The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Getting 'Off the mark'!

Public Speaking

"I'm off the mark - I've broken my duck".
Last week saw my very first venture into public speaking. Now I have to go back a very long way for my first public performance in any format – but just speaking, for donkey’s years anyway, was always an area I avoided; was always an area that gave me that sinking feeling of trepidation, the cold sweat, the “that’s not the kind of thing I do” type of comment.
I’d done singing and acting from young, and the thing about performances like that was that I was wearing the cloak of character. Even when I sang comedy songs to my own accompaniment, I was playing the roles of both comedian and guitarist – it wasn’t REALLY ME. The real me was locked away somewhere in a shy little room. Even when I performed sport, I was playing the role of sportsman, player or even a position specific role. The real ME was not actually on show.

So when it came to public speaking, the whole spectrum – from large audiences right down to introducing myself to a group of people, or just several, or even just one – was a vast area of discomfort for me. If I had the choice then I wouldn’t go there.
So my ‘maiden’ engagement – how did it go?

Well amidst the pleasure of doing it there were some interesting moments of learning, and learning from past ‘mistakes’.
In terms of the past – here - I would describe the mistake in particular as being a “miss-take” since if there had been any filming taking place then a miss-take would have been the best way to describe it.  
In “Getting out of our own way” which was written in May 2011, I mentioned my two 'identical' lessons.  I’d invite you to perhaps visit this article to get an idea of what went on for me back then.

To cut to the chase in terms of last week, I was required to do two identical presentations – each to half of the delegates attending a small conference of mainly life, business and leadership coaches. Now the experiences I’d written about released me from the necessity to make these presentations exactly identical. I had the framework of content I wanted to deliver, and that was the end of it. And – having trusted the unconscious ‘inner’ guiding hand – this was how they turned out.
Both slightly different!
Each one drew upon the energy in the room, to allow me to make subtle changes to my energy - which I then fed back to the room allowing me to make subtle changes to their energy ... and so on! On a non-verbal level it was a fascinating experience – only possible because I was totally engaged in the moment (not stuck in my head) and highly attuned to every nuance in the room. If I had to quantify what I mean when I say “I get a great buzz out of doing this,” then this being attuned to the nuances and utilising them IS that Buzz.
Of course, neither audience knew what the differences were! Only I did, AND that had been planned for.
And this brings me to the other main learning experience.

Planned for
Whatever we might plan for in a scenario, especially one such as this, it’s always worthwhile having an alternative route or a get-out clause, a plan B. Of course if we do this and convince ourselves in advance that there is only one alternative, then what do we do if both plans A and B fail? Well there’s a spin-off here from our thinking in advance which can lead to our sending ourselves down the plug-hole, or into a brick wall – when we are in the moment on stage.
And for stage here we can extend this metaphor to life and to “All the world’s a stage.”

The advance thinking can close our doors to the fact that there are actually an infinite number of alternatives – some of which maybe even better than our original plans!
The Village Concert

A few years back I was involved as a performer in our local Village Concert. One part of it was a comedy sketch that several of us were acting out, and we’d rehearsed this over a number of weeks beforehand.
On the big night things were good – the village hall was full and all performers were keyed up (in their own particular ways) to do ‘their bit’.
Time came for the comedy sketch.
Now, at one point in the sketch I was meant to read something aloud from a sheet – like a proclamation, let’s say. Circumstantial timing can be everything – and as I held up the sheet to say my next lines all the lights fused in the hall. There was a hush and the odd, “Ooooh,” and then I said to the audience – in total darkness – “Lucky for me I’ve got the Braille version so I can just carry on.” Before I’d reached the words “carry on” however, I was hit by a wall of loud spontaneous laughter which, given that it came out of the pitch black darkness, was very surreal and very electrifying.
We never finished the sketch, though the lights were fixed after a couple of minutes. We went straight to the Interval and the audience were buzzing as they enjoyed their tea and cakes.
The point here was that, trusting the unconscious had allowed for spontaneity in performance – factor in the audience’s unconscious response as well and we all had an electrifying moment, made possible by the very lack of electricity.

Padlock and keys
So what about my best laid plans in last week’s performance?
In order to illustrate something I was going to use a padlock and keys. However - when I went back to the car to get my various ‘props and things’ – could I find the padlock and keys? Nyet.
I also could not find where I’d put my speech running order. Horror of horrors. This was potential turmoil. I searched and searched - and then abandoned ship!

Suddenly it seemed I had lost my conscious mind, and as I went back into the venue reception area I was hit by THE driest mouth I’d ever experienced in my life! Interestingly – at that moment, instead of handing everything over to my thinking, I handed everything over to my unconscious instead. I went and got a beaker full of water to moisten the mouth and went to the ‘stage area’ from where I would present. I wrote some headings on a flip chart pertaining to my talk – The Mind Body Links in Sport – and by then things were starting to flow. I scribbled in pencil, on the flip chart, the bullet points of my running order. The audience would not see these scribblings, but they were visible for me right up close. I then still had plenty of time to drink some more water and just get in tune with the ambience of the room and the assembling audience. I knew what I would use instead of the missing padlock and keys, and so everything was ready.
The rest was pure enjoyment and all about engaging in the moment. I loved every part of the performance experience – and I think it went down well, in both slightly different versions, with the audience too.

I could have panicked – I could have bombed – but the lost padlock and running order happened for a purpose. And that purpose was a learning opportunity in the moment, which I seized!
Carpe Diem!

The audio version is now available here:

Showcasing my "Bookshop"

It's another holiday time, so I thought I'd revisit and showcase the "bookshop"!
I actually do have another book building on the horizon, but it is going to be somewhat different from the first three that are mentioned below. These are all very much from the self development, self discovery mould, and are all available through general outlets having, as they do, ISBN numbers.
I also now have an active YouTube channel with audio uploads of spoken versions of chapters from "Mind How You Go", "Lamplighters" and also more recent blogs. I actually plan to do audio versions of all new articles; especially as they have been requested and also that for some folk the spoken word is more favoured than the written one.
Anyway, here are the books - each with a short background resume and buying links.

"Mind How You Go - Steps to enhance your Life's Journey" is rather like an observational route map of the journey into, around and through the Mind. It explores and examines issues we might commonly encounter on this journey, and helps to open up the Mind to different approaches designed to help make this journey better, smoother, more interesting, and more rewarding.

Lulu Marketplace:



Many years ago before electric street lights, the lamplighter was a man who was employed by the town to go round lighting all the street lamps at the onset of evening, and minding them and keeping them lit throughout the night. He would also put them out in the morning. This book is a metaphorical look at lamplighting, and instances where we can take steps to keep our mental lamps alight and the streets of our life well lit. It takes a closer look at some of our cultural myths, preconceptions and superstitions. It examines some of the 'young wives tales' that sneak, via parlance, into the fabric of our understanding of our world - that world that our perceptions have, often while we were looking the other way, fashioned into being 'the real world'.

Lulu Marketplace



"Don't Think of a Black Cat"

Don't Think of a Black Cat is a practical NLP beginners guide. Performance is vital these days in sport, business, performing arts, and our daily lives. NLP and other techniques associated with performance psychology are explained and explored with practical examples and thought-provoking exercises, all designed to help build and enhance a toolkit of personal skills both for yourself and your colleagues, clients and players. This fun and interesting book is a perfect way to get into the subject.

Lulu Marketplace (also use this link to obtain a downloadable eVersion)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Finding Carols

The Shopping List: Milk-Paper-Croissants

Sometimes things just leap out at you by association.
Years ago I was watching a bus reversing and as it did, it played a loud ‘warning’ jingle that musically reminded me of the passage in Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream overture that represented the character Bottom when he wore the donkey’s head. 
Donkey is quite appropriate you might think, especially if you read this and do not know the piece of music in question! Nutty as a fruit cake, you may be saying ...
And so to this morning’s associative mental connection which appeared as I looked at the first 3 items on my shopping list.
Because of the syllabic rhythm, AND guided by ‘paper’ in the middle position, I immediately went to ... yes you guessed

Still nutty after all these years?!
But of course, the sounds from a reversing double-decker bus have seemingly nothing whatsoever to do with either Mendelssohn or Shakespeare – similarly milk and stone, or croissants and scissors, are, in a geographical sense, poles apart as well.

Making links
The only linkage is in our own minds, our memory, our references. 

One of the features of our neuro-linguistic or neuro-sensory capabilities is to make connections and associations like that. It seems to be related to the way we code up and then index internal information. Then, when we are processing ‘new’ data we ‘scan’ the index for familiarity so the ‘new’ thing can be filed there as well as being coded with its own ‘co-ordinates’.

And as you may have noticed what I’m having to do here is to make some associative generalisations between neurological functions and some mechanical or electronic digital processing. Of course our brains are amazing and can process associations and make connections very much faster than even the most sophisticated computer, and in a totally non-sequential and analogue way.

I met someone yesterday who looked very much like someone else I know. She didn’t really sound like her, but there was enough of an association to flag up for me a degree of familiarity with her appearance. This then released into my consciousness other indexing I had done in terms of the person I did know. My thoughts, feelings and behaviour were modified as a result of this because it ‘seemed’ I was talking to someone I knew, even though I clearly understood I was meeting this person for the first time.
You could say I knew I was talking to someone I knew was new.
My unconscious responses were overriding my conscious understanding of what was real here – or, to put it another way, I was adapting and making up a new version of my reality before I’d even had time to consciously realise what was going on.
If you’d been able to analyse the “black box flight recorder” of my life through this episode you’d have probably heard this cockpit conversation between the conscious and unconscious:

Consc:    This isn’t Carol. Why am I thinking and behaving as though it is Carol?
Uncon:   She looks like Carol so I got out your files for Carol.
Consc:    Yea but her voice isn’t Carol’s. And you got the files out purely based on visual?
Uncon:   Yes – it made sense because I saw her first. Anyway, what shall we do now?
Consc:    Leave it. I’ll run with the Carol files especially as I feel more comfortable feeling as if, to some degree, that she’s Carol. BUT – I want you to make detailed mental notes of what is DIFFERENT about her so I can remember her properly as an individual, not as a person who is somewhat LIKE Carol.
Uncon:   Ok, Ok, I get the message.        and so on ...
This could very well be subjective make-believe, I know.

Shifting the Cloak of Familiarity

However, consider the gaps in the journey between meeting – getting to know – knowing. There’s a cloak of familiarity that is in the equation here. And if we sneak that cloak so that it lies over the “meeting” section, then the journey will be a different one.
We will be more relaxed when meeting someone if the familiarity cloak is ‘in play’ and will be more natural and less self-conscious. In my mind-body experience there will be more resonance and rapport. This will in turn relax the other person, unconsciously fine tune their behaviour, and increase the resonance and rapport they feel also. Pretty soon we’ll be getting on really well – and in some instances this could quickly become “like a house on fire”.

Consider two shy people at a party or social gathering. How do they ever get to meet and talk to each other? And yet they invariably do! Their shyness is a common ‘bond’ – there’s a resonance here of cloaked unfamiliarity. They seem to be running an entirely different set of unconscious responses from the un-shy, which they then each see in each other.
I was very shy in my youth, and knowledge of using the familiarity cloak would have saved a lot of gut-wrenching heartache, to be honest.
Let’s say I’d gone to parties or dances, with the idea, nay the belief, that I would notice many “Carols” in the room and become familiar with that as a strategy. It would certainly have kicked into touch the usual scenario of thinking “she looks nice – far too nice to want to talk to me”.

The conscious – unconscious ratio
The familiar and the unfamiliar, comfort and discomfort – we’re either being protective of our inner sensitivities, our vulnerability; or we are feeling safe, in control of the world’s impacts on those sensitivities. When we are consciously striving for continuous and watchful control, then we are practising and become, over time, very good at being prisoners of our own thinking.

I can remember my first experience of feeling I was losing my grip on my excessive conscious control – it was a kind of delirium, like being drunk but not on alcohol, like being on drugs but not having taken anything. It was, at times, like I was in the ‘observation seat’ watching another part of me running my life.
At the time, of course, I had no idea what this was, and put it down to tiredness, over-work, but certainly nothing relating to the conscious-unconscious ratio. Of course the instances of this experience waned as I got back to more and more running my life from a thinking perspective. This was familiar – I was back to my old self again – I was ‘better’ – I’d returned to the comfort zone – I was on safe ground.
Now you could say here that I’ve travelled a million miles from being like that. These days I’m very comfortable with my own unfamiliar, and this has been an enormous personal gain for me. It enables me to do what I do in terms of performance, it enables me to be the best I can be in the moment. And above all it helps me find Carols.

Every client, every coachee, every person my life collides with – is a Carol. Whether you believe it or not, there’s a collectiveness, a sense of connection, between us all. Some people are oblivious to this, some tap into it from time to time then return to their inner and insular world, some allow it to become part of their stream of life, some have it all their lives and know nothing different.
So, when you notice the “nuttiness” of some of your more wacky connections – rather like I did when I climbed aboard the reversing bus – be comfortable with the unfamiliar notion that your “Carols” are there for a purpose, for you. Loosen that white-knuckle grip on your conscious reality – especially as it is not really real anyway – and embrace the newness in every experience. You’ll discover that it’s the best and quickest way to varying your conscious – unconscious ratio!

Life is for living not thinking.

Audio version now available here - 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Boswellian sense of franking?


One of this morning's emails was an invitation from an office machine company to try out a franking machine for free - which they billed as ...
"Free Franking Trial"

 ... and then off went my train of thought!

A Franking Trial eh, which will enable me to gain franking sense, presumably?

And of course, armed with this 6th (or maybe even 7th) sense I could then take on the role of a latter-day King Melchior, even though his original references are buried in antiquity along with that gold and myrrh.

So - do I sense a burning desire here to take them up on this Free Franking Trial? To be honest - no, quite frankly. Because this was spam, all very much designed to get me to part with my gold.


This morning's client session was, ostensibly, all about her relationship with food. Although it turned out - as is usually the case - that it is never just about how that food relationship is playing out in our lives like that isn't it. That playing out is sequentially consequential, for when we are distracted or focussed elsewhere then a different sequence is running. And too of course, where else in our lives do other sequences and strategies run, or walk, or grind to halt so that a little further down the line we end up stuck?


And so also it is a literary obsession, where a writer's relationship with words can turn out some of the finest poetic rhymings.
However, our language to ourselves is, and ever shall be, the vehicle for many a mantra to distract, divert and coerce us into taking a different path in our lives. And our language is the very mortar that holds us firmly bound on that path, towards that place - further down the line - of no more comings and goings.
And though there seems no rhyme or reason for this impasse in our lives, we often seem powerless to break free. So -

Pause traveller and spare a thought for the gazelle in the lion's jaws.


When our thought stream rages like a river in flood, and the mill race turns the wheel at breakneck speed, there is so much white water and debris in our mind that we cannot make good flour to feed our conscious appetite.
In the very ordinary of our lives we need to know how to be masters over our own minds - we need to know who has charge of the run of the mill. While we cannot control the torrent or indeed any facets of the stream - we can control the head of the mill race and the subsequent speed of the mill wheel.

And we intuitively know that when we have good quality flour, then our lives can begin to blossom once more.


And when flowers and blooming, like that, what happens to fragrance, aromas and scents?

In a sense we know intuitively, rather as seeds follow blossom, that the generation of change in our lives for next year and the future is there to be nurtured, cared for and managed until integrated into the very fabric our being.

Then we can mill good flour, eat well, and consign life's spam back from whence it came.

An Audio version of this article is available on my YouTube channel here:-

Sunday, March 17, 2013


The Paper Shop

I went into our local paper shop yesterday to pick up the Saturday paper and a bag of sweets for my Dad. There was one lady serving on the counter and she was busy dealing with the person in front of me who was fussing and taking a bit of a while.
Then a couple, not young, came and stood next to me waiting to be served as well. At this point, a young assistant came to help out the one serving lady and said, “Who’s next?” The man next to me grunted at (presumably) his wife and pointed at the young assistant and she stepped forward and got served.

This scenario describes one of my “pet hates”.
I was queuing, and they were queuing. Unless they were blind or thicker than two of the thickest short planks, it was obvious who was further up the queue!

Now we Brits are polite but one of the conditions of that politeness is that a sense of fair play, a level playing field, playing with a straight bat, is demanded from others. For me - when others ignore this – and “Mr & Mrs Grunter” clearly ignored this – it triggers a series of conditioned responses. These responses go back a long way, and are mixed with even earlier childhood conditioned responses! The net result is a behavioural streak that is way out of character.

Anyway - yesterday, I noticed this sequence building so I just took a deep breath, examined Mr & Mrs Grunter with a benign, yet still piercing, gaze, and remained in silence waiting to be served. The link between thoughts and tongue had been severed!
The Gifts

After dealing with Mr & Mrs Grunter the young assistant melted back into the shadows, and I was served by the lady I’d seen when originally waiting in the queue. She was a joy – chatty, chirpy, and there was clearly more for her in her job than just taking money off people.
When I’d got my change I turned and moved towards the door. Outside was an elderly lady with a walking stick, a bit wobbly on her ‘pins’, negotiating with herself and accoutrements as she approached the door to come into the shop. I held the door open for her. Her face lit up into a warm smile of appreciation.
“Oh,” she said. “Thank you so much – I’m not usually so lucky – I usually have to manage on my own!”
“You’re very welcome,” I said and after she’d entered the shop I duly stepped out into the street.

How fascinating, I thought. We’ve just exchanged gifts – me holding a door, and her giving a smile.
The thing is – we’d both had additional and unseen gifts from my facilitating a cosmic conjunction.

Allowing random order
I could have acted to placate my rising hackles by barking at Mr & Mrs Grunter, and then taken their place in the serving queue – especially as it was rightfully mine!

I would have then left the shop before them and totally missed meeting the elderly lady. Instead, SHE would have met Mr & Mrs Grunter – probably irate at being “ordered about” by me! They wouldn’t have held the door open for her, but merely barged past her as she – politely – waited for them to go through the door.
No gifts were exchanged by any of the parties involved in this, alternative, little piece of conjunctive drama.

Now which was best for ME – to rightfully stand up for myself, or to chat with the serving lady and meet and hold the door for the elderly lady with the stick and the warm smile?
Bit of a no-brainer really ...
And yet by allowing “random order” to play out, and by being aware of the collective part we all play in the lives of each other (yes even those we don’t know) the day, yesterday, of at least four people was improved by the severing of the link between my thoughts and my tongue.

So does fairness get played out at a higher level?
Do the Grunters ‘get theirs’ elsewhere for their display of opportunistic selfishness in the paper shop? Do they get dealt some ‘darker’ circumstantial cards of life as it unfolds?

For some these might be important questions – and for some there would be an almost compulsive ‘need to know’ pertaining to those outcomes.
The thing is – once we engage with the cosmic scheme of things, then we can become comfortable in the knowledge that this will be so. It probably won’t be of any significance to us though, so paying no heed is the best way to be.

In a fit of pique I may have wanted some ‘payback’ for the Grunters, but it would have been my kind of payback – a payback on my terms. However, for the payback to really work – it is best that I don’t do the choosing.
The cosmic payback would always be better – one fashioned both by and for the Grunters!
Isn’t it SO much better that they be hoisted by their own petards, than I be hoisted by my own 'pet hates'?

This article can also be heard in Audio here:-

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Another new audio series - "Mind How You Go"

In this series there are readings of various chapters from "Mind How You Go".

This first one is called "And are you ready to make that change?" and explores steps we can take to notice how we currently describe the unfamiliar and how reframing and perhaps softening that description can loosen the ties that currently hold us in place and present us with a number of new ways we might progress.
It also looks at the geographical idea that surrounds purposefully moving from A to B, by drawing a parallel with standing at the South Pole and deciding to "Go North".

I hope you enjoy it and gain something more from the "external auditory" modality, than from just reading the text in your own "internal" way by following the link below!

"Mind How You Go" is available from Amazon and on general release from all book stores.

Friday, March 15, 2013

What needs to happen for you to ... ?

"When the student is ready the teacher will appear"  ~  Buddha

The number of times each week I encounter the thoughts behind this famous quote must run into hundreds - from catching sounds of random conversations in the street, to comments made by family, friends, coachees and clients.
Yesterday, in particular, it paid me a visit in a number of contexts - the last of which appeared as I was watching BBC Questiontime late evening. I have an enduring image of two panellists (both politicians, one Labour and one Conservative) concurrently making points AT each other, with wagging finger-pointing, as the programme Chairman, David Dimbleby, sat sandwiched between them looking down at his running order sheet and probably wishing he had earplugs in.

Now I can't say which one of these two barking dogs was student or teacher - perhaps they might both have been - except that neither was receptive to the other. And therein lies the clue to why us ordinary people have a growing cynical indifference to politicians. Each of these two had an unreceptive and belligerent behaviour towards the other, and (of course) the unwavering certainty that their worldview was the right one. Had they been squabbling dogs, the best remedy would have been to throw water over them both!

Also yesterday afternoon I talked with a client who I had seen perhaps two years previously. She'd spoken of her journey, since we'd last met, and how she'd been inspired to study and qualify in NLP and Hypnotherapy. However, she said, she was still doing just her "main job" because she didn't yet feel confident of her abilities as a therapist and this was holding her back.

Now this may well be a situation that applies for many of us, who although having learnt and qualified to 'practice' within a particular domain - whether as a therapist, lawyer, accountant, teacher, sports coach, chef, plumber etc - still have misgivings (or worse) about our obvious abilities.

"Am I ready?" is the Big Ask and I guess the Big Answer is "Are we ever ready?"
Are we ever ready to be parents, are children ever ready to go to school, are babies ever ready to learn to walk and talk?

The thing is with parents, babies and children there's a constant feedback TOTE model running on a never-ending loop and after every action (operate) there is a discovery (learning) and an adaptation of the next action and more discovery.

We call this learning by experience.

And the more we know about our own particular learning processes, the more and better we can get to learn - and that is, to learn anything!

Now historically I was very much like my client - I would need to be 'masterfully confident' before I'd ever set out to do something, utilise some learnt skill. This was particularly debilitating, and it was a wonder that I'd ever got to be any good at anything, to be fair!
I was lucky in my early days of NLP knowledge, because I was a voluntary sports coach and had an available outlet for practising my usage - starting with myself. I had a simple formula - if it worked I used it.

However, a sea change would have had to have taken place in 'my view of the world' in order for this to have happened. At some point I became ready to receive.

In 2008 I wrote a book about NLP and how I'd got started with using the various 'tools in the kitbag'. This was well before I'd studied it formally.
The 'Conclusion' chapter of this book, "Don't Think of a Black Cat", summed up how I'd started throwing off the shackles of procrastinatory perfectionism:-

The writing of this book has been driven forward on the principle of "if I wait for perfection I'll wait forever". Rather, it has been more written on the argument "you don't have to get it right, you just have to get it GOING", a motivational catch-phrase of well-known success coach, Mike Litman. So I've not strived for perfection, being safe in the knowledge that there will be bigger and better opuses to follow as I gain more experience and further my knowledge of the subjects. The pursuit of excellence knows no bounds and my own quote might relate to sport but is transferable for any performance, any discipline and indeed life.

My own quote being referred to here is thus:
"Excellence in sport has no beginning and no end - it IS merely about developing ... No-one can ever know it all - but you can always progress - there is no such thing as the ultimate victory; everything is just a step along the way."

The Client and the Pivotal Moment

To get back to my client, she said that in spite of knowing all the things necessary to help her get started as a therapist, she just couldn't take the plunge. She'd done all the 'apply to self' stuff and that hadn't worked.

We explored this and that, and I asked her a range of questions wearing a variety of coaching, mentoring and changework hats. She told me she'd even signed up for a couple of intervention-specific workshops just to cement her skills in these areas, by way of self-reassurance.

Then came a moment where I became 'the student' and she became 'the teacher'. It was one of those moments one gets through trusting the unconscious - where the ideas presented seem so right and straightforward that one wonders how one hasn't seen them before. Truth was, I'd opened up and allowed myself to accept the role of 'student' and receive.

I asked her what advice she would give me if I had come to see her with this problem.

Her first answer was disengaged and still somewhat 'on the surface', so I asked her again, "What would you say to me if I came to you with your problem like that?"

As her unconscious went and assembled the answer, I could tell from her physiology that somewhere - deep within - a connection was made, for her.

We kicked things around for a bit longer and I ran a few checks to see how the connection, for her, was holding up.
"No I'm done - I'm ready now. Everything's in place."
She had her action plan, oriented in time, and her whole demeanour when now discussing the issue, going forward, had completely changed. She was well and truly ready to get it going!

There is another quote I used in this section of "Don't Think of a Black Cat" which might serve as a good conclusion here:-

"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results."  ~  Jack Dixon

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prelude & Fugue (Getting results)

A Friend wrote online ...

“Just picked up my exam results for January - so nervous but really happy with a C in tautology and a D in mental studies! Not the best but passes nonetheless.”
My reply was ...

I’d invite you to consider the possibility that the most significant exam is the one that points towards your understanding of why you felt nervous.
* * *
There was a chorus in a well-known song back-along that went like this:-
“T’ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it – That’s what gets results.”
And, in a tautological way I suppose, this reveals the true meaning and purpose behind our taking exams in the first place.
OK, on the outside it’s all about proving something to the world – the “I got a C and a D in X and Y” in this instance – yet if you look a little deeper, this true meaning actually applies to any and all exams. And, if every experience, every action, every decision, every consideration are of themselves also examinations, then it can be concluded that we are actually taking exams every moment of our lives.
This being so, it is clear to see that his nervousness leading up to, and in the act of, his “picking up my exam results for January” had no bearing upon either C or D.
Did the behavioural experience of nervousness have a role to play in terms of the level of happiness at getting a C and a D, however?

Consider also the objectivity of final statement: revealing the possibility that the purpose of all the angst, the nerves and the happiness, is a rationalisation of the true outcome.
So what happens for you when you pick up your exam results?
Do you really see what passes for nervousness as being something of purpose?
Does the best possible outcome significantly stand in the way of your understanding –
Be it of mental studies, tautology, or even life?



“T’ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it – That’s what gets results.
T’ain’t what you do it’s the time that you do it, whether or not it’s half past three.
T’ain’t what you do it’s the place that you do it.
And when you try hard to learn your ABCD’s – it don’t mean a thing
To the thing that you bring if you’re thinking about the results of the thing.
T’ain’t what you sing it’s the way that you sing it –
and what you can get with the freedom to swing it –

And the more you engage with How, When and Where for,
The more you’ll discover just what you are there for,
The outcome’s the purpose you needn’t prepare for -
Then you “gets” results!
Whatever your feelings on every new waking,
Remember in there is a cave. And breaking
The train of your thought and where you it’s taking -
Brings you new results.

And when you let go and just enjoy singing the notes are the joys
To the table you’re bringing.
When you feel that your rhythm of life is just swinging –
Then you’ll have “results”!
When your ABCD’s are all about timing, when you look from the top
of the place you’ve been climbing,
When the bells on your church start pealing and chiming -
Now you’ve got results.

When you don’t weigh the things that you want before playing,
When you play with such heart and a power that’s staying,
And remember the words of that familiar saying –
“T’ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it – That’s what gets results!”

For those of who who might like the audio version - click on the above!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"Impersonal" - the audio version

Lamplighters reading series - No.2   ~   "Impersonal"

This another in the series of chapters read in dulcet tones! The written originally came out in June 2012 here