‘It was a gloriously sunny day; I was out walking Rosey (my Springer Spaniel dog). We were NLP Practitioner NLP stories NLP metaphors Unleash your potentialstrolling along the river bank drenched in sunshine. The sky was blue, the sun glistened off the water and I was surrounded by the smells of summer. The sound of a gentle babbling brook was only interrupted by the occasional duck quaking …

I paused to take in the detail of the beauty that was around me. The clearness of the water, the 2 dragonflies gently resting on the stingy nettle leaves – 1 red and 1 blue. The other insects and beautiful small flowers – all enjoying the warmth of the sun. I closed my eyes for a few moments so I could take it all in and remember the experience – there’s something special about being in nature.

A man was walking towards us, he was almost marching, moving at speed – looking down on the path directly in front of where he was walking, focused on where his foot would go next. As he got closer I saw he had headphones in. I felt a sense of sadness ….’

Can you relate to the man on the river bank? I know I can. We get so focused on what’s directly in front of us, racing around to get tasks done (head down, arse up is the phrase that springs to mind!). But the key question is what are you missing out on? – signals, opportunities, relationships, children, what’s not being said etc.

One of the first skills we each people on an NLP Practitioner course is Sensory Acuity (noticing the minute changes in someone’s physiology – so we can know when they’ve made a change when we’re working with them). It’s about focusing on your client. I wondered if the man on the river bank had even taken in if it was sunny or that we was by a river?! (let along the skin colour or breathing changes that we would notice when using sensory acuity).

On the NLP Practitioner course we also discuss the NLP Communication Model (click here to read more about this). Our minds delete, distort and generalise information – it can’t cope with the millions of bits on information that enter it via our 5 senses – it can only handle 7 (plus or minus 2) bits at any time. Where does the rest go? – it get’s deleted, distorted or generalised. There was a lot of this going on on the river bank when that man walked past me – that detail I saw was no doubt picked up by his unconscious mind, but it was disregarded because it was not relevant.

My challenge to you is to become more aware – pause and take in what’s happening around you, the detail, and see what light bulb moments you have! (I know I did that day on the river bank).