Author - Will Williams

The One Thing That Makes The Difference
How Well Do You Really Know People?
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The One Thing That Makes The Difference

I have read a lot of pop psychology books in my time, and many are written around the concept of “what makes a person successful?”

Its an interesting age old debate.

My overall conclusion is that it has nothing to do with intelligence, or knowledge.

It’s not even down to who you know, although that’s probably more valuable than the first two.

No – to paraphrase Tony Robbins, it’s all about taking action.

You could have many good ideas or things you’d like to do – but unless you actually turn your thoughts into actions – then what’s the point?

No one will ever get to see the inside of your mind, except through your actions.

A friend was commenting on how his boss, as much of an asshole as he is, is always taking action. He’ll just have an idea, pick up a phone, and bark at someone to implement it.

Some ideas work, some don’t, but overall the ones that don’t train the mind to have more ideas of the kind that do – because failure is only feedback.

So going into the New Year, why not make a plan to commit yourself to take action on a few ideas or goals?

It does feel good, and that inner sense of personal power keeps your psychological immune system (i.e., feeling good) healthy.

On that note, its the people who don’t take action enough, who feel like the world takes action against them, who have no sense of control and power and end up becoming depressed, using victimisation language, complaining about everything etc.

As much as I enjoy some great books and ideas, I still maintain that a vast majority of the self help industry (and the books) are total tosh, and I’m quite enjoying the new wave backlash against it (e.g. the SHAM movement) and Hollywood’s gags (Tony Robbins cameo in Shallow Hal, the wannabe self help guru in Little Miss Sunshine).

But in the cloud of nonsense, certain little nuggets of obvious truth remain, and Tony Robbins’ maxim of taking action will never lose its relevancy.

How Well Do You Really Know People?

A friend yesterday said how she’d had a tough time Christmas shopping that afternoon.

The problem wasn’t so much the endless queues, tacky shit, people pushing and shoving or falling over themselves trying to get a 20% discounted hairdryer in Tesco for cousin Charlotte, no, it was something far darker and sinister.

“I find it difficult knowing what to buy people, and it makes me realise just how little I really know them”.

Isn’t it totally true?

I find it difficult myself – I don’t know what movies people have seen, like, got, whether they have normal or Blu-Ray, I have no idea what books people have read, what ornaments go well with what, etc etc.

If you settle for something generic it just looks thoughtless. It is difficult, and all the more so because we live in a culture where everything is accessible and most likely downloadable.

But back to the point.

How well do you really know your friends? And family? We seem to slip into a sort of rut whereby we take people for granted, they just become superficial characters that we think are easy to understand.

“Oh, Dave likes James Bond stuff, just get ‘im a calendar or somethin'”.

Dave says “ah, cheers mate, yeah, that’s good that” but is thinking “what a pile of toss, I’d have rather had the ten quid you wasted on it”.

Its easy to take people for granted though, we’re able to reduce meaningful conversations to Facebook wall messages, text messages and emails.

I don’t talk to my friends as much as I used to, and I assume that most people are too busy to talk. But its a shame, because that great zone where you really get to know someone becomes more and more elusive.

Its so interesting when you have a real conversation with a person, where you discuss fears, insecurities, goals, anxieties, perceptions, stuff you think might be embarrassing but actually isn’t at all, where each persons insights and confessions spur the other to open up more and more, until you really feel like you’ve delved into someones soul a little and really got to know them.

So perhaps it’s totally stupid to go trawling the High St to buy some tack, when you could have spent the same amount of time just talking to whoever you were trying to buy for.

I would much rather have drinks and meaningful conversation with a friend than get another bloody calendar about hamsters, that’s for sure.

What do you think?

Related – We’re All Alone in This Together

Related – When No-one Asks After You

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I’m leaving this here because people might still find it useful.

  • Read detailed, honest information about hypnosis, hypnotherapy and subconscious psychology from a professional Hypnotherapist
  • Get some powerful tools and information about training and influencing your own mind, for better results from life – and believe me this stuff does work.

What’s With All The Mystery Around Hypnosis?

hypnosisHypnosis seems to attract people with goatees, dark eyes, capes (well maybe not so much nowadays), swirly hands, and an air of mystery. The reason for this is that a sense of excitement, “power” and confidence in the hypnotist helps to increase the responsiveness. There is nothing magical or mystical about the process of hypnosis though – and anyone could learn it.

Is Hypnosis Real?

Very much so. I would say that hypnosis is an artform, that is based on the science of influence and suggestion. These are complex forms of conditioning, using mechanisms of the mind which respond automatically to certain stimuli. For example, as children, we don’t consciously choose to learn, we “just do”. This inbuilt mechanism to absorb information, and learn beliefs and expectations about the world, is the same mechanism that is being used in hypnosis. There is plenty of hypnosis research to support its validity.

Is Hypnosis in Hypnotherapy Useful?

Absolutely! Although hugely depending on the skills, wisdom and experience of your hypnotherapist. Hypnosis can be used for changing your subconscious beliefs and associations. These, in turn, control literally everything you expect for yourself, your self-image, what you feel you deserve in life, what you believe is threatening or frightening, what you believe you are capable of, what your automatic thoughts and behaviours are (by association to trigger events, whether external or internal). So basically, hypnosis can be used to influence and direct a lot within your life, directly and indirectly. Hypnosis is more commonly used for weight control, addiction/habit control (e.g. stopping smoking), confidence, anxiety and letting go of emotional blockages.

Is Hypnosis Difficult?

A lot of people worry about whether hypnosis could be used on them. Some associate it with being weak of mind, or gullible. Other hypnosis sites will tell you that you need to be intelligent, have good imagination and be motivated. Actually neither is true – you just need to be mentally able. The confusion arises (especially in research) because people respond to hypnosis in very different ways. This has been called the level of suggestibility. Some people can respond to hypnosis very quickly, others can have a lot of fears and barriers that get in the way. With proper education and priming, a person can be trained to respond to hypnosis – it’s just a matter of time.

Rapid Hypnosis – The Sort That Makes People Gasp

hypnosisStage hypnosis and hypnosis shown on TV can often seem incredibly quick – a hypnotist shouts “sleep” and the subject responds accordingly. This is absolutely real, although it can give a false idea about hypnosis. The person is not really “asleep”, or not aware of what is going on – this is what people assume, which leads to the gasps of shock – as the person has suddenly been “switched off”. Actually, you’re very aware in hypnosis, you’re simply responding to the suggestions. These people have often been selected from an audience for their responsiveness to hypnosis, so no hypnotic training is required. It can actually be more useful to be hypnotically responsive, because you have far more scope for programming your subconscious for whatever results in life you want.

Is Hypnosis Useful In Therapy?

Hypnosis is a tool, rather than a cure. When a person is hypnotically suggestible, they can use that powerful state to change erroneous beliefs about themselves or the world, install new beliefs, set powerful goals for the future, or let go of powerfully disabling emotional blockages such as guilt, shame, fear or anger. These processes require a great degree of emotional intelligence, wisdom and finesse from the therapist, as well great skills as a hypnotist.

Unfortunately, many hypno-therapists are either hypnotists offering poor therapy, or therapists offering poor hypnosis (or sometimes not being good at either). In the UK, I have seen a lot of “relaxo-therapy”, whereby scripts are read in a soft voice in the hope that the subject goes into a relaxed state. A relaxed state can sometimes be enough to relax the critical faculty of the conscious mind and allow subconscious programming, especially if used repeatedly, but its a shame that more confident hypnosis isn’t utilised more.

Is Hypnosis Safe?

Yes, in fact hypnosis provides absolute peace, calm and a focused mind. Can hypnosis be used for harm, or crime? Many researchers, including Milton Erickson, have claimed that hypnosis can’t be used to cause harm. However, I have always found flaws when reading such research, and often its a result of hypnotic processes that makes people need therapy in the first place (e.g. negative childhood programming – the angry authoritive father is a hypnotist without realising it). The basic summary of the literature is “you cannot be made to do anything that you wouldn’t want to do in normal waking life”. However, what you would normally want to do is based on a subjective reality, and that reality is flexible. In Robert Temple’s book “Open To Suggestion”, a few case studies are described where people have been robbed by strangers using a tactile hypnosis technique based on confusion. My honest opinion is that it is possible, but that hypnotists pretend it isn’t because they don’t want to scare off their clients.

Where does the word Hypnosis come from?

It was coined by James Braid, who’s early book about hypnosis was called “Neurypnology”. More history of hypnosis can be found here. Hypnosis comes from the Greek word “hypnos” meaning the personification of sleep. This is a red-herring though, because hypnosis doesn’t bear any resemblance to sleep, unless the subject is responding to a suggestion to “sleep”, then it looks quite similar. However, I’m glad that its still called Hypnosis, because something more accurate like “neurosuggestion” or “subconscious responsiveness” doesn’t sound quite as fascinating.

Is There Such Thing As A Qualified Hypnotist?

No. I’m a supposed qualified “Master Hypnotist” but I couldn’t care less, and would consider it tacky to put my certificate on the wall. There is no governing body for hypnosis, although many training companies would like to pretend that they are. Words such as “Institute”, “Academy” and even “University” are often attached to hypnosis training, but they don’t hold any more official authority than my website right here.

Can Anyone Make Use of Hypnosis?

Why not browse the site, learn about hypnosis and see for yourself?

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