be the better, ie: use exact amounts, dates etc, measurable results, so that when you achieve them you can set your next goal. Positively couched – specific- measurable.

Step 2. Action.

You must take action if you want a result, you make sure that you have the resources you require and you take action, because until you action the goal is just a wish. When they questioned the worlds top performing pistol firing champions, they found that the very best ones said that the first shot they fire is just to get feedback on how near to the target they are, and what adjustments they would have to make. Like a trial balloon or a test marketing trial, you need to know where you stand right now, so that you can move forward in the direction you wish.

Step 3. Feedback and adjust.

Again positive feedback = what you did well [ build on your wins ] and what you could do better the next time, small incremental positive and easy to achieve stepping stone goals, all in the right direction will build your confidence and your competence and empower you to grow, at a speed that you dictate and a speed that is comfortable for you.

There you have it, ” The 3 step process”, a cycle that can be started at any of the 3 steps, a cycle that if built in as a habit will serve you in every area of your life, a constant improvement cycle that will empower you to reach your true potential. Trial this process for 7 days and I promise you you will amaze yourself . Good luck, have fun and above all enjoy the journey. Have a great day, from Keith Stammers.

 

What do yellow tuna have to do with goal setting?

The sun burned down as the John made his way along the dusty trail to a small cove where a fishing boat had just moored. The fishermen were unloading the biggest yellow fin tuna John had ever seen, and there were hundreds of them on the small boat. The Mexican fishermen were packing them into boxes of ice and stacking the boxes on a concrete loading bay in the cove, obviously they had just had a good catch. The unusual thing was that they were back so early it was only 11.30 am.

John called over to one of the men unloading,” are you the captain ?”he enquired. “That’s me”, said the man smiling. “Well I wanted to know if I can buy one of those tuna for my dinner?” said John. “Sure, just pick one”, replied the captain.

“Can I  ask you a question?” said John. The captain looked at him. “I am on holiday from the USA and I have never seen tuna as good quality as these, do you finish work every day this early, with having caught this many tuna ?” “Yes”, said the captain, “I like to spend time with my family, and so do the crew”. “What time do you start?”, asked John. “Well my typical day is, I get up at around 7.30am take a shower and then have a coffee, while my kids get up and get ready for school, at around 8.30am I walk down to the school with the kids, then I make my way down here to the boat. The crew are usually already here at that bar drinking coffee and reading the newspapers, we set sail at around 9am and we usually get back at between 11.30 and 12am ”.

“Do you go back out again for more fish?” said John. “No, we have enough fish for the day”, said the captain. ”The men go home when we finish unloading, these fish will be picked up by a truck in about ten minutes, the driver is on his way. Then I go to the café, I have lunch, read my paper, have a coffee, then I will take a leisurely walk home take a nap for a couple of hours and then pick up the kids from school, we collect my wife from the work, and then take the kids to the beach for a swim. ”

“Well I work in New York”, said John, “In a place called Wall Street, and I help people expand their businesses, I have made hundreds of people into millionaires in the last ten years. Imagine if you and your crew worked from say 7am to 5am every day, you could do three to four fishing trips in a day, if you caught say 3 times as much tuna you could soon buy a second boat then a third. You would have enough tuna to open a tuna canning factory. When you open your factory you could then borrow money using the profit to pay off the loan to open the second factory in the USA where you could get much better prices for your fish because we love tuna in the USA. After that when the factory is in full swing and you have supply contracts with major food retailers you would be a very rich man, in fact I could then help you launch your company on the stock  market, you will be a multi millionaire, you will never have to worry about money again, you and your family will be rich.”

“How long is this going to take?” said the captain.  “Well it normally takes around ten years to do something like this”, said John ,” but you are going to have to work really hard and long hours to make it work, and there are no guarantees”.

“And what am I going to do with all that money?”, said the captain. “Anything you want,” said John. “You’ll be able to relax, get up when you want, take the kids to school, have a leisurely walk around town, have your dinner in the café, pick your kids up from school.”

 

The eyes say it all [ part one ]

Do you know that you can tell if a person is constructing or accessing  memories of pictures, sounds or feelings in their brain by the direction their eyes look?

You can tell whether they are lying / constructing when you ask them a question. Or whether they are remembering a true event.

In this post I am going to teach you how to read peoples eye movements, and in the second post after this I have given you an instagram  guide for reference and a link to 2 Youtube videos to watch, and I know that you are going to learn a lot and have fun with this new information. You will quickly learn to do this as a habit and you will have insight to peoples thinking at a profound level.

Adults and kids will never be able to pull the wool over your eyes again, people will wonder why you know so much about exactly what they are thinking, your communication and persuasion skills will take a quantum leap.

Think about how, you knowing what people are thinking could benefit you in your everyday life [ although in most cases you may not know exactly the minute details, you will have a very good idea, and be able to make a very near / educated guess ].

So lets begin with the lesson. [ this is all drawn on the instagram in part 2]

1.Looking directly at a persons eyes that you are communicating with, if they look  up to the right [ your right] they are “recalling / remembering, an image / a picture. A question to test this might be , what colour is your front door? or, what colour was your first car? in other words a question that will force them to visualise a picture.

2.If you ask them a question that gets them to construct a picture  they will have to look up and to the left [ your left] a question might be for example, describe what would an orange horse would look like. Usually if you ask a question about what someone has done and they look up to the left they are making it up / constructing not recalling.

3.If their eyes look sideways  to the right[ your right] they are recalling a sound / verbalising, so if you ask them some ones name or a place name , or if you ask them what was said, this is where they look.

4.If their eyes look sideways to the left [ your left] they are constructing either a sound or what they are saying rather than recalling it. If they were doing this when taliking about a conversation they had they would be making it up or adding their own bits to it.

5. If their eyes look downwards to the right [ your right] they are using internal dialogue / speaking to themselves. Ask them to think of three reasons to vote for a certain politician, or what shopping they need when they next visit the shops. You will see many people in this pose looking down walking along the street talking to themselves, sometimes you see their mouth moving going over what they will say or should have said in a conversation.

6. Their eyes are looking down and to the left[ your left] this is where the person is remembering a feeling, if you ask a question, describe what it feel like when …… , they will have to look down there to access and describe the feeling.[ the person is looking down to their right[ your left[ this is where the saying “down right angry” comes from, also people have to look down there to access depression, that is why depressed people slump in a poor posture, because depressed people live down there, while they are depressed.

Recap… you looking at their eyes.

1. Up to right = visual recall

2. Up to left = visual construct

3.Right and to the side = auditory recall

4.Left and to the side = auditory construct

5.Down and to the right = internal dialogue

6.Down and to the left= kinasthetic / feelings

Note these eye movements are for right handed people, some left handed people have these eye movements reversed , there are only a minority of the population that are left handed. If in doubt ask them some test questions in general conversation.

I have included an instagram in part 2  and  links to two videos on you tube for you to look at using this process, at the beginning it may seem a lot to remember but you will very soon pick up this skill, try it for a week at work and in your social life, I can promise you that it will be fun, and very educational, this is a skill that you will recieve great benefit from.

Have fun and have a great day, best regards, from Keith.

 

 

 

How to convince anyone more easily.

Everyone has what is called a convincer strategy, this means what it takes for them to be convinced of something. To become convinced some need to see it, some need to hear it or hear about it from others,  in short most have a visual or auditory lead before they get the feeling of being convinced, I will go into more detail on this later.

If you were at a job interview, or trying to sell to a customer, or attempting to persuade someone, if you understand the concept of convincer’s then you will need far less effort to bring them round to your way of thinking. [ Keep in mind this is not a manipulative technique, because if you use it non-ethically, people will know that you are being manipulative and you could lose their trust. It should always be used for win-win outcomes ].

Lets use a couple of scenarios to demonstrate how you might use this technique in a situation. For example you are at a job interview.  Here I would consider you might have extreme competition so this technique would be very appropriate. It will certainly give you the edge. I would suggest very early in the interview that you say to the interviewer , ” Can I ask you a question?” [ people will always allow you to ask a question because it shows you are interested]. When they say ” yes”, the question you ask and the way you phrase it is,  ”I am really interested in this company and particularly this job, if you have an excellent employee, how do you know that they are really good at their job?” Listen carefully to their answer [ take notes if you like because, you are going to analyse what they say, and note taking will make them feel like they are teaching you something ]. If they say something like, “I can see by their results, or I can observe their progress, or I look at how they are doing”, the words , see – observe – look at, are all visual words.

If for example they responded with, ” I would get feedback from customers, or I would talk to their manager, or I would hear on the grapevine”, these are all auditory words. The point of this exercise it to let you know that if someone wants to ” see results”, they won’t be as convinced by you,” telling them”, how well you did. And if they want to hear feed back, they won’t be as easily convinced by you “showing them “, how well you did.

If their main comments to you were auditory convincers then you would for the purposes of the interview tell them about what others have said about your work, maybe even give them some people to phone and talk to about your accomplishments.  Whereas if their preferred mode was visual then you would show them evidence or examples of your accomplishments. [ maybe a letter of recommendation or pictures of something you have done]

This does not mean that you do not use both visual and auditory feedback to them, but you ” must “, use their favoured method, because this will fill up their convincer strategy more quickly and make your job of persuasion far easier.

Visual convincer [ positive ] = Kinasthetic convincer [ positive ]                  Auditory convincer [ positive ] = Kinasthetic convincer [ positive ]          [ kinasthetic means internal feelings] once people have the feeling of being convinced this is often enough for them to make a decision.

People have convincer strategies that may differ in different situations, try out some of the following for yourself to experience what convinces you.

How do you know if a car is an excellent car?   [is it the look? the feel? how it sounds?]                                                                                                                 How do you know if a meal is going to be nice to eat before you taste it? [ is it how it looks? how it smells? Because someone told you how good it is going to be?]                                                                                                            How do you know that is the house you’d like to buy?                                      How do you know that you like a specific item of clothing ?                 How do you choose your shoes?                                                                                      How do you know if someone is good at their job?                                             How do you know where you want to go on holiday?                                        How do you choose what you will eat from a menu?                                         How did you choose your current job or employment?

Some examples of sensory  language used by people –                                     That sounds like a good idea. I see what you mean. That feels right. Something smells a bit fishy. That leaves a bitter taste in your mouth.

I hope that the above questions might have given you more insight to convincer strategies and to yourself as well, the convincer strategy is closely tied to buying strategies, which I will cover in the future, understanding yourself and understanding others will allow you to get more win-wins in life rather than win-lose scenarios, this makes life more balanced for everyone, and remember you reap what you sew, so be ethical in what you put out there.

 

To be the best you have to do whatever it takes.

Have you ever driven on a winding road in pure darkness, where the headlights on your car light up the road far ahead, and that is almost all you can see, just that small patch of lit up road maybe 50 feet ahead of the car. It’s the early hours of the morning just past midnight, the roads are deserted everyone is tucked up in bed, the radio is on and I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to the music at that time on the radio, but it’s mellow, relaxing, your mind just seems to drift off, even the DJ seems to talk slower and in a deeper voice. Time just seems to stand still.
I was driving from London to Scotland to meet my uncle, and it was an 8 hour drive using what they call the A roads, these roads are the original ones that everyone used before the motorways were built, and as I’d just got my licence I preferred to drive on them , even though the journey was longer.

Now the reason for this journey was something my uncle Andy , he’s my mothers brother, had said to me when I was ten years old. I had asked him how he was able to get such fantastic results, how he was able to beat his competitors every time, how he was able to outperform all the others almost effortlessly.

To give you a little background, in Scotland they have these lochs, they are like lakes but very very deep, very similar to Scandinavian fjords, and over one hundred years ago three crofters saved the life of a Scottish nobleman, as a reward he gave these three men the rights to fish his loch for salmon, for four hours per week, and it was from seven until eleven every Sunday morning. They are allowed to keep all the salmon they catch and what they don’t eat they are allowed to sell. These rights have given the three family’s an excellent income over the years. The rights pass to the eldest son in each generation and my uncle Andy currently has the rights.

Each family member is allowed one small rowing boat which is four meters long and two meters wide. My uncle regularly catches around fifty salmon every week but the other two family’s usually catch between five and eight each. No one knows how my uncle does it, and no one has ever been able to find out. This is what I asked him all those years ago, thus the reason for this journey.

I had got a call on Saturday from my uncle saying that if I still wanted to know how he did it, then he would take me out on his rowing boat on Sunday morning and show me how it was done. To get there on time I travelled through the night.

The time was exactly five thirty as I pulled into the gravel drive I could hear the crunching of the stones under the tyres, there was my uncle loading up his van with fishing gear. ” You’re just on time for a cup of tea before we go”, he said.

We got to the loch just before seven and the mist was so thick around the loch, you could only see about ten feet in front of you, the grass was damp under foot as we pushed the rowing boat into the water. Suddenly from out of no where a voice boomed, ” if you are taking him on board with you, I’m coming too”, I was told by my uncle later that, it was the gamekeeper, he’d never been able to work out how my uncle had been catching all those salmon, and had been watching him carefully for years. ” Oh well you can come along but only if you guarantee to keep the secret, and you are going to have to be the one to row “, my uncle told him, the gamekeeper agreed.

We rowed out to a spot picked by my uncle where he told the gamekeeper to stop and pull the oars on board.  My uncle stood up, I sat at one end of the boat, the gamekeeper at the other end and my uncle stood in the middle. “The secret of how I catch so many salmon that’s what you want to know, it’s something that people have wondered about for years, but no one except me knows, and it’s something I expect you both to keep to yourselves”. ” Do I use special bait? No”. “Do I go to a special place in the loch? No”. ” Do i use a special technique? Yes” He pulled out a stick of dynamite from his coat pocket, ” I light this “, he said as he lit the fuse. ” It has a thirty second fuse, exactly thirty seconds, I throw it into the water and the fuse keeps burning, it sinks about 15 feet and when it blows up it stuns the salmon, they float to the surface and we scoop them out of the water with these nets”

The gamekeeper’s face was bright red, he could hardly speak, he was choking on his own words ” you, you, you could be arrested for that, it’s illegal !” he bellowed. With that my uncle threw the stick of dynamite into his lap, ” there’s six seconds left on the fuse, are you going to argue, or are you going to fish,?” he replied.

 

How to experience self hypnosis.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be hypnotised?
Follow the simple steps below and you will get an experience of what it feels like.
Before we do let me tell you a little about what hypnosis is, and what you might expect.
Hypnosis is very similar to meditation, the type that you might experience whilst practicing yoga or deep relaxation. It can be like when you are relaxing in a warm bath and your mind just drifts off and you loose track of time.
Hypnosis is very similar to when you are reading a book and become absorbed in the story, almost like you lose yourself in the pages, for a time you imagine yourself to actually be in the story.
Hypnosis is similar to when you are watching a film, when you are so engrossed in the film that if someone is calling you, you don’t hear them calling.

Again if you are really into your music then you know what it’s like when you are listening to your favourite sounds and the way it makes you feel, that is what hypnosis is like.
In hypnosis it can be like you are focusing on one thing only, to the exclusion of everything else, or it can be like you are focusing on nothing – with no internal dialog, just physical and mental calm.
Hypnosis can feel like you are in a deep trance and your body is heavy, or hypnosis can feel like you are floating, feeling weightless, and looking down at yourself from above. Hypnosis can be many different things for different people, and most find it a very empowering state, enjoyable and calming.
Hypnosis is a naturally occurring state, it enables you to access the sub-conscious, unconscious, other than conscious part of your mind, the part that you are not normally consciously aware of. Hypnosis can help you relax and gives you access to more of your full potential, usually the more creative you are the better your imagination the easier it will be to access your unconscious mind, yet this can be achieved by anyone with practise.

As you can gather hypnosis can be different in many ways from person to person, yet almost always very relaxing. It will give you more access to the out of conscious part of your mind, the part that does everything for you that you are not normally consciously aware of, such as healing, digestion, blood supply, and the working of all your bodys organs, memory, creativity, insight etc, think of it metaphorically as having more access to the controls and software  on a computer and being able to use more of your own natural potential. In hypnosis you are accessing the healing part of your mind.

All hypnosis is really self hypnosis, the hypnotherapist is really just guiding you, a conduit to your unconscious mind so to speak. If you can master this you will have a gift, a power, a tool that you will be able to use to propel yourself academically, in sport, in business or any field you choose,  well beyond your widest dreams, I can promise you that you will surprise yourself with your own abilities.

Practise the following steps and each time you will find your relaxation and access to self hypnosis gets faster, deeper, and easier to do.

Step 1. Body relaxation – Starting with the feet, gently tighten the muscles hold for three seconds then relax from the tips of your toes to the heals on both feet. Now the calves on both legs tighten gently for three seconds then relax from the heals to the knees. Again with the upper thighs tighten hold now gently relax.

Imagine the muscles in your stomach pulled across tightly like elastic bands, now see then loosening relaxing all the way across from one side to the other, if your eyes are not already closed  allow them to close and picture that relaxation as though it were a liquid slowly coming up from the stomach to the chest like liquid filling a glass, completely all the way out to the edges, and slowly moving down each arm all the way out to the tip of each and every finger, allowing the chest, arms, hands and fingers to just relax.

Next the muscles in the neck feel them softening and allow your head to relax in a position that is comfortable, comfortable for you and imagine that relaxation slowly seeping up over the back of your head, scalp, forehead, and gently moving down over the temples and cheeks, and tracing it’s way round the lips allowing the whole face to  become relaxed. And finally the eyes visualise them as two pools of clear still water and imagine that a pebble had just been thrown in to the centre and the ripples moving from the centre are ripples of relaxation allowing the eyes to completely and totally relax .

Step 2. Mind relaxation, for this I am going to ask you to visualise a relaxing scene, lets make it a beach scene, it’s a private and deserted beach, warm with a very light breeze, the perfect temperature. There is a path leading down to this private beach and at the end of the path there are 10 stone steps leading down to the sand, you are at the top of those 10 stone steps and you are going to slowly walk down them and as you do you can let yourself relax just a little more with every step you take. Starting at the top and taking that first step become aware of the feeling of the steps beneath your feet, taking the second step looking down at the sand on the beach down below and noticing the colour and texture. As you take the third step you become aware of the sound of the waves gently lapping on the sand off in the distance….Now taking your fourth step become aware of the warm temperature of the sun on your face and your hands and how relaxing that feeling is, and as you take your fifth step you will notice that with every breath you breath out you can allow yourself to relax just a little bit more than you were before.

As you take the sixth step you look off into the distance and can see the white of the tiny waves as they break on the sand, and you can see where the sea and the sand meet, and how the water soaks into the sand as the waves fall back gently into the sea. With the seventh step you are becoming aware just how relaxing and calm this beach is.

As you take your eighth step you notice how quiet and still the  warm air is as you take a deep breath in and relax even more deeply as you exhale slowly. Taking your ninth step you become aware of a bench at the foot of the steps that you hadn’t seen before, as you take the tenth and final step onto the beach feeling your feet sink into the soft sand now moving slowly  step by step toward that comfortable bench and sitting down.

As you are resting on that bench close your eyes and relax even more, allow your mind to drift, until you are ready to come back into the now, into the room, slowly counting from ten back to one,  awakening by one - tenth  as you count each number back to one ,feeling yourself coming back slowly, feeling relaxed and fresh, feeling energised and alert, taking a deep breath in… and now … wide awake.

You will find that each time you practise this exercise you relax more quickly, more easily and more deeply.

 

IS YOUR GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY ?

There is an old story about a family who had twins and one was an optimist, always laughing and happy, the other was a pessimist always complaining and whining. But these two were extreme so the parents went to see a therapist to get some advice on what they might do to get these twins to change so that they were not so extreme.
They told the therapist that they would like the optimist to be a little less happy and the pessimist to be happier sort of both moving to the middle so to speak. The therapist had an idea. “It’s coming up to Christmas,” he said, ” so why don’t you buy the pessimist some really nice presents and that will make him happy, and give the optimist something that he won’t like and that will make him unhappy, that should do the trick to make them more balanced.”
So early on Christmas morning the parents were awakened by the noise coming from both the twins rooms, they got up and looked through the partially open door of the pessimists room, he was opening the wrapping on a big bike they had bought him, it’s not the colour I like he complained and it’s cheap rubbish he said kicking the bike to the floor, he ripped the wrapping off another present an Apple phone and threw it to the ground smashing it and saying,” that’s not the latest model I wouldn’t be seen dead with that rubbish.” The parents had spent all their money on him and he was kicking the wall and screaming that his Christmas was ruined.
There was hysterical laughter coming from the other room, the parents ran to the optimists room and could see him through the open door. They had filled a large box with donkey dung and wrapped it, he had opened it and was throwing it up the walls laughing and shouting,” yippeee, there is so much donkey dung here, there must be a donkey somewhere.”

How to achieve a big goal.

They say that a mouse can eat an elephant if it does it one bite at a time.
If you have a really big goal, a life ambition, something that is really important to you yet seems daunting, you may be able to achieve it more easily than you might think.

Step 1. Cut the goal down into mini goals, smaller chunks, more easily achievable objectives. Try to make each of these mini goals easily achievable and you will gain confidence / experience / knowledge, as you complete each one, and you will be moving in the right direction, and getting lots of mini wins on the way, which will make the journey more enjoyable too.
Step 2. Put a completion time on each of these mini goals, this will keep you focused, and you will be pacing yourself as you proceed, stretch yourself only as much as is comfortable for your situation, as to your time and resources.
Step 3. Clarify any external resources you might need to reach each goal and plan ahead.
Step 4. Make sure that as you complete each mini goal, that you celebrate each win and reward yourself for a job well done. Give yourself some feedback too by asking these questions – [A] What did I do really well ? [B] If I were to do it again what could I do that would make it even better ? [C] Overall I am moving toward my final goal which is very important to me because ….[ fill in the gap]…. .
Good luck, and I hope your goals and aspirations are achieved. Enjoy the journey and remember to stop and smell the roses on the way.