The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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Back Again, But Different

Monday 6 March, 2017

There’s a glorious moment of not-knowing first thing in the morning. Just on the edge of wakefulness, as consciousness beckons, life takes a deep, silent breath and waits. In that moment, before reality comes rushing back in, potential is at its peak. Everything is possible because nothing yet exists. Nothing of our past is present, and the future can’t exist because it has no present to work with. There is only emptiness and silence, both waiting to be filled with whatever comes their way.

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TS 11 – Better Strategies

Friday 24 June, 2016

We begin to strategise much earlier than we think, and if the strategies we choose work – no matter how ineffectively – then we repeat them because it’s easy to do so, and because there is a certain level of risk associated with changing them. In this way our strategies establish themselves so quickly that they soon take on an automatic nature, becoming indistinguishable from our true selves. It therefore takes some effort and commitment to become fully conscious of them; and then more of the same to change them for better ones.

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It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee. That’s the procedure which one participant offered as an example of something he already does whenever he gets stuck or frustrated in his work. He explained that the process of making the coffee changes his focus, calms his mind, and allows him the space to gain enough distance from a particular problem to be able to solve it much quicker than if he were to remain at his desk. It was the ideal example of what this seminar was all about: look after yourself, discover what’s best for you, and use your discoveries to make life easier for yourself.

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TS 1 – Behaviour Patterns

Monday 18 April, 2016

On the afternoon of the first Tuesday Seminar, I sat in the sunshine outside my favourite café to prepare myself. I had my book with me and as I flicked through it, willing inspiration to leap from its pages, a man approached me from the next table and asked where I got it from. He explained that he had read the café’s copy on occasion and was interested to read more. I smiled, informed him that I had written it, and invited him to join me. He sat down and we chatted for an hour. Later that evening he came to the seminar, brought his girlfriend with him, and when it was all over he purchased a copy of the book.

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What We’re Up Against

Wednesday 22 October, 2014

I posted a journal entry recently, from 11 years ago (My Mind At Work’). It was the most difficult entry of all to post because it denigrates the man who helped changed my life. I debated with myself and consulted those close to me on whether or not to publish. It would have been easy not to, but in the end I had little choice because the entry provides important insight into the power of the mind (and script) to undermine our entire process. Back then, I had been warned that such a phase would come, but still I felt powerless to do anything. I was even aware what was happening at the time – as can be seen from a line in the previous day’s entry – but still it seemed there was nothing I could do about it:

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The Doubt Will Always Be There

Thursday 21 August, 2014

It is said of Richard Feynman, the great 20th century physicist, that when he lectured, his students understood the subject matter clearly, yet as soon as they left the lecture hall their understanding evapourated. I had a similar experience when I wrote and posted the previous entry, ‘Desperate To Belong’. During the writing of it, I had clarity about the injunction of not being allowed to dream and the reasons behind my struggle of wanting to conform but also go my own way. Yet as soon as I published the post, the sadness I had written of returned, followed inevitably by the familiar doubt that maybe I am making the wrong choice.

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Desperate To Belong

Tuesday 19 August, 2014

We talked into the early hours of the morning, and he explained to me how I am torn between my need to belong and my desire to go my own way. For years I have been frustrated by the world and my place in it, feeling that if only the world were more like me, then I wouldn’t have to struggle in isolation. In my moments of clarity I reprimand myself, saying it’s my problem, not the world’s, and that if I really had the courage of my own convictions I would stride on down my chosen path, without the need for the world to come with me and keep me company.

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Patterns, Procedures & Routines

Friday 14 March, 2014

There are times when even the best intention to succeed is not enough because events or, more commonly, emotions conspire against us. When that happens, it is worth remembering that there is almost always something you can do about it. This post is a reminder of that, and offers ways to facilitate a more effective process away from those unwanted scenarios.

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The Fork In The Road

Friday 11 October, 2013

It’s that point in the process of behavioural change, at which we are on the verge of laying down a new pathway. As we stand there, deliberating the fresh, untrodden ground for the first time, possibly even drained from the effort it has taken to get this far, it is useful to know that we are also close to rejecting the opportunity in favour of the familiar. Our preparation has taken us tantalisingly close to something new, yet we are about to turn our backs on it all, for a continuation of what we already know so well. This is to be expected and it explains, in part, why developing new habits can be a bit tricky.

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I’ll Make It

Sunday 6 October, 2013

Disembarking from a rush-hour train and racing to catch my connection, my haste dissolved in an instant – first mentally, then physically – as the thought expressed itself that, ‘I’ll make it.‘ In and of itself, this is unspectacular, but for someone whose default position is more concerned with what might go wrong specifically, or just that, generally, something will go wrong, it represents a departure from the norm. My cautionary, nay negative, attitude is such an automatic position that I barely notice it, but on this particular morning it was replaced with ease. The thought came naturally, I relaxed, and then another thought came: ‘Even if I don’t, I’ll be fine‘. And I relaxed even further.

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A Pattern’s Course

Tuesday 23 July, 2013

This post looks at one particular trait of mine – creating dramas – to highlight how patterns originate, are perpetuated, and eventually become automatic. A pattern begins life as a strategy. The strategy starts with a desire. We want something, we find a way to get it, and we repeat it until it becomes second nature. The strategy itself may arise intentionally or by accident, but if it works, there is no real point in changing it. There are many more ways for a strategy not to work, than there are for it to work, so it doesn’t make sense to risk changing anything which already leads to our needs being met.

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Switching To Manual

Thursday 27 June, 2013

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that changing our patterns and habits can seem an arduous undertaking. It feels awkward and unnatural. And it’s tiring. But that is only because we are having to resort to manual techniques in order to make it possible. In any walk of life, the switch from automatic to manual is a frustrating one because automatic, by definition, requires no thought and minimal effort. Manual, on the other hand, is slow and cumbersome. To begin with, at least.

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People’s Patterns

Sunday 28 October, 2012

We assume people will change. We’ve watched loved ones suffer or complain. We’ve dealt with the consequences of a colleague’s below-average performance, and it’s possible we’ve had a frank exchange with a friend to clarify how their future behaviour needs to be. Some of those people have even acknowledged their problem areas, so surely they will have learnt their lesson? Surely it will be different next time? But it isn’t. And if we’re not careful the whole process of expectation, frustration and disappointment will repeat itself.

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