Author Archives: nlpnowcom

Just around the corner a surprise

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You never know what is just around the corner, as you walk along the pathway of life.

Isabella Plantation Richmond Park
In Richmond Royal Park, hidden away is the wonderful Isabella Plantation, offering a wide variety of trees, shrubs, heathers and plants, flowering and blooming at different times of the year, which is in contrast with the wider Royal Park, being open spaces, clusters of trees some old, some just planted, valleys with hidden waterways and deer, free to roam, eating their way around the park.
Contrast of colours in Isabella Plantation Richmond Park
The difference in colours of the trees, bushes and shrubs within Isabella Plantation in the warm sunlight of a Spring day, is better than any painting masterpiece, for if you look deeply, often there is something special that you have not seen before, if you use Phillip’s sausage there is so much more.

Isabella Plantation Colour

In contrast to the Isabella Plantation, walking across well trodden pathways of Richmond Royal Park itself, is an open landscape, and in the early spring devoid of much colour, but by keeping oneself aware, there is hidden beauty to be seen.

Grey Squirrel in tree in Richmond Park
Grey Squirrel eating in Richmond Park
Hidden in an old tree a grey squirrel watches down as walkers pass beneath, waiting for them to go so it can descend to pick-up a seed to eat.
Then a flash of colour as parakeets take flight as they are disturbed from feeding by a passing walker.
Parakeets eating in Richmond Park
Parakeets eating in Richmond Park
Parakeets take flight in Richmond Park
How much do we miss about us, as we tread the old pathways, not concerned, not interested as to what may be around the corner?

A Pot of Gold At the End of a Rainbow

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There is a saying, a myth, a fable in many cultures which says that there will be A Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow.

After a loverly Spring day in Kingston upon Thames in the UK, the sky darkened as the cloud became black. The weather forecast had predicted heavy showers perhaps with hail stones, and this looked like we were likely to be on the receiving end.
Yet that dark cloud did not cover the whole sky, for in the east, the sky was clear, and the sun shone bathing us in a bright sunshine.

Looking out of the window a wondrous sight caught the eye, a rainbow, in fact a double rainbow, with the end of the main rainbow seeming to end on the top of the block of flats which shone as if it had just been built.

It was in 2010 that a major fire had occurred in Madingley Tower, on the Cambridge Estate, which resulted in a refurbishment of the flats. (click to see video of the fire)
Now finished, and the flats reoccupied, perhaps the fortunes of those residents will change, as I hope there is a Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow for them.
A pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Madingley Tower, Cambridge Road Estate, Kingston upon Thames
The above photograph has been republished in the Kingston Guardian newspaper.

It is like a Summer’s Day in Brighton

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This week will not be a great week for me personally, I have a couple of health issues which need resolve, so to find that the weather here in the UK is just like summer, and it is still only March, what better way is there to enjoy the present day and make the best of what the world has to give me.

With not a cloud in the sky, a trip to Brighton was called for. In less than two hours I could be by the sea, a place that I find invigorating, relaxing, empowering and enjoyable, just two train journeys, rather than driving down in my RX7, spending money on petrol, parking fees and the chance of endless traffic jams. Unknown to me, there were problems on the train network, which meant catching three trains, and wasted time waiting on station platforms for delayed trains.

Take a deep breath in, close my eyes, and RELAX.
At last the train arrived in Brighton, and on exiting the station, there infront of me, down the long road from the station to the seafront, the shimmering sea could be seen, and strange feeling of boyhood joy overcame me, I wanted to jump for joy, and I set out on what seemed a never ending walk, past shops and restaurants that had little interest for me. I wanted to be by the sea.
I was amazed at the number of people that were on the pebbled beach, sunning themselves, just relaxing. Perhaps they were some of the many foreign students that seem to go to Brighton to learn English, or unemployed or retired people, or people just like me, wanting to rejuvenate themselves?
Just walking up and down the promenade and beside the beach, just being there, being part of humanity brought me back to normality.
Brighton seafront and the Brighton Pier, March 2012
Brighton seafront and the Brighton Pier, March 2012
A walk down the Brighton Pier, one of the long jetties running out into the sea in the UK, which often have theatres, restaurants and amusement arcades on them, where people walk along, sometimes stopping to relax in a deck chair, perhaps imagining that they are sitting on an ocean liner sailing the seven seas on a cruise, gave me the chance to breath fresh air into my lungs.
I availed the amusement arcades, because I was hungry, and where better to go and have the traditional British meal of fish-n-chips than on Brighton Pier
Great British food, Fish n Chips
Great British food, Fish n Chips
I have not had fish and chips for many months, and although it was pointed out to me that deep fat fried for is bad for the health, it was also said that once in a while was OK. So why not, I may not be here next week, and after all, fish is good for you.
Why is it that everything I do not like is always good for me?
My mother always used to tell me to eat the vegetables as it would make my hair curl, or eat the bread and butter as it would make me grow into a big strong boy?
My hair is still straight, and yes I have grown into a big boy, but that is because I have eaten too much bread and butter and that has left me overweight.
So much for believing everything my mother told me as being true, including Santa Claus. coming down the chimney on Christmas Day, and the tooth fairy leaving me money under my pillow after I lost a tooth.
What a glorious day out. Now I can face what the week is going to throw at me.

Guest Judge at Speaking Competition

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At the end of the evening, it was a privilege to be asked as one of the judges of the Inter-House Public Speaking Competition at the Richard Challoner School in New Malden, Surrey, to present the awards and give the summing-up speech.

Along with two other judges, I witnessed the very high standard of presentations, coached by their teachers and especially Tanya Cheema, with talks entitled from “Why I Didn’t Have Time to Write a Speech“, to “Blood, Oil and Captain Hook“.
Although the speakers were allowed only 2.5 minutes, with penalty points if they were outside this time, the content was well researched, the talks’ structure was well defined, and the delivery was superb and articulate.
I remember as a young boy many many years ago being asked to join the Lichfield Cycling Proficiency Committee, and then being entered into a Public Speaking competition. That single experience had prepared me for the work I do now, giving talks, speeches and courses all over the world.
The evenings competition at the Richard Challoner School and the Youth Speaks Competition run by Kingston upon Thames Rotary Clubwill stand the boys in good stead in later life, giving them confidence, boosting self esteem, and preparing them for being able to present and debate in their future education, business and private life.

Tortoise, Turtle or Terrapin

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As a small boy, I had many pet animals, a budgerigar, a guinea pig, a dog and a tortoise, each of them still holding a fond spot in my memory, the budgie sitting on my finger its’ claws holding tight, the big black bulging eyes of the guinea pig, my dog racing up to me with such excitement after we went to pick him up from a weeks stay in a kennel and he pee’d up my leg, to the hard shell of the unfriendly just give me food tortoise.
There have been animals in my life through friends, the media, TV, films etc, Lassie the sheepdog, Kaa the hypnotic snake in Jungle Book, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Flipper the dolphin, and then the Ninja Turtles.
Many of my friends had pets, one in particular had a terrapin who I called Fred. Even though Fred showed no friendliness to humans, I had a soft spot for him, arranging for him to have a larger home with a little plastic palm tree and in which we added a “beach” of pebbles so he could, if he wished, pull himself out of the water. 
I was a little too old to get caught-up with all the hype and commercialism of the Ninja Turtles, but my mind certainly went back to the children’s cartoon TV series as I stood on a beach in the Galápagos Islands observing the tracks of the turtles as they made their way from the Pacific Ocean to lay their eggs.
Also on the Galapagos Islands I visited the giant tortoises, seeing Lonesome George, (click to see picturesthe last male specimen of his breed, or so it may seem, as researchers are trying to find him a mate.
It was visiting a friends’ and colleagues home in Italy with anticipation, as he had told me he had two turtles. I expected that in his back garden there would be a ornamental pond, very much like the Kek Lok Si, Goddess of Mercy Temple, in Penang Malaysia, which has the Liberation Pond full of turtles.
It was then that I started to wonder, what is the difference between a tortoise, a turtle and a terrapin? What environments do each live in.
The biggest differences between the three is the environments they live in. Essentially a tortoise is a land dwelling reptile, a turtle is a sea water, ocean dwelling reptile, whereas a terrapin is a freshwater or brackish water (river estuary) dwelling reptile. Although in many countries there is no distinction made between the three species, they are all referred to as turtles, or testudines, or chelonian, which the latter is often used by veterinarians and scientists. In Spain for example they use the word “tortuga” for all three, but add-on the the descriptive word of “terrestre” for tortoise, “marina” for turtles and “de rio” for terrapins.
Another distinction can be found in their feet. Tortoise have short stubby legs whereas, turtles and terrapins will have webbed feet, with ocean going turtles having developed flippers to propel themselves through the water.
For the northern hemisphere countries where tortoises are not a native animal or reptile, they are a protected animal, and only held as pets, but in hotter counties it is common to see wild tortoises roaming the countryside. It came as quite a shock to me the first time I saw a wild tortoise in Gaziantep and Antalya (Turkey).
So recently I saw the tortoise in the photograph below roaming my back garden in Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia. I have never seen a tortoise with markings on its’ head, two yellow stripes. 
Can anyone tell me the breed of tortoise please?
Malaysian tortoise
What breed of Malaysian tortoise is this please?

Father Christmas, Noel Baba

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It is that time of the year again in many parts of the world where the festive season of Christmas is celebrated.

Last year I spent many weeks in the RIXOS Premium Hotel Belek in Antalya, Southern Turkey over the Christmas and New Year period, and on Xmas Day I was honoured to be Father Christmas, or Noel Baba, for the guests at a special festive meal.
Previous years I have been taking my share of being Father Christmas for the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames at the Christmas Tree outside Bentall’s Shopping Centre, and this year has been the same.
It is such a privilege to be the Father Christmas for the young children as they are taken shopping with their parents.
Phillip Holt as Santa with the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames Phillip Holt as Father Christmas with the Rotary Club of Kingston upon Thames
The look in the children’s eyes as they see me, wonderment, they wave back as I wave at them, and when they come-up to Santa, and I engage them in a little conversation, memories food back to me of the time when I believed in Father Christmas.
I ask them what they want me to leave them on Christmas day, and it could be a scooter, a doll, a bicycle, and I wonder if their parents have brought their desires.
I always finish-off by asking them if they will leave me a minced pie and a carrot for Rudolph as we will be very hungry, and the children often add “and a glass of milk“. I always get a big “yes“.
We always offer the children a sweet from a little box in exchange for a donation that the children puts in our collecting bucket, the proceeds of which go to support local charities and services in the Royal Borough of Kingston.
The motto of the Rotary Club is Service above Self, and surely being Santa to the children is not a service but an honour.

It is good to get home

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I love my work, teaching participants, passing on information, giving people confidence, improving self-esteem, what ever, but it is always great to be home.

As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz would say, “There’s no place like home.
After a week in Istanbul giving a Society of NLP Practitioner course, a delayed flight, I could set about washing my shirts, answering my mail and telephone messages, collect my new reading glasses, and enjoying a walk into my home town centre.
When I arrived in the market square of Kingston upon Thames, I was surprised to find the Christmas Market had arrived with all the stalls selling seasonal fare, food, gifts, sweets, and drinks. The familiar smell of mulled wine entered my senses, a typical Christmas drink, red wine with added spices and served warm.
My senses came alive, as this is a special time in the UK culture, a season of good will, of being with friends and family. The trouble is my work takes me away from friends and family, but the deep memories from years gone by warmed me as much as the mulled wine.
The Christmas Market in Kingston upon Thames
The Christmas Market in Kingston upon Thames

Feedback on Mind Maps after many years

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In all the countries around the world I visit, and with all the people who have attended my courses, who I have worked with on private issues, phobias, confidence building, I never fail to get joy and wonderment from my work.

I never expect praise or criticism, although both are welcome, neither do I seek feedback unless the participant or client is willing to give it to me. I know intuitively how I have down as I continually test and monitor my work.
Back in 2004, I ran a Mind Map course, along with other courses on that visit, one of many Mind Mapping courses I have given to the public, schools, businesses, and individuals. I had indeed forgotten that trip.
Today I received an email from Kamani Gunathilake which says:-
Just that simple message has given me such a boost, just reminding me that any little thing we do, any little piece of information, any help that we give to others, can have a profound influence on their life.
Just that simple little message has given me the drive to deliver more to as many people who wish to engage me in whatever country it may be.
Thank you Kamani.

iMindMap - Free Download

The 9th Radio Interview of the Series with Ashford Publishing Radio

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In todays interview with Ashford Radio PublishingPhillip Holt talks about memory, how it works and some simple examples of incasing memory.

In the time available, less than half an hour, Phillip explains with examples how you can increase your memory powers, and even the man with the biggest memory can forget where he parked his car.
For some computer systems the radio button will not appear on this page, so either click here or visit all Phillips’ radio shows by clicking here to listen.

Listen to internet radio with AshfordPublishing on Blog Talk Radio

Please leave any comments you may have below.

Phillip Holt is available to give courses to corporate and the public, in many subjects around the world, plus talks and presentations, and will work with individuals on personal issues.
Contact me for more information either by email (link in the left column), or by leaving a comment below.
Find other radio interviews by clicking here.

A Grebe Takes a Meal

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I love observing the world around me, finding the little things that people normally miss, and when I find the unusual, I need to know what is gaining on, what is the history, what makes it work, but sometimes I just like to observe and enjoy the time.

A grebe on the River Thames, Kingston Upon Thames
A grebe on the River Thames, Kingston Upon Thames
Walking recently by the River Thames I noticed the bird called the grebe swimming low in the water, and diving down for what seems an age, to resurface a long way away from where it entered.
It was the first time that I saw the result of a dive, that the grebe had caught a fish. Nature can be so cruel when you think of the poor fish that was just swimming about just a few seconds before, but life on earth is like this, a tree or plant will take nutrients from the soil, perhaps depriving another plant or tree which will then die. A lion will kill an antelope to feed to live. A bird will eat a caterpillar so we will never see a beautiful butterfly, and then perhaps the bird will be eaten by another animal.

A grebe on the River Thames, Kingston Upon Thames, eating a fish.
A grebe on the River Thames, Kingston Upon Thames, eating a fish.

It is a dog eats dog world.
Even in business, cultural or beliefs systems, in living or existing as we have seen in recent months say in Libya, it is the same, it is dog eat dog or the survival of the fittest.
Life can be Poo Poo seen from one perspective, or beautiful and productive if seen from another.