Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Driving is about one thing for me above everything else. And that thing is Freedom. 

I remember passing my motorcycle Test in 1974 and ripping off the 'L' plates and feeling like I had won a million pounds! It was so cool it was amazing.

I went out and bought a bigger bike and my freedom was assured...

The same thing happened when I passed the driving test for a car...Not only did I have the freedom to drive a bigger vehicle but I could take others along with me! Fantastic!

As the years have passed by that sense of freedom is still with me and I will often just 'go for a drive'...for no particular reason. Just simply because I can.

How many times have you done that recently?

I guess not many.

Most people drive for a reason. To get to a friends, or go to see a movie or drop the kids off or take a vacation. Countless reasons but few are just for the fun of driving. 

Consequently emotions run high because you are in a rush or just want to get out of the traffic etc etc.

 Countless Reasons...but none of them fill you with that sense of freedom that you had back on that fantastic day when you passed the Test. 

Think back to that time NOW...

See the things you saw back at that time, notice the sounds associated with that memory and take a minute to really remember what it FELT like...

Notice where the feelings are and double the power of that feeling. If it's spin it spin it faster, if it's pulsing increase the frequency and build it up so that you have a sense of freedom throughout your body. Just like when you first went out driving for FUN.

I think that we should all be doing things for Fun and take life a little less seriously. Let someone else get serious for you. That's what I like to do. 

Problems are only problems because you hang onto them and really take them seriously. I heard someone once say:

"Y'know looking back on that problem I had a while just seems funny I was bothered!"

"Why did you wait so long to laugh at it. You should have laughed then and got over it IMMEDIATELY mate!" I replied.

I have said this to quite a few of my clients and some of them have laughed then. Helps you deal with the problem...doesn't it?

Remember the book :

How about a new one:


Tuesday, June 9, 2009


By focussing on the outside world we become finely attuned to our place in the environment. This is very different to most people who seem to spend a lot of their time on the inside. 

What do I mean by 'Inside?'

Inside is when you find yourself thinking about things other than the act of driving, whilst you are driving!  Until someone suddenly stops in front of you and then, hopefully, your unconscious mind cuts in and stops the car for you! (Thank goodness for conditioned responses).

On a long journey your mind is everywhere but in the car.

You are running an internal dialogue...chatting to yourself about food, clothes, friends, the weather and running through all the problems and stresses of everyday life.

This is not being Aware. You are now on the Inside when you really need to be Outside! Being outside is key to everything we do and not just when you are driving. This skill is important when you leave the car. It will protect you against hostile environments too. 

The next time you catch yourself 'lost in thought' and running an internal dialogue that is not relevant to the situation you are in, catch yourself and bring your mind back to the task at hand.

 Even if you are just washing the dishes!

Monday, June 8, 2009


If you control your environment you will control your state.

This control gives you confidence and when confidence levels are high you begin to really see things. Your sense of hearing heightens and you start to feel good.  When you feel good and in control you start to make better decisions and that's pretty important when you are driving a vehicle in excess of 30mph!  So next time you are in the car LOOK at the environment. I mean really look and take in the colours, the movement and the impression it is having on your feelings. Notice  the feel of the steering wheel in your hands and the way your feet press down on the pedals. Become acutely aware of what you are seeing around you to the front, the rear, the right and to the left. Look at other drivers and not just the vehicle they are driving and guess what? They will see you! I do this all of the time on my motorcycle. You get noticed if you look at the really do! Trust me;  on a motorcycle, you want to be seen...all of the time!

When you start to take notice of the world around you  your behaviours in the vehicle will start to change because your perceptions are changing. Good behaviours are the key to safe driving and if you begin to notice negative reactions in yourself, such as aggression... STOP! and then get back to the job of driving. 

Negative behaviours if not checked will snowball out of control and just like a snowball rolling downhill they get larger and larger and are more difficult to halt. 

Finally then when the environment is under control and behaviours are observed your skills in driving begin to improve because, probably, for the first time in ages you are driving the car!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

4 Point Plan

If you have read this far it probably means you are one of thousands, if not millions of people who get stressed by driving. Maybe you get angry at other road users, or panic when you are running a little late. Every light you come to seems to be on red and your journey is thwarted by obstacles. Pedestrians crossing the road and drivers hopping from lane to lane.  Large vehicles hogging the road ahead. Older drivers, younger drivers...EVERYBODY! The list is endless.

You need a plan of action. 

A method that will radically alter the way you perceive the driving experience.

A way of changing your attitude to the experience so that it is more enjoyable.

That's it ... an attitude change!

It all starts with having rapport with the vehicle, the environment and most importantly yourself. We achieve this by developing Awareness. We have to learn to really switch on the senses just as we did when we first learned to drive. Remember that feeling?

Take your mind back to those early days when you were filled with apprehension and nervous excitement. Maybe even fear. You climbed into the vehicle and everything around you was unfamiliar and new. Your senses were being overloaded with information and if you had a great Instructor, he/she fed you small chunks of information to help you get to grips with the situation. They literally helped you gain a level of Rapport with the vehicle and what was going on around you. If they were really good they realised that they had to gain your trust and rapport developed between the two of you and the learning experience just got easier.

When you think back to  this time you may be making visual images, some of you may hear sounds but we all get feelings about it. Notice where these sensory experiences are. That's all for the moment. You are reliving a time when you really were awake in the vehicle. That's the first step. 

If the image in your minds eye make you feel apprehensive or feel anxious notice what happens when you:

 Shrink the image or enlarge it.

 Change the brightness or location of the image.

 Are you in the picture or are you looking through your eyes? 

Change this perspective and notice how it makes you feel. If it changes the feeling from bad to good you have taken the first step in being the driver of your state.

These are just a few simple things to do that will increase your  awareness and decrease your heart rate!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's it all about then?

The idea came to me many years ago whilst sitting in very heavy traffic on some nondescript motorway heading North.  I sat there tapping my fingers on the steering wheel  thinking about nothing in particular when I was startled by the sound of a blaring horn coming from behind me. I looked into the rear view mirror and was astonished to see the driver, his face purple screaming at 'nothing in particular'. Boy was he angry and as I looked around many of the other drivers seemed to be in that very same state.  We weren't going anywhere that was for sure so why the anger and the stress? They may have been driving their cars but who or what was driving them? 

It was obvious that they were being driven by their emotions. Their perception of the situation was  creating a state that was far from healthy. 'Hell' I thought...'stress kills!'

I consider myself  as someone who does drive his own car, if I can use that as a metaphor; and I am not the first person to use the metaphor of driving and roads to create healthy change in people. 

"Life's Highway"
"A road less Travelled"
"Who's driving your bus?"

Metaphors are powerful because they create change and here were a group of people desperately in need of change.

That's when I thought about The Highway Code as a metaphor. Let's think about it....

When we learn to drive we develop new skills and face new challenges. Not just the physical skills of driving the car but understanding the rules of the road. These rules teach us how to recognise signs and read the road ahead. If we understand them and follow them we can more or less get around safely and not break any laws. 

This led me to a conclusion that maybe we need a manual/handbook that will help us deal with road conditions and situations. A Manual that  puts us in charge of our brains and our perceptions of the challenges that face us emotionally whilst being in charge of a large metal box that can travel upwards of 70 mies per hour. That would be cool!

Then I thought:

"The Higherway Code"

No, not because it will get you high (I guess it could though)!
No, because it will create a higher state of awareness. Increased awareness of not just the road but how your state is being managed or not. 

By observing our state we can then make the changes necessary to create a positive state and understand what 'triggers' negative states such as anger and frustration.

So that is what this blog is about then. 

Over the next few weeks we will discover how to create useful emotional states that will make us safer on the roads and more balanced generally.

Until the next time...Healthy Driving!