A little video on the Internet shows a father introducing his new baby to the family dog. The dog lies straight down on his back, exposing his belly, the most fragile part of him, to show he won’t cause the new baby any harm.
When two dogs are fighting and one of them realises he’s not going to win, he behaves in the same way as a sign of capitulation and the other dog immediately moves away and stops fighting.
Most of the people I help are aware of this crucial time when you ‘reveal your belly’.
David Allen interpreted this brilliantly: “Puppies and babies are the most vulnerable creatures … and that’s exactly why you want to protect them!”
No normal person would want to harm a baby or a puppy. On the contrary, when you reveal your symbolic belly, a type of protection that is almost impenetrable is immediately established.
What about you? Which belly could you reveal so that a form of protection could be established?
“Walter, my fifteen-year-old son, plays hockey and he was not at all happy with his position in rear defence. He was convinced he was an excellent midfielder, a position from which he could create the attack.
I suggested he write to his trainers to share his ideas instead of keeping his frustrations to himself and letting them build up.
I nearly fell off my chair when my son asked me to read his rough copy. He told me he had used the DESC model (Description – Effect – Solution – Conclusion) that I had explained to him after a management course last year – and he had applied it perfectly!
His trainers thanked him for his frankness, assured him he had talent and began to bring him forward on the field!”
Like Malcolm, we often think that what we share with our teenagers has no effect on them but the reality is that they just need a reason to apply it.
What about you? Have you seen your children use the tools you passed on to them?
Nathalie shared her hamster story during a Facebook live stream: sitting at her desk, concentrating hard, she is thinking of names for the various sections of a training course, but nothing inspires her. She perseveres. Her mental hamster wheel is overheating with exhortations: “I’ve got to find something! Come on! This is ridiculous! It should be so easy!”
Her wheel continues to squeak round even when she’s on the phone, leading to scribbles on scraps of paper and a certain loss of active listening.
She goes to bed, more than a little frustrated. The next day, sitting comfortably at her desk, she opens the file and BOOM! The section headings spring to mind.
We all know when our hamster wheel is turning, we can’t hear what our intuition is trying to tell us. Some people go off and do some sport, others meditate, do some cooking or have a nap. All these activities serve the same purpose: they calm down the hamster and make room for your intuition. Or to use Nathalie’s words: to download the answer to your question!
What about you? How do you deal with your hamster?
Many of my clients find it hard to make a decision. They weigh up the pros and cons, look at all the options, ask for advice, draw up a plan B, go back to their first choice, keep hesitating.
I always tell them what I was taught: “Make a decision and ensure it’s a good one!”
What’s the difference, you may say? It’s your attitude that changes: when you have decided your decision is the right one, because you chose it to be so, you will do everything to ensure that it is.
Every aspect of your decision can potentially to be ‘for’ or ‘against’ changing. But you are only going to look at the positive side. You are going to confirm you made the right choice.
Try it! Make a decision with the firm intention of making it a good one. And let me know how you get on.
“Let me take my glasses off so I can concentrate!”
I stare in surprise at the person talking to me. Then I understand. When outlines are blurred by his myopia, he is no longer distracted by his surroundings and can focus on the problem!
We experience that state when we daydream; our eyes become fixed on the distance and our surroundings merge into a blur. Out of the mist one single idea takes shape.
When I look at the watch firmly attached to my wrist or the clock on my bedside table, I see only one thing: the time!
If I try to achieve the same result looking at my smartphone, I am immediately distracted by the red bubbles showing the number of calls, emails and text messages that have arrived in my absence. I find myself replying to my messages and realise later that I still don’t know what time it is!
What about you? What symbolic glasses do you need to take off in order to really focus on something?