If any of you have read my book you’ll have heard me speak of Mick as the man responsible for the catalyst that changed my entire life some 10 years ago.
Mick took me through a mental process at the time consisting of asking ONE question, which led to my four word answer. We then went through a guided visualization and a process of projecting into the future, all of which lasted about 30 minutes.
By the time I walked the five minutes home I was on cloud nine – and within three months my whole life was taking a new direction.
I caught up with him recently to see what he’s up to these days, and find out more about what motivates him to help others. There’s some great tips here for moving your life forwards in any area…
Q: Hi Mick, so what was your childhood like?
Mick: (Laughs) Oh you’re getting straight in there I see! It was good, no problems, no hassles. I enjoyed my childhood. My academic skills weren’t really that brilliant as a child, I feel I struggled a bit there. I felt a bit inferior sometimes, like when I had to read in front of people, probably the only thing that I had any issues with I suppose.
Q: Would you say, looking back, that you lacked confidence as a kid?
Mick: No. Not really.
Q: So what was the very first thing that brought you to this type of learning, NLP, hypnotherapy, psychology – stuff like that?
Mick: Well I think, from the age of about 14 I always had my goals laid out in front of me. I think I had a belief that whatever I set my mind on I would achieve. My journey on my personal development started from about the age of 14 or 15. I actually started martial arts when I was 15 years old I think, that was really important for me. It gave me a sort of grounding, not of.., I’m a little bit sort of spiritual but not in a religious sense, but sort of in the power of the mind, like being at one with the world around me.
From a very young age and from the martial arts I really got into that spirit and attitude, and it really helped me develop as a person. And I’d always been pretty interested in people, I was a people watcher, I’m an introvert but I can teach in front of hundreds of people not a problem, but if I’m in a social gathering I’m an introvert. I mean I like being an introvert, I don’t have a issue with it, I’m quite happy in my own skin and in my own company.
Put me in a social gathering and I’m a different person. I won’t want to be the centre of attention, I’m happy to sit and talk with one person. When I was 15 my outcome was to go to Canada, I don’t know why, I think it was the beauty of the country, the backdrop, the lakes, the greenery – I had the utmost desire to go to Canada, that was my GOAL! And at the time I also wanted to work on amusement machines, and ended up going to college and done electronics.
I ended up in Africa! (Laughs) I ended up working on slot machines. My sister married a guy from South Africa who used to run the slot machines in Sun City, and he left to start his own thing and I went over there to take over where he left off. And this is where I really became interested in people. I had to communicate with lots of people from many differnet countries, most of whom didn’t speak English. So I became curious as to how we were understanding each other using just body language. My sensory awareness of people’s gestures, movements, tone of voice and facial expressions really developed. So I began to notice how people expressed themselves, what they might be thinking, and what they were up to – some of them were up to stuff they shouldn’t be doing.
Q: So you noticed their ‘tells’?
Mick: Yes, absolutely. But I remember the first book I ever bought was ‘The Power of the Unconscious Mind’ by Joseph Murphy. It’s still on the shelves today, and I bought that when I was 20 years old.
Q: That was a hundred years ago! (Smiles)
Mick: (Laughing) Yeah, ancient – it’s a collector’s item! That book literally changed my life, and my wife’s life. We read it together, we used what was in that book. For anyone wanting to discover the power of the mind, it’s an easy book to read. And I found my life just changed, and we found we had to hang on because our lives were changing that much.
Now at that time in that book it was the power of affirmation, but I think now with what I’ve learnt is, that affirmations can be extremely powerful if you put together all the senses. So if you put the main three in there, that is, what you see – so get the visual in there, and the feelings of your emotions, aswell as the auditory, that’s when the magic happens. That’s really where my journey started.
Q: Yeah, I think Tony Robbins calls them ‘Incantations’, where he talks about getting into the ‘state’. So what springs to mind when you think about what you applied from what you learnt in that book?
Mick: It was certainly to focus on the positive. I became such an optimist. I mean the roof could have been falling down and I would say “No, everything’s going to be ok!” (Laughs) I mean I was pretty much there already but I became very positive on my outlook on life, knowing that whatever I set my goal on… I mean it gave me such a level of confidence that I really believed that whatever I set my mind to I could achieve.
I knew if I just chunked it down small enough I could do every little bit to achieve the longer term goal. We used to repeat a certain affirmation ‘we are healthy, wealthy, happy and successful’ – and I’d do that in my mind just before I went to sleep. And I didn’t know at the time that just before you’re going to sleep you go into a type of hypnotic trance or state called Alpha or Theta state. And so I was programming my mind.
Q: So do you have a daily practice now that keeps you topped up with that?
Mick: Not really, I have my diary, at the beginning of the week I cram as much as I can in there. So I take things from my short term goals and my long term goals which I’ve got on another plan, and I drop them in my diary. So then I just work through the things in my diary and do a couple of things each week that move me towards my goals.
Sometimes I lack on that, but this year I’ve decided to focus on my goals more. I think what happened last year was that I set so many goals for myself, so many outcomes, that it got a bit overwhelming – being a bloke we can procrastinate quite easily without focus and attention sometimes, so I’ve narrowed it down a bit this year. So I’m happier, and more focused so that I can achieve those things a bit quicker rather than putting them off.
Q: So once they’re done you can get onto the next bunch?
Mick: Yeah, so I just plow through the list, to me I don’t see problems as problems. When I put things in my diary I just see it as a time chunk. I tell my clients this, a lot of people put things in their diary as a thing to do, a problem that needs a solution. I just see it as time chunks.
Q: Do you dictate what the time is, so if it’s a problem you say I’m going to spend an hour on that, whether you come up with a solution or not?
Mick: Yeah I say, right I’ve got ten minutes for that, fifteen minutes for that, an hour for this. So I just give myself a time chunk to do it. I just see it as I’ve got time to do this, and if I get through all this time I’ll have time to myself. (Laughs)
Q: So on a time management level that’s a really great way of focussing?
Mick: Yes, it’s just time. It’s not a ‘problem’, a ‘have to’, a ‘need to’, an ‘ought to’, a ‘like to’ – they’re just time chunks.
Q: If you were going to divulge what your passion is, if you’re happy to tell us, what would you say?
Mick: Yeah, I think so, erm my passion is helping people make positive changes in their life. I mean, if you ask anyone why they do something it really boils down back to themselves. Whether someone wants to help others or make the world a better place, if you push it and push it, it boils down to the fact that it makes them happy. So it’s all about them you know, selfish! (Laughing out loud!)
On the outside it might seem that we’re doing it because we enjoy helping people, and that’s because it makes us feel good.
Q: I agree, when I was investigating this myself recently, because I have a very similar passion almost verbatim to that – and I asked myself why? What’s in it for me, why do I help people? And what it boils down to was significance. I get significance out of it. That I matter to people, that I matter to the world.
Mick: Yeah, yeah.
Q: Because without me it wouldn’t be as nice a place, because I’m trying my best to make it a better place for everybody else. And so, from that I get this feeling of significance. And in a way it’s like we all want to know… that we’re here! That we’re here and we’re living, because if everbody from tomorrow completely and utterly ignored you, you’d become depressed very quickly. I think there’s a fundamental need for us all to be recognised as being here. That we are alive, we are not imagining this, we are actually here.
Mick: You want to leave a print on this Earth.
Mick: You want to still be here when you’re gone.
Q: Yes, we want to leave a legacy.
Mick: 14 or 15 years ago when I first started NLP and hypnosis, I thought then I want to leave my stamp. I want to help people, I want to know that it goes on without me.
Q: Hmm, what’s the big dream?
Mick: Yeah, I’ve had this desire, this retreat, somewhere in the country where people can come for a week and there’d be a theme for that week like goal setting or something. A centre or something where people could come and do training. Maybe down on the coast somewhere. Somewhere people could come to improve their lives.
Q: If one of the readers was experiencing something similar to where you were last year, having trouble focussing, feeling overwhelmed maybe, what would be the one thing you would say to start with, in order to get from where they are now to getting back on track?
Mick: OK, so if we think about what drives us are our values, so what they’ve got to find out is what is important about creating a goal or an outcome for them. And the simple way to do that is keep on asking ‘What’s important about it, what else is important about it?’ And carry on until they find the most important reason why they want to achieve their goal. And then do it again and ask ‘What’s important about that?’ ‘What does that get you or allow you to do?’ This will reveal their values. This is called chunking up. Lastly, imagine themselves in the future having achieved their goal; see it, smell it, taste it, hear it, breathe it. And from there look back at how they achieved it.
This is similar to the exercise I did with Mick almost 10 years ago which changed my life, so give it a try and be careful – it’s powerful!
Take aways from this interview are:
Create a daily affirmation mantra that involves sight, sound and feeling .
Make sure you move towards your goals each week.
Don’t set so many outcomes that you become overwhelmed.
Discover what your values are by asking what’s important about your goals.
Find out more about Mick and his valuable work here: