By Gavin Oattes, author of Life Will See You Now
We’ve all heard of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) right? Described as “an attitude of curiosity and a willingness to experiment that has left behind a trail of techniques.” Science Digest describes it as, “the most powerful vehicle for change in existence.”
Now, I’m not prepared to argue with anyone on NLP and its benefits, while I believe it offers so much to so many, I think it has also got a tad crowded in its offerings. NLP practitioners are now in abundance and among the greats unfortunately we now have the ones who are kinda making stuff up.
Let me introduce you to SLP.
The Sun Lounger Principle is a simple technique that anyone can apply to their thinking. It’s most commonly used on holiday by assholes but it can be used as a force for good.
SLP (Like NLP in many ways, just a bit easier to get your head around) is all in our thinking. It is a technique that enables you to quickly get to grips with a task you perhaps otherwise can’t be bothered doing.
BUT with energy, enthusiasm, vigour and positivity.
It could be pinging out of bed on a Monday morning, tidying the house, cooking, going to the gym or even studying.
You treat every single day as if it was one big marvellous summer vacation.
“Surely that can’t be right?” I hear you say…
Ok, well let’s imagine a regular, more normal, everyday type start to the day.
Picture the scenario…
Alarm is set early. Let’s imagine it’s a gym day. Earlier than normal. Earlier than anyone else. Why? Because you’re going to be first. You’re going to be the best. The plan is to get up on the first alarm and move fast. You’ve done your prep. Everything you need is packed and ready. As you close your eyes it’s all you can think about.
The alarm sounds. You snooze it. You snooze it another 5 times. You’re 20 minutes past your planned time of rising, you drag yourself out of bed. You feel sick and for a few minutes you allow yourself to reconsider. ‘I could just do it tomorrow.’ And just as you are about to go back to sleep you grab your stuff and you’re gone.
You arrive; a few likeminded people have the same idea. You’re frustrated that you weren’t there earlier.
You’ve done it, even if your commitment is entirely questionable. You made a plan, almost stuck to it and barely saw it through to the end. You kind of made it happen and you feel guilty. You could’ve done so much better. There’s no sense of pride.
And you know deep down that you’ll do this every single day even when you know that in this particular moment of your life, there’s nothing more important. You’ve entirely half-assed the whole thing.
Ok, let’s get back to the summery vacation.
Think about a time you spent an absolute fortune to get away for two weeks chill out in the sun. You’d been dreaming about it for 12 months. Sunshine, me time, beautiful food and drink, pure magic. Bliss.
You dump your bags in your room and decide to have nosey around, you know, get your bearings.
You’re scoping the joint.
But for what?
Prime sun lounger spot. That’s what. For some people this comes more naturally to than others. It’s practically sub-conscious. Stealth like.
Some of us need to work at it much harder. Like all ninja related activity, there’s levels.
I mean there’s stuff to think about. Space, shade, direction, chavs, bar, pool, noise, water polo, the other chavs and how far are you from your room.
It’s now late and you’re slowly losing the feeling that we all have when we first arrive somewhere new. The ‘Hmm not sure about this place yet, last year was better’ feeling.
This is a holiday. You need no alarms. You’re ‘off’. Your brain is off. NOTHING NEEDS DONE.
There’s a mission afoot
But we all know this is untrue. There’s a mission afoot.
And it’s life or death.
ALARM ALARM ALARM – it’s 6am
You leap out of bed. You grab your towels and leave.
You glide down the corridors.
You meet a fellow ninja.
Like motorcyclists you nod to each other, there’s mutual 6am respect but in your mind you’re thinking ‘You better not have your eye on my spot’, because it’s yours right? You own it, right? In this moment you own the entire hotel.
Your walk becomes a mild jog. It’s 6am on your £7000 pound holiday and you’re bloody jogging.
You see other joggers. You pick up the pace.
You feel your heart race, the blood is pumping.
This is it.
You’ll do whatever it takes. ANYTHING.
You see your sun loungers. They have no towels on them. They’re yours.
Time seems to slow in the moment. This matters.
This feeling right here that I’m describing. This feeling of passion, energy, hunger. This is The Sun Lounger Principle.
Take it and apply it to things in your life that matter.
Your health. Your family. Your career. Your ability to help others.
And where does it all begin?
Just like NLP…in our heads.
About the author:
Gavin Oattes is the author of Life Will See You Now: Quit Waiting for the Light at the End of the Tunnel and Light That F*cker Up for Yourself (Capstone, February 2020). He is regarded as one of the most talented and sought after speakers in the UK, regularly delivering keynote speeches at conferences and exhibitions around the world. He’s also the Managing Director of Tree of Knowledge, a company which runs speaking events, workshops and training courses for businesses and schools.