Choice Decision Making Emotional Overwhelm Problem

An Awesome Problem-Solving Tool

Firstly, the ESP is not (exactly) extra sensory perception, though perhaps there is some of that still going on.

Secondly, it is thanks to a client conversation the other day for the creation of this tool.

Or more, the synthesizing of a few different tools into one.

The idea came after seeing the usual pattern when we have a PROBLEM show up in our lives.

The usual flow looks like this:

Problem > Trigger > REACTION > Emotional Explosion (big or small) > Trying to solve problem > OUTCOME

One of the major downsides of this is the OUTCOME.

Which is actually the most important bit.

Usually the outcome – using this pathway – is that it “might” be okay in the short-term, but is very unlikely to be useful or appropriate over the long-term.

The reason is that when we are in a survival emotional state (which this sets up), we have limited access to the frontal cortex of our brain, which is where we ENVISION (realistic) future consequences of our choices.

We are in short-term survival mode.

Not ‘making-choices-to-shape-your-greatest-destiny’ mode.

So we need to INTERRUPT the pattern.

This is where our ESP Tool comes in.

We need to TRIGGER a different pathway.

Our primary intention at this stage, is to get out of survival mode BEFORE we start problem-solving (or more aptly called solution-creating).

We want the tool to be simple to use – because we leaning into (or fully immersed in) survival mode.

We essentially want to change our state from Survival mode (lower mind) to Creative mode (upper mind).

That is why our tool is called the EXIT SURVIVAL PROTOCOL (ESP).

STAGE 1 – ESP Tool

So STAGE 1 of the ESP Tool looks like this (and yes it is SUPER simple for a reason):

  1. Drink a glass of water (H2O and not coffee, beer or a Red Bull) = HYDRATION
  2. Do 2 mins or 6 rounds of ‘box breathing’ (IN for 5 – HOLD for 5 – OUT for 5 – HOLD for 5) = deactivation of the STRESS RESPONSE
  3. Eat a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit (not junk food or sugar-rich food) = FUEL

This stage changes your PHYSICAL STATE.

Plus the breathing begins to change your psychological and emotional state (engaging the parasympathetic nervous system).

Stay at STAGE 1 until your state changes.

Tony Robbins also teaches a ‘Triad’ for changing our emotional state, which includes: 1) change your physiology, 2) change your focus, 3) change your language.

Stage 1 performs a similar role.

Feel free to add some star jumps into the process if you need an extra state-change nudge.

STAGE 2 – ESP Tool

Now it is time for the solution-creating phase.

Again, I want this tool to be as simple as possible, so it is easier to use.

You will next ask quality questions, as questions take your energy and attention to the upper brain, where your creativity and ability to visualize long-term consequences resides (the ‘imagining into the future’ bit that separates us from most animals on the planet).


“What is the REALITY?”

(This gives us perspective, in real time, and pierces the veil of drama, story and assumptions )


“What OUTCOME do I want to create from this situation?”

(This focuses on that we want (exactly) – not what we don’t want)



“What NOW needs to be done?”

(This orients us to action, in order to break inertia and generate momentum)

In Summary

We need simple Tools when we are in a survival (or reactive) state of mind.

And the process could be: IF I find myself triggered by a ‘problem’ THEN I activate the ESP Tool.

Stage 1: Change my physical and psychological state.

Then create solutions by activating Stage 2…

Stage 2: Ask WISE questions.

And obviously after you have an answer to what now needs to be done, it is on you to DO IT.

My Parting word

It’s hard sometimes to get ourselves out of a reactive state of mind, and a negative emotion eruption.

So we need simple Tools, that are easy to use and require minimal external resources.

The ESP Tool is designed to do that.

It is designed to drive a WEDGE between the Trigger and the Problem Solving bit.

Because we are crap at solving things in an emotionally reactive state.

We focus on the short-term and are oblivious to long-term consequences.

Stage 1 is meant to be super simple.

It is also designed to be easy to do.

And because it uses physical, tangible actions, it makes us psychologically feel we are ‘doing something useful’.

While it is doing something useful.

Like changing our state.

I like the saying: All you need is within you now.

I totally agree.

But sometimes our crappy state cuts us off from accessing all of our inner awesomeness.

Make sense?

On that note..

Try out the ESP Tool today and through the week and see how it works out for you.

Take care,


PS: Have you read or listened to this book yet? 18 Ways We Make Life WAY Harder Than It Needs To Be

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