Where are You going?

‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the cat.
‘I don’t much care where….’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the cat. (Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll)

I wonder, are you at least a bit like Alice? Or do you know which way you ought to go?

For me, those are two very key and associated questions, crying out for essential responses: focus and action.

You see, without focus on an outcome or burning desire, how the heck do you know which way to go? It reminds me of the traveller that arrived on an island that had no signposts: he would reach is destination eventually, after many wrong turns and retracing of steps and starting over. But at least he knew his destination. Do you? Of course even without signposts, our traveller would have done better if he had a map. If know know your outcome, then a map can come in handy. You just need to list or sketch out the route; at least the start and end points. Or use the subconscious GIS/ sat-nav which came with your model, free of charge, on delivery. That’s right, at birth. Your subconscious mind will guide you if you give it a desired destination.

But of course, knowing where you are going is only the start point. You need to take action. You need to step out on your journey. That means breaking your routemap up into achievable chunks or breakpoints, if you like, that enable you to measure your progress. Of course, even with a map or using your sat-nav, you will take wrong turnings (make decisions that turned out not be the best). But that’s life. And what happens when the road ahead is blocked or you get diverted because of roadworks. Well, the key is to persist, remain focussed and take the diverted route till you get back on track.

So, where are You going?

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Will your anchor hold?

“Will your anchor hold in the storms of life” is the rousing song of the Boys’ Brigade, an organisation with global reach that gives youngsters a disciplined, yet creative, and fitness-conscious start in life. Its motto is ‘Steadfast and Sure’ from the second line of that song and its emblem is an anchor with capital B’s either side.

It occurs to me that ‘will your anchor hold’ is also a phrase that applies equally well to one of the key approaches in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). I won’t go in to an in-depth study of ‘anchoring’ just now, but I thought the following little exercise may be useful whether you are new to NLP or just to serve as a reminder.

Okay, make yourself comfortable and calm your mind and let it be filled with silence. Just let all of your current thoughts drift off; observe them and watch them move on. Relax your body as well as your mind and get comfortable.

Then, imagine a time when everything seemed stacked up against you and just wasn’t going your way. You feel anxious and frustrated and angry. Picture yourself in that scene. Hear the angry words. Tap the back of your right hand to anchor this state (anchor #1).

Okay, break state, turn your thoughts elsewhere, on to anything else or just let your mind go quiet.

Now, imagine a time of great elation: of happiness. Feel your muscles relaxed and hear your uncontrollable giggling. You feel on top of the world; relaxed and full of energy: ready to take on any challenge. Tap the back of your left hand to anchor this state (anchor#2).

The key learning here is that you have anchored an unhelpful state of mind (anchor#1) and a very useful resource (anchor#2).

So next time things are going against you just tap the back of your left hand to fire that useul resource.

It works for me; tapping the back of my left hand makes me smile, relax and be ready face any challenge anew.

You should also be aware that you can set different anchors instead of the tapping examples above; by, for example, clicking you fingers in either hand. Choose whatever works for you.

With practice, I’ve found that even just thinking about anchor#2 helps me to smile and lighten my mood.

Go on, try it: and let me know how you get on.