Who Should I Listen To For Inspiration?


Deciding what thought-leader to listen to is not an easy problem to solve. There are lots of people who may lack substance, but are well versed in the skills of Influence. 

Or bullshit. 

“That’s easy for you to say,” you say. It is, because my risk aversion to Bullshit and the scent of Influence is much stronger than it was two years ago. 

It is easy to be adversely effected by those who lack real insight, but are able to motivate you towards achieving their aims. Influence uses everyday language to activate a response in us, one that we are powerless to either notice, or cease to be effected by. I could be influencing you now, and you would never know. 

Influence can be powerful when it’s used for good, or terrible when it’s used for bad intentions.

But, I don’t want you to agree with me. 

Oh whoops, there I go influencing you to agree with me. 

So, how do we know whether someone actually knows what they are talking about. If you go purely off what they write about, or talk about then you are falling victim to their tools of Influence. Look beyond what they say, and look at their actions. 

I watched an interview with Willi.i.am at Dreamforce 2014. He was talking about how he wants to release today the device we could build in ten years, like a smart band that doesn’t need tethering to a phone. 

So, I looked at reviews of that smart band he released. The Verge call it the worst device they have touched in 2015. What does that say? He doesn’t know what he’s doing in the tech industry. 

Be cautious who you take advice from, do your due diligence, but then take the advice of those you discover can do what they preach. 


The Art of Relaxation – On Finding the Silence Beyond the Noise With Meditation

Charles Rondeau – Image source.

“Do you want to go to a meditation class?” A colleague asked me this week. I had experimented with meditating on my own a bit before, but this was an invitation I couldn’t refuse.

We started with some Tai Chi exercises to stretch ourselves a little. “We’re going to be sitting for a long time,” said the instructor. I’m not sure about everyone else, but I ended up flapping my arms about and should have just stretched for real. That would have saved my shoulders.

The truth is, you could do this anywhere, and once you get confident, you’ll have this little island of relaxation always with you.

I noticed two things. It’s much easier to meditate than you think. And, time will really fly. I thought we were only there for half an hour, but it had really been an hour.

To get you started, you need to hear someone guiding you. Luckily, there are plenty of YouTube clips of meditation classes. The reason for this is the NLP and mild hypnosis element of what they say and how they say it. You can’t help but be lead into finding a deep meditative / trance-like state. Some people think that trances are something bad, instead it’s just your mind in a neutral and suggestible state – like watching TV, listening to a talk, or driving.

That’s right, you’ve been in and out of trances all day, and you’re not far from meditating.

Once you get used to how your real, or virtual instructor guides you into a state of meditation, you will be able to do it on your own. Fun, huh?

So, I can’t get you into a meditative state. But, I can talk about the experience.

I think one of the most important elements of meditating is that you accept everything that happens, but then allow that event to fade away. Interruptions and sounds become part of the experience, but then you take control of it and allow it to disappear.

Your mind will want to continue to think of your challenges, circling and circling like it does all day. However, you now have a tool to silence them. You just refocus on your meditation exercises and you get to silence them.

After a few minutes, as the thoughts quieten, and you focus on the noises you can hear – maybe the hum of the air-con, the click as a part of the room settles, the tweet of a bird in the distance.

And then you find it. The silence. You won’t grasp it completely. It’s like a faint star that you can only really see if you don’t look directly at it. You’ll be able to touch it with the tip of your fingers.

But, it’s enough. In that moment, your body will be completely relaxed, numb, almost disconnected from you. Your mind will have accepted the moment, the circling thoughts will have ceased, and the underlying noise of the world will seem more like static, noise intermingled with the silence beyond.

The art of relaxing is to touch the silence.

To speed forwards, we first need to learn how to stop.

Why Should I Learn About Embedded Commands?

I have been doing some research into NLP, hypotic launguage, and embedded commands. But, why do we need to be aware of something like this, and why should we aim to use it? Because, it can be another tool in your professional toolkit.

Embedded commands are suggestive phrases that lead a subject to think about certain subjects, influence their decision making, or even lead to carrying certain behaviours, and are usually used at the start of a sentence, or a direct command near the end of a sentence. This is all dependent on what you want to do, and the amount of embedded commands, and other hypotic techniques used.

I suggest you learn this technique, and become comfortable using it, to allow you to become much more affective in your work. If you are a trainer, a consultative sales person, or someone brought in to advise, then embedded commands used at a moderate level can get your audience engaged, thinking on the same wave-length, and acting on the initiatives you have been brought in to kick-start – with only the use of a simple phrase.

Embedded commands are not a heavy form of hypnosis, nor are they especially powerful, or honerous, they are more like a nudge in the right direction.

I will provide more detail on the use of embedded commands a bit further down the line as I wanted to take this opportunity to setup why they should be seen as a positive tool, and not something negative.

I see it as the mechanics of human interactions and emotions, and the emotionally intelligent individual should understand these mechanics and how they can allow our interactions to be far more affective.

More on this another day.

Until then – I’m sure we both want to learn more about human interactions, to become better communicators and facilitators, to stretch our minds, to open them to new knowledge, and to keep reading these blog posts.

And… you’re back in the room.