Category: Personal Development

All posts in that category are associated to personal development.

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.


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 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


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.

The Prince and the Magician

A story related to NLP – I recommend everyone to read the book by John Fowles, the Magus. Amazing!

Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, and he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father’s domains, and no sign of God, the prince believed his father.

But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace and came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore.

“Are those real islands?” asked the young prince.
“Of course they are real islands,” said the man in evening dress.
“And those strange and troubling creatures?”
“They are all genuine and authentic princesses.”
“Then God must also exist!” cried the young prince.
“I am God,” replied the man in evening dress, with a bow.

The young prince returned home as quickly as he could.

“So, you are back,” said his father, the king.
“I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,” said the prince reproachfully.
The king was unmoved.
“Neither real islands, real princesses nor a real God exist.”
“I saw them!”
“Tell me how God was dressed.”
“God was in full evening dress.”
“Were the sleves of his coat rolled back?”
The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled.
“That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.”

At this, the prince returned to the next land and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress.

“My father, the king, has told me who you are,” said the prince indignantly. “You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.”
The man on the shore smiled.
“It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father’s kingdom, there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father’s spell, so you cannot see them.”

The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eye.
“Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?”
The king smiled and rolled back his sleeves.
“Yes, my son, I’m only a magician.”
“Then the man on the other shore was God.”
“The man on the other shore was another magician.”
“I must know the truth, the truth beyond magic.”
“There is no truth beyond magic,” said the king.
The prince was full of sadness. He said “I will kill myself.”
The king by magic caused Death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses.
“Very well,” he said, “I can bear it”.
“You see, my son,” said the king, “you, too, now begin to be a magician.”

From “The Magus” by John Fowles

NLP revisited (1)

What happened in the last week? Business and more business – I had interesting chats, met people and ideas. There are so many of you out there that are interested in people, motivation, coaching and sustainable business. And often someone gets curious and asks “what is NLP” and “I am afraid of NLP”. That happened to me last week too when someone approached me and came up with one of the oldes prejudice I came across in NLP. If someone is looking to the left or right it means something specific…..yes I said, it can be. But it does not have to be – the biggest mistake most people do is to generalize, to assume that if you do A then B must be true. Whilst that, in some cases, can be 99% right, for many other cases it could be 99% wrong. So never assume without knowing the territory ,-)

So let me summarize what I think of NLP. What is DBM and where is the difference.

NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, was developed in the 70-ties. Names associated to this are John Grinder and Richard Bandler (I will not go into much detail as you can read about most of it on various websites, e.g. on Wikipedia).

They discovered patterns of behaviour in people they tried to model based on Neurology/5 senses, Linguistic/Language and programming/structuring. Bandler described NLP as an “attitude and methodology that leaves behind a trail of techniques”.

DBM, Developmental Behavioural Modelling goes beyond NLP. It does not have the ready-made answers or pre-packed solutions. Information in detail can be obtained through the website of Sensory Systems where my thanks and appreciation goes to John McWhirter. His aim is to provide “Empowerment through experiential learning”! Although it has been a few years since I worked with John (or he worked with me), his approach to NLP, his DBM is what makes me “tick”. Thank you John!