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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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A tribute to my daughter.

Learning to o come back from failure last year. Olivia did not make it past the Northern Beaches Zone Finals last year. The Top 5 qualify for the Australian National Championships. She re-set her goal to reach the Championships Finals this year. She not only achieved the goal of qualifying for the National Championships but made the The prestigious Top 5 in the Finals (top 16 out of the BEST 60+ girls who qualified).
She learned disappointment and strengthened her resilience to try again but this time with better execution. Very proud of this sporting achievement.
Note: Physie is an “athletic dance “ that is a fusion of contemporary, ballet, martial arts and beauty of modelling

School Band Captain.

Today she was announced the School BAND Captain for 2021.

Next year, in year six, She will lead the 5 bands (listed below), and will perform in the Top 2 Bands and do solo performances too. She plays the Alto Saxophone.

1) Big Band
2) Stage Band
3) Concert Band
4) Intermediate Band
5) Junior Band

As Band Captain, I know she will carry out her responsibilities of leadership with utmost pride and dedication.

A few of her other achievements –

– Top 5 (she achieved her goal she set at the start : of making it to the Australian Physie championships but also made the Finals (Top 5) out of the Top 60+ best in her age category. In 2019, she didn’t get past the Northern Beaches zone championships (the Top 5 qualify for the Australian Physie Championships). She demonstrated wonderful resilience to bounce back from a disappointment last year
– High Distinction in Level 4 Alto Saxophone Australian Music 🎵 exam
– Premiers writing award 🥇
– School’s Creative Excellence award 🥇
– she’s won the annual Academic Excellence Award  5 years in a row
– Passing the 2 x per week strength,agility,power, flexibility & speed training with me
– Other

In the middle of her routine. She worked consistently and persistently all year to be one of the Nations Top 5 dancers in the elite category. A big impressive on her performance last year.

While these awards are wonderful external achievements, I am more impressed by her attitude to herself snd the standards she sets and aspires to and honours. I am more impressed of her development in to the kind of woman with strong values & principles.

In ALL important areas of life.

Art in motion. Australian Champion Physie Dancer 💃 , representing the standard-setting Mosman Physie Club in the lower north shore, Sydney, Australia.

<Daddy-Daughter Days>

I love 💗 connecting with my daughter on all levels , right from those moments she lived in the 9-month home carried in her mother’s abdomen. I felt her kicks 🦵 and moving body under my touch.

I find real joy in winning her heart every single day.

I am very happy that I have been having weekly “daddy-daughter-dates” almost every week since she was a baby. I have tried to make These dates entertaining & fun but I also try to make it significant as well. I have tried to foster an environment where i can really hear how she is doing and listen to her as she opens up.

My gritty Viking pirate 🏴‍☠️ princess 👸

We have journeyed together in many ways and I have seen her grow spiritually and on some dates we have connected on a deeper level and … with God.

I also try to show her my commitment to my marriage … to loving my wife of almost 20 years now. I hope it sets an example for my daughter of what a loving, committed relationship looks like. She knows I treat my wife like a queen snd I know she thrives in knowing that she is my princess.

A gritty & courageous princess.

My gritty Champion dancing princess has enough hair for a village.

Her Mother… My wife, my Queen. 

I know my wife, Cathy is a key element of my relationship with my girl. I understand fully that my relationship with my children and her are intertwined. I know Olivia feels valued 💕 as a girl when I honour my wife, their mother.

Every single day.(or almost every day)

Here’s what I think 🤔…

I believe daughters in today’s modern societies and interconnected world need mothers and fathers who have FAITH in God and God’s creative design when it comes to their identity. Society CANNOT and WILL NOT dictate WHO my daughter/your daughter is to be. A daughter needs a few select people in her life who have the BELIEF & CONVICTION and ABILITY to help her become the person God created her to be. I know my daughter will give it her best in whatever she sets her mind to. I’ll be in her corner … ALL THE WAY. As I tell her … God meets those half way … he meets those who helps themselves. “

The 💝alentine tribe (minus our dog 🐶 – Mr Fuzzy/Fussy cuddles

Writing HER OWN Story.

i tell her she is writing /authoring her own story. I tell her to OWN Her Story… & write ✍️ from her heart ❤️. I hope to help her edit it where applicable.

I am looking forward to seeing what she writes in the next year .. two year… 10 years … 15 years … 30 years … 50 years …

One thing won’t change.

I WILL ALWAYS be HER Father & DAD.

I thank God for this blessing… This beautiful human being.

My daughter.

My Princess 👸.

Her heart ❤️ belongs to me … for now.

My gritty Viking pirate 🏴‍☠️ Princess 👸 many years ago now

Yep, my gritty princess 👸 is very creative

 

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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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The honourable hats of being a Father, Dad and Husband.

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 –

  1. The pain I felt was the closest thing any man can come to knowing what giving birth was like for a woman
  2. Less than 0.001% (or some very small number ) of the world’s population get this ailment
  3. 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.

Fathers are very important in the lives of their children and FATHERS MATTER!

A mentor told me this once a long time ago –

“Behind every successful child is a good dad “.

A good father & dad is one who provides the launching pad for strong, successful and values – driven adults into the world. Adults who them 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.

Amen.

p.

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 …

 

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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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Who are YOU?

We’re all captaining our ships through the changing ‘seas of life’.
Captain well, I say. Captain well.
Resolve to continue to get better at life.

Dreams  shape our future.

I have dreams.

Sometimes.

Do you?

One of my dreams is for a future world that is better for all.

It is time for us as men to become Real Men, to put the Gentle back in Man. The world needs more Gentle-Men. It is time for us men to reject this fragile ego business.

We use it (fragile ego) to cover up our failures and avoid looking at ourselves. We need to look at ourselves with honesty and with dignity.

What’s happening to Men? Have men forgotten what it means to be a man?

Thus, the women and children in our lives, who, it seems, have better egos than we do, must pick up the slack. They seem to take responsibility for our actions and feelings.

Our sons become the men we are.
Be responsible to YOU first. Become the Best Real Gentleman you can be – for you, first and … our sons will have the best template they can build on

Resolve.

What has Men become?

Come on guys!

We need to resolve to try to look at ourselves with integrity, let us do some soul searching’. Let us try to struggle honestly. How do we expect to grow as a man, an individual … a human being?

They say that the best way to overcome fears is to face them. Take action. Action eliminates all fear. Face your fears with the comforting belief that God is always by your side.

So, as Men, we need to be confronted by our actions, messages and weaknesses (I know I have many) if we expect to learn and grow.

As I tell all muscle-building enthusiasts, “we need to leave our ego at the door”. Men, I propose that, us men need to stand tall and deliver.

We need to stop hiding behind excuses and refrain from blaming others. We need to discontinue hiding behind phrases like, “This is just the way I am.” What a cop-out, what a load of rubbish!!

Let’s be honest with ourselves, Men.

Being honest with ourselves is probably one of the most courageous things a man can do in his world. Look honestly at his inner soul and take actions to make him a better person.

Continuously.

Let us have a good, hard look at who we are. This is very important to the future of the world.

Why?

With the next generation of Valentine males – Zachary.

Our sons use us as their blueprint

Who YOU are is the best indication of who our sons will become.

The future Champions and Champion Leaders of our future world making decisions that will impact on the fate of the world.

To save the future world, we, as Men, need to save our ‘inner world’ and be the BEST Real Gentlemen we can be. Our future world depends on it.

Again, who are YOU?

Read that last sentence again.

My son and I.
Provide the best blueprint you can of what it means to be a man.
He needs you now more than ever.
Save him now so that tomorrow’s world will be saved too.
Vv.

Let’s all resolve to become increasingly aware. Take sufficient and appropriate actions and most importantly, adapt.

Hard YAKA.

I believe we can do it.

JUST DO IT!

How do we begin?

The answer lies in the question.

BEGIN.

Cheers & Ahoy!!

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate …. & his thoughts on Stopping. Reflecting. Adapting. Taking actions and adapting.

Be the light unto yourself with faith in God.
And then … be the light for the future men of our world – our sons.
Be the light that illuminates the path they are to follow.
We are the source of light in their young lives, with God’s help.

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Substitute Parents.

The old Captain Viking Pirate & his Gritty Warrior Viking Pirate son … enjoying some ‘Father-son” experience.
These moments get etched into the memory bank of great experiences.
Build these up.

What’s on my mind right now?

Kids and being a parent.

Come into my head as I think and type to you my thoughts … (my typing speed is very, very fast … and I don’t look at the keys on the keyboard and type with very high accuracy … anyway)

What does it mean to ‘love’ your kids?

We all have our own definitions of this word and area of love. Good. I think loving your kids, means, in part, that you put them ahead of other concerns in your life (at appropriate phases of life – different for a man and a woman).

You see, what I have seen and observed (being in the gym talking to thousands of parents over the years … and actually owning a gym for 7) … what I have seen is that too many parents are caught up in getting ahead in their careers or that promotion. Or better still … buying a bigger house or playing golf every weekend or buying that expensive car.

I find that they devoted so much energy to those things that they failed to free up the time necessary to really listen to their kids and just ‘be’ with them. Not to be with them when you schedule in to make ‘quality time‘ with them in your busy diary …. no, just to be with them.

It’s no wonder kids are so angry. Their parents aren’t giving them the love and attention they deserve.

I believe if kids don’t see their parents making certain sacrifices in order to work at being good parents, or if they already tried to talk to their parents and have been shut up by them, then they aren’t going to keep trying. They’ll either seek out another adult (as substitute parents) who will listen to them or they will buy into whatever youth culture is telling them to do.

Note: don’t “palm off parental responsibility “ to so-called “coaches” in sport clinics, games clinics etc. not everyone wants to and can be a top sportsman/woman. That is a fact of life. One of the mum’s at Zachary’s Athletics club said to me in our initial meeting that she joined her son in the athletics club to learn how to be confident. She did this because she was told that that was what the ‘other parents’ were doing.

I said that was a misperception.

I told her that the best place to learn confidence and integrity and honesty and care and compassion is in the home. From her, the kid’s parent. Not at some substitute parental course (that was over-and above the skill level of the young coaches employed to teach sport skills … not life skills. They were not qualified Life Coaches, most hadn’t experienced much life yet!).

Give him the scaffolding in your son’s life to help him, help himself build & live a life of significance. With a foundation of good etiquette/manners.

You don’t learn self-confidence and have a healthy self-esteem from school or taking part in sport. You learn confidence and all the intangible traits of a well-adjusted citizen in the home. In a loving home with parents making themselves available. That is where I learned my confidence from … confidence large enough to be the BEST in my sport and compete against the best in the World at two World Natural Bodybuilding Championships. I didn’t learn this off substitute parents. I learned it off family, very close family. I learned how to be a Champion from Champions in my family, and guidance from some very good teachers.

Parents continuously not ‘being there’ for their children when necessary is one of the reasons the rate of sexually transmitted diseases – and the rate of teen pregnancy – is very high (and still rising).

Kids are not being loved by their parents (because parents make selfish choices & employers/organisations that don’t support flexible working ideas) …. so these kids accept a cheap substitute. To these kids (to many kids and this has been happening for generations) … it’s better to accept a substitute than to face the hurt of NOT receiving love from their parents.

If you have kids … make the RIGHT choice. For them, for you … and your future relationship with them.

In the years running my gym I have helped many teenage kids (where parents have tried everything) get back on their Life-Track. I have seen “A” students end up with the wrong crowd and end up in jail. I have seen delinquent students and failing students turn their lives around and are now successful business people.

Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do.
Teach them well.

I have helped hundreds of kids, help themselves find their best /better selves. I have loved them and gave them that substitute love they never got from their parents. Simply because I cared.

I love mathematics … and I sum it up this way:

Less love and time given to your children in their young years (before 10) …. EQUALS ===> more time spent getting them out of trouble in their teenage years. There is an inverse relationship.

It costs parents more in time, money and heartache and pain in future years.

Make time NOW … before it is too late.

Don’t make the mistake many (previous generations made). There is Power in Two (your partner/wife/husband) and work together to manage the all-important time and love to your growing children.

It will be one of the best and most important investment decisions you will ever make in your life (more than that promotion or that business deal or )…. just like making time to ‘work/train’ your muscles … not just for now … but for your future/old age.

All the very best in your decision

Yours always, in iron and muscles,

Cheers & Ahoy!!

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate … and loving kids … and making the Right decision

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.

Building a good foundation for your childrens’ character is like building good lean quality muscle.
It takes time and patience. Lots of patience but laser-like focus.
Proper exercise techniques and application of relevant principles , compounded over time results in the goal you visualise.
An morally-upright, free-thinking citizen of the world putting his/her hand up to lead if necessary.
As parents, be the best teacher you can be.

Me in my cowboy hat & enjoying a beer (still training my ‘guns’ … drinking my beer)

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Saying No … to say, Yes.

Beauty comes in many forms. Look at this exquisite beauty at an art show I went to. This Bonsai Tree is produced with constant pruning and shaping. A little like shaping a young male in to not just a Man but a Gentleman. It takes time, a lot of patience and high skill levels. I sit back and go “wow!”

My son is growing up in to a fine young man. He has a Tom Hanks character inside that young Arnold Schwarzennegger tough exterior already and he is only 8. He’s tough but tender when appropriate. Understanding yet stands his ground and confronts when required.

He’s my young Warrior Viking Pirate Prince.

He made me aware recently of a habit of mine. Good or bad, you decide. He said –

Dad, why is it, that you always say no when I first ask you for something… and then a little later change your mind and say yes?

Initially I responded – “Kaka!”.

This is a term I created to be all-encompassing.  A term that gives me an ‘out’, my little exit strategy if I ever get caught in a corner with my childrens’ endless questioning. To be used when I was just too tired to give them an answer or when I didn’t know the answer (which was very regularly) and I didn’t want them to know I didn’t.

Instead of saying ‘just google it”, I came up with my ‘made-up Fijian’ word which I said meant – it is just the way it is! I am not obligated to give an answer and this is where the conversation ends. Full stop!

They hate that word. I use it sparingly.

Then, I got thinking. I asked myself that same question, that great question he had asked me. Why Paul? I’ve always told my children from when they were able to speak, to not be afraid to ask questions and to question everything, even beliefs, behaviours, my actions and the way I do things, history and so forth. However, I’ve always reminded that the most important thing to do is to ask the right question.

This particular question from Zachary, was a right question.

Initially, I didn’t have an answer. I was stuck, in that corner no one likes to be. He got me. Gee … zus, and he was only 7 years old. What other questions is he going to be asking me as we progress through life I thought? Scary stuff! Luckily, I coined that ‘get out of jail’ term pass – kaka. Phew!

After reflection, I called him back and said –

“well, son, if I said yes first off and then said no later, you would be quite unhappy, wouldn’t you? You would probably think I’m cruel. But, if I say no first because when I do and then change my mind … to say yes, you won’t be disappointed and would most probably think that I am a nice dad. A nice man, that I am.”

I told Zachary my son, that this habit of mine was to ensure that I allowed myself time to reflect and think about my decision. This would make sure that, whatever decision it was, that I always came across as a Real Man … a Gentleman that I wanted to be, always. A role model that he, my son, would copy his behaviour off. A template for him to build on.

Father-son same attire day. Children learn the BASICS of character from their parents… and parents should be open to learning from them, too.


Preparing him for the changing post-feminite landscape

First impressions matter.

That is what we have heard all our lives. Even more so now. I want my son to understand that, I think he does already. Fairly or unfairly, people are going to judge you to be a gentleman or not within the first minute or two of meeting you. Having a template, a blueprint of good manners is important.

We all have a blueprint.

My blueprint … a template evolved (and continuously evolving) that is a cross between relevant ‘old school’ traditions that I still retain from my English Gentleman Grandfather and skills honed by me in these modern times. Skills that he, my father & grandfather would not know and didn’t have to because they lived in a different era, with values and practises that were relevant to that time.

Just like the way I train in the gym, a fusion of ‘old school training methods, combined with a modern twist”. I want my son to learn the old fashioned chivalry combined with a modern respect for women. I want to make sure that he puts the ‘gentle back into the man’ and keep it that way for his future. A future that will be embracing change at a pace that I or previous generations of dads would have never faced.

I need to prepare my son (and daughter) as best I can to believe in himself first, an important step to becoming a gentleman and that knowing that the real meaning of the saying “it’s ok to be a man’ is that men are capable of many dimensions. In other words, to be proud of who he is.

Putting the gentle back into man means nurturing the classic male qualities of kindness and thoughtfulness, patience, compassion and trustworthiness. A man that embrace intimacy qualities simply because he chooses to. A True Gentleman with manners does not have to have feminine qualities. No.

A true gentleman understands that manners matter. He is aware of social etiquette. I want many things for my son, and one of the important ones is that I hope make him conscious of this – in the way he looks, sounds and acts around others.

We all need a bit of guidance and reminder of what and why we are a man. It takes effort and the desire to be made aware. Manners in a Man, Matters. The great thing is that manners can be improved through increased awareness and practice.

Why is this important?

Because the landscape for men has been changing and has been changing very fast in the last decade or two. Men are very confused and unsure in many things, prime example is on how they are expected to be a man – a Real Man.

I want my son to grow up understanding good knowledge of manners and etiquette because it just makes for a better world and also because it paves the path to manhood. Being a man requires a certain amount of experience and knowledge.

I want Zachary to know that it is one thing being a male but it is a totally other thing to be a man, a gentleman. Granted, today the social landscape is not what it used to be when I was growing up as gender roles have blurred and continue to change dramatically. Many things have changed.

I want my son to embrace this change but be prepared for it. I want him to be a successful gentleman in this new landscape. A landscape that requires him to know how to act, how to dress, how to talk and how to date.

A man needs to allow himself to be coachable to help him, help himself navigate the challenges he faces in the Sea of Life.

 Being the BEST Dad and Father you can be

He is learning this from me, every single day. That is the pressure and responsibility that us men (with young children) and the men in society at large have. Helping create the New Men and beginning with teaching them the new etiquette. I have to admit, it is a little daunting as I tell them that I am their Flawed Hero, their Less-than Perfect Dad.

You see, from where I sit, saying no … before I say yes is only one piece of the puzzle of what it means for my son to grow into a modern day Real Man with relevant old traditional values with a modern twist, needed for survival in today’s world. A world currently filled with many confused post-feminite, re-constructed, new-age so-called men! Not Real Men, far from Real Gentlemen.

I remind him of what my father used to say to me ‘action speaks louder than words!’’ Yes, indeed. I want Zachary to understand that it’s one thing to say we need to change how we act, but it’s another thing to do it! A very necessary ingredient to successful body re-engineering journeys that I have helped people, help themselves achieve over the last 20+ years.

To get quality results in anything, one has to not only have  a clear goal but develop a quality plan and most importantly, ensure a quality implementation of the quality plan. A ‘scatter-gun’ approach will not give you the desired results.

Etiquette, after all, is more than knowledge, it’s a product of well-rooted self-confidence. That is probably one of the greatest gifts any dad or father can impart to their sons – that of self-confidence. They don’t learn this at school or the sporting fields, they learn this at home.

Children, like seeds need a lot of guidance and nurturing as well as the freedom to grow. However, with more freedom comes more responsibility. Teaching them life etiquette helps them manage their sailing better.

With regards to being a gentleman, I know that how we feel about ourselves is often how we present ourselves to others. You see and hear about it every single day. If you honestly believe you can excel at a job or in a game of football then the confidence will show when you talk to your boss or take a penalty.

People and society notice and reward good etiquette, demonstrated through appropriate self-confidence. Good manners matter!

So, there are many things I hope and wish my son will be and skills he would have practised through good behavioural habits. When channelled in to the right mediums, habits can be life-changing.

For a better life.

My ultimate wish for him is to have a fulfilling life of significance. I’m sure it is the same thing our dads had for us and I’m sure all you Dads and Real Men reading this feel the same as well. We’re all ultimately helping to mold the future Leaders of our world when we’re old, frail and silver. And not fall in to the trap of ‘do as I say, not as I do” philosophy that some of the previous generations of men have passed down. This is one that need to be put aside.

The skill all us Dads need to develop is the skill of continuously questioning beliefs passed down to us and filtering out bulls*it and values that are not relevant and life-affirming for this era. And the most important skill of discerning between what is helpful and what isn’t, based on relevance.

That takes time … and hard work/YAKA!

Let’s hope they are great examples of Real Men, men who have simply practised putting the gentle back in to man and have learned to say no … pause .. … then say yes.

Thank you Zachary, for asking that right question.

 

Ahoy & cheers my friends …

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & his thoughts on being a Real Gentleman

I had a family gym that was predominantly male (70%) for about 7 years. I encouraged the men to speak freely and communicate all their feelings and we shared stories and helped one another through tough emotionally difficult phases of life. What a wonderful group of ‘post-feminite new age gentlemen. Men that understood that manners matter.

Give him the scaffolding in your son’s life to help him, help himself find his light. To allow him to build & live a life of significance. With a foundation of good etiquette/manners.

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