Someone once asked me what it was like to take an NLP Practitioner Training Course with Excellence Assured. It made me think of a time when I was on holiday. 

I was in Tenerife a volcanic island off the coast of Africa with a climate that has been described as the Eternal Spring. 

On a typical sunny day with clear skies and a gentle breeze I was on one of the white sandy beaches. It was the first day of my holiday and the day of the week after changeover day, the day that many fights had arrived, bringing in thousands of tourists from all over Europe. 

I found a pitch on the beach with loungers and a palm tree sun shade. It was my favourite pitch from many other holidays here, close enough to the sea to feel the soft warm breeze brushing off the gentle waves, far enough from the bars to have some peace and tranquility. 

As I settled in and looking from behind my sunglasses over the top of my book I started my people-watching. I watched families playing in the sea, beach sellers heaving their goods up and down the beach and masseurs engaging in their dexterous magic.  It was a serene moment in a beautiful location. 

One holidaying couple in particular grabbed my attention. On the pitch next to mine there was a beautiful blond lady stretched out on her lounger, she lay still. For hours she didn’t move. On the lounger next to hers there was a grey towel. Just a grey towel, dry and crisp, its edges hanging down from the lounger and being tickled by the breeze. 

She was alone but not on her own if you know what I mean? She had a chaperone. A very smartly dressed KGB agent. At least in my imagination he was a KGB agent. He wore a light grey business shirt tucked into his suit trousers, the shirt was unbuttoned at the collar and complimented by a loose dark grey tie. HE WAS ALL BUSINESS – ON HOLIDAY BUT NOT ON HOLIDAY if you know what I mean?

He was remotely with the blond and married to his phone. All day he spoke on the phone, all day apart from when he went back to their hotel, presumably for refreshments to lubricate his throat, ready for the next call.  He spent hours talking, never smiling. Eventually she gave up and disappeared. 

The other holidaymakers holidayed. I relaxed and became absorbed in my book.  

Days passed and the holiday worked its magic. The KGB agent lost his tie and began to transform. He was still married to his phone but his partner seemed to offer him some interest as he spent more time alongside her. He offered the occasional smile, or was it a grimace? 

For a few days I watched his transformation taking place. He learned to smile. He even touched his partner once or twice, reassuring, stroking. He seemed to be reconnecting with something… 

As he reconnected, his phone whilst still connected appeared less and less. One morning his phone was absent. Recharging probably. 

Five full beach days into the holiday, it was the day before the weekly fights. The blond was at the seashore, she was giggling whilst looking out to sea. 

Just in front of her, In the middle of several families bathing in the warm water I saw the former KGB agent. He was laughing out loud and bouncing up and down on one of these…..!

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This is what it is like to take NLP training