New Year Clarifications

Happy New Year
Image by Jessica Bee via Flickr

It’s the season of New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps prodded by optimism or guilt we decide to undertake a worthy project for the New Year: loosing weight, taking up exercise, learning French, being nicer to our in-laws.

I’ve got more than a few candidates for New Year’s Resolutions things I should, or could do, but rather than throw a dice or stick a pin in the list I decided to explore what is important to me. I thought that if I could get a clearer picture of my values then I would be able to make to make good choices for my New Year Resolutions and decisions in general.

Values or what we consider important are powerful influences on our lives.

Because they are associated with worth, meaning and desire, values are a primary source of motivation in people’s lives. When people’s values are met or matched, they feel a sense of satisfaction, harmony or rapport. When their values are not met, people often feel dissatisfied, incongruent or violated.

Robert Dilts

Goals are the tangible expression of our values. For example if one of our values is health then we will be motivated to maintain an exercise program or diet so that we experience that value.

There are a huge range of possible values, health, justice, peace of mind, excitement, honesty etc, etc. We collect them over our lives consciously or unconsciously. The constellation of values we live by are unique to us.

If we are lucky we get a set of values that mesh well together and help lead us to happy and fulfilled lives. If not, there are three ways in which our system of values may not be serving us.

  1. Unconscious values: For most of us our values are out of our awareness. In effect we are being drawn to certain behaviours and  making decisions on values we don’t know exist.
  2. Out of date values: Many of our values were established during our early childhood, we may have absorbed them from our caregivers or through our experience of education. They may be hopelessly out of date yet still exerting an influence.
  3. Out of order values: Values exist in a hierarchy the values at the top of hierarchy will dominate over the values lower down. For example if you value your safety over excitement then you are unlikely to drive at 70 mph in thick fog. The ranking and relative importance of these values may be out of date and almost certainly out of awareness. So we may end up ‘supporting’ a value that is way past it’s sell by date.

So how can you find out what your system of values is? One way (there are many) is based on an exercise from the book NLP The New Technology of Achievement by Steve Andreas and Charles Faulkner.

  1. Think of some goals, interests, loves and desires.
    Make a list of some of the goals you are pursuing now. For each of them in turn look into the future and imagine that the goals have been fulfilled.

    Pick what seem to be the most important 3, 4 or 5 of those goals from your list

  2. Determine your values and principles
    In whatever way you find enjoyable hold the successful fulfillment of that goal has been realised. In your imagination step into that scene, noticing what you see, hear and feel.

    Do this for each goal in turn, as you experience it ask yourself: What do I value about this goal?The answer may be one or more values. Make a note of each one. Use the words that come to mind to describe the values.

  3. List your values and principles
    Make a combined list of your values and principles. From the rough list there may be items that are common across your different goals. There may also be goals that seem quite similar, if there is a word or phrase that sums them up feel free to use that.

Note: You may need some time to complete this exercise, it’s not the kind of thing that can be rushed off in a couple of minutes


One of my goals for 2009 is to be a part of more NLP and EFT trainings. I chose this goal as one of the examples for the exercise.

Here are my answers (in no particular order) to the question “What do I value about this goal?”:

  • To help people help themselves
  • Help people be able to help others
  • Enjoyment of learning
  • Enjoyment of teaching
  • Having fun
  • To do some good in the world

That’s a small part of the overall list of what’s important to me.

In the next article in this series ‘Sorting the wheat from the chaff‘ I’ll explore how to sort the list into the order of their importance, how to identify and resolve conflicts of values and how to find out which values really belong to us.

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NLP Café: Laughter Workshop

Image via Wikipedia

The NLP Cafe run by IntegrityNLP is starting the New Year in style by taking one of the most important aspects of life very seriously! Laughter!

This laughter workshop is hosted by Keith Adams of Voluntary Aspirations.

The event will be fun, stimulating and you will laugh out loud a lot. There are a maximum of 18 places so be sure to book in advance to get in for the laughs.

“Life today is very stressful. More than 70% of all illnesses have some relationship to stress. The best way to reduce stress is through laughter – its the best medicine and the least expensive. Research shows that laughter decreases stress hormones. Epinephrine is lowered both in anticipation of and doing laughter.

There is more. Laughter therapy helps to increase antibodies – its good for the immune system. Laughter stimulates heart and blood circulation. It is claimed that one minute of laughter is equal to ten minutes on the rowing machine. It also tones facial muscles and expressions – people look younger and are more fun when they laugh.

Laughter is socially bonding. It stimulates the creative side of the brain and leads to clear thinking. ”

Keith Adams

Time & Place

The workshop will be on Tuesday January 20th from 7-9 pm with all refreshments provided for just £10.00.

St. Oswald’s Hospice Teaching Centre,
Regent Avenue, Gosforth,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1EE

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The Problem With Learning EFT

There’s a problem with learning EFT at a Beginner’s EFT or EFT Level 1 training or some other informal introduction. Lot’s of people seem to have trouble using EFT effectively for themselves. Here are a few potential snags that get in the way of successful use of EFT:

You are not sure what to do: You’ve been to the training or workshop and been impressed with the results you got on the day. Perhaps you neutralised some old troublesome memories, or maybe eased some physical symptoms. But when you got home it didn’t seem quite so easy. Perhaps you’ve found it difficult to decide where to start or what words to use.

You don’t like to do EFT on your own: Perhaps you are the one of the people who likes to work with other people. Perhaps you like the company, the understanding of other people or just to have someone guide you through the process.

You don’t feel confident: Some people take to EFT right away and rush ahead applying it to everything they can think of and getting good results. Other people are a bit hesitant, they’re not sure what to do or how to do it and that lack of confidence keeps them from making progress.

You haven’t had the opportunities to improve your skills: Perhaps you just haven’t had a chance to practice your skills. Maybe you are thinking of progressing to use EFT in their work or maybe you just want to be more skilled using EFT for family an friends.

You just haven’t used it: Perhaps you haven’t got the benefits of EFT because you’ve not been able to practice. Perhaps you’ve just put EFT on the shelf. EFT is a great technique but if you don’t use it you may as well not have bothered learning it in the first place.

The Tapping Group

To address some of these problems I am starting a regular Tapping Group running twice a month on a Monday and a Thursday evening. Unlike the EFT Cafe the tapping group will follow the same format each session and will give you the following benefits.

Read more

Reasons to be cheerful

According to my sniffling and coughing friends there’s a ‘bug going around’. The thought of something being contagious does not make people cheerful in the normal run of things. That might be about to change.

In the British Medical Journal there’s an article that demonstrates that happiness is also contagious and spreads through social groups.

People who are surrounded by many happy people and those who are central in the network are more likely to become happy in the future. … clusters of happiness result from the spread of happiness and not just a tendency for people to associate with similar individuals. A friend who lives within a mile and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25% . Similar effects are seen in coresident spouses (8%), siblings who live within a mile (14%), and next door neighbours (34%).

In the conclusion they note:

People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected. This provides further justification for seeing happiness, like health, as a collective phenomenon.

It’s official, happiness is contagious!

What’s more if you spread some happiness around and the people around you become happier presumably some of their increased happiness will return to you in a virtuous circle.

I think now might be a very good time for an outbreak of happiness.

Perhaps some promiscuous smiling or unprovoked laughter might be a way to start things off. Thankfully this is one of those conditions where it’s much better to be fully infected than just a carrier without symptoms.

I look forward to the day when my friends tell me there’s a ‘hug going round’.

Tip: If you want to cultivate the full blown disease then be careful to stay away from episodes of Eastenders or copies of the Daily Mail.

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