The Rat Race

The Rat Race
By Steve Balmer

Far beneath the VIBRANCY, COLOUR and ENERGY of the big outside World was Rodent Village, a place occupied by all manner of long tailed furry animals. Rodent Village was ran by the Wise Old Rats who over time had created a safe, friendly, albeit DULL environment for the occupants to live in. The Wise Old Rats lived in palatial style properties high up on the drain pipes looking down over the occupants of Rodent Village.

To keep the masses happy they employed the services of Mrs Mouse. They had entrusted Mrs Mouse with this task as she was hard working, HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY. She also wore her HEART on her sleeve and was never scared to share her life experiences which created an aura of RESPECT from her staff. Her days were spent managing the Mice Workers, who kept Rodent Village clean, tidy and just how the Wise Old Rats liked it. The Mice Workers were often young and inexperienced and were happy to go that extra mile to work for Mrs Mouse as they enjoyed listening to her life stories and the fact that unlike the Wise Old Rats they actually believed what she said. You see the Wise Old Rats constantly preached a message to the masses that the big outside World was a DANGEROUS, UNPREDICTABLE place for Rodents to live and that the SAFETY of Rodent Village was where everyone’s long term future belonged. Why would anyone want to RISK what they had for the UNKNOWN?

Mrs Mouse although content with her role as manager of the Mice Workers and well rewarded with whatever cheese she desired, always had a GUT feeling that something was not right. You see she wanted to see what the big outside World was actually like, rather just rely on the Wise Old Rats version of what it looked like. Although common sense suggested that she stay in her job that gave her SECURITY and much happiness to others including her family, she always FELT she was missing something.

The Wise Old Rats regularly invited Mrs Mouse to their huge homes, as they too enjoyed her company and stories. As time went by she began to decline their offers of an evening of opulence to spend more time with the Mice Workers after work in their humble dwellings. She had more FUN with the inexperienced younger Mice Workers, spending many an hour after work sharing stories, LAUGHING together and despite having nothing on the face of it in common with them, other than no understanding of the outside big World than the one portrayed by the wise old Rats, the mutual RESPECT for each other GREW and GREW.

As the relationship between Mrs Mouse and the younger Mice began to BLOSSOM so did their work in changing the overall surroundings of Rodent Village. Gradually the once DULL, DANK surroundings seemed to BRIGHTEN, so much so that the Wise Old Rats would look down from their lofty perches and surprisingly want to spend more time with their people, to experience this new found VIBRANCY. Despite this initial acceptance of change in Rodent Village, the Wise Old Rats gradually begun to feel sceptical and threatened by it. They were also SCARED that it may begin to look like the BIG BAD World to which their ancestors had told them so many BAD things about.

One night during conversations with her Mice workers, Mrs Mouse began to discuss what they all thought the outside World looked like. Various ideas and thoughts flowed like a RIVER, ranging from SCARY and DANGEROUS to COLOURFUL and FUN, however everyone was RESPECTED and listened to. Over hearing the RICH dialogue was one of the Wise Old Rats and angered by these discussions he scurried quickly up to his colleagues homes to tell them.

The very next morning Mrs Mouse was summoned to the Wise Old Rats homes and in no uncertain terms asked to stop spending so much time with the Mice workers or putting such thoughts in their heads. Instead of feeling upset she suddenly felt the WEIGHT had been lifted from her shoulders and standing up as a TALL as a GIRAFFE THANKED the Wise Old Rats for their KINDNESS and asked to be relieved from her duties. She quickly packed her bags and without chance to say goodbye to her Mice Workers was escorted to the train station.

Looking at the destinations board she considered the various other Mouse Villages listed that she could go to. She walked up to the ticket office and confidently asked much to the dismay of the ticket master for “A one way ticket to the big outside World please”.

Sat waiting on her own at the platform Mrs Mouse smiled at thought of the new LIFE that was in front of her. Suddenly her silence was broken by the LOUD noise of TINY footsteps and EXCITED voices coming toward her. She looked to see all of Mouse Villages Mice Workers coming onto the same platform; bags packed all holding one way tickets.

From their palatial homes the Wise Old Rats looked down onto the now DESOLATE Mouse Village and smiled knowing that it was back to being a safe, friendly, albeit DULL environment once again…………………………………..


The Lady in the Lake

The Lady in the Lake
By Andy Dixon

The lady and the lake had a regular acquaintance. “Good morning fine lady and how are you today?” The lake would pronounce. The voice was greeted with a distinguished smile, an eloquent look, and a nod of calculated thought! An air of calm, a tactful pause, an unassuming stare, a considered view, but still the silence remained!

“Good morning fine lady and how you are today” the lake pronounced again! A thoughtful face, a warm embrace, a friendly grin, stayed well within. A resolute stance, no need to dance, observant mode, and serene, composed, cordial type, no need for hype! But the silence still remained!

“How are you today” the lake proclaimed, no further questions on the way! Self-control remained within, whilst further calculated thoughts begin! Ingenious, apt, creative and clever, all within this imaginative figure! One final check it’s time to go, return to the world most of us know! Silence maintained a self -check complete, not answering the voice, not needing receipt.

So what was the question being asked by the lake? The magical water surely could not be a fake! The mystery within would surely unveil, no voice has a lake, nor such a distinct tale. The answer’s the image, reflection we see when we look in deep water, a reflection of thee!

Our Training Venue on Amorgos!

This is the venue for the NLP Master Practitioner with Life Spheres 27th July to 7th August

Look Again………….Rather Than Looking Back !

I recently retraced childhood steps near my mother’s birthplace in Co Sligo. I expected that to be a sentimental journey………….in effect, ‘looking back’, what I found when instead I ‘looked again’ was quite unexpected………………

I didn’t just see again things I had seen as a child, the ‘me’ that revisited had changed in the interim…………. and how I experienced the people, the language and the landscape was refreshingly and surprisingly different.

One day we visited Streedagh beach a place I had been to many times before, and as we walked along it, I noticed ‘rocks’ sticking out of the sand………..only these were not rocks but the remains of a galleon from the Spanish Armada which was wrecked there in a storm in 1588. Now I was paying attention, now I was interested, now I was filled with wonder…………..clearly it had been there when I was there in 1960s & 1970s……….and filtered out as my attention was on other things !

My husband Pat on the prow of a Spanish Galleon !

Also near my mother’s home is Drumcliff, the resting place of the poet WB Yeats and I found this quote from him which summed up my trip and my learning:

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

I wonder what more is out there………………?

Telling Tales………….?

Needing inspiration from a cyclist, a leopard, a chameleon, a hare, a tortoise or even a lion tamer………..then this new section of my website is just for you. Since childhood we have learnt through stories……..and we communicate with others through stories too. Indulge yourself in these stories written by delegates on my NLP Business Practitioner…………….

Here’s just one to whet your appetite…………..

Round the World
By Simon Allcock

A cyclist is training for her round the world adventure. At 60 years old she’s still a lady in her prime, with experience and skills. She has spent year training so she has the required fitness. This trip is her life’s dream.
She has researched carefully all the things she may require for her adventure and she has built up the required items over the course of her training.

Each item she packs has a reason behind it:

  • The pump, because when she gets a puncture, she needs to re-inflate the tyre.
  • The mountaineering jacket because when she passes through the mountains it will be freezing cold
  • The sun visor and sun block to protect her skin from the sun when she crosses the desert
  • The GPS and detailed maps to ensure she doesn’t get lost
  • 3 kinds of identification documents so she can renegotiate her visas if her plans change.
  • he waterproof oversuit for when it rains
  • The ipad so she can write her blog
  • A locket which had been an heirloom from her father.

She would have everything she needed.

Finally all her gear was packed and loaded onto the bike and she set off.

Her pink bike groaned under the weight of the load, turning the pedals was so hard… At the first hills in Kent she stood up on the pedals and strained and puffed and panted up the first small hill. Fainting to the top she collapsed and soon a crowd had gathered.

“She can’t do it.” They said.
“She’s not fit enough.” Said another.
“She doesn’t have the right gear.”
“It was a stupid idea anyway.”

She cried.

After a while she carefully unhooked all the bags from the bike and left them there at the side of the road…….. All of her thoughtfully packed kit. She looked at it all there, and there was look in her eye.
She got back on the bike. It felt suddenly light and responsive to her efforts. She flew down the hill and up the next valley. Over dales and crossed the sea to Europe and onward towards the East.

  • When she got a puncture she borrowed a pump from a lovely lady who stopped to help in Germany
  • When it got freezing cold in the mountains she bought a jacket from a stall at the side of the road.
  • When she crossed the desert she took advice from the Uzbekistani women and wrapped a cotton fabric loose round her face
  • When she got lost she asked for help and received directions, food and offers of accommodation
  • When she had to renegotiate her visas she rang her son and asked him to courier the documents to her while she waited in some of the most exotic cities in the world
  • When it rained she got wet
  • And when she wanted to write her blog – she would find an internet café , and relax over a coffee and chat with the other travellers.

And when a handsome gentleman smiled at her from across the foyer of the Royal Hotel in Tbilisi, she smiled back, thinking about how much she missed her father.

Time for Change ?

Katie Woods-Ruddick
Head of HR & Training, Hays Travel

One of my biggest learning experiences in learning with regard to NLP is around how you are personally responsible for what happens in your world and with that comes with choices……………..

Once you understand that and accept it, it opens up a whole and very powerful world. I have realised that no-one can make you feel anything / do anything (without force of course!) and that freedom and acceptance is quite liberating. If you have had a bad day at work / a difficult meeting it is only you that can choose to let it affect you and maybe take it home, or you can choose to reflect note some personal learning, perhaps address the situation if appropriate and then move on!.

With this freedom comes the realisation that at times we cause our own problems by the way we choose to react or by not addressing a situation so in order to be as effective as possible it requires you to be brave at times (or you can choose not to and accept that’s not you).

Finally, when things are not working the way we want them to, the only way forward is to change, we cannot make others change therefore the best way forward is for us to change, the way we do things / react whatever it takes to get the best outcome! A very powerful life lesson, that if applied can have amazing results at work and at home.

Recently I realised that the job that I had been doing for the last 14 years didn’t inspire me the way it used to and it felt the right time to change. I knew I would have to make some tough decisions but to the alternative was to stay in the role that no longer fitted completely with who I am. So after much thought and discussions both at home and at worked I came to a compromise of reducing my hours to enable me to explore other opportunities elsewhere.


  • You are personally responsible for your own universe
  • You make your choices – and have to live with the outcomes so make them wisely!
  • If something is not working your way then change as doing the same thing the same way will bring the same results so make that change!

You might be interested in…………

A TED talk this time by Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action, click on this link and scroll down………….

Simon’s words have something for anyone who leads, sells………or in any way needs to inspire others to do things!