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A Poem – Out of Love

Life: Connections upon connections. A continuous pathway to … nowhere.
Line Drawing – My Life: in frames
Your task: draw your life in frames.

 

A Poem – Out of Love

 

We held a family meeting at a restaurant in the big bright lights of the city,

Everyone hadn’t seen each other for a while and there was a lot of pity.

The shy waitress approached and tentatively asked if we would like to order a drink,

My grandson, big talker, yelled out, “yes, please, one beer!” as she wrote in her notebook with ink.

 

They say that I wasn’t “me”, that I was losing my memory,

Thinking it was best that they made decisions and that it was best for me.

The last time round, I heard them say the same thing,

What I needed was an ear and heart to be listened to, and allow me to sing.

 

So there we were; and, when everyone saw that my energies were up,

The waitress, a stranger in the group slipped up by me, smiling and asking if I would like to have a cup.

A cup of tea, I said “yes, please my dear” with the full satisfaction of a child in a candy store,

But still the others only spoke of themselves and what they wanted from me, hurting me to the core.

 

And so we sat; I spoke out loud and clear, without the least pretense,

Life is a gift” I muttered, “today this gathering here today makes a lot of sense.”

Disposing of me by rushing me to an Old Peoples’ Home, just because you think it is right –

My life is mine and mine, alone, just like yours is to you and as disappointing as it may be to you, I am not going to be put out of sight.

 

And when they stood, gasped and questioned my decision,

I politely said “sit, it is better on the energy for you” as this debate was kind of fun.

That same waitress walked into the commotion, laying down everyone’s drink,

Looked at me, winked and said she overheard the talk and that they should have a re-think.

 

Looking at me, she told them, she still sees life .. a lot of life,

That if I didn’t want to go, my wishes should be respected and to stop giving me strife.

For it is out of life and from me, they got everything they desired,

But the one thing I desired was demonstrated by the waitress the restaurant had hired.

 

It takes a lifetime, to try to understand love, to try to know the unknowable,

If only we could look in to the future, maybe use a crystal ball.

Love was what I was searching for all this time, what we’re all chasing,

But Out of love, I will do what they ask … thinking that Life un-loved is not a life worth living.

– Paul e Valentine

______________________________________________________________

 

Cheers & ahoy!

The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & love of writing poems

Allow your mind to ”connect’ with infinite intelligence.
With consciousness.
It is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.
An example of this: this poem I have just written which took me only 30 minutes

I. AM.
GOD?

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Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I ask God to help me be the man my son hopes to be when he is older.
I’m far from perfect but I get up and try every single day … to be the man I want him to be.
And I have no doubt he will … because I have God on my side/in my corner.

Men.

We’re interesting creatures.

Simple, yet complex.

I like to refer to us all, as the simple-complex man, individually.

Women, do you agree?

Mens’ needs are simple. I grew up in an large extended family and I heard a lot of things said by many different people I lived with during my first 12 years of my life. One thing I heard one of the older women was –

“the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’

When I reflect on that now, there is a partial truth, actually more than just a partial truth in that statement. You see, men need a few basic needs (like being fed with warm, proper nutrition) and we’re satisfied. Well, I think most Real Men would be. I also think that men, Real Men, are torn between two extremes, like a Dr Jekyll and Hyde or Harvey Two Face from the DC Universe.

Let’s run through a few needs or what I refer to as ‘matters of the heart’, as I see it. If we run through the basic psychological needs like – to know and be known, to love and be loved by others, there is one that stands out. I can honestly say and I honestly believe that men, Real Men need deep, caring relationships with other men.

Enjoying a little ‘biceps workout’ with my very good Aussie friend of almost 20 years now.
A best man in my wedding.
Every man needs at least one good male friend in his life.
Just one.

A have a handful of very good male friends. One, I spent a day and half with as he passed through Sydney, on his way to South America for a week long conference, attended by represented by 60 countries, including the USA and Australia. He is a United Nations Legal Advisor. We’ve been best friends since we were in kindergarten, over 40 years ago. We share dreams and sorrows. We ‘open up’ to each other and hug in public. We lean on each other during tough times but also celebrate during wins.

I have another friend, the very first friend I made on my first day of University almost 30 years ago at the start of my first degree (majoring in Mathematics and Physics). He lives only a suburb away from me and we meet up regularly for coffee and ‘debrief’ almost every week. We make time for each other.

I also have another friend I meet up every quarter that I have known for the last 20 years. We share our fears, our successes, our failures and our dreams. We share feelings. Just the way men should feel comfortable doing with other men. He got a divorce 5 years ago, it was difficult period for him. He’s in another chapter in his life.

I also have a few other friends scattered throughout my existence that have travelled with me in different phases of our lives. All there for a specific reason, upon hind-sight.

The point is, men need other men for deep, caring relationships. Like I need these men.

My very first friend at University on my very first day almost 30 years ago.
Lives just a suburb away for the last 20 years.
Catching up for a coffee and chat and digging deep in our relationship.
Man-stuff!

Yep, you read that correct. And you don’t have to be gay to want that (not that I have anything against being gay or anything like that). No, just talking purely on a ‘needs basis’.

You see, in my experience with males I call my friends and my love of observation and being around mostly men in the last 30 years of visiting the gym, I can deduce that Men need strong, caring relationships with other men. Relationships that allow a man to speak freely about things going on in his life. It is vital to their existence and sense of being and purpose. It is vital to their sanity and management of energy.

It’s to this level that James instructed Christians, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). I believe that a man who doesn’t have at least one other man to who he can be accountable regarding failures, hurts and temptations is a prime target for masculine anger.

Yep, you heard me – masculine anger!

And how does this arise?

Well, from my observations and dealings with mostly men in the different phases of their lives, I have seen that the angry man in our society seems to be caught between mythical masculinity on one side and true masculinity on the other.

You see, the man feels the pressure to achieve, to earn, to conquer, to win and so forth. Yes, but he also feels the silent pressure to do all these things on his own. Now, that is a lot of pressure, and just like many things in life, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Men all handle pressure differently and have different stress tolerance levels.

Apart from the pressure just mentioned, a man, a Real Man also feels the NEED to love and to nurture those he loves. He also has the need to be loved and nurtured by those who love him.

This is where so many of us go a bit askew and out of line.

Askew, when he tries to reconcile or balance the two needs of love.

The man, the Real Man is constantly torn between two extremes of character, like Harvey Two Face or Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde. He is torn between being invincible and being vulnerable. He is torn between being aloof and being involved and present. He is torn between being self-serving and selfish and being of assistance.

This confusion and imbalance caused by the constant juggling act between character extremes drives a lot of men crazy, which I believe contributes to the high levels of male suicides every year. The roots of this conflict sends up numerous shoots of anger-producing tendencies in his life.

This has got to be stopped or at least managed better.

What we need is a gym like the one I ran for 7 years, in every suburb. A place where men can go and just connect with other men. A place where men can love and be loved, unconditionally. A place where every man came there with the honest purpose to help the ‘man in the mirror’ and to connect with other like-minded men who are there for the single purpose of bettering relationships.

With themselves and with other men.

This gym will be predominantly for men. For Men Only. Men need this (and this has nothing to do with sexism). This is about survival of the male species, of what it means to be a man. Today and tomorrow. Consider this: more men die now from suicide in Australia then women die from breast cancer.

Shocking truth: Men suicide rate in Australia!

A last real Man’s Domain: a gym like mine, where everyone knew your name and were happy you came.

Sit back and watch the men that we produce … within families, within communities .. within states … within countries and the … future world.

These will be men with much more balanced characters that will one day make decisions when they will be leaders of tomorrow. Decisions that we hope will be rooted on the foundation of what they have learned while – loving other men and being loved by other men.

Give it two decades.

We will create not only make Champions out of these men, but more importantly we will help form the foundations of Champion Leaders.

I will be smoking my cigar-filled pipe by then, sitting back and thinking “wow!!”

That is life. What a wonderful life and world this is.

Amen.

 

Until next time …. cheers to all YOU Real Men out there … never stop believing in YOU … keep on keeping on … Stay alive, it’s worth it!!

Ahoy & cheers!!

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & his thoughts on the battle within most men

Me & some of the Men of the Gym I ran for 7 years … getting together for a simple eat & meat men-bonding session
Simply because men need this.

I had a family gym that was predominantly male (70%) for about 7 years. I encouraged the men to speak freely and communicate all their feelings and we shared stories and helped one another through tough emotionally difficult phases of life. What a wonderful group of ‘post-feminite new age males’.

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Saying No … to say, Yes.

Beauty comes in many forms. Look at this exquisite beauty at an art show I went to. This Bonsai Tree is produced with constant pruning and shaping. A little like shaping a young male in to not just a Man but a Gentleman. It takes time, a lot of patience and high skill levels. I sit back and go “wow!”

My son is growing up in to a fine young man. He has a Tom Hanks character inside that young Arnold Schwarzennegger tough exterior already and he is only 8. He’s tough but tender when appropriate. Understanding yet stands his ground and confronts when required.

He’s my young Warrior Viking Pirate Prince.

He made me aware recently of a habit of mine. Good or bad, you decide. He said –

Dad, why is it, that you always say no when I first ask you for something… and then a little later change your mind and say yes?

Initially I responded – “Kaka!”.

This is a term I created to be all-encompassing.  A term that gives me an ‘out’, my little exit strategy if I ever get caught in a corner with my childrens’ endless questioning. To be used when I was just too tired to give them an answer or when I didn’t know the answer (which was very regularly) and I didn’t want them to know I didn’t.

Instead of saying ‘just google it”, I came up with my ‘made-up Fijian’ word which I said meant – it is just the way it is! I am not obligated to give an answer and this is where the conversation ends. Full stop!

They hate that word. I use it sparingly.

Then, I got thinking. I asked myself that same question, that great question he had asked me. Why Paul? I’ve always told my children from when they were able to speak, to not be afraid to ask questions and to question everything, even beliefs, behaviours, my actions and the way I do things, history and so forth. However, I’ve always reminded that the most important thing to do is to ask the right question.

This particular question from Zachary, was a right question.

Initially, I didn’t have an answer. I was stuck, in that corner no one likes to be. He got me. Gee … zus, and he was only 7 years old. What other questions is he going to be asking me as we progress through life I thought? Scary stuff! Luckily, I coined that ‘get out of jail’ term pass – kaka. Phew!

After reflection, I called him back and said –

“well, son, if I said yes first off and then said no later, you would be quite unhappy, wouldn’t you? You would probably think I’m cruel. But, if I say no first because when I do and then change my mind … to say yes, you won’t be disappointed and would most probably think that I am a nice dad. A nice man, that I am.”

I told Zachary my son, that this habit of mine was to ensure that I allowed myself time to reflect and think about my decision. This would make sure that, whatever decision it was, that I always came across as a Real Man … a Gentleman that I wanted to be, always. A role model that he, my son, would copy his behaviour off. A template for him to build on.

Working out in my gym during a photo shoot. Shaping a young male in to a man, a Gentle Man is very much like building good quality lean muscle within the walls of balance & symmetry. Requires patience, a lot of skill and dedication to truth, with tonnes of love.

Preparing him for the changing post-feminite landscape

First impressions matter.

That is what we have heard all our lives. Even more so now. I want my son to understand that, I think he does already. Fairly or unfairly, people are going to judge you to be a gentleman or not within the first minute or two of meeting you. Having a template, a blueprint of good manners is important.

We all have a blueprint.

My blueprint … a template evolved (and continuously evolving) that is a cross between relevant ‘old school’ traditions that I still retain from my English Gentleman Grandfather and skills honed by me in these modern times. Skills that he, my father & grandfather would not know and didn’t have to because they lived in a different era, with values and practises that were relevant to that time.

Just like the way I train in the gym, a fusion of ‘old school training methods, combined with a modern twist”. I want my son to learn the old fashioned chivalry combined with a modern respect for women. I want to make sure that he puts the ‘gentle back into the man’ and keep it that way for his future. A future that will be embracing change at a pace that I or previous generations of dads would have never faced.

I need to prepare my son (and daughter) as best I can to believe in himself first, an important step to becoming a gentleman and that knowing that the real meaning of the saying “it’s ok to be a man’ is that men are capable of many dimensions. In other words, to be proud of who he is.

Putting the gentle back into man means nurturing the classic male qualities of kindness and thoughtfulness, patience, compassion and trustworthiness. A man that embrace intimacy qualities simply because he chooses to. A True Gentleman with manners does not have to have feminine qualities. No.

A true gentleman understands that manners matter. He is aware of social etiquette. I want many things for my son, and one of the important ones is that I hope make him conscious of this – in the way he looks, sounds and acts around others.

We all need a bit of guidance and reminder of what and why we are a man. It takes effort and the desire to be made aware. Manners in a Man, Matters. The great thing is that manners can be improved through increased awareness and practice.

Why is this important?

Because the landscape for men has been changing and has been changing very fast in the last decade or two. Men are very confused and unsure in many things, prime example is on how they are expected to be a man – a Real Man.

I want my son to grow up understanding good knowledge of manners and etiquette because it just makes for a better world and also because it paves the path to manhood. Being a man requires a certain amount of experience and knowledge.

I want Zachary to know that it is one thing being a male but it is a totally other thing to be a man, a gentleman. Granted, today the social landscape is not what it used to be when I was growing up as gender roles have blurred and continue to change dramatically. Many things have changed.

I want my son to embrace this change but be prepared for it. I want him to be a successful gentleman in this new landscape. A landscape that requires him to know how to act, how to dress, how to talk and how to date.

A man needs to allow himself to be coachable to help him, help himself navigate the challenges he faces in the Sea of Life.

 Being the BEST Dad and Father you can be

He is learning this from me, every single day. That is the pressure and responsibility that us men (with young children) and the men in society at large have. Helping create the New Men and beginning with teaching them the new etiquette. I have to admit, it is a little daunting as I tell them that I am their Flawed Hero, their Less-than Perfect Dad.

You see, from where I sit, saying no … before I say yes is only one piece of the puzzle of what it means for my son to grow into a modern day Real Man with relevant old traditional values with a modern twist, needed for survival in today’s world. A world currently filled with many confused post-feminite, re-constructed, new-age so-called men! Not Real Men, far from Real Gentlemen.

I remind him of what my father used to say to me ‘action speaks louder than words!’’ Yes, indeed. I want Zachary to understand that it’s one thing to say we need to change how we act, but it’s another thing to do it! A very necessary ingredient to successful body re-engineering journeys that I have helped people, help themselves achieve over the last 20+ years.

To get quality results in anything, one has to not only have  a clear goal but develop a quality plan and most importantly, ensure a quality implementation of the quality plan. A ‘scatter-gun’ approach will not give you the desired results.

Etiquette, after all, is more than knowledge, it’s a product of well-rooted self-confidence. That is probably one of the greatest gifts any dad or father can impart to their sons – that of self-confidence. They don’t learn this at school or the sporting fields, they learn this at home.

Children, like seeds need a lot of guidance and nurturing as well as the freedom to grow. However, with more freedom comes more responsibility. Teaching them life etiquette helps them manage their sailing better.

With regards to being a gentleman, I know that how we feel about ourselves is often how we present ourselves to others. You see and hear about it every single day. If you honestly believe you can excel at a job or in a game of football then the confidence will show when you talk to your boss or take a penalty.

People and society notice and reward good etiquette, demonstrated through appropriate self-confidence. Good manners matter!

So, there are many things I hope and wish my son will be and skills he would have practised through good behavioural habits. When channelled in to the right mediums, habits can be life-changing.

For a better life.

My ultimate wish for him is to have a fulfilling life of significance. I’m sure it is the same thing our dads had for us and I’m sure all you Dads and Real Men reading this feel the same as well. We’re all ultimately helping to mold the future Leaders of our world when we’re old, frail and silver. And not fall in to the trap of ‘do as I say, not as I do” philosophy that some of the previous generations of men have passed down. This is one that need to be put aside.

The skill all us Dads need to develop is the skill of continuously questioning beliefs passed down to us and filtering out bulls*it and values that are not relevant and life-affirming for this era. And the most important skill of discerning between what is helpful and what isn’t, based on relevance.

That takes time … and hard work/YAKA!

Let’s hope they are great examples of Real Men, men who have simply practised putting the gentle back in to man and have learned to say no … pause .. … then say yes.

Thank you Zachary, for asking that right question.

 

Ahoy & cheers my friends …

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & his thoughts on being a Real Gentleman

I had a family gym that was predominantly male (70%) for about 7 years. I encouraged the men to speak freely and communicate all their feelings and we shared stories and helped one another through tough emotionally difficult phases of life. What a wonderful group of ‘post-feminite new age gentlemen. Men that understood that manners matter.

Give him the scaffolding in your son’s life to help him, help himself find his light. To allow him to build & live a life of significance. With a foundation of good etiquette/manners.

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Mid-life Crisis.

Hello!

Sacrifices

One of the wisest men I have ever been mentored by, my good friend – Dave ( a fellowship member of Menza) told me once that “Nothing Changes but form.”

Do people change. Of course they do. But, change according to what? And … what is your perception of change?

Got me thinking.

What is a “worthwhile sacrifice?”

A four year undergraduate degree at a prestigious university? An apprenticeship with a famous chef? Sweeping the floors of a multi-national conglomerate just to “get in?” All these sacrifices and those like these change the person – some for the good and some for the bad.

If you’re in a relationship, like I am – in a relationship with this woman for 19 years now. It sounds like a lot but it is nothing compared to her grandparents who lived to their 90s and were such beautiful people.

Time (& space), as Einstein said is relative. So, basically, nineteen years, in the whole scope of the time spectrum, is put simply – nothing!

So, what do you do with marriages that go through periods where there is ‘rough seas’ as they co-captain their ship through the ‘sea of life?’ I know for a fact that over the years, I have carried my wife (& was the stronger one) and in other times (like the whole of last year), she was the STRONG ONE & carried the weaker one – me.

Sailing through the sea of life, will inevitably produce tough times, it’s just foolish to think that you won’t encounter bad weather & monstrous waves in the depths of the sea of life. Foolish.

It is in times of trouble that, you just hang on to each other, because it is easy – very easy to lose one another. You need to go ‘above and beyond’ your call of duty in seeing that the weaker partner gets through that rough period ok. Everyone responds differently to unexpected rough weather & no one is immune to it.

Change is a certainty in life. Life is about change, if you’re not changing, you’re not living. But the rate of change differs between individuals. I think it was the great science thinker – Stephen Hawkins – that said “intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.’ I agree.

The woman and man need to adapt to the changing stimulus (phase of life) because it is in the process of adaptation that new growth is experienced & felt. So, don’t be afraid to sacrifice old philosophies and adopting a new, evolved one, in order to provide the glue that keeps them together.

Needs

Owning a family gym for six years has taught me a lot of things about life – in fast forward. In those six years I helped, with my programs, helped people transition through the sticky phases of life – teens to man-hood; the troubling 20s; the ambitious 30s; the ‘lost hope’ 40s; the care-free 50s; the uncertain 60s & the content 70s and 80s.

If you reach the 90s, its highly likely you’re on your own to celebrate your 95th birthday because everyone you ever knew is …. Six feet under.

Now, I have concluded, in my experience and my small sample of men and women in my lab (my gym), that part of the reason people stay together in marriage is because their needs are being met.

At first glance, that idea seems to be self-centered and selfish. Maybe it is. Just maybe, we ALL have the ‘selfish gene’ in us, like the aetheist Richard Dawkins proclaims. Good on him & his followers.

Marriages that last, include couples who WORK hard at it. Marriage, that is.

I believe they have a deep sense of commitment, a desire to stay together, and an ability to express affection as they understand each other’s needs and … I believe, specifically work at meeting those needs.

That is paramount. The meeting of these needs at various phases of life. It is never static, always continuously changing.

Understanding & meeting your mates/husbands/wife’s/ partner’s needs is a powerful way to serve your mate and strengthen your marriage.

So, what are you waiting for (if you’re married) …… go make your spouse her favourite warm drink (coffee?) & do it with love & care. Thank you.

Romance

What is romance?

I’ve never really understood what it is. I mean, I have done something in the past that I didn’t think was special, and I was thanked for being ‘so romantic.’ There are other few times where I thought I was trying to be romantic and got the cold shoulder.

I’m still confused and I’m a Mr Valentine?!

All these years later, I still don’t know what is to be romantic. I’m sure a lot of males out there do (and that is great) … but I struggle with being romantic.

I think romance should be done daily, in the little things that we do for each other, that won’t make a romance novel – like making your husband a cup of his favourite coffee or giving him hug when he least expects it. It does not take much to please a good gentle man and make him happy. Taking care of mozzies (mosquitoes) daily, not this ‘once-in-a-blue moon’ party shi*t@!

Romance, as I see it, is built upon qualities that each partner (hopefully) showers on each other, Some of them are –

  • Meeting each other’s needs;
  • Being tender;
  • Considerate & sensitive;
  • Thoughtful & …
  • Listening

Listening is very important. If you’ve been together for a long time then you should know him quite well so in addition to listening to what he says, try to listen to what he ‘does not say.’ Now that takes listening to a level that only very close ‘best friends’ tap in to.

Emotional Connections

What happens when man enters his mid-life years? I have a fair idea because I have seen and helped many-a-man transition through this phase of the many phases of life.

One thing that comes to fore is the feeling (from the mens’ perspective) that they are being ‘mothered.’

But, from my sample of hundreds of men over the last two decades, I can conclude that men DO NOT WANT A MOTHER. Women, do you know what they want?

They want a GIRLFRIEND. They don’t want a mother to make them feel like they are ‘one of the children.’

No!

They want a girlfriend.

Now, for a woman to become a girlfriend to her husband, I believe (from my observation of life), she NEEDS to develop spontaneity.

Now, what does this mean … well, let me take that previous statement back. I think there is no such thing as spontaneity because a person has to have the thought – first, before any action is executed.

It may mean (for the wife), assuming a younger outlook on life, or a younger approach to the relationship. She should think in terms of how a younger woman would act around her husband.

She should, above all else, show admiration and affirmation to the extreme …. & dare I say it, ACT MORE FLIRTATIOUSLY.

Little things matter. But what makes you do the little things (I call these the ‘mosquitoes’ in life), whether positive or negative? Have you every thought about this? You may have heard people say ‘willpower.’ I have news for you, it is not willpower. Willpower means forcing yourself to do something you don’t really want to do. This is a never-winning game for you.

You cannot keep forcing yourself to do something if you don’t really want to do it. Period.

So, no, it is not willpower that drives your actions, but your ATTITUDE.

Attitude shows itself in everything you do – actions speaks louder than words, as we have been told when we were a child. So true, your attitude determines both your simplest and most complicated actions – from the way you carry yourself to the way you deal with hard times.

And a man going through a mid-life crisis phase … is a hard time. Let’s not kid ourselves, it is not funny at all.

So, for the partner we need to embrace this phase – not with willpower, not with determination or controlling your attitude and feelings. No. You need something more stronger, something that is at the heart – the breathing source of your attitude.

You need to re-discover this energy source to give you that ‘edge.’ And what is this source, well, it is simply your ‘philosophy’, which is a fancy word for the way you see yourself and the way you see the world. It is your philosophy that feeds your attitude.

Attitude is everything in life.

Your attitude is never static, it is changing all the time. And as your attitude changes, your feelings also change. Your philosophy is the secret that lies behind the puzzle of fate or destiny. So, to summarise –

A positive philosophy ==> positive attitude ==> positive actions ==> positive results.

A negative philosophy obviously does the opposite effect. Remember the “Ripple Effect” … well, it works both ways!

To manage this phase your partner/husband is going through you have to change yourself. And how do you do this? Well, your change yourself by changing your philosophy. BUT, you have to be willing to change or ADAPT & change if your want to change what’s happening in your life, your philosophy or how you see things must change.

And, very importantly ….

Don’t bring up the past in a negative sense. One of the quickest paths to success (I believe) is to get out of the past. Sure, its smart to review mistakes and unhappy events because that helps you to make better choices in the future. However, keep it swift.

Review, understand and take responsibility for the errors you’ve made (and we all have our fair share of mistakes/errors … no body is perfect, right?) But, don’t even spend too much dwelling on this even. Just use the past as a tool to do things differently in the present and, most importantly ….. MOVE ON!

So, invest your ‘emotional labour’ towards emotionally connecting to your partner/husband and realise that other things in life are not as urgent as they seem.

They can simply WAIT.

It is time to give your spouse your time and attention (before it is too late).

Please understand that this is just my initial thoughts, nothing more, nothing less. There are obviously many other reasons (when compounded over time) provides a leathal dosage of destruction.

Don’t’ let that happen to you. I will embrace it if it ever happens to me.

Amen.

Best of VITALITY to YOU.

 

P.e. Valentine.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder.
Plan the work – to work the plan.
Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah Captain, Mr Phil Waugh.

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Practise Perfect Posture – your life depends on it.

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Change your philosophy, change your life. Vv.

You see it everywhere you go. We all hear about it and we know someone who has it, but have you ever asked the question if you’ve got it too?

Bad posture, that is.

I think it is and has been a growing problem of modern societies today and I would claim, it is now at epidemic proportions. I believe it is a more costly problem to society than the well-known obesity epidemic that is gripping us.

But no one is talking about it, and yet, it is all around us! Everyone needs to practise perfect posture.

One of my key goals for twenty five years and one of the many reasons I love weight training is it allows me to continuously sculpt and design my ever evolving, dynamic physique towards better balance and symmetry. It never ends. Your body is never static, it is always changing.

I constantly apply my ‘adaptive strategy’ approach for this dynamic and complex environment/system that is the human body/mind/ heart and soul.

That is part of what I do and have done with the hundreds and thousands of students I have taught over the years. Design an improved version of themselves – they become a walking, talking, sitting, sleeping, living piece of art in motion with better balance and symmetry.

I help move people away from hate towards love. That is the essence of design, in my case, designing a new body – a new YOU. Incidentally, striving for improved balance and symmetry in my tailored programs, adopting my framework, indirectly and directly converts bad posture to good posture.

One of the many hidden benefits of my custom design bodies programs.

Good posture is needed for balance, symmetry and a healthy body. Take a look around – everyone that you see at the bus stop, on the train, on the street and even at home. If you’re brave enough, take a look at yourself. What is your posture telling you? Is it ideal? Can it be improved?

What you will see, is what I have stated in my first three sentences here – real impressive figures are few and far between. I look around and symptoms of the aged (like bad posture) is inflicting the young school children.

It is depressing to say the least. How did society get to this stage?

Not sure why children are being affected with this at such a young age, maybe because stooping low would gain more acceptance with friends. Standing straight, with good posture may offend someone, it may give an air of cockiness or a holier than thou perception.

Maybe. I don’t know, I was not one to succumb to peer pressure in teen years.

Sure, parents and carers notice this early on-set age-related ailments adopted by their teenage children. They must ask them to stand up straight but it seems that this habit is ‘set’ in by the time they arrive in their 20s. The poor posture is established and almost irreversible.

Sad, truly sad.

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Doing and being is essential to muscle building success for your health and muscle goals. Connect the two. Make them one. Vv.

The years of continuing bad posture has resulted in the less-than-ideal situation the aged population is suffering from now. A lot of people are living longer but spending the last twenty to thirty years after sixty five with delibitating posture and increasing immobility. Increase immobility leads to reduced sense of self-worth and increasing levels of mental diseases and worse.

We’re all getting older by the second, yes but could I suggest that we slow down the ageing process by firstly becoming aware of our posture every day. Everyone shouldn’t be too concerned with ‘living longer’! I think it is a sales gimmich, everyone should be aiming to:

“grow younger, not older!”

“Growing old” is a decision, afterall. A MIND-SET.

Is this possible? You bet ya!

First stage of any form of self-improvement is to increase your awareness. Then, consciously (in this case), you need to take ACTION – try to improve your way of standing, of walking and sitting.

I believe that correct posture helps manage stress and keeps us healthier. Poor posture on the other hand can have an adverse of effect on the internal organs, causing numerous aches and pains. The compound effect of this as we age results in the reduction of mobility which is an affliction of the aged population now.

I believe in striving towards ‘balance and symmetry’ of the body, through sufficient and appropriate weight-training, coupled with a sensible diet, stretching and cardiovascular exercise. The body works as one and you’re made up of a chain of muscles that are constantly contracting and extending. When one part of your body is out of alignment, the other areas are also off-set. The domino effect then takes hold.

A big mistake people make is thinking that the body will correct itself. No, it won’t! The body will grow to the shape and posture they consistently adopt and practise every single day.

Think about it – the more you slump, the more you lose flexibility so you not only move older, you FEEL OLDER and you APPEAR OLDER!

Now, why would you want that for yourself?! Aren’t we all aiming to ‘off-set the on-set’ of ageing as best we can?

I’ve said it before that a prerequisite for the elusive balance and symmetry (and health ) of the body (and mind, dare I say) is good posture. I will go as far as saying that a person who consciously carries him or herself with a proud upright posture is more likely to come across as a fit, energetic, and even a more attractive and hence more desirable individual.

Yes, you read that right!

Having a good posture makes you MORE ATTRACTIVE!

If this is the case, why aren’t more people doing it? Because it takes effort – it takes work and deliberate practise because to achieve good posture, you need to make a habit of checking your posture and correcting it if necessary.

It can be hard work.

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Fine-tuning the ‘mind-muscle’ connection through intense posing. Hold!

A few things to consider to help you work towards your ideal good posture:

  • Is your butt sticking out too much that it causes a sway in your appearance?
  • Is your shoulders slumping forward causing your scapulae to stand out like wings in your back?
  • Do you balance evenly on you feet?
  • Do you round your back when eating at your dinner table?
  • Do you tilt your head to one side when using a computer or while writing?
  • Do you allow your head to stick out in front of your body?

I truly believe that posture can reveal as much about a person as his/her face does. Poor posture can make you a billboard of insecurity and old age. Why add to the effects of gravity? Everything will sag in time – don’t accelerate the process, gravity does not need help!

I also believe that it is every human being’s ultimate responsibility to take care of themselves and do everything they can to slow the ageing process and the effects of gravity. This amazing, unrelenting force is tugging at you and me this very moment!

One way that is within your control and that you can fight this force is to have good posture.

If you want to instantly improve your attractiveness, you don’t need to run to plastic surgery or put on tonnes of make-up, work on your posture. Attraction is the greatest factor in love. It’s hard to relate easily to a man or woman you find unattractive. We all enjoy relating to attractive people.

I’ll say it again – posture is one key ingredient to this attractiveness.

So, you see, posture is the one thing we can all improve almost instantly. In time, you can then work on other significant changes.

Here are my top 3 tips for you to adopt to work towards good posture:

  • Quit overeating, over-drinking and smoking
  • Start exercising regularly – three to four times per week
  • Consciously check and correct your posture throughout the day

Then ….

When you walk, practise perfect posture and … walk as if you were seven feet tall!

I know I do (even though I am ‘slightly under six feet tall’).

Best of vitality to you!

 

Until next time,

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My beautiful daughter and I enjoying “Daddy-daughter time” on the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park in amazing Sydney, Australia.

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A Re-think.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not. Enjoy 'moments' in life. Live your life, by life and through life. Don't live your life by 'time'.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.
Enjoy ‘moments’ in life. Live your life, by life and through life. Don’t live your life by ‘time’.

Just turned a year older today.

Am blessed to have experienced yet another birthday and spend it with my family and the people I love dearest.

Made me stop for a few fleeting moments to reflect and appreciate all that I have had so far in my short life on this earth. Truly a blessing to be alive and each breath I take reminds me of this blessing.

However, I was thinking about ageing and time, in particular.

Now, progressing through the second forty years on this planet, from my observations, most of us a reminded almost daily of our pending death. Most, if not every person thinks that they will live forever and you can see it in lot of the behavioural aspects of modern day humans.

There is inherently a strange kind of appetite or hunger for eternity, don’t you think? I mean it’s everywhere. Almost everywhere you turn, you get reminded and frustrated by society through the way it communicates ‘time’.

A big portion of our innovations and inventions are marketed to ‘save time’. Let’s have a look at a few – the washing machine, the dish washer, the fast car, information technology in all it’s forms, the jet flight and so forth. But I would like to ask the question – ‘what for?”.

In all of history, never has there been a time where people have been required to be more hurried than they are now – we have alarms, watches, buzzers, countless meetings, the overly structure education system, the categories of different ages – toddlers, teenager, twenties, trying thirties, topsy-turvy forties, and so forth and the precise daily schedules …

What for?

Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain - Phil Waugh performing a set of squats. "Feeling the essence" of the exercise is vital to attaining desired results. Experiencing the 'moment' to 'feel the essence' of the exercise. It is 'moments', not time, that is the essence of life.

Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain – Phil Waugh performing a set of squats.
“Feeling the essence” of the exercise is vital to attaining desired results.
Experiencing the ‘moment’ to ‘feel the essence’ of the exercise.
It is ‘moments’, not time, that is the essence of life.

What is it that seem to remain embedded in our memories forever? It is ‘moments’. Why do we really ‘enjoy moments’ and long for this and remember these ‘moments’ well in to the future? Even as we age, we cherish ‘moments’. What does this suggest?

The fact that we seem to lose all sense of time when we enjoy these ‘moments’ may suggest that we were maybe created for eternity. We just don’t ‘get it!” I mean despite thousands of generations, we seem unable to get used to – time!

Maybe, we were never meant to be just ‘temporary beings’ on this planet. Maybe, instead of seeing ourselves as a being on this earth for a limited time, we should see ourselves living forever, even after our external bodies’ age and wilter away.

There is a constant fascination for it or of it – time, that is. Scientists are still trying to figure it out? We don’t really understand it but we are always amazed by it. How fast it goes, how slowly it goes, how much of time has elapsed or gone? Does it really disappear? We are constantly reminded of the passing of time in a lot of things in our daily lives, in particular, on our birthday. Birthdays and birthday messages reinforces this infatuation with the passing of time.

I got a message from a very good friend (all the way from grade 1 in primary school) for my birthday and a line in his message “time surely passes by” prompted me to write this blog.

So, it seems we as individuals and as communities and as a whole civilization constantly demonstrate signs that we haven’t really adapted to time. We have never and still do not feel at ease with it even after thousands and thousands of generations. Maybe just maybe, we need to RE-THINK our concept of time.

Maybe, we’ve got it all wrong all this time and the clues may just be in front of our noses and we are not seeing it.

Maybe, just maybe we need to re-think our current dominant view or paradigm of ‘time’. Maybe, we should accept our uneasiness of time as proof or at least a powerful-enough suggestion that eternity exists and we are living it.

Eternity is life and we are living it.

Re-think: Life has no beginning, no end. Every day is the beginning and the end. If the beginning is the end, then there is no ‘time’. Time is infinity. Time is life. You are living proof of infinity in this life and the next. The concept of time is irrelevant and instead we should just experience life through ‘moments’ – not time!

You are not a physical being with an emotional core. No, you are a spiritual being encased in a physical capsule. It is the physical body that ages, that rots and returns to dust, not the spiritual. The spiritual lives on forever.

The spirit is consciousness, the spirit never ages. The spirit is the real ‘you’.

So, maybe contrary to what society has and is constantly telling us, live your life as if it will never end. As if you will live forever, that maybe you shouldn’t be ‘rushing around’ trying to do a million things before you die and constantly believing you don’t have enough time in the day like I hear so many people say.

Re-think: you are alive and will continue to live FOREVER. You have enough time, you have enough ‘life’ to live, don’t rush too much, you will fulfil every desire you ever had, be it in this physical realm or the next.

Spiritually, you will live forever. For eternity. There is only one catch though – you have to have faith, you have to believe in the spirit. You have to believe in something you cannot physically ‘see’, an intangible. You have to believe there is a higher force, a higher being.

You have to have unwaveringly belief there is a GOD.

This to me, maybe our key to eternity…. To our salvation. In science and in life, a ‘truth’ will only remain a truth until proven wrong. That is the very essence of science. Maybe, the truth of time as we view it is not true. Maybe, life is not to measured in time, but instead should be embraced as part of eternity.

Re-think

 

Until next time,

B&W3284

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Simplify to Amplify.

You learn from children and then learn from us.
It is a two-way learning experience, not one way (parents to children like some people think)

Time will tell

I love being a dad.

I love being a father to my two children. Every day I am grateful for the blessing my wife gave when she chose to bring them in to this world.

Having children is a true blessing. I’m sure all dads reading this would agree.

I love being with my children – doing every single thing with them. I just feel I want to spend every single minute of my life with them. I truly thank my intelligent, strong, caring, loving wife for the opportunity to spend a big chunk of this phase of their lives with them.

It is truly a blessing I experience that not many dads out there have the opportunity to do so. They have learned a lot from me and I have learned many things from them already.

I love observing them, you can learn so much (I’m sure a lot of dads and mums love this too). Even in the first 2 to 3 years of their lives, I can tell how distinctly different they are to one another. They are poles apart in certain things and activities they choose to participate in.

For example, Zachary makes it very clear that he does not enjoy colouring or drawing, whereas Olivia has an obvious talent in this area. They have obvious inclinations towards certain activities. They tell us what they are interested in and we can certainly observe this through they repeated behaviour.

These are the traits that need to be developed, traits that need to be amplified to bring the best out of each child, each person. In simple terms, we need to simplify to amplify.

Time will tell.

Time will tell what truth our children search for

Know YOU – build on your strengths and appreciate your uniqueness

Zachary loves solving puzzles – particularly electronic gadgets or mechanical tools. Zachary had shown a much higher level of patience in the solving of shapes and puzzles than Olivia did at the same age.

It’s just his thing.

Pulling things apart and putting it back together again. He’s always asking the question ‘why?’ and he is very strategic. Already out-thinks me on occasion and he is only three and half years old. He would certainly keep my neurons stimulated as he grows with his strategic constructive debates.

I’ve always believed that due to our short time on earth, we need to firstly identify our strengths and work towards enhancing these through focused and deliberate practise for our future and for the betterment of man-kind.

It’s better use of our 86,400 seconds that we have every day.

Essentially, you need to know You – build on your strengths and appreciate your uniqueness just like my children demonstrate from such a young age. Despite being born from the same genetic blueprint, they differ in so many ways.

Dogs are truly one of man’s best friends

Why work on your weaknesses?

From when we were kids, the school system seemed to encourage the opposite: emphasising our weaknesses and telling us that we need to ‘work on our weaknesses’. Millions of people seem to be spending a lot of time ‘working on their weaknesses’ from the cradle to their grave.

What a waste of time and life!

Explaining some of the finer points of training to Vicky during my ‘coaching conversations’ with my students.Better athletes train smarter.

Overcoming deficits or weaknesses is an essential part of the fabric of our culture, of our society, isn’t it? But why work on your weaknesses?

I mean everywhere we go, we hear stories, see movies, read books about the lotto winner or the underdog who beats one – in – hundred million odds.

It’s everywhere and that is one of the primary reasons gambling is so popular because each and every one of us have been brain-washed in to believing we have great chances of winning even though we may not have the natural ability to win.

However, every day we are bombarded with these stories and we get a deluded sense of the truth. It seems that we tend to celebrate those who triumph over their lack of natural ability much, much more than we celebrate those who capitalize on their innate talents. It certainly makes for ideal TV shows ratings and sells newspapers too.

Champions practise a lot of visualisation and simulation.
To create magic, you need to fuse the worlds of sanity (where you are) with insanity (where you dream/imagine you are, before you are).
That is difficult.
That is one of the key keys.
Don’t stop. Trying. Believing.
Keep on … keeping on. You’ll get there. Everyone always does.
Especially, if you do it with your heart. and ….
with LOVE.

Taking the path of most resistance

As a result of this over-inflated, deluded view of an aspect of success, we have millions of people that chase goals that are impossible. They see these, say, over-night multi-millionaires as THEIR HEROES and the epitome’ of success and so set their sights on conquering major challenges.

Unfortunately for them, this is taking the path of most resistance!

I mean in recent years we’ve all witnessed many examples of these poor souls embarrass themselves on the top reality tv shows looking for talent. How awful is this? I mean I couldn’t understand how people with no talent whatsoever are permitted to get on national tv and perform and get laughed at? It is great for TV show ratings and advertising dollars for the network but isn’t this degrading to the person?

It’s the same for certain sports or careers, it isn’t very difficult to observe that a teaching a fish how to climb a tree like a monkey will always result in disappointment. The fish will never be able to do what a monkey naturally does best and vice versa. A monkey will not be able to swim as well or as fast as a fish in the water. Each individual or animal needs to find the right environment to strive and perform at it’s best.

working to my strengths helped me be one of the best in the world at my chosen sport.
I could not have made it that far in say … basketball. Height is a genetic weakness.
Being strong with lots of power are strengths that when developed helps you achieve your truth.
Your beauty.

Know the difference between positive thinking and delusional thinking

These aspiring contestants then get asked to leave by the judges because, well, they simply suc$ed at it! Then the contestant breaks down and cries. The producers of these shows have milked this sob-story so well and I think most people have had enough of seeing these tear-jerkers.

I used to ask my wife where that poor person’s friends were? Isn’t that a role of a good friend – to tell him/her know how awful he/she is at the particular skill before getting on national tv to get humiliated.

The sad thing is that these contestants actually believe they sound ok. They actually believe that with an opportunity and working hard and getting a tutor, they would somehow miraculously be as good as their idols or as the judges. That to achieve success, it is only and all about hard work. And everyone – the whole audience and viewership seem to believe this too. Now, you could call this type of thinking ‘positive thinking’ but I think it more closer to ‘delusional thinking’.

You should know and understand the difference between positive thinking and delusional thinking. I think many in society believe and practise the latter, unfortunately.

Society does not seem to give credit to innate talent – and that applies to everything in life – in athletic ability, music ability, mechanical ability, spatial ability, emotional ability, spiritual ability etc. Hard work is important to success, yes – but its not the only important thing. Innate ability (or talent) is very important too.

Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you … kick the bucket! Keep moving forward, I say!

A person can only perform from a platform of strength

I believe one of the most important responsibilities of parents is to observe and identify the talents and strengths that their children have. This can be done in the very early stages/years of their lives. It will save a lot of heart-ache and pain later in life – in the later teens and early twenties.

It seems that even though we change over time and personalities adapt, scientists have discovered that core personality traits are relatively stable throughout adulthood, as are our perceptions and interests. Even more interesting is that recent studies also show that a child’s observed personality at age 3 is very similar to his or her personality traits reported at age 26.

So, just being more aware as a parent and spending time with your children and really observing them would tell you a lot about their talents. This increased awareness would help give you some idea in the direction they may be more inclined to succeed in their adult lives.

Afterall, a famous management guru said once that a person can only perform from a platform of strength.

A plant of such beauty and delicateness has to have the right environment and conditions to flourish.
You and your strengths need the right environment and conditions to flourish.
FInd yours.

Learn to build on who you already are

Think about you, your life so far.

Are you doing a job that utilizes ALL your strengths? Are you fully utilizing your talents? Or are you doing something that your parents and/or family and friends expected you to do? I’ve seen and heard so many stories about kids entering University and realising they didn’t love Law, for example (which their parents or family expected them to do) was not what they were really good at. They then go back and do another degree or two before discovering their true strengths. Their true love.

They’re still one of the lucky ones.

Are you just doing your current job in a ‘half-hearted attempt’ – doing just enough to get through and not really ‘setting the world on fire?’ Well, are you? Don’t fret, you’re not alone. Apparently, a huge percentage of the world’s population never, ever get to reach their potential because they are not doing a job or work that utilizes their strengths.

Very sad indeed.

Very sad because you only have one life and you are doing something that would not bring your closer to your full potential. Not through the fault of our own but through generations of mis-direction and philosophy partly through the education system. Everyone is brain-washed to believing that they have got to spend all their lives working on ‘their weaknesses’.

One of the keys to human development and/or self-development is building on who you already are.

me in one of the environments where I am at my best and strive to be my best and have the necessary strengths to excel at this. FInd yours.

Journey of self-discovery

To do this, you need to increase your awareness of yourself. You need to be who you are.

But, who are YOU?

Within this journey of self-discovery, I am positive you will find the real strengths that lie within you (if you haven’t already done so).

Identifying your talents and developing them in to real strengths and aligning yourself with the right task is vital to reaching your potential in your life. By putting most of your energy into developing your natural talents, it would seem that extraordinary room for growth exists.

Continuously helping you become the best you can be … BEGIN help by helping yourself.
Then,
Reach out and touch someone … be the light for someone who can only see darkness.
Help them see ‘beauty’ .. see their truth.
Help them manage their insanity with sanity … their chaos with order.
Pray.

Two main conditions for success

I’ve said this before that the two main conditions for success in any sort of work are:

  1. Interest
  2. Confidence

People usually give little attention to these two very important variables because it seems it is very difficult to increase levels of both of these simply by an ACT OF WILL.

I think that is true, you cannot increase confidence by simply WILLING yourself to be. Just as much as you cannot increase your size of your muscles by sitting on your couch and willing it to grow!

This does not mean that it is impossible to change your muscular strength for example. If you lifted weights for repetition and gave your muscles the building blocks of muscle nutrition, you would increase your muscle density.

However, your ability to build muscle is limited to your genetic potential also. So, it seems that confidence and interest can be changed by taking the proper measures and having a step-by-step structured approach to developing these qualities in a certain area.

Important fact: People tend to show a greater degree of intelligence and knowledge in connection with their hobbies than in any other department of life.

You have only one life, so use your available time well.

True Leaders develop Leaders.
Here we have former Australian Rugby Wallaby Captain – Mr Phil Waugh, allowing himself to be led and coached to help him, help himself … find his best self.
Leaders have belief, they have faith but most importantly … they have hope.
That tomorrow will be better than today.

Each to their own

Work on your strengths and pay someone else to work on areas that you are relatively weak at. As a past client of mine use to always say ( he was a board member of several publicly listed companies in Australian and NZ) “each to their own!”. His wife (who I used to train too – for almost 6 years, used to make fun of him and how bad her husband was at using a hammer or tools like that).

He used to always remind me that it was better use of my time to focus on my strengths, saying “Focus on your strengths, son. Focus on your strengths!” and “ each to their own … “.

I agree.

His strength was in numbers and interpretation and story-telling of numbers. He recognised this early and worked and built on his strengths and became the success that he is today.

It is very difficult though, to find your true strengths.

working on what you can’t see is somethimes more important than wha tyou can.
Intuition and ‘feel’ is, I believe more important and more powerful thatn intelligence.
Then, you are ín tune’with the universe

Have Focus

Some people are lucky enough and find their purpose – ie., a cure for cancer or paint pictures. This ONE THING matters to them above all else – above comfort, wealth, respectability, safety, family ties or social obligations.

They have FOCUS.

Very few people are this fortunate and this clear cut in their goals in life, after becoming aware of their strengths very early on. Most men and women, I believe, are prepared to fit in, more or less, with the customs they find around them. To work at any job by which they can earn a reasonable living.

I’ve always asked myself that question – why is this so?

It also seems that there are probably some people who fall between these two stools I have mentioned above. These people (if they utilized and worked on their strengths) could be happier and have more growth and reach their potential in life with great certainty in a vocation that uses these traits.

However, it seems that they may fear or have the lack of self-knowledge or the courage or determination needed to break away from the life which other people expect them to lead.

Read that last sentence again: they are …. Afraid to break away from the life which other people expect them to lead. Afraid to do the work that nature designed them. I believe that maybe, in a perfect world, they would be encouraged to do such work.

Ask yourself: to which type of person do you belong?

Attitude is key at winning in the Game of Life.

Fear of Failure

I think the biggest FEAR that is holding people back is not FEAR OF FAILURE. No, it is really FEAR OF CRITICISM/RIDICULE from family and friends for the decision to pursue something career/vocation that they least expected you to do.

This FEAR OF NOT MEETING OTHER’S EXPECTATIONS OF YOU is what keeps people from taking a risk and believing in their own abilities/talents and working towards developing those.

It is very difficult. It has always been.

This is how it has been for the majority since the beginning of time. So, stop working on your weaknesses, and encourage your children to spend time and effort on their strengths. Strengths that you can quite easily observe while you spend time with them.

Reach for your potential through the development of your strengths. Spend more time on them, not your deficits. You’re a complex individual – every human being is. Raise your awareness of yourself and filter down to your top three to five strengths.

Simplify yourself – simplify YOU. Simplify the complex YOU.

Find out WHAT WORKS BEST.

Then, work hard at making these strengths the BEST. Make what works best for YOU, THE BEST. This is amplifying your strengths.

So, it follows that to achieve your potential, you need to SIMPLIFY TO AMPLIFY.

Have no fear.

Remember: No risk, no nothing (with positive thinking – not delusion thinking).

Choose well.

Until next time,

Explaining the fine points of re-engineering the physique and increased self-awareness through enhanced ‘mind-muscle’ connection..

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