There were about nine hundred of us in the room. It was air-conditioned but without any windows so when the lights were switched off the blackness was total. On the stage the course leader struck a match and lit a small candle, it was surprising how much light it gave. He used his candle to light those held by a couple of people in the front row and they, in turn, lit the candles of those behind them. Without any hurry and rush within a few minutes every candle in the room was lit as we all contributed to the powerful light that filled the whole area.
Many years ago two salesmen were sent by a British shoe manufacturer to Africa to investigate and report back on market potential.
The first salesman reported back, “There is no potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
The second salesman reported back, “There is massive potential here – nobody wears shoes.”
When I was near the end of secondary school, what would be called senior high school in some parts of the world, our English teacher assigned us the homework to write an essay. And I was inspired – totally inspired – actually inspired to the point where I didn’t read back over my essay after I scribbled it down because I was convinced that it had come to me in perfect form from the muse herself.
When the teacher handed back the essays, mine had many many corrections and big red question marks. But I was most surprised by the comments at the end, “What is this nonsense? You are such a good writer that it really is a shame to see you produce something like this.”
For about 5 minutes, I was angry that the teacher hadn’t recognized my inspired genius, and then for some reason I felt really good and wanted to write much more. In fact, I even considered becoming a full-time writer.
And for a long time, I thought that my new-found interest in writing was to spite the teacher, to make me able to say “Hah, I showed you – I became a writer.” And then many years later, I realized what had actually happened. The teacher had criticized my behaviour (“what is this nonsense”) while simultaneously praising me at the identity level (“you are such a good writer”) and although the Identity level statement passed by my conscious mind, that was what my unconscious mind accepted and it was exactly that statement that made me become much more interested in writing.
This is a much more conservative and traditional book on hypnosis than many books that are aimed more directly at NLP folk. Watson aims this book primarily at doctors, dentists, and other health professionals who are interested in using hypnosis as an additional therapy in their arsenal. This focus on health professionals makes sense because the book was originally published in 1981 as part of a series called Medicine Today.
Chapter 6, When to Use Hypnosis, is especially useful for health professionals and others who are interested in using hypnosis in facilitating health. It explains the use of hypnosis in medical terms for ailments such as anxiety, pyschosomatic illnesses, phobias, obsessional illness, neuroses, problems of personality, and addictions. The rather traditional and old-fashioned approach of the book is most exemplified by the section on “the sexual variations” with suggestions on how aversion therapy can be used to overcome homosexuality. It is a long time since 1981 and the contemporary concept of gay marriage presumably wasn’t on Watson’s mind 31 years ago 🙂
The book also includes a history of hypnosis, an attempt at providing a physiological explanation of how it works, an outline of some simple induction techniques, and a description of authoritarian/permissive techniques.
The book feels quite updated at this point but can still provide an interesting perspective on hypnosis, especially for health professionals or NLP practitioners working with health professionals in some capacity.
I loved this little book. It’s only 86 pages but manages to cover a lot of the important issues in a life-coaching in a humourous, but also useful way.
It touches some of the important questions about life-coaching such as “what life coaches don’t do”. The author points out that most life coaches define themselves by what they are not, rather than what they are. Life coaching is not therapy… life coaching is not about the past … life coaching is not about telling you the answer. For a life-coach, it certainly is a rather interesting way to define oneself as it certainly doesn’t match the positively stated requirement for an NLP well-formed outcome.
The book briefly and humourously skips through the origins of life coaching, the life coach’s tool bag, life coaches and life events, life coaching specialisms, life coaching qualifications, and more. Some of it is very useful for people to understand what a life coach does. Other sections are useful for life coaches to see how an intelligent outsider can view them.
All in all, certainly worth the 99 cents that I paid for it at an online bookstore. A fast read and lots of fun.