As my first wife and I approached our thirties it became clear that we were carrying a lot of baggage.  It was affecting our work and home life. Pauline, who had studied psychology at university, suggested we enrol in a course called “Turning Point.”

We assembled in a large room with around 60 others.  We were to spend the weekend together from 9am to 9pm and go through numerous exercises designed to bring our guard down and deal with any baggage with anger, love (too light or too much), sadness, negativity, grieving etc.  The “Turning Point” coaches had created such a safe place throughout the weekend that individuals “came-out” for the first time about the drama that was holding them back from leading fulfilling lives.

In this same course, we talked about the importance of the subconscious and Neuro Linguistic programming (NLP).  It was explained that it is such a primitive part of the brain and that it had not evolved for over 100,000 years.  The coaches talked about how visualisation is so important to the subconscious.  They even fixed my parking problem forever.  They told us if we all, before we set off in the car, visualised a free parking space, we will find it.  I tried this technique and became so good at it I went to the next level visualising a parking space with money still in the parking meter.

If you picture no spare parking spaces that is what your subconscious will deliver.  You will miss the person crossing the road who has just unlocked their car door, you will miss the reversing lights of a driver preparing to leave their park, you will even drive passed an empty space.  That is what you asked for; a parking problem.

Another concept from the ‘Turning Point’ course was that if you want a fulfilled life, to annually write your own treasure map on an a A3 piece of paper the visions you want to happen in your future.

For a treasure map you need an A3 page, where you set out how you envisage success will be like with your life partner, your family, your friends, your health, your hobbies, your career and your retirement savings.  State the goals and glue pictures to help you visualize the outcomes you seek.  The more pictures the better, pictures from magazines and journals are an excellent source, (e.g., If you want to be fitter, then a picture of a person similar to you with the body shape you aspire to., If you want to practise yoga daily, then a picture of a person, like you, doing yoga, etc.).  My first treasure map had a picture of a particular motorbike, a BMW 100RS, which is reasonably rare.  Two years later I owned the exact replica of the bike in the photo, even the same paint combination.  Read any self- help book and ask any achiever, and they will tell you that visualization is the key.

I discovered Kerry Spackman’s book “The Winner’s Bible” while browsing in an airport bookshop. It resonated with the concept of treasury mapping, albeit in a different way. The concept being you have a folder with aspirational sayings and the goals you have set for yourself.  Each day you pick-up your Winner’ Bible and read the pages that resonate that day.

At the age of 12, Sir Edmund Hillary visualised being a hero, being the first to climb Mount Everest. It is little wonder that years later he was in Nepal becoming well known for his climbing exploits and was then invited by Sir John Hunt to join the 1953 Everest Expedition.

Whilst on holiday at a resort in Phuket I was glancing through a small swimming pool library of donated hotel guests’ books. I found Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan’s book “The Three Laws of Performance”.  In the book they explained why so many change initiatives have failed.  The first law is “How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.” The writers illustrate that the organisation’s “default future” which, we as individuals just know in our bones, will happen – will be made to happen.  The staff are being marched by their subconscious towards that outcome. Furthermore, they explained that the key to change is to recreate, in the organisation’s staff minds, a new vision of the future, let’s call it an “invented future”.

Your subconscious never sleeps.  If you place visions in there it will work away 24/7 and guide you in your waking hours towards these visualised outcomes.  View Tony Robbins “The Magic of Visualization – Law of Attraction” on YouTube and read Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret” to understand more.

Being effective with time is a state of belief. Surely you can remember a time of peak performance, a birth of a child, working on a major project or training for a marathon, when you were so time efficient. Now, when you look back you wonder how was it possible.  You had simply gone into that period with the positive mantra “I can do this.” The adage of “If you want something done give it to a busy person” is indeed true. This is mainly because you are giving it to someone who has a can-do attitude.  Be like them and replace negative time thoughts such as “I am always late” with the affirmative version.

As a bare minimum I recommend you re-programme your brain by having some sessions with a recommended NLP specialist regarding:

  • Areas in your life that are full of negative thoughts or caught in a spiral of addiction. Where you are programming yourself for failure.  The NLP specialist will help you create a barrier to these thoughts and replace them with an “I can do this” attitude.
  • Your daily commute. Consider it now a treasured time. Use train and plane trips to listen to audio books and car trips to practise your next speech.
  • Your ability to remember names. Stop saying I am no good with names and instead say I can remember names, and use some simple techniques that you have found on the web
  • Your ability with a hobby, sport, or technology

Convince your subconscious that your favourite box set is in fact a waste of time. The predictable programming, the endless drama going nowhere quickly is now seen by yourself for what it is, simply an addiction.

Coming back to my busy and time effective sister. If my sister said to herself “I don’t have time for this”, or “I am always late” or even said “I cannot cope” she would certainly fail.  Her subconscious would ensure these wishes. The visions you implant in your subconscious will become reality.