Author: Volker Ballueder

Weekender Issue….

Hello All,

Not many people read this blog at the moment. Think I need to write more about myself. If I moved this blog to Facebook probably the whole nation is interested….

Back to the main purpose of this blog: it is purely to cover some ground on NLP topics, coaching and philosophical ideas. Things we can change and how we can change it.

What – What is it you want to change?
How – How is it really affecting you?
Why – Why do you really want to change how it is affecting you?

This goes beyond the usual “textbook” – we look into deeper understanding of the mind.

Often I think that looking beyond certain reasoning and beyond people’s motivation I find a psychological problem. Or are all those problems just human and not problems at all. Meeting so many different people lately being away in Germany it seems as if a whole nation has inherited behaviour. Is that possible? If so – will it ever change?

Without wanting to sound prejudice but obvioulsy the older generation in Germany grew up with the stigma them being evil and having to apologies for the 2nd world war. The younger generation partly inherited that thought but some did not. The world-cup last year seems to give Germany some identity and people forgot about their history “giving it a new go“. Ergo, the economy grows, self-confidence grows, spending power grows. All very positive effects.

Can someone imitate or model that behaviour? What if we could model it and implement it in the UK before the 2012 games – would we be able to achieve double the effect? Will China after the 2008 games grow even more massively and liberate itself from communism completely?

I do not want to start a political or historical debate but a purely behavioural debate. Can you train your children to be more successful after they won a soccer-cup? I think you can. Anything can boost your self-confidence, you just have to realize it.

Have a great weekend. Summer is supposed to come back.

Coaching Forms

Another weekend.

I talked to a good friend throughout the week who introduced me to a coaching form. A collection of questions to fulfil certain tasks in order to achieve – happiness?

Whatever one wants to achieve one can set stepping-stones for oneself. But of course there are a lot of forms out there and not all stepping-stones are suitable for everyone.

This form had 100 maximum points and I was devastated only getting 11 out of it. Talking to my friend he says that I did better than him and most people, however, he only aims for 60 as not everything is applicable.

It reminds me of this study they did in Stanford I believe where 50% of the graduate had to write down their goals in life and the other 50% did not. The ones that clearly defined their goals did achieve them and performed better than the control group on their overall career path. Why?

Because if one defines his goal one likes to achieve it, then one is committed and will be working towards it (common sense). One makes (almost) anything happen to achieve the so wanted outcome. This can be monetary, learning a language, reading a book, giving up smoking, loosing weight etc. – defining those goals and making sure that they happen is the job of a coach.

Contact me if there is a goal you need help with to achieve it! I give you the motivation and help you finding the stepping stones!

Have a great and peaceful sunday.


I almost forgot. My friend Mitch from the US sent me a couple of links I am sure he does not mind me publishing them here. They are all about motivation.

I have not watched the Secret one but wait for the DVD to arrived. This one is a favourite of mine:


Find out more about Mitch on his homepage and blog!

Weekend Note

Dear Reader,

It seems to be on Sundays when I have some time. Maybe not loads but I was away again all week and only now finished the book “Memories, Dreams, Reflection” by Jung.

On page 369 he writes “Hence I prefer the term “the unconscious”, knowing that I might equally well speak of “God” or “daimon” if I wished to express myself in mythic language. When I do use such mythic language, I am aware that “mana”, “daimon”, and “God” are synonyms for the unconscious – that is to say, we know just as much or just as little about them as about the latter. People only believe they know much more about them ….” – he describes the advantages of calling the unconscious God/daimon by getting a better objectification or personification.

If the common unconscious, the overall knowledge of the world, is resembled in terms like God or mana, would that mean that we represent our knowledge just in different ways but as long as we believe in the theory of someone watching over it or someone keeping it we are safe. Then we believe in one way or another that the knowledge is kept and accessible for everyone? Do I really understand what Jung wants to tell me there?

For years I used to believe in God but, going through puberty, I decided it is not the thing I can believe, it did not make sense. I now, almost 15 years later, discover that what people call God is the unconscious, the common knowledge represented in one figure? Is the daimon Hillmann talks about (see entry 10th of June) maybe the knowledge giving to us as well. And if we start questioning our own daimon we get to know the unconscious and ourselves?

Why not stand up to our daimon and ask him/her why we are here in this world and what knowledge s/he got for us. It reminds me of a passage of the bible where people question God about the reason he put certain strains upon them.

Is it to believe in any of the theories or is it to help us understand ourselves? Not to become insane thinking about the here and now? Finding a reason of being to make our life worthwhile?

Jung mentions he sees himself as the one that asks questions and that this seemed to be the purpose of life. Has every unconscious a reason for everyone’s life? Is that the daimon then or God who leads our way? Or is it all about trusting in yourself but knowing that the knowledge is kept somewhere if you need it?

Train your brain 8/9 and 9/9


Now the last chapter of Harry Alder’s book “Train your brain”. I embedded a list at Amazon of all the great Harry Alder self-help books.

Let us start with chapter 9: Three Week Peak Performance Plan – that is all, just read the chapter if you want to go on the 21 day exercise.

Before that, read chapter 8: Techniques to Train your brain

  • Balloon Diagrams – they are forerunners to mindmaps and allow you to represent your thoughts in a graphical way
  • Brainstorming – you should be familiar with that and don’t forget the most important rule not to interrupt anyone else or ridicule someone else’s thought/idea
  • Brainwriting – graphically as Brainsketching (one puts ideas on a board graphically, same rules as at Brainstorming applies) or as Brainwriting Pool (one writes 4 ideas on a piece of paper and shares them in the middle, same rules as at Brainstorming again)
  • Chunking – you take a word/problem and chunk it down or up
  • The Concept Fan – you work your ideas backwards; it reminds me of DBM where you e.g. ask yourself “I like to drive a car” – What kind of car you like to drive? How do you like to drive it? Why is it that you like to drive a car? You simply go into more detail and ask for the right motivation and solution to a problem. Sometimes you discover that the obvious answer is not right because the problem described is not the real problem. This is similar to a method mentioned as Repetitive Why Analysis.
  • SWOTs – using the SWOT technique: Strenght, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. Again, DBM has a tool called “FADS” – Fear, Angst, Development, Safety. The more dynamic and the more you might want to move in the model, e.g. you could draw a cross on the floor and stand in the situation, the better. Have someone to guide you through it!
  • Flowscapes – you write down what comes to your mind when thinking of the problem. you then rank them time wise A, B, C – arrange the base list graphically to have a flow-chart. You then examine the points and see where the problem lies.
  • Force Field Analysis – showing similar to SWOT which forces are for or against a situation
  • “How to” Diagram – working backwards asking how to do certain things – very similar to the concept fan
  • Metaphors and Analogies – using stories and examples from out of the workplace to find a new idea.
  • Reversal – you change your point of view by 180 degrees. This can be physically, mentally, imaginative or just by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
  • Root Cause Checklist – checking whether your answers touch the root of the problem. Going deeper into possible solutions.
  • Sleight of Mouth – reframing technique from NLP which is described in detail in Wikipedia.

Let me thank Harry Alder for this great book. It summarizes a lot of NLP, common sense and how to use certain techniques to be more creative, perform better and have a greater life. Enjoy reading it in detail and start changing your life today.

Train your Brain 6/9 and 7/9

Making your own luck

Alder talks about Serendipity – a word I had to look up to be honest. It is about noticing the unnoticeable. About having experience in different fields and ambiguity to find a new way of doing things. Question anything unusual. And, come up with the great idea on how to make life more worthwhile or earn millions of pounds. Whatever might be your goal?

Getting into a creative state of mind

Without wanting to rush, chapter 6 was only a few pages but great examples! Now, back to creativity. Change your self-belief and stimulate your mind. You need to relax, to might want to bounce ideas off other people’s thought/ideas, you like to talk about a problem, draw or write it down…. – do a self-appraisal and find out when you did what and why you were creative. You might have to change your current situation or routine to get into the state of mind you really want.

Alder offers help on “changing a belief”.

  1. Identify the disempowering belief
  2. Decide on an empowering replacement belief
  3. Choose three supportive behaviours
  4. Mentally rehearse your new behaviours

Alder then offers more help on changing beliefs, behaviour, relaxation and refers to the Disney technique. I do not want to go into much detail but his techniques are great and similar to meditation. While meditation really tries clearing the brain and thoughts, his relaxation technique opens up new thoughts and pleasant feelings.

There are only 9 chapters not 21

Feel a little stupid. I summarize the chapters of Alders book and realise there are only 9 chapters. His programme is over 21 days at the end of the book, ergo you really would need to buy it to get the most of it. However, the chapter summaries and techniques and thoughts are here.
Anyone buys me that T-Shirt?!

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.