Daily Archives: 18/06/2009

Once bitten, twice shy

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In English we have a saying or idiom, once bitten twice shy, which means that if someone is hurt or something has gone wrong, the next time the same or similar thing occurs we would be more careful.
Malcolm Gladwell, a writer of four good books, Blink, The Tipping Point, What the Dog Saw, and Outliners, refers to the subconscious, the automatic running of once bitten, twice shy, referring to a fire chief, who had sent his crew into a major fire which appeared to be in a room on a certain floor level. The fire chief then ordered his men to quickly leave the building, to stop fighting the fire. Shortly after exiting the building, the floor where the fire crew had been standing collapsed. The seat of the fire had been on the floor below.

How did the fire chief know to order his men to evacuate?

It was because of all the accumulated learnings, knowledge, of fighting other fires, the little signs, which at a conscious level were not noticeable, told his subconscious or intuition, that disaster was about to happen.

Another great person I ave had the great privilege to learn from is Dr Win Wenger and Project Renaissance.

In his work Win wenger teaches us to be aware of our Side Bands. To become aware of our own internal feelings, thoughts, ideas, by noticing the little signals that we give off, maybe a quick glance, a quick intake of breath, an indication of a hand movement, to stop and ask,

what happened there, what did we notice, why did we do what we did?

It is becoming aware of these signals, that we will become more aware of our own intuition, and we will see more, feel more, hear more, as we do with Phillip’s Sausage.

It was wonderful to get feedback from the participants of the Society of NLP Master Practitioner course I am running here in Bahrain. After returning from doing the Side Band exercise, they had had different experiences, each noticing more, bird songs, items in the hotel entrance that they had used many many times.

Notice your side bands, it could help in controlling your state, being aware of others states. Use your side bands in meetings, negotiations, work and especially relationships. I must use them myself more often. (see previous entry.)

But I still love my work.

It is the second time it has happened. Carpe Diem.

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This is the second time this has happened to me, and it has meant I have had to look at life in a different way.

Whilst I was unhappy when this happened to me, I was inoculated as against the anger, rage, sadness of loosing such an old trusted friend, and I knew that if I stayed calm, the hands of my clock would still turn round, a solution would be found, and friends, people I know, would no doubt offer advice and perhaps support in my hour of need, or perhaps not.

There would be light at the end of the tunnel, if I waited, got on with life, and enjoyed the present day. Carpe Diem.

Whilst at college at the Staffordshire College of Commerce in the West Midlands of the UK many years ago, I came across the Latin saying, Carpe Diem, which means seize the day, or as I interpret it enjoy the present day, and whenever I can I try and remember to do that.

I spent over 35 years in the computer industry, being the computer expert, supporting customers who had purchased computers, designing the systems, writing the programs, installing the software, training the staff, for I worked for computer manufacturers, NCR, Sperry Univac, Texas Instruments. I was the expert, I have loads of knowledge and experience.

When my trusted computer broke down, a computer that had lasted me only 18 months, 18 months ago I was really upset. I found a solution around the problem keyboard by using a removable one, but that could only be temporary, so I purchased a replacement computer.

That has lasted 18 months and now that too has developed a fault on the keyboard, so although I have found a temporary solution, I had learned from my past experience and replaced it with another.

Having now needing to wear glasses for reading, when I replace my glasses I purchase two pairs at the same time. If anything happens, I have a backup. I could loose them, scratch them.

Two years ago, one of my pairs of glasses, broke, but I had the second pair, I was safe. But within weeks the second pair broke as well, in the same place, so I had to buy another two pair of glasses.

Two weeks ago, on of these replacement glasses the arm fell off. No problem, I have a second pair. Yesterday, the second pair of glasses had the same thing happen, the arm fell off.

Something told me this may happen before I left for the trip I am on now here in Bahrain, but I dismissed it.

Thankfully, on our way to find a sandwich last night, my host Philip Edwards took me to an optician to see if the glasses could be repaired, but no. We had a solution, off the shelf reading glasses, I can still see to read.

Carpe Diem.

Life is full of such incidents.