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The KEY Questions: What can we learn from the past?

12 March 17

I stuck the plastic tee into the ground at my feet, placed the ball in position upon it and stared off into the distance at that little red flag waving in the breeze, impossibly far away. Its jerky back and forth movement made it seem as though it was mocking me. “Fancy yourself a golfer? Bet you can’t reach me!” it seemed to be saying. Not a bet I would have accepted. I shook out the meanest-looking driver in the bag and gave a couple of tentative practice swings with it. But really, who was I kidding? It was the sixth hole, and though it seemed to me that each of the previous five had also had their challenges, they were nothing like this. This hole was in a league of its own. Whoever designed the course, I decided, was either a practical joker or a professional equipped with biceps like the Incredible Hulk. The best I could hope for was a miserable four shots just to get on the green. But there was even a problem with that! The hole was on the other side of a lake … a big lake. No getting around it, this was going to take a superhuman effort.


I had come across this golf course quite by chance, halfway down the Florida Keys, and decided on the spur of the moment to indulge in a round. I was alone on this occasion but that didn’t matter. I like to be spontaneous when I’m relaxing and besides, it meant there would be no one around to witness my humiliation when I inevitably failed to reach the hole. Small mercies. Now, looking at that distant flag, I finally began to understand why Americans eat steak and eggs for breakfast. Well I wasn’t going to give up without a fight. I stood my ground, trying to remember every tip I’d ever heard about teeing off. I made sure my posture was correct, feeling the pleasing weight of the driver in my hands as it swung gently back and forth. I bent my knees slightly, raised the club way over my head and let it fly. It made perfect contact with the ball which took off like a rocket, making a satisfying hissing sound as it cut through the air, climbing higher and higher before finally, after what seemed like a full minute, submitting to gravity and falling with a resounding ‘plunk’…


…into the lake. It hadn’t even got half way.


We all face many challenges in the course of a lifetime, and very often we don’t feel up to the task. Maybe we’re off our game, either through illness or lack of practice. Then again maybe we’ve fallen out of love with the sport altogether. Or – as in this case – we find ourselves doing perfectly natural, familiar things in very unfamiliar surroundings. And when we’re faced with a daunting task, a major problem in our life, where do we look for inspiration, where do we feel the answer lies? In the past.


We look back to the past, to the accumulation of experiences, good and bad, that brought us to this point. It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? At least that’s what psychiatrists since Freud have always believed when they come to treat depressed, mentally unstable or otherwise troubled souls, that something must have happened to create this imbalance. If the cause of the patient’s unhappiness can be uncovered, can be finally understood, then healing will naturally take place. It sounds plausible enough but there’s just one problem with all this.


It doesn’t work.


Sydney Banks had a different approach. He dared to suggest that the job of the psychiatrist was not to focus on the source of the patient’s problems – an approach that at best brings only temporary relief, at worst perpetuates the negative feelings – but to teach him or her the secret of mental wellbeing, to ‘teach’ happiness in effect. And that happiness can be experienced immediately, through understanding the Three Principles. Mental health follows, in his words, “when mind and soul are in unison”.


Nothing in my past experience could help me that day on the golf course for one simple reason. I was facing the wrong way. When I turned around and saw that I’d teed off in the opposite direction to the hole I was embarrassed but somewhat enlightened too. Mind was telling me to get back on track! I birdied the hole and went on to have a very pleasant round of golf.


What lessons have you learned from the past?



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  • Having attended David's course and then had some one to one sessions with him my approach to my life has changed dramatically and improved. David has a very gentle and empathic way about him, yet managed to challenge my habitual way of being and thinking. As a result of our time together I now practice his "way of being" and I truly find that I am getting far better results in all of the relationships that I encounter. My inner chatter is under control, most of the time, and I am learning to pause and push away harmful thinking . It's surprising how habitual thinking can do so much damage and how, once you really focus on what comes into your mind you start to realise that you can be bigger than your random thoughts. So David thank you for putting me on a better pathway. Looking forward to sharing another journey with the Auspicium family!
    Rowena Wild

  • The course I attended with David Key was marvellous, every moment being filled with joy and laughter. David has a unique talent to teach, unlocking the full potential of every person he encounters. His course opened up an infinite number of ways for me to get the life I want, right now, today, and in the future. It made me realise that thought is fluid and that I can mould it the way I want to suit my day. I would highly recommend this course to anyone in search of a new professional career or for those who simply want a happier life. Thank You!
    Lucia Pohrebnyak

  • It took me about 5 years of 'dithering' before committing, and in that time I attended several introductory days from various training providers. David's accessible style and the unforced flow of the day is what persuaded me to choose his company. David provides a training model that helps you become your best self - as a student, as a practitioner, as a person. By 'best', I mean more open, less fearful, more confident, less judgemental - whether you attend the course to make a change personally or professionally, to build on existing success, or with no idea where it might go, simply because you are interested (that was me!) you will be impressed at what you are able to achieve with David's expert guidance showing you how to use your curiosity as a pathway to growth. In the first week following the course, I dealt with several potentially difficult situations both at work and home, coming from a changed perspective - resulting in no conflict, calmer colleagues, less stressed family. And this without actively using any techniques; the biggest change has been inside my own headspace. I can't wait to do the next course. Now that I know, unequivocally, the benefits to be had, I wish I had come down off the fence years ago! Added bonus, a bunch of fabulous new friends. And a final thought about cost; some of you reading this will be struggling to justify spending a chunk of hard earned money "just" for yourself. Well, I will be using these tools every day for the rest of my life - pennies a day investment! I am SO worth it. And so are you!
    Sue Bee

  • I first met David at an evening business club a couple of years ago. During his presentation something “clicked” with me and I felt compelled to further my understanding of NLP. I attended the Auspicium free trial day. My earlier feelings were confirmed. This guy knows what he’s talking about and has a passion for helping people. I duly signed up for the NLP and Hypnotherapy practitioner course. What a week. All in the class left in such high spirits with a very different outlook on life. Following on I have attended the NLP and Hypnotherapy Master Practitioner course. Again excellent. There was something about the Hypnotherapy element of the course that I loved so on to the Hypnotherapy Trainers Training (another absolutely brilliant week). All the courses that I have attended have been very well organised, have a great team of trainers and support volunteers. The documentation is well put together and the exercises are all structured to push yourself to show you have a grasp of the given subject. I now have a fantastic group of new friends who I have a deep link with. We still meet up when we can to catch up on what we are all doing. As of March this year I have been participating in the Auspicium Freedom Project. This is a yearlong “conversation” about the 3 Principles – Mind, Thought and Consciousness. It took me a while to “get” it but now just by “doing nothing” I find myself doing more with better results and no stress. There are no models or techniques to learn. We all have the Principles inside us. We just need to be woken up to how to use them. It’s a great journey that will take the rest of my life. David is a superb trainer and fully deserves all the praise he receives.
    Phillip Warris

  • Before going on David’s Practitioner course, I thought I knew what I wanted, where I was headed and how I was going to get it. All I wanted an additional skill to add to my portfolio. I thought my life was in reasonably good order, nothing that needed fixing. I can sum up my experience of working with David in two words: life-changing. Instead of just learning a new skill, David encouraged us to apply his teaching, our learning, to ourselves. In a very safe environment, I gradually dropped the barriers I had painstakingly built up over a long time. This change happened very quickly and I continued growing as a person, studying 2 more courses with David and joining him on the Freedom project. Why David? He is disarmingly honest, genuine and engaging. He has a very broad knowledge of human behaviour and passes his knowledge on with grace. As a result of working with David, I have changed, and my life has changed. In myself I am very happy and contented person. My marriage is better and stronger. My business plans have taken a different route - one that is exciting and feels very right for me.