You Don’t Look Different But You Have Changed – [I’m Looking Through You / The Beatles] (Lennon/McCartney)

You Don’t Look Different But You Have Changed – [I’m Looking Through You / The Beatles] (Lennon/McCartney)

Next time you are travelling to work or having a cappuccino or just sitting about, have a look round at how many people are wearing Hi-Viz clothing. An increasing amount of workers’ and sports peoples’ clothing is now reflective or Hi-Viz so that we can see them; so that they don’t get hit and therefore hurt.


Take a closer look and you might also notice something else. Even more people are wearing another form of protective clothing; one that is invisible, with transparent piping and see-through epaulettes and has a tiny-teeny, gold badge on the front with the word ‘victim, on it.

I call this a Hi-Vic Jacket.


The idea of a Hi-Vic Jacket is to protect the wearer from blame or responsibility and to keep them from harm in a society where everyone is out to get them. Without the magical powers of the jacket they are open to abuse from everybody, have their wishes and desires trampled upon and have no say in what happens in their life. The lining of the jacket states, “fault lies outside this garment”.


These jackets have always been available but their popularity and complexity has really come of age in the last 20 years. Nowadays, we are aware of our Rights more than our Responsibilities, so Hi-Vic Jackets are seemingly de-rigueur.


You can spot the latest models because they have two major design features;

  1. Beautifully sculptured, Velcro elbow pads known as POMs (or Poor Old Me pads). Always worn as a pair (Pom-Poms) they are a talking point of all Victims who wish to tell their story to others and hence get them to buy into and share in their sorrow. They are made of Velcro so that Vics can stick together under pressure. These pads have largely superseded the older, “Ain’t It Awful” shoulder extensions and “Why Me?” tops, last sported in this country by Mario Balotelli.
  2. Shoulders To Crayon. These are large expanses of plain paper-like material on the top of the jacket on which your reasons for self-pity can be broadcast to fellow admirers. They can also be usefully engaged as a prompt for dashing off a letter to the Daily Mail, moaning to the Council, complaining about the tiniest of inconveniences in life or for bitching about other type of people who do not fit your world-view.


This year when you are looking for a resolution, try your wardrobe. You will notice Hi-Vic Jackets as they appear similar to those transparent sleeves that your dry-cleaning used to be returned in; except they don’t fit you anymore.


Throw them out tomorrow night – you have changed.

Respect The Seven Second Delay We Use – [The Nightfly / Donald Fagen] (Fagen)

Respect The Seven Second Delay We Use – [The Nightfly / Donald Fagen] (Fagen)

I have it on good authority that radio stations employ a seven-second delay in their live broadcasting in order to allow for unexpected bloopers, obscenities and foul-ups that may occur in real life. Maybe this has been (or will be) superseded by technology in years to come – but for now, we respect the seven-second delay.


We have a chance to use it off-air too.


Without it, things that you may not wish to go out “live” may make it onto your airwaves. You may end up saying something you regret; to your boss, to your kids, to your best friend or your partner – so the seven seconds could be a real ally.


Here’s how…


Stuff Happens. And when stuff happens, you normally react to it in real time; in the moment. Either you don’t care and you don’t notice your reaction, or you do care and there is some response. But you’re not responding to what actually happened but you are responding to what the happening “means”.


For example, if you are in a queue (line) in a shop or an airport and somebody suddenly joins the queue in front of you then you might react badly. That’s because the meaning you attach to this activity is (say) “pushing in” or “uncivilised”. It’s not the act of someone joining a queue that upsets you – but the belief that unless they have stood there as long as you have, then they are somehow a bad person or are cheating.


Grant yourself Seven Seconds. Give yourself just long enough to replace your immediate, limiting belief with one that allows you to remain OK about it. Even if it’s not true, choose to believe that maybe they have an injured leg and their partner has been holding their place for them.


Nobody gets hurt, you still board the plane, still end up in the same seat and your “transmission” continues.


Take your time – we’re On Air.

Too Many Ups Out There – [Too Many Ups / R.L.Burnside] (Burnside)

Too Many Ups Out There – [Too Many Ups / R.L.Burnside] (Burnside)

It’s possible that at sometime over the Christmas holidays, you’re going to get hacked off. In fact at any time of the year you may find yourself moaning about your lot; feeling sorry for yourself and inviting everyone who cares to listen about how awful everything is.


Do you know why you shouldn’t?

It has been proven that positive and happy people are less prone feeling ill. Also, this month in the journal, ‘Psychosomatic Medicine’ the people who merely rated themselves as in excellent health reported that they very rarely had a cold. Nice.


There are too many Ups out there – too many reasons why you could be cheerful instead of bringing yourself and everyone else down – and getting ill.


For example where you live;

  • It is neither too hot nor too cold
  • You can choose whom you decide to vote for
  • You can wear anything that fits you (and a lot that doesn’t)
  • You have a bed to sleep in
  • And a roof over your head
  • You can watch any TV programme – anytime you like
  • Basic education is freely available to all
  • There are 150 different types of yoghurt
  • You have electricity and running water
  • There are no deadly insects or animals
  • You can take free exercise
  • You can eat or drink virtually ANYTHING
  • And somebody, somewhere cares for you.


There are too many Ups out there

I Can’t Explain – [I Can’t Explain / The Who] (Townshend)

I Can’t Explain – [I Can’t Explain / The Who] (Townshend)

There are a number of things we believe but cannot prove. Or disprove.

Take the existence, or non-existence of God.

Or that the universe is infinite.

Or that the Internet will one day be the reason for our shorter attention span.

In fact there’s even a book dedicated to the study of this question featuring the thoughts of the world’s keenest scientific brains Other stores are available.


Mr Spock would, no doubt, disapprove but not everything is logical. Things that happen at work or in the home are not always rational; not everything happens for a reason.


When leading or coaching and mentoring or even managing people, it is sometimes best to simply listen to others. Not for the reasons why but simply to someone’s story – to their version of reality. You don’t have to understand or agree with their reality to help them with it. Sometimes conjuring up some empathy for the other person’s reality is all you need to do. This will help you to ask a meaningful question for them that help them solve their own issues.


After all, as the quote goes, “The heart knows things that your mind can’t explain”.

Or in a more Jacques Bénigne Bossuel way, “Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne comprend pas” (The heart has reasons that reason does not understand).


If all this philosophy leaves you cold then simply remember this; “You can’t talk your way out of something you felt your way in to”


You know it.

One of the reasons Nigel is such an excellent speaker, trainer and coach is that he embodies and models the approaches he puts forward to clients.  He truly is the change he wants to see in the world.

Simon Lawrence, Managing Director, Transform Consultants Ltd.

“Beyond My Wildest Dreams” Beyond My Wildest Dreams / Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris (Knopfler)

“Beyond My Wildest Dreams” Beyond My Wildest Dreams / Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris (Knopfler)

Think back to your wildest dream. I thought that might bring a smile to your face. One thing for sure is that one day, you’ll have a wilder one.


I thought that might bring a smile to your face.


OK, now think of one of your least wild dreams. One of your everyday dreams; a set of thoughts that you are really familiar with and almost regard as a Groundhog Day or a Déjà vu moment. These are thoughts that enter your head during light sleep or just prior to waking that you put down to “things on my mind”. Maybe you are pondering a decision or dreading the interview or presentation you have to make tomorrow?


The similarity between your wildest dream and your everyday dream, between your Mercury and your Pluto of the dream world, is your imagination. You made it up.


So here’s the thing, you can’t have a dream about something your brain cannot conceive of. Wildest dreams might be far-fetched or difficult to understand or irrational but you dreamed it up, edited it and produced it.

A bit like you did with your bad dream about tomorrow – that is also in the future and it is slightly ridiculous, i.e. other people might ridicule you for worrying about it.

A bit like they did when Marconi, Einstein, Berners-Lee or Zuckerberg came out with their stuff.

Do you think that Jamie Vardy was dreaming about scoring Premier League goals when Sheffield Wednesday let him go 12 years ago? You bet he was. Was it beyond his wildest dreams at that time? Maybe.


This is the basis of Think It, Believe It, Do It (TiBiDi). My view is that if you can conceive of something and you believe in it sufficiently (and take action toward it), then, one day, you can do it. What you focus on magnifies – so keep dreaming.


Interesting footnote: When I was lying by the pool today, thinking this one up, this very song came on to my iPhone on ‘random’ shuffle. Beyond my wildest dreams? No, but certainly an 8,500 to 1 shot…