The Six Things You’ll Be Doing This Christmas
Warning: this tip contains advice about drinking alcohol that is for information only. Please do not follow the ideas in this tip if you are driving or operating heavy machinery. Only use them when you can be totally safe and comfortable.
I wonder what kind of Christmas you are going to have?
Perhaps you already know?
One of the intriguing things about being human is our ability to choose our experiences in advance and choose how our experiences are going to affect us.
Two people can go through similar circumstances and while one is crushed, the other grows and develops. Two people endure loss and hardship, one loses all their faith while the other emerges with a deeper and stronger faith. One person will greet life with a morbid expectation of gloom and be proved right, while their colleague will embrace life with a positive expectation and also be proved right.
How can that be? What is responsible for this wide variation in how we deal with our world?
The short answer is that we don’t experience the world at all…and that’s why I know the six things that you’ll be doing this Christmas.
What we actually experience (and can change) is a version of the world extensively filtered by our decisions, beliefs, values, habits and language.
It’s been said that something like 2 million bits of data are hitting our nervous system every second and clearly to experience all of that would send us barmy.
So we filter it and literally construct a version of the world to deal with day to day. We this version of the world "reality". The joy and pain of being human is in how we go about constructing our version of the world. (the other joy is dealing with everyone elses version but that’s another tip).
The Christmas you are about to have is totally unique because only you can have it your way. And the reason for that is the six things you are going to do this Christmas.
Here they are:
In fact, you are doing some or all of those things right now. It’s these six things and how you do them that make up every experience you have. This is very useful to know because it gives you the ability to change your experience (if you want to).
Let me explain…
If all our experiences are actually constructed by doing these six things in your head, then you have the possibility of constructing something different. Of course this will only work if you are prepared to be very flexible and do new things.
This does mean though, that you are no longer reliant on outside influences to create your experiences - you don’t need events to go well for you to feel good about them - the event and your feelings are two separate things.
This is very powerful and extremely useful because, if you want to, you no longer need the sun to shine to have a good day. You can create the feelings of having a good day simply by changing one or more of the six things you do in your head.
It also makes Christmas parties a lot cheaper because you don’t need alcohol or drugs to feel good.
Here’s a simple demonstration:
Do your remember when you were a kid, spinning round and round and then trying to walk straight?
Try this out: Find a safe place and spin round and round. When you stop, the world will still be spinning so without moving your body, simply send it spinning the other way and notice what happens. Clever isn’t it?
This works because, as your know, the world doesn’t actually spin round. It’s just an effect created in your head and when you create the opposite effect the spinning slows down and stops.
(and yes, it does work for hangovers too!)
Even events like eating and drinking can be changed by changing these six things.
Take drinking for instance.
What if alcohol did not actually make you drunk but your reaction to alcohol was constructed by doing these six things, just like all your other experiences?
Before you hit the delete key, here’s why…
I bet you have experienced times when you have drunk quite a lot but stayed clearheaded and sober? You've also experienced times when the smallest sniff of a cork has gone straight to your head?
In other words, it’s not a straight cause/effect relationship. The effects vary. It may not have seemed like this in the past but now you can play:
If it’s safe to play then try the following…
Take a sip of water and pretend it is your favourite drink.
Rethe last time you had too much to drink and using the six things above, do your best to recreate the experience - start that giddy feeling, begin to spin the room, feel the feeling in your throat, wobble, start that wild, excited flushed feeling. Send tingles down your legs - whatever it takes.
Pretty soon you will be tipsy without having a drink. (By the way this is free and totally legal!)
It works the other way round too - but please don’t try this if you are driving or operating heavy machinery.
You can read more about these kind of experiments in the book Insider’s Guide to Sub-modalities by Richard Bandler. Now sadly out of print but my local library had one and Amazon have got some.
It’s our construction of events that determines the quality of our experience.
So this Christmas, it’s up to you. If you want to, you can crank up the experience to a new level of love, fun and enjoyment. It’s not compulsory to enjoy your life but if you want to have a go then here’s a template for changing your experince of anything.
First, make a decision that this will be the best Christmas ever; then use each of the six things in a way that will improve your experience:
|See/Visualise||What could you look at, notice or imagine that would improve your Christmas?||Notice happiness, see the light shining in the eyes of children, notice the kindness and giving that is going on, see how bright and attractive the houses and shops are and so on.|
|Hear/Recall||What could you listen to, hum, sing? What rhythms enhance your experience?||Let Christmas tunes get under your skin, hum them and sing them. Practise feeling good when you hear them. When you can feel good listening to Cliff or Johnny Mathis you have got it cracked!|
|Feel/Touch||What felt good in the past that you can feel again?||Start a warm happy feeling in your mid chest and let it fill you right up like a warm glow. Begin to feel christmassy, talk everyone up - even those who shove you aside in shops. Take time to touch things that bring you pleasure..|
|Sniff/Smell/Recall||What smells bring you pleasure?||Smell things fully, even the things you don’t normally like. Let it all in through your nostrils. Embrace the smell of life. Repast smells of pleasure.|
|Taste/Recall||What could you taste to improve your Christmas?||Savour each snack, sweet or meal as if it were your last. Eat more slowly than usual. Repast tastes.|
|Talk to yourself/Think||What could you say to you, about you that would change your experience?||And lastly, listen to the way you are talking to yourself about yourself and your experience. Replace it with positive hopeful, generous words that improve your experience.|
Remember if all this seems a little unreal or unnatural to you. that’s because of the way you do these six things in your head - so you can change it if you want to.
It’s over to you - six things to make this Christmas your best ever.
Have fun & take care,
Here’s a couple of pointers for using this in a work context
Every one of your colleagues is experiencing a different world to you - that should explain quite a few things…
When you talk to someone it changes what they do in their head - so it’s useful to say it the way you want it.
Anytime you want a group or individual to go in a new direction use the full range of sensory language - talk pictures, sounds, feelings tastes, smells etc. This way you will help them to change their internal experience. That’s why stories work well.