I had a hypnotherapy session last month.  I went to the session with a specific request.  I wanted to sear into my mind the habit of using the OODA Loop throughout the day.  The loop is a system that, when implemented, allows you to stay focused.  First you Observe your surroundings and where “you” are, then you Orient yourself to those surroundings and to the you that exists at that moment, then you Decide what you are going to do at that moment, then you Act on that decision.  After you act, you will find yourself in a new circumstance, because you made things change, and you implement the loop again.  It’s a never-ending process. 

The therapist, Jade, understood the loop right away.  She took me to a relaxed place in my mind.  She caused me to see myself in the loop, and then she added, through hypnotic suggestion, the sense of sound and feeling to my experience in the loop.  I saw myself on a sailboat (something I like to find myself on as often as possible) feeling the wind and the spray in my face, and seeing the horizon ahead.  Jade had me burn that experience into my subconscious so that I could recall it anytime, in any circumstance, and apply the mode of “Observation” to the way I approach whatever it is I am faced with.  Then, still on that sailboat, I felt it roll as the waves picked it up and thrust it forward.  I had to keep my footing.  I was in the “Orient” stage, positioning myself, aware of all around me and full of ideas, as I was now grounded and confident.  In that state I could “Decide,” and keeping to the sailing theme (one of which I will all my life) I stood at the mast and hoisted the sail I had Decided to fly.  I could feel the tension of the halyard, I could feel the power I had to exert during the hoist, I could feel the deck below me move with the pitch of the boat.  But I was firm-footed and sure.  ACTion came after when I stepped to the grinder and trimmed the sail in.  I felt the resistance there, too, and felt the boat heel wildly to one side and lurch forward with new resolve. 

The O, the O, the D, and the A were all part of me now.  As I sit here and write this a month later I can see it all as vividly as I did then.  And I can feel it and sense it and hear it, too, something I did not expect, an add that Jade brought in through her understanding of the concept. 

I use the loop daily.  I do it subconsciously, not even realizing I do, but at the end of the day when I look back I realize that the changes I initiated were not static — that some have evolved into refreshing changes I could not expect to see at inception. 

Chris Plante

September 27, 2018