National Stress Awareness Day

On this National Stress Awareness Day, surprisingly few of us are lucky enough to have jobs we love.

For most, a good enough balance between work and home life makes it worthwhile and I count myself very lucky to be one of them. It wasn’t always this way. Having experienced more than my fair share of stress, I decided to do something about it. I retrained as Cognitive Hypnotherapist, specialising in helping clients who are experiencing high levels of Stress, Anxiety & Depression…: Click here to read more

National Stress Awareness Day


I’m Stressed Out ! © Tony Burkinshaw 2012

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I’m Moving Blog House – Please Follow Me There

Hi everyone,

I’ve moved my blog over to my new website here

I’d love to see you there. If all goes well, you might automatically find me anyway (assuming modern technology works as planned 🙂

All the best

Tony

I'm listening... © Tony Burkinshaw 2012

I’m listening…
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012

It’s about Time

Time to look forwards.

There’s a new Quest course on its way and in the way of Quest, graduates assist the new students. It’s too good an opportunity to miss. The assistants on my course were fantastic and I’m still in touch with most of them. They were an important part of the experience.

Time to pass on what I’ve learned.

It’s also time to refresh what I thought I’d picked up originally because as these things go, you generally miss things first time around. It’s why I like watching films more than once. Subsequent viewings are when you pick up the intricacies of the complex plot. Or the finesse in the special effects.

So even though I’m now the proud possessor of a certificate that proclaims me to be a master wizard, there’s always more to learn.

Time for new beginnings.

Time for fun.

It's a matter of perspective © Tony Burkinshaw 2012

It’s a matter of perspective
© Tony Burkinshaw 2012

The Certificated Wizard

Maybe the tides have turned. For the first time in many weeks, we had a day in the same city. The hospital visit was only 15 minutes away and we even had the space to walk into town for a well-earned coffee/Panini. The sun was shining.

Not only that, since 9.30 there’s only been us in the house. We might even make it to the pub this evening.

On a different note, I’m considering a re-think on the Slight Edge habits. It’s come to my attention that I’m not feeding my Humour & Playfulness key character strength sufficiently well.

Jan, god love her, sent my Master Practitioner Certificate with a fun twist playing on my daughter’s conviction that I’m now officially a wizard. It exercised my playful instincts as I sadly realised that I’m not the kind of therapist who’d have a Wizard Certificate on his wall. Not in this universe anyway.

With the limits of playfulness duly stretched and tested, it occurs to me that I’ve stopped listening to music. So I’m writing this post listening to Uptown Special at reasonable volume on the Mac. I forget how much difference it can make.

So if I decide to switch one of my Slight Edge habits for listening to out-loud music, which should it be? In no particular order, here they are. One of them has to make room:

  • Read 10 pages of something interesting
  • Meditate for at least 10 minutes
  • Exercise: raised heart rate for at least 5 minutes (I’m starting from a low base again)
  • Write 100 words or more
  • Keep a list of the day’s positive events

Which one gets shouldered out of the way so I can get to the front once more?

My life needs more noise.

stress anxiety depression

just waiting for the Pizza
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Gill just came up and closed the door…

Origami Space Travel

If you’ve just read Chaos Kindness & Satchmo, you’ll know why you’re here.

If not, take a look back. Context is everything… Jump Back

In keeping with our lyrical back-referencing, take ‘Fly me to the Moon’.

So if we were going to take up this challenge, how far is the Moon? Well for a start it’s not a constant distance. The average is 384,400 kilometers but it ranges from 363,104 km to 405,696 km and is actually drifting away from us at a rate 3.8 cm a year. [Now here’s a curious fact. In order to find this out, the drifting that is, we’ve known how far away the moon is since 200 BC, they fitted some tiny reflectors on the Moon’s surface and bounce laser-light off them. Guess how big the reflectors are? 3.8 cm. Coincidence? I think not…]

Anyway, lunar drifting aside, why are we looking at this? Well, you know that flimsy cheap and nasty printer paper you sometimes buy? The one that’s about 75 gsm and only just thick enough to use without ripping? It’s flimsy because it’s only a tenth of a millimeter thick.

Imagine a sheet of this paper so long that you could just keep folding it in half and then over in half again, for as many times as you wanted to. How many times would you need to fold it in half for it to become as thick as the distance from the earth to the Moon? A million? A billion? No.

42.

Honestly. Check it. (See below *)

It turns out that not only is 42 the answer to the ultimate question and all that Hitchhikers Guide malarkey, it’s how close the Moon is. The Moon is only 42 folds of thin paper away. That’s the power of doubling. Double it. Double it again.

Doubling 42 times turns a tenth of a millimeter into space travel.

Origami Space Travel:

  • 75 gsm paper is a tenth of a millimeter thick.
  • A tenth of a millimeter is 0.1mm = 0.01 cm = 0.0001 m = 0.0000001 km
  • The Moon is 409,696km from earth at it’s furthest away.

Folding Instructions:

  • Fold the paper in half. It is now 0.0000002 km thick
  • …and again = 0.0000004 km; …again = 0.0000008 km and so on
  • Try it on your calculator. It’s easier than real paper.
  • Type in 0.0000001 x 2 and press equals. Then press x 2 and equals again. Each time it calculates the thickness after one more fold. Do this 42 times.
  • You end up at 439,804.65 kilometers.
  • Further than the Moon.

Origami Space Travel.

hypnotherapy

At the end of your tether
© Tony Burkinshaw 2014

 

What makes you so Special, anyway?

I had an article about USPs published recently, (on my birthday, as it happens), in the Summer Issue of Perception, the Cognitive Hypnotherapy E-zine. I thought you might like to see it.

The E-zine is published every quarter and is really easy to subscribe to. I’ve included a link at the bottom of this post. Best of all, it is free.

There’s a full copy of the Summer Issue at the bottom of this post. I suspect you’ll find it really interesting.

Anyway, appetite duly whetted; read on…

_________________________________________________________________________

What makes you so Special, anyway?

Someone somewhere is always trying to convince you that what they’ve got is so good that you can’t live without it. Whether it’s home insulation, life assurance that comes with a pen, (thanks Michael, that’ll really sway my decision), or even claiming compensation for buying something that turned out not be quite as good as you were led to believe at the time. And we don’t just do this with the things we buy. We do it with people.

We live with a tacit pressure to identify what’s known as a USP, your Unique Selling Proposition. We’re driven to find what it is that’s going to make you, your product, your company or your service not just more appealing than the competition but entirely different from and better than the competition. Given that this concept originated back in the USA in the early 1940s, it’s probably a pressure that owes its roots to living in a capitalist economy where bigger, faster, higher, quicker was the order of the day. In a competitive environment, you need something that makes you stand out, something that makes you different.

A quick Google into USPs, (other good search engines are available), and you find that even the term USP isn’t unique. From the United Steel Products company in Minnesota to the United States Pharmacopeal Convention and even as far afield as the University of the South Pacific, all these claim the epithet USP. Obviously the University of the South Pacific holds most attraction, so I’m off to Tonga to study Geospatial Science at the USP at my earliest opportunity. Well, maybe later. In another life, perhaps.

Despite this minor sub-tropical digression, where does the acceptance of USP as a key idea really come from? The first thing to understand is that this is now quite an old concept invented, if that’s the right word, by good old Rosser Reeves during the 1940s. He analysed a variety of successful advertising campaigns looking for the common theme that made them so. According to Rosser, what made them successful, what convinced customers to switch brands, was that each campaign had been able to deliver what he termed a ‘Unique Selling Proposition’.  His criteria were quite stringent. These are the three qualities a Rosser-style USP must have;

  • The advertisement must make a specific proposition: ‘Buy this product and you will get this specific benefit’.
  • The proposition must be unique: something that the competition cannot or does not offer.
  • It must be strong enough to pull customers over to your product.

If you run a business, he demanded, what is your USP? Why on earth should a customer come to you when there are so many similar businesses out there each vying for the rapidly shrinking pound-in-your-pocket? It worked really well back then.

So here we are, some 50 years later still living with its influence. But there are so many businesses and so many people out there, that there is little specific uniqueness left.

Personally, I’m not really worried. Let me tell you why.

When I set up my business as a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, I went through the process of trying to discover my Unique Selling Point because it seemed that everyone was doing it. It was one of the expected steps in what is known as creating your business proposition. What would differentiate my business from all those other Hypnotherapists around me? No matter how hard I looked at it, whatever I came up with, it looked very much like everyone else’s Hypnotherapy business. Uniqueness was proving extremely elusive.

I firmly believe that Cognitive Hypnotherapy is a much more profoundly useful tool than any other form of hypnotherapy, so in a way that could be my USP. But all those other Hypnotherapists believe that they’re good too, (well some of them do anyway), so even being a Cognitive Hypnotherapist isn’t enough to distinguish me uniquely from the competition. I’ve decided to focus on fertility and pain relief which helps but that’s not unique either. Others out there do the same.

So, after much thought and internal debate, I brought myself to this conclusion. My particular USP is me. There is no other Hypnotherapist out there, Cognitive or otherwise, who is or ever will be, me. That’s kind of reassuring.

And if I am me, then you are you. There is nobody like you. Anywhere. You are indeed one of a kind. Physically and mentally, (which is more of the same thing than you might imagine), no-one else will ever be you. So forget all the pressure of being the best you can be, striving for ultimate self-improvement, learning to be a winner.

Your biggest and most unique, (if you’ll pardon the unnecessary superlative), selling point is that nobody else in the entire world is you. This puts you in pole position and gives you an unfair advantage, (honestly, bear with me).  Nobody else does what you do, thinks the way you do, behaves or feels or sees the world exactly as you do. Now this can seem a little overwhelming and scary at first because for most of us, we never really learn to appreciate just what these things are or how they really seem to those around us.

We are taught from a very early age how to think, how to behave, what we should or shouldn’t say, which rules we should follow, how we should dress, what food we should eat. The point is that we’re taught those things by people who aren’t us. The best they can do is to try to mold us into a better version of them, after all that’s what happened when they grew up. We learn to take on other people’s values and ideas. This can cause deeply embedded internal confusion as effectively we’ve learned to live our lives as if we were someone else. Who we really are, what we really believe gets buried and we forget how to value our individuality, our true identity. We end up not appreciating our own self for what it is. Special.

Fortunately, there are ways to get back to the centre of who you are. Cognitive Hypnotherapy really can separate out those aspects of you which are you and those which you’ve taken on and learnt from others as you grew up and life threw its various experiences at you. For many of us, we spend our lives trying not to be something, trying to keep away from ideas, values, identities that we unconsciously know are not us. But as these values are tucked away out of sight and out of mind, we rarely if ever become fully aware of them. It just feels, well, wrong.

Imagine how fantastic must it be to uncover the true you in a way that enables you to fully appreciate who you are. Once you become the centre of you, your life becomes congruent. You make decisions that are good for you, help you to grow. You learn how to feed the aspects of your personality that keep you healthy, strong, happy and content.

And there’s more. Once you’ve found what’s important, your underlying values, your true identity, you will find that you have uncovered your own Unique Selling Point and buffed it to such a glorious shine that it can’t help but be noticed. You have become you.

So now that you know who you are and what is fundamentally important to you, you’ll discover some strange things. There will be people, places, jobs, ideas, passions that absolutely fit like a glove. You may never even have noticed them before. Equally there will be people, places, jobs and ideas that you have put up with, simply because you couldn’t see any alternative or were too afraid to let go. Knowing who you are gives you the strength either to move on or to change these relationships into ones that are healthy for you. You become so centred that change is truly an opportunity and no longer a fear.

It isn’t the skills, qualifications or knowledge you hold which enable you to succeed; it is the passion that comes with being centred, being you, living without any inner conflict, confusion or deeply embedded self-doubt. In life and in business, knowing who you are is such a rare asset that the passion and self-belief it brings are a magnet to those with whom you’ll fit.

My advice is simply this. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that you live the life that you truly want, not the life that you find yourself putting up with.

So if something is holding you back or if you’re living a life that just doesn’t fit, why not get in touch with your nearest Cognitive Hypnotherapist? You’ll find one via the ‘find a Cognitive Hypnotherapist near you’ button on the Cognitive Hypnotherapy website.

It’s time to uncover that unique someone who is, quite simply, you.

Perception_Summer_2013_Issue_3

Perception E-zine Free Subsription

The only one? ©Tony Burkinshaw 2013

The only one?
©Tony Burkinshaw 2013

 

The WordPress Family (Award)

 

wordpressfamilyaward

Shaun started this award on MARCH 4th 2013 and has had well over 1000 ping backs when someone Awards this to someone else.

It simply represents the WordPress Family and especially the support that exists out there within WordPress. Words have power.

So I am now going to Award the 10 newest people/friends who have followed my blog and welcome them to my ever-expanding WordPress circle.

Celebrate. It’s fun.

Rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family

4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them

5. That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as  a friend, and spread the love

10 Nominations for Award 

1. http://fivequickminutes.wordpress.com/

2. http://nzfiend.wordpress.com/

3. http://trueheartforreal.wordpress.com/

4. http://allmostrelevant.com/

5. http://mybitchinblogspot.wordpress.com/

6. http://radiatingblossom.wordpress.com/

7. http://threewiseguyspodcast.wordpress.com/

8. http://glamlifeofme.wordpress.com/

9. http://stuffitellmysister.me/

10. …and this is Shaun:  http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

As he says, “More Love, Less Hate”

I agree.

Confused? Perhaps not.

How do you know that you know what you know is something that you know and yet you can be just as certain that you know that you know what you don’t know is, well, something that you don’t?

There must be something about the essence of recall that enables you to recognise that it is either certain or uncertain, otherwise you’d have to cross check every memory every time you recalled it in order to determine whether it is something you’ve recalled correctly or not.

As it turns out, it has a lot to do with how you decide to store information in the first place so that the qualities of know and don’t know, certain and uncertain, are encoded into the memory itself.

Once you recognise this and learn how you personally encode known information for quick and easy recall, you can encode brand new information in the same manner as everything else you absolutely know.

Done properly, your brain can’t tell the difference and stores this new knowledge in the same manner as all other information that you already know that you know and therefore can easily recall.

Fascinating.

I’m learning how to spread the word.

This just might turn out to have been one of the most useful skills I learned for my hybridised career.

Want to know more?

http://www.cognitivehypnotherapy.org

Click here for my therapy website

Memory

Up or down? Are you sure?
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Doubly Inspiring! …and doubly flattered…

It is slightly surreal to find that I have been nominated TWICE for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award in the same week. Multi-thanks go out warmly to both bloomlisa and to flowersforthemoon for their nominations.

It’s only 10 months since I began this, my first ever blog, about my journey into Cognitive Hypnotherapy. It has been incredibly interesting and seems to have fascinated all of us. Thank you for joining in along the way.

inspiringbloggeraward1

The rules for accepting the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are as follows:

  1. Display the Award Certificate on your website.
  2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever presented you with the award.
  3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
  4. Drop them a comment to tip them off after you have linked them in the post.
  5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

This is the interesting me: (maybe)

1. I am related to the last person to be beheaded in England (at Tower Hill just outside the Tower of London).

2. I once played trombone in Westminster Abbey.

3. I am also a Chartered Financial Planner (but then some of you already know).

4. I have driven through a plague of very sticky Aussie locusts.

5. I am half Australian, half English, a quarter Scottish, entirely from Yorkshire and married the half Welsh, half Scottish love of my life. I am therefore genetically confused.

6. I have pets for no other reason than I have no pets.

7. I don’t see the point of celery.

15 Deserving Bloggers

1. Ajaytao

2. anisja rossi

3. The Worlds top 10 of anything and everything

4. Hovercraftdoggy

5. The Better man Project

6.The Daily Post (I know it’s not quite a proper blog but very useful nonetheless)

7. Lateral Love Australia

8. Finding My Inner Courage

9. transcendingbordersblog

10. clumsyfool

11. Eddie Two Hawks 

12. Readful things blog

13. Bucket List Publications

14.The War In my Brain

15. My Journey through M.E.

Check them out. You might like them too.

Looking back, it just might have been relaxing…

Just when I thought I’d missed the boat, it turned out I was waiting for the bus. All those things that I had so carefully allowed my unconscious mind to deliver with poorly timed delays which built up and left me wondering if I would ever have that digit sufficiently extracted to get this thing off the ground, to continue the locomotive metaphorical referencing, several of those self-same things have all turned up and are hammering my door down.

Well to be fair, they’re not so much hammering as knocking politely to see if I’m ready to let them join the party which, with later hindsight will turn out to have been quite some bash if I’m not mistaken.

All of a sudden there are actual leaflets to deliver, ; there will shortly be a downloads page together with some bone-fide eponymice designed to alleviate and offer remedy and solace as appropriate. Sounds good so far to me but it gets better.

I have for some time now been pondering the merits of combining my careers of Cognitive Hypnotherapy (which I love by the way) and Chartered Financial Planning, (which, whilst the fire of love has long since died down, I am still very fond of). It seemed a long shot but in my Sky Bird kind of way I was certain that there was a path into the future which would bring the best of both into sharp communion and offer an offering which was not currently being, for want of a better word, offered.

It turns out that one of my key decisions in this Quest was, with that aforementioned hindsight, pretty much 20/20 although at the time I was very concerned it may drive a myopic wedge through my Financial Planning contract work. You see, there are a lot more of us pitching for work than there is work to be pitched for especially as I’m aiming at ad-hoc days rather than the chunkier multi-week affairs which are more prevalent (or at least were in the pre yet-another-regulation-changeover days).

I debated the merits of keeping my two careers separate. You know, two LinkedIn profiles, two set of CV, two Facebook pages, twinned Twitter accounts and so on. Instead, as is becoming mildly habitual, I took the risk of combining them. My LinkedIn profile , whilst majoring on my financial services credentials nonetheless declares to the world, at that part of it which decides to look, that I am not only Chartered but a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. My CV proudly declares that I offer the above and am also an NLP practitioner. Twitter, Facebook and this blog pay tribute to both sides of my split working personalities.

It seems that this is the week when the coming together begins.

I’m now in contact with two Financial Services groups specifically because I am qualified in Cognitive Hypnotherapy. This is not, I hasten to add at this juncture just in case any of the regulatory persuasion are amongst the blogging community who drop in for a read every now and then, to add a layer of hypnotic persuasion to the meticulously crafted advice being offered to members of the general public but rather because my unique perspective might deliver some sideways, upside-down and occasionally just plain unexpected views of how certain problems might get solved.

The horizon has opened up to reveal a potential, (a lovely word which loosely translates into ‘maybe/maybe not, we’ll just wait and see what you come up with, OK?’) for developing training modules to help candidates undertake their study, learning, course-work and the like to suit how they, as individuals, learn best rather than depending on the design of the various study materials and generic learning styles on offer.

There’s a move to understanding the hugely overlooked importance of the advisers themselves in the advice transaction leading to an inevitable misalignment with the client because our wonderful, (honestly?), UK regulator insists on communicating written detail to one and all which leaves no room for a client’s particular view of the world and how they make important decisions. The more astute are understanding that to some extent successful advice relies on an element of client-life-coaching as part of the advice process. So who shows them how to accomplish that one in a way that takes a leap ahead of most life-coaching models? I might just put my hand up and offer my services.

Now that the doors have opened, it is my firm intention to thrust a wedge in between them and ensure they don’t shut. I am fully aware that these particular seeds of hopefulness may not bear fruit. But there is at least some evidence of fertile ground on which to cast whatever further seeds float, drop or spiral their way past me. Regulars amongst you will also know that I am not one for touching wood or worrying about Fate being unduly tempted and all that Melarkey (a pleasant woman who, strangely, worked for me once upon a time). What will be, will only have been once the what-will-be has done its doings and I take a long hard look in the rearview mirror, (Fate and Lee Remick notwithstanding). Weirdly, the IMDb.com plot synopsis for Rearview Mirror reads; ‘The plot synopsis is empty’. They’ve obviously seen the film.

And now to business: I have a question.

When my download page is live, (hopefully within a couple of weeks), I’d like to offer a pretty chunky discount every now and then to you guys, (‘guys’ is of course a unisex term, referring to readers of this blog) and I’d really value your feedback.

Would this be something you’d like me to offer or should I just leave all that download stuff for my website only?

To help you decide, (just for you stressed-out, adrenaline-fuelled, sleep-deprived blog-reading fans), here is a taste of things to come…click on the link below to listen to (or download) my example Relaxation recording. This one is an exclusive and won’t be up for sale.

Gentle Relaxation

And to add to the sense of doing the right thing at the right time, I find that I’ve been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award (twice) in the last 7 days! Needless to say, I’m doubly flattered but more of that mid-week.

For now, have a relaxing time on me…

Not a care... © Tony Burkinshaw 2013

Not a care…
© Tony Burkinshaw 2013