The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Today’s Topic

Imagine that you are in the audience and I am giving a talk … and on the whiteboard or flip chart behind me you see the word “REVISION.”
Probably, like me, you are immediately transported back to a pre-exam scenario. Mutually, our minds will cloud our present moments - here at my talk - with snatches of individual memory around the topic of “REVISION.” The memories may be good, neutral or less than comfortable – depending upon our personal perceptions of Exam preparation. It is a road of experience we will have all travelled at some point.

Levers of Language

I have a more than fanciful awareness of the hypnotic domain – it is part of my being and my understanding of the nature of our human awareness; and it is also part of my professional approach to working with clients. Here too, I have an experiential understanding of how language (both verbal and non-verbal) is woven through all that occurs within the hypnotic domain.

Now, one of the linguistic levers that exists within this universal vehicle of conveying meaning, lies in framing; of “setting the scene.” I used one right at the start of the article by saying, “Imagine that you are in the audience … “, for instance.
I used another one by introducing the word “REVISION” into our proceedings, for “REVISION” – like that – is an evocative word. Our brains’ “Black Box Voice Recorders” will have picked up this internal dialogue in micro-time:

“Oh look – REVISION. I know that label. I have experience around that. It is flagged by my use of emotion at the time of experience, so I can recognise it with ease for future reference. That once future point has now arrived, and I can remember not just the experience (for knowing) but also the emotion (for feeling) all about REVISION. I’ll bring them both to my conscious awareness. Then, I’ll get to feel again how I used to feel back then.”   

I used the lever of getting you to remember a whole raft of things … and your predictable mind-body link did the rest.


Part of the emotive nature of that word, of course, is linked to HOW we revised, WHY we revised, WHAT we revised, WHEN we revised, perhaps WHERE we revised, and (after the event) WAS it worth it, did it WORK for us, did it give us WHAT we wanted?

Of course, HOW we revise bears a very close relationship with HOW we learn. And we all LEARN in quite different ways. So, if our teachers tell the entire class that there is only ONE optimal way to REVISE – AND that this is IT - then I’d venture to suggest that their persuasive suggestions are way off the mark; along with the “factory-method” style assumption about there being only ever one way of learning.

“Here is some knowledge I am imparting and which you should be learning.”
I am like a dog with a bone regarding ways that we learn, and I make no apologies for that. I have coached enough children over the years to know that my being inflexible in the way I am imparting the knowledge, will only work for a small percentage.

Anyway, to get back to the language side of REVISION – the primary meaning conveyed by this label, this word, is there in plain sight.
If we are a Visual Learner, then our revision should literally be that … Re-Vision, or Vision-again. If we are an Auditory Learner, then we’ll be more in tune with revising from books, for the spoken word is going to work best for us. Kinaesthetic Learners are more in touch with subjects in the practical sense, so their best revision should involve a lot less via sight and sound, and be a lot more hands-on.
Now all of this is not woo-woo or rocket science. Especially when (and if) our Revision is meant to be a Re-visiting of what we have learned. After all, we are going to be examined on what we have learned – NOT on what we HAVEN’T learned – aren’t we?
Please remember - we will never learn anything when Revising. We may gain some further understanding and insight of that that we DO know, but in terms of something new – there is NO learning; only Conditioning.

Revising Our Thinking

There are, however, a number of other meanings within the domain of vision, revision, and revising – like that! There are Visionaries and ReVisionaries, Visionists and Revisionists. Revising can be examination and correction, proving and proofing a draft document, and so on.
Revising and its derivatives have now moved away from revisiting things we have already learned, into a domain of correction, change and re-assessment.
If our thinking about something is not entirely correct, or is not working very well for us, then we need to revise our thinking about it.

In visual terms, we might say we’re looking at it with different eyes and it will seem clearer; in an auditory sense we are hearing it from a whole new perspective which resonates with us a lot more; in a kinaesthetic sense we’ll feel more comfortable about it, more at ease, it will work much more smoothly.

If ever we needed proof that our non-verbal sensual language, and the ways we can express that language in a verbal way, is inextricably linked to our thinking – then here IS that proof.

Changing our Mind – is merely another way of describing what is going on when we Revise our Thinking. And we would do well to remember, also, that the only person who can change our mind – like that – is Ourselves.
In Outside-In terms, I may think that YOU have changed my mind, revised my thinking for me – YET I am the only person who can change MY mind. You have pointed me in another direction, you have facilitated my having a change of perspective, BUT only I can change my mind.

There was half a dozen of us sat around the dinner table a few days ago, and someone pointed out to one of the others that I was a hypnotist. “So, who do you hypnotise?” came the next question, which was a slight variance on the usual casual questions in conversations not involving hypnotists. You can imagine a rocket scientist in a similar social gathering: “So, tell me about your rockets?”
And yet also that slight variance, in and of itself, gives clues as to the personalities at the social gathering as well as the language of the questioner – which, again, is fascinating.
“Anyone who buys into the process,” I replied with rather vague intent – which one particular friend would describe as my being ‘woolly.’ Well, woolly or not, the conversational lever prompted my being invited to elaborate on my comment.

When I was first trained in hypnotherapy and the nature of hypnosis I would have never given such an answer. I had a set of thoughts and ideas around the process and the entire domain – and THAT set of thoughts, ideas, beliefs (almost) framed everything for me and my approach. Then I met certain people, began to move in certain circles, listened to and watched other hypnotists – and I became aware that my set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs (almost) were of such a narrow bandwidth as to severely restrict my understanding. My next step was simple …
I revised my thinking – I changed my mind.
I re-visioned my entire view of how the hypnotic domain sits within our Being.
I had many insights and light-bulb moments, which were both exciting and breath-taking in turn.


I believe that curiosity is a freedom granted to us before birth. It is the driver for ALL of our early learning. AND – if we were to allow it – can be the driver for our Learning for the rest of our lives. Yet most of us are told to hide our curiosity away – especially when it comes to educating ourselves – or have our educating done by others that sit in judgement.

“Our brain capacity peaks at 25 … “
“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks … “
“I couldn’t learn to do that – I was no good at it at school … “
“My teacher says I shouldn’t take this subject at GCSE because … “

Don’t these, and other well-worn phrases, look just like a set of thoughts, ideas and beliefs (almost)? How narrow is the bandwidth of the minds behind them – believing them to be the one, true and only way?

Curiosity – at ANY age – is the driver for ALL learning. Curiosity says, “I want to know this, I want to know all about it, I want to know more about it, I want to experiment with it, I want to see how far it can be taken.” Curiosity always keeps an Open Mind – nothing is set in stone, everything is questioned. Nothing in the World has ever been advanced by the Narrow-Minded and those beset with self-imposed boundaries.


So, I invite you to take a new perspective on REVISION. Revise your thinking about it. 

I used to believe that 2+2=4 until I had it proved otherwise. The World was once believed to be flat – and indeed anyone questioning the views of the Church around that particular nature of the World was considered to be heretical, and was punished accordingly.

I invite you to learn about HOW you learn AT YOUR BEST.
I invite you to LEARN with Revision-in-Mind. By this, I mean be questioning from a perspective of Curiosity, so you can – at any time – revise what you have learned.

Take the book, the idea, the thought, in your right hand and recite these words of caution:

“You do not have to know something fully but it may harm your security if you do not understand when questioned something you rely on as truth. Anything you think you know may be given as evidence."

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Circle of Humanity

Calling them out

We live in times where people are now being called out for their disrespectful words and actions, on a daily basis. Bravo to those callers is all I can say, over and over again. 

Having respect for anyone is part of the gift of humanity - so when you show no respect or lack respect then you are stepping into an inhuman place. It is the true meaning of "Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other."
Mindless, low grade, casual or evilly intended - it is all disrespect. Bullying, harassment sexual or otherwise, racism, intolerance of any kind again is about lacking respect for humanity. There are no graded categories of disrespect on a scale of mild to despicable. Every time it is done it brings our race into disrepute. You step out of the CIRCLE and should expect to be called out by those inside, and not be surprised when you are.

Which leads me to what someone described to me as being the hardest question about compassion. 
"Are we, as humans, meant to feel compassion towards not just the victims - but also the perpetrators, the abusers and the disrespectful - regardless of the grade of their disrespect?"

Here is a dictionary definition of compassion:
"Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others." 

Well, call me old fashioned ... AND while I may feel sorry for their ignorance, but I cannot extend it to sympathetic pity and concern since they have not suffered, nor has any misfortune accrued to them as a result of their inhumanity.
My feeling COMPASSION (another gift of humanity, incidentally) towards them will commence when they chose to step back into the Circle of Humanity. When they acknowledge they have stepped out of that CIRCLE, they can then chose to step back in.

We are all born with the Gifts of Humanity, and are corrupted into beliefs, and behaviours that go against the Circle of Humanity. We have all stepped out of the Circle at some time. Some people never step back in; for some it may take ages, perhaps a lifetime; and for most of us - we hear the call, hang our heads a bit, apologise and return to the fold, contrite.

Oddly enough, I never felt any animosity towards my childhood abusers. 
However - to the drivers who cut me up on roundabouts ... 😉 

Saturday, November 4, 2017


My good friend Brian Groves published a short article entitled “Was yesterday really better than today?” And this got me thinking, and musing, and evaluating. I went searching for answers – and came up with the following:-


  •         There's the outside stuff, the Extrinsic answers - the world out there, including ours, the environment, the weather, other people etc
  •         and there's the Inside stuff, the Intrinsic answers - our relationship with our thinking, how we are harnessing the power of thought; our feelings and our emotions, beliefs etc

And here is where we bump into the conclusion, “There are more questions coming out of these answers than we ever considered when we set out to answer the original question.”

Of course, the bullet-point nature of the answers is that they are mutually exclusive.
For, the interesting thing about all the Outside stuff, is that it doesn't really relate to any of the Inside stuff, unless we believe and think and feel that it does.
All of which arguments, roll along, and come to rest at the door of what is REALITY – and the perspectives of Outside-In and Inside-Out.


When we are living from the Outside-In perspective then we believe that much of all, sometimes approaching near 100%, of our experience of the world – how it is being, what it is throwing at us – is REAL, and that we are regularly experiencing, enjoying and/or suffering the effects of that seemingly uncontrolled reality. As humans we would all like to have a controlling handle on our lives – to feel that we are, to some extent, directing our destiny.
We have been led to BELIEVE that this is the best, and most predictably reliable way that we can perpetuate our sense of security, comfort and wellbeing.
“The more control I feel I have, the safer and more secure my life will be.”


The Inside-Out nature of reality, on the other hand, grasps that “nettle” of experience and asks, “Where does our Experience actually come from?”

How our brain primarily handles the vast stream of sensual data that bombards us in every moment, is by prediction and recognition. It is as if there is a set of questions that ask,
“What is this exactly? What is it most like? Have I ever encountered this before?”
OR in terms of something affecting us …
“What WILL happen NEXT? What is MOST likely to happen? Have I ever encountered this scenario before? And WHEN and IF I did, HOW did I think/behave before?”
And so on, and so forth.
Part of the effective reasoning behind the Four Cartesian Questions ** comes from our predictive brain and cognitive processes.

After the primary predictive and recognising process, comes the filtering process.
This is where we Delete, Distort and Generalize that data that we have predicted and recognized!
This enables us to discard the unnecessary, and the repetitive; enables us to describe something as being LIKE something else; enables us to categorize something under a much broader description.
These are all wonderful processes carried out at exceptional speed by our amazing brain – in a seemingly continual flow – and can be best described as Thought Processes.
They are processes that harness the Power of Thought.
If we did not harness that Power, then none of the above would happen. We would not see the warm smile, or hear the barbed arrows of insults and criticisms, or feel a lover’s caress.
And the clue to where our Experience really comes from, is in these processes. For these are Thought Processes – and our every Experience comes entirely from thought, from our Thought Processes.

** - The Four Cartesian Questions:
What WOULD happen if I did X
What WOULDN’T happen if I did X
What WOULD happen if I DIDN’T do X
What WOULDN’T happen if I DIDN’T do X


Once armed with the understanding that we, essentially, make up every nuance of our entire experience, it is a short step to seeing that what is REAL – to us, at any moment – is only a constructed conclusion of our own thinking.
Or to put it more simply, even crudely, “We Make It All Up!”

And it is in this given fact of where our Experience comes from, that we can see that WE also have the power to change our Experience.
Not change in the sense of say “Turning water into wine” or manifesting a shiny new Porsche on the driveway, or stepping off a cliff edge and not falling, of course.
No, I’m talking about change in how we perceive the Experience and how we respond. That is the REAL power and control that we can bring to our Experience.  

Shortcutting the Predictions

Now, in part of the functioning of our Predictive Process, we draw upon our Beliefs and Memories to help with the predictions. Here, we are applying some pre-determination upon our data gathering. 

For instance:
“I like Picasso's paintings; Prokofiev’s music is just an awful noise; I don’t like dogs; unshaven means unclean, unwashed; my religion = right, proper; poor = inferior; etc.”

Picture the scene – 

I’m in a lift and it stops at an intermediate floor and in steps an unshaven man, in shabby clothes, with a dog. My predictive brain presents into my conscious attention some evidence that is tagged with belief, grown and repeatedly proved from remembered experience – which was ALL based upon nothing but my own Thoughts in the first place.

If I am an Outside-In victim of my own thinking, then I’m already searching for and predicting MORE evidence to back up these beliefs. I’ll be physically recoiling in some way, shape or form – and I’ll be primed to smell for signs of unwashed-ness and poverty. His dog will detect my non-verbal recoil – because that’s what dogs do – and may well react. Which will make me further react! This is a bad scenario – I wish the lift would hurry up. Thinking, reacting, thinking, reacting …
I may well experience this again and again in lifts. I may well feel SO bad about this recurring that I develop a reticence to using lifts. The SPIRAL, ALL spirals, begin somewhere – and they all get a hold on us through seeing our Experience through an Outside-In perspective.

Freedom from Beliefs

Beliefs are just thoughts, repeatedly grown and proved, to a degree of unshakeable credibility. Layered up, over and over again, many times, until they become something reliable to us - to the “ME that I AM.”

One of the glorious freedoms granted to us with an Inside-Out perspective is to be continually questioning of our beliefs, our likes, and our preferences. We are liberated from narrow-mindedness, and all that that brings with it.
Our everyday life becomes predicated on curiosity and change, rather than un-deviated repetition and conservatism.
We are transformed from thinking, feeling and deciding how we want the world to be – and trying and trying to make it BE that way – into accepting that the world just IS.

And we can notice that how WE are BEING in a world that just IS, is far less of a struggle than Outside-In always seems to be.


So, was yesterday really better than today? For me …
  •         Intrinsically – NEVER. As we all of us are, I am on the road unwinding. I know that if I ever get the feeling that on the Inside I feel less better than I did yesterday, last week, last year, 5, 10, 25 years ago – then something is not quite right, RIGHT NOW. In that case I need to take a look at why I FEEL that, because behind that feeling will be some wayward and out-of-kilter Thinking.
  •         Extrinsically? Well, there are times in where we live, the state of society, cost of living, and so on, will be less better or more better than at other times. These are givens – rather like the weather, or the state of the seas. There is no control, for us, over how these things unfold.

The only control we do have, in the moment, is of our perspective brought to our experience via our relationship with our thinking.

And what of Yesterday, I hear you say?
Perhaps it is …

Yesterday, when all my fears I could not allay. 
When tomorrow’s happiness seemed so far away.
Thank goodness, I believed, back yesterday. 
Suddenly I'm not half the youth I used to be. 
There's an age-old shadow cast by me, 
That beckons tomorrow - suddenly.
Why we had to meet, I don't know, I couldn't say. 
For I sang a different song, back ‘ere long, yesterday.
Tomorrow’s love is not the game of some latter day. 
Now there’s no need to hide away.
Thank goodness, I believed, back yesterday.”