I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
My biological mum had me before she turned 16. She had a choice to have an abortion but chose to give me life. Being so young and incapable, her parents (my grandparents) decided to raise me as their own.
Because of the societal norms at that time, I now understand that my grandparents adopted me as their own, in every sense of the word. They were the best Parents any kid could wish for. My “mom” (grandmother) died when I was 12. It felt like the end of the world to me because she was the word to me.
She was caring, compassionate and loving 🥰 & very strong (usually welcoming in strangers and the homeless. She would clean them, clothe them, feed them and give them a place to sleep for a short while … and give them a little help on their way.
Some of the Strangers we helped, would return, sometimes years later, to offer money and thanks for her (& my grandfather’s unsolicited care & hospitality when they had hit a “rut”). I recall seeing the turnaround in the individuals and the impact my humble grandparents and their kindness gave them.
A whole new lease of life.
My grandmother was my first role model of a loving & strong independent woman. I really loved her full body massages she gave me to wake me for school almost every morning. This is where my penchant for hugs 🤗 & kisses originated. I thank her for that.
In my pre-teens, my biological mother’s sister (my Aunty) stepped in and assumed a “mother” role for me. She showed me a second type of strong woman. She was a woman’s woman.
My Second Mum: the Ambitious Career Woman.
She wasn’t too lovey-Dovey like my mum # 1. She was very ambitious and career-focused and very risk-averse. Very strategic and almost always chose a conservative approach to many things. Her thing was – “don’t rush life, Paul”.
Two things were important for her – good education and making money. She was very successful and raised me in very rich surroundings in my teens. I learned and experienced life through very wealthy lens and feel very fortunate to have done so. Not many children grow up in a 3 car-garage, 3 storey 6 bedroom mansion with a pool. My bedroom even had its own bathroom and walk-in wardrobe.
I only got to know my biological mum after an uncle broke the “news” to me two weeks before my Final Exams at High School. We had a heated argument and he let out the “truth”. In hindsight, Not the best time. I wish he had waited until I had finished my exams before telling me that the first 17 years of my life was a lie. That my grandma was not my mother and that my “older sister “ was in fact, my real mother!
I was shattered. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing .
I locked myself in my room for a whole week… trying to come to terms with this bomb 💣. I cried a river in my room…. Everything I ever knew … about my family … about my life … was a lie. Who could I trust? Why is this happening to me? I was angry at everyone… they all played a part in the lie.
It had a significant effect on my High School Results. Negative. I was aiming to be in the Top 10 but I failed. I think I made the Top 20. In the whole scope of life, the mark I got didn’t matter. I still got to do what I wanted to do at University.
That was a first. Me, getting to University in my immediate and extended families. The ceiling in academia was High School… but I raised it … and still raising it.
It’s been almost 30 years since I learned of this truth. Along the way, I learned that many other individuals have experienced similar situations. Some famous like Jack Nicholson, who only found out that his older sister was in fact, his mother. He only find out in his late 30s when a reporter dug up his background for a story on him.
In many cultures, especially in Polynesian cultures, “step in”. Grandparents generally stepped in to protect the child and give them every opportunity to succeed. They did. I got all the love and attention any child could have. I am very grateful for the unconditional love life they gave me.
They were my parents and friends & family and schools & teachers and anyone I ever interacted with all played their roles.
You could say my first 17 years was a lie.
That’s ok. Every family has their “secrets” and “skeletons in the closet”. What are yours? Do you have any? Is your whole life “the whole truth & nothing but the truth?” Is the truth better than living a lie? What if living the truth disadvantages you more? Would you then choose to live a lie? If you had the choice?
My Third Mum: the Risk Taker. Biology Matters.
The choice was made for me. Her choice to give me life rather than get an abortion.
And it was made with love snd for my benefit and protection. An unselfish choice by my biological mother in playing her role as my “older sister “.
It was only in my later years that I realised how amazingly courageous and unselfish she was to live in the same household as me … and stop herself from playing the “mum” role to me.
I had many arguments with her and told her off on many occasions. I would see her run into the bedroom, close the door and I’d hear her crying. She wouldn’t cry in front of me or argue with me.
Remember, she was my older sister to me. Little did I know then … who she REALLY WAS. This is the Mum that didn’t always make decisions logically because she usually made it with her heart. She was a “thinker”, the most academically gifted of all her siblings. A rebel, a risk-taker.
I buried my biological mum in 2011, 3 months after my son, Zachary was born. Like my grandmother, My biological mum, Margaret, died from cancer within 3 months of being diagnosed. Aaaahhh… the Circle of Life, as they say.
She did not live long but she epitomised what courage is to me. What a brave woman, who lived & died, with integrity & dignity.
THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME!
The Bible has been a big comfort for me all my life. It gave me strength in those years (18 – 22) that I refer to as my “lost years “. It was always a source of inspiration and strength for me … in the many times I needed courage.
We have been gifted not only from our genetic background but also by the environment in which we were brought up. Each of us were formed by all the people who have made an impression on us.
From the people who gave us affirmations (like my grandparents did for me) to the people who put us down or belittled us. The former types gave us a positive view of other human beings and the latter, a view that fed our uncertainty about ourselves and … others…
Genesis 1 relays a story that God created living things to bring forth according to their own kind. So, not only are we likely to look like our parents but it is likely that we will embrace life’s challenges just as our parents did.
“So God created man in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27)
So, i/we were not only created in our parents image but also in God’s.
Yes, we all have our past (and even if part of it was not lived in truth like mine), take comfort that we also have God (if you’re a Christian). I spent 8 years as a Catholic Altar boy in my early youth and one phrase that sticks in my mind is –
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the NEW HAS COME!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This verse has always given me comfort. Especially, after I learned of certain truths at 17. I get Comfort in knowing that the curses and the distortions and sins of previous generations does not hold me back. That it does NOT MAKE ALL “ME”… that I can release the OLD… to make room for the NEW.
We are Built in God’s image. Something that I can … we can ALL use as a springboard to being the BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES.
Yes, We are trapped with our old us … the past experiences… and the good (& imperfections in genetics 🧬 passed down to us) ….
With the knowledge and belief that we, as Christians, are also created in the image of God, gives all of us I mmense COURAGE…. And hope … and belief… that we have a huge capacity to change!!
You are unique! Believe it so…. And you can change!! We ALL CAN!!
But, this is not easy and TAKES COURAGE and … a lot of WORK! In my experience, You MUST TAKE CHARGE of your life! You must stop saying –
“I’ll always be the same … I’ll never be different “
Instead, you should begin saying –
“I CAN be different because of God’s love 💕 working in me.”
DO NOT FEAR CHANGE especially if the change is to make you all that God wants you to be.
When you decide to Invite Christ into your life, know that you have been re-born… snd the Holy Spirit will guide you.
I know I have been “re-born “ many times … in my life, so far. When I reflect, I was very fortunate to have been influenced by three strong & courageous women. They were all different and they were women who loved me differently but all had strong values & principles.
I may have lost two Mums, but there still remains one. Something many cannot say. I will continue to love this Mum that is still alive today….and the other two Mums are always with me in spirit.
Thank you God. Amen.
Ask yourself for God’s guidance and he will answer.
When you’ve done something wrong and/or have wronged someone, you firstly need to take FULL responsibility for it.
You repent because you realise that, that inexcusable wrong can be judged or forgiven. Inexcusable wrongs can never be understood and overlooked. Fake Repentant people seek and beg for forgiveness, with no thought of deserving it.
Yes, you read that right, they don’t deserve it.
That is not fair – to the person that has been wronged and not fair for the person who has wronged.
To gain trust back, perpetrators need to own their “inconvenient truth” (to borrow a phrase from US Vice President Al Gore).
Truly Repentant people are people who finally understand God’s amazing grace. When you truly seek repentance, know you need only to confess to experience the forgiveness from God Almighty.
Forgiveness is ALWAYS there in infinite supply.
Recently, I got into a very big argument with my wife of twenty years. It was probably the biggest blue we’ve had in our time together. It involved her and my family. To get straight to the point, I was an Asshole … well, okay, I was a HUUGGE Asshole! I even called myself one during the fight.
Alcohol was involved. Correction: excessive alcohol was involved.
On reflection, it is quite obvious that I was being a selfish prick! Yep, you read that right. I was being a thoughtless spouse. And here I was imagining that on my deathbed, my children and wife will remember me for many things but for mostly being the most THOUGHTFUL human being they have ever known.
After this incident, that dream/imagination may not manifest into reality. I fucked up, and my selfish choice was not “thoughtful “. I simply fucked up!
You see, whether we are adulterers or thoughtless spouses (like me, in this instance), the problem with all of us is one of perspective. Instead of thinking of our thoughtlessness (in words or actions/deeds) as INEXCUSABLE SELFISH CHOICES, we stubbornly regard our interpersonal failures as UNDERSTANDABLE MISTAKES. Understandable mistakes, can you believe that?! It comes down to a small but significant factor of perspective, or the way we view something.
And in my recent case: I clearly made a selfish choice and my perspective was NOT the right one.
Seek to understand first.
I’m not one for giving excuses or listening to excuses, but during and after that big argument, I found myself giving excuses. It just rolled out of my tongue and the strange thing was that I was fully aware of this roll-out while it was happening. And here’s the catch: I did not stop this conveyor belt of excuses.
When I reflect, I realise that excuse-making has been a part of almost every area of life that has humans participating. Excuse-making has been a natural tendency in people since, I guess, Adam blamed Even for eating the apple and … Eve blamed the Snake for persuading her. It’s been around for a long while.
I guess, without some form of self-justification, we are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror, just as we truly are … not necessarily, the image the mirror reflects.
Now, based on how I argued in that fight, the standards I adhered to fell very short of God’s standards. My actions and words deserved punishment.
I read somewhere that a wise person seeks to understand before wanting to be understood.
That is something I need to improve in my life. What about yours?
Joy evolves from misery.
When we really look at ourselves in the mirror and truly see ourselves as we are, would we accept our status as sinners.
And what are sinners? Sinners, like me, are worthy of judgement. We are powerless to improve ourselves … and are humbled that our best deeds provide no defence.
That is how Joy evolves from misery. Throughout my experience and learning from other people’s experiences, I’ve learned that those who make themselves naked and vulnerable and basically more human, are the ones who get the most trust.
Or at least, get part of or most of the lost trust back.
It is through the process of embracing genuine nakedness, humility and vulnerability, that you find your AUTHENTIC SELF.
I believe, moving closer to your authentic self is not only where life BEGINS but also …. Where JOY blooms and your GROWTH CONTINUES.
Now, as a Physique Artist, I regularly strip down to a pair of “g-strings” on stage, under very strong lights to display the ‘flow of muscles’ … and ‘paint a picture of moving art’, using my sculpted physique, from my heart … to the hearts of the audience.
It is one of the closest you can get to being naked, humble and vulnerable. By being vulnerable, humble and exposed, I find you allow yourself to be more open and transparent. This is important for any relationship. For me and my wife, this is vital. Always has been.
I am an “open book” and this nakedness, this humility, this vulnerableness, demonstrates to her that that I have nothing to hide ( or an impression anyway).
Now, allow yourself to strip yourself of EGO and wear your “G-STRING of YOUR SOUL”. That takes COURAGE. Seek Courage… for without courage, no great achievement is every attainable.
For me, in all my most important relationships, Trust is vital. It is one of the key foundation stones of my 21 year relationship with the most important woman in the world to me- my wife.
The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ ⚔️Enjoying a beer 🍺 in a hot 🥵 spring day here in Sydney Australia 🇦🇺
On the other end of the spectrum.
In a past phase of life, I was a Business Advisor and Corporate Consultant to a number of multinationals. I specialised in “cleaning up other people’s messes” and correcting accounting treatment errors and assessing Risks for companies. I enjoyed the relationship management side of things.
In one particular consulting firm, I went to one of the Firm’s many corporate functions. It was the usual shit, people talking about trivial unimportant things like the weather. In this particular function, one of my colleagues on a similar seniority level to me approached me and said –
“Paul, I can tell you don’t want to be here. I’m the spectrum of connections, everyone here would be on one end … the “superficial end, and you, my friend… you’re all the way on the other end of the spectrum.”
I said –
“you’re right. I’m leaving. Goodbye.”
I took my tie off and left the function.
I resigned from that role, not too long after that. … buying a gym and operating other businesses of interest.
Friends that workout together … stay together? Some of the family of gym members that called my gym ….. our gym .. their gym. Lovely people in a lovely phase of life.
Old-school Gym with a modern twist.
In one phase of my life, I owned & managed Australia’s Longest-running Gym at that time. I poured my heart & soul into it… I ran it like a Family.
The gym was old-school traditional with a lot of history. For example, the great 7 x Mr Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger trained in this gym when he was Mr O (the @mrolympiallc was held in Sydney, Australia in 1980, which he won, after a 5 year lay-off). He even took a few famous photos in this gym, of him, going through some of his poses.
Frank Zane, arguably one of the most aesthetically built physique artists during his prime worked out here. He won the “super bowl of bodybuilding “ – the Mr Olympia Title three years in a row (1977 – 1979). He had visited that place and a few other greats, too. The Dumbells we used and many of the machines were the same ones we used back in the 70s. We used the weight-training equipment that Champions used.
But, my gym was not about the equipment and the fancy lights, it was about the people. People passed 15 other gyms because they wanted to be part of this special gym. They wanted to be part of my extended family. I was very proud of the culture I created, of the love that we all shared.
I liked to say that it was an “old school gym, with a modern-twist “ … and I was the modern-twist.
They knew that I CARED. And gave them the results/needs they were looking for.
My grandfather used to always tell me when I was a kid –
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Very true indeed.
That challenging, yet beautiful phase of my life came to an end 6 years ago, when I sold it.
My Family of friends in my gym I owned and managed for 7 years. All working towards being the ‘best the can be’
A few things to be aware of when choosing a gym.
A few notes on gyms –
If you’re a beginner (in weight training), look for a good gym. A gym that caters to your needs. There are many types of gyms today – big, small, studios and out-door gyms. It depends on your preference. Before choosing a gym, evaluate things like – cleanliness & hygiene; whether they have lockers or not (most modern gyms do); the condition of equipment – you don’t want holes in upholstery and they should be well-maintained; the Equipment Manufacturer (some manufacturers are better quality than others; $$ (your budget) – if you’re looking for just weights & cardio then you don’t need to pay extra; the friendliness & authenticity of owner – Do they have “skin in the game?”
Now, why should you take advice about gyms from someone like me. Well, it’s simple: I have and have had “skin in the game” and still do. I have walked the walk before I can talk the talk”. You should always apply this approach with anyone offering you advice in any field, especially if they call themselves an “Expert”. I’m sure you do.
Gym Extended Family Members enjoying a day of Lawn Bowls. We had some great lawn bowls events over the 7 years.
Winning this award in 2008 for the BEST GYM in the Northern Beaches of Sydney was the best award I have ever received (better than my 2 x World Championship trophies) It was an award judged and voted on by the residents of the Northern Beaches on the BEST GYM & related Services in the Health & Fitness category
You – a Father, are a Superhero, whether you know it or not. Your children are watching you like a Hawk. Don’t be in a situation where it’s – “do as I say, not as i do”. Their young minds don’t operate like that. They DO AS YOU DO. So, up your game is you have to.
Honour is a gift we give others.
I’m writing this as I do one of my key daily habits – I’m doing “cardio” on a x-trainer and This thought just crossed my mind. It is based on one of the many observations I’ve made of life over the years.
It relates to honour.
There was a time when “honour “ meant a lot.
It meant dedication, integrity, grit and doing the right thing even under trying circumstances. Does it still have importance and appeal? With the proliferation of high profile cases (& not so high-profile friends and family), planted in the news over the last decade or two, it seems …
Maybe it’s the age we’re living in, where no one seems to believe in pleasure delaying, in the value of patience. There is an unbelievable low patience level and it is one of the more silent but influential epidemics.
The word honour seems to have lost a lot of meaning in our culture, modern societies’ insatiable desire for instant and self-gratification.
When does honour mean anything? When it begins by having a perspective and view of something that is beyond & outside of ourselves. When we think of others, first… when we live to serve others, like Jesus did. Honour is a gift we give others.
This is very difficult in our culture where it is about
Usually, children learn about it when they see their fathers & mothers act honourably themselves.
Like genuine love, honour is a gift we give someone. It involves the decision we make BEFORE we put love into action that a person is of high value. In fact love for someone begins to flow once we have made the decision to honour him or here.
As fathers and mothers we give our children the gift of honour by –
extending it first to our parents (if they are still alive);
helping them find value in times of struggle.
recognising our parenting strengths and style.
providing a healthy balance in our homes.
establishing loving boundaries.
building positive loyalties.
offering honour to God.
I turn to a Bible quote I recall from my 8 years as an altar boy in my early childhood and it said –
“A good name is to be worth more than silver and gold.”(Proverbs 22:1).
That means you can “take it to the bank” when dealing with an honourable man. Are you that kind of person? Is your word , bankable?
What do you “see?” How you perceive the world influences your reality. Change your lenses if you need to.
It not only opens doors but it opens hearts too.
I have experienced it and witnessed it too. That is something a very good mentor of mine said –
“Be honourable, ALWAYS. It not only opens doors but it opens hearts as well.”
Lies, like all sins, have no degree of gravity. There’re all equal in the eyes of the Lord. A sin is a sin. Full stop! So-called “white lies” can be a slippery slope for many, as bad habits … like all habits tend to build momentum.
The entry point to anything, whether bad or good, is the first step in that direction.
The habitual slippery slope of lying will destroy your honour. Like gateway drugs, you will never comprehend how addicted you can become to much harder drugs.
A slippery slope, remember.
So, speaking to ALL fathers out there, think about what I’ve just said. Today, if you’ve just begun walking down that road of dishonour, stop 🛑!
It’s not too late to turn back now.
Your children are watching you like a Hawk and they are much more tuned in and smarter than you think. You don’t want to look them in their eyes one day, asking them to forgive or even understand why “you did it.”
Along with beauty, comes strangeness. Embrace your strangeness … your unique ness.
A major destroyer of children.
This is a real major battle for all parents, a fight against a major destroyer of children – their feeling valueless and insignificant. Every day is a battle and an opportunity for you (as a father or mother) to wage this war. Don’t ever neglect building self-worth in your children. No matter how old your children are, it’s never too late from unfolding your hands and honouring them. Consistently applying this may save the heartache of damaged relationships, and they also get a strong foundation to truly value God, themselves and others.
To you and all dads/mums/parents out there, win this war against this major destroyer of children.
Give them the gift of honour.
Don’t make it hard for your children.
Our modern-Day societies love great stories, especially ones that involve a fall from grace, a man or woman or integrity who “gets their hands dirty “.
A loss of honour. In days gone by, that would be considered worse than death.
Our culture eats people up who break their values for short-term gains and the like. Some of these men and women were once morally upright individuals doing their best for what’s right.
Then, they slip….& its a long, long, lonely ride down … Our culture will tell your children to dishonour you, just like everyone else are. But you know, and I know and all dads out there know that your children will truly want to honour you, their father. Their superhero… their dad.
So, do the right thing, ALWAYS. Not some of the time, always.
My questions to all dads – whom do you need to honour today In your life? What do you need today to restore honour to your name?
All the very best in your decisions, men of honour,
until next time,
Like an FM station, just one point off gives you an irritating “shhhh…”
My kids and I with Ruby the Dog. They just adore each other. Choose to spend time with your kids, not ‘quality time’. Keep feeding their Sense of self-worth, every single day. Never stop Giving them the gift 💝 of honour.
My gritty Viking Pirate Prince – Zachary, is never too far from me. My role as his dad and father in shaping him in to the Man I imagine him to be be is the most important project I will ever undertake. The same applies to my daughter.
A Few Good Men
I loved the Rob Reiner directed movie – “A Few Good Men”, released in 1992. It starred some of Hollywood’s A-Listers like – Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, Cuba Gooding Junior, Demi Moore and so forth. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), a US military lawyer, defends two US marines charged with murdering a fellow marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The needle of suspicion, thus, points to a colonel (Jack Nicholson).
Throughout history, long before the marines or SAS or FBI or special forces … God had always been looking for a Few Good Men:
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9a).
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30a).
God, give us Men. Real Men.
God give us Noahs: Someone to whom you can trust your mighty plans;
God give us Abrahams: Men who are willing to leave home and homeland to follow your call;
God give us Josephs: Men who would rather endure prison than violate one of your commands;
God give us Moseses: Men who are willing to stand as your mouthpiece against the most powerful leaders in all the world;
God give us Daniels: Men who would rather face a lions’ den than compromise their faith;
Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do. Teach them well.
Who are the Real Men?
Have you seen them around?
Let’s name a few that have come forward and ‘spoke out’ and been chastised and ridiculed and effectively ‘tried by media’ before even having a fair trial. To me, they are Men who stand up for what it right … who stand up against Injustice in any shape or form. They are men who stand their ground, even if it means they stand alone. It is for unselfish and most loving men.
Here are a few Men that could be modern-day Noahs, Abrahams, Josephs, Moseses and Daniels: Colin Kapernick; Israel Folau; Quaid Cooper; Russell Brand; Jordan Peterson; Mike Tyson; Mohammad Ali; Malcolm X; Martin Luther King; William Wallace; Luke Sky Walker; Han Solo; The Lord of the Rings; Aragorn; Frodo; Marty McFly from Back to the Future; Bruce Wayne.
Can you name some?
Time spent with your young man is NEVER bad use of your time.
Boys To Men
Do you remember that smooth Men Group called “Boyz 2 Men” that was around in the 90s? I loved a few of their songs, they were very talented singers.
There name gives us a clue to what God gives us. He does not give us Men, he gives us boys …. sons.
The reality is that God DOES NOT give us men – he gives us boys.
To us, as parents, he gives us the task of forging these boys into men.
To help equip us for that task, God has provided the book of Proverbs, which is largely the advice of a father to his son …
Father’s Day is just around the corner for us here in Australia. I look forward to it every year for many reasons. One is seeing the creativity my children demonstrate on that day. I having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I have children and have the opportunity to play my role as their dad/father and love them unconditionally.
We are taught that idolatory is placing our longings for what only God can provide in the hands of a creature instead of the Creator. What and who do you idolise? Have you thought about this?
Have you thought about this – when I live for my work, or my wife, then I have made them my UN-true God. When I have failed … and I will fail… multiple times… (I can be sure that an UN-True God will be powerless at the point of my greatest cry out for help & need).
What will happen then?
Pose name: Rear Lats-Spread You’re looking at a well-sculptured, world-class back. I built this with Trust in God first, and trust in – ME.
SHAME on YOU
What will happen is … I will experience the shame of failure and misplaced Trust. Why is trust is important? Because, it is. Read about Trust here. The authors of the Bible are very clear that dependence on an UN-true or “False” God will inevitably result in loss, pain and most horribly – shame (Isaiah 42:17; 44:9-11).
It seems that a False God will always disappoint.
Here is a story about shame .. I’m sure, each and every one of us can relate
A friend of a friend once told me that she waited for her mother for what seemed like 3 hours at an airport once. She had a wait ‘in-transit’ and notified the ‘busy’ mum about the opportunity to meet. The mum agreed two days before this was to occur.
She told herself not to put too much faith in her mum, for fear that she might forget and she told herself not to build up to much faith in her mum. Her mum was full of energy and vitality and had so much time for everything and everyone but …
Going through what she would say to her mum over and over in her head. All the things she wanted to share with her.
After the first hour, she would stop looking up to see if her mum would be there and just buried her head in her book. But, it wasn’t perfect, heck, nothing is ever perfect. So … she would hesitantly …
Hoping that she would finally see her there, but no.
She would feel an immense wave of self-hatred and shame. The worst feeling one could feel, of all the feelings you could feel that is negative, shame is the lowest of the low.
Pose Name: Back Double-Biceps The extent of Back Development highlights the extent of development the athlete has in the understanding of the sport of physique sculpting. Not resorting to illegal performance enhancing drugs is a choice. Building muscle the “natural “ way allows you to hang on to it, even if you don’t work out for a while.
There is no hope
She was looking for hope. Hope that she would connect with the Woman who was her False God – the one who could bestow or retract her life.
But THAT Idolised God … the woman she called her mum …
And she was ashamed.
The question is not why did she allow that to happen, the question is why do we all experience that feeling of shame at least once in our lives? Why, I ask? Why do we allow ourselves to be hurt and shamed by False Gods? They are not worth it… there is only one God and he is not a False God.
Persons must ‘open’ their eyes … open their minds.
Pose Name: Side Triceps. One of my favourites … in my gym of 7 years. Everything we achieve in life and everyone we interact with in life, is founded on Trust.
Shame is the lowest level anyone can experience out of all the negative, low consciousness levels, lower than even Guilt. It is perilously proximate to death, which may be chosen out of Shame as conscious suicide or more subtly elected by failure to take steps to prolong life.
It seems, death by avoidable accident is common in this circumstance. We all have had some experience in our lives so far of .. ‘losing face’, becoming discredited, or feeling like a ‘non-person.”
We all want to be Mr or Mrs Invisible when we feel shame, hanging our heads and slinking away. In primitive societies, even in Biblical times, from which we all come from, banishment is equivalent to death. Remember Cain, the brother of Abel? He was banished.
The equivalent of death, it was.
Shame, as Freud determined, produces neurosis. It’s destructive to emotional and psychological health and feeds in to low self-esteem.
This ultimately leads to the development of physical illness. “It seems that the Shame-based personality is shy, withdrawn, and introverted.” (Dr. David R. Hawkins, Power v Force)
Do you harbour any shame from your childhood? I would suggest you work out a way to rid it from your inside, from your soul before it’s ugly head rears itself further down the track in your life.
Training efficiently and effectively under the “safety umbrella ☔️ “ helped me get to 2 x world 🌎 championships. The conservative approach to training is always the best way in the long term (it may take longer, ie., it took me 10 years to get to the World 🌎 stage, but I did. With all my joints in tacked. No injuries in almost 30 years of lifting weights 🏋️♂️ is a great record to have.
The Greatest Loss – our failure to trust … GOD
The greatest loss is the greatest shame.
And what is that ‘greatest shame?” It comes down to something I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. It comes down to Trust.
It is our ultimate failure to trust God.
What is your ‘world-view’ on trust? Is it the Bible’s interpretation of Trust, at it’s essential core? What is the Biblical version of Trust? As I see it –
Trust seems to involve a reliance on God for what seems to be the most essential to our being, to us – being human. And what is that, you may think.
Trust in God. He is the only TRUE God
Well, it is fundamentally the whole-ness of our soul, our spirit. The intact-ness of it, all. One should never lose one’s soul/spirit to anything or anyone that could be considered to be a False God.
Why is the soul important?
Well, for many reasons but one reason is that anyone or anything should not be allowed to shame or disgrace or possess our soul – that quintessential core of who we are.
That ‘essence’ that will live forever … eternally with God, our True God … no matter what is done to our body, reputation or temporal security.
Save Our SOULS.
Cheers & AhoY!
The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk … & shame
Don’t instill shame in your kids. Teach them to have a relationship with God, the True God
Help people strengthen their resolve, internally, with their own souls so… that nothing can tear it out.
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. In this case, a perceived “mis-match “ Of clothing items. Also, my quirk of love for dogs (and in particular, my pirate dog) and animals in general.
This is true for many things in life.
Matter of fact, your attitude heavily impacts on your performance in sport and life, in general.
Winning in life stems from a winning attitude. Full stop!
Your attitude toward your potential is either the key to or the lock on the door of personal fulfilment.
Most of you are aware of this.
Getting control of my thoughts helped me …. reject the economic disadvantages I faced in my youth growing up in a developing country such as the Fiji Islands and this allowed me to enter a world where self-esteem and the esteem of others were abound.
There were also a lot of advantages: Fijians and Fijian Culture is very affirmative always uplifting. Not derogatory and ‘down-putting’ from a very young age, like so many western societies. Fijians are a very loving and caring and compassionate race, it’s in their/our blood. Fijians are very strong believers and very hard workers that don’t make whinging a part of their lingo. They also know when to take a rest.
Fijians love wearing flowers (wearing beauty of nature … & skirts) and understand how to ‘relax’. If you want to learn how to relax and ‘slow down’ from your busy lifestyle and mind … just go to Fiji or speak to a Fijian. They will give you tips on happiness that could change your life for the better. Learn to be on “Fiji Time” when appropriate.
The decision and desire to change me for the Better attracted other like-minded/energy persons/champions in to my realm and me in to theirs. The collaboration (short and long) built a formidable team of many things but one thing bonded all: LOVE.
Every thought and act was done out of love, not hate.
Read that last line again. That is one of the keys to your fulfillment. Love.
How did I get to 2 x World Top 5 World Natural Classical Physique Bodybuilding Champion and be one of the BEST in my sport in the world? What helped me win?
Vv – wearing the last beanie I got ordered many years ago And what does the “Vv” stand for? “❤️alentine ❤️itality “ of course. Out for a park run /sprints with my Mr Fuzzy/Fussy Cuddles
I can and I will share with you, through storytelling, how a boy born in the small paradise and friendly islands of Fiji went all the way to stand on stage in New York, USA and beating the best in the world.
Many things contributed to me achieving my goals of being one of the best in the world in my chosen sport.
We are more alike than you think.
Two key things that got me there was desire and getting control of my thoughts: My Attitude.
My ability to think Champion Thoughts and feel Champion Feelings and my never-ending pursuit to éliminate ignorance (some people call this curiosity) ultimately resulted in my two World Championships, representing Australia. This fuelled my work and how hard and smart I worked every single day leading up to the Big Day, when I got to stand on the world stage in New York, USA and compete against the best from countries around the world.
Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science. One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise. Top 5 in the world, two years in a row at a sport I love ain’t too shaby for an city boy from the beautiful paradise islands of Fiji If YOU think you can and you BELIEVE YOU CAN … YOU CAN. WIth God by your side, you have NO DOUBT.
You’re a champion too, in more ways than one. Believe it so.
Here’s 3 reasons why I believe a Champion is in you, if you don’t already think so:
1) Because you acknowledge the help of others – knowing you could never have got this far in life and do what you do – ALONE.
2) Because you aim high – understanding that the quality of the goals you choose influences your character.
3) Because you never give up – knowing that true ability comes only through persistence and consistency.
There are other reasons why I believe you are a champion, like, maybe you consistently give of yourself to other freely. This compassionate act is a champion act, fuelled by a champion feeling and champion thought.
You could probably list many more. Ultimately, winning is a way of thinking – a way of life.
Feel your emotions. Think through and with your heart. Listen to your íntuition
Mastering your Mind, controlling your thoughts.
Everyone knows they’re supposed to ‘be positive’ – to think positively, and to discourage negativity. Yet for so many people thoughts just seem to ‘happen’ before they know about it!
Learn the skills to take control of your mind, your thoughts. Before it is too late.
True? Neuroscience is still at the level of where medicine was in the 1700s A long way to fully understand who we are…. Who “I AM.”
Participate and compete in the game of life, don’t be a spectator!
Are you a ‘spectator in the game of life?”, like the majority of humans who watch life happens as bystanders.
They avoid the main arena for fear of being – rejected, ridiculed, hurt or defeated. They prefer not to make waves or get involved and would rather watch it happen on tv ( I don’t watch tv by the way .. haven’t for many years).
Most of all, I believe the spectators in life fear winning. You see, after helping thousands of people over the last 3 decades I have found that it is not losing that humans fear the most … it is the possibility of winning!
After all, winning carries the burden of responsibility and for setting a good example. That is too much for many and so … they sit back and watch other to their thing.
Be the winner that YOU are …. That YOU were born to be!
Winners set and achieve goals which not only benefit themselves, but more importantly, benefits others.
Winning is no more than one’s personal pursuit of individual excellence.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to get lucky to win in life, and/or do you have to knock people down or gain at the expense of others.
No … winning is taking the talent or potential you were born with, and have since developed, and using it fully toward a goal or purpose that makes you happy. If you don’t, no one else will because no one else cares.
Feel and practice feeling good positive, winning thoughts
My grandfather always told me that Talent is Cheap. You can buy it, and recruit it. It’s everywhere. “But son” he says … “the world is also full of talented alcoholics.”
Education is not cheap, but it’s for sale and for hire if you have the time and money.
It seems people are still trying to get their BS, MBA or PhD in droves instead of investing in taking care of their attitude. People are still hanging their multiple diplomas on their office walls.
They don’t realise that their attitude is the thing that is their most priceless possession. This all fundamentally depends on their ability to sustainably control their thoughts.
The old Captain Viking Pirate ….. & attitude … and control and … the mind
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.
One of my many quirks – my Old Captain Viking Pirate persona
After almost twenty years of being together and over seventeen years of marriage, I’ve discovered many things about what I cherish about our relationship. One of the many things that I love is my wife’s quirks. Habits that are unique to her. Its funny, but in the same manner, her most endearing traits can be (at times) my greatest frustration.
You see, Cathy is a spreadsheet and ‘to-do list’ individual who is World-Class at being a senior Financial Advisor – precise, exacting, not some of the time … all the time. Me, on the other hand am a risk-taking, follow-your-heart kind of a person, an entrepreneur – impulsive, expressive. Kind of like a Pirate Captain.
Another quirk of mine …. my love of the sea – the old Captain Viking Pirate Muscle Monk
Some things in life come to you quickly and some comes slow, with time and patience. It has taken me a little while to realize that many of the fussy, overly meticulous things that Cathy does are actually acts of love for me. Her attention to detail is amazing. I couldn’t have represented Australia at two successive World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, two years in a row, placing in the Top 5 in the World without her. Without her attention to detail and skill for accuracy and completeness.
In our day-to-day life, her quirks just makes life more efficient and effective and therefore more enjoyable.
For example, when I go out for grocery shopping I don’t usually make a list (I have tried making them) and I actually like trying ‘new’ things and enjoy the experience of shopping. Cathy on the other hand, prepares a list, which I don’t strictly follow. Usually. But, the point I am trying to make is that she takes the time to do the list and she does this with love.
My quirk of love for great design in – vintage cars, watches … etc
I’m sure she would say that I have quite a few quirks of my own. Things like making sure that the locks on the door is checked when I leave the home, to ensure that my wife and children are safe. She could probably write many other quirks that would most probably be embarrassing because it would make me appear very vulnerable and naked.
But not to her.
These are quirks that she has allowed me to do for all these years that I have know her. Simply because she loves me. I’m sure you could look at your quirks that your wife or husband has allowed you to get away with too.
What a wife. What a best female friend. What a woman. What a human being.
You see, my wife loves making lists of almost every thing. I don’t. That is ok. That is the “yin and yang’’ of our relationship. That is what the balance is of our ‘69’ and has contributed to the success of our almost twenty year relationship so far.
One of my quirks … walking around places with very little clothes on .. ha ha ha !! Here I am Working out in my gym during a photo shoot
The very quirk of mine of not living by written lists is very obvious. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have them. You see, I just keep the most important lists in my head …. My heart. And I live by them.
From my perspective, the most important thing in my eyes and view of life is that … even though I am guilty of going through life without making lists, I know and she knows that … SHE is on my list of Life.
She is and always has been on my List since the first day I met her.
That is part of what makes each of us, who we are. We are ONE but we are Separate. We are a union but we are individuals. With and without lists, we have found a way. It is neither the Right way or the Wrong Way.
World Natural Bodybuilding Championships – New York, USA. Standing with middle-weight (my category) and overall World Champion. Me – 4th placed in the world Competitor beside me – 1st place and World champion Right: My Team Partner and wife – Cathy. (She has had to live with my penchant to pose at every and any opportunity I have for almost 20 years)
I hope she loves mine too. I know she does. We wouldn’t be together still, after all these years otherwise.
We wouldn’t have done it any other way.
I thank her for tolerating my quirks all these years. Bring on the next twenty years, I say.
That is my wife, my Cathy for you.
Loving my quirks and weirdness all these years.
Even the recently appearing … character … The old Captain Viking Pirate … ha ha ha !!!
Cheers & ahoy!!!
The old Captain Viking Pirate … & spouse’s loving their partner’s quirks.
My quirk to pose everywhere and anywhere
one of my many quirks – my penchant for never sacrificing form over weight in the gym & practising safe exercise technique all the time. Not some of the time.
Doing and being is essential to muscle building success for your health and muscle goals. Connect the two. Make them one. Vv. Another quirk of mine : my need to teach and mentor and help, help people, help themselves find their best selves.