action, adaptation, awareness, Beliefs, change, compassion, courage, Energy, game of life, habits, Imagination, Jesus, life, love, you

More love to you.

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What was the main thing that drew men to our saviour, Jesus Christ?

I have always thought about this.

I mean, Jesus had so many qualities.

Yes, he was a brilliant leader of men.

Yes, he spoke with authority and flair.

Yes, he did miraculous and amazing deeds but what was the main thing that drew so many people to him?

I think it was the thing that they would have witnessed in his actions and words. The thing that was emblazoned on to his face and that came from his heart. The thing that emanates from his stories told to us in the bible.

I believe it was simply – his love and compassion. Jesus Christ was the epitome of love and compassion.

Choose to embrace him in your life (if you haven’t already). Open your heart to him and enter his. Love him and be loved.

Try to imagine looking at life through his eyes. Notice the difference. Make changes in your life, if you need to, for a better you. Don’t underestimate the power of positive change, no matter how small.

Start with forgiving yourself and loving yourself more. Value YOU. Allow love to fill you up in more each and every day and spread it.

All the very best in your dreams of a better you and best of luck in your strategy (New Year’s resolutions) towards a better version of you. Seek strength from Jesus and God for perseverance of self-improvement in all areas of your life.

Believe in God. Believe in you. Believe that God believes and loves you, no matter what and no matter how many times you fail. He will catch you if you fall and he will pick you up again… and again … and again….

All you have to do is ask for his love, his help and he will fill you with the courage and might.

To try again.

Also, remember: Quality plan + quality implementation = quality result. So, plan your work and work your plan.

Happy New Year and Best of Vitality to you and your loved ones!

More love to you, this New Year’s and beyond.

 

Until next time,

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a better life, adaptation, awareness, Beliefs, better choices, change, chaos, creation, Energy, game of life, life, long-term perspective, love, marriage, order, perspective, surprises, truths, your life

My E.T surprises.

It’s odd and funny at the same time, when I think about it, that my wife still remains extra-terrestrial (E.T) or alien-enough to surprise me. Even after living together for almost fifteen years.

Do you feel the same about your wife? Does she remain alien-like?

I mean you would think you know her by now and can see through all her tricks right? You know her walk, her talk, her favourite foods and which foods she would find disgusting. You know when she isn’t really in a good mood and needs some space. You think you know her – right?

And then one day, she surprises you!

Wow, isn’t that a beautiful thing – to be surprised by the woman you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with. This surprise, this seemingly small thing can have such a significant effect on you. This appreciation can literally increase your awareness, not only of you and your environment but more importantly of your woman. This little surprise has the power to ‘wake you up’ and make you realize what you may have forgotten for a while.

“And what is that?” I hear you say.

The surprise this alien-like person has given you makes you realize that she is her own person. She is NOT an extension of you. She is not a supporting actress of you in a private drama you have written, starring in, producing and directing. No, she is a distinct, unique individual with unique, individual dreams and aspirations and hopes. She is starring in her own movie of her own life, in which she is directing.

Sometimes, like right now when I look at my wife, Cathy sleeping, unaware of me, as beautiful and peaceful as the prettiest sun-rise you can imagine. The face of a sleeping woman, in particular – the face of this sleeping woman, is profound and surreal. Truly a thing of beauty to observe and experience. This face with its natural beauty and balance, with it’s soft lines and delicate symmetry. With it’s hidden eyes and shut lips and amazing curves. A true blessing to witness.

These shut lips are saying to me “fifteen years are barely enough to get beneathe the skin, let alone to the heart – of the mystery that is a woman.”

This mystery woman is my wife. Somehow after fifteen years together, I don’t think a life-time is enough time to understand this mystery, alien-like woman. She is a sweet stranger, beyond the knowing of a lifetime and that is ok with me. It should be ok for you too, when it comes to your wife.

I just love this photo of my wife. My E.T.

I just love this photo of my wife.
My loving E.T who still surprises me.

And do you want to know why that is ok?

Well, because this E.T beautiful being simply surprises me even after all these years. I am glad for that because it renews our marriage. In most important things in life, it is the little things that matter.

Remember: Elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do. Marriage, like all other complex dynamical systems in nature is extremely sensitive to the little things in life, like these E.T surprises.

These complex dynamical systems (like marriage) are highly sensitive because they are always changing, always on the move, never static, never returning to its original or initial states. The woman and man’s individual complex and dynamic selves are like the changing river of time, changing and adapting within the umbrella of the union of marriage.

As the great Greek philosopher Heraclitus stipulated:

“You can never step into the river of time twice, though it is the same river.”

So, step well my friends.

My E.T surprises that my wife gives me unsettles the regularity and order of the complex dynamical system that is the marriage, providing a wave of chaos or disorder. This is not a bad thing, it is a good thing.

Indeed, I believe it is part of the richness of life.  My life is enriched in every sense of the word with her in it and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My love for this E.T never stops increasing.

All the best in your love for your alien E.T too.

 

Until next time,

Sharing the snow with my E.T.

Sharing the snow with my loving E.T.

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change, change management, chaos, life, order, you

She’ll be right, mate!

Having a conversation with a lion.

Having a conversation with a lion. There is a fine line separating order and chaos.

A popular Australian phrase which means exactly that, that things will turn out alright, not to worry. It is a beautiful phrase. It can be seen as a wishy-washy statement and said by someone who doesn’t really understand or care. But I believe it says more – it is the kind of tough, rough and rugged Trust you need if you are going to make the most of your journey in life.

“She’ll be right, mate!” I have heard people say over the years, and many other cultures have similar sayings. Australians, however, say it so well. That all manner of things will be well and turn out ok. Believe it so.

Belief, after all will allow you to take whatever change lay ahead of you, in your stride.

Change is inevitable in everything in life, this is a constant. The whole of life is dynamic, ever-changing. I am a change agent as part of what I do is help change people’s physical appearance from where they are to where they imagine themselves to be.

We all are, try reflecting on all the changes you have initiated or been part of to this point in your life. You are a change agent too.

I find that change, in whatever shape or form in comes in, so often, is assumed to be change for the worse. Very understandable. I suppose when you look deeply in to the psyche of why you hate change ultimately comes down to one of the most illusive characteristics in our lives today. And do you know what characteristic is that?

Simple: TRUST.

Do you trust anyone (including YOU) one hundred percent? I doubt it. I have found that people’s dislike of change is a result of mis-trust or lack of trust. You don’t trust other people and so it follows that you will not trust the future or what the future holds.

But I think this can be looked at from a reciprocal viewpoint and you could deduce that if there is no trust then there is usually no change.

The first step each and every one of us need to do is to learn to trust ourselves better. When this is achieved, we could try to trust the future and whatever the future holds for each of us. At the end of the day, LIFE has to change – this fact is a constant.

If you’re not progressing (even if it micro-steps) in all areas of life or operating on the same spot (stagnant), that is the first point of decrease. Besides, life is meant to be a journey, with multiple legs as you sail your ship through the sea of life. Life is not meant to be operating stationary.

I read somewhere in the past that said that ships are safer in the harbour. But, these are not what ships are meant to do – be stationary, it is meant to sail. And that is akin to how we should partly view the life we have been given.

The beauty of life is that it throws different journeys for each and every one of us. We all have unique journeys of our own and it is this simple fact that confirms that our journeys take us in to un-chartered territories. The UNKNOWN.

Because most of us fear the unknown, the fear of change is real for majority. A lot of times there is no map or if there is one, it may not prove very reliable. But here lies the exciting part, the opportunity.

As I get older, I have learned that it is from the unexpected twists and turns in life’s journey that has taught me the most. This is the opportunity and it lies in times of turbulence, times of apparent chaos. A lot of times, what may have looked liked little deviations, may in fact turn out to be main roads.

My daughter and I.

My daughter and I.

I like spending a bit of time drawing and colouring with my daughter every week and my daughter had this tendency for perfection in her pictures. A slight error in colouring is enough to disappoint her immensely. I convinced her to not jump to that conclusion until the whole picture was completed. When the pictures were done, I asked her to re-look at the picture and how I turned that ‘perceived error’ in to a strength.

She is learning that making mistakes is ok and you can make ‘order out of chaos/mistakes’ and still create a thing of beauty. Body re-engineering, afterall is a process of change management. Building muscle, like love, is a constant cycle of destruction (chaos), love and care and repair.

An example of the perceived mistake was turned in to a thing of beauty, creating order from chaos. What is undoubtedly fitting to this point is the debate over how to precisely define ‘chaos’ or change. Some scientists confine their idea of the chaos phenomenon to the boundary area between stable and purely random behaviour.

Most believe though, that the most ‘fertile’ area (room for growth and development and progress) of chaos in all dynamic systems (all areas of life) lies in the ferociously active frontier that has been found to exist between stability and incomprehensible disorder.

In other words – in the ‘change period’.

So, there you go, it is in your best interest to accept change (in whatever shape, form or area of life it is experienced) because when you embrace change, you demonstrate pure trust in self and in what lies ahead.

Ultimately, your acceptance of change or chaos, demonstrates your acceptance of the ‘wholeness of life’.

I recall some philosopher saying –

“Life is about change. If you’re not changing, you’re not living!”.

How true.

So, trust. Trust you first and then trust in what the future has in store for you and you will find that these perceived changes in these chaotic periods will not worry you.

Just tell yourself, this is part of the aesthetic beauty of truth and a constant of life and remind yourself “she’ll be right mate!”.

Until next time,

Back lats spread a few weeks prior to the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles. Placing: 2nd in Australia. Muscle building is the fusion of chaos and order.

Back lats spread a few weeks prior to the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles.
Placing: 2nd in Australia.
Muscle building is the fusion of chaos and order.

"Back Double Biceps" in the heat of competition! Placing: 2nd in Australia

“Back Double Biceps” in the heat of competition!
Placing: 2nd in Australia

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adaptation, basics of training, change, fundamentals, muscles, Strength training

3 important fundamentals to consider when you lift weights.

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 retired legend of rugby - Phil Waugh.

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 retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.

The Rugby World Cup is kicking off in a few days-time with the hosts (England) going up against Pacific Island Rugby Powerhouse Nation, Fiji in the opening match. Wow, what a game that will be. I’m looking forward to watching it.

The Australian Wallabies are hoping they can repeat history and win the title for the third time but they also have to contend with the other countries’ title aspirations too.

One thing is certain, all the coaches of these national rugby teams have tried their very best to simulate the conditions of the games in the World Cup in their training methods. Some coaches and players have been lucky enough to be a part of previous World Cups and some very lucky ones have also experienced what it is like to win.

However, no preparation can prepare you fully for the real thing. The pressure can be quite overwhelming for everyone involved. Some people excel and some crumble (I witnessed this in the two World Natural Bodybuilding Championships I took part in). I’m sure every rugby player clearly understands his responsibilities to himself and then to his team. But knowing your goals is one thing, understanding the terrain and types of conditions you have to go through (and still perform as you planned) is another.

This is where experience counts.

Body-building is no different with the approach (no matter what level you’re at): before you can begin a journey of any kind, it is critical that you understand the terrain. This journey can be likened to one of self-discovery, of increased awareness.

In the journey, you will learn the limitations of your own body (no matter what level you are at in your health and fitness). The players in the World Cup will also learn of their limitations and capabilities in the games they face.

In my experience in helping people over the last two decades, no two people are exactly the same. Believe me when I say that no two bodies are exactly the same.

No two.

With this said, let me highlight 3 of the fundamentals of training you should consider:

Helping Chris close the gap between how he imagines himself to be and what he sees in the mirror. Or in other words: Manifesting the 'unfolding universe' of his 'enfolded' invisible universe (what he imagines/dreams) Vv

Helping Chris close the gap between how he imagines himself to be and what he sees in the mirror.
Or in other words: Manifesting the ‘unfolding universe’ of his ‘enfolded’ invisible universe (what he imagines/dreams)
Vv

To breathe and to breathe properly.

We need oxygen to stay alive. We are all acutely aware of this.

However, how many of us pay close attention to how well we breathe? I have found over the years that many people know a little bit of something but most people don’t do it well. I always tell my students to ask themselves the question: How well am I doing this?

This could apply to everything in life. For example, most people who go to the gym have some idea of how to do a bicep curl with dumbells. Most of these same people don’t ask themselves how well are they doing the exercise. So, a lot of people can be doing it a certain way for years and doing it wrong for all that time.

It’s the same for something as simple as breathing – are you breathing well? Ask yourself the question – “how well am I breathing?” Deep breathing should be part of every person’s daily life from the moment you wake up in the morning. We need to try and flush our lungs with as much oxygen as we can when we are not exercising too.

Understanding how to breathe properly while executing weight-bearing exercises is very important. You put yourself at high risk of injury if you breathe incorrectly. Few people take the time to breathe deeply during the course of the day. The importance of this practise to the quality of your life over time should not be underestimated.

You need to ‘know’ your breathing and understand how to control it – to control its rhythms.

We all know that oxygen is vital to life, it powers your engine room – your metabolism throughout the day. It is pumped via blood to the trillions of cells throughout the human body, taking with it nutrients and the essence of life.

Breathing, proper breathing, breathes more life, more energy in to yourself – your being and is critical to the creation of new muscle.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.

Frequency of training

A critical question before setting out on a journey is knowing clearly what it is that you would like to achieve, similar to what results would you like to achieve in the gym? Another question most aspiring body-builders ask themselves is the age-old question of how much should you train to get the result you’re looking for?

I was asked this question by a student of mine recently and I told him that three days a week is sufficient. Does that surprise you? Well, it shouldn’t if you know what you’re doing and you train with efficiency and effectiveness in mind within a plausible, well-tested philosophy.

I’ve seen it many times before over the last two decades in the gym where men (and women) believe that they need to train five or six days per week to get stronger or increase size. Well, I have one thing to say about that – you don’t need to!

Training six or seven days a week will not triple your strength or double your size. You’ve got to understand another critical thing – muscle grows and your body recovers and repairs itself when you rest. Weight training more than three times a week is simply over-training depending on your experience and age.

Your body and in particular, your muscle tissue is broken down when you train and rebuilds itself when you are at rest. The body is forced to adapt to the stimulus you provide through training and it is in the process of adaptation that the muscle grows. Not before.

Instead of building lean muscle mass and moving towards their desired physical look, most people lifting weights (body-builders) are usually over-trained and even people who have been doing it for a long time are unaware that they are actually losing hard-earned muscle.

Knowing and scheduling in rest days in-between your training days is a key fundamental principle to consider and apply appropriately.

Practise does not make perfect - perfect practise makes perfect. Vv

Practise does not make perfect – perfect practise makes perfect.
Vv

Training ‘split’ or weekly training routine

The ideal ‘split’ for people is a Monday, Wednesday and Friday sessions and from experience, the majority of people like this split. The other good alternative is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday schedule.

Find one that works for you and stick to it. Having enough sense to stick with something, anything – a chore, a task or a workout training routine – until its completed, pays off.

Remember ‘stickability’ is 95 percent of ability.

Keep these fundamentals in mind if and when you decide to make the journey of self-discovery with weight-training.

All the best.

Until next time,

Abdominals/Thighs Pose at the 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in NY, USA. Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World.

Abdominals/Thighs Pose at the 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in NY, USA.
Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World.

I like this hat.

I like this hat.

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a better life, action, authenticness, awareness, belief systems, change, choices, Energy, genuineness, life, long-term perspective, man, perspective, real man, you

Mr Vulnerable.

My son and I. One of my responsibilities as a man and dad is to make my son aware that being vulnerable is ok. vv

My son and I.
One of my responsibilities as a man and dad is to make my son aware that being vulnerable is ok.
Vv.

Father’s Day came and went only last weekend. I had a great day with my wife and my two children. I received two beautifully hand-made cards from each of my children and loads of hugs and kisses. Oh, and some of my favourite chocolates. It was lovely.

I trust all the dads reading this and dads all around the world had a wonderful time with the people they love the most too.

The special calendar day (just like Mother’s Day) got me thinking about being a man but especially in today’s world. Not all men are fathers and not all men are dads but all men are men. So, I got thinking about being a man. Yep, let’s attempt to re-evaluate the question, “What is a real man?”

The thing is that most of us would have been raised with a definition of what society (modern-day societies) defines it as. This definition is dare I say, unrealistic and quite a burden for the modern male to wear. So much so that I believe the modern day man is finding it quite difficult to be a man.

Now, we could look in many places for possible definitions of what a real man is and justifiably so. Some men look for these in sports stars, movie stars, politicians and so forth. I believe it is important for the modern male (whether you’re a dad or not) to truly understand what it is to be a man. A real man.

 

Olivia and Zachary enjoying their time with Ruby. Being a role model for my children is one of the most important responsibilities I will ever have in my life. For the rest of my life. Just like it is for every other dad out there.

Olivia and Zachary enjoying their time with Ruby.
Being a role model for my children is one of the most important responsibilities I will ever have in my life.
For the rest of my life.
Just like it is for every other dad out there.

I thought that one place many people wouldn’t be brave enough to seek an answer is the bible (unless you’re a Christian). We don’t have to look any further than the disciple – John. John, I believe displayed 6 characteristics of what it means to be a real man. In no particular order they were: sincerity, simplicity, conviction, courage, vision and vulnerability.

There you have it! Six Key traits of a real man.

From my experience with people in predominantly male-dominant gyms over the last 23 years, I have found that one thing that men struggle with is accepting that being vulnerable is ok. It seems that the modern man is told since birth that being vulnerable is a no-no, that it is a sign of weakness. Today’s ‘macho’ man of western society must not show vulnerability, he never admits a mistake.

What a load of you know what! Generation after generation of men still believe in this cr#p. Very unrealistic burden for men to carry partially dictated by societal definition of a modern man.

I recall reading research done in America a little while back that stated that five of the most difficult statements for today’s modern man to make are:

  1. I don’t know
  2. I was wrong
  3. I need help
  4. I’m afraid
  5. I’m sorry

This certainly supports what I have deduced from my observations of the last two decades. It seems that modern day men have a problem with admitting vulnerability. That for some reason, if they do their masculinity is brought in to question.

For you Christians reading this – wasn’t this a test for the disciple John which he passed with flying colours?

I think John’s vulnerability was so great beyond belief in his extreme demonstration of humility when he said in reference to Jesus “He must become greater; I must become less”. You cannot get much better than that with someone being so humble.

A trait that is truly missing in the world today.

So, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, to be authentic to no one else but you first. It is good for the soul and makes you a real man. A humble man is not afraid to admit it. A humble man is not afraid to admit he is or was wrong.

There is a real man in all men reading this and all the men in the world. However, to reach deep down inside and get him, you need to become more aware of who you are now and take actions (sufficient and appropriate) to change certain habits that may not be aligned with the definitions of a real man I have given.

The important step then is to be flexible enough and ‘man-enough’ to adapt to the ‘man you imagine yourself to be’, ideally a man closer to the kind John was. It’s not easy, matter of fact it is darn hard work but the end result is a thing of beauty. And this is one of the things the world needs more of right now.

This, however, may clash with the current modern day definition of what it means to be a real man.

Me and my two children - Olivia and Zachary. I love them with all my heart.

Me and my two children – Olivia and Zachary. I love them with all my heart.

Be the real man you know you are. Be inspirational to you first, so that you can be inspirational to the young males that are searching for examples of what it means to be a Real Man. Don’t let them get lost to men of lesser character. So, all you dads out there or men playing a surrogate role, be the role model, be the Real Man that the legions of young boys  and future men of our society need to aspire to.

This is not a want. This is a need that our modern day society needs now more than ever. More Real Men to help provide a template to the youth of tomorrow, especially with so many possible definitions are being filtered in to their young minds. Give them a template, like that which the disciple John gave us to build on and stand the test of time.

If every man reading this and every man in this world took this responsibility seriously, what a beautiful world I can imagine for us all in two or three decades. When young men of today, modelling their characters off you – the modern day Real Man will be leaders of tomorrow.

It is a great hope of mine.

It’s not too late. Make the change because you know it is the right thing to do and you’re humble enough and courageous enough to do it.

Why?

Because you’re Mr Vulnerable. You’re the man! (and if you’re a woman and you’re reading this, get your man to read it too).

All the best in your journey towards being a Real Man. It lies within every man, so go ahead and bring Mr Vulnerable out and share him with the world.

It’s time ….

Until next time,

With the next generation of Valentine males - Zachary.

With the next generation of Valentine males – Zachary.

 

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a better life, adaptation, belief systems, Beliefs, breaking points, change

Breaking Points.

Education through a perception of the truth. All successful relationships have an acceptable level of trust between parties concerned. All relationships have their breaking points too. Here: coach-student relationship. Vv

Education through a perception of the truth. All successful relationships have an acceptable level of trust between parties concerned.
All relationships have their breaking points too.
Here: coach-student relationship.
Vv

Have you ever had to work out what your ‘breaking points’ are? Have you ever been forced to choose between life and death? How would you behave in a home robbery? What are your breaking points – what would you not do, no matter what?

As we progress through life, at some point we are tested. Tested on the various areas in life – physically, emotionally, socially, financially, intellectually and so forth. Friendships reach breaking points, family relationships discover their breaking points and tolerance levels. We all get tested. No one is immune to this process of discovering their breaking points. I’m sure you could tell a few stories about these moments when your breaking points were tested.

Think about it for a second. Would you lie to save your kids’ lives? Would you conceal the truth to win a better business deal? To sell your car or your house? Would you ‘back-stab’ your friend or work colleague to get a promotion? How people interpret Right and Wrong is dependent on people’s or a group of peoples’ perception of what is the truth.

So, in essence from a social-behavioural viewpoint, TRUTH is the set of principles that people live by, regardless of what they might say they believe. We all know and have seen there are different truths – subjective, operational, hypothetical and intellectual – and then there is factual data. How true a belief is depends on the level of perception one is at. All levels of truth as we know it however, are examples of truth dependent and contingent on a given set of parameters.

This even applies to our exalted ‘scientific truth’ which is also defined and constrained by conditions and contexts, that they are subject to dispute and error. So, essentially, you are best advised not to believe everything you read, see or hear without at least asking the question ‘why?’ and seeking factual data.

The world seems to be getting ever increasingly filled with more and more laws and regulations. At the most simplest view, all of life is based on some assumption of principle. It is quite obvious now, that everything in nature is based on principles – irrefutable laws showing that all of life is in fact part of a greater design strategy.

Despite the ever increasing dependence on newer regulations, I think there is a finiteness to how reliable this is and every will be. There can never be sufficient rules and regulations, laws and auditors or inspectors to cover or check everything. Everything, whether it be in businesses and organizations or families. To pursue this end would see life get even more complicated and will prove too costly.

Building muscle has some truths that have evolved through application of principles over 100 years. Every one's perception of the truth is constrained by the lenses he views the world through.

Building muscle has some truths that have evolved through application of principles over 100 years.
Every one’s perception of the truth is constrained by the lenses he views the world through.

We see and read about this every day – people getting away with unprincipled behaviour simply because the person found a ‘loop-hole’ in the law, rule or regulation. We see this played out on the sporting field and we see it playing out in board rooms of organizations as well as on the office floors. We even see unthoughtful, unprincipled behaviour displayed quite regularly within families. This really pushes individuals to their breaking points as trust, above all things is eroded.

On a bigger scale, recent Global Financial Crisis and other events prove that there are many unprincipled people who thrive in a system based mainly on principle.

The answer to this problem seems to be: more rules and regulations to curb unprincipled behaviour in one are, within a specific scope. Inevitably, barriers that prevent trading would be dismantled for certain activities and players to remain competitive.

What’s needed more of and not just in business and the big cities are Principles and People of Principles. We need more of it in every corner of society. This is a precious commodity in today’s world. This begins in every home, where I believe little children must be taught that dangerous behaviours are ‘wrong’, but as they grow older, discernment should replace moralism.

Principles that would not waiver, even when tested. Especially in this world where organizations and industries are left to ‘self-regulate’ and ‘self-monitor’. Where individuals are given ‘free-reign’ to exercise their own discretion, without being supervised or because of cost-cutting measures.

We have all known or do know some people who operate with two sets of principles. Sometimes they don’t admit that they do until it is too late. Having two sets of principles – one for work and one for home, for example just does not end well. This applies to both the individual, organization or country-levels. It will always end with a catastrophe where many people get hurt. We see this playing out by parents who have double-standards when it comes to the treatment of their children favouring some over others.

Nothing in life happens by ‘chance’, there is no such thing as ‘coincidence’. I believe this so. So, it follows that, on the whole, the most efficient organizations are the most principled ones. I believe this applies to individuals too – in organizations and in families.

Muscle is like life, it relies on two principles: 1) Simplicity 2) Continuity Like life, muscle building is about principles and the adherence to them. Not doing so does not works against you. Vvv

Muscle is like life, it relies on two principles:
1) Simplicity
2) Continuity
Like life, muscle building is about principles and the adherence to them.
Not doing so works against you.
Vvv

Every successful, long-term relationship whether it is with yourself or others (individuals or organizations) comes down to trust. It costs much less to trust than it is to comply with rules and regulations. It is sad that in many individuals, their lack of ‘spiritual truth’ leads to a dimness in moral vision and blindness to the truth. This is a major problem for society.

We’ve all heard that people need to ‘earn’ our trust before it is given. A very important point as for trust to work, you need to have principles and an awareness of your breaking points. I believe these principles only evolve from your belief systems or set of beliefs.

This is why ‘knowing yourself better’ is paramount to allowing you to constantly make changes to your set of beliefs that are applicable to you. You also have to consider where you are in life and your relationships with either family, friends and business colleagues – I refer to these as the context and parameters within which your particular perception of the truth holds true.

Know your breaking points and constantly be on guard when assessing whether or not sticking with them makes you a person of principle in today’s world.

One thing is certain – everything in life changes. Everything is constantly evolving. You are not the same person you were ten years ago. Gee, you are not the same person you were just a day ago. Nothing stays the same and that goes for your breaking points too. If there is one thing we can all learn from nature and from evolution theory is that it is not the smartest nor the strongest that ultimately survive. It is the one that adapts the fastest.

Progress and growth in life (and muscle building) comes from adaptation, but remember, sacrificing your principles to achieve this outcome does not always end well. It almost never does.

Know your breaking points. You can start this process by becoming more aware of YOU. Accepting responsibility for the truth of one’s life. This takes a lot of courage which leads ultimately to love and hopefully, forgiveness too.

All the best!

Until next time,

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.

The philosophy you follow heavily influences whether you achieve your goals in life or not.

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awareness, belief systems, Beliefs, change

I.Am.Nothing.

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah's Captain - Phil Waugh doing triceps press-downs and "feeling the essence" with perfectly performed repetitions. A great example of a human being striving to be the BEST he can be - for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.

Retired Legend of Rugby, Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh doing triceps press-downs and “feeling the essence” with perfectly performed repetitions.
A great example of a human always striving to be the BEST he can be – for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.

Do you believe in miracles?

I do.

You see, just today a very good friend of mine from my undergraduate university days (over 20 years now) sent me a message saying that the suggestion I gave him with regards to playing the “I am” game worked. I shared with him the game I thought up to help my children sleep at night. It works for my children and I did ’not see why it would not work with his.

Well, he just wanted to say that it has worked with his son and he shared his gratitude with me. However, he asked me a question followed by an enlightened question. The question was “Paul, is there more to the I AM statement than what I am telling him? He was beginning to realise that “I Am” is a different entity/thing. He asked me the question “what is it?”

Now, I told him that there was no other use for the game other than what I mentioned in my earlier blog on “I am”. However, it got me thinking about whether there really is an “I” in I Am.

You see, I have always believed that we are like mini-human-phones/computers all connected to a larger power-source (the universe force-field). Some people have stronger connections to this universe than others. The weaker the ‘connection’, the more you suffer in life. Your beliefs and belief system has a lot to do with a lot of your physical suffering.

I have always believed that “Your body does not lie”. Period.

I have deduced this from my lab in the gym helping thousands of people over the last 20+ years. All illness in the physical realm stems from a weakness in the spiritual realm. This included emotional illness too which almost stemmed from the perception people had of themselves. That their personalities were themselves. Ruled by their egos.

This realisation that we – each of us may be part of a greater network (for want of a better term) of consciousness has come to me many times over my 40 years on this planet. I think my friend has a very good point because I did come to a realization many, many years ago in my late teens.

I have two stories to share with you (but will share the second in a future blog). The one I am going to share here, I have only told a handful of people in my life so far and now I am going to share it with you …

One day about 23 years ago, before I stepped in to the gym I would eventually own 15 years later (I saw myself owning it from the moment I first walked in to the place and I was only 17), I was driving along a major free-way about 5 minutes from home. It was between 5am and 6am somewhere and the sun was just beginning to rise. I hadn’t slept for 24 hours straight. My cousins and I had gone out to the city for a night out and I was the designated driver (well I didn’t start drinking until about 21). I was still only 17.

I was driving at about 70km per hour as I passed a set of lights as it turned ‘orange’. I was on the inside lane of a 3 lane freeway. At that point, the morning sun’s rays shone in to my eyes, blinding me temporarily. I was caught between deciding to close my eyes or keep it open.

I closed my eyes.

It felt so good. I would have closed it only for a second or two but it seemed like eternity and I wanted to just leave it so. Like I said, it felt so good. My tiredness disappeared and was replaced by a delicious warmth … and then a state of peace beyond all description.

It was as if I became oblivious of the physical body.

But then … a voice in my head said “Paul, open your eyes”. It sounded like my grandmother who I was very close to until she died when I was 13. I didn’t want to open my eyes, but I did.

I loved her.

When I opened my eyes, I realised that I was driving my car (with my cousins in the back seat, still fast asleep intoxicated with alcohol) but there was a lamp post I was just about to crash in to.

In that instant (it would have been less than a second … but which seemed like an eternity), I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. But before this happened, I felt intense fear. I have never felt fear like this ever since. There was a freezing shiver that ran up my spine and it seemed that my heart cried out in tears that were frozen in time.

In that space of time (which seemed like an enternity), my thoughts focused on manouvering the car away from the pole which seemed to be only a meter from the car bonnet. It all happened so fast. In that instant, that cold shiver in my spine disappeared and then it happened.

I felt a state of peace beyond all description. This was accompanied by a suffusion of light with my life to that point flashing by at lightning speed. I was filled with what seemed like love. An overwhelming sense of love. Infinite love. For that ‘split second’, I believe time stopped or it seemed like. My perception of time was like nothing I had ever experienced.

It seemed like I became oblivious to my physical body and it seemed that my awareness fused with this light that was flashing before my eyes, flushing me with all my ‘life moments’.

I was in an illuminated state.

My mind stood still. My mind went silent. It seemed that all thought stopped. I was at my happiest. I was at peace. Fear vanished.

I am writing you this blog today because I survived that car accident. I have lived every second since that day, very differently. It changed my perception of life and the world forever.

You could say that I had a “near-death experience”.

After that experience, my accepted reality of the world seemed only temporary. Traditional religious teaching lost a lot of significance. So much so, that the loss of traditional religion spurned a personal discovery of spirituality.

ON that day, I believe that “I” didn’t really exist. That “I” was really a small, insignificant part of this larger, greater “I”. This greater “I” really determined what happened in my life. “I am” didn’t really exist and “I” is NOTHING! It was this energy-field. This energy-field is the universe and we are all part of this universe.

We’re all connected to this greater force-field, we are ONE with it. I became ‘one with the universe’ at that moment where time stood still when I opened my eyes and so my life ‘flash’ before my eyes.

There is no “I am”. There is no ‘me’ so, if there is no “I am” and there is no ‘me’, then, it follows that “I AM NOTHING!”

I believe that so. We are all outposts of balls of consciousness that is connected to this universal consciousness. This is the real “I” in the “I AM”.

To strengthen this ‘connectivity’ to this wireless technology (that we call the universe), one just needs to replace ‘unloved’ with love. One needs to genuinely live with care and kindness. This is all that is required. The fruits of this will show itself in time.

One must also have patience and one must be compassionate towards everything, including one’s own self and thoughts. “I am” melds in to ‘nothingness’. Ponder on this thought for a moment…. And realise how profound this realisation of “I AM NOTHING” is. It is enlightening.

We are all part of ONE. One universe. Most of us just don’t have the right tools/applications to interpret the messages we perceive in the correct way.

So, I think my friend is on to something very profound at this phase in his life. The realisation that “I am” is more than “I – AM” and NOTHING AT ALL!

I am happy for him. His realisation. It is his journey through the sea of life. It confirms something I concluded on and changed my life forever that early morning driving home from a ‘big night out’ on the town. It changed my life forever.

From my perspective, I agree with my friend – “I Am” does not exist. “I am” is only an instrument of a larger “I” and that “I” is the universe. It is GOD or whatever you want to call it. But, for now this “I Am” game I created to help my children (and now my friend’s kid) sleep better – works. We will continue using it until it becomes useless.

Strengthen your connection to this “I”. Leave your “I am” on the floor. Leave your ego at the door! It’s not worth the pain and suffering you will endure if you let it run your life.

Live every day as if it were your last. I know I do.

Choose wisely.

 

Until next time,

Explaining some of the little things (mosquitoes) that add up to the larger things in body re-engineering. Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain - Phil Waugh.

Explaining some of the little things (mosquitoes) that add up to the larger things in body re-engineering.
Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh.

Writing things down sometimes helps in the communication process.  The goal is not communication. The goal is EFFECTIVE communication. Sometimes lacking in all areas of life ie., 'being on the same page'.  A+ Student: Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah's Captain listening intently.

Writing things down sometimes helps in the communication process.
The goal is not communication. The goal is EFFECTIVE communication ie, ‘being on the same page’.
A+ Student: Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain listening intently.

~~Life COACH~~

~~Life COACH~~

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