The best books to support you in growing old (dis)gracefully

Who am I?

NLP at Work has led me to many different countries and experiences and, most of all, an ability to choose how I live my life. NLP; Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way of studying how we do what we do, especially when we do things that are outstanding. The difference that makes the difference is the strapline, and that difference is invariably some unconscious, intuitive act – often rooted in how we think and what we believe. I have sought to present both the tools to study in this kind of way and some of the results of that – the techniques that can be discovered with NLP.


I wrote...

Book cover of NLP at Work: The Difference that Makes the Difference

What is my book about?

NLP at Work has led me to many different countries and experiences and most of all an ability to choose how live my life. NLP; Neuro Linguistic Programming is a way of studying how we do what we do, especially when we do things that are outstanding. The difference that makes the difference is the strapline and that difference is invariably some unconscious, intuitive act – often rooted in how we think and what we believe. I have sought to present both the tools to study in this kind of way and some of the results of that – the techniques that can be discovered with NLP.

NLP at Work is now in its 4th edition and there is an audible version that I have personally narrated.

The books I picked & why

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The Elusive Obvious: The Convergence of Movement, Neuroplasticity, and Health

By Moshe Feldenkrais,

Book cover of The Elusive Obvious: The Convergence of Movement, Neuroplasticity, and Health

Why this book?

The opening paragraph contains these words, "Do you feel you have made the best of your genetic endowment?" Most people, in my experience, say ‘no’ to that. What a waste and what a price to pay as you age if you are not taking care of yourself in a way that lets you move and live in a state of freedom. I have studied Feldenkrais for many years and the awareness I have gained allows me to recognise what I am doing to myself both good and bad. The answers to this freedom are simple yet elusive as the title suggests. As Moshe Feldenkrais says, "If you know what you are doing, you can do what you want." This book is a powerful foundation for the practice of Feldenkrais and learning how to overcome difficulties, pain, and anxiety to move and live with grace and freedom in the way you want.

The Elusive Obvious: The Convergence of Movement, Neuroplasticity, and Health

By Moshe Feldenkrais,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Elusive Obvious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Scientist, martial artist, and founder of the method that bears his name, Moshe Feldenkrais wrote several influential books on the relationship between movement, learning, and health. In The Elusive Obvious he presents ideas that are more relevant today than when the book was first published, as current research strongly supports many of the insights on which the Feldenkrais Method is based. This beautiful new edition is ready to be treasured by an emerging generation of somatic practitioners, movement teachers, performing artists, and anyone interested in self-improvement and healing. The two main strands of the Feldenkrais Method—Awareness Through Movement and Functional…


Provocative Therapy

By Frank Farrelly, Jeff Brandsma,

Book cover of Provocative Therapy

Why this book?

Learning Provocative Therapy with Frank Farrelly over many years changed my life. Well, more truthfully it enabled me to release the humour and directness that is so very characteristic of the culture of my upbringing in Liverpool. I had studied NLP for several years when I met with Frank and he took ‘coaching and therapy’ to an entirely new level in a shockingly different way. There is very little written about this (I plan to address this in a future book!) and I do have a chapter on this approach in my own book. 'To provoke a healing response' - that is how Frank described it. He could also have added to provoke the truth, laughter, and learning. This book is a history of how this approach evolved inevitably filled with stories of the powerful results that this achieved. This can certainly contribute to growing to any age disgracefully (and influentially)!! This is a very old book and may be tricky to find but the search, I believe will be worth it.

Provocative Therapy

By Frank Farrelly, Jeff Brandsma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Provocative Therapy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Provocative Therapy will shock and provoke you as it challenges many traditional assumptions about the limits to be respected by professional communicatiors in the same provocative, earthy and humor-producing style that characterizes Provocative Therapy.
This book is a rich source of examples with extensive commentary as it chronicles the adventurous, warm and humorous journey undertaken by Farrelly in his highly successful quest for tools. These tools have gained for him an ever-growing reputation as a highly effective and dramatic practitioner and teacher of his system of psychotherapy. These tools were forged in the experiences of more than 20 years of…


Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting

By Robert McKee,

Book cover of Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting

Why this book?

Substance, structure, and style featured on the cover of this book and the word structure drew me to it immediately. NLP is the study of structure and although this book is about screenwriting, it is a metaphor for life. Storytelling features in many of my sources here and features in my style of training and coaching. And this book inspired me so much that I could barely read more than a few pages at a time as I felt so inspired to use what I was reading in some way before I continued. And I quote, "The love of the dramatic – a fascination with sudden surprises and revelations that bring sea changes in life." How can anyone resist learning about more of that….

Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting

By Robert McKee,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Story as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Structure is Character. Characters are what they do. Story events impact the characters and the characters impact events. Actions and reactions create revelation and insight, opening the door to a meaningful emotional experience for the audience. Story is what elevates a film, a novel, a play, or teleplay, transforming a good work into a great one. Movie-making in particular is a collaborative endeavour - requiring great skill and talent by the entire cast, crew and creative team - but the screenwriter is the only original artist on a film. Everyone else - the actors, directors, cameramen, production designers, editors, special…


Racing Through the Dark

By David Millar,

Book cover of Racing Through the Dark

Why this book?

Cycling is my passion and my nemesis. The pain that top cyclists must experience is beyond my comprehension. What drives them to succeed and what drives them to drugs is so remarkably explained in this book by David Millar. This is such a frank and honest autobiography; David Millar recounts the story from the inside, "I doped for money and glory in order to guarantee the continuation of my status." Many years on from his arrest, Millar is clean and reflective and holds nothing back in this account of his dark years. And Millar is now a commentator each year on the Tour de France and his knowledge not only of cycling but also of France and his attention to the details of what is happening is remarkable. This quality of truth and awareness shines through and ultimately has been his saviour. This is a chance to read how this all unfolded. I recommend this book as an example of how someone can face the depths and rise again. He is, for me, in NLP terms, a model of excellence in his ability to rise again from those dark years, and find his own unique excellence.

Racing Through the Dark

By David Millar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Racing Through the Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The SUNDAY TIMES bestselling memoir from the Tour de France cyclist who lifts the lid on his drug use and return to sport.

By his eighteenth birthday David Millar was living and racing in France, sleeping in rented rooms, tipped to be the next English-speaking Tour winner. A year later he'd realised the dream and signed a professional contract. He perhaps lived the high life a little too enthusiastically - he broke his heel in a fall from a roof after too much drink, and before long the pressure to succeed had tipped over into doping. Here, in a full…


The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

By Parker J. Palmer,

Book cover of The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

Why this book?

I am an NLP teacher and this book expresses all that I believe to be important about teaching and life. This is not a description of techniques but an inner journey to discover how to have the identity and integrity of a teacher whose teachings come from the heart. I quote, "When my students and I discover new uncharted territory to explore, when the pathway out of a thicket opens up before us, when our experience is illumined by the lightning life of the mind – then teaching is the finest work I know." And that approach and the way it is written about here is a metaphor for life. Profound truth, vulnerability, connectedness, not knowing, fearful heart... all these and more. This is how teaching should be. Books I love are filled with my post-it notes and this one is overflowing with them.

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

By Parker J. Palmer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Courage to Teach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wisdom that's been inspiring, motivating, and guiding teachers for two decades

The Courage to Teach speaks to the joys and pains that teachers of every sort know well. Over the last 20 years, the book has helped countless educators reignite their passion, redirect their practice, and deal with the many pressures that accompany their vital work.

Enriched by a new Foreword from Diana Chapman Walsh, the book builds on a simple premise: good teaching can never be reduced to technique. Good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher, that core of self where intellect, emotion, and spirit…


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