Category: Personal

Anything in this category is personal, not family yet not the Sunday Column.

Train your brain 5/9

I hope I do not bore the audience but Alder has really valid points in his book. Whilst some think it is nothing new and more of a guru talk I really think that Alder has a nice guideline into everyday life with things that really work. The next chapter is about:

Turning Stress into Success

The first headline is that people perform better under stress up to a level they cannot cope. This of course is a different level for each individual. So, how do we turn pressure into peak performance? And, please do not confuse pressure and stress, as pressure is something you definitely want to get rid of.

I remember a good friend saying “my stress is all positive stress” – sure, if you start re-framing it (NLP technique), surely it can work as a motivator rather than limiting you. Who does not know those days in the office where you really need to get things done? You create pressure on yourself, artificial stress, and just work your things off to go home at 5. Human flight and fight response I suppose.

Harry Alder has a great graph on the level of pressure in his book. I found another one at Google Search at a university website:

I remember studying that at university. But, I am still not sure how to measure your own anxiety level. Guess it is try-and-error and it is all about yourself. If you do sports, live a healthy life-style and sleep a lot, your anxiety level might be higher and so your performance. However, if you are easily stressed, cannot take any pressure, then you might not have such a high peak performance, a lower anxiety level.

What about the long-run? Can we all perform at peak performance with a high anxiety level? Is this peak performance something to wish for? This comes back to ideas of Work-Life-Balance (this year is the 10th anniversary of WLB) and the idea of relaxing after a proper stretch.

Alder offers a guideline on how to make your own personal pressure training plan. He also talks about re-framing, acceptance of the situation and changing of mentally attitudes. Those NLP techniques are brilliant to make the most of the situation. But do not believe you are a super human – Alder refers to sensory acuity, something John from Sensory Systems often refers to.

This is the first chapter where Alder offers an action plan – mental action plan. It is a great way of changing your attitude towards life and life situations. Best refer in detail to his book!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Train your brain 3/9 and 4/9

We moving quickly: Two-Sided Thinking
In this chapter it is all about the left brain (convergent thinking) and right brain (divergent thinking). Convergent looking for a single solution, divergent opens up possibilities. There is vertical and lateral thinking. Is the latter one “out of the box” thinking? de Bono wrote an interesting book about lateral thinking.
This chapter I found quite poor, touching on thinking processes, feelings and thinking spectrum. Nothing new that we have two sides of the brain that work differently and can be used for different purposes. Supposedly the right side is less used and one can train brain activity for creativity. When I studied I had my desk, wall and room cluttered with so many different coloured things, sparking my brain with new inputs all the time. That worked really well for me. I tried finding a picture but did not. A shame….(maybe better ,-))
Live Changing Lessons In Creativity
This chapter talks about intuition and that you take a break in order to re-cap things and think them over again. It suggest after GIGO (garbage in – garbage out) to really get involved in different things. Extend your hobbies, interests and develop a richer lifestyle. New experiences, challenges, new places, travel – anything that can spark a new input that helps and will be connected to an old problem. That is what we are looking for, isn’t it?
Another common sense rule is to have a good night’s sleep before making a decision, or to have some exercise. Anything again that relaxes the brain whilst the unconscious is still working on the problem. We are just not aware of it. So relax, take it easy before you make any major decisions. I assume that is the same principle that if you get an email from your boss saying “the work you have done is crap” – then you should rather walk the anger off or meditate for 10 minutes rather then press “reply” straight away. The heat of affection usually does not help.
Alder also suggests that a good question is 80% of a good answer; meaning if you really know where you want to go and end up with, ask the right questions to filter the right answers. Get away from the crowds, take on a different thinking hat (de Bono) and look at the problem from different angles and see what you can do differently.
That is what I will do now. I will walk away and leave you with this brain-twister.

Train your brain 2/9

World Changing Creativity

In this chapter it is all about taking your mind off things to come up with the answer to a question that you already know in your unconscious. Musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, scientists and so on have experienced it. Everyone of us has experienced it. But there does not seem to be a how and why?

What I would be interested in is how do you spark your creativity? How do you think outside the box? Einstein who “sat on light beam”.

On my homepage I have Alan Alda’s quote:

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.

Going into the wilderness of intuition and on the other hand Alder says take your mind off. Going for a walk, sleeping on the sofa, doing something different. Was it not proven that people who go outside for a cigarette break during their working day come up with more ideas than others. But, you do not have to start smoking in order to be creative.

Anything will do, e.g. you are working on a problem on how to find a job. If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. Be creative, think outside the box. Start thinking about other ways on how to find the right job and then do not think about it for a while. Your unconscious still works on it and bang…..it might just happen while you do the dishes, you think of a new way and find the job you always wanted.

Nothing spectacular I suppose – not a new technique at all.

C.G. Jung

What a dream – this book by C.G. Jung “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”!

When I bought it weeks ago it was a very slow reading but now. Just through almost half of the book when Jung says “This dream represented my situation at the time (pg. 224). … This dream brought with it a sense of finality. I saw that here the goal had been revealed. One could not go beyond the centre. The centre is the goal, and everything is directed towards that centre. Through this dream I understood that the self is the principle and archetype of orientation and meaning. Therein lies its healing function. For me, this insight signified an approach to the centre and therefore to the goal. Out of it emerged a first inkling of my personal myth….”

Wow. Is Jung saying that the truth of oneself is laying inside us. Similar to what Buddhism says? It was the time when he drew a lot of mandalas. When he was trying to find himself. As far as I am aware it was before he studied life in India and different religions but the mandalas suggest otherwise. Does it matter. The truth, the inner truth, is revealed by going to the centre where there is no beyond. It is the final point. If one reaches that inner centre of oneself that is as far as one can go. “Self is the principle of orientation and meaning” – oneself, I am what my direction is, my orientation. My life lies within me, myself. Is that what he tries to say. A healing function? An inkling, a start of personal myth, personal story.

Can we conclude that if we find our inner self that we find our own direction, orientation and fulfilment. That we know where we belong and go to and can develop the way we meant to develop?

That is great. I continue reading and let you know how we can get there? What is the path to the inner centre? Is it through dreams? Through meditation? Our unconscious?


Another quote I found of Jung:

I had to abandon the idea of the superordinate position of the ego. … I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation. … I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate.C. G. Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

Happiness

Sitting at home tonight I was thinking what would be my ideal life? How many of you have thought about that?

I did what I usually do, I looked up Wikipedia and found this. Also, Google Image Search gave me the picture to the left.

Did you notice that if you look for happiness (literally) then you do find “Sehnsucht” – a feeling that is described by longing for something.

Drugs were used to create the same feeling -advertisement for alcohol and cigarettes were playing with those feelings. Are we all longing for happiness?

Also I found the World Database of Happiness, describing happiness as: Happiness is defined as ‘the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of her/his life as-a-whole favorably’. In other words: how much s/he likes the life he leads.

I did not know that so many people talk about happiness and find definitions of it. How do I define happiness, how do you define happiness?

What about “We are happy when for everything inside us there is a corresponding something outside us“, William Butler Yeats. When all outside forces have an inside force and the system is in a neutral situation. Something that reminds me of my physics and technical mechanic classes. Everytime a force is moving something downwards there is a force working against it in the opposite direction to get the equilibrium. So, does that mean equilibrium is happiness?

How do we achieve happiness? Can we achieve happiness by living a religious life? A Buddihst life maybe? Latter one is the most common life-style associated with happiness but does that mean that other religions do not offer happiness? Why buddism? Does Buddism offer the equilibrium we are looking for? Does Buddism openly discuss the idea of accepting and working with the forces in the world. Seeing a force or energy flow towards you as a challenge and something you can absorp in order to work against it. Would you then become the opposite force, part of the system which is in equilibrium, and as part of that system how can you be happy carrying a force in you?

Lets use an example: if X critizises Y all the time then there is force of X working towards Y.

X -> Y; so Y now could use some force against X by swearing for instance, resulting in the following system: X -> (Y<-) – is that the mathematical equation of happiness that if you keep any opposing force inside yourself and do not take it to the outside, then you are happy and in equilibrium, whilst X would not be happy?

I would like some comments on that – can spiritual development be so easy?

Mit einem astralen Handschlag verbleibe ich…. which according to Google-Translation says
With a astralen hand impact I remain ….

Hellinger

Hello Everyone!

It has been a week. Mainly because I was away with work in Germany and met interesting people again. I will be away most of following weeks, so apologies for any delay in publishing things.

I still wanted to make a note on Hellinger. Why? First of all I had a family constellation with Hellinger’s therapy back in 2000; and in 2001 I wrote an essay about it. It showed me why I did certain things and acted in certain ways, being influenced not only by my parents but also by my “Urfamilie” which means the family since the start of existence of the family. I found a strong link to my dead grand-father who died 6 years before I was born. Is that coincidence, can that be real?

Hellinger states that people could get neurosis by either identification and moving towards a dead person in the family or by moving towards a living person which then is not available, e.g. an ill mother in hospital that cannot be visited. Both situations can lead to a feeling of being neglected.

Hellinger uses Transactional Analysis (TA) and visualisation of constellations to change the group situation. In a “live group therapy” other group members can play a part of the family and talking to group members, imagining them being a part of the family, can help solving issues, e.g. “I forgive you father for ….”.

The original situation, our “Urfamilie” will be enlarged over the years with other strong relationships, e.g. wife, good friend, our own children, mentors, work colleagues etc. All of those can play a role in our behaviour and our life. In order to have a balanced life, Hellinger gives several examples of people giving and taking equal amounts to be happy. Some groups cannot take on any happiness because they feel like they have not the right to be happy. They feel it is unfair for them to be happy and like to suffer with those that never had the chance to be happy.

Taking amounts can relate to anything – material and non-material goods. Happiness is an example and money could be an example. There are people that try to buy themselves happiness or trying to give great gifts to their partner in order to buy themselves or their partner happiness.

Whilst Hellinger is not a theory that I take for granted I find his ideas fascinating. In my case there was someone years ago that had an influence on my life. How could he have done that? Was it because people in the family talked about it and we identified ourselves with it? Let’s use my granddad who I admired. He liked his drink, smoked, seemed to be the cool guy I identified myself with when I was 20. Now, what would Helllinger’s constellation show me now? Would I still identify myself with him, maybe do I carry a burden of never meeting him?

I do not think so. Neither do I smoke nor am I need to be the cool guy. However, Hellinger’s group constellation could show me other things. E.g. there is surely something in my family I still carry around, a burden which influences my current life. Could I solve it in any other way? Do I need to solve it?

There is no clear yes/no answer to any of those questions. I truly believe Hellinger has a point of showing possible connections within the family/group and can explain problems and influences. Going too far with it could lead to blaming everything on the family.

Maybe a good example is if someone changes jobs and discussed – first for herself – whether that is the right job. Money, career perspectives etc. She might come to the conclusion and sees that the money is enough and the job is great because it makes her happy. She then talks to her father who thinks that she can earn more. And that money is more important. Is that Hellinger that he has influence on her? Is that just natural thoughts of “I should listen to my dad, he taught me so much and was always right”. Maybe she will come to terms that “dad is right” or to terms that “dad, I understand your concern, but I live my own life and decided what is important for me and that this is not always important for you”. Is that Hellinger? No, that is common sense and the dad would surely come to terms of “yes, daughter, I accept you the way you are”.

Those things are not always that easy and can lead to a conflicts. Surely in more complicated cases Hellinger or family constellations can help. I leave any further thoughts with you – as you should not blame any situation straight on the family just because it is most likely. There are other influences out there that should not be neglected!

Have a great Sunday!

Another Sunday

Sad but only on Sundays I find time to post at the moment. This week was very hectic and stressful and the next few weeks I am going to be away.

I am thinking a lot about the book from Hillmann about the idea that, as Plato already said in the Antique, all humans have an inner voice, the soul, spirit, guardian angel – the information of our life are already incorporated. No matter what we do we become what we are meant to be. Similar to a seed of a tree which has all the information of that tree inside the seed. Here are the original back cover notes of Hillmann’s book:

Synopsis
A Jungian analyst explores the fundamental question of human existence and identity, discussing such topics as fate, character, motivation, intuition, vision, impulse, and calling.

From the Back Cover
Plato and the Greeks called it ‘daimon‘, the Romans ‘genius’, the Christians ‘Guardian Angel’ – and today we use terms such as ‘heart’, ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’. For James Hillman it is the central and guiding force of his utterly unique and compelling ‘acorn theory’ which proposes that each life is formed by a particular image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny, just as the mighty oak’s destiny is written in the tiny acorn.
Highly accessible and imaginative, The Soul’s Code offers a liberating vision of childhood troubles and an exciting approach to themes such as fate and fatalism, character and desire, family influence and freedom, and, most of all, calling – that invisible mystery at the centre of every life that voices the fundamental question, ‘What is it, in my heart, that I must do, be, and have? And why?’

It has been 6 years since I read that book on a holiday in Spain. Going through it at the weekend I was thinking that if there is a daimon that chose the sperm of my dad and the egg of my mum to make me and that this combination will make me whatever I am supposed to become – then I could do what I want and will turn out to be what I am supposed to be? Would that really work?

If I meant to be a superstar but decide to give up my job and live on an island on a little farm – would I still become the superstar? Maybe – maybe not. How would you measure what is inside you and what is formed through external influence. Who has measured character before?

Maybe it is a nice theory and surely worth knowing about it but maybe it is taking it too far. Not that I do not believe that life is pre-destined but I do not believe that we cannot influence things. What meant to be meant to be but our influence can change the route. Very phlosophical. Maybe too philosophical for a Sunday afternoon/evening.

I leave it with you. See you all next week.

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

Sunday Thoughts

I am still not sure, and my fiancée asked me that last night, how many people actually read this blog or are interested in it. Purpose – purpose of this blog is not necessarily to create a new dictionary of thoughts but more of a collection, a diary if you like, of what I read, process and think about. To give an insight into the availability of literature, theories and how to use them to increase personal and corporate performance. That is in a nutshell.

Hellinger – I thought a lot about his theories last night whilst having a BBQ. There is a site called www.hellinger.co.uk which shows practitioners and a definition online for the UK. I went to my shelf and got a book from Angelika Glöckner “Lieber Vater, liebe Mutter” and Gunthard Weber “Zweierlei Glück” and James Hillman “Charakter und Selbstbestimmung“.

All those books will be, alongside an essay I wrote on Hellinger, be revisited shortly. At the moment I struggle to find enough time next to my day job to revisit too many theories. As I said to a friend the other day, if I won the lottery I would spend half of my money on books at Amazon and the other half on a good life at the end of the world where I read and study until the end of my days….Have a great Sunday!

Website live

Hello Readers,

Now my homepage www.cb-consulting.co.uk is finished. Hurray! Congratulations ,-)

What are the next steps? Due to my main job constraints I did not progress with my blog as quickly as I would have liked to but surely I catch up over the next week. So let me know what you think about my website and my services. Any suggestions? Any queries?

Have a good weekend,
Volker

First Note

Dear Reader,

Today is the 5th of May 2007. I just started setting up my own company called CB Consulting. The papers are ready, the website registered, the aim and purpose is clear and now I created a blog.

This blog will be hidden until I started putting the first topics down. Those will be about NLP, DBM, Buddhism, Spirituality, Business, Management, Careers….. – anything that relates to the service of CB Consulting.

To find out more about me please visit www.cb-consulting.co.uk or click on the link to the site.
Many thanks for your interest.

Yours
Volker