What’s next after what’s next?

Since I have written my first blog on what’s next after I have resigned and now in unemployment, I have been searching and searching. I did search externally by attending few talks and trying to find out what or more importantly how I could find my next moves. I have attended a career planning seminar, which I have also written about it on my blog (https://gooly2012.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/5-pence-in-life/), an entrepreneurs networking session, a career fair which targeted at women and moms, etc. Mind you, all of these were free events and I didn’t have to pay a penny, except my transportations and coffee.

I also borrowed a lot of books from my local library and did a lot of research online, reading etc. A lot of these provide good advises, practical but definitely require a lot of actions. When I resigned from my last job, I gave an excuse of wanting to pursuing study. Well not quite an excuse since it did hold to a certain extent the truth of my intentions. What do I want to study? Where do I want to study? These are the few questions my last boss asked me. I told him proudly “Psychology” but not quite decided where to study. I told him I needed to do more research. I want to do something completely different to what I have done for the last 10 years.

But why Psychology? Do you want to work with people with mental problems?

Not quite exactly what I intended to do. Obviously when I declared that I wanted to study psychology, I thought I knew about the profession. The fact is I didn’t. I have no idea what exactly how the career world is like for those who have done psychology.

So I started to research. Of course the first step would be the universities. It was a pure intention to enrolling to courses, Master degree as I don’t wish to waste any more time to start all over again. But all Master courses require a foundation degree or diploma in Psychology. I don’t have any of those.

So I took myself back on the journey of how I started to become an Internal Auditor without following through the traditional route, i.e. doing a Chartered Accountant. I still survived today in this profession although not without any hardships.

I went to a talk organised by The Institute of Internal Auditor in Malaysia one evening after work when I was still working in PwC in Malaysia. That talk changed my life indeed as I was determined to enrol and take the Certified in Internal Auditor exam. Is that a short cut for me? Maybe but more importantly I always like to be different or to be the minority. So in this psychology route, I was wondering whether I could do something similar?

I looked at the syllabus of the psychology courses offered in most major universities in the UK. To be honest after reading the content, I was less motivated to study Psychology. It sounded boring to me and I did wonder whether I really want to study that? I wasn’t sure, in particular when I was told that I have to either spend 3 -4 years in Bachelor’s degree in order to gain an entry to the Master degree. I am not young anymore and definitely not prepared to be out of job for so long. Then to my aghast, I have to spend another 3 years in order to be able to gain myself into that uptight psychology profession. Do I want to do that?

I went to a “Clinical Psychology” talk in March without knowing what exactly the talk was about. In a way, it was similar to the Internal Audit talk I went to many years ago, which helped me to decide to go into that route. However this talk was different. It didn’t quite have the same impact on me. It was in fact on the contrary, I wanted to get out of the room almost immediately. The presenters were from NHS working as a clinical psychologist. Whilst their work is undeniably demand respect, they are to me somewhat uptight. And I really can’t envision myself being one.

There was only one clinical psychologist to-be who has all the charms a normal human being have. That was because he has had more than 10 years of odd jobs life experience. He decided to try himself out in clinical psychology eventually. He graduated with Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology but decided to do something different apart from the psychologists route. He has a breadth of life experience, facing and dealing with people of which he must have acquired some other soft skills that other conventional psychologists don’t have. Then again, I don’t know anyone who works in that field. So I can’t quite conclude that psychologists lack the normal human nature. Would they?

I wonder if psychologists will view all human beings as a subject of study? I think if I am one of them, I would. Would I then lost that normal human touch? The normal human interaction without passing any judgments consciously or sub-consciously? Then again, even when I am not one, I am a very judgemental person and I would boxed people up in different categories. So I guess it is not to do with the profession, but more so of my own restrictive knowledge of human mind and mental and behaviour.

Now after having done some research of psychology discipline, from what I thought I know about to a confucious state of mind due to the number of schools of thoughts to different associations in the UK market, abd to varying degrees of specialisation, I can only conclude now that I am ever more confused than before the research. I wonder if it is me who is just being so green in this field or that discipline itself is so diverse that opens to interpretation and practices? Do I want to be in that field that I couldn’t even understand to begin with?

So I am back to the basic question. Why do I want to study Psychology? Can I really work as a psychologist? There are a lot of not so glamourous about this profession and practice. Can I afford to do that?

Why do I want to study psychology?

The first thing I thought about was I wanted to understand human and in that process I can only do so if I study the discipline and the subject. But most importantly I want to help people to solve their problems. Or could I? I don’t aspire to work with those with serious mental illness. I guess I only want to work with people with mental health problem. It is a big difference as mental health problems, to my limited knowledge, are what we are facing in our normal life, i.e. stress given either by ourselves, society or perceived demands. I could be having mental health problems and so is anyone around us.

But I am more interested in helping people to unleash their potentials and optimise it. That brings me to career counseling. I do enjoy doing that. When my friend and I were choosing for our universities and programmes many years ago, I knew instantly what I wanted to do or where to do it, with the restrictions I have. I managed to decide that on my own and on top of that, helped my friend or rather pushed my friend to go for her opportunity to study abroad. That gave me a sense of satisfaction as  if she was living my dream of studying abroad.

Then later in my breathing years, I also helped another newly acquainted friend to steer his direction of study and eventually choice of career. I did so by the combination my observation and analysis of his personality, behaviour, thinking method, etc. He is now doing that and fingers crossed that I have given the right advice.

So what gave me the nerves to do that? I have no idea but just pure gut feeling. So I must be either good in this or people just basically need some push in order to pursue what they think they want or they really want to pursue.

But is that really what I want to do then? I don’t know but that sense of satisfaction is definitely there.

I bought a book “Jung” many moons ago and only  now I have the will to read the book. It is about Carl Jung, his early days in the profession, his relationship with Sigmund Freud, etc. More interestingly, I could associate with him or more specifically he had done something what I am doing now. No surprise as he was in the psychology field, you may think. But what I didn’t know was when he was in his late 30s, he had withdrawn himself from the world to do some internal search. Exactly what I am doing now. Mid life crisis he labelled that. Not so much of because of menopause, or because of old age. More so of what exactly my life is about.

He explored his own unconscious mind, through his dreams and fantasies. So I am following this now. All of sudden, I realised that it wasn’t a change of career that I am looking for to satisfy my own self existence. It is searching internally, what exactly am I looking for in a broader context. What does my “mask” tell me about me or what is my “persona”, my animus, my partner choice of me as his spouse, etc.

The journey of within continues……

Categories: Career, Life, Mind | Leave a comment

Neuro Linguistic Programme (NLP) And My Workout

I have heard of this term for many years but haven’t had the urge or any reasons to understand it. I thought it is just another gimmicky self-help and personal development technique in the market. Somehow I was given a “Going for Gold – Change Your Life with NLP” material written by Jimmy Petruzzi. This material was sent to me as part of the Diet and Nutrition Advisor Diploma: Train to become a Nutritionist course I signed up to study.

Prior to this, I have borrowed a book on NLP but thought the book wasn’t written very well or perhaps at that point of time, I wasn’t ready to accept NLP or that I didn’t manage to grasp the concept very well. Somehow this Going For Gold article, although there are a lot of grammatical and spelling errors, the article was interactive or engaging. I was able to associate it to myself in one way or another. Perhaps it was written with personal experience of the author and along the line, there are few examples of his clients whose problems or issues resembled mine.

One exercise that I gave it a try but didn’t really expect any results out of it, was the following (all copied from this material, with my own input in response to the instructions given):

Here are the steps to the New Behaviour Generator: Technique to assist you in overcoming negative behaviour and unwanted bad habits. First decide on a behaviour you would like to change and decide on a new behaviour to replace it.

I have chosen to build a new behaviour to be an active person, to love exercise. The unwanted bad habit is to exercise with pain, less enthusiasm, and feel heavy. As a result, I give up the exercise within the first 20 mins or so. I want to replace this habit to an active me who enjoy the exercises with enthusiasm. I want to be able to do the exercise or workout in hours. One followed by another. I just want to be that active person.

1. Think of a time you demonstrated that behaviour you would like, or choose a role model that has the behaviour, skills or abilities that you want for yourself. i.e. confident, motivated, excellent public speaker.

A role model I have chosen is my former Manager, Josephine, who to me is someone who lives her life to the fullest, enjoy outdoor and indoor physical activities and enjoy meeting people. She is my role model and I really would like to be like her, to enjoy life as should have been. Have a big group of friends to enjoy similar activities, and not only able to survive in any situation but she masters it. It seems to me that there’s nothing impossible in her life. Nothing that she can’t do. A very bright person, good looking and confident.

I also thought about a time I demonstrated that behaviour, i.e. enjoyed an exercise or workout, That was few years ago when I was working in the same company with her, we both participated in the annual sports day, and we played netball. It was a team work and I was the defender of the team. We practiced every week to foster and nurture team spirit and cohesiveness. I was able to lose weight for that period of time due the fact that I was exercising hard, run hard without feeling much of the pain. I was having fun indeed. So I want to be that person again to do my daily routine exercise or workout at home. Yes, because I am not working now and no income, I have to cut back on these substitutable expenses. If I really want to exercise, I don’t need to go to gym or pay money to do that. I have the right resources at home, i.e. a TV set, a set of different workouts, space and most importantly time. I don’t have any reason that I can’t do exercise at home. Yes, there will need a lot of self-motivation to start the workout, and yes, there won’t be any other people whom I can talk to or connect with. It is all about myself. I do need to build this new habit into me. If I could, I would be able to do exercise no matter what the circumstances are.

2. Close your eyes and visualize yourself or that person in action. Watch it like a movie in your mind. See how you or they look, how you or they use their body, how you or they use their posture; how you or they stand, walk, and sit. Pay close attention. Hear how you or they talk, what you or they say, and how you or they say it.

And so I closed my eyes, and visualised myself doing the action. I was dancing gracefully to the workout on the TV set, I practiced the steps in my head, and I didn’t feel any pain in my legs, or felt heavy when I jumped up and down. I was able to enjoy the workout as I should be. My arms were swinging forward and backward whilst my legs were doing box set, or jumping, or skipping or even running. I then did the Salsa moves, and Cha Cha Cha. I was having fun doing it. And of course, I visualised myself to be slimmer me and able to move gracefully.  I was all smiling when doing this.

On top of this instruction, I added additional element to it. Somehow I looked at the reality, the usual me. How did I normally behaved when I did those workouts. I was heavy, panting, painful legs due to the spurbony growth, and aching muscles. I didn’t enjoy the workout at all although I know I have to do it.  I have to build the new habit, my mind instructing me. If I could get into the routines, I would be able to continue it everday.  If I didn’t do it for one day, I should feel uneasy as if I didn’t brush my teeth in the morning, or took shower everyday, or ate or even went to the toilet like I have to whenever I have the urge. It should give me a cold turkey. But this is the big ultimate goal that I have set myself stopped before I achieve the goal. That is the real me. I am not committed to the goal and I am just weak. Will power!

3. Ask yourself: do you really want to adopt this behaviour to change the old one? Confirm that it is what you want for yourself.

Obviously I wanted to do that. I want that new me in that visualisation I had. I want to be that active person who recognise no pain during the workout but full of enthusiasm enjoying the workout.

4. See yourself as the model or yourself conducting this choice of behaviour. You have stepped into the role model’s place. You are watching yourself do as the model does. You have taken over the role and are acting exactly like your role model. Or imagine reliving a time you did the preferred behaviour.

When I came to this step, I had already done it in Step 2. So I just reinforced the image of me doing that.

5. Do you feel any negativity come up within you when you watch yourself? Any doubts that you are capable of doing as the model does or producing your new behaviour? Go through them one by one and adjust them, or adjust your action in the movie, until you are happy with what you see and hear in this new behaviour. Feel positive and confident in your abilities.

When I watched myself in that visualisation, I didn’t see any negativity. However when I took that reality steps, I did. I saw the non-committal me who just gave up after 10-20 mins of workout, because I was telling myself that I was out of breath, and my legs were painful.

6. Mentally step inside the picture. You are now inside your movie image, looking through your own eyes. You are no longer watching yourself. You are doing the new behaviour just as you did it in the past or the model did it. How does it feel to perform this new behaviour or be this person with these new behaviours? How does your body feel? How is your posture? What do you hear? How does your voice sound to you?

Again, I have done it in Step 2. I felt alive doing the workout, sweating and energised. I heard myself laughing and saw myself smilling.

7. Imagine a future situation where you want to behave this way. Put yourself there. Look through your own eyes at this situation. You are the star of this movie and behaving in the new way! Is it all working? Do you need to make any adjustments?

8. Open your eyes and come to the present moment.

9. Imagine that you are now the new you with the new behaviour. Get up and walk around as the new model. Walk the walk and talk the talk as they say. How does it feel? Building new pathways in the mind is a great way to adopt a new behaviour, one way I like to put it is re patterning existing negative thought process and replacing it with a more productive level of thinking, even by doing this technique it can be powerful enough to move us forward into a more productive thought process and outcome.

So I have followed through step 1 to 9, but it didn’t just stop there. I didn’t think of what I have done would bring any results.

Yet when it was already 4 pm in the afternoon and I felt that I needed a break from the laptop and the virtual world, I changed into my exercise gear and turned on the TV and the workout channel, almost habitually. I chose “Pump It Up Dance workout”, which I had been doing for the last few days without success. It was a high intensity workout which I normally could only last for about 7-10 mins before I paused to take my breath or changed to another workout. If I could continue, I would only do so for another 5 -10 mins as I was too tired to follow through then.

Somehow this time, I was doing it with energy, and the first break I had was in about 20 mins after some jumping and running. I drank water, and took my  breath and continued on for another 15 mins or so. I have stepped into a workout zone which I haven’t done or even seen before as normally I would have either changed to watch another channel or to an easier fitness ball workout, which I didn’t manage to last for more than 10 mins. Cheating myself I guess.

Although I didn’t finish all the sections of the workout, i.e. I had skipped the peak of the intensity of the workout at the 40th minute, I still managed to do a full 1  hour workout intermittently.

I didn’t realise the impact of this new behaviour visualisation until I went to bed that night, still marvelling at my great effort in the afternoon. I was thinking of that moment when I felt great when I was taking a break, that first drop of sweat dripped from my forehead and I felt alive! I hungered for more sweat and I wanted to do more. So after a few mins break, I continued on with the workout. To taste more sweat. I want to feel wet, not pornographically, but really sweat wet.

I will from now on visualise this exercise and feeling every day so that I could build this new regime, new habit, new behaviour  in my life. I will remember that taste of first sweat in my workout yesterday!

Categories: Exercise, Life, Mind, Motivation, New Habit, NLP | 2 Comments

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