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Here’s Why we should REACT snd question “PROGRESS “

No one can play “you” better than – YOU. Be, You.

Reactionary.

All human behaviour is fundamentally, REACTIONARY.

We are ALWAYS Reacting to something or someone. Many businesses thrive on this Reaction and the predictive futures of this reaction.

We stop reacting when we are dead. Have you observed people who have “stopped”. They’re like walking zombies … they effectively live like they were dead!

Not healthy. Not recommended.

So, I believe ALL human thinking is, in a way, reactionary.

And we, as individuals, as communities, as nations … have to react to accepted ideas propagated by those who control communication platforms.

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

Progress.

Here’s one accepted idea: PROGRESS.

What does that mean?

You hear it regularly thrown about by large corporations as they exploit the resources of developing and poorer nations. As they force archaic working policies on our fellow civil citizens. And their request: that we just stand by idly and accept.

Without a voice. Without a reaction.

Progress in technology … progress in pollution… progress in pornography … progress in freedom of speech… progress in behaviour … and so forth… are not All that good.

And why?

Well, because the HUMAN NATURE does not change. The term “progress” is a human invention. There is no evolution in the human character and … in the human mind. Human Relationships still take time to form.

Does that mean that you need to stop the change?

No.

Change, in itself, is not necessarily good. Just like stability. Change can be good or bad, just like stability can be good or bad.

It is a question of QUALITY.

Everything in our lives … our human life … every problem is a question of Quality and not quantity.

And yet, the progress has technology and importance of numbers and logic is of paramount importance. This is a very distorted approach to viewing progress as it primarily uses a very deductive and logical framework. At the expense of intuition, of matters of the heart. Of feelings.

All for the sake of Progress.

As part of a healthy inclusive discussion, we should be encouraged to listen to all sides of anything or anyone claiming that something should be adopted.

The pros and cons of the idea or creation or technology should be debated and “thrashed out” before it is implemented.

This should be a normal part of any healthy discussion.

Let’s look at one example:

Where is your “Hulk?” The Hulk is very reactionary and he expresses his ANGER in a very destructive way.

Anger.

What is Anger?

Anger is just that – anger.

Our society frowns at anger.

Anyone that displays and outward

Expression of what could be seen as

Anger, is frowned upon.

They’re asked to take “Anger Management”

Courses.

But, anger is no different to any other of the

Multitude of emotions that we all feel

From time-to-time.

It is the “other side of a two-sides coin”

Anger, is simply, Anger.

It is a Reaction.

A reaction to something or someone who

Throws you off balance

It is a reaction… just like I said earlier that

All human behaviour is reactionary.

Anger is a reaction.

Is it seen as pro-progress if we suppressed

Anger?

Should we?

Would it not be more beneficial for each of

Us to question and react to whatever it is

That is “rubbing you the wrong way”

Under the disguise of “progress?”

Anger, is simply, Anger.

It isn’t good. It isn’t bad.

It just is.

It is as reactionary as any other human behaviour.

What you do with it is what matters.

It’s like anything else.

You can use it to build or to destroy.

You just have to make the choice.”

But do you really have a choice?

Anger can be expressed positively and negatively.

Positive anger is also termed “Constructive anger,” Also known as passion.

People with passion is reverred.

Throughout history…

Passion has overthrown tyrants and freed prisoners and slaves.

Passion has brought justice where there was injustice.

Passion has brought kindness & care where there was savagery.

Passion has created freedom where there was nothing but fear.

Passion has helped souls rise from the ashes of their horrible lives and build something better, stronger, more beautiful.

Passion is that fire 🔥 that grows into lasting

Hope and faith that there will be a

… better tomorrow.

So… it is what we choose to do with that inner fire 🔥 is what matters

And …

We should not be afraid to express it …

So as to react to and question all ideas that sprouts “progress “ as their mantra.

Not everything that says is contributing to “progress” is necessarily good for you.

We should all be wary about just accepting all the benefits espoused by new technology and not sitting down to discuss the limitations or risks in the short & long-term.

Thank you

Until next time,

My idol.

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The importance of the choice of LANGUAGE in having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.

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

Coaching conversations..

Over the years I have listened to many individuals. Listened to their stories.

Over the years I think I have had in excess of twenty thousand conversations with people of all ages. From teens to ninety-year olds.

Over the years I have had many coaching conversations. In these coaching conversations, I have helped increase individuals awareness of how their perception of events in their lives either propel them forward or hold them back.

I have listened to others and the way in which the stories they tell ourselves have the power to hold us back or propel us forward.

As an example …

The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if my hearing hadn’t been terrible when I was young. Neither would you.

This is why taking the time to properly frame our narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves can be so critical.

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

Re-frame in away to move forward ..

Self-pity for being dealt a bad hand is easy.

Self-awareness is what brings with it empowerment and insight.

This, important first step is sometimes hard.

The first turns your past into an anchor, while the second turns it into the wind that fills your sails and keeps you moving forward.

Is there some piece of your story, personal or professional, that you’ve been able to reframe in a way that moves you forward, instead of holding you back?

Wonderful question for all to ponder. I’m one of the most self-aware person you will ever meet, but that is nothing new to me as I have been this way since I was a kid (from the adults who knew me in my youth).

Everything happens for a reason. Success is not an accident. It is based on the Aristotelian Principle of CAUSALITY. Today, we call it – “the Law of CAUSE & EFFECT.”

Cowboy 🤠 House.

Here’s one I’d like to share – I was raised by my grandparents as my biological Dad died when I was 4 years old, trying to save a person from downing … and was overpowered by the victim and drowning with that person). My biological mother was only 16 and had a choice to have an abortion but I thank her and God that she didn’t.

Her decision to give me life has allowed me to not only live but to do what I do – predominantly, helped people, help themselves building their bridges from where they are to where they desire to be over the last 3 decades.

Anyways, I grew up in a large extended family – grandparents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins and siblings and … visitors and extended family visiting.

My home was always full and was always noisy. Our neighbours used to call our home – the “Cowboy House”.

We didn’t have much of anything – food (there were no less than 10 people to feed every single day … and I do not know how my grandparents managed to do this), didn’t have much material possessions (my grandmother used to sew my school uniforms) … but the home certainly had a lot of love.

There was a lot of storytelling and sitting around talking almost every night. It was just part of the home … part of the culture.

Because there was so much noise, most kids would not be able to concentrate/focus. But, I told myself way back in early Primary School that I will teach myself to study/do school work/read in … noise.

My teachers couldn’t understand how a kid (me) could get Top Academic Results every year.

Most kids/people need peace and quiet to FOCUS, so we are told. “How does Paul do it?” I would over hear some teachers say. In my adult life, I have continued to learn/read/focus in any environment, no matter how noisy or ridiculous is.

The only photo I have as a baby with my biological mum. One of my 3 Mums in my life.

Focus on what you can control

I remember my grandfather telling me many things (he was a very wise man) … saying something to the effect –

“Paul, focus on what you can control … and do the best with what you’ve got … don’t be part of the problem, always be part of the solution”.

I’ve always applied that in my life, not focusing on insufficient resources and constraints .,. But on HOW I can do better with what I have. That philosophy along with many others, has helped me create the life I’ve always imagined and realise short-term and long-term goals.

Growing up in an family environment that had very limited resources (except for love … the home was always infused with LOVE), has allowed me to almost always have an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm.

I completely understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma – mind and body … better than most (hence sculpting a Physique worthy of representing Australia at 2 x World Natural Physique Championships and placing in the Top 5 in consecutive years).

I am fully aware of how the body is the physical manifestation of the mind or in other words, the body expresses what the mind is concerned with. I’m a strong believer that life is many things … and one of which is that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy…. That you usually get what you expect.

My ‘tough’ upbringing has allowed me to develop a healthy self-expectancy and eliminated all forms of excuse from my vocabulary as … I expect to win, almost all the time. I have no doubt the so-called ‘luck’ is the intersection of preparation and awareness.

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

Life … a very real game but not a gamble.

I look at life as a very real game .. but not a gamble.

Part of what I have done over the last 3 decades is help people, help themselves build their bridges. I have learned and taught many things. It seems that every individual tends to receive what he or she expects in the long run.

From my experience and deducing from other people’s experiences in my life so far … it would appear that you may or may not get what is coming to you, or you may or may not get what you deserve – BUT YOU WILL nearly always get what you expect.

As someone who has mastered the art of body re-engineering (building muscle and reducing body fat to < 4%), believe me when I say, there is an intricately close connection between your mind and body … a negative thought can cause your ‘look’ (that you get judged on) to go from excellent (Top 5 and finalist) to awful.

I’ve learned and mastered much of the ‘mind-body-heart-soul’ interface connections and one important one is this – mental obsessions have physical manifestations. Basically, you BECOME WHAT YOU FEAR – you get what you expect – you are that which you expect to be!

Here’s the thing – since all individuals are responsible for their own actions and cause their own effects, optimism then, is a choice.

Choose well, my adult friends.

Balance & symmetry brings you closer to harmony … to beauty …closer to infinity. Just like mathematics does

Optimism, Enthusiasm, Faith & Hope.

What is needed is : continual fueling of – OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM, FAITH & HOPE.

Each is a synonym for – having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.

So, my question to you (if you’ve made it this far) is –

1. Do you have a healthy self-expectancy about things in your life?

2. Do you expect the best for you – in life and as a way of life?

3. Do you look at problems/constraints as opportunities?

With regards to question 3 above, try this little exercise and let me know your answers –

Make a list of your KEY problems/constraints –

> the ones that block your professional and personal fulfillment.

> Next, write a one-or-two sentence definition of each problem/constraint.

Now, rewrite the definition, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creativity and ingenuity (some refer to it as ‘re-framing’).

Here’s a tip: view the solution as you would if you were advising one of your best friends.

So, where does your thoughts stand in relation to your Self-Expectancy now?

Write in and tell me all about it.

Thank you

Yours in care, compassion & trust,

Paul

A fridge magnet 🧲 I bought almost 20 years ago. Practise this.

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White Lies & Black Lies.

White & Black Lies should be minimised in families.

Withholding Truth

G’day & Bula & good morning/evening to YOU wherever YOU are in this beautiful planet 🌏!

I was thinking 🤔 about life, as I usually do & the concept of “truth” in particular and lies as well as they seem to be two sides of the same coin.

Lying 🤥, we all do it and have done it over the course of our lives so far.

We lie to others & we lie to ourselves. I guess we could split lies up in to two main types:

1. White lies

2. Black lies.

The 💝alentine tribe (minus our dog 🐶 – Mr Fuzzy/Fussy cuddles. As parents we try to be as truthful to our children.

White Lies & Black Lies.

A black Lie, as I see it, could be defined as a statement we make we know is false. A white lie is a statement that we make that is not in itself false but that leaves out a significant part of the truth.

I think white lies can often be more destructive than black-lying. Think 💭 about it, we all do it almost every single day of our lives , as we consider white-lying more socially acceptable in many of our relationships because we “don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.”

Yet, people complain that their social relationships are generally superficial. Is this the right thing to teach our kids – that, as parents, part of being loving is feeding them heaps of white lies?

Is it right and truly beneficial for the children to not be told the cold truths about matters of life? Should parents continue (& I see this happening every day and have witnessed in many families over the last 3 decades of keen interest) “white-lying?”

So, parents tell each other everything but feed their children white lies. For example, that they fought with each other the night before about their relationship, or that their dad resents their grandparents for their manipulativeness & lack of caring over the years or that mum has a medical problem.

Rational behind white lies is – a loving desire to protect & shield their children from unnecessary worries.

The thing is , the children will know anyway.

Her heart ❤️ (& his) belongs to me … for now.

Protection or deprivation?

The reason to protect the child/children is, at best, a genuine form of misguided love 💕. Protected from what?

Is it really helping & protecting the child/children? Or is it detrimental? I think it would be more the latter.

White-lying is not protection but deprivation!

Children are deprived of many things –

⁃ knowledge about the situation

⁃ Their parents

⁃ Their grandparents

⁃ Life

⁃ People in general

So, ultimately, it comes down to what “version of the truth” are we willing to share with the world?

Can you see “me” in my son? Can you see you in your son?

Is Love the answer … is it Discipline with Discipline?

It also comes down to love and how we define love for ourselves. To tell white lies, do we love more than not telling white lies?

How do you define “love?”

This is a hard one ☝️ as love 💗 is just too large, too deep even, in my opinion, to be truly understood or measured or limited within a framework of words.

The bible tries to explain what love is but I don’t think 🤔 or at least I haven’t come across a truly satisfactory definition of love.

I know what love is not!

Contrary to what we’ve been told , love is not a feeling.(I will elaborate on what l mean another time)

I think love comes down to the desire to nurture one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. And this takes discipline, lots of discipline.

Discipline that needs to be constantly disciplined.

Discipline with discipline!

What do you think? Food for thought 💭.

End of the week … hang in there and continue moving forward in the roles you play in your life.

Gotta go now … have a great day!

Cheers 🍻!

– GURU Paul 💝alentine –

My gritty Viking pirate 🏴‍☠️ princess 👸
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Ask the RIGHT Question.

Be, YOU.

Question Everything.

I tell my children to NEVER be afraid to ask questions BUT more important than that is to learn HOW to Ask the RIGHT QUESTION…. &…

To … Question EVERYTHING.

Everything that is passed down from earlier generation (even everything me or my wife tell them) … EVERYTHING they SEE … HEAR… READ….

And …

Most importantly…

Ask the RIGHT questions.

I know you know this.

And they do, & they’re getting really good at it … it’s tiring BUT it’s a lot of FUN.

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

Are you a “stirrer?”

Are you a “stirrer?”

I am.

Ive always been what you call a stirrer. I also encourage my kids to be so, too.

Question “why?”, three levels deep… “go deeper!”, i say, they say “why dad?” …. I say “why not?”

I encourage civil disobedience in kids against anything or anyone that suppreses imagination in kids. I also support a healthy disrespect for authority (question everything) & to find FUN in everything & anything Around you.

I tell them to “Find the craziness in the common or the Marvellous in the mundane “

YOU just have to pay more attention. Become more intentional with your attention. Become a better listener. In addition to listening to what people say, work on listening to what they don’t say. Most importantly, listen to what your inner voice/soul says.

You will learn much.

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

Learning to be Trouble-Makers.

So, my kids been taught to be and still learning to be trouble makers (within reason). They’re learning to be kids that “rock-the -boat”, young people that question the “status quo”; outsiders; & rabble-rousers… basically a little “weird.”

I believe The world 🌍 is crying out (& has been crying out for a while now) … crying out for heretics. Yep, those same people who were burned at the stake not too long ago.

I believe that the world needs YOU right now…YOU, in ALL your weirdness.

Regardless of your age however, I believe IMAGINATION & finding the marvellous in the mundane is a good habit to develop.

For YOU & your journey towards happiness.

Be weird (good weird) & share the BEST YOU with those you love.

Have a great day & weekend,

The old man-
P.e.💪💥❤️alentine 🌴💥

I AM. Me .. & my constant companion – Mr Fuzzy/Fussy Cuddles
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The “New World’ we’re living in NEEDS more – “Shit-Stirrers”… “Questioners’. Weirdos! Here’s why –

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

Tribes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is it? Really?!

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

YOU are WORTHY.
Never forget that.
TRUTH.

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

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

This was my feedback to him:

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

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

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

Being a wanderer DOES NOT mean you’re lost.

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

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

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

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

Some Questions are UNANSWERABLE.

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

These questions are, to a great extent, UNANSWERABLE.

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

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

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

END OF CONVERSATION!

They DO NOT like the word and I use sparingly.

Oops … I may have digressed there a bit …

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

Someone is TRULY “LOST” when

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

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

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

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

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

Does it mean that it was “right?”

Not necessarily.

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

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

Is that punishment appropriate in today’s societies?

No.

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

There is no “one-size-fits-all”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers & ahoy!

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

Courage is the springboard to success in anything worthwhile.

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

 

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Walking the walk before you talk the talk … is vital to being more Authentic.

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. 

You can read a little more on “choosing a gym”.

Anyway, I hope your gym visits are going great!!

until next time,

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

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Questions. We just cannot live without them.

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


Why do we have questions?

Is it because of our need for answers?

Then, I ask, why do we want answers?

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

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

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

Why, I wonder?

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

Not knowing makes you vulnerable.

Is that such a bad thing, being vulnerable?

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

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

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

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

Destruction before tender, loving care.

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

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

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

Just like questioning.

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

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

And REVALUE it.

And just like the creation of muscle … become …

REnewed.

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

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

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

God said of them –

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

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

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

Are you?

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

The Truest Answer Rests within YOU.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers to you wherever you are in this beautiful world !

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

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Boys to Men

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;

God, give us Men … Real Men!

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.

Our children are our legacy.

As a parent, are you taking that thought seriously?

We love muscle and design. We love muscle cars. Here we are at a Car Show in Sydney, Australia. Just love seeing, smelling and feeling the energy that is transmuted by beauty.

My little Batman.

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The QUALITY of your Network is more important than your Quantity. Here’s why –

Who are ‘you?”

The Lifeblood of connecting 

Everyone wants to be rich. Right? Not you? Well, you’re special … 

Do you have a million dollars in cash laying around, what about a billion dollars? No, I didn’t think so, many don’t. Would be nice though, wouldn’t it?

What is ‘connecting’/networking” to you?

It would mean different things to different people. I’ve learned over the years that ‘good networking begins with the ability to start and carry on a good conversation.” We all have strengths and some people are better at ‘connecting’ than others. That is a strength of mine, has always been.

I don’t think anyone would get far in this world if you can’t make eye contact, act confidently, and engage in an intelligent conversation punctuated with give-and-take, back-and-forth dialogue. It begins with Trust, and the only word that describes trust, is, priceless. You can’t buy trust at any price but over time, with patience, you can earn that priceless trust. 

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years – if people you connect with, like you and they believe in you, then they will trust you, and if they trust you – then they may buy from you.

The lifeblood of connecting and the nurturing of relationships, stems from networking. Networking, to me, is your life skills and social skills combined with your business skills. Business pleasure done before and after regular work hours. …& during hours too (lunch meetings). 

There is life and happiness in sadness. Find it.

Good things come to those who have patience

To me, the ability to make conversation is an important part of nearly every relationship we have in our lives. The ability to engage in ‘small talk’ (have a listen to my tips in an early video), speaks volumes for you and leads to communication that deepens the relationship. 

So, “what you can do today?” you may be thinking

Here’s a place you could start from – try and perform one small act of kindness today without the expectation of getting something in return. Maybe pay for the coffee for the person who is standing in line behind you at the coffee shop? What can you do to brighten up someone’s day today?

In my experience, good things come to those who have patience and take consistent, persistent actions toward what they want or desire. They make committed decisions … decisions they ACT on. Just like what I’ve learned about building good Quality muscle with balance and symmetry. You need patience, above everything.

And do the right thing all the time, and respect will be yours. Believe in your heart that what you’re doing that the actions you’re taking is the best you can do – for yourself, first, and for others second. And always tell the truth. Here’s the thing about truth – no truth, no nothing. Full-stop!

I certainly understand the proliferation of social networking sites these days – they’re sprouting up everywhere. I also understand how it can help advance our careers (some of us) and help us meet like-minded individuals online.

But is it really good use of your time

I am very conscious of my time (just like many of you are) and I could see how a great deal of time spent on social networking sites can be unproductive and many times, online interactions are often superficial and unimportant. For me, I have a certain about of energy and I don’t like expelling it for less than life-affirming actions. I have seen that company mission statements mean nothing when the people they work for them are treated with disrespect. 

Let me ask you a few questions: are we really more connected today with all these technological gadgets and applications? In my mind, being ‘virtually’ connected and personally connected are two entirely different things. Sure, we need both in today’s world, but I would caution that the quality of your network is more important than your quantity. 

The jury is out on this one. Time will tell.

Believe in you. In what you have to offer to help people, help themselves achieve something they care about. Be persistent.

Reach out and touch someone

I’d rather have 200 ‘live’ people than 2000 “friends’ on Facebook.

Just like I approach adding and retaining QUALITY muscle, I retain ‘old school’ principles but add a ‘modern twist/flavour’ to muscle growth and sculpture. When it comes to networking and building quality connections in today’s high-tech world, you need to combine the new technology with the ‘old-school’ way of connecting. 

And how do you do this?”

Well, you can’t build muscle by thinking about or reading about it … you actually have to go and reach out and lift the weight and feel the muscle. Same for quality relationships, you need to go and ‘reach out’ and touch someone (I love that Noiseworks song “Reach out”). 

I’ve been in and around gym for almost 30 years now and have had over 30,000 + conversations and this is being conservative. I particularly had multiple conversations for 12 to 18 hour days, 7 days a week, with people of all ages and from all backgrounds in the seven years that I owned and managed my Family Gym. I probably have listened to more stories from individuals than the average person alive today has in the 100 year lifespan. 

I’ve offered my ears and shoulders to lean – on and cry on. I’ve wiped their tears, I’ve given them unsolicited hugs. I’ve offered good advice for free and I’ve made phone calls that many would not do. I’ve shared stories and made them laugh during their sad days and I’ve reminded them of the good times they had; I’ve driven to their homes and personally knocked on their doors to see if they were ok; they were pleasantly shocked and grateful for they weren’t in a very good place at that time; I’ve been the clown when I needed to be to infuse people with happiness and vitality … and also showing them that it’s ok not to take life and themselves too seriously all the time. 

Read that last paragraph again. 

I have mentioned ways in which I believe I worked very hard to be a source of comfort and strength and wisdom for the members of my Family Gym and others connected to my businesses. It was about building Quality Relationships, not superficial ones. What they were, are, what some people refer to as “random acts of kindness” (when no one is watching or awards given out) that you do, simply because you care about them. They nurture relationships and some develop in to quality and convey to others what it means to be a good friend. 

Like many things in life – like sex and chocolate and clothing … quality is better than quantity.

Do the Right thing, not some of the time .. but all the time.

Be an Active Listener

It is difficult to make connections but it is often more difficult to make important connections. The least understood element of connecting is that it’s a two way street. Yes, we always want to connect with someone else but the more important question is – do they want to connect with you?

What is your idea of being a ‘friend?” A Business/Life Mentor told me a long time ago that – 

Connecting is really all about being nice. Your friendliness is partly your ability to engage and your willingness to give Value first.” 

When you combine the attributes of niceness/friendliness with engagement and value, you will develop powerful connections that lead to RICH relationships. 

For some, the talking part of a relationship comes easy but there is another side of the equation in any relationship worth keeping and that is being a good listener. Do you think you’re a good listener? Staying engaged as an ‘active’ listener is very hard work because you need to stay focused and not let your mind wonder. I believe that as you become better at listening, you also improve your ability to win friends and influence others – and perhaps avoid a misunderstanding that can set relationships back years. 

I have seen this happen. Don’t let it happen to you. Focus on becoming a better listener, an Active Listener. 

I am a far better listener now than I ever was in my life, thanks in part, to my years of owning my own gym business. It’s easy to get complacent but I remind myself every now and then to be attentive when someone tells a long-winded story (like my 9 year old son … can he tell stories, must take after his Dad, ha ha ha!)

If you aim to be a top-notch connector or networker, it is essential that you become a more improved active listener.

If you don’t get what you want … learn why and seek another solution.

Powerful connection

The more people who are attracted to you, the MORE solid your connections you’ll make. Here’s a question – think about your most powerful connections right now. Make a list of four or five of them (Hopefully, you have that many)). Next, to each of them, write a sentence or two about how they have helped you, and how you would like them to continue to help you. Then, write a sentence or two about how you have helped them. 

Here’s an example of a powerful connection I have – Through my adding value to one member of my gym over six months, I was one connection away from the most Powerful Man in the world at one time – Mr Barack Obama. This man that came to me to help him, help himself be his best self was part of the President of the United State’s inner sanctum and advisory/support team. He was the best at what he did and was head-hunted by the Obama’s to help manage part of his 2nd term Presidential campaign because of the help he gave the Clinton’s prior to that. So, effectively, the value I gave to my client (and now friend) was (and still is) a very powerful connection to have, as it is only one connection to President Obama. 

Now, make a list of four or five people that you would love to meet because they could help your personal growth. Ask yourself, how can you give value, first. I have found that if you make yourself valuable, and memorable, people will desire to make you part of their network. Also, in my experience in helping people, help themselves over the last 3 decades, the important thing is just that: make sure you’re prepared to help someone else get better whether it is a one-to-one meeting or a networking event. 

The question you have to ask yourself is this: How can I help people, help themselves to achieve something they care about? That has been my mantra in helping people, ‘build their bridges’ over the last three decades. I’ve asked myself how can I make people better as a direct result of connecting with me? Now, this should be done with care. What I mean by this is that, you can use this strategy to connect with anyone, anywhere, and not just use it as a strategy to connect at a networking event.

Find your superpowers. Know your superpowers. Work to your superpowers (strengths)

Not everyone is a connection

I have learned that not everyone is a connection, and each person you meet is a valuable lesson in the art of connecting and networking. In my experience, when you begin to give value to the world, somehow the people you affect will find a way to tell you. Even if it takes a couple of years. I have experienced that many times over the years.  

We have been told that it’s ‘who you know that matters’. I don’t fully agree with this. I believe it’s ‘who knows you, that really matters’ in the long-term.

Realise this – the first stage of being liked and connected to is the person you see in the mirror when you look at it. As Dr Benjamin Spock said –

“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”

The person needs to be be loved, before he/she can give love. Then, give, first. Easier said than done some times, but to get what you want … you must give of yourself first – without measuring. 

Believe in yourself. Dig in and ‘get your hands dirt’ and become the person you aspire to be … a person of performance and ‘getting shit done!’

Sit back, thank God … and think to yourself ‘wow!”

Hope you found this helpful to you and your business,

 

Yours in iron, mind, heart & muscles,

Paul e Valentine

There is a Lion in you .. in every one of us. Find that Lion and overcome your fears … fears of rejection, fear of failure, fear of what others think of you. Believe in YOU.

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

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

Vanity

We all know when muscle is being used for vanity, 

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

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

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

It’s heavy on ego and light on substance,

It’s loud about ends but quiet about means;

It’s complicated and un-caring;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Create from the heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This takes time and a mountain of patience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like good politicians do;

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

Leave your ego at the door

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

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

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

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

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

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

It needs to rise above fear; 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It must, have,  above all, excude the … 

Life of Love.

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

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

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