By Gerry Murray. 13-12-2020
(Scroll down for a laugh)

"The most important asset you need to protect in order to manage the demands of a job or an investment portfolio is your production of energy. And, just like with money, if you do a great job managing your energy, you'll get a great return."
~ Jim Loehr

In a recent Facebook live interview with Robert Dilts, one of the core developers and most prolific authors in the field of NLP, he was asked about stress and anxiety during this Covid period. As we get to the end of 2020 I thought you might appreciate his insights. 

He shared some macro-level questions under the umbrella of habits of success. Here are the questions he asked the Facebook audience: 

  • Do I have ways to recharge?
  • Do I have ways to get ongoing accurate feedback? 
  • Am I fully aware of the real challenges? 
  • Do I have the resources to stay the course? 

These are very useful questions for helping us cope with our current circumstances. Therefore, I thought I would apply my own experience as an NLP trainer and coach and break this down into more concrete and actionable things that any of us can do

So, if you or those close to you (family, friends, colleagues) are experiencing stress and anxiety then I hope you find these tips useful, especially thinking ahead to 2021. 

Recharge & feedback go hand in hand

This is not about one right way to recharge. Not everyone looks good in blue, in black or in brown. You often have to try things on for size, look and feel. 

Just like attaching your phone to a charger, there are often variations on how we recharge. If you’ve travelled enough of the world you’ll be familiar with the wide variety of wall plug sockets that you encounter. Yet, once you have an adapter then you can easily overcome the incompatibility of your charging connector. 

Adaptability is a key mindset for these times. 

So, to be able to recharge we first need to have awareness of what fully charged means for our unique selves.

What does it look, sound and feel like when you’re fully charged? 

Then, applying a key NLP tool, it’s useful to set up a contrast frame.

What are you like when you’re depleted?

Just like the indicator on your phone, when it goes red we need to recharge it but time is running out. If you have an important call to make and no charger at hand then you’re often in trouble! 

However, most phones give us a warning before we get to red by going yellow. Therefore, checking your phone battery levels is something people do regularly during the day. It becomes a habit of success in terms of keeping your phone ready for its next task. 

So, where are your green, yellow and red zones in terms of your energy and stress levels? 

Perhaps you remember that some time back I wrote about the four energies: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual and provided some tips on how to manage each of these. It may not be all your energies that are depleted, just one of these. This is less overwhelming and more manageable. 

How do I check my battery levels? 

Mindfulness is widely recognised as an effective way to do this. The easiest way to think of mindfulness is being able to pay attention to what’s happening to you at any given moment in time. Therefore, developing the success habit of stopping regularly to check in with your own mind and body is incredibly powerful. During the day it means stopping the busyness of business!  

Start by sitting quietly and focusing first exclusively on your breathing in and out. This is a way to begin to clear your mind. Then after focusing on 10 breaths explore the following simple questions: 

Are there any physical sensations that are not comfortable? 

What might be contributing to these? 

What am I thinking right now (yes, thoughts will come and go!) and is this useful, particularly for what I’m trying to achieve next? 

What do I need to change about my thoughts or physiology to be ready for my next steps? 

If you find it too challenging to do this by yourself you could get yourself an app like Headspace. Or, if you want to sample a guided mindfulness then you can get one here

Understanding the real challenges

This involves being able to navigate between the big picture and the detail of events around me. It may involve challenging myself to explore other viewpoints. Or, thinking through different scenarios using phrases such as: 

What if…?

How would this play out for me?

What are the potential upsides and downsides? Seeing both sides of a coin helps us develop more choices on how to respond. 

Do I have the resources to stay the course?

Building on what I’ve said earlier, the answers could be as simple as: 

  • Adjusting your diet
  • Adjusting your exercise routines or even starting one 
  • Scheduling and taking regular breaks during the day 
  • Switching off from work at a set time each evening
  • Spending quality time with family or friends, even if this can only be done online 
  • Reading books - this not only diverts our attention and entertains us but can also stimulate our thinking, creativity and perspectives on life. 

May you have fun exploring these over the holidays and into 2021. 

Stay safe and healthy!



A man is driving home from work when his wife calls him on his cell phone.
“Phil!” She shouts in panic, “Please be careful! I just heard that some lunatic is driving the wrong way on the highway.” 
“You won’t believe it, Doris,” he replies. “It’s not just one car; it’s hundreds of them!”

My wife and I got married under a cell phone tower.
The ceremony wasn't great, but the reception was perfect.

Several men were in the locker room of the gym when a cell phone on a bench rang and a man put it on speaker and begins to talk. Everyone in the room stopped to listen.

Man: Hello!
Woman: Hi honey, it's me. Are you at the club?
Man: Yes.
Woman: I'm at the shops now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $2000: is it OK if I buy it?
Man: Sure, go ahead if you like it that much.
Woman: I also stopped by the Lexus dealership and saw the new models. I saw one that I really liked.
Man: How much?
Woman: $90,000
Man: OK, but for that price, I want it with all options.
Woman: Great! Oh, and one more thing. I was just talking to Jane and found out that the house I wanted last year is back on market. They are asking $980,000 for it.
Man: Well, then go ahead and offer $900,000. They’ll probably take it. If not, we can go to the extra $80,000 if that’s what you really want.
Woman: OK. See you later! I love you too much!
Man: Bye, I love you too.
The man hung up. The other men in the locker room were staring at him in astonishment, mouths wide open.

He turned and asked: Anyone knows whose phone is this?


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