Author: Volker Ballueder

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… 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.

Train your brain 1/9

Now I found the ultimate book by Dr. Harry Alder in my shelf for this blog:

Train your brain:
The ultimate 21 day mental skills programme for peak performance
The synopsis reads as:
Scientific breakthroughs in neurobiological research have identified how extraordinary feats of creativity can be achieved, and how we can all reach this inspired state. This is a discussion of what it means to operate in a state of “flow”, or peak performance, when anything and everything seems possible. Alder shows readers how to identify, achieve and “capture” this heightened state, so that they can experience peak performance at will and take the hit-and-miss element out of personal achievement. The chapters cover: the mind-body experience; right and left brain thinking; achieving a creative state of mind; developing and trusting intuition and insights; creating creativity; turning pressure into peak performance; and creative problem solving. There are also simple practical exercises and examples of what may be achieved when a person is in a state of “flow”.

I am flabbergasted. This book needs to be a guideline for the next 21 days – or as often as I can. Let me aim to get this book’s ideas across by the end of August, it will absolutely fit into the idea of NLP revisited. Dr. Harry Alder has written a lot of very interesting NLP books, surely most of the techniques are not new but show a way of using NLP. So here we go with session one (please note that my aim is not to replace the book but to discuss the chapters, you should still buy the book and other books by Harry and I will not copy any extracts here):

1 Flashes and Flow – Introduction
Flashes are described as sudden ideas or solutions to a problem that show up in your brain. Flow in the contrary are great performances, e.g. once you pass the pain barrier running a marathon, that let you do great things. This body-mind partnership can be trained and peak performance is defined as a holistic, body-mind experience. The process is unconscious but already O’Connor and Seymour state the learning process as:
  1. unconscious incompetence
  2. conscious incompetence
  3. conscious competence
  4. unconscious competence
So no exercises but a purely introduction to which I might add the following list of left and right brain “capabilities”.
Left Brain: Logical, Sequential, Rational, Analytical, Objective, Looks at parts
Right Brain: Random, Intuitive, Holistic, Synthesizing, Subjective, Looks at wholes


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 ….


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:

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 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!


On Lesley’s blog I found this visual DNA. I added it to the bottom of this entry. Although not directly related to the work of CB Consulting it shows associations in visual forms. Another thing used in NLP – pictures; re-framing.

One distinguishes between analog and digital for the 5 senses: to see, to hear, to touch, to smell and to taste! Surely we come back to that. But getting a DNA of your visualization is something new. Like it!

Coaching (1)

“A successful coaching engagement will have a cascading effect, crating positive change beyond the person receiving the coaching.” – Diana and Merril Anderson, from J. Whitmore, Coaching for Performance.

I have not read Whitmore’s book but came across this quote in Clutterbuck’s Coaching the team at work. Most of you reading about coaching must have come along Clutterbuck. I was overly interested in his book about team coaching to see how one can improve team performance without being a team-leader.

In his book he suggests to look up where one finds loads of definitions of coaching – all I found was loads of links to different coaching offers, one linking back to the UK, The Coaching Academy, where I have done a course in the past. And, they just send me more information through the door about running workshops – you cannot avoid their promotional offers and marketing.

However, Clutterbuck summarizes nicely that the most common threads for coaching are:

  • developing personal or group insight
  • performance against specific goals
  • support and encouragement
  • experimentation
  • the effective use of questioning skills

Also, a coach can be seen as a vehicle for taking the individual in the direction they want to travel. That reminds me of an old “joke” about NLP. If someone ask for example a police officer where the station is, the police officer might say “left, 2nd right, on your left hand side”. An NLP person would say “imagine you are already there, how did you manage to get to the station?”. Back to perception and your map of the world. Seriously, is coaching nothing else than the use of NLP, similar of DBM offering techniques for NLP tools so does coaching? Would be interesting to discuss!

I don’t want to stir anything up or devalue coaching at all – what I like to point out is that coaching, DBM or other techniques, e.g. motivation techniques used by so many gurus, are often based on NLP. And what is NLP? Is NLP not common sense? Common sense of life experience modeled so you can use those experience in other life situations? NLP as a basis for development – or is that too generalized?

Now I drift a little away from coaching. But I met people who were obsessed by NLP. It can get me where I want. It is the ultimate thing to know and you are happy and invincible. If I do my Master Practitioner I can teach people the world. Come back to reality! There is no doubt that NLP offers you great tools, as written in NLP revisited. However, it is not an ultimate tool and it depends WHO uses it in WHICH WAY! NLP is not the remedy for everything.

Coming back to coaching. Clutterbuck publishes a great model in his book explaining differences of coaching, mentoring etc. I asked for permission to publish it so hopefully you will see it here soon.

NLP revisited (2)

NLP and DBM are closely connected. NLP is like the tool, e.g. a hammer. With a hammer you can smash glass or a brick. But if you like to master the hammer in order to use it in a useful manner, one needs the technique, goal and direction to put a nail in the wall. DBM goes beyond the tool and provides you with the techniques on how to use it.

Applications of NLP/DBM are universal. In coaching, careers advice, personal development, change management, motivation, sustainable change. Some services of CB Consulting are based on those techniques and tools to achieve sustainable change.

O’Connor and Seymour in their book “Introducing NLP” nicely describe “the map is not the territory”.
An artist, a lumberjack and a botanist taking a stroll through a wood will have a very different experiences and notice very different things. If you go through the world looking for excellence, you will find excellence. If you go through the world looking for problems, you will find problems.

Perception and beliefs are basic understandings of how we see the world.

I just finished reading a book called “Die vergessene Generation (the forgotten generation)” by Sabine Bode – it gives an insight about people who were born during WW2, e.g. their traumas and experience and how those influenced their lifes. Not many people paid attention to this generation that was born during bomb attacks. This generation suffered but tried to ignore their traumas to “move on” and “make things happen”. “Others were worth off” and “you do not speak or talk about your problems, you just get on with it”. This behaviour was passed on to their children and children’s children generation. The attitude of Germans working hard surely might come from that generation which after the war build up a destroyed country. A friend just mentioned recently that women in Berlin (Trümmerfrauen) over-achieved their target per day of cleaning bricks on a regular base. Because their motivation was so high. Maybe their fear of the war coming back was so high? Whatever the motivation was it made them highly successful.

Can our generation, lucky as we do not have any wars in our own countries, learn from their experience on how to motivate ourselves? I believe we can.