What research went into your book 'Get the Life You Love Now'?
Loads! I’ve been researching into this for almost 25 years. It started with a personal crisis; when I was 21, and an osteopathic student and professional guitarist, I severed my hand in an accident, and was told I’d never move my fingers again. My experiences of finding a way back to regain full use of my hand (I even ended up playing guitar with Eric Clapton), introduced me to the science about the influence of our mind on our body and health – how essential a positive outlook is and how we should listen selectively to the opinions of others; this led to my working with clients who had hopeless prognoses or who had become very stuck in their lives and looking for new solutions to those problems with them.
What is your academic background - how does this influence your writing?
I’ve lectured in osteopathy, philosophy, hypnosis and NLP at university and post grad levels. I’m currently writing my PhD on the use of the tools in this book for drug addiction.
That background has influenced me greatly – the diversity of thought in these disciplines and the freedom and encouragement to think along new lines has been essential to the development of my new ideas (you may know I’ve even invented a new verb).
Also, having read so much as part of my research, I’m passionate about books being easy and fun to read- I think books that are hard to understand aren’t a sign of cleverness but show an inability of the writer to write well!
You have many techniques in your book - recently you ran a 'Fear & Phobia Clinic' where you have 'cured' members in the audience of their fears - would you say you personally tried these techniques on yourself or your friends first? And how successful are these techniques?
I’ve tried all of the techniques on myself or with colleagues. I’m only really interested in working with tools that are genuinely effective - there’s enough approaches out there already that don’t work well or take a long time to achieve very little – and life’s too short for that.
In that clinic we had some awesome phobias – weird ones like fear of buttons, balloons, peach skin and oranges, as well your more normal fears of spiders, birds, fish, snakes etc. These are exactly the kinds of things that would take many hours to resolve with traditional methods - so it was great to be able to help free people from those intense fears within minutes.
What other books are you thinking of writing? Will you always write self-help books or do you ever think you would try out non-fiction?
I think my next book might be about NLP (neuro lingistic programming) it’s almost like the missing manual for how our minds work, it will be probably based on my iTunes podcast channel on NLP (Essential Skills of NLP) which has topped the iTunes download charts.
As for Fiction (I guess you mean fiction rather than non –fiction), yes I’m sure I will – as you probably noticed my books are full of stories designed to emphasise the key points- and it’s something people seem to love about my work and training courses.
The title of the book is very catchy. Do you have the life you love? And why would you say this is the case?
Yes I do! I’ve always been a firm believer in the importance of walking your talk- and besides what could be more important than having a life you love – research suggests it’s one of the best measures of health and longevity- and course it means you have more fun- and everyone likes fun!
What is unique about your book in comparison to other titles on the same subject?
There’s so much new in this book, just one ground breaking idea is the idea of upside down genius - a completely new take on how we see life’s problems – instead of seeing ‘being continually stressed’ as a problem, I consider being stressed to be one of the unsung genius behaviours that people do…when you think about those people you know who are great at getting stressed about things, they are REALLY great at it –often to an Olympic level- even if there’s not that much to really worry about.
As soon as we see that as a genius behavior we can also see the possibility that there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with them, in fact they are just very good at getting some predictable (but unpleasant) results, because they are geniuses, and suddenly they realise they have the possibility of learning how to not be a genius at stress and turning their genius potential to something else…
There’s so much more too: the idea that we could be a phenomenally compassionate and inspirational coach to ourselves; that we could use the new word dû; explaining the simplest way in the world to get Present to the moment and a system that makes it easy to get the power back in our lives…
Hypnotherapy is becoming very popular. How did you first learn about this and how do you implement hypnotherapy within your book?
I first started studying hypnotherapy in the 1980’s, it’s a really fascinating field to study –but it’s also very misunderstood. When most people think of hypnotherapy they confuse it with stage hypnosis and imagine people being made to do crazy things, but it couldn't be more different. Hypnotherapy, and the linked subject of NLP, is all about teaching people to manage their own state of mind… and when you think about it, being in the wrong state of mind is the cause of most of our troubles - for instance when we’re scared in an interview or frustrated in a traffic jam it’s because we’re in the wrong state of mind…and we don’t know how to change it. Learning to master changing your state of mind is enormously freeing and the secret to having a life you love, as a result this skill, rather than hypnotherapy itself, its covered extensively in the new book.
How would you like to end 2013 career wise?
In my work I encourage people to think big – so I’d love to top the New York Times best sellers list J
What will be your new year's resolution for 2014?
Be more present, make even more of a difference, have even more fun.
-Saima Omar @Lookitssaima