The right state of mind? There's a question to ask yourself, have you got it or do you only think you have? Is your state of mind responsible for those bad times as well as the good?
Those who follow this column will be familiar with Yanik, my French paragliding instructor who lost his bottle at 3,500 feet. Maybe he wasn't in the wrong job, after all, maybe he was just having a bad day; we've all had them.
When I first studied NLP, I mistakenly thought that having control of my mind meant I could immunise myself from life. If something bad happened, I'd just make it so that it didn't matter and I hadn't really wanted it anyway. A bit like the guy running for the train just as the doors are closing, only to do that funny little cover-up dance as if to say: "Just out for a morning jog, what train? Oh, that train. No, I'm getting the next one."
I learned very quickly that this was just plain stupid.
Everyone has a bad day; the secret of success is how you deal with it. As all human behaviour is a product of your state of mind, it is vital to be in the right state as opposed to a right state.
If someone offered you £1,000 to feel fantastic right now, could you do it? Would you still take them up on the offer if you had to pay £1,000 if you failed?
Here are three techniques from NLP, Ericksonian Hypnosis and Acting that can help you win that bet.
1. Role model: think of someone who is a wonderful example of the way you want to feel. Imagine that they are in the room. Step into their world in your mind. What does the world look like through their eyes? What does it feel like to move your body the way they do?
2. Words: our emotions are word-labels for physiological states of being and because we tend to describe the same states with the same words, those words become anchors that evoke the state. Notice where you feel it in your body as you repeat the word 'great' over and over. Now let that feeling spread.
3. Use your body 'as-if': how would you stand if you felt great right now? What expression would you have on your face? What would it feel like behind your eyes? What might you say to yourself?
As my dad used to say: "Hard work's never easy and easy work is hard to find."
Success is not an event; it's the accumulated result of sustained effort. Keep your mind in the right state.
Yanik didn't lose control, he just lost his nerve and let doubt, Mother Nature and negative thoughts take over. Focus on the things you are in direct control of and make today count no matter what.