A TOTE is for Life, not just for New Year

Happy New Year. We hope you had a wonderful festive break and are as excited as we are about the adventures ahead in 2012.

I must confess I love the freshness of a New Year; it’s almost as if the transition from one calendar to the next washes the slate clean and creates a brand new opportunity to consciously create the life of our dreams. I’m not just talking about New Year’s resolutions, although that can be a delicious part of it, I’m talking about starting to do and think things differently and therefore get different (often hugely enhanced) results.

With this in mind Andy and I have decided to play a big ‘game’ over the next few months. We’re eager to try on each and every one of the Whatever Life Throws NLP presuppositions (one each fortnight) and we plan to report our experiences here on the Whatever Life Throws blog (you can get a poster of all the presuppositions from the Downloads section).

Given that, like so many people, we chose to overindulge a wee tad over the festive period (purely for research purposes you understand) the obvious choice for the first Presupposition Challenge is The Mind and Body Act as One System. We’ve printed out the poster and stuck it up in strategic locations to keep the game front of mind (if you want to play along you can download yours here), and we will be reporting back mid-January.

If you do want to play you may find the TOTE model a useful frame to hold in mind. On our courses we work with a process that we affectionately dub TOTE-ALLY COOL LEARNING.

It is based on the NLP TOTE model – standing for Test, Operate, Test, Exit, (a sequence originally modelled from computer programming). It is really a method of Action Research starting with – TEST – an idea that you think may work (a hypothesis or way of doing something), which you then try out – OPERATE – to see what results you get. After a period of operation you then step back and look at your results (the second TEST). If you have achieved your outcome then you EXIT, if you have not then you recycle through OPERATE and TEST until you have enough information to EXIT.

It really is as easy as 1-2-3:

1. Set up your outcome beforehand; think about what you want to achieve (Test) before you begin a technique, process, or even a challenging conversation at work or home. How are you going to use your skills and to what end? In the case of the Presupposition Challenge making the decision to use the presupposition as a frame or a lense through which you see life over the next couple of weeks would be a useful starting point.

2. Try it out and see what you get; run your strategy, technique or approach and notice what you notice. This is your meta-cognition at work.

3. Capture the learning; take note, even if it’s only mentally, of what you did, what happened, what you learned and what you’ll do differently next time.

We think the world would be a completely different place if each of us lived with intention. Imagine if we all had a TOTE for our interactions, endeavours and projects – what would that be like? Perhaps we would feel that we were that little bit more in control of both our stake in the ‘game’ and our results. We believe it feels better to see the world through the eyes of the driver of our metaphorical car rather than the passive passenger. Do you fancy joining us in taking control of the wheel?

If you decided to play the ‘game’ alongside us over the next few weeks then please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would value support. Remember we’re starting with the Mind and Body Act as One System. So stay tuned and we’ll let you know how we get on.

In the meantime, what big ‘game’ do you want to play over the coming weeks, what’s your TOTE in life? Let us know - we’d love to hear of your experiences.


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