I was talking to my husband the other day and we agreed we needed to start our own Happiness Project. We want to spend more time doing the things that we’re passionate about, that give us joy, make us feel fulfilled, relaxed and downright happy! Be that going swimming together or taking the kids to Tivoli or the zoo and spending less time working our butts off on our money pit of a house.
The conversation gradually led around to what we individually wanted to do on our quest for happiness – what did we want to change in our lives? “Write more…” I said.
My husband looked at me wide-eyed. “Write MORE?’ he asked, in a rather strained, strangled tone…
Obviously my desire to spend more time writing didn’t go down well as he felt I spent plenty of time doing it already!
It’s a great example of what NLP’ers call ecology – and no I’m not going all environmental on you here. In this case ecology is about looking at things from a broader perspective. We’re a bit like the tulip in my picture – we don’t exist in splendid isolation, but rather as an integral part of the world and universe around us. And no, before you panic, this post isn’t going down the spiritual path either!
I’ve touched on ecology before when I wrote about the presuppositions of NLP. Behaviour and change are to be evaluated in terms of context and ECOLOGY: ecology is the big picture – whenever we make a change in ourselves we need to consider how it fits in our lives in general, how it affects our family and friends around us, how it might affect you work or your company, it’s affect on your town, society and even the world in some cases. It’s a ripple effect or even the butterfly effect. Any change needs to be congruent – in other words it needs to fit with the rest of your life.
From my own perspective writing more seemed like a very positive change to make in my life. I find it so relaxing, entertaining, mentally stimulating and rewarding. But when I checked the ecology it had a potentially negative impact for my husband, as he felt he’d see me less. Well he may physically see me, but getting my attention away from my netbook would prove even more challenging than it has to date!
Let’s take another example. Somebody may want more energy all of the time – something we can easily accomplish with NLP and hypnosis, but what would the ecology be? Well if it wasn’t correctly framed then they may have a bit of an issue actually getting some sleep or relaxing in front of the TV to see a movie with a loved one…
Once you’ve done your ecology check then it’s up to you whether you go forward with that change or find a way to adapt the change to avoid any negative consequences on ecology.
What change do you want to make in your life and how could that affect your ecology?
[Picture credit – NLP THIRTEEN]
© Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jacqui Gatehouse and NLP THIRTEEN with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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