Dr Seuss meets NLP Training
I was brought up in a very “British” household. We had Sunday roasts, watched the queen’s Christmas speech in a revered silence, and celebrated the jubilees and royal weddings with gusto.
This was all my mother’s doing. She was such a Little Englander, with a real downer on anything American, which is why I ended up with a dull (and slightly more anatomically correct) Cindy doll instead of the glamourous Barbie. And why I was brought up on Janet and John and “Winds in the Willow” rather than the imaginative and funky Dr Seuss.
I confess – it’s taken me a few decades but now I’m discovering the true joy of Dr Seuss. As an NLP trainer I love how his quotes are so well aligned to the principles of NLP.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose” – Dr Seuss, author.
This particular quote makes me smile every time I read it. It’s ultimately all about choice, something which we have in abundance but don’t always realise.
In fact, we ALWAYS have choice, even if it’s a choice over very mundane options. And to choose makes an enormous difference to our lives – even just the acknowledgement of our gift of choice that makes the most difference.
Consider this quote by Viktor E Frankl, psychologist and Holocaust survivor:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor E Frankl
Who can disagree that choice is not our greatest gift? However to choose, we have to be constantly aware of the availability of choice. And how do we achieve this?
Choose choice – with NLP and Mindfulness
Let me suggest a few ideas to “anchor” (an NLP term) the idea of choice.
– Start right now and consider the following:
- What are you choosing to believe?
- What are you choosing to think?
- Where are you choosing to be? Where are you choosing not to be?
- Who are you choosing to be with or be without?
- How are you choosing to be? Attitude? Posture? Mood? Pace? Energy?
You don’t need to judge these elements, simply consider them. Then think about the choices you could make. What would be a better choice for you? When you make that choice, what is it like?
– Take up mindfulness. One of the great benefits of Mindfulness is that we start to question our thoughts. We begin to realise that our thoughts are not us, and also that they are “just thoughts”… and as such we can choose to believe them or not. Remember that thought you have about not being good enough… well how wonderful will it be when you question that and choose not to believe it. Choosing instead to believe that you are good enough?
– Download a timer app, there are many available, and whenever the bell goes off ask yourself what you are choosing right now.
– Taking from the Dr Seuss quote, every time you put your shoes on, repeat that quote and gain a full sense of what it means. If you chose to go anywhere today, where would it be? If you could choose your thoughts for the day, what would they contain?
– If you are in a situation where you really believe you don’t have a choice, remember that even in our most limited states, as shown by Japanese Prisoners of War who survived terrible atrocities with even their most basic human rights removed. A few of these prisoners survived simply by remembering that they had a choice over when to breathe.
Evidently our choice is one of our most basic but joyful human faculties. Choose to use it. Or choose not to. It is your choice.
PS: Do I regret a Dr Seuss-less childhood? Nah! Because I’ve been discovering him as an adult. And, in the words of a very famous philosopher: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss