In this email you will hear about an interesting experience Dad had when he attended a graduation ceremony at NLP Comprehensive years ago. It was one of those times that wasn’t expected to stand out. He had anticipated attending the graduation ceremony, meeting great people, then going back to his life. This one experience impacted him at a much more profound level than expected, as is often the case.
You’ll find much more about the concept of stretching yourself in our Portable Practitioner program. Taking this course has been an amazing experience for so many, you can learn more about it here. (http://www.nlpco.com/training/905d-1/)
By Tom Hoobyar
Article Word Count 1145, average reading time 4.6 minutes.
Vikki and I are on “walkabout” – a combination business/vacation trip.
We began the first of this month with a flight from our home in California to Tampa, Florida for business, and then drove to Disney World in Orlando for my birthday last week. Then we flew to Colorado.
Now we’re holed up in Twin Lakes. It’s about 8 miles from Granite and 15 miles from Leadville, in a cabin by a glacial lake, where we’re just relaxing for a couple of days before returning home.
Last weekend was special however – we visited Winter Park in the Rockies for the NLP Comprehensive Practitioner graduation from the summer residential course.
These students had traveled to the mountains and had worked together for two weeks solid, day and evening, learning about themselves and each other as they explored this advanced study of human nature.
They had shared many things about themselves, and in a couple of weeks they had become better known to each other than to many of their close friends back home.
The graduation ceremony took place after a dinner at a lodge. Our Director of Program Charles Faulkner congratulated them and introduced their training Coaches to a round of applause.
Then each Coach read the names of the members of their individual training groups, and each student came up and was awarded his or her NLP Practitioner Certificate, along with a handshake and frequently, a hug.
Every time I see one of these graduations I’m reminded of my first NLP graduation ceremony in the spring of 1995. It brings it all back to me. I was so proud of myself for earning that certificate.
Funny, it was more difficult to get my first patent awarded. And there are a number of pieces of paper that I’ve collected during my career for this and that achievement – but that first Practitioner Certificate was a real milestone for me.
And I noticed that it was a very important moment for a number of this year’s graduates, also.
One woman in particular got my attention. She was a blond, about forty, with the kind of face that normally wore a happy expression.
But this night she was fighting back tears. She took her Certificate and hugged her Coach, whispering thanks over and over in his ear. Then she returned to her table with our applause ringing in the room.
After the ceremony was over and we were milling around visiting with each other, I met her in the crowd and told her how her emotion had touched me.
“Oh Tom,” she said, “You don’t know how important this was to me. It was my dream for several years, and now I’ve done it!”
I told her how good I felt for her, and how what she was feeling had reminded me of the thrill when I got my first Certificate.
“I know what you mean,” she said. “I felt good when I graduated from college, and any number of other times, but this is special. I think it’s because I really had to be myself with my classmates, and I had to really pay attention to them as we worked together during the exercises.”
“We really got to know each other,” she told me. “And sometimes it was hard or a little scary, and I’m so proud of myself that at my age I could do this and now I can help my kids and all the people in my life.”
We said goodbye, and Vikki and I left Winter Park the next morning for the next phase of our vacation.
But I’ve been thinking about that woman for several days now.
I’ve been wondering what it was about NLP training that was so important to her and to so many others, including me.
I think it’s because of something she said – that we got stretched a little bit beyond our comfort zone. We dropped the masks that normally protect us from others, and even from ourselves.
We let something be important to us. We got real with ourselves and with each other.
I’ve been reflecting during this trip with how I naturally avoided situations that made me stretch very much. I think most people do.
Then something happened today that made things click into place.
We decided to drive to Aspen today. It’s about forty miles from where we’re staying. Not too far – except it’s over the Continental Divide and the summit is over 12,000 feet elevation.
Now you understand, Vikki and I live in the San Francisco Bay area, at sea level.
This pass is over two miles high.
So, even though we’ve spent several days at altitudes over 7,000 feet, we started the drive this morning with a little uneasiness.
By the time we got to the summit we were both feeling out of breath. We reminded each other to drink plenty of water and to breath deeply.
Then we decided to get out at the summit and walk up a path to the top of the mountain so we could look down.
It was only a few hundred yards, but it was a couple hundred feet higher, and it was a loooooong slow walk to get there, take a couple of pictures, and then walk back down to our car.
I was a little shaky when we got into the car, and panting like a dog that had run ten miles.
But I was also a little proud of myself.
And as we drove down the other side and the air thickened with oxygen and my brain began functioning somewhat normally again, I realized that the walk uphill from the summit had been a bit of a stretch for me — and a little scary for an out of shape grandpa (I VOW I’m going to exercise when I get home!).
Ka-ching! It hit me. The reason that the lady in the NLP graduation was crying wasn’t just because she was happy – it was because she had made herself proud of what she had accomplished.
And, in a smaller way, I had the same experience walking up that trail today.
So on the way back to our cabin tonight, I decided to share this thought with you – that maybe we need to create more chances to be proud of ourselves.
There are probably dozens of chances each month to do something we’ve never done before, or to try something that might be new to us, or make us stretch a little. It doesn’t have to be climbing a mountain or graduating from NLP training; it could be helping someone or going the extra mile on something. Suppose we did that – stretched ourselves in a way that would make us proud – several times a month?
What would that be like?
I have a feeling that giving ourselves more chances to be proud of ourselves might be a good idea.
I’m going to try it – and I invite you to do the same.
We can compare notes in a couple of months. How about it?