Exploring the Nexus of Mind and Life! The Future of!

IMG_0531 small.jpeg

I have a confession to make - I'm not really a coach or a hypnotist or an agent of change (or many other things). When I say that, I'm not saying that I can't or don't do those things, just that those things are not what I am... and they are certainly not how I would wish to identify.

Now, to some reading this this may seem odd, because they may think of me as a coach or hypnotist (or similar). And if they do I can understand why - there are literally hundreds of videos of me demonstrating and discussing hypnosis on YouTube, coaching programmes available from me and many testimonials from coaching clients floating around the internet... but that is still not what I am or what I'm really about at the heart of it all.

At 19 years of age I was struck by an epiphany that change the course of my life. Keeping the details short, I had been struggling with life for a few years (I didn't feel like I fitted in or had any power whatsoever) and got to the point where a concerned doctor signed me off work and put on anti-depressants.

In many ways, the relief at this was enormous - I'd finally got what I wanted - the world off my back... but for just two weeks!

Out driving and pondering, I realised I could keep travelling down the path of deteriorating mental health or...

"The world is not going to reorganise itself to suit my needs"

This was the epiphany that struck... like enlightening lightening!

If my life was to get better, I needed to get into the driving seat. I needed to transform my engagement with it so as I could start to shape it up more as I might want. But how?

And so began a journey of exploration, exploring an array of different psychological and philosophical 'reality tunnels' immersing myself in their mind-shifting conceptual cultures (this is what I was doing, albeit unconsciously... consciously I thought I was searching for 'truth') and transforming my own 'deep psychology' as I went.

These reality tunnels have included - western analytical philosophy, taoism, systems thinking, mind/body healing, NLP, magic and mentalism, NLP, various flavours of hypnosis, NLP, Choice Theory, General Semantics, Three Principles, Byron Katies Work, New Thought, Stoicism, Jungian Psychology, Adlerian Psychology, REBT, and much more besides.

Now, when I talk about 'exploring' these reality tunnels, I'm not talking about merely researching them, I'm talking about degrees of immersion in them - exploring living into them and living from them. Exploring their effects upon my ongoing experience and responses and - most interestingly, for me - my results in life.

And from this exploration emerges fresh creation - a nuancing of elements from one reality tunnel with aspects and discoveries from another.

And this is why, whilst I coach, I don't identify as a coach (or hypnotist, or whatever) but instead, above all that as an explorer and emergent creator.

The reason I share this with you now is because, going forward, I intend to be grounding more fully in this - continuing to explore with the functionality of different psychological reality tunnels and continuing to integrate the discoveries into my own personal psychology and teaching models.

This experience and this practice is also the basis of my Personal Psychology Coaching/Consulting work - I am not an NLP coach or Hypnotist (though I have spent much time in those reality tunnels), I am an explorer and life path creator who coaches.

So, this is what this blog will be about going forward - different ways of seeing, being and approaching life. Exploring with different 'organisations of reality' to see what difference they make. Exploring the nexus of mind and life and connecting with our power to move the former to shape the latter.


Dogtown Reflections...

Dogtown Reflections...

As I write this (30th July 2016) I am sitting in Dogtown Coffee in Santa Monica California. We are at the end of our L.A. stay having been here for 9 weeks and are overall coming to the end of our ‘world tour’ (we’ll be back in the UK for the beginning of September - meaning we’ll have been on the road for 10 months).

This journey has been phenomenal on so many levels. We have all learned so much about so many things. We have met incredible people, seen incredible sights and emerged ourselves in different cultures. As a family and as individuals, our guiding paradigms in life have shifted radically...

NLP and the 3 Principles - A Perspective...

NLP and the 3 Principles - A Perspective...

This interview was conducted approximately one year back by Hypnotist, NLPer and Trainer Ulf Sandstrom for the publication of the 2014 Yearbook of NLP (Swedish language). This is the first time it has been published in full in English. Though since this interview I have continued to explore via the Three Principles and have evolved my perspectives accordingly, my current perspective is inclusive (and transcendent, I believe) of that which is presented here. I hope that you get value from it and that it stimulates further exploration ESPECIALLY among NLPers who take a first look at 3p and say "nothing new here" (as I initially did).

Upgrading Consciousness

Upgrading Consciousness

In traditional NLP and Hypnosis based approaches to change, the idea is often to unconsciously 'install' new behaviours and responses, eradicate old behaviours and responses or both.

In my experience, this approach is generally flawed (and, as such, tends to be 'hit and miss') because it ignores the inherent complexity and ecology of the system being worked with.

Performance Machine!

This morning, I received an interesting enquiry regarding coaching. I decided to share some of the conversation here because I know that many people who read this blog have an interest in 'high performance', 'state management', 'hypnosis' and 'unconscious programming'. Hi James

I am looking for coaching work which can help with establishing powerful triggers during my work. I manage money and trade financial markets and have used several modalities to assist with the emotional aspects of this work and all of them have helped. 

I am interested in being able to create more unconscious triggers that make more of my skills and talents available while I am working. 

Do you think this is something you would be able to help me with? 

Hi *****

Let me see if I can help a little right here...

First off, I would suggest that your outcome as presented here sets for itself a trap. You are specifying a particular means (unconscious triggers) to an end (make more of my skills and talents while working). So we already have a 'closed box' inside of which to work, and it is very rare that effective work happens inside of such a box.

So, let me offer you a shift in perspective here... whilst I'm not exactly sure what you mean by 'unconscious triggers', I seriously doubt that they (or lack thereof) are what are stopping you from manifesting your skills and talents at their best.

From the way your question is framed, it sounds like you are asking from a behaviourism based 'machine model' of how humans work, so let me say this right here:

You are not a machine - you are a human being!

Now, whilst it is certainly true that the 'machine model' (trigger-response) CAN serve up to a point, it is worth recognising its limitations as it is NOT a particularly far reaching or complete representation of how we work. As such it is pretty limited as a model for performance psychology.

To be yourself at your best you will need to understand that human performance is not machine performance. As such you will access your skills and talents at your best when you remove the blocks in thinking and understanding that are keeping you from it, and, in turn, refine the underpinning understandings that best support the expression of those skills and talents.

If you take any world class player of any game, whilst they may create sequences and rituals that support them in the execution of their skills, their real performance power comes from their connection with the game, and this connection comes from how they see it and make sense of it. If, for example, they experience un-useful emotions, these are arising from ideas they are holding (and/or thoughts they are running) that are not serving them... NOT from a deficiency in appropriate triggers!

So, my question here to you is:

What do you want?

I mean, what do you really want? What is the outcome beyond your outcome? When you make more of your skills and talents, what does that get for you?

I ask these things because I am happy to work with you in bringing more fulfilment, prosperity and enriching human experience into your life, but if it is just about turning you into a high performance machine and be-damned the rest then I am not going to be the right guy for you.

All the very best


'Truth' Versus 'Understanding'

There is a line that is pushed in some philosophies and self-help movements that there is no such thing as truth. everything we know is a lie, so we may as well make up whatever set of understandings - whatever 'lies' - best suits us. Of course, if this is true, then this perspective itself is a lie! :-) but is it a useful one?

Personally speaking, I believe in truth... but I also believe 'true truth' is ineffable and lays beyond perception. So all we are left with is our perceptions, perspectives and understandings. Or as Arthur Eddington so elegantly put it:

“Reality is not only stranger than you think, it's stranger than you CAN think."

In the coaching and training that I do, I often encourage people to stop seeking truth and to instead start shaping understandings that serve. Not because there isn't 'truth', just that we can't know it and therefor modest understanding is all we have.

So what is the relationship between 'understanding' and 'truth'? I believe that the best in understanding points us to something of the ineffable truth. And that the most profound understandings are those that get us closest to the truth that lies beyond understanding.

So, I wouldn't get hung up on the truth... you can't know it. But explore life, take multiple perspective and create and shape understandings that serve you and others deeply and profoundly, and you will be individual getting very close to it!




Image Courtesy of Stuart Mills

Influence - The Problem with Promising

In life, our ability to influence is a major (the major?) element in being able to create prosperity, fulfilment connection and a whole host of wonderful things.

Sometimes, through our desire to influence we drop into the mode of 'trying to convince', and within this mode find ourselves resorting to making 'promises' in an attempt to get what we want.

"I promise you, if you do x then y will happen"

…or something similar.

Now we may think are being strong and bold in going for what we want and promising to deliver, but really we are undermining ourselves and the quality of the connection we have with the person we are beseeching with our promises.

Promising like this is weak. And it is weak for 3 reasons:

  • 1. Neediness - It is driven by, and therefor communicates, neediness.
  • 2. Trust - As an activity it only makes sense within the context of a lack of trust - and so its operation re-affirms (or even creates) the very lack of trust it attempts to overcome.
  • 3. Disconnection from 'what is' - It creates a future orientation; disconnecting people from the present and 'what is', and connecting them to a hypothetical future that the promise or promiser has no validity to guarantee.

Lets look at each of these in turn.


Neediness is simply not attractive or impactful. People just don't like it. For some reason they're just not into people who are always looking to others to get stuff from them. And even if they go along with it, they are always resenting it on some level and have bad feelings about it (this may not even be within consciousness even, but it's there).

The opposite of neediness is completeness, centredness and 'abundance' (which is an attitude founded in an understanding), and coming from this place you just have so much more to offer… and therein lies the key! Having something to offer is ALWAY more powerful, impactful and attractive than wanting to get something. And when you offer, wonderful things tend to flow back to you in return (just so long as you are open to receive).

But promising… why would you promise something unless you were trying to persuade someone of something? And why would you try to persuade them if there wasn't some need of your own you were trying to get met?

When you are the one with the cool stuff to offer, why would you need to promise anything? Just show the person the cool stuff! Let them experience it. Be present with them and what you have to offer and if they like what you have to offer they will be thrilled. They will want more.

This principle applies to all relationships and exchanges. Show up as a person with something to offer - even if that something is just your centredness, presence and leadership in that moment. People love that and respond powerfully to that alone. And 'promising' things just undermines it.


Overt promising is essentially what you do when you attempt to convince someone in the face of a lack of trust. What you are saying is "I know you have your doubts, but… I promise…"

So by promising, you are reenforcing the frame of 'lack of trust'… or even creating it! Because that is what will happen if you default to promise making when there is no lack of trust in the first place - you will establish the frame and then get caught up in it. And I don't need to say why 'lack of trust' is not a frame that will serve you!


I mentioned above the qualities of centredness, presence and leadership. Powerful experiences happen in the present moment only, and what makes them powerful is being present with them. If you wish to have an impact on someone, you need to keep them in the present moment, because that is the only moment that any kind of impact can happen.

By promising, you are taking the person out of the present moment and connecting them to a future moment. You are disconnecting them from 'what is' and instead connecting them to a hypothetical future that hasn't happened yet. And worse than that a hypothetical future that you and your promise have no validity to guarantee.

Keeping people in the present is strong. Connecting them to what is. If you do talk about hypotheticals, be honest about what they are contingent upon (instead of just blindly promising them) and bring them alive in the moment! Use present continuous tense in your language, and make sure what you are saying/doing/being is serving them right now in this present moment! Again, right now is all there is!

As an example of this, a client recently asked me a question regarding my 'thoughts on necessary duration' regarding a coaching program. He wanted to know how long it would take to deliver his stated objectives, and he wanted me to state that. Now, within this request there are a whole bunch of invitations to step into frames that will neither serve me, the client or the coaching process, so to engage with them would be counterproductive.

So instead I chose to keep things in the moment and serve the client by connecting him to 'what is' (rather than what might be) INCLUDING his own power and creativity to transform himself:

"You can bring these things into your life right now... this is less about an 'instillation' and more about clearing out what is in the way of you being as you want to be. You are already a creator and already a powerful guy (and I'm not fluffing you here - we have spoken and I have read what you have written in your emails)... we're just bringing that out more and refining it."

There are no promises made in this statement - only statements of the truth as I see it. I bring the entire thing back into the present reconnect the client to his 'ownership' through emphasising what he is that is powerful.

Everything in this statement is about the present and the continuing developing present. This is the only place I can serve the client. This is the only place the client can transform. Right now.

So instead of persuading and promising I am orientating to serving the client - serving him by orientating him into the moment and connecting him with empowering frames. We are working right now, not promising to work in the future.

Now, this is an example from the world of coaching, but the principle is the same for relationship building across any context (personal or professional) - forget promising things for the future and focus on connecting people to things (ideas, perceptions, feelings, experiences) that have impact for them right now!

(just to close the loop on that example, his response was: "Thanks James. Sounds good. Lets get moving :-)")


Just to be clear… I'm NOT saying "don't make any commitments or agreements" here!

Having clear agreements on what you commit to do is STRONG. But this is very different from 'promising'. The entire energy/vibe is different.

When you set an agreement you say "this is what I will do". It is a statement of'what is' and as such there is no introduction of counterproductive 'trust issues' - because it sits squarely within a 'matter of facts' frame rather than a 'matter of trust' frame.

Now some may well say:

"Well that is just semantics… if you say you are going to do it then you ARE promising to do it".

Well it IS semantics. And semantics count - they shape the meaning which shapes the attitude which shapes the inferences and connotations which dictate the flavour of the entire exchange. Never think that how you make sense of something doesn't count! IT COUNTS FOR EVERYTHING! People think they are describing reality when in fact they are shaping it!

So, make clear agreements that serve by all means, but if you want to be an influential and impactful human being, stay away from those pernicious little promises.

Systems and Results

The results you get in life emerge from the systems that produce them, and those systems work perfectly to get exactly those results. So... If you don't like the results your getting, you'd better be willing to change the system!

But, interestingly this is exactly where so many people fall down they attempt to keep the old system largely in place whilst trying to get different results from within it. And that just doesn't work.

Turning Your Life Around

This morning I received 3 questions in relation to a former blog post Finding Purpose. Now, not only did they relate well to the post they were about (as you would expect) they also relate for another reason to the principle I was discussing in the last blog video What is it that is missing from your life right now? And what are you doing to keep it out?


The question were…

  • What happens if you've forgotten how to dream?
  • Or become so good at doing stuff for others that you've forgotten what you want for yourself?
  • Or that you carry on banging your head against the same wall, in the hope that you can force your way through, simply because you don't know what else to do instead?

And my reply to the questioner ran as follows:

Firstly - did you get the opportunity watch the video "What is missing from your life and what are you doing to keep it out?" If not, watch it! Because all of three of your questions relate to this - notice how they all represent stories of hardship that you are telling yourself. You probably think these things you are saying are 'true' but really they are just 'sense creations' that undermine you (I'm sure that is a point you would be ready to argue with me). They are great examples of something you are doing that will keep what you say you want from your life.

If you want to turn your life and experience of life around, it is time to change the conversation you are having inside your head. Time to change the stories you are telling yourself about your life (your current ones undermine clarity, creativity and motivation).

Each of the questions you ask is directing your attention in a specific way. It is directing you into stuck thinking. In this sense each one serves as a piece of debilitating 'self hypnosis'.

I am going to answer each question AS IF it was not a crappy self-defeating question, but please DO NOT take this as any kind of endorsement of the questions... Just me playing the game. :-)

"What happens if you've forgotten how to dream?"

Re-learn. And if your answer to that is 'but I don't know how?' Re-watch the "what is missing from your life and what are you doing to keep it out?" video... Pay SPECIAL ATTENTION to the story about my friend who wanted to write songs but couldn't play any instruments he could write on. 'How to' is never even close to as important as 'want to'. When the 'want to' is in place, the 'how to' takes care of itself.

But even after saying that 'how do I learn to dream?' Asked with the tonality and energy of genuine curiosity would be a FAR superior question to ask yourself here... See how it directs attention differently? As the old saying goes 'you get more of what you focus on'.

"Or become so good at doing stuff for others that you've forgotten what you want for yourself?"

What you want to do is NOT an immutable static thing that exists for you to forget or remember, it something you create moment by moment. Back to creation. Back to YOU choosing to take responsibility for that creation.

What would you like to have happen instead here?

"Or that you carry on banging your head against the same wall, in the hope that you can force your way through, simply because you don't know what else to do instead?"

Stop it! Whatever you are doing, at least have the VERY BEST relationship you can with it WHILST you engage with turning your self and life around - otherwise you drive yourself into low states that do not serve you as a creator or master of your own destiny. DO NOT DO THIS. Instead learn to use your thinking to move you into clearer, more resourceful states of mind for creating and shaping a fulfilling life. This means changing the conversation you are having with yourself about what you are doing... Which probably means changing the kind of conversations you are having with yourself in general.

Have better quality conversations with yourself. Tell better quality stories about yourself and your life!

You think you are describing your reality here, but actually you are creating it. You feel your thinking, not your circumstances.

As a general rule, if you are not getting what you want from life, both inside and out, the place to begin is with changing the conversation you are having inside your head and with the world around you, and changing how you pay attention and what you pay attention to in life. To change your life you change your mind.

To paraphrase Osho…

The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.

The Essence of Personal Change - Full Presentation!

Having been involved with NLP, Hypnosis and Personal Development in various forms for a number of years now, it has been fascinating for me to meet so many people who have made made phenomenal changes in their lives... as well as those who seem to be 'struggling' and claim that they haven't. This talk was given for Interesting Talks London early in 2013 on a topic that I am still exploring and developing (and no doubt will be for many years to come). Stay focussed on this blog and this Youtube channel to discover new perspectives and the latest developments.


And if you have any questions you would like to ask (or feedback you would like to give) please do make use of the  comment section below!

P.S. If you have come here from the Hypnosis Without Trance list, please do make sure you sign up for future updates from this blog if you want them (otherwise you'll never know what's happening here!) LOOK >>>>>>>>>

P.P.S. If you are interested in making profound changes in your life, you may be interested in the forthcoming Reality Shaper Transformative Coaching and Mentoring Programme.

P.P.P.S. And please ‘LIKE’ ↓↓↓↓↓ this and share it if you have any FB friends who would benefit from this info!

The Reality of Personal Change

The Reality of Personal ChangeSo… I am finally beginning the process of properly focusing this website (about time), and my housekeeping has begun by removing the comments sections from some of the pages (having decided to keep such conversations to the blog area). In beginning this process, I have came across this question about 'social anxiety'. Paul asked:

"What is your success with social anxiety – I’ve been studying Hypnosis, NLP, and every other modality I can find on the internet for the last 10 years. I am also personally trained in hypnosis under Igor Ledochowski as well as Jeff Stephens, but I am still burdened with social anxiety. What can you offer me? Also – would you recommend your Changework Applications product in order to personally learn the change work to do on myself? I hypnotize myself through recordings on a regular basis. Thanks"

So Paul asked a genuine question, which I felt warranted a genuine reply (and this is about a lot more than just 'social anxiety':

"Hi Paul

I have to say that, for personal reasons, 'social anxiety' is an area of particular interest for me.

What can I offer you? That question is a bit too open and broad to easily answer. The answer could be “nothing” or it could be “a path to being socially comfortable and erudite”, depending on where you are with your willingness to challenge your own assumptions and engage with a process of learning.

One thing I can tell you right off the bat is that you will probably not fix it with one or two quick hypnosis sessions – social anxiety is most often a problem of worldview rather than a simple stimulus-response pattern. To shift it takes many shifts in perspective AND attitude, as well as some skills based work around patterns of interaction.

If you are serious about changing this, PM me and I will arrange for you a discounted coaching/Changework session to give you some of the fundamentals. I am not saying that 1 session will fix the problem, but we can get for you some useful understanding of how your pattern works, along with some highly functional tools and a pathway for getting out of it.

You can PM me on James @ or Skype me at captaintripp

All the very best


P.S. The Changework Applications set will not help you for this!"

As I have pointed out before, there are many changework practitioners of different varieties out there promising the magical quick fix. What they often promise is instant transformation right now, but mostly that isn't really how significant change happens (although there can be exceptions).

Yes we can have breakthrough moments, but it is how those breakthrough moments combine and feed forward into our futures to connect to yet more breakthrough moments that matters.

As human beings we are good at learning and change, and - unlike the majority of other known lifeforms - we have the ability to be self-authoring; to lead the process of our own personal evolution!

We have the faculties in place to do this - it is what we are good at!

Change comes from utilising and applying those faculties rather than trying to shortcut them with fancy techniques. And most significant change is the result of engaging in a developmental process - it is the people who get this and apply themselves to it are the ones who get rapid results.

So what of Hypnosis and NLP?

Well there is plenty of good stuff there in the toolkit - the trick is applying it strategically to encourage, develop, support and guide our natural learning and change 'mechanisms', rather than blindly applying 'techniques' and/or giving simplistic suggestions it the hope of bypassing our natural processes.

If you are interested in making some changes in your life and developing yourself - your thinking, your behaviour, your responses - get in touch and we can discuss what it is that you would like to change.

All the very best