Horror of horrors, I hit a snag in the new novel I am writing at the weekend! I resolved it quickly, but it was a heart-in-mouth kind of moment all the same! Basically I was going through some edits, and realised that one very significant twist in the story did not fit the overall plot. And I really needed it to work in order for several other developments to make sense later on… I’ll be honest, it was all doom and gloom suddenly, and morale was low! But then I just thought hey, who’s the writer here? I’ve created it, right? So I can certainly un-create it, or tweak it to make it better… I am not a prisoner of this story, I am its maker! Oh, imagine the power in that! And so I started feeling great again, and I made it work.
Life can be a little bit like that too. I know some people who don’t believe they are the creator of their own lives. And so the best they can ever do is come up with coping mechanisms for the things that are not working. Other people, like those who know NLP, understand that they are in the driver’s seat, and so if something is not working they can change it. Sometimes it requires being quite creative, and, like we say in NLP, doing some rather extreme lateral chunking; but if you have a belief that nothing you want to achieve is impossible, then it is just a matter of finding out how you can get there. Where there’s a will there’s a way! So how do you do it? Well, the first thing you need is direction… One of the first principles for happiness is: Know What You Want.
You also need to be able to recognise when to go with the flow, like when you are excited about something, and when to push against the current in the direction of your dreams, like when you are feeling scared, angry or hurt for example. People often allow negative emotions to shift them onto a different track away from what they want – but these negative emotions are not show-stoppers; they are merely signals that something needs to be dealt with, and resolved: exciting challenges in other words! With NLP you can let go of negative emotions quickly, and annihilate threats to your overall story easily. This is the number two principle: Get Rid Of The Stuff That Holds You Back!
Number three is obvious: Go Do It – Take Action!
Number four is a vital ingredient to the mix – Get Up High Above Your Story every once in a while. Make sure it still makes sense to you, make sure you’re still happy with it. You may wonder how I almost got to the end of a new novel, blissfully unaware that this particular scene I mentioned was the most illogical and laughable plot twist ever invented! Well, that’s because I was down on the page amongst the words, flushing commas out of unsuitable places! So have a look at the big picture from time to time. And if when you do that you find that you are no longer excited about your story, don’t worry about it: just locate where the excitement has moved off to, and follow it there.
One of the nice things I have learned is that sometimes I’ll get excited about something only as a means to get me started toward something better. What that something better is might not be obvious straight away, and so here is the fifth principle: Be Flexible in your approach. Lao Tzu says that life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes: don’t resist them, because that will only create sorrow. Basically, just learn how to ride that ride! And make sure that when you reach the end of your story you can look back on it, and say you are proud of every single one of the plot twists you created!
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw