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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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You.

Being YOU means … facing your truth, to some extent.
Here’s ‘me’ in my ‘moment of truth’ before stepping on stage in the NSW Natural Body Building Titles.
I came 1st.
3 x. Remember, an hours’s contemplation is better than a year’s adoration.

I think a lot. A lot.

Of stuff … primarily of the Self, of Business and its operations, and of society. And I also think a lot about Beauty in every form.

You could say that I am many things, one of which is that I am a Thinker. I am proud I am one.

Some people don’t think. Some choose not to. That is ok too.

Fortunately, I love to teach, too. And I just happen to love writing too, within the whole realm of communication. I love communicating, through storytelling and conversations that hopefully, empowering and helping readers in their lives.

I love the human – body and mind and everything about the magic that it is when combined with the heart and the soul/spirit and consciousness. I just find it endlessly fascinating. Just like the Dot (I’ll elaborate on this in a later blog).

The human we call: YOU.

I sit back regularly and marvel at it … and say “wow!”. It never fails to amaze me every single day!

I love communities. I find communities fascinating – all types, small, big, crazy, sporty-type, loud, dangerous, pompous and so on …

I grew up in a large extended family that was kind of like a little community, all living in the same tiny house. Grandfather and mother, mothers, dads, mums, aunties, uncles, brothers, sisters, cousins and other distant relatives. There was never a time when there was less than 10 people in my house between the ages of 0 and 12, I think.

Already practising ‘posing’ by the poolside in front of my first audience – my brothers and sisters in Suva, Fiji Islands.
I think I was 11 here.
Posing started very early … took me all the way to the World Championships and against the best in the world in New York, USA many years later.
Ranking in the top 5 in the world at bodybuilding, let alone anything is a huge honour. NOTE: “To own nothing is the beginning of happiness.” – Diogenes’

As I reminisce, I recall the various local communities I was a part of – next door neighbours, street friends, soccer team friends, rugby team friends, church group, school friends, martial-arts group. Formal and informal groups or communities of all types.

They were all little communities within the larger community.

The success of all these little communities and my role in them depended on effective communication and the art of managing relationships between me and all key people in the various groups. I was part of these communities and it was part me and I did my part to contribute to these communities within the larger community. I did my part, played the role assigned to me, to the best of my ability at that point in time.

By playing my role and contributing in my small (but important) way, I gained the benefits given to the members of the group/communities – directly and indirectly. The collaboration between me and the many communities I was part of made for the creation of a sort of electricity, like any good partnership would. All these separate groups/communities were partnerships, whereby we were separate from one another (me and them) but there was a sort of coordination of functions that allowed for the success of the groups goals.

This skill helped me manage my on-going relationships with High Dollar Value Companies in my ten years as a consultant for 3 of the Top 10 Companies in the World and also came in very useful owning my family gym for 7 years later on in my life.

It still helps me maintain and manage my key relationships today.

Managing key relationships in your life is as simple as pruning a bonzai plant, yet, as complex as the variables that go into managing its environment. Remember: “Nothing is sufficient to a man to whom the sufficient is too little.” – Epicurus.

I sometimes think about the human body as a community, and then it’s individual cells as separate people within that community. If I was, for example, a white cell, I’d be amongst 80 million or so other cells within the communities I lived in (within the my body). As we know, the cell is the basic unit of an organism; it can live for itself or it can help contribute and help form and keep the larger organism alive.

The Bible is fundamentally a book of stories told by some wonderful storytellers. I recall the apostle Paul using an analogy in 1 Corinthians 12 I think, where he compares the church to the human body. Paul’s analogy really brings home one of the fundamental principles of God’s creations: that the body comprises millions of cells but it is ONE.

Re-read that last sentence again.

No matter what a particular cell feels or thinks and say, the brain cell for example, “I do not want to belong to the body!”

That is wishful thinking, because it cannot, just for that reason, cease to be part of the body. Or if the muscle cell should say to the optic nerve cell, “because I am not an optic nerve, I do not belong to the body!” …. it would not for that reason, cease to be part of the body.

We wouldn’t want the whole body to be just one particular type of cell, do we? It would cause havoc! I mean, if the whole body were an optic nerve cell, where would the ability to run or walk or sit go? If the whole body were an auditory nerve, where would be the sense of light? So, it is essential that each and every one of our cells play the unique role they were put there to play for the whole human to function as we expect.

How did this all come about?

Well, depending on your beliefs, one area of belief says that in fact God has arranged the cells in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If all the cells were the same, we would not be who we are: the amazing human life form that we see every day in the mirror.

So, you see, there are many cells …. But only one body.

with a fan backstage.
Building the best YOU (physically), requires a very detailed understanding of how all the parts of the variables (inputs) that contribute towards creating a highly anabolic environment, conducive to building muscle and losing fat.
Result: win. Life Tip: “Do not regard as valuable anything that can be taken away.” – Seneca

This analogy Paul gave to us tells us more about life. Allow me to elaborate a little further on the analogy.

You see, a hand or foot or an ear cannot have a life separate from the body, but a cell has that potential. It can be part of the body as a loyalist, or it can be selfish and think only of itself and cling to its own life.

Some cells do choose to live in the body, sharing in its benefits while maintaining complete independence. What do these cells become? They become parasites or cancer cells.

And we know what happens to parasites and cancer cells don’t we? They end the host’s life, eventually, prematurely and dare I say, unfairly so.

There is so much complexity to the ever-changing YOU. Yet, there is a peaceful simplicity to You, too.

Find that simplicity.

Find beauty. Find Truth and … more importantly find and be the Real You. It is the greatest battle and war you will ever fight and continue to fight to the day you die!

As the late E.E. Cummings said “To be nobody – but – yourself in a world which is doing its BEST, night and day, to MAKE YOU everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting!” 

Keep fighting, I say!! YOU are worth it.

 

Ahoy, until next time!

 

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate …. & thoughts of You and Life.

Be YOU. No one else can do better than you at being YOU.
Being the best you can be is probably the single most powerful thing you can do to improve the world.
Just find YOU and then …. improve you.

 

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What Men (really) Need.

A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach. I love the interface between land+sea+sky. Brings me closer to my ‘home’ in my childhood … in the Beautiful Paradise Islands of Fiji.
The managed combination of chaos + order => Better Life.

We have all heard about ‘that relationship’ that broke down because there was a ‘break-down in communication.” Usually, when you dig a little deeper, you find that there was communication but it wasn’t ‘effective’ communication.

And how does communication become effective?

Well, it simply comes down to the ‘feedback loop.’ Yep, the feedback loop. I like to refer to it as ‘being on the same page’ as the person(s) you’re communicating with. Effectively, having clarity on what the other person(s) are saying and ‘seeing’ things from their viewpoint.

Not an easy thing to do.

So, what is the secret? Well, as I see it when it comes to relationships and what a man needs, what it really comes down to is – a man really needs someone who simply cares. Yep, it is as simple and as complex as that. The care factor.

Not an easy thing to find, yes because it requires that person to love him and this involves a lot of work, a lot of effort, from the care-giver. Men search far and wide for this care, in all kinds of places and all kinds of things and never stop searching because it is wired in to the very life-blood of all true-blooded males.

Men will never stop searching and will do all sorts of crazy shit to experience and do almost anything … for this love … this care, because that is what they really need and they will keep searching from the beginning til the end of time.

Let me explain …

Even though it sounds simple, it masks a lot of complexity. You see, most reasonably educated persons know how to communicate. You know how to talk, send e-mails and texts but very few people know how to communicate well. What I mean is communicate effectively.

Most children learn from their parents (who learned from their parents who learned from their parents  … ) but the thing is that a lot of parents don’t communicate well or effectively, to begin with. So, you end up with people who learn from people in the foundation years of their lives who are not the best communicators and so this ineffective communication skill is perpetuated through generations.

Until someone decides to question such practices and put forward a brave new way of communicating, a way that encourages communication to be made in an effective manner, with that feedback loop.

Like most good things, it takes work and being good at it takes practice. Not just practise but lots and lots of deliberate practise (because people could become good at communicating ineffectively. What one needs to do is learn the right way and then deliberately practice the right practise.

That is how you become better at your communication skills. Perfect practise.

It is hard work, hard YAKA! (Australian term that means ‘hard work!”). There is no easy way of going about this because you need to stubbornly change or un-learn years of imprinting of bad communication learned in your early years and then …

Now this is the hard part – learning and adopting the new communication method & skills in all your daily communication. All the time, not some of the time – all the time!

Attitude is key at winning in the Game of Life.

You see, from what I have observed so far in my life, communication between a woman and a man is very different from what happens when two women talk.

It seems that when two women get together, they do a lot of explaining and restating until the other person understands what is being said. They understand one another from each other’s point-of-view.

They seem to communicate more effectively than men.

A man may say something vague, like “I don’t know, I guess, I’m just having a tough day.” After making that short statement, it is very likely, he would not add any more words. He may just drop it, so to speak. His wife or partner assumes it must not be a big problem since he didn’t say more than two sentences. However, this is where the mistake arises.

You see, she needs to pick up on the little phrase that he did say and if she really, really knows him, pick up on what he did not say as well.

It is very likely he is feeling a great loss, but he is not expressing it. Women, I feel, need to listen to the small phrases that their husbands or partners are saying and then find the right response. She needs to generate a response that is sufficient and appropriate. ]

A response that is sufficient and not appropriate is not complete. And a response that is appropriate and not sufficient is less than adequate. Her response needs to have both present – appropriateness and sufficiency.

This is a huge challenge for any person, let alone a woman.

The challenge here is developing the life skill of the power of discernment and applying the right amount of appropriateness and sufficiency in one’s response. What a challenge.

A wise man once told me that “elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do.’ This applies to many things in life and would apply in this instance when a woman tries to understand how a man communicates.

A man needs a wife or partner who cares enough to listen to the brief, sometimes weak, signals that he gives off. And then, she needs to respond, I believe, with gentle questions to draw him out, not by taking the opportunity to describe her own struggles.

But to listen, really listen.

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement.
Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response.
Vv

In my experience with dealing with and helping people in the gyms and my line of work over the last two decades, when one spouse is drawn away by someone outside the marriage, it’s usually not that he’s being drawn away by love.

More often than not, I believe, he is drawn away because someone else show they cared.

Ask yourself how you show your man you care? Is it sufficient and appropriate for the phase of life you’re in? My grandfather used to always say “actions speaks louder than words.’ What do you think? I think it holds more than an element of truth to it.

Someone could think and say that they love someone else but not actually show or demonstrate/do the act of love. Is this love? I don’t think so.

Thinking and doing can be two different things.

What is your definition of love anyway? We tend to see acts of love all around us but what is love?

Who is the best listener you know? What is that person doing that works?

My tip: After nineteen years of being with the woman of my childhood dreams and marriage as well as helping people (couples) help themselves, help themselves over the years of owning my own gym and my keen observation in general life, I would remind you to – show you care in everything you say and most importantly, do.

Men are simple creatures, keep things simple – simply show your man you care for and about him. Don’t complicate things, keeping it simple aids greatly in contributing to more effective communication. And is ultimately the saviour of all relationships.

We have heard that love is effortless, I disagree … to love some one other yourself requires effort, a lot of effort.

Love is EFFORT-FULL!

Keep loving … it is worth it in the whole scheme of life.

 

Until next time,

Members of my ‘extended family’ when I used to own and manage my gym for seven years. Some of the best and hardest years of my life so far. I loved leading the members (predominantly males – 70%) and they allowed me to take them to unchartered territories for us all.
The gym was (unlike today’s) a social place. An ‘inbetween home’ between your place of work and your home.
Relationships based on fairness, trust, care and compassion.
A place where men could share stories, their aspirations, their fears and hopes …and be listened to … without fear of retribution or ridicule.
It was these group of Mens ‘last refuge’.
I hope to bring it back one day … to the world.

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

Side Triceps in the gym. … in between sets.
Building a physique that is balanced and symmetrical takes years of toil in the gym and outside the gym. There is countless assessment of all the variables that go into it … a constant assessment of appropriateness and sufficiency in relation to the key inputs that go in to mastering the iron … the art … of knowing oneself .. of knowing life.
Better. Builds. Beauty. A
Always.

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Blind spot.

 

Another view of the "front-double biceps' pose.

Another view of the “front-double biceps’ pose.

After the Lord, I’m first of all accountable to my wife, Cathy. I know and believe I can depend on her to tell it like it is. I believe it is the same for her too – she is accountable to me, after the Lord.

God always works through Cathy to affirm or negate whatever may surface (whether opportunities or obstacles) in my life. Spiritually, I am accountable to God – have always been and always will be.

What about you? Who holds you accountable? We all need someone to whom we can pour out our deepest thoughts and headaches ….

For those of you that drive, you are familiar with that part of your vision that is a ‘blind spot’, an area that cannot be seen in your line of sight. Just like this, we all have blind spots in our lives too. Areas in our lives that hinder our spiritual growth and personal development but what sets these areas apart from other areas is that – in these areas, we cannot see.

For example, you may re-act to someone in anger that is actually verbally abusive or rude. You may find justification for your reaction but another person may help you understand that responding with kinder words and tone might illicit a positive response from the person.

Accountability is very important. In almost every area in life – on all levels individually, community, state, country and the world level. Accountability is a foundation of trust and trust is a critical component of any meaningful relationship.

The world needs more trust. The world needs more accountability. Without individual self-control and accountability there can be no enduring liberty or freedom in our societies.

We can only be free only as long as we can use freedom responsibly and being accountable is a part of this – on every level of human existence, from the street cleaners to Sports Stars, to Olympians and all the way to leaders of governments.

Side Chest.

Side Chest.

As you know, if we are not accountable to someone else, we may never understand why people reject our advice or us because we do not understand the full consequences and implications of our actions. This is being true to ourselves – taking control, accepting responsibility.

I’ve always believed that feedback, any kind of feedback is an essential contributor to growth – in all aspects of life. Someone once said “Feedback is the food of champions!”. I have to agree with that. It is consistent with nature.

For a lot of people, getting feedback can be an uncomfortable experience. You would know if you have sat through performance appraisals for employers.

On a personal level, we must learn to accept constructive criticism of ourselves if we wish to take positive actions to adapt and grow. That way, we set ourselves better to overcome problems and hiccups as we journey through life.

There is a passage in the bible (I think from proverbs) that says –

“Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path; he who hates corrections will die.”

Life is a continuous flow of feedback loops, which when embraced, allows for growth (order/new life) from temporary chaos (feedback).

We’ll all die someday, yes this is a certainty, but it would be wise to be aware of your ‘blind spots’ well before you kick-the-bucket. This may help you ‘see’ better and live a more fulfilling life, while you’re still alive. Responsible self-control and accountability is the path to mental health, and frequently, to physical health as well.

Be accountable. Be accountable to you, to your God and to at least one other human being you trust. Embrace and learn to accept feedback, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

I’ve always told my students in my programs over the years that we must learn to be ‘comfortable being uncomfortable’ even if it is just for a short time. Getting feedback and digesting it is uncomfortable. Learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable when it comes to being accountable and embracing feedback.

It builds grit!

47 year old Chris looking and feeling better than he did in his 20s. Living my Triple A Approach to Self-development using my "3-legged stool" framework. Self-tuning using my adaptive strategy towards being his best S. Achieved through being accountable to me.

47 year old Chris looking and feeling better than he did in his 20s.
Living my Triple A Approach to Self-development using my “3-legged stool” framework.
Self-tuning using my adaptive strategy towards being his best S.
Achieved through being accountable to me.

Use feedback (positive or negative) to continuously grow and adapt towards the best version you can be of no one else but – YOU. The feedback allows you to see your blindspot(s).

Be the best you can be – for you, first, then for everyone else. Being accountable and taking responsibility for your actions is part of being the real you, being human. Being accountable and discovering your blindspot(s) is also about being a winner.

Winners get behind the wheel, firmly in the driver’s seat. Winners take control of their thoughts, their daily routines, their goals and their lives. Winners embrace feedback for improvement. They create their own horoscopes and astrological forecasts. They spend their time Winning … knowing they have no time to Lose.

Be the winner that you are!

Best of vitality to you.

 

Until next time,

Ghana female sprint champion being accountable to me to help her achieve her goals. Vv.

Ghana female sprint champion being accountable to me to help her achieve her goals.
Vv.

Being accountable has allowed me to achieve the highest level in the sport of Natural Bodybuliding. Accountability is a critical component of achieving results and goals in life. Vv.

Being accountable has allowed me to achieve the highest level in the sport of Natural Bodybuliding.
Accountability is a critical component of achieving results and goals in life.
Vv.

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Christmas salvation.

Imagine. Believe.

Imagine. Believe.

Christmas is a few days away and it got me thinking.

What does Christmas mean to you?

For me, it has always meant a lot, it meant and still means everything. It means a celebration of a birth, a life, a saviour of the world of one of the most influential person that has ever walked this earth.

Does Christmas mean everything to you too? What does it mean to you?

Or is it just about getting together with friends and families and drinking, eating and merry-making? Or is it about present giving and Santa Claus? There’s a few sitting under our Christmas tree. Or is it about being alone? What does Christmas mean to you?

Like I said, for me, Christmas means everything – it means LIFE.

It is a beginning and it is an end.

It is a time of chaos and a time of order.

It is a time of darkness and a time of light.

It is a time of reflection and a time of hope.

It is a time of aloneness and a time of interaction.

It is a time of blessed relief and imagining and believing all of God’s promises manifest itself in to that one person – Jesus Christ.

Amongst all the chaos and loudness and joyousness of the Christmas period, take a moment or two if you can to try and imagine what it was like for this little baby that was born in to poverty. This little baby that we all believe was and is the saviour of the world.

A little baby called Jesus.

Imagine what the conditions were like during the time of his birth. There might have only been one candle inside the stable. Today, Christmas, like Diwali in the hindu calendar is a celebration of light and you don’t need to look very hard to see it before your eyes in your own neighbourhood – beautifully designed lighting on houses and buildings.

Many people today associate Christmas being filled with the ones you love with lots of noise and laughter. Wonderful version of the truth.

When Jesus was born, I imagine the place located on a hill outside Jerusalem would have wreaked with loneliness. So, for those of you that may feel a sense of loneliness during this time and in particular, on Christmas day don’t be. You’re not alone, you have good company. Jesus too was very lonely at birth.

Jesus’s birth certainly wasn’t in luxury. You could imagine the toughness and roughness of the trough that he laid in. The trough or what was a similar to a modern-day baby cot, he felt at birth may have been as cruel a place as the cross he felt at his death. The end was like the beginning for Jesus. What will your end be like?

What about his first gasp for air? What about his first few cries, what would they have been like to welcome in to this world? I imagine that his infant cries we may have heard coming from stable may have been no less desperate and heart-piercing than his final cry on the cross. I wonder if some of the shouts and yells on Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations this year will be for the pain our saviour cried out over during his arrival and departure from this world. Our world, the world he came to save.

A variation of the 'back single biceps" pose ... on the beach. The combination of chaos + order = Life.

A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach.
The combination of chaos + order = Life.

So, what is Christmas to you?

Celebrate? You say. Yes, of course, I say. Celebrate and be merry!

But if you have a little time, try to … imagine and … project yourself back to that lonely stable and try to imagine celebrating, most heartily with food and wine and dance amidst the stench of the stable. Do you know what that dung-like smell that existed in that little stable could represent today? It could represent the refuse of the world – the ugliness, the hatred, the selfishness, the rubbish.

And when you hope for a better New Year, try imagining celebrating at the foot of that painful cross. And why do I leave you with that ghastly image – not to sound negative, but to point out that that image of us at the foot of that cross is the one and only thing that really keeps that ‘life force’ lit in you for yet another day.

Do you know what that life force is? It is that image that epitomises the whole foundation of Christianity and the whole reason we have Christmas. That image of us Christians at the foot of his cross is the ending and the beginning. It is our belief – our hope. It is the essence of what it means to be a Christian. The unwavering belief and hope that that little baby boy born in to poverty and rejected by many, died for all our sins.

Hope – that is all that we are and all that we will ever truly have within us for as long as we are alive.

Christmas for Christians is the celebration of the saviour of the world! Believe. Really believe. There is a passage that has always stayed with me since my youth:

“Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find.” Achieve your salvation at Christmas, through Jesus – our saviour.

From me to you – Merry Christmas.

Imagine then. Live and be ALIVE now. Imagine and hope for a better future. A better YOU.

Amen.

 

Until next time,

Push-ups on the local beach. Basics can be hard work!

Push-ups on the local beach. Basics can be hard work!

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

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A Re-think.

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

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

Just turned a year older today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What for?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eternity is life and we are living it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have to have unwaveringly belief there is a GOD.

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

Re-think

 

Until next time,

B&W3284

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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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