The art of burning the candle at both ends and still feeling great.

We have all seen athletes immediately before competing; the sprinters staring intently straight down the track where only their lane exists while the rest of the World just melts away, the actor getting herself into her anti-character whilst waiting in the wings and the All Black’s mesmerising Haka, both preparing them while simultaneously affecting the opposition.

All are great examples of state management in elite performers, but what use is the technique to us in everyday life? How might it help us get through, say, a 5 night stay at a book fair?

I have been on numerous events where my candle has burned at both ends and the morning end is more withered than the evening one but even then we can do things to improve our state, our real state, not just our outward appearance. Here’s a simple exercise to test drive before you arrive in Frankfurt.

Stand in front of a mirror and think about the most miserable day of your life. That might sound a little tough but stick with me. Remember it in all its gory glory, see it through your own eyes, hear what you heard and really feel what you felt. As you go inside and notice those feelings, where they are and where they move to, look in the mirror. This state is not called “down” for nothing.

Now after a few minutes of doing something else, repeat the exercise but with your most fun, and brilliant memory. Hear the laughter, see the smiling faces and feel the excitement. Notice how you physiology is different – how you are standing taller, your eyes have a twinkle and your face a smile. Good init?

That’s not bad, but what is even better is that by adopting the physiology of that happy, excited self, you can actually enter that state. And the really neat thing is you can do it with any state that you have truly experienced – determination, confidence, motivation, anything.  How great will it be to be able seal that deal the day after the night before by adopting the physiology of success regardless of what happened before?

We do have to be careful with this though, because that candle really is melting at both ends.

An alternative strategy might be to manage that state at the other end of the day. How often are the real deals done at the dinner parties, or networking in the evening? And just how many of the people doing those deals are the worse for wear? You might like to manage your state so that you look and feel tipsy when all you’ve had is a couple of spritzers or lemonades. Just imagine how good you would feel appearing to be drunk while all those around you really are! You could do the “Dad Dance” and everybody will either forget or just think you were smashed. AND you’ll be just perfect in the morning.

Rob Cook is one of our oldest and most trusted friends, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming and Hypnotherapy and a highly qualified cricket coach. He works with people on issues that affect everyday life and athletes looking to get that extra performance when it counts. You can reach him by emailing rob@cooguera.co.uk or call our office 020 7100 3748 and Daniel will put you in touch with Rob.