a better life, accountability, action, adaptation, authenticness, awareness, Beliefs, better choices, body, care empathy, caring, change, Change Agent, choices, consciousness, courage, creator, decisions, desire, ego, Energy, examined life, fairness, forgiveness, game of life, genuineness, gratitude, happiness, Imagination, information, justice, Leader, life, long-term perspective, love, mind, mind-muscle connection, patience, perspective, real man, responsibility, self, symmetry, Timing, trust, wisdom, you, your life

I’m, ME.

Here’s a little bit more …. about ‘Me” – a kind-of-a-poem :

I like to Talk, but I”m not an Extrovert;

I like to Run but I’m not a Runner;

I like to Teach but I’m not a Teacher;

I like to HELP the sick but I’m not a Doctor;

I like to Write but I’m not a Writer;

I like to Play with my kids but I love watching them Play;

I like my Family but I like being an Individual;

I’m, ME … I’m not what they say I AM ….

I’m not what I AM ….

I’m, ME!

I like to Sing but I’m not a Singer;

I like to Draw but I’m not an Paid-Artist;

I like Giving Strength to others but I love being Strong;

I like animals but I”m not a Vet;

I like to Eat Chocolate but am not a Chocolate Connoisseur;

I like having a Shower but I love being submerged in a Bath;

I’m, ME … I’m not what they say I AM …

I”m not what I AM …

I”m, ME!

I like being a Husband but I love being a Man;

I like the Beach, but I’m not a Swimmer;

I like the Sun, but I love sitting in the shade;

I like to Rest but I don’t Sleep much;

I like to Eat but I will choose nutrition over presentation, any day;

I like the Rain but I don’t like getting wet;

I like Numbers and Figures but I”m no longer an Accountant;

I’m, ME … I’m not what they say I AM .. .

I”m not what I AM …

I”m, ME!

I like to Write Poetry but I”m not a Poet;

I like to be with people but I love my own company;

I like doing Cardio but prefer driving everywhere when I’m not;

I like Reading but I love most the FEEL of a book in my hands and the way it MAKES ME FEEL;

I like to Pray to God but I’m not Priest;

I like the Brain but I love the Mind;

I like the Past & the Future but I Love the experience of the Present;

I’m, ME … I’m not what they say I AM …

I’m not what I AM …

I’m, ME!

I like to THINK but I’m not a Philosopher;

I like Science but I’m not a Scientist;

I like Leading but I’m not a Politician;

I like Justice and fair treatment but I’m not a Judge;

I like Mathematics but I”m not a Mathematician;

I like to give Compassion & Care but I don’t work in a Hospital;

I like Sex but I love making Love;

I like Exercise but I love FEELING THE ESSENCE of that “mind-muscle-heart-soul” connection during weight-training;

I’m, ME … I’m not what they say I AM …

I’m not what I AM …

I’m, ME!

I like to Live a good Lifestyle but I love, Life, more;

I like to Start things but I don’t like Finishing many;

I like to Destroy and Breathe and Create Growth;

I like Evil but I love when Good triumphs;

I like Fights & Arguments … just for the chance to “Make-Up”;

I like to play the Devil’s Advocate to encourage Debate;

I like to be Active but I love to be Still;

I’m, ME … I’m not what they say I AM …

I’m not what I AM …

I’m, ME!

I’m, ME.

I hope you liked it.

My gift to you,

Yours in iron, vitality & connecting to Wisdom,

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Nakedness, Humility and Vulnerability “exposes” you but this is where … Life, BEGINS and GROWTH CONTINUES.

Guilt. Repent from your heart. Your soul. Find your authentic self again.

Repentance.

Do you practise repentance? Why? Why not?

When you’ve done something wrong and/or have wronged someone, you firstly need to take FULL responsibility for it.

You Repent.

You repent because you realise that, that inexcusable wrong can be judged or forgiven. Inexcusable wrongs can never be understood and overlooked. Fake Repentant people seek and beg for forgiveness, with no thought of deserving it.

Yes, you read that right, they don’t deserve it. 

That is not fair – to the person that has been wronged and not fair for the person who has wronged.

To gain trust back, perpetrators need to own their “inconvenient truth” (to borrow a phrase from US Vice President Al Gore).

Truly Repentant people are people who finally understand God’s amazing grace. When you truly seek repentance, know you need only to confess to experience the forgiveness from God Almighty. 

Forgiveness is ALWAYS there in infinite supply.

My family. My dog: “Mr Fuzzy/Fussy cuddles” is missing

Selfish Choices.

Recently, I got into a very big argument with my wife of twenty years. It was probably the biggest blue we’ve had in our time together. It involved her and my family. To get straight to the point, I was an Asshole … well, okay, I was a HUUGGE Asshole! I even called myself one during the fight.

Alcohol was involved. Correction: excessive alcohol was involved.

On reflection, it is quite obvious that I was being a selfish prick! Yep, you read that right. I was being a thoughtless spouse. And here I was imagining that on my deathbed, my children and wife will remember me for many things but for mostly being the most THOUGHTFUL human being they have ever known.

After this incident, that dream/imagination may not manifest into reality. I fucked up, and my selfish choice was not “thoughtful “. I simply fucked up!

You see, whether we are adulterers or thoughtless spouses (like me, in this instance), the problem with all of us is one of perspective. Instead of thinking of our thoughtlessness (in words or actions/deeds) as INEXCUSABLE SELFISH CHOICES, we stubbornly regard our interpersonal failures as UNDERSTANDABLE MISTAKES. Understandable mistakes, can you believe that?! It comes down to a small but significant factor of perspective, or the way we view something.

And in my recent case: I clearly made a selfish choice and my perspective was NOT the right one.

To find your Authentic self, you need to embrace your demons

Seek to understand first.

I’m not one for giving excuses or listening to excuses, but during and after that big argument, I found myself giving excuses. It just rolled out of my tongue and the strange thing was that I was fully aware of this roll-out while it was happening. And here’s the catch: I did not stop this conveyor belt of excuses.

When I reflect, I realise that excuse-making has been a part of almost every area of life that has humans participating. Excuse-making has been a natural tendency in people since, I guess, Adam blamed Even for eating the apple and … Eve blamed the Snake for persuading her. It’s been around for a long while. 

I guess, without some form of self-justification, we are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror, just as we truly are … not necessarily, the image the mirror reflects.

Now, based on how I argued in that fight, the standards I adhered to fell very short of God’s standards. My actions and words deserved punishment.

I read somewhere that a wise person seeks to understand before wanting to be understood.

That is something I need to improve in my life. What about yours?

What does your mirror reflect of you? What if it reflected who you really are? What would it reflect? What feedback would your emotional and logical minds give you? Would they reinforce each other? Would this spark Fears and would those fears escalate? How would you control them? Tip: take responsibility.

Joy evolves from misery.

When we really look at ourselves in the mirror and truly see ourselves as we are, would we accept our status as sinners.

And what are sinners? Sinners, like me, are worthy of judgement. We are powerless to improve ourselves … and are humbled that our best deeds provide no defence.

We are GUILTY!

Guilty in the eyes of GOD.

Is this fun? It isn’t someone’s idea of fun, surely. However, fun … joy, yes, joy … had evolved and can evolve from misery.

If you desire it. 

Here’s how …

Co-Captain/CEO of our Viking Pirate ship in the different seas of life .

Be Naked, be humble, be vulnerable.

Be naked, be humble, be vulnerable.

That is how Joy evolves from misery. Throughout my experience and learning from other people’s experiences, I’ve learned that those who make themselves naked and vulnerable and basically more human, are the ones who get the most trust.

Or at least, get part of or most of the lost trust back.

It is through the process of embracing genuine nakedness, humility and vulnerability, that you find your AUTHENTIC SELF.

I believe, moving closer to your authentic self is not only where life BEGINS but also …. Where JOY blooms and your GROWTH CONTINUES.

Now, as a Physique Artist, I regularly strip down to a pair of “g-strings” on stage, under very strong lights to display the ‘flow of muscles’ … and ‘paint a picture of moving art’, using my sculpted physique, from my heart … to the hearts of the audience.

It is one of the closest you can get to being naked, humble and vulnerable. By being vulnerable, humble and exposed, I find you allow yourself to be more open and transparent. This is important for any relationship. For me and my wife, this is vital. Always has been.

I am an “open book” and this nakedness, this humility, this vulnerableness, demonstrates to her that that I have nothing to hide ( or an impression anyway).

Now, allow yourself to strip yourself of EGO and wear your “G-STRING of YOUR SOUL”. That takes COURAGE. Seek Courage… for without courage, no great achievement is every attainable.

For me, in all my most important relationships, Trust is vital. It is one of the key foundation stones of my 21 year relationship with the most important woman in the world to me- my wife.

I believe Trust is Powerful; it always has been.

ALL the very best to you

Yours in iron, muscles and mind,

Cheers & ahoy from beautiful Sydney, Australia!

Me in my g-strings during Competition in bodybuilding/physique artistry.
“Back Double Biceps” in the heat of competition! Change from the gym to the stage is quite significant with management of key variables being extremely important. Placing: 2nd in Australia
I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life. SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be. One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life. A wonderful book says – “Seek and ye shall find; Ask and ye shall receive.” True.
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Like Father, like Son.

Transference of Wisdom from a Father/Mother to their son/daughter is. a key factor in raising a morally-upright, compassionate human being.

WISDOM.

An old friend made that comment on a photo I Put up on Facebook of my son. He said –

“The Apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree … like Father-like-son”

I hadn’t heard this phrase since my youth. Something, I’d overhear the adults would say in conversation.

Got me thinking … about the vital role a Dad/Father plays in a child’s life, in teaching his son/daughter “Life Skills”, emphasising the necessity of learning the Art & Power of Discernment.

In other words: WISDOM.

What a responsibility! I mean, am I actually qualified to give my son/.daughter advice? For most answers to Life Matters, I turn to the Complete Source: The Bible.

Being part of a larger family in the community you’re part of is a key complement to raising good citizens.

The beginning of knowledge.

In the Bible, we are told that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord (proverbs 1:7).

So, remember, before you can pass on knowledge, it is important that you have gained the necessary knowledge in the first place.

Like the most important teachers, you’ve “walked-the-walk” before you “talk-the-talk.”

So, the first questions we need to ask ourselves are: do you believe in God and do you fear God?

In proverbs 1:3, we are told that before a father can pass on advice, he himself must know the meaning of that “fear of God” … that reverential awe and the wisdom to which it leads.

Giving advice to a son/daughter on “doing what is right and just and fair” can only come from a person who fears God and holds him in awe.

I ask myself the question: do I “qualify?”

What about you, do you qualify?

Passing on the instructions of good decision-making to my daughter is fundamental to my role as her father.
Much guidance is given by the Bible.

Wisdom stems from the discipline of Character.

I also ask myself the question of what is the GOAL of a Father’s advice to his children?

It is clear to me that the Goal of a father’s Godly instruction MUST be spiritual and must stem from the insight learned in Proverb’s WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE or UNDERSTANDING.

But, I don’t believe this wisdom is from Academic Achievements measured by membership to University boards or clubs or some Ivy League College. No, I believe this “wisdom” goes beyond scholastic wins. It goes to a place few dare to go.

That place is – MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. Getting there is difficult. Staying there is far greater a challenge.

Like Father – like son.

The Power of Discretion and Discernment.

It ALL boils down to decision-making, the mastery of this Art. Many Leaders and would-be leaders spend years at universities trying to learn the many tools that assist and help them make decisions.

And still, get it wrong!

The feeder to this art is reflected in the disciplining of the Character, characterised by the person living a “disciplined and prudent life.”

What does it mean to “live prudently?”

It is fundamentally having a clear understanding of the difference between RIGHT and WRONG.

To live prudently means to make decisions that are NOT based a whim or changing appetite but knowing right from wrong. This is the skill and power of discretion or discernment. Exactly what the Bible, Proverbs prescribed.

Out and about with the future Mr Valentine

Respect for the Miracle of Life. 

So, what does this mean when we (as a Father or as parents) have to educate our sons & daughters on HOW to make wise choices?

Whenever I make a decision in my children’s presence, I have a “walk-through “ how I arrived at that decision (s). I let them know the THINKING 🤔 BEHIND THE INTELLIGENCE. I mention the KEY components like – the initial assessment of risks; the consequences it could lead to if not addressed with mitigating controls; the probability/likelihood of the consequences occurring (with and without mitigating controls) and the possible impact, to self and others.

And then factoring in what my heart ♥️ & soul tells me too.

So, as a Father, I strive to give my son & daughter a process that prepares them to make wise choices, to be discreet and discerning.

Such instruction DOES NOT presume that the child somehow already knows what’s best. So, if you’re thinking of having kids or have very young kids, I believe that parents need to instruct and educate them from the earliest years.

They must be shown, trained and taught to tell the truth rather than lies; to respect the property of others rather than take for themselves; that harming anyone else is unacceptable;

And … to hold and RESPECT THE MIRACLE OF LIFE... whether it is flora or fauna or human, in respectful and highest regard.

All the very best in your decisions, big and small and may God continue to shower his blessings on you and your family and cherished ones.

cheers & ahoy from beautiful Sydney, Australia!!

* Dr. of Muscle/Energy Aesthetics & 💝itality/❤️Ove *

Children need a good framework to build their character on.
Your instructions as a parent and the guidance given in Proverbs in the Bible are great tools ⚒️ to harness.

Think 🤔.
To Really think, does not only involve the brain 🧠. It involves the mind, the heart ❤️, the spirit and the “essence of life” – 💝itality.
It includes the blessings of Wisdom.

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Businesses of the future need leaders who are Entrepreneurs of Imagination. Physique Artists are Champions at this. This is how:

I AM.
I an Entrepreneur of IMAGINATION.
Through Mastery of Self, I am able to be an Agent of Creative Destruction to allow the release of new ideas … new thinking … and a new Meaning.
Meaning is the NEW MONEY.

Building a Physique of high quality dense muscle that is balanced & symmetrical on a human being takes an high understanding of striking a balance between control and creativity.

Successful Businesses now and in near future need leaders who understand HOW to strike a balance between control and creativity in organisations…

.. if they are to survive and thrive. Business Leaders need to think like Physique Artists ... like designers.

”Businesspeople don’t need to understand designers better. They need to be designers.”

– ROGER MARTIN, dean, Rottman School of Management

Here’s how the principles of physique artistry can be used in the Corporate World.

Believe.
Embrace Creative Destruction.
You never know what you’ll discover.

What it takes.

My sport found me at 19.

It was and is the hardest sport an individual can participate in. The sport name is : bodybuilding. The great Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most famous bodybuilding champion and has done and still contributes to the wellness & fitness industry. 

I like to refer to it as : Physique Artistry.

To master the “Art” you need to master – YOU.

It is the fusion of science 🧬/engineering and art(design/creativity). 

I got to the Top of my sport. Representing Australia to two consecutive world 🌎 NATURAL bodybuilding championships in New York, USA.

It was a 10 year goal (To stand on the world stage against the best in the world). I developed and managed the best execution of a 10 year plan. I achieved (& exceeded) the goal in that time by making the Finals (Top 5) in both championships.

It took /takes a lot to build muscle.

It took much much more knowledge to Sculpt a “physique “. One that leans towards “ better balance & symmetry “. Consistency, focus, persistence and belief got tested in the journey towards my best. It took learning to  listen” to the myriad of feedback signals the human body and mind Gives you, positive or negative feedback. Being “in-tune” with yourself is key 🔑 to success in this sport.

Sticking to the plan and making changes based on feedback signals ⚒️ I have (the mirror, the scale, energy levels …) where and when necessary to changing circumstances was part and parcel of the journey. It was science 🧬 & art constantly fused together. It is one of the reasons I love the art/science of physique artistry – it feeds in to my thirst for learning.

I know “what it takes.” A big part of this is the “connection “ I have with me … and my enhanced listening /detective abilities of the myriads of feedback my body gives me.

One of my Top 3 Physique Artists of all time.
Balanced & symmetrical ==> beauty.
And when you CREATE your beauty my friend is …
When you discover your TRUTH.

Tomorrow’s Organisations need to create a culture that supports feedback and embrace creativity and “Imagine BETTER”.

In creating a physique that is worthy to represent your country against the best in the world, you need a very good understanding of balancing Control and creativity.

As a physique artist I am constantly tearing down the old me … designing the new me, from within… I have to continue to let my imagination and heart lead me. I am constantly trying to IMAGINE BETTER.

That is what business leaders of tomorrow need to be: Entrepreneurs of Imagination. By testing and exceeding our own personal limits, can society’s horizons be expanded and enriched. That is the way all civilisations innovated .

As Fredrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) said –

whoever must be a creator always annihilates”

As a Champion Physique Artist I need to not only continually monitor what can be controlled in the “micro-environment “ but also the macro-environment. All this is balanced with the creativity and freedom needed to “push-boundaries “ in training and nutrition.

Excelling in physique artistry requires you to continuously assess actions and evaluate feedback from your body. You need to embrace feedback, whether it is negative or positive and constantly ‘tweak’ existing or create new processesses to and environment that is very dynamic and rapidly changing.

And what is ‘creativity?”. The artist, Rassouli said –

“Creativity is the manifestation of the playful spirit of a creator having fun.”

As a Physique Artist, I see the whole body as one but I see it as having many moving parts. An important task I have to do is ensure that all the parts ‘flow together’ and are in ‘harmony’ in an ever-changing environment. Depending on feedback received and assessed, I will be able to have the courage to try new things or ‘new ways’ and still achieve the desired results or better. and ‘getting it right’.

In organisations, there are lot of different parts/divisions and they need to all work together, in relative harmony and effective communication in these relationships, between these divisions is the key.

All good and effective feedback has a strong 💪 foundation of strong 💪 relationships. Feedback should come from someone the recipient respects and has built a good relationship with.

In my experience, for feedback to be most effective, however, it helps that the  parties involved need to see the persons as “people” first and foremost instead of titles & roles. This allows people to let their guard down and feel comfortable to take risks and fail. It is the ‘fear of failure’ that stalls new ways of thinking about doing things and this is emphasised by some organisations in bad performance reviews.

Freedom to be vulnerable is a contributor to creative thinking. This freedom is not encouraged by many organisations. Those that do encourage this freedom and build processes and systems that encourage and foster creative-thinking idea formulation will increase their chances of remaining competitive in fast-changing, increasingly uncertain world we live in.

We need business leaders to encourage “Creative Destruction “ … and Entrepreneurs are essential to economic growth because only they disrupt the status quo to challenge conventional business models.

Just like I have done for many many years as a physique artist and an entrepreneur.

These are Key ingredients for successful creative thinking & innovative behaviour.

Keep your dreams alive .
Snd if you’re going to dream … Dream BIG.
You serve no one by being and thinking small.
Think BIG!

Get your hands dirty, to find the diamond.

A key part of effective organisations is having well-oiled processes that are aligned with the overall mission of the organisation (make profit, increase market share etc). This is the same for building a Physique that is beautiful, that is, ‘flows’ with balance and symmetry. A physique that exudes great design.

There are many Systems for feedback that I  use with physique artistry. One of my key systems, I call it the “3-step to showing my diamond 💎 to the world“:

  1. mining – how I manage (mix n match all the variables – how much cardio, how long, what type? Best food combos ? ). Organisations  need a process of how employees are to voice grievance with others . Maybe write down “why”. Here’s where you “get your hands dirty “.

2. Re-fining : making sure that I make the right substitutions at the right time (from the larger goal … to monthly and weekly and daily goals). This is where the bulk of my time is Spent – in the beginning when working through the process of setting goals.

Organisations need to separate the “facts”‘from emotions and “he says” – “she says”. Leaders and participants in this “feedback “ process, needs to Spend time here. Refining.

3. Defining: once my goals (micro & macro employees should have the ability to re-write what they wrote initially after learning about all the other information in the two stages. This is a stage of reflection. How can you do or say things better?

Processes of feedback could be done this way, for example. 

In their book, “Thanks for the Feedback”, Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen stressed that feedback is about the quality of relationship, as I mentioned earlier –

Feedback isn’t about the quality of the advice or the accuracy of the assessments. It’s about the quality of the relationships, your willingness to show that you don’t have it all figured out, and to bring your whole self – flaws, uncertainties, and all – into the relationship.”

It is the formula I use to project manage my building of muscle &  the design & creativity I apply. I need to keep introducing these principles to encourage muscle growth and burn fat.

I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life.
SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be.
One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life.
A wonderful book says –
“Seek and ye shall find;
Ask and ye shall receive.”
True.

Feedback: Food for Champions. Organisations to allow “feedback” to be seen as “Opportunities to learn”.

That is exactly the approach I take when listening to the various feedback loops my body gives me – the micro and the macro: I always see it as an opportunity to learn.

I see all feedback as “food for champions “.

Personally, I’ve Always had a “feedback – seeking behaviour. I subsequently found out that it is a self-regulatory trait in learning & orientation. Probably explain why I’ve always believed in learning from someone who “has skin in the game” in every key area in life.

To me, it is part of a “Champion mindset “. Being eternally curious  like me, demonstrates an awareness of feeling psychologically safe enough to proactively seek out feedback with the intention for self-improvement.

Organisations and its leaders need to emphasise a “learning environment “ instead of one based on fear.  Evolving a “Culture of Learning’ is key to success and emphasising the importance of having a ‘growth mind-set’. Having a growth mind-set is part-and-parcel of being a great Physique Artist. 

But, bear in mind there are no perfect learning people, even if you have a close-to-perfect feedback system like the human body.

To dig deep, you have to dig deep. To find “YOU “, you need to Mine … for your diamond 💎…Re-fine YOU… and then Define … your BEST YOU.

Feedback is essential to enhancing effectiveness and creativity but the feedback process needs good design. 

There are no perfect feedback systems. All business people need to be good designers.

Most adults are wired to fear failure. It’s drummed into people by our archaic outdated education systems.

Organisations suffer because staff are afraid to take risks as there isn’t an environment that encourages this. In physique artistry, it’s important to feel the freedom to take “calculated risks” on key aspects that will have a dramatic effect on your final outcome.

just like I need to create the right environment, an environment that encourages an anabolic response from muscles 💪, an organisation needs to create a culture where failing is not the focus.

Businesses will need leadership has the ability and fortitude to experiment with novel combinations. This inspiration-centred approach will inevitably have many mistakes but the journey from innovation to commodity is so swift that individuals and organisations must be relentless if they are to remain competitive.

For a organisation, The question is what should you do with the failure? What can we learn from it? A great physique artist learns to have a strong 💪 “connection “ with his self … it is a strong relationship, one based on experimentation, process and reflection and assessment (using the mirror is a key component – the mirror does not lie).

As Trevor Baylis, INVENTOR said –

“The key to success is to risk thinking unconventional thoughts. Convention is the enemy of progress. As long as you’ve got slightly more perception than the average wrapped loaf, your could invent something.”

That is, what organisations need to do through the feedback process : to focus on the human connection… the relationship and building that “emotional labour”. Developing and going through the process of reflection and “looking in the mirror “ and actually asking the RIGHT questions:

  • why do they do the things the say they do?
  • Is there a better way?
  • What are their intrinsic values ?
  • Are these values tied to their purpose
  • How are they giving value to their loca & global communities.

Most Innovation and inventions and breakthroughs come from reassembling existing ideas in new, creative ways.

I love Trees. Be like a Tree. Let go of old ways of doing things … like trees let go of their leaves … each season to allow for new fresh ones (ideas) to evolve.

Neurons that wire together, fire 🔥 together!!

The leaders of tomorrow’s successful organisations need to create and maintain an environment that fosters support for risk-taking and creativity.

This will lead to innovation.

The organisation needs to encourage vulnerable behaviour, openness…. this evolves from More trust, more care and more patience. And this should come from the top and filter down through all the levels of the organisation.

The culture is to be fuelled by a change of thinking … a re-wiring of the brain 🧠 to create a way of thinking that does not fear failure. And not just with words or “window-dressing “.  It should be authentic.

The environment should be one that fosters “Champion Feelings and Champion Thinking. An organisation that focuses on feedback being a learning experience and opportunity, like a good physique artist does with his self.

Lesrning to have Champion Feelings and Champion thinking is Something that all employees can learn to be better at. This is encouraged with feedback processes that is there to enhance learning. Organisations where employees are allowed to be themselves and be comfortable being vulnerable.

Build your bridge from where you are to … where you desire to be. A lot of times, it pays to get help from an experienced builder… who “walks the walk” ..& not all “just talk”


Mr Vulnerable, where are you … come out, come out … wherever you are!

In much of today’s modern society, allowing oneself to be vulnerable is not something that is encouraged. There are “pockets of this kind of behaviour “ here and there, but on the whole, It is frowned upon.

Men should never show weakness and vulnerability. It requires a lot of courage from employees (especially men). What is needed is undying support from leaders of the organisation.

As we know, learning can be painful (and i have learned many painful lessons lifting weights in the gym). The key thing is to allow yourself to learn to be better at “being comfortable being uncomfortable “.

Learning, like muscle growth, needs stimulation and involves  change snd adaptation. It is the process of adaptation that new muscle grows (.new exercise techniques to maximise growth). In businesses, change and adaptation happens when it wrestles with new ways of doing things and continually asking questions.

Questions that forces them to question the way they do things, Even what they think is “what’s best” or “correct “.

Here’s something I learned along the way to the Top of my sport of Physique Artistry:

“You have to be willing to be wrong! That is what leaders of tomorrow’s organisations should be focused on to foster environments that encourages more creativity.” And why is Creativity important? If you’re not exercising creativity, you may as well be dead.

“To cease to think creatively is only slightly different from ceasing to live.”  (Benjamin Franklin)

Less fear, happier employees, more creativity. Better productivity? Better profits? Is there a strong correlation, at least?

I know there is.

I’ve got – not one, but two world championships Trophies 🏆 & medals 🏅& have designed and run several successful businesses to prove it.

Cheers

Quality lean muscle that “flows” takes time & a goal of balance & symmetry

 

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The “New World’ we’re living in NEEDS more – “Shit-Stirrers”… “Questioners’. Weirdos! Here’s why –

I love hats.
I wear different hats, depending on the occasion and the style of dressing that I feel is appropriate to the setting.
Just like in “life”, we all have to juggle the many roles that we play in the play-ground and classrooms of life.
Each role can be likened to a different hat.
In life, there is no – “one-size-fits-all’ solution for every one.
A key part of life for everyone is: SEARCHING for the relevant hat/strategy to fit the situation/circumstance you’re in.
Do you like hats? What type?

Tribes.

We’re ALL in tribes or groups. Family. Extended Families. Work colleague. Sporting tribes and so forth. The tribes are small to the very big.

In One of the many “tribes” I am a member in, we all get a question that relates to aspects of life. Members of this little tribe are of all ages and come from different backgrounds and socio-economic & cultural backdrops.

In one question, we were comparing the different paths people take to success. Based on a Ted-talk by the David Epstein, our Modern societies place a lot of emphasis and pump up the “stay focused “ on one thing and specialise your way to success (like Tiger Woods did). David called this the “Kind Learning Environment”. In this environment, the rules are clear and never change; largely based on knowledge of recurring patterns;

The other way – which he called “wicked learning environment “ was “sampling “ or “trying many things before settling on one”. In this environment, the rules may change; it may be delayed, it may be inaccurate. This is the route the great Roger Federer took – trying out a huge variety of sports before settling on Tennis.

The former (Tiger Woods ) chose and specialised from before he was 2 years old and built up his > 10,000 hours before he was in his teens. The latter has fun with many sports and specialised latter.

Society tends to trump up the former method because it makes for good storytelling. Why? Well, for many reasons , chief among them is “making a decision early “ shows decisiveness and a competitive advantage is far better. Yes, that is true for many things in life.

Taking the 2nd route like Rodger Federer seems like “wandering “ and indecisiveness and that is frowned upon by society.

Is it? Really?!

As David Epstein postulates, the wicked learning environment is more like the world we are living in than the former, isn’t it? We are living in an increasingly uncertain world, where the rules and ‘way of life’ can change very suddenly. Have a look at what happened in 2020. We are living in an increasingly uncertain world and we need to re-learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable and adapt quickly to survive.

YOU are WORTHY.
Never forget that.
TRUTH.

Being a Wanderer, DOES NOT mean you’re LOST.

So, one of the members in this little tribe said that he has been called a wanderer” for a big chunk of his early life. Confirming what I have said about the way society in this point-in-time “deemed acceptable “. There was a great list of “sampling” he wanted to experience in the future.

This was my feedback to him:

“Great “Sampling List”, let Love :heart: & your heart :heart: lead the way… towards a re-education of the heart.

Being a “weirdo” and referred to as a “wanderer” is a blessing in disguise.

Many great thinkers were wanderers – pick a few names from the Bible – Jesus Christ, Moses… then you have Buddha, and Rumi .

Being a wanderer DOES NOT mean you’re lost.

To me, It just means that you have unanswered questions. It’s good to be asking questions- whether the “small” (what tasks to run today for example) … then the high level questions (which generally involve greater consequences – like what work suits me or who am I going to marry as examples).

But to me, the important questions are the “large “ questions, like – How can I derive “meaning “ from my life, for example.

However, most people would rather keep themselves “busy “ Or focused on a project(s).
in my experience, our lives and our happiness are inextricably entwined with the Large questions of meaning.

Keep searching … keep asking questions.
That is where you will find … your ‘meaning’ to your life.
MEANING IS THE NEW MONEY.
Build your WEALTH WITHIN.

Some Questions are UNANSWERABLE.

If your “wanderer” hat :tophat: takes you on this journey seeking answers to the more IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, know this:

These questions are, to a great extent, UNANSWERABLE.

That’s ok. For some things in life, what’s important is not that you find the ‘answer’ but … that you asked the question. The RIGHT question.

I’ve always told my family, that for some things, there are no answers – “that’s just the way it is”. I’ve even invented a word that is all encompassing: “KAKA!”

It comes in to use when I am tired of answering my two kids endless questions. when I say “Kaka!” … it  means – I am not obligated to explain or give a reason … it is “just the way it is”.

END OF CONVERSATION!

They DO NOT like the word and I use sparingly.

Oops … I may have digressed there a bit …

My 3 kids never stop asking me questions.
Some questions get the “kaka” answer.
Silence.

Someone is TRULY “LOST” when

So, wandering is a good strength and is a courageous thing to do. you “open” yourself up, you allow yourself to be vulnerable.

BEING a wanderer does not mean you are necessarily, Lost.

To me, a person is LOST when they are too obtuse, filled with fear or distracted or “busying “ their lives just to avoid asking the IMPORTANT Questions… that is when someone is truly, Lost.

That, my friend, are the seemingly “ UN-Weird “people of this world.That also happens to be the majority of the population.

But… in many times in life, the “majority “ doesn’t always mean you’re in “the right “. It just means that is the prevailing view of the majority of a group /community/societies …. at that time period.

Does it mean that it was “right?”

Not necessarily.

For example, the punishment for stealing a loaf of bread 🥖to feed your family two hundred years ago was to be classed in the same mold as murderers. You were all simply bunched together and shipped off to an “island” on the other side of the world 🌎… never to ever return.

That faraway “Island” was modern day’s Australia. And those “convicts” were modern-day Australian’s forefathers. Now, did the “punishment fit the crime?” At that time, yes… the majority felt so … the society felt it was so.

Is that punishment appropriate in today’s societies?

No.

I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life.
SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be.
One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life.
A wonderful book says –
“Seek and ye shall find;
Ask and ye shall receive.”
True.

There is no “one-size-fits-all”.

So, enjoy your “weirdness” and accept that there is no ANSWER (s) that would be applicable to ALL… there is no “one-size-fits-all” category.

Remember, it is that “search “ for answers… wearing the “wanderer” hat… that makes the search so important. Enjoy the Unique YOU.

To me: I firmly believe it is spirituality that serves as the foundation for our existence. Besides, many years ago, I didn’t really catch the ‘message’ the Priest of my Catholic Church was during the church service. On my way out, I asked the “Father” what his message was and he said –

“Son, the world needs more ‘weirdos’ … more ‘stirrers’ … more ‘questioners’ and people who ‘rock the boat’. I agree. It is the wanderers .. the questioners .. the rebels .., the ‘shit-stirrers’ that will help change the world and help create environments that encourage better creativity and innovative thinking.

We don’t just need to work on ‘improving what is already there/here” … we need dreamers .. more ‘weirdos’ … more wanderers … to help not just IMAGINE. We need to Imagine BETTER. We can’t arrive at better solutions by doing the same thing that got us here.

May God continue to shower his blessings on you and guide you in your decisions.

All the very best in your search :flashlight: (and don’t forget to take a torch with you, to help you see in the darkness… as you sail through the Seas of Life … he he he !!)

Cheers & ahoy!

From another “weirdo” … from the Land from Down-under!

Courage is the springboard to success in anything worthwhile.

Be YOU.
As YOU are.
Accept the uniqueness … and weirdness that you know you are.
Embrace YOU.
Never imitate.

 

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Questions. We just cannot live without them.

I like the colour purple.
Here’s a question: do you?


Why do we have questions?

Is it because of our need for answers?

Then, I ask, why do we want answers?

Can we just live with the questions? Is asking questions a way of interrogating reality? Is there another way?

Why do we have questions? Why do we question? What is a question? Does it help us make sense of Reality? Is questioning seeking balance /elegance in your life? If it is … is it the FINAL or pinnacle of finding this elusive “balance & elegance “ in one’s life?

It seems like WE ARE unable or unwilling to live with questions.

Why, I wonder?

Here are a few more questions:
1) do you like the colour red? On doors?
2) Do you like doors?
3) Is a question the “door to what lies beyond?”

Not knowing makes you vulnerable.

Is that such a bad thing, being vulnerable?

It seems being or allowing oneself to be vulnerable is a difficult thing for people to do. Questions and living with unanswered questions does just this: leaves the questioner vulnerable, weak. Is this such a bad thing?

Maybe, it could argued that questions open up gaping holes in our personality, our theology or our lifestyle. Questions, for many, force an honesty that they are unwilling to face – an honesty that requires them to live with themselves… with their lives, unresolved.

I think most humans do not like living with that unanswerable questions in their heads. And why? Well, questions so strange things to people and one of the hardest things for people to embrace is the uncertainty surrounding unanswered questions.

Maybe you like a green door?
Does the colour of the door matter? Does it have a significant effect on what is inside? Why?

Destruction before tender, loving care.

It is through the process questioning that will liberate us all. In the process, we are effectively disassembling ourselves from within . This disassembling will give us answers …. that will give us all the grandest Expansion.

And If it doesn’t, don’t “ throw in the towel “, stick with it!

Destruction before tender, loving care. Just like it is essential for creating new muscles and keeping existing  muscles: apply forces and destroy muscles and then give it the best nutrition and rest. Then, you repeat  it all over again… and again … and

Just like questioning.

You could choose to go into the darkness and explore it or …. stay with the light.

It is through disassembling that we move flexible boundaries (sometimes break) so that … we can include inside these boundaries all that WE ARE.

And REVALUE it.

And just like the creation of muscle … become …

REnewed.

A yellow door maybe? Perhaps you like the colour yellow.
What is your colour blind?

We may not know all the answers. That’s ok, God is always there.

In the book of Job in the Bible, I roughly counted 288 question marks, many of which came from the mouth of Job. Other questions came from his counsellors who are like side-show con-artists of today.

God said of them –

“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?”

However, God does answer the questions… 78 of them, in fact, by the end of the book of Job. God’s answers to 78 of them came in the form of questions, though.

God is an expert at answering a question with a question.

Are you?

Does the shape of the door affect what is inside?
Why does colour matter?
Why do we need doors?

The Truest Answer Rests within YOU.

Many times God answers our questions with questions. Questions that leave us humbled, weak, flabbergasted, speechless and with increased faith and belief.

Believing, Not because we have the answer but that we have “seen” God. We’ve seen the light and the path that we walk, better.

It doesn’t matter that we have more questions than answers. It doesn’t matter that we have more questions now than when we started our journey on life.

What matters is that you see God, did it is in the seeing that lay before you the answers. The truest answer to all your questions… the truest answer rests within you .

The truest answer to all our questions is to : WORSHIP HIM.

One thing remains: questions… we just cannot live without them.

Cheers to you wherever you are in this beautiful world !

Maybe all the answers to your questions lie within YOU.
Your mind, your consciousness.
Maybe, it is not about seeking answers but simply asking more questions. Maybe questions are asked simply for discussion and debate … to help fuel our capacity to RE-IMAGINE … a better future.
A future that is NOT based on the doors of the past…/ future based on alternate possibilities of the future.
A Future based on the future, not past.

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The honourable hats of being a Father, Dad and Husband.

To think, really think .. is probably the hardest thing To do in life

I had a health scare.

Seven months before I won my 1st World Natural Bodybuilding/“Classic” Physique Title, I had a health scare. Every few minutes I would experience excruciating pain in my abdomen, especially whenever I ate something. The old experienced Surgeon (who was part of the first Medical Graduates at one of Sydney’s Top Universities & studied with an Uncle of mine) said I was lucky –

  1. The pain I felt was the closest thing any man can come to knowing what giving birth was like for a woman
  2. Less than 0.001% (or some very small number ) of the world’s population get this ailment
  3. It can be RIGHTED.

Diagnosis: the point where my small intestine & large intestine meet had folded on to each other like a sock 🧦. The pain experienced was due to the food being squeezed through each time I ate. It was an emergency & he moved me up the waiting list.

The operation was successful.

From that experience & my life experience so far… I have concluded that Nothing a man can ever do can & will compare with the pain a woman goes through during labour, along with carrying a life in them for 9 months.

Find your light to show your son/boys their way

A good Father is a little bit of a mother.

A man can never be a mother, but I recall a mentor saying – a good Father is a little bit of a Mother. Each have different primary roles and can’t completely replace the other, without causing other unwanted consequences.

No matter who you are or what you have achieved, one thing is true about life : Fathers matter deeply in the lives of their children and ultimately in the life of our communities and nations.

I believe Fatherhood is the most tragically underestimated & misunderstood modern-day issue of our culture today. It has been now, for a number of decades. Fathers & dads should be honoured & revered just as Mothers are.

Leadership ability begins in the home … children learn character building in the home
Be the best character you can be … for YOU, first .. and then for your kids
my two children a number of years ago

Our children deserve better.

Our culture (many modern-day societies ) often mocks fatherhood in various ways – I see it regularly on TV ads over the last 2 decades where Fathers & Dads are belittled or made to look silly & irresponsible. I’ve observed & experience this first hand in playgrounds.

This should not be allowed to continue as there is nothing funny about the number of broken homes & broken lives left behind by absentee (& abusive) fathers & husbands.

Our children deserve better and more should be done in society to educate and create awareness. Society needs to continue to provide reassurance and affirm the necessary role a Father or a Father figure has in the life of each child.

It seems that our culture today is at a crossroad. There are many epidemics afflicting us, yes – the covid & obesity as examples. However, we have diverted our attention from a major epidemic: the epidemic of broken families. You don’t have to look very far … this epidemic has grown at an alarming rate & has littered our streets with broken children.

Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do.
Teach them well.

The most vulnerable victims – our children.

Absentee and noninvolved fathers, who have given up their roles as leaders & mentors have taken their toll on the most vulnerable of victims – our children. Statistics about children from fatherless homes are alarming and we should be working towards reversing this growing trend.

Fathers are very important in the lives of their children and FATHERS MATTER!

A mentor told me this once a long time ago –

“Behind every successful child is a good dad “.

A good father & dad is one who provides the launching pad for strong, successful and values – driven adults into the world. Adults who then make a positive impact in people’s lives.

It is truly an honour to be given the opportunity to have the honour of wearing the Father, Dad and husband hats so far in my life. I hope and pray that one day, my two children mention something along those lines in their eulogy speech at my funeral.

God bless my children and all the children of this magnificent world and to all the fathers & dads reading this that try juggling all those very important hats : father, dad amd husband.

God bless all the children of this world and what they have had to endure because of the covid epidemic.

Amen.

p.

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

foundations of a gritty strong character Begins in the Family … in the home …

 

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A few thoughts from the mind of an Authentic Physique Artist: The Life of Love

A slight variation to the common ‘back double biceps’ compulsory body-building pose.

Vanity

We all know when muscle is being used for vanity, 

It’s hard to understand if you’re uninitiated; 

It’s dense and vague. It’s fake and impersonal;

It’s formal and cold or it’s false breezy.

It’s heavy on ego and light on substance,

It’s loud about ends but quiet about means;

It’s complicated and un-caring;

It dwells on the process not the people … the audience,

It’s passive and does not connect with or opens the hearts of others;

As an artist, I am committed to reflecting on the messages that come through my heart, rather than relying merely on my technical ability in the art medium i choose;

My Physique artistry offers me the creative opportunity to find metaphors and express myself through the medium of muscle dance in slow-motion;

With a belief that, we humans are drawn like moths to a flame whenever we witness physical brilliance – when brain, mind, and body operate together with singular grace as is sometimes evident in sports, dance, craft, or music.

We can all readily appreciate beauty in all its forms and far few take the time to search for their truth.. and create their beauty from within. I have found mine in Physique Artistry and this living project is always a work-in-progress.

Quality lean muscle that “flows” takes time & a goal of balance & symmetry

Create from the heart

As a Physique Artist, you are blessed to be able to manifest and share the beauty of the spirit of love that dwells within us;

Thus, the outer form becomes kind of skin for our deeper surrender to the inner, living reality;

When the Physique Artist allows the creative process to find its voice and clarity, purified by the right intentions, then only are we freed from our more personal ideas and desires and … 

We can then simply focus on what is concealed inside … manifested in our physique as we bring it to the surface … and give it Life;

This is the same for all authentic artists – painters, musicians, designers and so forth;

Drawing on a multiplicity of capabilities, some of which are primordial in their simplicity.

Those that take the ego route, find that they don’t create from the heart

This takes time and a mountain of patience.

Instead, others choose to use the thinking mind as the ultimate source of power,

And as stimulating as it can be – face losing something wonderful in the process – 

Losing something wonderful, mysterious and transformational that moves us beyond our mental understanding alone … because this creation comes from the heart,

And, is, from my three decades of experience, anyway … that moves us towards the ultimate energy that creates the universe;

So, when we only use the ego and the thinking mind, we risk losing ourselves … and ultimately, losing everything;

An authentic Physique Artist is privileged to be a messenger who reflects and reveals the creative power that is hidden within all of us, in a display method to force one to submit, even temporarily;

But, when we allow our ego to master our true selves then …

They are like fine ways to say nothing much at all while taking a long time to say it.

Like good politicians do;

Learn more about YOU. The knowable. Don’t chase the unchaseable.
The physical manifestation of the image you hold vividly in your mind is created from the heart with the tools in (and out) of the gym. My place of meditation, my church rests within me.

Leave your ego at the door

An inauthentic Physique Artist, builds and shows muscles but intends not to include but instead, exclude it’s audience;

Instead of leaving your ego at the door, muscles like these means to deter it’s audience, not really inviting them in;

Such muscle demonstrations is caution and self-interest, run amok;

It’s roots go down to fear and, deeper still, in some cases, to an instinct for keeping hold of one’s secrets… of what, I don’t have a clue.

Countless examples of this is prevalent on today’s social media, feeding the ‘selfie-obsessed’ culture, pampering to a growing ego problem;

Good muscle displays need to transcend ego …. To transcend selfishness … transcend self-interest and needs to face fear or … 

It needs to rise above fear; 

Sportstars (like the great Lebron James) & many others in other sports regularly strike a “front double biceps 💪 “ (which is one ☝️ of the traditional bodybuilding poses). They do this to indicate strength, courage and overall “winner” attitude. A far cry from what it represents in the sport of bodybuilding/physique artistry

The best thing you can do to help the world is … to continuously strive to be the best you can be, for you first, then for everyone else.

Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science.
One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.
Top 5 in the world, two years in a row at a sport I love ain’t too shaby for an city boy from the beautiful paradise islands of Fiji
If YOU think you can and you BELIEVE YOU CAN … YOU CAN.

It must, within the limits of professional care and perceived and political reality,

Speak plainly to its viewers, aiming to say as much as possible as silently as possible, through the ultimate in non-verbal communication,

With the human masterpiece that is the sculptured Living Human Physique,

Giving pleasure to an audience, that sees the human form in all it’s beauty, 

The beauty, of which part was … the journey of the spirit … with the on-ongoing pursuit of expanding and enriching the individual towards finding his truth and …

With an understanding that the spirit of love moves us beyond time and space to help set us free in a beautiful forest of creativity where we can engage in the dance of life.

Authentic Physique Artistry is bodybuilding with the fusion of art and science, in it’s true sense, with the glue being the heart of the creator;

Communication to the hearts of viewers non-verbally in the most economical poses manageable;

A Good physique artist is like a passionate photographer … he understands the link between heart and mind … between thinking and doing … and the balance & symmetry communicated with the manipulation of light and shadows with extreme angles. He is a “David Copperfield of Muscle Illusion”.

Good physique artistry must be everything that fearful, ego-filled, self-interested posing is not –

It must be humane, plain, active, informal, concrete, elegant and specific.

A Physical Artists’ posing display must have a voice, without uttering a word. 

It must have heart, balance and beauty communicated with harmony and care;

It must, have,  above all, excude the … 

Life of Love.

Collage of some bodybuilding poses .. presenting my physique art to the audience in my gym

Beauty comes in the human form.
My favourite Physique Artist of all time.
It is a living masterpiece.
On display, from a masterful poser/artist, the human body exemplifies beauty and truth rolled in to vibrating ball of flow of muscle.
The hard part is to CREATE beauty. We all have the ability within us.
To create a beauty through the human form is genius.
Everything matters, however, small it is.
GIGO for their minds:
If you want to create champions and leaders , feed them daily champion & leadership thoughts.

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Death of a Cubicle Worker

Bigger isn’t necessarily better but … it can smash things (like the Hulk)

Bigger isn’t necessarily better

I remember the last words my boss of almost three years say to me as I walked out of his office –

Paul, bigger isn’t necessarily better’.

I nodded at him, smiled and left. This happened a long time ago, back in 2003.

You see I had an offer to go work at one of the Top 2 Accounting & Business Advisory Firms in the world and I was leaving my role as a Senior Accountant of a 2nd-tier Accounting & Business Firm in Sydney, Australia (Top 20 in Australia).

It was exciting and even though my boss was happy for me, I could tell he was a little sad. I had handled his clients for almost three years and did a good job at it, working very hard. Heck, for about six months after I joined, my Manager upped and walked out and I was thrust in to an “acting Manager” role. I held the fort, so to speak for half a year while they looked for someone appropriately qualified and skilled.

He liked me. I was loyal and I was there when he needed me. This was reflected in my six-monthly salary review, I was handsomely compensated and was at the top of the salary range of my peers. “Not bad” I thought.

I could not foresee the future and being a candidate for the death of a cubicle worker.

Funny thing is that that piece of advice also applies to muscles and bodybuilding. The guy with the biggest muscles doesn’t necessarily win on stage in competition. That is because the guy with the most balanced & symmetrical physique with the right muscle: joint ratios and knowledge of the ‘art of posing’ is what builds a champion physique.

I’d understand that fully in my next phase of life, only a few years from where I was then …

 

Exactly.
No one can truly see the future but we can certainly extrapolate current patterns to help predict the future.

When being your Best isn’t good enough

I was hired at a newly-created level just below the “Senior” level I was at my old Firm. It was a blow to my ego, initially, as I felt that I was being demoted. I brushed that out of my mind and told myself that ‘it was only a title’.

Thing is, that initial thought bugged me right through my experience there and every other thing that bugged me just seemed much bigger than what it was. Hey, I was back at a Big Four! (My first Corporate work experience was at the largest of the Big 7 at that time – Arthur Andersen, just after graduation in the late 90s, where I spent over 2 years as a Risk Consultant).

It is now the Big Four.

Was nice to be back, or so I thought.

Let me just say that …I failed at my role. This is when I learned how being your best was not good enough.

I was going from a mid-tier to a Big Four and that was a ‘step up’ in the world, or so we believed. My first, heck, my first three months was nerve wrecking and admittedly, I found the place intimidating, cold and I was filled with fear but also a bit of excitement and loads of nervous energy.

But I had a bit of pride about it all.

I was sort of average at University. Many students had been far above me on the Dean’s list and graduated with honours and straight A’s. Not me. I had never hit any academic home-run except when I was in Primary and High School.

But that was a long time ago…. and besides, I was literally practising my social skills and building relationships and making connections in many sections of life. Skills like honing ‘small talk’ in various social situations, comfortably having conversations with people from all levels of the university and society- from the Chancellor, to having beers with Heads of Departments, to Gym Managers to gardeners. I spent a lot of that time mixing and socialising and finding out more about people as I ran a small business on the side too.

Besides there just so much to do besides study for straight As, and working on developing ‘me’ as a whole person and …. I had the energy and foresight to do that.

“What did my employer see in me? “ I used to ask myself.

They were looking for “well-rounded” individuals with experience along with brains… not just super-brains with no ‘people skills’. Ha! All that time running a business while studying and socialising wasn’t a waste after all. Apparently, many studies from major educational institutions indicate that the ability to connect with people is a key skill to have in life, a part of what is now commonly known as ‘Emotional Intelligence’.

One thing that immediately bugged me after getting that ‘newly-created’ title was I wasn’t getting much more than what I was getting at my old job.

I went from a Window Cubicle with great views to a ‘hot-desk’ and great work colleagues and a wonderful culture to something that was very different. A hot desk means that you don’t really work there and they don’t give you a permanent spot. You’re meant to be at your client’s premises, because if you are then, you’re charging your time to the client.

The firm makes it’s money that way, they had many perks. Employees loved that. I wasn’t phased.

The office was huge. An open-flat plan, comprising of a cubicle-walled jigsaw puzzle that felt like one of those boxes they make white mice run through to find the cheese.

Sometimes taking a bad photo of yourself can be very good for your own good. Just like sometimes, the greatest hurt teaches you the most.

Our Life-Controlling Mechanism

We can fill our minds with inspirational messages encouraging us to “Just do it!” or “Follow your heart!” so when we can’t do something or we recognize we aren’t good at something, we feel stuck. If we quit, that’s a problem (“Just do it! Don’t give up!”)

Sticking with it and quitting is a losing game, it is a lose-lose situation. No amount of positive affirmation can get you out of this abyss.

You feel like you’re unable to move at all.

Not able to think straight .. I felt like an imposter .. that I wasn’t good enough to be amongst the best of the best … not a good feeling to have at all.

I grinded my teeth as I slept, tossing and turning at night, and waking up with a feeling of dread in my stomach. I couldn’t handle that immense feeling of failure that kept rising and rising. Was it that I couldn’t do my job or I just lost all care about doing it? I’m not sure what happened first, my memory may have been a bit distorted.

I didn’t know where to turn.

I felt trapped.

You see, each of us have our own self-image, which kind of determines the kind of scope of person we are – it is our Life Controlling Mechanism. You see, we all have self-imposed limitations and we cannot outgrow these limits we place on ourselves.

We can only set new limits within which we must live.

Sometimes inspiration is not what you need, it is acceptance.

Acceptance so that you can move on and one day be in a position to say –

“I used to do that at one time in my life, but I no longer do”

A very powerful phrase to say. We all need to think we are making progress in life, no matter how small ‘that’ progress is. Saying ‘I used to do that?” gives you at least a perception that you’re kind of progressing in life.

Never give up.
In less than I year of leaving my cubicle in the Corporate Environment I was standing and competing against the best natural bodybuilders in the world at the World Natural Bodybuilding Championships in New York, USA.
Find your strengths .. know your strengths .. continuously build your strength on strengths.
Never give up

It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.

Especially if you’re hard on yourself like I am.

What doorways are you trying to squeeze yourself through right now where … you know what?

You really fit just fine. You are not the problems. It is the environment that you are working in, that is the problem. If you take a fish out of water and expect it to climb a tree, it will fail miserably.

Does the environment make us believe it’s all our fault? Yes, yes, definitely yes.

We live in a world where the screws are on tight. There’s a capitalistic shrink wrap making sure everything is fitter, happier, and more productive. So sometimes the stress on all of us builds too high.

There’s no room for error.

Now, that doesn’t mean my bosses at the Top Firm were bad, they absolutely weren’t. They had lofty expectations and needed me to help. Fast! The screws were tight on them, too.

No wonder it’s such a hard lesson to learn as we’re falling that we’re okay, we’re okay, we’re okay. And maybe it’s just not about us. It simply isn’t about us.

Well, nobody is telling us that. So we always think it’s always about us.

Maybe what we need is simply – a Fresh Start.

I did.

A few years later I did what I really loved to do and that was to coach people how to be their Best – I owned and managed my Family Gym for about seven years. That failure at that cubicle job had many benefits, it spurred me on to very intense self-reflections and an identification of personal strengths. So much so, that in less than a year of leaving the cubicle world, I was competing at my first of two World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, representing Australia.

Finally, this fish was in the ‘right environment’ and my Best was good enough… good enough to be one of the best in the world at my chosen activity (Top 5 in the world two years in a row, representing the country I love).

You see I’ve learned many things from that failed cubicle job experience and one of it is that it’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.

I wonder what yours is?

I know one thing for certain … the future of work will see the death of many cubicle workers. It already has as technology has allowed many employees to work from a distance already. Be creative and consider strategies for your future and the future of work, Now.

Never forget: BELIEVE in YOU, first.

All the very best,

 

Cheers & Ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk

Learning from the best at something, to be your best is the quickest way to get to where you’re going.
No one can teach you what they don’t know.

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a better life, accountability, action, adaptation, attitude, authenticness, awareness, beauty, belief, better choices, caring, change, chaos, choices, compassion, consciousness, courage, creation, decisions, desire, Energy, examined life, forgiveness, game of life, Goals, habits, happiness, Imagination, life, long-term perspective, love, mind-muscle connection, needs, real man, responsibility, risk, self discipline, self improvement, self love, self-respect, success, trust, Vitality, you, your life

Don’t chase the unchaseable

Me, some of my quirks (showing off my muscles, posing at every and any opportunity and my desire to ‘over’ dress than to ‘under’ dress. Also, my quirk of love for dogs (and in particular, my pirate dog) and animals in general.

Know YOU.

Being different and appreciating & developing your uniqueness can make you stand out in a world 🌎 that is very cluttered.

That is a positive thing if that is what you desire.

Know YOU (your strengths).

Love 💕 YOU (not in a narcissistic way).

Work on YOU (your talents & gifts).

Share YOU (& your strengths ) with those who love what YOU DO (by being the best servant you can) because YOU love others.

And humanity.

With care, trust and compassion.

Choose love 💕 not hate.

Always.

Now, there is a difference between positive thinking and delusional thinking. I have been like a sponge absorbing and educating myself from the University of Life, in all streams of knowledge sources – books, mentors and leaders of various fields, more books, family, friends, strangers … even more books, videos and … more books.

For almost five decades now.

Everyone and everything teaches You something.

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.

Manage your funnel better

One of the skills is to squeeze out irrelevance and “bull-sh*t” as your sponge-like-brain absorbs knowledge and know-how. In other words, in the wise words of an ex-business/life mentor of mine –

learn to manage your funnel better

Here’s one maxim that was mis-leading growing up: –

“You can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough.”

Now, like most people, I embraced this maxim at a young age. Along with thousands of other kids, I spent a good chunk of my childhood trying to be the next Rugby 7s star ( in my case, it was the Fijian Rugby 7s legend – Waisele Serevi, on par with New Zealand’s Johah Lomu).

Every day growing up in Fiji, we played rugby 7s and practised the “goose-step/side-step” and explosive lateral movements and ‘dance like a twinkle toe ballerina on a rugby field’ kind of play.

But, there was always someone better.

After giving 100% of my effort for most of my primary and early secondary school life, I couldn’t even make the junior Rugby Team (well, its very hard to crack a team in Fiji as there is a multitude of supreme athletisism when it came to rugby).

I was just one of the many other fans on the side-line, part of the cheer squad for the schools.

backstage with a fellow competitor
I won

Who you already are

The truth: playing a starring role for Fiji at the Rugby 7s or World Cup wasn’t in the cards for me.

I realised early that I CANNOT BECOME anything I wanted to (like I was told to believe) and that I needed to focus on building on who I already was.

Each of us, unique individuals has a greater potential for success in specific areas, and the key to human development – all our individual development is building on who you already are.

While my story may be simplistic, in many cases, I have found (in helping people, helping themselves, find their best selves over the last two decades) is, amongst other key things – aligning yourself with the right task can make things easier.

For YOU.

Even the great Michael Jordan of the basketball courts could not become, well, the “Michael Jordan” of golf or baseball, no matter how hard he tried.

When we’re able to put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, it seems, extraordinary room for growth exists (just like building quality – muscle if your have the genetics for building muscle, like I do  …. Remember, I didn’t have the height gene and so never played basketball but I did have the muscle genes).

Let’s say I didn’t discover bodybuilding when I did. Say, even though I had the potential to build large muscles, quickly and I didn’t train it regularly enough, they wouldn’t develop to World Standard Quality.

However, because I discovered it in my late teens and I did work, they grew. Keeping everything else constant, if I did the work equally as hard as someone without as much natural potential, I am likely to see a greater return on my investment.

And I did.

Representing Australia at the World Natural Physique Championships in New York, USA.
Placed: 4th In the world.
Success = Preparation meeting opportunity. I was prepared.
It also includes knowing what to leave out to allow you to focus on what is important to achieve your goal(s)

Taking the I M out of IMPossible

I was one of two (the Top 2) who was picked to represent Australia at the World Natural Bodybuilding Championships – the two best in Australia. Imagine that story – boy from developing country, the Fiji Islands makes it all the way to compete against the best in the world at, not one, but two World Natural Bodybuilding Championships in New York, USA.

A city (New York) that is at the opposite end of development and modernity. An island boy, wearing grass skirts and living the simplest of lives beats the best in the world, with access to the best nutrition and training equipment and multi-million dollar machines and coaching.

Not a bad story I think.

You can take the “I M” out of IM Possible if you identify and work FROM your strengths.

I am living proof of this.

Result of time x hard work => multiple NSW, Australian Bodybuilding Titles and 2 x World Natural Bodybuilding Top 5 placings, two years in a row. I discovered my sport rather late … when I was almost twenty years of age.

Fluke?

I don’t think so.

The old maxim told us by well-intensioned elders of –

you-can-be-anything-you-want-to-be” should be modified to accurately reflect reality as we perceive it:

YOU cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who YOU already are.

Know YOU and your talents/gifts.

Don’t chase the un-chaseable. You’ll waste the most precious gift given to you: LIFE.

working triceps in my gym

Taking the path of most resistance

Do you know what your gifts or talents are? Are you working and doing a job that is working from your strengths? You don’t know?

Well, it seems that many people go through life, living a life, not from a strengths approach for several reasons –

  • They are simply unaware
  • Unable to describe their own strengths …. Or the strengths of the people around them

Because they have been told and have been working on “ their perceived weaknesses or shortcomings” or ‘areas of improvement’ in their corporate jobs, most of their lives.

It seems that from ‘cradle to the cubicle’ we devote more time to our shortcomings than to our strengths, and taking the path of most resistance. Why, why, why!!

Sadly, studies show that the vast majority of people don’t have the opportunity to focus on what they do best. What happens to these people? Well, they’re not their best and … they’re simply a very different person. Studies show that, for example, in the workplace, you are six times less likely to be engaged in your job.

So, when you’re not able to use your strengths at work, chances are that you :

  • Hate going to your place of work
  • Have more negative than positive interactions with your colleagues
  • Treat your customers badly
  • Tell your friends and family what an awful company you work for
  • Achieve considerably less on a daily basis
  • Have less positive and creative moments

Not ideal and healthy for you, is it?

This is why doing work that you love and working from your strengths is very important, compounded over your lifetime, given that life is the most valuable thing given to you.

side chest in the gym

Some key steps to identifying your strengths.

Ask yourself, what are you really good at? What did you like doing as a child that your kind of enjoyed and had fun doing? Is there anything that springs to mind? Did you find it easier to accomplish a certain task or activity while others struggled?

That could be a talent or gift of yours that has been laying dormant all these years.

Add time (it took me about ten years to get to my first World Championships in New York, USA) and hard work (deliberate, specific skills at your art/in my case, through education and coaching – building maximum muscle with shape and balance & symmetry and being able to show it off on stage and ‘paint a motion picture of the flow of sculptured muscle/art” ) – makes it a strength (s).

As one of my favourite business gurus said (Dr Peter Drucker (1909 – 2005):

“Most people think they know what they are good at. They are usually wrong ….. and yet, a person can perform only from strength”

So, find your unique gifts and develop them into strengths.

And value the difference that YOU are.

 

You’re welcome,

 

Cheers 🍻 & ahoy!

The Old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️⚔️Muscle 💪Monk 🤔😎….& being different/wierd

Quality Plan + Quality Implementation allowed Team Valentine (my wife & I) to beat the best in the sport here in Australia and stand on the stage against the best in the World.

The best thing you can do to help the world is … to continuously strive to be the best you can be, for you first, then for everyone else.

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