God does not give individual gifts 🎁 to frustrate a marriage. No. God gives us unique gifts to ENHANCE the marriage. God does not lead two people into a marriage to see “sparks fly”, pulling a husband & wife in opposite directions.
No… God, leads them into marriage to blend and maximise their strengths, their usefulness.
Whenever this happens in my relationship with my wife, I pray to God for his help…. To give me the strength, courage & wisdom to make good decisions.
This is where our faith in God helps us during turbulent times in the marriage. There are many forces (internal and external) that work hard to tear a marriage apart.
If you believe in your marriage & what it represents is important to you, ask for God’s guidance and work hard to keep your marriage .
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.
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.
He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.
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.
To think, really think .. is probably the hardest thing To do in life
I had a health scare.
Seven months before I won my 1st World Natural Bodybuilding/“Classic” Physique Title, I had a health scare. Every few minutes I would experience excruciating pain in my abdomen, especially whenever I ate something. The old experienced Surgeon (who was part of the first Medical Graduates at one of Sydney’s Top Universities & studied with an Uncle of mine) said I was lucky –
The pain I felt was the closest thing any man can come to knowing what giving birth was like for a woman
Less than 0.001% (or some very small number ) of the world’s population get this ailment
It can be RIGHTED.
Diagnosis: the point where my small intestine & large intestine meet had folded on to each other like a sock 🧦. The pain experienced was due to the food being squeezed through each time I ate. It was an emergency & he moved me up the waiting list.
The operation was successful.
From that experience & my life experience so far… I have concluded that Nothing a man can ever do can & will compare with the pain a woman goes through during labour, along with carrying a life in them for 9 months.
Find your light to show your son/boys their way
A good Father is a little bit of a mother.
A man can never be a mother, but I recall a mentor saying – a good Father is a little bit of a Mother. Each have different primary roles and can’t completely replace the other, without causing other unwanted consequences.
No matter who you are or what you have achieved, one thing is true about life : Fathers matter deeply in the lives of their children and ultimately in the life of our communities and nations.
I believe Fatherhood is the most tragically underestimated & misunderstood modern-day issue of our culture today. It has been now, for a number of decades. Fathers & dads should be honoured & revered just as Mothers are.
Leadership ability begins in the home … children learn character building in the home Be the best character you can be … for YOU, first .. and then for your kids my two children a number of years ago
Our children deserve better.
Our culture (many modern-day societies ) often mocks fatherhood in various ways – I see it regularly on TV ads over the last 2 decades where Fathers & Dads are belittled or made to look silly & irresponsible. I’ve observed & experience this first hand in playgrounds.
This should not be allowed to continue as there is nothing funny about the number of broken homes & broken lives left behind by absentee (& abusive) fathers & husbands.
Our children deserve better and more should be done in society to educate and create awareness. Society needs to continue to provide reassurance and affirm the necessary role a Father or a Father figure has in the life of each child.
It seems that our culture today is at a crossroad. There are many epidemics afflicting us, yes – the covid & obesity as examples. However, we have diverted our attention from a major epidemic: the epidemic of broken families. You don’t have to look very far … this epidemic has grown at an alarming rate & has littered our streets with broken children.
Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do. Teach them well.
The most vulnerable victims – our children.
Absentee and noninvolved fathers, who have given up their roles as leaders & mentors have taken their toll on the most vulnerable of victims – our children. Statistics about children from fatherless homes are alarming and we should be working towards reversing this growing trend.
A good father & dad is one who provides the launching pad for strong, successful and values – driven adults into the world. Adults who then make a positive impact in people’s lives.
It is truly an honour to be given the opportunity to have the honour of wearing the Father, Dad and husband hats so far in my life. I hope and pray that one day, my two children mention something along those lines in their eulogy speech at my funeral.
God bless my children and all the children of this magnificent world and to all the fathers & dads reading this that try juggling all those very important hats : father, dad amd husband.
God bless all the children of this world and what they have had to endure because of the covid epidemic.
My beautiful daughter and I enjoying “Daddy-daughter time” on the Ferris Wheel at Luna Park in amazing Sydney, Australia.
foundations of a gritty strong character Begins in the Family … in the home …