Path to Excellence

Problem = Opportunity = Growth

Every time I land in Goa to run an NLP retreat, I’m hit with a wave of colour, heat and breathtaking natural beauty – the jungle, the beaches and wildlife – I love it! This time however, I was hit with a horrible bout of food poisoning within 24 hours of landing. Not so good :(

As you might imagine, it knocked me sideways. I’ve often allowed (though not consciously) life and challenges to knock me off centre. Over time, I’ve become increasingly resilient and able to bounce back; there are strategies for bouncing back. Some I have down-pat. Others, when some of the deeper stuff gets triggered, I still have to work on.

This is the beauty of NLP and these NLP retreats. They help us to develop our mental maps and models of the world – be those related to resilience, bouncing back or recovering from ill health. We can achieve anything we want to when we get the underlying structure or strategy.

What sets real masters aside from us mere mortals is that they have hardwired that ‘problem = opportunity’. As a result they are able to bounce back almost immediately. Josh Waitzkin uses a great metaphor in his book The Art of Learning where he describes how Tai Chi masters learn to embrace these challenges, as a way of growth. They embrace the attack, the new, the unknown and the challenging.

So often my conditioned and unconscious response has been ‘problem = problem = I can’t’. Josh describes in detail how those who excel in any field believe that ‘problem = opportunity = growth and the path to excellence’.



Magical India – The Art Of Happiness

I’ve just ambled lazily back across the pristine white sand of a deserted beach in Cherai having been swimming alone in the Arabian sea – a beautiful luke warm bath with surfable waves apparently induced by the solar eclipse. Being back in India is like coming home!

Kerala Beach 1

Having grown up until the age of 7 with with my parents who were hippies, and having lived in more houses that I have lived years its pretty much indisputable that I’m a born nomad. And I normally feel very much at home wherever I am. I have been living in Ibiza since last summer which I consider to be my spiritual home, despite the reputation it has among many in Britain! But India feels as much a home if not more than anywhere else, and coming back here this year for a couple of months reminds me of how utterly special and unique this country is and how I want to keep coming back here each year – to this most rich, vibrant, beautifully alive and special place.

Today, the day of the solar eclipse, is a special day. Not just because of the eclipse but because I have committed to recognising and changing a pattern of mine which I know will have a profound impact on my life, and perhaps more importantly the lives of others around me.

In NLP there are what’s known as meta-programmes, or filters, which are our way of filtering information and making sense of the world… well I have added a new one today, an important distinction for me, and that is the notion of ‘input’ versus ‘output’. I love learning, in fact I am addicted to learning. A much better addiction than some things, but nonetheless an addiction. I love input, I love learning, I love finding out what others do, say and think and modelling their success. But today I believe its time that I reverse this pattern and now ‘output’ more than I ‘input’.

So my new blog and websites are being built and I am in the process of designing products and workshops to give others this rich, peripatetic, vibrant and fun life that I am so privileged to have, or whatever it is that they truly want!

Riding along the dusty roads today on my Enflield Bullet, the thud thud thud of the 350cc single cylinder engine attracting attention as if it were a pink tractor I realised just how lucky I am to have designed my life this way and I know have the desire to give others the gifts and leanings I have had along my journey.

Enfield 1

Its paradoxical in some respects that I am entirely responsible for creating my life in this way and yet at the same time there are unseen forces in the Universe that have helped conspire towards me following this path, to open up to and awaken to all the magical coincidences and synchronicities around me…. around us all!

And so riding along on my Enflied thinking about all this today, I became very grateful and excited. I also became aware of how I can tend to overcomplicated life. Life can be very simple. I know that from watching how simply people live out here.

The other day I asked Sajeen, an amazing and young yoga teacher in Cherai, “is life good”? to which he smiled and replied “of course” as if it could not be any other way and my question was absurd. Now, that is simplicity, finding love and joy in everything because you choose to!

It’s funny that somehow in the so-called civilised West many of us have come to believe, or been conditioned through advertising and cultural norms – that if I get x I will feel y. Whereas in fact we can feel any way we want whenever we want. And then enjoy the journey as well as the destination! Perhaps that is the secret, but of course knowing something and doing it are two very different things.

I heard Gary Vaynerchuck say earlier today “love what you do and if you don’t then STOP. There is absolutely no need to be not enjoying yourself in this day and age.”

And I concur. There is more technology, money, opportunity, information and wealth than at any other time in the history of humankind. If you are pursuing making money or a 9-5 and you’re not enjoying it, then you are doing yourself and humanity a disservice and going after success rather than fulfilment. And that to me is failure.

There are so many people with apparently so little who manage to be happy…. who manage to just be, and be happy, and I believe we can all learn the distinctions which enable them to live in that place. For me one of those distinctions is a commitment to daily practice every morning, which at the moment is yoga. As I sit on the beach now writing this blog, I am looking one way and then the other as far as I can see and there is not a soul… not a single solitary soul. I could be lonely but I am not. Because deep inside I am connecting to a place of love, joy and inspiration and that is open to all of us at any moment in time. And I’m outputting 😉

And it is in that connecting, that desire to connect into the bigger system, to output rather than input, that I believe is one of our greatest sources of sustainable joy. That is where we find happiness. The question then is, what do we need to focus on, to believe in and do in order to be in that place of joy? What do you need to focus on now?


Looking above me watching the eagles circling in the dense heat of the Indian sky, with nature all around blending seamlessly into an enticing array of colours, cows, cats, cockerels, ducks and dogs, I feel humbled as I reminisce on the rich and varied day I have had. I am humbled by the smiles of nearly every person I passed earlier today on my motorbike; by the simplicity and pace of life; by the acceptance that all is as its meant to be.

As I recall – the three smiling middle aged ladies in vibrant buttercup-yellow dresses, the pink and orange houses that I passed and the cows grazing peacefully by the side of the road – I am reminded that happiness is all we want. Happiness is all we truly want. And that is success.

Go follow your bliss!

With love
Tristan x


How many years do you have left?

It’s a BIG question!

How old will you be in 20 years time?

Quite probably, you’re in the prime of your life and in 20 years, some of the best years of your life will be behind you!

And if you’re anything like me, the years are flying by… each one passing by quicker and quicker, still offering hope of new opportunities and possibilities in your life. But they are passing by and there is nothing we can do to slow the relentless march of time.

There are only 20 years now until I am 60! But it seems like yesterday that I was having fun at school and University… not a care and all the time in the world to enjoy life.

But now time has moved on. When I think about the richness of my life and the significant things I tend to do each year, the things that mark out the passing of each year – I go to South Africa every year, spend winters in India and then run a Retreat in Ibiza each October – there are only 20 more of these until I’m 60!


Of course there will probably be another 20 quality years after that. At least I hope!

But by then I’ll be 70 or 80. How about you?

I’m aware of just how precious, significant and meaningful each and every moment is, and yet I still find myself wasting time, doing things that really aren’t that important or fulfilling and missing out on the real joy of life, that is available to us in each moment, if only we’d filter our experience through that lens.

How do you measure the years that pass by? Maybe it’s your kids birthdays, or Christmases or New Years. Or perhaps its your summer holiday, your own Birthday or summer festivals. What is it that lets you measure the passing of time, of each precious year?

And what’s it like to think that you’ll have another 20 or so of those years before you reach the latter stages of your life?

What changes are being asked of you in order for you to make the most of your little… and the very precious time you have left here on planet Earth with health, vibrancy and your youth?

IMG_2076-400x300And perhaps more importantly, what are you committed to in your life to ensure that you continue to be healthy, vibrant and youthful with each year that passes? For me, an example of this kind of commitment is daily meditation. I also do Feldenkrais most days which improves awareness through movement. Both have been, and continue to be, life changing for me.

It is so sad for me to watch people who are sometimes 60 or 70 and I can see they are only going one way physically and mentally. What is inspiring however, are those examples of people who take up ball room dancing at the age of 85 and are yoga instructors at the age of 96!!

My good friend Emily Hilton wrote two books – Cancer Healed Me and Follow Your Pink Bliss – what a wonderful legacy in which she continues to touch people with her presence even though she’s no longer with us in person.

So, how will you be remembered? Who do you want to be remembered as? What’s your legacy?

Barbara Waugh, former manager of world wide organisational development at HP, has asked the question, “What is the story worth living your life for?”

I think this is the question of a lifetime, and the beautiful thing is that we get to decide.

Of course we all have a ‘but’. But, how do I… but how can I… but.. but.. but!

Once you remove the ‘buts’ and commit to begin exploring the story worth living your life for, a whole new world opens up. I can promise you that. I’ve lived most of my life inside the ‘but’ paradigm. I still go there from time to time. But I can guarantee you there is always more beyond the but.

So, if you feel like you might need a little help with this, then join me in Ibiza for a life changing Retreat this October or you can always request a powerful coaching conversation to remove the barriers to the story really worth living your life for.

With love and inspiration, Tristan



South Africa NLP Practitioner – Cape Town

Take the trip of a lifetime and experience the essence of NLP – modelling excellence. You’ll be joining us in grassroots community development projects and surrounded by the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth!

With stunning beaches a stone’s throw away and surrounded by some of the most magnificent wildlife and natural beauty on the planet, you will love this Community Development certified NLP Programmes in South Africa.

This Intensive NLP Programme will allow you to take your level of NLP Certification to the next level – whether that be NLP Practitioner, Master Practitioner or NLP Trainer.

So join me on an immersive week in South Africa – giving you a complete personal and professional transformation, including a trip into a township.

3rd – 12th April 2018