Welcome to Personal Effects for April……this month I am delighted to announce the new ‘Telling Tales’ section on my website, how I discovered the Spanish Armada and the wisdom of WB Yeats………….and Katie Woods-Ruddick on making changes happen ! Read on and enjoy !

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!