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My Three Mums.

Me and my FIRST mum. My grandmother. The most amazing woman I have ever known. Just eclipsed by my wife of 20 + years now …

My First Mum: the cuddles & kisses Woman.

I was very fortunate.

Unlike many kids, I had 3 mums.

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.

Literally.

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.

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.

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?

I didn’t.

How “authentic “ are you? How true are you to “YOU?”

My Third Mum: the Risk Taker. Biology Matters.

The only photo I have of me and my biological mum as a baby.

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.

Enjoy YOU. Appreciate Nature. One day, there won’t be any more sunrise or sunset to appreciate.

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.

Take Heart.

Teaching you to love yourself better and more. That the most powerful show of self-respect is to say ‘no’. Saying no to foods that are not aligned to your desired body image is the highest form of self-respect and love.

But I take heart ❤️…. with this …

The Bible also clearly states that –

“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.

ME.

You should do this too… If you need to.

Built in God’s Image.

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) ….

But….

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.

May God continue to shower his blessings on you.

yours in care, compassion & trust

Paul

I AM/YOU are/WE are … all created in God’s image. Thank God.

The unselfish decision to NOT have an abortion at 16 by my biological mum, allowed me to live a life. As I result, I have gone on to help save many lives i. What I do and am all very grateful to create lives of my own – my two children. She may be gone in physical form by she is still in the genes of my kids. I thank my wife and the Grace of God for my life so far.

 

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Men & Fathers who Nurture.

Did you have a father that invested a great deal of time and energy in to your life? Or was he in the shadows … or almost never around.

In my 7 years of owning and managing my Family Gym, I came to really know men from all backgrounds and status in society. My gym membership was about 70% male.

Over time, I came to notice correlations and strong causation between their behaviour as grown men and their relationship with their dads in their childhood. It didn’t matter which race, culture or status, there were some strong connections.

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

Happy Men & Not-so-happy Men.

Do you consider yourself a “Happy Man?

Who are the happiest Men in society? Not by any kind of horizontal segmentation but as a species – “male”.

I think there are Happy Men and the not-so-happy men in our modern-day societies.

Experience has indicated that the men who are the happiest and most content in the masculine role today are those whose fathers put in the time and effort in their upbringing. And continue to do so.

I’ll refer to them as the “Happy Dads” in society.

These Happy Dads had dads who were around to begin with. Dads that were committed to maintaining a positive, nurturing, encouraging relationship with their sons. These Fathers of Happy Dads provided that secure foundation and supported their sons in their ups and downs.

The sons (Happy Dads) had support from their Fathers with their careers and decisions they made and acknowledged their achievements.

These Happy Dads had dads that were just “there for them”. No excuses, full-stop!

Time spent with your young man is NEVER bad use of your time.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

That consistent loving time spent with their sons (not “quality “‘time), paid off … in time. These Father’s sons, who the the Happy Dads of today are, I believe, among the most well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers in our modern-day societies.

Are they increasing? Are they easily recognised?

Does he look like you? Your friend, maybe?

Like Father-like-son. I think I am a Happy Man… mostly. Are you?

MINORITY RULE.

I believe these well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers is and has been on the decline. They could be safely said to be in the “minority “.

Normally, I would say that in a democratic society, the majority should rule. In this instance, I believe that this minority should rule … these men should be the norm and not rare and abnormal.

We need these types of men … Happy Dads … to flourish again and increase.

What do we do? How do we go about this?

I believe it is up to me, you and … all the current dads/fathers reading this and out there with young sons… to commit to these young impressionable souls.

It is up to us, Fathers/Dads/Husbands.

Being there for your young man is vital to his overall understanding of a BALANCED Man.

STOP REARING ANGRY MEN.

The majority of men today are struggling to recover from relationships with fathers who failed to nurture, affirm and validate them at some level … or all levels.

These sons (who are now fathers/dads/husbands themselves), are left with a legacy of pain, confusion, frustration, anxiety, bitterness, fear & anger. A lot of these men never had a choice in having their father in their lives as the mothers decided to bring them up as single parent.

I believe a big percentage of These adult sons are the angry men of our societies.

We need to stop rearing angry men.

If you’re part of the minority that is, the Happy Men, congratulations 🎉! Go and give your old man a hug and tell him you love him…. and just give him thanks for being there for you through your tumultuous years of youth.

You probably already do … and have.

That’s what Happy Men do.

Cheerio for now, Until next time …

Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do. Teach them well.
My gritty Warrior Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ prince 🤴

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Businesses of the future need leaders who are Entrepreneurs of Imagination. Physique Artists are Champions at this. This is how:

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.

Building a Physique of high quality dense muscle that is balanced & symmetrical on a human being takes an high understanding of striking a balance between control and creativity.

Successful Businesses now and in near future need leaders who understand HOW to strike a balance between control and creativity in organisations…

.. if they are to survive and thrive. Business Leaders need to think like Physique Artists ... like designers.

”Businesspeople don’t need to understand designers better. They need to be designers.”

– ROGER MARTIN, dean, Rottman School of Management

Here’s how the principles of physique artistry can be used in the Corporate World.

Believe.
Embrace Creative Destruction.
You never know what you’ll discover.

What it takes.

My sport found me at 19.

It was and is the hardest sport an individual can participate in. The sport name is : bodybuilding. The great Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most famous bodybuilding champion and has done and still contributes to the wellness & fitness industry. 

I like to refer to it as : Physique Artistry.

To master the “Art” you need to master – YOU.

It is the fusion of science 🧬/engineering and art(design/creativity). 

I got to the Top of my sport. Representing Australia to two consecutive world 🌎 NATURAL bodybuilding championships in New York, USA.

It was a 10 year goal (To stand on the world stage against the best in the world). I developed and managed the best execution of a 10 year plan. I achieved (& exceeded) the goal in that time by making the Finals (Top 5) in both championships.

It took /takes a lot to build muscle.

It took much much more knowledge to Sculpt a “physique “. One that leans towards “ better balance & symmetry “. Consistency, focus, persistence and belief got tested in the journey towards my best. It took learning to  listen” to the myriad of feedback signals the human body and mind Gives you, positive or negative feedback. Being “in-tune” with yourself is key 🔑 to success in this sport.

Sticking to the plan and making changes based on feedback signals ⚒️ I have (the mirror, the scale, energy levels …) where and when necessary to changing circumstances was part and parcel of the journey. It was science 🧬 & art constantly fused together. It is one of the reasons I love the art/science of physique artistry – it feeds in to my thirst for learning.

I know “what it takes.” A big part of this is the “connection “ I have with me … and my enhanced listening /detective abilities of the myriads of feedback my body gives me.

One of my Top 3 Physique Artists of all time.
Balanced & symmetrical ==> beauty.
And when you CREATE your beauty my friend is …
When you discover your TRUTH.

Tomorrow’s Organisations need to create a culture that supports feedback and embrace creativity and “Imagine BETTER”.

In creating a physique that is worthy to represent your country against the best in the world, you need a very good understanding of balancing Control and creativity.

As a physique artist I am constantly tearing down the old me … designing the new me, from within… I have to continue to let my imagination and heart lead me. I am constantly trying to IMAGINE BETTER.

That is what business leaders of tomorrow need to be: Entrepreneurs of Imagination. By testing and exceeding our own personal limits, can society’s horizons be expanded and enriched. That is the way all civilisations innovated .

As Fredrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) said –

whoever must be a creator always annihilates”

As a Champion Physique Artist I need to not only continually monitor what can be controlled in the “micro-environment “ but also the macro-environment. All this is balanced with the creativity and freedom needed to “push-boundaries “ in training and nutrition.

Excelling in physique artistry requires you to continuously assess actions and evaluate feedback from your body. You need to embrace feedback, whether it is negative or positive and constantly ‘tweak’ existing or create new processesses to and environment that is very dynamic and rapidly changing.

And what is ‘creativity?”. The artist, Rassouli said –

“Creativity is the manifestation of the playful spirit of a creator having fun.”

As a Physique Artist, I see the whole body as one but I see it as having many moving parts. An important task I have to do is ensure that all the parts ‘flow together’ and are in ‘harmony’ in an ever-changing environment. Depending on feedback received and assessed, I will be able to have the courage to try new things or ‘new ways’ and still achieve the desired results or better. and ‘getting it right’.

In organisations, there are lot of different parts/divisions and they need to all work together, in relative harmony and effective communication in these relationships, between these divisions is the key.

All good and effective feedback has a strong 💪 foundation of strong 💪 relationships. Feedback should come from someone the recipient respects and has built a good relationship with.

In my experience, for feedback to be most effective, however, it helps that the  parties involved need to see the persons as “people” first and foremost instead of titles & roles. This allows people to let their guard down and feel comfortable to take risks and fail. It is the ‘fear of failure’ that stalls new ways of thinking about doing things and this is emphasised by some organisations in bad performance reviews.

Freedom to be vulnerable is a contributor to creative thinking. This freedom is not encouraged by many organisations. Those that do encourage this freedom and build processes and systems that encourage and foster creative-thinking idea formulation will increase their chances of remaining competitive in fast-changing, increasingly uncertain world we live in.

We need business leaders to encourage “Creative Destruction “ … and Entrepreneurs are essential to economic growth because only they disrupt the status quo to challenge conventional business models.

Just like I have done for many many years as a physique artist and an entrepreneur.

These are Key ingredients for successful creative thinking & innovative behaviour.

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

Get your hands dirty, to find the diamond.

A key part of effective organisations is having well-oiled processes that are aligned with the overall mission of the organisation (make profit, increase market share etc). This is the same for building a Physique that is beautiful, that is, ‘flows’ with balance and symmetry. A physique that exudes great design.

There are many Systems for feedback that I  use with physique artistry. One of my key systems, I call it the “3-step to showing my diamond 💎 to the world“:

  1. mining – how I manage (mix n match all the variables – how much cardio, how long, what type? Best food combos ? ). Organisations  need a process of how employees are to voice grievance with others . Maybe write down “why”. Here’s where you “get your hands dirty “.

2. Re-fining : making sure that I make the right substitutions at the right time (from the larger goal … to monthly and weekly and daily goals). This is where the bulk of my time is Spent – in the beginning when working through the process of setting goals.

Organisations need to separate the “facts”‘from emotions and “he says” – “she says”. Leaders and participants in this “feedback “ process, needs to Spend time here. Refining.

3. Defining: once my goals (micro & macro employees should have the ability to re-write what they wrote initially after learning about all the other information in the two stages. This is a stage of reflection. How can you do or say things better?

Processes of feedback could be done this way, for example. 

In their book, “Thanks for the Feedback”, Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen stressed that feedback is about the quality of relationship, as I mentioned earlier –

Feedback isn’t about the quality of the advice or the accuracy of the assessments. It’s about the quality of the relationships, your willingness to show that you don’t have it all figured out, and to bring your whole self – flaws, uncertainties, and all – into the relationship.”

It is the formula I use to project manage my building of muscle &  the design & creativity I apply. I need to keep introducing these principles to encourage muscle growth and burn fat.

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.

Feedback: Food for Champions. Organisations to allow “feedback” to be seen as “Opportunities to learn”.

That is exactly the approach I take when listening to the various feedback loops my body gives me – the micro and the macro: I always see it as an opportunity to learn.

I see all feedback as “food for champions “.

Personally, I’ve Always had a “feedback – seeking behaviour. I subsequently found out that it is a self-regulatory trait in learning & orientation. Probably explain why I’ve always believed in learning from someone who “has skin in the game” in every key area in life.

To me, it is part of a “Champion mindset “. Being eternally curious  like me, demonstrates an awareness of feeling psychologically safe enough to proactively seek out feedback with the intention for self-improvement.

Organisations and its leaders need to emphasise a “learning environment “ instead of one based on fear.  Evolving a “Culture of Learning’ is key to success and emphasising the importance of having a ‘growth mind-set’. Having a growth mind-set is part-and-parcel of being a great Physique Artist. 

But, bear in mind there are no perfect learning people, even if you have a close-to-perfect feedback system like the human body.

To dig deep, you have to dig deep. To find “YOU “, you need to Mine … for your diamond 💎…Re-fine YOU… and then Define … your BEST YOU.

Feedback is essential to enhancing effectiveness and creativity but the feedback process needs good design. 

There are no perfect feedback systems. All business people need to be good designers.

Most adults are wired to fear failure. It’s drummed into people by our archaic outdated education systems.

Organisations suffer because staff are afraid to take risks as there isn’t an environment that encourages this. In physique artistry, it’s important to feel the freedom to take “calculated risks” on key aspects that will have a dramatic effect on your final outcome.

just like I need to create the right environment, an environment that encourages an anabolic response from muscles 💪, an organisation needs to create a culture where failing is not the focus.

Businesses will need leadership has the ability and fortitude to experiment with novel combinations. This inspiration-centred approach will inevitably have many mistakes but the journey from innovation to commodity is so swift that individuals and organisations must be relentless if they are to remain competitive.

For a organisation, The question is what should you do with the failure? What can we learn from it? A great physique artist learns to have a strong 💪 “connection “ with his self … it is a strong relationship, one based on experimentation, process and reflection and assessment (using the mirror is a key component – the mirror does not lie).

As Trevor Baylis, INVENTOR said –

“The key to success is to risk thinking unconventional thoughts. Convention is the enemy of progress. As long as you’ve got slightly more perception than the average wrapped loaf, your could invent something.”

That is, what organisations need to do through the feedback process : to focus on the human connection… the relationship and building that “emotional labour”. Developing and going through the process of reflection and “looking in the mirror “ and actually asking the RIGHT questions:

  • why do they do the things the say they do?
  • Is there a better way?
  • What are their intrinsic values ?
  • Are these values tied to their purpose
  • How are they giving value to their loca & global communities.

Most Innovation and inventions and breakthroughs come from reassembling existing ideas in new, creative ways.

I love Trees. Be like a Tree. Let go of old ways of doing things … like trees let go of their leaves … each season to allow for new fresh ones (ideas) to evolve.

Neurons that wire together, fire 🔥 together!!

The leaders of tomorrow’s successful organisations need to create and maintain an environment that fosters support for risk-taking and creativity.

This will lead to innovation.

The organisation needs to encourage vulnerable behaviour, openness…. this evolves from More trust, more care and more patience. And this should come from the top and filter down through all the levels of the organisation.

The culture is to be fuelled by a change of thinking … a re-wiring of the brain 🧠 to create a way of thinking that does not fear failure. And not just with words or “window-dressing “.  It should be authentic.

The environment should be one that fosters “Champion Feelings and Champion Thinking. An organisation that focuses on feedback being a learning experience and opportunity, like a good physique artist does with his self.

Lesrning to have Champion Feelings and Champion thinking is Something that all employees can learn to be better at. This is encouraged with feedback processes that is there to enhance learning. Organisations where employees are allowed to be themselves and be comfortable being vulnerable.

Build your bridge from where you are to … where you desire to be. A lot of times, it pays to get help from an experienced builder… who “walks the walk” ..& not all “just talk”


Mr Vulnerable, where are you … come out, come out … wherever you are!

In much of today’s modern society, allowing oneself to be vulnerable is not something that is encouraged. There are “pockets of this kind of behaviour “ here and there, but on the whole, It is frowned upon.

Men should never show weakness and vulnerability. It requires a lot of courage from employees (especially men). What is needed is undying support from leaders of the organisation.

As we know, learning can be painful (and i have learned many painful lessons lifting weights in the gym). The key thing is to allow yourself to learn to be better at “being comfortable being uncomfortable “.

Learning, like muscle growth, needs stimulation and involves  change snd adaptation. It is the process of adaptation that new muscle grows (.new exercise techniques to maximise growth). In businesses, change and adaptation happens when it wrestles with new ways of doing things and continually asking questions.

Questions that forces them to question the way they do things, Even what they think is “what’s best” or “correct “.

Here’s something I learned along the way to the Top of my sport of Physique Artistry:

“You have to be willing to be wrong! That is what leaders of tomorrow’s organisations should be focused on to foster environments that encourages more creativity.” And why is Creativity important? If you’re not exercising creativity, you may as well be dead.

“To cease to think creatively is only slightly different from ceasing to live.”  (Benjamin Franklin)

Less fear, happier employees, more creativity. Better productivity? Better profits? Is there a strong correlation, at least?

I know there is.

I’ve got – not one, but two world championships Trophies 🏆 & medals 🏅& have designed and run several successful businesses to prove it.

Cheers

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

 

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How to eat an Elephant.

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

A tribute to my son … allow me to storytell.

How to eat an elephant.

How to eat an elephant, yep, That was something my most valued business/life mentor taught me when I first met him.

He asked me one day, he said –

Paul, young man, how do you eat an elephant?”

Now, that was a question i just couldn’t answer at that time. I said what any 30+ year old would say –

Fuck if I knew!”

Then, he said something that I always recall when I take on a big project – patience.

One mouthful at a time, young man … one mouthful at a time, until you’ve eaten that whole elephant.”

There are many elephants in our lives – ourselves, our children, our careers and so forth. One such elephant for me is my son, Zachary. A vibrant, energetic & curious young boy, evolving at a very fast rate. One of my tasks as his dad is to love him, unconditionally. No matter what, always being the wind beneath his wings when he decides to fly.

To keep fueling his curiosity and provide relevant boundaries that allow him to grow and stretch and possibly shift. 

It’s New Year’s Eve and I sit and reflect on many moments in my life so far. Christmas came and went and for my family, prayer snd devotion is always a constant reminder to give gratitude through grace, even in times of heightened joy & excitement.

A few months old … in our Family gym I owned & managed for about 7 years. He has no recollection of this period of our lives.

Basics That Never Fail.

The Basics of almost every field are a vital foundation of Mastery of that field. For example, in physique artistry, it is the basic lifts of – squats, deadlifts and bench presses. In football, it’s being able to catch and pass an oval ball with speed and accuracy in almost any conditions.

In our roles as fathers & dads, teaching our sons to take responsibility early in life will prepare them well for the workplace in the future. I believe two kinds of responsibility should be emphasised:

  1. responsibility for themselves
  2. Responsibility towards others

These are the basics that never fail when it comes to personal growth and character. I try to educate him on these areas every day.

Out and about with the future Mr Valentine

Santa brought knives 🔪 for my son.

Not many Dads/parents buy their sons (let alone their 9 1/2 year old ) son – knives 🔪 . Well, my son got a few, knives that is. Santa brought knives for my son & placed it in stockings for Christmas.

A gift 💝 from me, his father & dad.

Zachary has always had a soft spot for knives & swords since he was a baby. I thought 💭 id introduce him to wood carving and help transmute that endless energy & enthusiasm for it into something creative: WOOD CARVING.

I did a bit of this in my childhood with my good mate kindie friend, Dr Manoa during weekend sleepovers at his parents place. We used to carve out creations from discarded pieces of wood.

Dr Manoa and I today. Friendship that’s been strong since kindergarten. Now, a Top Legal advisor to Governments, worldwide.

Patience & care was harnessed in this creative exercise.

A sword from a piece of discarded wood.

My son did his first carving & created his first sculpture: a sword 🗡 from a piece of discarded wood.

Attributes worked on: patience + delicate touches

Time: 45 minutes

Achievement: showed that he could FOCUS 🧘 intently on something else other than Nintendo & Minecraft. Also learned that little strokes with the knife 🔪 gives better control and accuracy.

Result: he started & finished a mini-project and experienced a sense if satisfaction in that. He Created a thing of beauty with his own hands. Was happy with what he produced. I was very impressed with his focus and final output.

He earned 2 hours of entertainment after that.

Little strokes create beauty … just as much as little strokes fell big trees.

Zachary carved a sword 🗡 from a discarded block of wood.

Possible repeat of The Dad in the future? Of 2 x World Champion NATURAL physique artist titles?

Time will tell.

Oh well … it’s a start for him in the art of sculpture. Maybe, one day he will sculpt his body with different tools 🛠(Dumbells & nutrition) to build a world -class NATURAL physique.

The greatest warriors: TIME & PATIENCE (It took me 10 years of physique artistry sculpting to have the BEST NATURAL physique in the world).

A 10 year goal of sculpting the Best Natural physique art. Took me 10 years to achieve this. Patience & mastery of instrument.

Willpower.
The most important and most valuable art he works on is “art of/sculpture of the mind “. Believing that there is Power in the Mind. Believing in the Power of his mind….& that that power comes from God. To understand that there are many forms of power – financial power, horse power, Political power etc. but the most important of all is
WILL POWER.

The power to go beyond and achieve what was originally thought of as IMPOSSIBLE. as I tell him and his sister, to …

Take the IM out of IMPOSSIBLE…. and make it Possible!”

With God’s help.

He helps those who help themselves. He meets ALL believers, half way … in their journey towards realising their desires.

I pray that God continues to shower his blessings on you and your loved ones, those you care & value the most… in 2021 and ….

Beyond.

Cheers & ahoy to YOU wherever you are in this place world

The old cap’n Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ & his gritty Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ prince attempting wood carving foe the first time.

Enjoying Kayaking together in Sydney’s beautiful seas

Admiring ‘beauty’ in design and sound …. and getting in touch with our feminine side:
Beauty and truth.
Be the role model you want your future leader to be.
A big responsibility, yes … but take it.
Like a man, a Real Man.
All the very best
I’m with you.

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Decline in Honour, a consequence of our society’s drive for instant self-gratification.

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 …

No longer.

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.

What happened to the old fashioned- “good things come to those who wait?

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

– “what do I get out of it?”… and NOW!

But how do children learn about honour?

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 –

  1. extending it first to our parents (if they are still alive);
  2. helping them find value in times of struggle.
  3. recognising our parenting strengths and style.
  4. providing a healthy balance in our homes.
  5. establishing loving boundaries.
  6. building positive loyalties.
  7. 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.

And don’t go down that slippery slope of dishonour… and don’t make it hard for your children and you do this by consistently showing them what true honour is.

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,

p.

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. 

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I’m not a good Father.

You – a Father, are a Superhero, whether you know it or not.
I tell my kids that when I FUCK UP (and I do)… it is my human side that fucks up (5%) of me. The other times, I’m simply Super.

Finding the Silver Lining in the clouds.

As loving parents, one way we can honour our children and build value into their lives is to help them see the positive gain in troubled times, finding the ‘silver lining’ in the clouds. Do you find yourself doing that as a parent?

Whether we like it or not, before they leave our homes, our sons or daughters may experience moments or even days of doubt, discouragement, loneliness, disappointment or depression. That is all part and parcel of living and being fully human.

They may be betrayed by a friend, fail to get into the school or university the desired or the profession of their choice. You can reflect on your life or like I have, learned from other people’s (parents in this case) – that children could experience being dumped later in life by a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse, or perhaps experience the disabling results of experimenting with drugs or alcohol.

And with each experience their child suffers, Mums and Dads feel the aftershocks in their hearts … have you felt that? Teaching them the necessary skills of how to respond to these life events and help them overcome these hurdles (if they do happen) is a big part of being a parent.

Teaching and ensuring they understand the life-skills necessary to move forward in life. If I don’t, I would feel like I’m not a good Father.

We all fall and fail in life. The main thing to focus on is picking yourself back up and …
Trying again.
That’s how most babies learn how to move from crawling to walking … and then to running …
and beyond.

Not wrong to avoid pain.

It is certainly not wrong to avoid pain when we can.

But it is wrong to deny problems, ignore them or try to explain them away or ‘push them under the carpet’. I come from a family line of confrontationists but my wife, on the other hand, come from one that ‘pushes things under the carpet’. No one says a bad thing if relates to ‘family’. With my family (extended), if there was a problem with someone or something, people raise it and bring it ‘out in the open’. They speak and ‘thrash’ the issue out amongst themselves and in many cases, individuals run out of words and let their hands/fists ‘do the talking’.

Did I tell you I come from a line of athletic sportspeople, with a strong emphasis on boxing? Anyways, I do. I grew up getting taught how to ‘box/fight’ from professional/semi-professional boxers. I was taught a ‘3-step’ method by my grandfather when I was a child and it has almost never failed me in street fights in my youth.

There are pros and cons of both methods of management of the issue – avoiding confrontation or seeking confrontation. The real skill is in assessing which issue is worth pursuing so as to bring less harm in the short and long term. Especially for your children and your relationship with them.

Most people take a lifetime to learn that art, if they ever do.

The interesting thing is that my wife has learned to be more confrontational and I have learned to be less. We have both learned something from each other. Finding that ‘mid-point’ is the true challenge.

That is one thing I am grateful for, for being married for almost two decades now – that we’ve both helped one another become better people, spiritually.

My wife and kids

Life is difficult and often unfair.

One of the all-time great truths is that ‘life is difficult and often unfair’.

The better we are at seeing through trials to what they can produce in our lives and our children’s lives, the better able we’ll be able to provide calmness, assurance and genuine love to our children, even in the midst of trying times.

In fact, trials have the capacity to bring strength, maturity, courage, genuine love, righteousness and perseverance to those who are willing to be trained by them.

Those are some of the qualities (along with others like patience and integrity, care and compassion) that work to re-enforce in my children and our family household. It is these intangible qualities in life that I hope my childrens’ character are built on.

Especially when the going gets tough in life, which an inevitable part of life. Not matter what happens, I tell them I WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE in them and WILL ALWAYS be in their corner. With these weapons, I encourage them to go out and give it a Try and … DO THEIR BEST. And even if they fail, that’s ok, because most people would not even try.

I teach them the most important thing – COURAGE, to attempt the ridiculous/weird or absurd. For nothing great or impossible ss achieved without courage. As M.C. Escher said –

“Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible.”

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

What you fear will materialise.

I did a form of Martial Arts called Tae-Kwon Do for about eight years in my youth and achieved multiple Black Belts in that art, by the time I was 19 years old. Martial Arts is a kind of dance, with an opponent. You learn how to dance with your opponent(s) by using their energy and body patterns with and against them to ultimately get them ‘off balance’.

That is one of the keys to being a Father/wife or parent in this life – striving to keep a sense of balance, even as chaos reigns around you. One must remain calm and respond, rather than react to external stimulus that has the potential to ‘knock you off’ balance.

The very things we fear might happen to our children can make them stronger people, depending on their response and our response to their difficulties.

I strongly believe the key to remember as parents is – our children do as we do … not as we say. So, as a responsible parent, becoming a better manager of you – yourself, is an Key component.

Being the BEST YOU, is the building block on which your whole family, especially your kids will, model their behaviour off…when you hear people say –

He or she (referring to your child/ren … is a “chip off the old block’

Every experienced parent knows that bad behaviour in a child rarely happens with no previous signals and no past incidents of disobedience or defiance.

There are always signals of trouble ahead. I always tell people, be more aware of yours surroundings, they speak to you … you usually see the clouds before the storm hits, for example. Alert fathers and mothers notice such signals (in the child/children) in time to intervene and prevent the youngster from skidding into serious mistakes …

A ‘sick day’ from school day for us here, 4 years ago now.
Enjoying the entertainment at Sydney’s beautiful Luna Park.
I never let schooling interfere with my or my family’s education.
Children teach you better conflict resolution skills


Real Wisdom.

Your wisdom in controlling your youngster is one of the best measures of how much you really love and value her. She knows this, whether she has said so in plain words or not. My grandfather was such a parent for me in my childhood. I was blessed I had such a strong and morally upright Real Man to model myself off.

Children need to know that their mother should have a hand in controlling her/him too and her/his father should have an equal share in the job. In my family, my wife and I clearly and repeatedly say that we are co-CEOs in our family. Mummy has certain strengths and daddy has too. For example, when it comes to sternly communicating standards of behaviour, I communicate this very effectively so I do it more often.

Your personal examples are very important, too, along with your rules.

You won’t be able to sell her/him (your children) any double standards on the important issues in life. She or he will come much closer to following what you do and what you believe than what you say about these issues.

Your daughter or son does not have to believe that you are the wisest man in all the world to consider you as a good father. She or he does want to be able to come to you with important questions about life. She needs to see that you are learning and growing, too, that you are open to new ideas, new concepts.

That you have a growth mind-set and embrace change that is relevant and readily adapt.

The future Valentines with the talented Miss Ruby.

Teaching the hearts and minds that are learning how to make this world a better place in which to live.

Being a real father to your children is one job that no one else can ever do as well as you.

Good fathers deserve their full share of top praise, for they are helping to build the loftiest cathedrals in the universe: the hearts and minds that are learning how to make this world a better place in which to live.

 

Hanging out
They love making fun of me these days

Happy Father’s Day to all the responsible fathers reading this and beyond. Let’s not forget all those fathers who have come before us or have left prematurely. May God bless their souls

Enjoy your day and have fun,

Paul

 

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Does being a “Father” mean … being a “Man in the Shadows?”

    1. I am a Man.
    1. A REAL Man.
    This is my MUG.

An impossible task

It is an impossible task, being a parent.

Not just difficult … impossible.

To take a life from its first breath on through to maturity – to feed, clothe, educate, and all the rest. How could it be? …

What is a father’s role? I ask

If we turn to the Bible, we learn almost nothing about the man that would be cast in the role of father to the son of God. Though that infant was not part of his body, Joseph’s heart must have been stolen just as most adopted children have a way of doing.

How did Joseph do? As a dad?

Do you strive to better yourself in every way?
Are you a Leader?

Abba!

We know that Jesus made it to manhood with a very strong and simple vision of what ‘father’ meant. We could assume he learned it at least in part, from Joseph.

With his last breath, with a tormented man’s voice in the garden of Gethsemane, he shrieked –

“Abba!”

He cried out to God, not to his earth Dad, Joseph.

Jesus earth dad, Joseph, was a man of great patience & love 💓 and understanding.
A man that loved his wife, Mary, so much, he believed her story of Jesus being the son of God.
What a man… what a “man in the shadow”

Joseph, his Dad on earth, had no real purpose, it seems. The bible does not say much about him and gives very little significance to his existence.

Joseph, was simply, the ‘man in the shadows’.

In a strong way, that is the way most of society over the last centuries has evolved with regards to a mother and a father’s role in the raising of their children. Up until the age of twelve, we could assume that Jesus was guided by Mary and his earth dad, Joseph, in the shadows. Mary is elevated and rightly so.

The Bible has no account of Jesus between the age of twelve until his early thirties. There are many theories as to where and what he did but that is not the point Of this writer.

Young boys turn out just fine, it seems, even if most fathers are simply men in the shadows

So, don’t try and be a “mother” to a boy, just be YOU – a Real Man. Make him know and feel loved … unconditionally and don’t stress if you don’t think you have or cannot spend time with your boy.

God bless all you if you’re a Father and also all the Fathers and Dads out there who try their very best to be the best Role Model they can be.

For their sons … the worlds future Men and Leaders.

Until next time,

Popeye Pirate 🏴‍☠️ Paul … and the importance of being a Father even if you’re just the Man in the Shadow

Me & my son

 

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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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Familiarity, like McDonald’s, is a curse and a blessing


I love McDonald’s

I love McDonald’s. … and I maintain a “6-pack” eating it. The 2nd part of that first sentence is UN-true.

obviously. But, sometimes the obvious things in life are also hard to see, pay attention to.

One of the things I love about it is it’s familiarity. There are no surprises. When I ask for a Big Mac Meal, I know I’ll get what I expect. No surprises. It is consistently the same everywhere I go and any time I get it. 

It’s like family and marriage. Life can be like McDonald’s a lot of times. But it is that familiarity that can be a blessing and a curse. 

In marriage, the task of communication faces a big challenge: familiarity. For many people, the self they show to the world is far different to that shown to the family, to those who know them best – their family. They perform for the world – for their bosses, their friends, their work colleagues, their sponsors, their church and sports and social groups but at home – they simply don’t. 

And why? 

Well, I believe, sometimes many do not perform for home because of the ‘curse of familiarity’. For many, that familiarity erodes their energy, saps their strength and cuts off their compassion, which incidentally is – all key ingredients to good listening. 

About to start a workout in my Old School Gym. Old School training principles with a ‘modern twist’. Know the basics. Stick to the basics. Apply the basics. Its the most efficient, effective and safe approach to building a muscular physique in the gym. An authentic physique artist spends a lot of time alone … with his art, working on the guy in the mirror. Not out of vanity but .. because the mirror is one of the most honest feedback tools one could ever have. Muscle building allows you to appreciate patience & dedication and the importance of the “little things” in their overall impact on your health, fitness and art. The importance doing things “right” ALL the time … not some of the time. Just like in all relationships you love the most – it requires all these traits and above all – respect, trust, care ‘ compassion.

When the phone rings

Have you listened to the tone of voice you hear people use when they answer the phone when the phone rings? A lot of times the tone of voice is quite different to the tone of voice they use when it is a close friend, family member or loved one. 

Ideally, homes offer a shelter from the storms of life… I try to give that for my kids. However, when we grow empathetic within our safe place, the familiarity that was meant to help and nurture, can end up hurting. I have witnessed it through helping thousands of individuals and families over the years.

Good listening skills require that you give loved ones in the home the same attention you would with those outside of the home and not pay attention simply because it’s ‘just my husband’ talking.

A ‘coaching conversation’ with Brad, while taking a rest break between exercise sets.
Helping Brad, help himself, achieve something he cares about and become more of who he wants to be.
I love having coaching conversations with people who aspire for something different… with people who want to grow by Being helped to recognise the strength from WITHIN themselves.
As a coach, one of my key strengths is the ability to LISTEN to not only what is said … but what is not said. That is a big part of my >84% of clients achieving or bettering their original goals in their programs with me.

The art of listening and respect begins in the home.

If people are to survive this era in which families are ripped apart almost as fast as they are made, people need to make more effort in paying more attention to the loved ones in the home. People need to resist the temptation to ‘tune out’ at home. 

I believe, people need to open their ears and hearts more – they need to listen more intently with their ears, hearts, body and soul … to the voices inside the walls of their homes.

 

It may sound easy but believe me, it isn’t. In a lot of cases, the “easiest” things to do are also the hardest things to do.

In general, I believe family members need to open their ears better – try to listen to the voices inside the walls of their homes. While good communication alone cannot cure a bad marriage, it can make a big difference. Many relationships end because of the reason – ‘break-down in communication’. I believe, people are communicating but the majority are not communicating EFFECTIVELY. 

The ‘break-down’ is usually the result of ineffective communication. The art of listening and respect begins in the home.

Explaining the fine points of re-engineering the physique and increased self-awareness through enhanced ‘mind-muscle’ connection..
building Quality lean muscle within a structure that is “balanced & symmetrical” takes time – vision, Unwavering belief, Ability, stick-ability, character, love, care and …. constant monitoring /listening to all the “feedback loops” of the body and its environment.
Very similar to managing key relationships in your life.
“Listening And communicating EFFECTIVELY is one of the keys.

Love well, those you love most

Love is many things to different people. I believe that love begins in the home .. the safety of the family. If we’re to love well, those we love most, we must all learn to Listen. Like I tell my son ….. To not only ‘listen’ but to listen ‘better’. 

For this to happen, each spouse should strive to learn to really hear what their spouses are saying and also what they are not saying … through effective communication, more families will remain together as they combat the curse of familiarity. 

And make familiarity … 

A Blessing.

For those of you that are married – what benefits and pitfalls come with familiarity of having been married for years? 

How can you improve your communication radar when it comes to listening to your spouse?

Until next time,

Cheers & ahoy!

 

Popeye Pirate 🏴‍☠️ Paul … & listening EFFECTIVELY at home

Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging.
Progress, any form of progress is a motivating factor.
So, don’t strive for perfection, instead seek progress … towards your ideal SELF. Here you have retired Rugby Union legend & former Australian Wallabies Captain – Phil Waugh still embracing knowledge to better himself. 
Vv

 

Successful achievement of goals require excellence in listening – for the coach and the pupil.

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Death of a Cubicle Worker

Bigger isn’t necessarily better but … it can smash things (like the Hulk)

Bigger isn’t necessarily better

I remember the last words my boss of almost three years say to me as I walked out of his office –

Paul, bigger isn’t necessarily better’.

I nodded at him, smiled and left. This happened a long time ago, back in 2003.

You see I had an offer to go work at one of the Top 2 Accounting & Business Advisory Firms in the world and I was leaving my role as a Senior Accountant of a 2nd-tier Accounting & Business Firm in Sydney, Australia (Top 20 in Australia).

It was exciting and even though my boss was happy for me, I could tell he was a little sad. I had handled his clients for almost three years and did a good job at it, working very hard. Heck, for about six months after I joined, my Manager upped and walked out and I was thrust in to an “acting Manager” role. I held the fort, so to speak for half a year while they looked for someone appropriately qualified and skilled.

He liked me. I was loyal and I was there when he needed me. This was reflected in my six-monthly salary review, I was handsomely compensated and was at the top of the salary range of my peers. “Not bad” I thought.

I could not foresee the future and being a candidate for the death of a cubicle worker.

Funny thing is that that piece of advice also applies to muscles and bodybuilding. The guy with the biggest muscles doesn’t necessarily win on stage in competition. That is because the guy with the most balanced & symmetrical physique with the right muscle: joint ratios and knowledge of the ‘art of posing’ is what builds a champion physique.

I’d understand that fully in my next phase of life, only a few years from where I was then …

 

Exactly.
No one can truly see the future but we can certainly extrapolate current patterns to help predict the future.

When being your Best isn’t good enough

I was hired at a newly-created level just below the “Senior” level I was at my old Firm. It was a blow to my ego, initially, as I felt that I was being demoted. I brushed that out of my mind and told myself that ‘it was only a title’.

Thing is, that initial thought bugged me right through my experience there and every other thing that bugged me just seemed much bigger than what it was. Hey, I was back at a Big Four! (My first Corporate work experience was at the largest of the Big 7 at that time – Arthur Andersen, just after graduation in the late 90s, where I spent over 2 years as a Risk Consultant).

It is now the Big Four.

Was nice to be back, or so I thought.

Let me just say that …I failed at my role. This is when I learned how being your best was not good enough.

I was going from a mid-tier to a Big Four and that was a ‘step up’ in the world, or so we believed. My first, heck, my first three months was nerve wrecking and admittedly, I found the place intimidating, cold and I was filled with fear but also a bit of excitement and loads of nervous energy.

But I had a bit of pride about it all.

I was sort of average at University. Many students had been far above me on the Dean’s list and graduated with honours and straight A’s. Not me. I had never hit any academic home-run except when I was in Primary and High School.

But that was a long time ago…. and besides, I was literally practising my social skills and building relationships and making connections in many sections of life. Skills like honing ‘small talk’ in various social situations, comfortably having conversations with people from all levels of the university and society- from the Chancellor, to having beers with Heads of Departments, to Gym Managers to gardeners. I spent a lot of that time mixing and socialising and finding out more about people as I ran a small business on the side too.

Besides there just so much to do besides study for straight As, and working on developing ‘me’ as a whole person and …. I had the energy and foresight to do that.

“What did my employer see in me? “ I used to ask myself.

They were looking for “well-rounded” individuals with experience along with brains… not just super-brains with no ‘people skills’. Ha! All that time running a business while studying and socialising wasn’t a waste after all. Apparently, many studies from major educational institutions indicate that the ability to connect with people is a key skill to have in life, a part of what is now commonly known as ‘Emotional Intelligence’.

One thing that immediately bugged me after getting that ‘newly-created’ title was I wasn’t getting much more than what I was getting at my old job.

I went from a Window Cubicle with great views to a ‘hot-desk’ and great work colleagues and a wonderful culture to something that was very different. A hot desk means that you don’t really work there and they don’t give you a permanent spot. You’re meant to be at your client’s premises, because if you are then, you’re charging your time to the client.

The firm makes it’s money that way, they had many perks. Employees loved that. I wasn’t phased.

The office was huge. An open-flat plan, comprising of a cubicle-walled jigsaw puzzle that felt like one of those boxes they make white mice run through to find the cheese.

Sometimes taking a bad photo of yourself can be very good for your own good. Just like sometimes, the greatest hurt teaches you the most.

Our Life-Controlling Mechanism

We can fill our minds with inspirational messages encouraging us to “Just do it!” or “Follow your heart!” so when we can’t do something or we recognize we aren’t good at something, we feel stuck. If we quit, that’s a problem (“Just do it! Don’t give up!”)

Sticking with it and quitting is a losing game, it is a lose-lose situation. No amount of positive affirmation can get you out of this abyss.

You feel like you’re unable to move at all.

Not able to think straight .. I felt like an imposter .. that I wasn’t good enough to be amongst the best of the best … not a good feeling to have at all.

I grinded my teeth as I slept, tossing and turning at night, and waking up with a feeling of dread in my stomach. I couldn’t handle that immense feeling of failure that kept rising and rising. Was it that I couldn’t do my job or I just lost all care about doing it? I’m not sure what happened first, my memory may have been a bit distorted.

I didn’t know where to turn.

I felt trapped.

You see, each of us have our own self-image, which kind of determines the kind of scope of person we are – it is our Life Controlling Mechanism. You see, we all have self-imposed limitations and we cannot outgrow these limits we place on ourselves.

We can only set new limits within which we must live.

Sometimes inspiration is not what you need, it is acceptance.

Acceptance so that you can move on and one day be in a position to say –

“I used to do that at one time in my life, but I no longer do”

A very powerful phrase to say. We all need to think we are making progress in life, no matter how small ‘that’ progress is. Saying ‘I used to do that?” gives you at least a perception that you’re kind of progressing in life.

Never give up.
In less than I year of leaving my cubicle in the Corporate Environment I was standing and competing against the best natural bodybuilders in the world at the World Natural Bodybuilding Championships in New York, USA.
Find your strengths .. know your strengths .. continuously build your strength on strengths.
Never give up

It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.

Especially if you’re hard on yourself like I am.

What doorways are you trying to squeeze yourself through right now where … you know what?

You really fit just fine. You are not the problems. It is the environment that you are working in, that is the problem. If you take a fish out of water and expect it to climb a tree, it will fail miserably.

Does the environment make us believe it’s all our fault? Yes, yes, definitely yes.

We live in a world where the screws are on tight. There’s a capitalistic shrink wrap making sure everything is fitter, happier, and more productive. So sometimes the stress on all of us builds too high.

There’s no room for error.

Now, that doesn’t mean my bosses at the Top Firm were bad, they absolutely weren’t. They had lofty expectations and needed me to help. Fast! The screws were tight on them, too.

No wonder it’s such a hard lesson to learn as we’re falling that we’re okay, we’re okay, we’re okay. And maybe it’s just not about us. It simply isn’t about us.

Well, nobody is telling us that. So we always think it’s always about us.

Maybe what we need is simply – a Fresh Start.

I did.

A few years later I did what I really loved to do and that was to coach people how to be their Best – I owned and managed my Family Gym for about seven years. That failure at that cubicle job had many benefits, it spurred me on to very intense self-reflections and an identification of personal strengths. So much so, that in less than a year of leaving the cubicle world, I was competing at my first of two World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, representing Australia.

Finally, this fish was in the ‘right environment’ and my Best was good enough… good enough to be one of the best in the world at my chosen activity (Top 5 in the world two years in a row, representing the country I love).

You see I’ve learned many things from that failed cubicle job experience and one of it is that it’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.

I wonder what yours is?

I know one thing for certain … the future of work will see the death of many cubicle workers. It already has as technology has allowed many employees to work from a distance already. Be creative and consider strategies for your future and the future of work, Now.

Never forget: BELIEVE in YOU, first.

All the very best,

 

Cheers & Ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk

Learning from the best at something, to be your best is the quickest way to get to where you’re going.
No one can teach you what they don’t know.

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