Janine Bolon: Welcome to the show. Today I am lucky enough to have not only a friend, a fellow writer but also a fellow educator. Stephen Oliver, who has written multiple books, but the book we are going to be focusing on today is Unleash Your Dreams: Going Beyond Goal Setting. The reason why I am so ecstatic that we have Stephen with us today is because he and I have so many similarities. We call it different things, but both he and I have degrees and experiences in engineering. We were both into automation and software. We were both systems-oriented people and then to find out that we were writing about how to live a successful life just in different ways. So I am ecstatic to have Stephen with us. Thank you so much for being on the show today.
Stephen Oliver: Thank you for inviting me.
Janine: One of the things I absolutely enjoyed was where you were talking about and then I decided to learn to be a certified adult educator and both you and I went back and got certifications and degrees late, what some people would say late in life. Tell me a little bit about what kind of decided that factor for you? What made you want to get into adult education?
Stephen: It was the fact that I was working as a software engineer for a large Swiss bank. I cannot give any names, but I had been the system’s designer, so to speak on the whole thing. Once it came to implementation, we then had to train the people and so I was teaching people how to use this software we developed. A very important software for this bank actually. As far as I know, it is still working 20 years later, but the point is that we were training the people to do it and I wanted to make sure I knew how to train people properly. I have done a few courses purely by instinct and then I decided now I got to learn how to do this properly because if I am going to be doing this a lot, it really looks good if you get a certificate where you can hand into a prospective employee, employer rather, and say this is proof that I do. So I went on that. It was basically over a year, X number of modules. I have to keep going back and doing all sorts of things. The point was I decided in the end to get the certification so that I can say this is me, I am trained. The ironic thing is it turned out that I am actually been doing it all right in the first place without taking the course. In fact, the only thing that was new to me was writing a concept for a course as opposed to writing a concept for software. Even there, there was similarities I could pick up on and use.
Janine: So one of the things, I know for me it was a delight learning how different people learned. That was one of my favorite aspects of going back and getting my Masters in Education was just learning all the different ways people learn so that I could cater to those in whatever I was doing. So one of the other things I wanted to share with the listeners was the fact that you and I both have a similar, I do not know if you want to call him a role model, but he definitely was for me as a teacher. I wanted to be able to hold the attention the way Danny Kaye was able to hold the attention of students and people on-screen with his comedy. So you have him highlighted here in your book Unleash Your Dreams: Going Beyond Goal Setting, you have a whole section here dedicated to dreaming, how to dream and then you bring up Danny Kaye. So that was a point where I was like, “Oh, I have got to have Stephen on my my podcast show.” So share with us a little bit about Danny Kaye and why you picked him.
Stephen: I picked Danny Kaye because he was, if you like a role model for me, he was somebody who grew up in some of the worst circumstances. When he was about 14, his father walked out on the family and as the oldest son, he was the one who actually then had to go out and earn money, gave up school and everything and supported the family until he, well, for the rest of his life basically. The point is that he still had dreams. He dreamed of being a doctor. He dreamed of being an actor. He dreamed of being a comedian, a singer, a dancer, and all these things. He actually achieved just about everything he wanted. As a fourteen-year-old, he dreamed of all these wonderful things. He owned a gourmet restaurant for instance. He was a conductor at the New York Philharmonic on a guest appearance. All these weird and wonderful dreams he had, he got. That is such such an inspiration as I think it was, yes it was Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” I think that is so important, we have to dream. We have to have dreams. We have to have goals. We have to think this is what I want because I have not mentioned this in the book, but it is true that Harvard did that experiment.
Stephen: They noted down or go to classes and seeing how many of them had set goals and their life. Those who had set goals have not only achieve those goals, but were on average earning up to a million dollars more in their lifetimes because they have said, “I am going to do this.” Bang, and there it is. If you do not set goals, somebody else is going to set your goals for you. That unfortunately is something that is true today and you can see that in all the young people who are not quite sure what they want. That was one of the inspirations for writing this book in the first place, to give something easy because I have done goal-setting courses which I was into by a bank. Okay, they are brilliant ideas. Unfortunately, they are no good if you are doing this for personal development, for personal goals. They are only actually good for your job because the three things that come out of it is what, when, how much. That is all you get out of those. What if your goal is to become a software engineer? What if your goal is to take up operatic singing? You may never be very good but you want to have the training. What if your goal is to be a millionaire? Even that is a personal goal and not a business goal as it were. So all of these things, you need to set the goals and Danny Kaye is the man who managed to do it all. It is so ironic that he is the man who played Walter Mitty.
Janine: Is not it though? Yeah. The first time I ever saw Danny Kaye was of course when he was singing “Make Them Laugh.” Of course, I was trying to learn how to make people laugh because I had lived in so many cultures as a young person that I found that sometimes laughter was very culturally specific. What was funny in one culture was actually insulting in another. So yeah, I do. You had to be careful. You had to know your audience so I learned very early on. One of the things that I really enjoyed about your book is you talk about it all. You talk about spirituality and vision. I know you and I have had private conversations about how important vision is in your development of your goals, of your dreams. So would you talk a little bit about a person’s spirituality and their personal vision?
Stephen: Well, vision is important in everything. In fact, one of the things I learnt on this adult education course is when you are writing a concept. The first thing you need is a vision. Your vision is what you are aiming to achieve. It is not How you are going to achieve it. That is what the rest of the concept is about. The first thing is what do I want? As I said before, these are your goals. This affects how you will grow as a person. If you drift then I am afraid your spirituality will never go anywhere. If you have something you are aiming at and you aim it with a good heart and a good soul to get there, then this is going to advance your spirituality. You do not need to go and do special spiritual exercises necessarily. You do not have to go to an ashram or meditate every day. If your aims are good, your vision is brilliant and it is there for people to see what you have achieved in your life, you are going to encourage other people. I mean, there is this famous speech that Nelson Mandela gave with the quote. It is at the end of the book where he was saying, “Do not hide your light under the bucket because all you are doing is discouraging other people.” If you set your vision and it will encourage the people to have their visions and if the people follow their visions, all the people follow their visions, their good visions, their brilliant, bright idea, then the world will be such a better place. The problem is I think that so many people have given up on that and they just let themselves be pushed around. That is not good for us.
Janine: I agree. It is not good for us and I see it as living life by default. Well, this is where I am. There is no way for me to move forward. So that is why it was so important to me that I bring you in front of listeners because you have seen all those different areas not only in your own life, but in your own family like I have where we have seen the family members that just totally gave up on dreams and they actually inspired people like you and I not to do that because they just totally gave up on it. Then you and I both have family members that were the dreamers that never accomplished them, right? They could dream like anybody but they never were practical enough or they did not have the systems necessary for them to achieve their goals. So I would like to kind of bring it down into three-dimensional reality a little bit. So you have these dreams and sometimes it takes a friend to kind of help remind you that you used to have these dreams, talk to people that you were younger with because some people cannot even remember the dreams they had when they were younger. You mentioned this wonderful thing called the Wow Strategy. I had not ever heard this part of goal-setting described this way. So if you would educate us a little bit about you have this vision, you kind of have these dreams. How does the Wow Strategy help you?
Stephen: The Wow Strategy is basically those times when you achieve something on the way and you go, “Wow, I did that.” When you do that, there will be a feeling inside you, a core feeling you will do something or say something you might though as I used to be in civil defense. When I was told I have been promoted, what I did was fist up in the air going, “Yeah,” and that was my Wow for that day. Now the thing is with the Wow Strategy is you note these all down for yourself because they are your reactions, your beliefs coming out. Yes, I have achieved this. Actually, the first time I ever saw it, it was on a course being given by an NLP master trainer called Peter Fritcher. The course was actually for writers. It was the course that broke the first cracks as it were in my fear of writing. With the while strategy, we put them, everyone came up with a Wow of some kind and we actually put on a little piece of paper and it was stuck on the flip chart.
Stephen: Then we could look and see if somebody else had done a better Wow, one which we liked and we could borrow that. The point was, every time during the course, we had a Wow. We went back and they said we put our hands on the Wow that we had created and remember that feeling again. As it were, we were sticking Wow’s on top of each other, which is what I suggest in the book. You are building up, you are anchoring this positive feeling, this feedback, “Yes. I am doing it,” and that encouraged you do further. So often when you are going along, you get the feeling, “I am not getting anywhere.” What you really need is to see the difference as making a difference and that one of those big differences is how am I feeling? The biggest best feedback we can ever have is how do I feel about what I have just done? Do I feel good, do I feel not good? If I do not feel good, then maybe I have done something that I should not do or I did not want to do or do I feel yes, I have done this. I have achieved something wonderful, make yourself a little Wow sheet or a little Wow board or whatever and go and put it on there. Put your hand on top. Remember that feeling because that will become a talisman.
Janine: I totally agree with you because there are certain elements of every culture I have been affiliated with which I have lived in seven different types of cultures. One of the things that I have noticed is that certain cultures really downplay any kind of a personal achievement. So when I ran across your Wow Strategy, I was like this is so important that you acknowledge what you have accomplished and only hold yourself as the bar. It is better than what I did before and you hear this all the time in leadership training. What I do not think a lot of people knew is I went and researched how kings and queens used to be trained, those that were considered to be the premier leaders of their era. One of the things that was so important is they were never trained in team courses or team sports. All of their sporting was self-imposed so they had to achieve their highest score. Were they achieving something more? So talk to us a little bit, if you do not mind, about some areas where we can kind of take a look-see about okay, here are areas where we sometimes downplay what we do when in actuality we should be giving ourselves a Wow.
Stephen: Well, quite honestly, most areas of life come under that.
Janine: I gave you a wide open field on purpose so you could talk about anything you want.
Stephen: Yeah, but the thing is when we, personal relationship is just one thing but people think, “Oh, I am not worthy of that girl, that man, boy, whatever I can see over there at a party.” That is downplaying yourself instead of thinking, “I am a special unique human being.” In my own personal life when I started making that breakthrough and realizing I am a special person, everyone is a special person, I was out at a friend’s place. He and I were working on a project together. He was a hardware engineer. I was a software engineer. As I left his place, I ran into his mother who was just popping around to say hello and I chatted with her a couple of minutes and then I went. Then when I got home, he phoned up and he said, “You really impressed my mother.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, she said, ‘Was that Stephen I met coming into the house?” He said yeah. She said, ‘I did not recognize him. He was so self-confident.'”
Stephen: That is the thing. We do ourselves down. We are taught to do ourselves down. My father was preeminent with that. I remember the first time my mother cooked him dinner, they tell me, I mean, I was not around at the time. She cooked him something very special and he went, “Not bad,” and she burst out crying. Because my mother is Swiss and she did not know in the English culture you downplay everything. “Not bad” means very good in England. It took her a long time to learn that but that is doing yourself down saying not bad. When someone says, “O yeah, this dress,” something that they have just spent 25 hours making, they go, “Oh, this dress is just something I threw together.” That is doing yourself down. Praise yourself. Praise what you are doing because you are the one that is doing it and you are achieving something that has never been achieved before. One of the things, arguments that I used to have with myself when I started writing fiction is all these subjects have been done before.
Stephen: Who is going to want to listen to another vampire story or another love story or another whatever? Joe Vitality said you are going to put your own spin on the story. It might be somebody needs to hear that story your way. Since I took that to heart, I have written this book and I have written another million odd words on top of that. So I would say that that probably has worked for me very well. I am unique. I tell my my stories my way and I have been told by other writers, they love my style and I have even got two short stories that have been collected in anthologies which are due to come out later this year and I have two full novels which are being looked at by a publisher and an agent. So, other people are beginning to like what I am doing, which is great because that makes you feel good. Even if they then say, “Oh, it is not really fitting in,” they have at least taken the time to look at it and consider you.
Janine: I just want to say congratulations on that. You went from a writer who totally had no confidence and did not think that what you had to say was special and it is always wonderful to see when a writer goes, “You know what? I have something important to say.” So I want to say congratulations to that. I also would like to talk to the point that you bring up and this is for any listener, is that sometimes you are just not a good fit for that moment for that person. So I did have the Oprah Winfrey Show reach out to me one time. When they found out what I did and how I was working the 60/40 principal in that part of my business, they said you are really not a good fit for the show, but we will keep considering you. So I would reach back around every year, but I could tell that the way the show was moving, I was not a good fit. That relationship and because I did not get down in the mouth about I did not just say, “Oh, well, nobody wants me.” Then because I kept pursuing it, I ended up getting other contacts, other networks were I was the perfect fit for that magazine article, for that particular reporter, for that. So also just realize that just because you are told no in the moment does it mean that it is no permanently. It means you are the you are being told who is your perfect demographic? So thank you, Stephen, for sharing that with us.
Stephen: I have a story I can tell on that as well.
Janine: Oh, I would love to hear it.
Stephen: As a software engineer, I was looking for a new job and I applied through various employment agencies. I was sent to one and talking to this guy and within four five minutes, it was obvious that I was not a good fit for them and they were not a good fit for me. We did the whole interview. He showed me around, showed me what was done and then he said at the end, “I wanted to show you around to show what we do, but I know your freewheeling way of doing things will not fit the way we do it. We need somebody who can do exactly what we want. We do not want somebody who can come up with a creative solution.” In other words, I do not fit. It was almost instantly obvious, but I did not let that take me down and he confirmed he thought I was great, but just not for them. I was the square peg in the round hole or I would have been.
Janine: So it behooves everybody and usually those sorts of situations is what I use as a business person to set up a referral situation. If somebody is going to take the time to actually show me around and show me everything that they are doing, I can better then send them the people they are looking for. As business owners, whether you are a writer, I do not care what your business is, what your art is. There is always somebody that you have in your network who may fit for them and a referral is 10 times better than anything than cold calling or what have you. So let us keep moving on in your book because you have, by the way, we are just tip of iceberg here on this book. This book is loaded, Unleash Your Dreams: Going Beyond Goal-setting. It is amazing how many decades of material are in this book. So I highly recommend you go out and buy it. Talk to us a little bit about you move from dreaming to visualization to how to set your goals, but the part is living the dream. Okay, because I think this is where a lot of people give up on their goals because they do not think they are living their dream and they do not realize they are on the cusp. So talk to us a little bit about the TOTE model that you describe in your book about how to live your dream.
Stephen: TOTE model, it is actually very interesting because it is the basic system that almost every mechanical electronic system works on. The idea, TOTE is the acronym Test Operate Test Exit. The idea is you test have I achieved my goal? No. Then you operate to do something and you test again, have I achieved my goal? No, and you keep going around that loop until you have achieved the goal, the step whatever and then you exit and go on to the next one. As I show in the diagram there, those can actually be within other ones. So if you have got a big goal, you may have smaller goals and steps along the way and each time you go, “Have I got it?” Yes, okay and carry on. No, I need to do some more. Every mechanical engineer and electronics engineer will tell you this is exactly how most control system works. This is a basic cybernetic function, which is a part of our nervous system. Who is going to say we have achieved the goal? We have to decide that for ourselves. The whole point is you need to keep checking have I got it? Have I got it? Have I got it?
Stephen: I do say at one point in the story, when I was working on achieving goals with a partner, well, basically he was a buddy so to speak to have accountability. I discovered I had achieved 80% of my goals and that because I had not been testing to see have I got it, it was only when Pat, my partner in that exercise, made me look at it and I realize I have actually got 80% of what I achieved and I did not even know it. So that is a part of goal setting is have I actually got there because people will overshoot the mark or they will veer off in another direction. All these things you need to keep checking am I doing it? If I am if I am sending out submissions, for instance. Then after a while, unless they specifically said otherwise, I will get in contact and say I have not heard from you for a while. Am I still in the running or do I strike you off my list. Or if I am trying to build a business, what was my income this year? Was it higher than last year or lower than last year? If it was higher, what did I do? What operations did I do to get that extra money because I can build those into the next process to increase? So the way we work, the way we think is actually based on that. It is just that I formalized it because so many people do not even realize that that is what they need to do.
Janine: That is that beautiful part where you talk about writing down your goals. You hear this from a lot of people who share how to be successful, write down your goals, review them every day. That is why because sometimes we get busy and we would not look at our goals for a week or two. One of the things that was absolutely shocking to me two years ago was I had accomplished my 12-month goals, my annual goals and I did it in three months and I had to start all over and start over again. I thought it was going to take me a year and everybody is like, “Oh, oh so sad, are not you crying about that, right?” It is like you are right though. We do not realize how much we are accomplishing and so we have to go back and revisit it. Yes, the thing I loved about your book was because I am an analytical biochemist by training, I could see where you had taken beautifully the sciences and the systems that we use for testing and observing systems and then you made them very actionable and very easy to understand for anybody could pick up this book and totally walk with it. So was there anything else that you wanted to talk about as far as living your dreams in the moment before we move on to the next one?
Stephen: Living your dreams requires dedication and passion. You have got to say I am going to do this. Then going back to the TOTE model, we have to take action. As I like to say, people talk about the law of attraction. I can visualize what I am doing and then they just sit there and that is all they ever do. You have got to take action. In fact, I suggest if your goal is to get, I do not know, a Bugatti 110 or a new dress or whatever, you have to go steps to get that. If you are going to buy a car, get yourself a new polish, get yourself driving gloves, suede driving gloves so that you can have it. Or if you are going to be a painter, it would not work unless you actually go out and buy a canvas and some paints and some brushes. You have to take action. The law of attraction does not work until you take action. It is a part of the word.
Janine: Right, I totally agree. I think that is where some people miss the mark. You could have all the goal setting that you want. I use the analogy of getting in a car and getting ready to drive. The law of attraction works best if you are in motion is what I say to people. You need to be in motion and they will say, “Well, how can you do that if you do not know where you are going? You know what lifestyle you want but you do not know how to get there. So how can you do that?” I said, “This is where science and intuition come together. You get in the car and you pull to the end of your driveway and go left or right. Your intuition will tell you left or right then you get to the next intersect, left or right. If you start listening to your intuition in that way, you cannot help but at least achieve part of your purpose. Then pretty soon, clarity comes and I will bet you have, like you said, you must act. I like to say you may need to be in motion. Okay.”
Janine: So one of the things that this resonated, I had actually been teaching this myself for so many years and so I was thrilled to read about it. You talk about do something every day and I want to preface this a little bit from the listeners. We were describing about how you as a business owner may be prospecting a lot and all of a sudden you get a lot of No’s, you get a lot of negativity. Something happens. Something goes wrong. Even if you are a writer, there are times where you just cannot seem to get a character to do what you wanted to do whatever it is that you are doing. There are times where you get discouraged, so how do you bring yourself back up, especially if the Wow is too much, too high of an emotional place for you to go? It is hard for you to think about Wow’s when you are been told no by the last four people on the phone, right? So you talk about do something every day. You talk about rehearsing, please share that a little bit more of that with us.
Stephen: Well, I am a writer. I write fiction these days, although I am working on a follow-up book to this one. The point is, you are not going to write if you do not sit down, if you do not say I am going to sit as I do in front of my computer or if you are that way inclined, I do not pick up my pen and put it on paper. The empty page is going to remain empty until you do something. So do something every day. I have had people say to me on various Facebook groups, “Yeah, but I cannot do much.” I say to them, “Okay. How long can you work? Half an hour? How many words can you write in half an hour? 300? That does not sound like much but you do that every single day and at the end of a year, you have written over 100,000 words. That is a novel.” In fact, I was just, I run a spreadsheet, systems and computer specialist that I am.
Janine: Surprise, you have a spreadsheet. Oh my gosh, I am shocked and awed, that surprised.
Stephen: Basically there are every book I have got, I keep up-to-date one once a week or so how much I have actually done in that. Now, what my word count is total word count. So I have an idea but I also do analysis. What is my daily rate? What is my monthly rate? What is my yearly rate? What is my predicted year-to-date? If I carry on at the rate I am doing year-to-date, how much will have done by the end of the year? Now my average, overall average in the last eight years since I started writing, works out that I am doing over 350 words a day. It is a 130,000 words a year because I do. Now, there are days when I get very little done. I am doing revisions which means I am going back and changing things. I am editing or I am rereading or I am reading something else. There are other days when I last used say, for instance, we had a writing salon with Annalise Paren. I started a story, I have got about 600 words done. That story was so good that over the next two days, I did another 22,000 words and finished the story. It is now 2,800 words long. I like it. It is a little bit quirky as many of my things are, but the point is in two days, I did over 2,000 words. My record is 1,400 words over three days. Sorry, 14,000 words over three days.
Janine: I was very, you say, Stephen, I have watched you do 1,400 words in a sitting.
Stephen: 14, sorry, I was wrong, 14,000 words in three days.
Janine: That comma is important, is not it?
Stephen: Yes, it is. Yeah, like the old joke. Let us eat Grandma or let us eat, Grandma.
Janine: Yeah, let us eat Grandma. Go ahead, and I did not mean to interrupt.
Stephen: Anyway, the point is I did that and that was fine, Later in the year, for various reasons like the fact that I was driving for three days, I got nothing written. So it is averages out. This year, I have managed over 600 words a day despite the fact I have been writing submissions. In the last four or five months, I have done over 50 submissions, which means writing, researching all these things. I am not getting anything written down except the letters, but because I have done so much else and I am still committed, even these things, researching what an agent wants, who they are, what their likes and dislikes are, writing a personalized letter to them, sending them the correct synopsis if that is what they want or reformatting my text form. I mean, one of my novels is actually got about a dozen different versions because people wanted different versions to make sure they got the right one.
Stephen: I am doing something every single day. Even the days I am not doing anything, I might decide I am going to take today off and I am going to just go and blast existence out of a couple of thousand demons or something. Even there, I know the back of my mind is processing the next story or the story I am working on because that is a point for those writers out there. If you feel you have got writer’s block, try writing something else. I was writing a novel that just was dead. I wrote a short story. I realized I created an entire narrative universe. I wrote another short story. I wrote another one before I knew it, I had written an entire book. I then got it edited again with Annalise Paren. She and I worked on it, but she encouraged me to keep going. I have now got four books in that series. I have got three offshoot books in that series. The novel has got another 60 odd thousand words to it. Because it turned out that novel, I was doing something that my muse, whoever or whatever that maybe, did not want and it was not until I realized I needed to add something I would put in two paragraphs, needed an entire chapter. Once I did that, bang, we were off again, but–
Janine: So the point of being able– Go ahead.
Stephen: Now I was going to say but I had to be, as you put it, I have to be in motion. I have to be writing. So if someone has got writer’s block, write. Write something, write anything. Even about write, “I am so frustrated because I cannot write anything.” You have just written something.
Janine: Right, exactly.
Stephen: You are in motion.
Janine: Yes, you are in motion. One of the things you and I have talked about has been whether it is writing, painting, sculpting, whatever it is, you must rehearse. So even if it is just you sit down in front of a lump of clay and you know you have been really challenged lately when you are been throwing pots, just keep at your art, whatever that is and get into that scenario. One last thing I would like to talk about because it does not matter if you are a creative or if you are a business owner. It does not matter. It is all our art and that is you had talked about when you really unleash your dreams and you are living your dreams that there are times along the way where you are going to have to have these acts of faith. You said that there were two kinds. It came in, as you said, two flavors. I like that preparatory and anticipatory. Do you mind talking to us a little bit about the differences in the acts of faith?
Stephen: Okay. Hello? Sorry, you just froze for a moment so I was a little bit worried there. A preparatory one is you telling the universe you are ready and telling your own unconscious mind you are ready. That is where I was talking about earlier. If you are going to be a painter, go out and get brushes and a canvas and paint. Or if you are wanting to have a relationship, have you got time for a relationship? Are you so busy with other things in your life that if you got a girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, whatever, there would be no time for them. You have got to make the time. You are preparing yourself. If you want new clothes, get rid of the old ones. If you want whatever and paintings, get the paintings off the wall that you have got and get before you go out and buy new ones. The anticipatory ones are slightly different because it is actually doing something active. The others are preparing and making the space and time for it. This is actually stepping forwards. For instance. If you are wanting to be rich, buy yourself a little luxury, something you would not normally go in for. Just something, it might be something as simple as going out and buying yourself a box of chocolates or go out window shopping.
Stephen: You are preparing yourself to do that. It is like getting your nervous system ready to do this and do talk about the nervous system. Examples I have here if you want to be a published author. Contact the publishers, send your stuff out. If you want to do it your own way, then look into how you have to do it. When I self-published this book, I spent three or four months beforehand doing online courses, reading people’s books about how to publish. What is the best way to do it? If you are going to put it out on paper back, how do you format? If you are going to put it on a Kindle or on a Kobo, what formatting needs do you need to take into account? Little things like that. Or another one is you want to buy a car. You do not want that old clunker anymore. You want to go out and buy yourself a nice beam or something. Even if you cannot afford it at the moment, you can go and sit in it and get to feel what it is like. You are preparing your nervous system to say it is going to be like this and get them to take a picture of you sitting in the car. Something you can carry around to act as a focus. These are things you have got to basically put out there into the universe. I am ready and I am doing something, that is what the tooth are. The preparatory is I am ready and the anticipatory is I am doing something in anticipation. Act as if it will become true.
Janine: Yeah, act as if. Yup, you mentioned that so many times in the book, act as if this is coming true. So we are about done with this particular episode, but before we go, I always like to give people like yourself who are just a wealth of knowledge. You have so much between your ears. Is there anything else you care to share either about the book or what you are doing that you would like to let us know about?
Stephen: Well, as I mentioned in passing, I am actually writing a follow-up book. I spend most of my time on fiction because that is just so much fun. I am working on a follow-up book to this. The working title is Changing Your Life Patterns Into Life Path. It is actually about not changing your goals or even setting your goals. It is about changing yourself into the person who will achieve those goals, how to deal with phobias because phobias are proof that the human brain can learn like that. Literally in a split second. Example, I know somebody who is scared of spiders and it happened once. He woke up at night as a little boy, and in the night light he saw this spider hanging just over his face on a thread. That scared him so much he has been scared of spiders ever since. Literally, the human brain can learn something in an instant. There are methods in NLP and I do actually go into that in the book for dealing with that.
Stephen: Others are how to deal with triggers if you got at something that triggers a particular behavior, how to change that. How to change how you react. I go quite heavily into communication because one of the biggest problems is we do not communicate very well with other people. Then it is very often because we do not understand how other people think. I am not talking about what they are thinking about. I am thinking of the actual processes. Do they think in pictures? Do they think in words like me? Do they think in feelings? Because if you are trying to communicate with somebody who does not do that the way you do it, you are not going to get through. Case in point, I was working with a guy on a project for a large Swiss bank. In fact, the one I mentioned earlier, he was the database manager. I was the system’s designer and we were trying to create the database, the concept and we just were not getting anywhere.
Stephen: We had actually sequestered ourselves in an office, just the two of us for the whole day. I suddenly noticed he kept redrawing things again and again and again. He drew a box for a particular lot of table and then he will keep redrawing that as we were talking and redrawing. Then I listened to him and he kept talking about concrete and getting a grip on things and feeling how it was not so. I realized that he was somebody whose primary system was feeling. Not words like me, not visual like most people, which is what I would assume because he kept drawing things, but he was feeling. So I changed the way I was talking to him into feeling words and within half a day we were finished. We had got it all done because I communicated with him. So I go into that quite heavily. I go into how we think, how you can watch people thinking so I can tell what they are doing. Then how you can go and established that rapport that is necessary to communicate at the best level possible.
Janine: So a lot of writers have people they call “beta readers” or you can get on a newsletter and that sort of thing. So if somebody is really interested and they are like, “Okay Stephen, I am all in. I want to be a part of this book. I definitely like to help you write it or be a beta reader.” Where do they go to sign up for your newsletter and to learn more?
Stephen: I do not have a newsletter at the moment. I am working on it. I have two blogs though. One is StephenOliverblog.com. All one word. Stephen by the way with the PH please, which is my personal growth, one which I set up originally when I was writing the book. In fact, that was a part of the process that the teacher was showing. The other one is my author one which concentrates more on my fiction side of things and that is StephenOliver-author.com.
Janine: Those are the areas people can go to learn more.
Stephen: Those are people they can go and read. As I said, newsletter I have not got yet but if you look on my Media Kit, you will find that I have now established a Twitter account. I am on Facebook. So people can contact me there as well if they want to. I am always happy to talk to people. I am always happy to give feedback and to help. Like you, I am a teacher.
Janine: Well, we are dyed in the wool educators, man. There is if people want to know what we have between our ears, we will be glad to share it with them. So thank you very much, Stephen. I appreciate so much that you are been on the show with us today and you took so much time to share your book with us.
Stephen: Thank you very much for inviting me. It was a very interesting experience.
Janine: This is Janine Bolon and thank you so much for listening to the show.