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Path to Excellence

Problem = Opportunity = Growth

Every time I land in Goa to run an NLP retreat, I’m hit with a wave of colour, heat and breathtaking natural beauty – the jungle, the beaches and wildlife – I love it! This time however, I was hit with a horrible bout of food poisoning within 24 hours of landing. Not so good :(

As you might imagine, it knocked me sideways. I’ve often allowed (though not consciously) life and challenges to knock me off centre. Over time, I’ve become increasingly resilient and able to bounce back; there are strategies for bouncing back. Some I have down-pat. Others, when some of the deeper stuff gets triggered, I still have to work on.

This is the beauty of NLP and these NLP retreats. They help us to develop our mental maps and models of the world – be those related to resilience, bouncing back or recovering from ill health. We can achieve anything we want to when we get the underlying structure or strategy.

What sets real masters aside from us mere mortals is that they have hardwired that ‘problem = opportunity’. As a result they are able to bounce back almost immediately. Josh Waitzkin uses a great metaphor in his book The Art of Learning where he describes how Tai Chi masters learn to embrace these challenges, as a way of growth. They embrace the attack, the new, the unknown and the challenging.

So often my conditioned and unconscious response has been ‘problem = problem = I can’t’. Josh describes in detail how those who excel in any field believe that ‘problem = opportunity = growth and the path to excellence’.

 

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Magical India – The Art Of Happiness

I’ve just ambled lazily back across the pristine white sand of a deserted beach in Cherai having been swimming alone in the Arabian sea – a beautiful luke warm bath with surfable waves apparently induced by the solar eclipse. Being back in India is like coming home!

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Having grown up until the age of 7 with with my parents who were hippies, and having lived in more houses that I have lived years its pretty much indisputable that I’m a born nomad. And I normally feel very much at home wherever I am. I have been living in Ibiza since last summer which I consider to be my spiritual home, despite the reputation it has among many in Britain! But India feels as much a home if not more than anywhere else, and coming back here this year for a couple of months reminds me of how utterly special and unique this country is and how I want to keep coming back here each year – to this most rich, vibrant, beautifully alive and special place.

Today, the day of the solar eclipse, is a special day. Not just because of the eclipse but because I have committed to recognising and changing a pattern of mine which I know will have a profound impact on my life, and perhaps more importantly the lives of others around me.

In NLP there are what’s known as meta-programmes, or filters, which are our way of filtering information and making sense of the world… well I have added a new one today, an important distinction for me, and that is the notion of ‘input’ versus ‘output’. I love learning, in fact I am addicted to learning. A much better addiction than some things, but nonetheless an addiction. I love input, I love learning, I love finding out what others do, say and think and modelling their success. But today I believe its time that I reverse this pattern and now ‘output’ more than I ‘input’.

So my new blog and websites are being built and I am in the process of designing products and workshops to give others this rich, peripatetic, vibrant and fun life that I am so privileged to have, or whatever it is that they truly want!

Riding along the dusty roads today on my Enflield Bullet, the thud thud thud of the 350cc single cylinder engine attracting attention as if it were a pink tractor I realised just how lucky I am to have designed my life this way and I know have the desire to give others the gifts and leanings I have had along my journey.

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Its paradoxical in some respects that I am entirely responsible for creating my life in this way and yet at the same time there are unseen forces in the Universe that have helped conspire towards me following this path, to open up to and awaken to all the magical coincidences and synchronicities around me…. around us all!

And so riding along on my Enflied thinking about all this today, I became very grateful and excited. I also became aware of how I can tend to overcomplicated life. Life can be very simple. I know that from watching how simply people live out here.

The other day I asked Sajeen, an amazing and young yoga teacher in Cherai, “is life good”? to which he smiled and replied “of course” as if it could not be any other way and my question was absurd. Now, that is simplicity, finding love and joy in everything because you choose to!

It’s funny that somehow in the so-called civilised West many of us have come to believe, or been conditioned through advertising and cultural norms – that if I get x I will feel y. Whereas in fact we can feel any way we want whenever we want. And then enjoy the journey as well as the destination! Perhaps that is the secret, but of course knowing something and doing it are two very different things.

I heard Gary Vaynerchuck say earlier today “love what you do and if you don’t then STOP. There is absolutely no need to be not enjoying yourself in this day and age.”

And I concur. There is more technology, money, opportunity, information and wealth than at any other time in the history of humankind. If you are pursuing making money or a 9-5 and you’re not enjoying it, then you are doing yourself and humanity a disservice and going after success rather than fulfilment. And that to me is failure.

There are so many people with apparently so little who manage to be happy…. who manage to just be, and be happy, and I believe we can all learn the distinctions which enable them to live in that place. For me one of those distinctions is a commitment to daily practice every morning, which at the moment is yoga. As I sit on the beach now writing this blog, I am looking one way and then the other as far as I can see and there is not a soul… not a single solitary soul. I could be lonely but I am not. Because deep inside I am connecting to a place of love, joy and inspiration and that is open to all of us at any moment in time. And I’m outputting 😉

And it is in that connecting, that desire to connect into the bigger system, to output rather than input, that I believe is one of our greatest sources of sustainable joy. That is where we find happiness. The question then is, what do we need to focus on, to believe in and do in order to be in that place of joy? What do you need to focus on now?

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Looking above me watching the eagles circling in the dense heat of the Indian sky, with nature all around blending seamlessly into an enticing array of colours, cows, cats, cockerels, ducks and dogs, I feel humbled as I reminisce on the rich and varied day I have had. I am humbled by the smiles of nearly every person I passed earlier today on my motorbike; by the simplicity and pace of life; by the acceptance that all is as its meant to be.

As I recall – the three smiling middle aged ladies in vibrant buttercup-yellow dresses, the pink and orange houses that I passed and the cows grazing peacefully by the side of the road – I am reminded that happiness is all we want. Happiness is all we truly want. And that is success.

Go follow your bliss!

With love
Tristan x