Staying on My Standup Paddle Board – Other Peoples Paradigms

I was talking to my bother the other month, telling him that I’d taken up paddle boarding. In our conversation I mentioned that I’d not spent much time falling off. In fact that I’d stayed on my board for that last 6 months after a couple of false starts in the beginning.


His response was interesting and worth sharing. He said the I wasn’t trying hard enough because I hadn’t fallen off enough!

My response was that my objective had been to challenge myself and stay on my board. AS the months have progressed, I have challenged myself to travel further. These days I am travelling about 8km and staying on my board for well over an hour.

This shows how we operate in different paradigms. My brothers paradigm of falling off to prove that you are trying. My paradigm is one of staying on my board.

Which one is right, or is there a right one?

For me, I far prefer my paradigm because it supports where I want to be! This doesn’t say that I am playing it safe and wont fall off. Rather that I am consciously working with my body and  board to adjust my balance dynamically with the changing water conditions.

burning with magnifying glass

What the study of Brain Plasticity tells us is that if we focus our attention on what we are doing, are motivated, having fun and apply energy to the task at hand we will change our brains.

I am using consciously using the elements of Brain Plasticity to improve my performance. To focus on what we are doing with intensity, joy and pleasure.  To make learning a game and enjoyment.

The outcome is that I am having fun and enjoying myself, while at the same time growing my capability on my board.

until next time



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Shush! Your Subconscious is Listening To Your Self-Talk

That’s right – your sub-conscious is listening to your self talk. Or to put it another way, what you say to yourself.


We all talk to ourselves. It may be that little voice in our heads that says either we can or we can’t, or a conversation that we have with ourselves on some topic.

The thing is, we are unaware that what we say to ourselves is also programming our sub-conscious. This is especially true when we apply a lot of emotion to that talk.

We repeat the same thoughts day after day, week after week. Pretty soon, they become part of our DNA, the way we think and act. The thoughts become automatic when we are in a trigger situation. Something that sets us off.

The trouble with most of these thoughts are that they are normally limiting or negative. Thoughts that hold us back from achieving our goals or working for our best behalf.

These repeated thoughts results in the brain being wired to reflect them. The connections between the neurons becomes thick and strong, and then become sub-conscious, part of our Mind.

How do we become aware of these thoughts and how do we break free?

Dream big

First we need to to become aware that these thoughts are limiting us, are holding us back. Then become aware that we can change what we think about, change our self talk to better support us and reflect our true potential and capabilities.

Mindfulness of our thinking during the day is a good start to become aware of what we say to ourselves. Keep a journal of what you say to yourself. This will help you to become aware of your self talk and whether it is supporting you or holding you back.

The next step is to start replacing your old self-talk with positive, supportive, encouraging new self-talk.

Until next time



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Does It Take Longer to Change the Mind if You Are a Pessimist?

I was sitting having  a coffee this morning and reading come notes I made some months ago. As I was reading a question popped into my head – “Does being a pessimist impact the speed of change?”

cup of coffee

An interesting question. I thought that I was an optimist until I did Martin Seligman’s test in his book – “Learned Optimism”.

Hmmm, more of a pessimist than an optimist! One bubble burst! So I started looking at the results I was getting in life and some of the self-hypnosis exercises I had been doing. The fatal thing we do is compare ourselves with what other people are doing, rather than looking at our own progress. When you read stories of people changing overnight and you are still seemingly on 1st base things get a little tense!

I stopped comparing my progress against others and looked at where I had come from. When I did that, I saw that I had come a long way.

When I applied my learning about the brain/mind with this progress and insight, I can now see that I had a lot of wiring that had strong connections. With that being the case, of course it will take some time to build new, positive, supportive connections.

spiral up

As the old saying goes – ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day!’ Nor are new strong neural connections! Especially when you are starting from behind the 8 ball so to speak!

Persistence is the name of the game. Sticking to the program, day in & day out. Working in the positive and staying in the positive. Learning the new skills and thinking. Developing the new beliefs. Rebuilding the brains neural connections that support a new better you!

until next time



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The Spiral Down Is Equal and Opposite To The Spiral Up

While sitting contemplating life this morning. It stuck me how much we don’t know how often we use the hypnosis process on ourselves.

spiral down

We use the hypnotic process on ourselves, mostly unwittingly, in moments where we are thinking about a negative event or situation in our lives. This thinking then triggers stories, These stories then trigger images. The images then trigger sensations or emotions. These emotions in turn trigger an expansion of the story, triggering more images and more emotions, sensations. It is a vicious circle that results in a downward spiral. You begin to feel dark and contracted.

How do I know this? I have observed it in myself.

But on the flip side, these same processes work in the opposite direction.

spiral up

Again using the hypnotic process, having a positive affirmation, tied with a positive image and positive emotion, propels you upward. You begin to feel great and light and expansive. If you repeat this process day after day, you feel better and better.

Again, how do I know this? Because I have also experienced, and am experiencing this state.

What is the difference between the two states?  – Literately what you focus on.

The underlying process is the same – the brains natural hypnotic state. The thing is, we are normally unaware that we are using this process.

Once you become aware of the brains hypnosis state, then you can begin to consciously use it to your advantage, rather than using it unconsciously to your disadvantage.

Until next time



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Can You Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

There is an old adage, “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.”  But is this really true? A few years ago, the prevailing thought about the brain was, that by the time we reached adulthood, the wiring (neural connections) were fixed and that was that. This led to the belief that we couldn’t change or it was very difficult to change. That us humans couldn’t learn new behaviours or change our habits easily because the wiring in the brain was fixed.

Science has now shed new light on our brains. We now know that the above statement about the wiring of our brains being fixed is not true. We now know that the neural connections in the brain are plastic and that new neural connections are being made (and unmade) all the time. That we can change or rewire the brain up until we die.


But what does this mean for us in day to day life, and what has this to do with teaching dogs new tricks?

Well, the discovery that the neural connections in the brain are plastic means that we can teach “old dogs new tricks”. In other words, we can reprogram our Brains/Minds. We can change the way we think and what we believe and therefore to have better outcomes in our lives.

An example of how we can learn new skills are actors/actresses.  Take when they are preparing for a new role that requires them to learn new skills and behaviours.  Like one that requires new skills to be learnt, like fighting or dancing or playing an instrument they have never played before. The actor takes on a coach and works at learning the new skill until they have sufficient mastery that when we see them on the screen, they are are believable in their role. They apply focus and dedication to learning the required skills.

If we take this example and apply it to our own lives. If we apply enough effort and focus on acquiring new behaviours, beliefs and skills, we can be successful too.

The trick here is effort and focus….Both are required.

This is where self-hypnosis is such a powerful tool. It allows us to apply effortless focus to that which we want to develop in our lives. Self-hypnosis brings about change quicker than just saying affirmations. It puts the critical mind aside while we are developing the new way of thinking, acting and believing. It enables the embedding of the desired change in the subconscious more quickly.

The singular focus, that is the hypnotic process, creates new neural connections fast.

until next time



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Past Thinking Has Got Us Where We Are Today

Really? Is that really true that my past thinking influences my present that much?


The other day I had a good example of the truth of this statement. I was working on on a project that required a number of actions being completed on a spreadsheet then the detail being entered into a computer system.

I was struggling. I knew what needed to be done, but I kept going round in circles., making little headway. I added more complexity to the tasks as well as put off working on the tasks. I has tight time frames to work within. My progress was slow and laborious. I was tired and frustrated.

cup of coffee

I went out for a coffee to get some headspace. I had read the words that are the title of this blog earlier in the day. These words were going through my mind as I was drinking my coffee. My past thinking has got me to where I am today. In other words, my struggle with the project that I was experiencing was the result of past thinking and ultimately programming of my mind, thinking and behaviour.

As this realisation sunk it, I began to change my thinking right then. I saw myself with greater clarity on the outcomes required, but not just the outcomes, but the steps were clear and concise.

Once I saw the problem and was able to understand the reason for my lack of energy and avoidance and that it was the result of past thinking, I was able to move forward with energy and commitment. I didn’t dwell on the what thinking got me there, rather the knowledge that the thinking created my present reality. This gave me the power to change my thinking in the present to ensure that my reality changed. But more importantly it set my up to change my future reality. To make it flow better.

So if you are finding walls, or barriers confronting you in tasks, stop and have a think about what past thinking has put them there. You don’t have to dwell on what the thinking was, just know that past thinking set the pattern for the present. You then have a choice to continue with that thinking and reality, or to change your thinking and your reality!

until next time



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Breaking Free From the Chains of Limiting Beliefs

Limiting beliefs hold us back. A bold statement to kick off this post.


In my last post I talked about: “I Am that which I think I AM.” This post follows on from that and those eight words. Our limiting beliefs form the “I Am” that is our current existence. Another way of writing this is the equation below:

Be Do Have

B+T+A=R [Beliefs + Thoughts + Action = Results/Outcomes]

We repeat the above on automatic pilot. Day in and day out. We rarely question out beliefs, thoughts or actions. We do question the results or outcomes of our lives, but at times struggle to change or understand why we get the results that we do. These subconscious programs hold us back. Limiting us.

Using the phrase – “I Am that which I think I Am”, helps us to shine a light on our chains, our limiting beliefs, if we so choose. It helps us to see where we can focus our energy to make changes. To develop better beliefs, supporting thoughts and actions that are in alignment with the new beliefs. All three working together to create the outcomes and results that we desire.

torch light

So shine a light on your limiting beliefs. Take ownership of your thoughts and follow through on your actions to have better outcomes and results. Break free from the limiting beliefs of the past. See possibility and move toward it.

Until next time



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I Am That Which I Think I AM

I’ll repeat that again: “I Am that which I think I Am!”

You may have seen this written another way: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Either way, have you stopped to really take the import of these words in? I was reading a book by Henry Harrison Brown where he quotes this line. These are profound words. Why?

Well, they really sum up the state of the adult human mind. We think in the positive or the negative. The glass is half full or it is half empty. We are either lucky or unlucky. The list of opposites goes on and on.

In his book, noted psychiatrist, Martin Seligman, talks about the life events that started him on his journey. The observation of learned helplessness. This then led him to study this and then ask the question: “if we can learn helplessness, can we learn optimism?”

The answer is of course YES!

But stop for a minute and then apply the title of this blog to this train of thought…..

We are what we think we are – a success, a failure, a great husband/wife, a poor husband wife. Rich, poor. As I said above, the list of opposites of what we believe ourselves to be goes on.

So, taking this insight and saying: “If I change my thoughts, then I will change who I am and the outcomes that I have in life!”

Is personal change that simple? Just think what we want to be and we will become it? Well yes and no. From personal experience, I can say yes and no.

Isn’t this just like saying affirmations? No it isn’t. It takes more that just a positive word or thought to change ones beliefs and circumstance.

As Tony Robbins points out in his books and I have mentioned in this blog, the mind works to hold us where we are. It sees greater pain in changing than staying the same, and as a result sabotages our attempts to change. The past unsupportive programs are ingrained in neural networks in our brain.


But we can change our thinking and our neural networks and as a result our life outcomes.

To begin to think differently, we need to take ownership of our thoughts. Own our thinking and owning the fact that we can change our thoughts and thinking, if we are prepared to put the effort in.

History and the web are littered with stories of people who overcame great adversity and challenging backgrounds to achieve success and happiness. Athletes, artists, speakers, presidents, people with polio, from extreme poverty. Search and you will find these stories.

They are living testament to the statement: “I Am that which I think I AM!”

until next time



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Repetition – the Way to Mastery

Repetition is one of the keys to mastering skills and life. It is also key in making and sustaining change in ones life. Repeating the change we desire, the thinking and behaviours of the new us.

The thing is, repetition also holds us where we are as well. Repeating the old behaviours and thinking. But then again, that is how we developed those behaviours and limiting beliefs in the first place!

The challenge is to retain the focus on the change we have chosen, the new us, the new behaviours. Somehow we, as adults, have developed the habit of trying something new for a little while then giving up when w don’t see immediate results….

Does and athlete stop training? Stop repeating their training regimen? A pianist, a painter, a dancer? No, they continue to hone their skills and their art. Striving to achieve the vision that they hold.

This is the same with personal change. Having that vision and then repeating the behaviours that support that vision. Master the new behaiours and thinking. Embed them into our subconscious so that they become second nature and automatic. Replacing the old unsupportive patterns with the patterns that support our vision and desire.

Repeating the behaviours using self-hypnosis helps to accelerate the change by focusing the mind.

until next time



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What Can We Learn From Stage Hypnosis ?

Can we learn anything from stage hypnosis or is it purely entertainment? On the surface, stage hypnosis is purely entertainment. People entertain us with actions and antics suggested by the stage hypnotist. But is that all there is?

Stage hypnosis gives both a limited view on the possibilities of hypnosis, as well as an insight into the mind and its possibilities. A bit of a dichotomy I know, but true none the less. We write off the stage hypnotist as entertainment only. An act.

swinging watch

But is it? When we look deeper at the examples of what is shown us in by a stage hypnotist, we are shown a window into the power of the mind /brain.  A suggestion that hands are glues together sees the person struggle to separate them. An item becomes too hot to hold and is dropped.

These are just suggestions, but to the person who is hypnotised they believe it to be real.

Now lets take this premise of a suggestion becoming real and expand on it, look at it away from the stage.  Research has confirmed that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis.

How many suggestions have we given ourselves that we believe to be real? Do we have examples of our own hands glued together by thought alone? Of an item being to hot or cold to hold? Of not attracting money to us? Of not attracting the right partner, or job?

What are we suggesting to ourselves daily? Suggestions that the mind picks up on and manifests?

Are we better to awaken to the power of hypnosis and suggestions and use them for our benefit, or to remain ignorant of their power and continue to wonder why life isn’t working as well for us as it could?

until next time



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