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Weight Loss can be very hard for some.

When Alan came to me, he was in a bad place – not having enough sleep despite seeing many “experts”, was on the verge of losing his job and his marriage.
With immense courage he undertook the plan I developed for him using my Lifestyle framework principles .
He not only started sleeping again (from 700+ apnoea per night to under 4) … he lost > 25+ kg and got his life back.

The cost to get to below 4 per-cent.

I learned something very early on in my foray in to the sport of bodybuilding (almost thirty years ago now) and the art/sport of bodybuilding & physique artistry: the leaner I got, the harder it was to lose body-fat!

I knew pretty early on that I could just ‘clean up’ my diet a little and chop and change here and there, and drop from 14% to 8% body fat in a matter of weeks. I usually stay below 15% body-fat year round, just something I’ve done now for the last 15 years at least.

However, I also learned that when you get to single digit body-fat %, it gets even harder to lose unwanted body-fat. But, I’d get on the treadmill and x-trainer or bike in the gym a number of times in a week and drop under 10% (you can begin to ‘see’ your abdominals clearly around 9%). I keep going and then I get down below 7%. Now, to keep dropping bodyfat to 6% and then to 5% can get pretty hard, especially when you’re doing it the ‘hard way’ … NATURAL and no assistance from steroids or performance-enhancing drugs.

Sometimes, the body just does not want to barge and literally stalls your progress. Let me give you a secret, it is fucken brutal to go below 5%. Very few people go ‘there’. It is a very ‘spiritual experience’ to say the least but it can also be a soul-destroying for those unprepared for the challenges.

So, there I am .. slugging away at the cardio machines on low-carbs, hypoglycemia and fearing muscle loss. Sometimes, I question – ‘what was I doing wrong?’ Isn’t a kilo a kilo? Being at 6% is quite an achievement but I wouldn’t dare boast about getting to that point if everyone else in the world would stop there too! Competitively, they don’t. Regardless of the cost, winners DO NOT stop at 6%. Just to make the Finals (Top 5) at amateur shows, you need to get to around 4%. That is just the standard that is at minimum.

The cost to get below 4% is different for everyone. That’s what I had to get down to to beat the best Natural Bodybuilders in the World at my first of two consecutive World Natural Bodybuilding Championships, almost 15 years ago now. Here’s a tip: you’ll look your best but you’ll feel the worst you’ve ever felt.

Quite ironic, I know. I’ve been there many times in my life. Not a nice to be for very long. I believe, it is the closest thing you come to experiencing death, without dying.

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.

Genetics: a gift and a curse.

In the sport of bodybuilding, like most other sports, genetics can be a gift and a curse that either propels you forward or holds you back. I didn’t have the height genetics for example to play basketball and dunk but I certainly have a healthy dose of Type IIb muscle fibres necessary for explosive power, muscle growth and size. You may never have my back and lats insertions and I may never have your biceps peak, even though we both try and train to maximum.

The thing is genetics dictates muscle SHAPE. And muscle shape is muscle shape.

My daughter appears to have taken after my wife in body shape and my son appears to have my build. No amount of training would transform one in to another. They will just be bigger version of what they already are (what steroids and performance enhancing drugs do) – a person’s strengths will be even stronger and weaknesses will be enhanced too.

So, it is similar to body fat storage and metabolism.

Here’s the thing, in addition to this covid epidemic, we also have an increasing mental illness epidemic, a broken-families/home epidemic, an obesity epidemic etc. Conservatively speaking, two thirds of modern-societies are overweight and childhood obesity is consistently rising. If you dig a little deeper, something more surprising arises. Among the developed countries, though childhood obesity has increased that much in 30 years, the bottom 50% of the BMI (body mass index) hasn’t increased at all.  That means the leanest 50% of kids across the world haven’t gotten fatter at all, but the heavier you are on the BMI, the higher the increase in obesity.

Translation: if a child has the genetics to become obese, then due to today’s societal changes (mom’s not home cooking, greater than 60% of our meals being out now, less activity, etc.) they get even heavier.  But, children who don’t have the genetics to become obese, though they live in the same culture with the same foods and temptations don’t gain weight.

Keep your pendulum swinging … because to be stuck at one end is not life-affirming
To successfully transform your body, one needs to be a better master of their internal Balanced & Breathing.

Some Genetic Differences.

Have you wondered what some of those genetic differences are?

From my insatiable curiosity of the how the human body and mind works, and my experience of helping hundreds of people over the last 3 decades, here’ a few things I have found –

I have found a few things, firstly, as children, we go through two “filling up” and two “expanding” phases in our growth.  I can readily observe this in the two pre-teen son and daughter. The amount of body fat cells our body creates is mainly genetic but also is influenced by how much we eat during that first year of life and the period right before puberty.  An individual may have 20 billion body fat cells and another may have 200 billion.  All of the hormones that cause body fat storage now have 10 times  the load for the triglyceride loading.

And what is triglyceride loading? Google it and see what you find.

Let me share an example – You’re cruising along, the diet is going great, and then you read an article on-line that says once a week you need a “giant CHEAT meal” and load up with 10,000 grams of carbs for fear of muscle loss. What do you some people do, then? Yep, you guessed it … they visit their nearest Pancake shop and eat enough to break the world record.  Obviously, this is an extreme example and the ‘carbing up’ wouldn’t really take that much at all. This is also part of the reason I tell almost every person that has successfully transformed themselves NOT to be tempted to get any information from any source, except from me. There is less clutter and noise in their heads and so, better overall progress made to their original goals.

Do you want to know why this practice is a fallacy? Well, you can certainly fill up your glycogen stores with some fruit, that’s right … a simple apple or banana. And you can refill your liver with two lemon tarts?  Here’s a fact – 350g to 500g of carbs can pack all of your muscle tissue with all the glycogen it can hold? Any more and you could seriously make yourself feel sick and very uncomfortable.

Here’s the catch: after consuming all those mountains of pancakes to your tilt, your body goes in to reverse. You IMMEDIATELY stop burning body fat.  Normal circulating amounts of insulin are three times that of glucagon – your best friend in fat loss. That’s right, your BEST FRIEND in fat loss is the opposing hormone, Glucagon. Not Insulin! That means we’re three times better at storing fat than losing it.

Not what you wanted at all, right?

It is a great feeling to do this … but make sure it isn’t your ego that is leading. Beating genetics to get a certain result is a great achievement all in itself. 
Stubbornness, well that’s ok.

Evolution favours Survival.

When it comes to evolution and your biology, your body is made to be conservative and to hang on to every ounce of fat for possible future famines. Your body is designed to Survive. It’s main concern is not how your abs look on the beach or how you look in a coat of competition tan on stage at a contest, naked in front of a thousand people. No, your body is built for survival.

So, when you’re cutting back on carbs and in a state of ketosis, or calorie-deficit, your body’s primary objective is to continuously look for ways to store fat. That is just what the body does.

Insulin is your enemy my friends, brought about by you having an unscheduled “high carb’ meal/day(s). Glucagon production stops and insulin not only shuttles glucose to the muscle, but it also tells the liver to go in to the ‘glucose-to-fat’ conversion mode. The body basically begins hording the fat. That’s right, it shields the fat and makes it very hard for you to burn this. I’ve heard all the excuses, some were –

“But is was just one meal!  But my body needed it!  But I just had one dessert!  But I even though it was three cups of rice, it was clean food!”

Your body doesn’t care – it just wants to store.  Now, if I have 200 billion fat cells and you have 20 billion, who is better at storing fat?  Who can afford more slips on a diet plan?  Certainly not me (the person who struggles to get lean at 200 billion fat cells for example).

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

Work WITH your body, not AGAINST it.

I believe the majority of people who venture into transforming their body, work against it. They don’t work with it.

There are so many related hormonal/biochemical reasons that some people are naturally thin and some are heavy. Working against your genetics is a hard day in the office, every day.   Yes, we can do our part to gain or lose weight despite our genetics, but it’s a real slug-fest … a real battle.  I’m oversimplifying and skipping important issues to make the point, but one more factor in weight loss that has been given much play is the hormone, leptin.  Leptin is secreted by fat cells and basically, let’s you know when you hungry or full. It is the primary signal carrier for hunger/satiety.  When enough filling occurs in the fat cells, leptin is released and tells the brain that you’re not hungry.  When not enough leptin is present, hunger is the king.

As you probably know by now, there are three body types – the ectomorphs, the mesomorphs and the endomorphs, basically the skinny, the stocky and the fat types. There is a marked difference in the endomorphs (obese tendencies) versus the ectomorphs in terms of leptin.  Experimental studies show obese children deficient in leptin eat dramatically less and lose weight when leptin is brought to normal amounts.

A friend and former student/client of mine who achieved the impossible. Following the Quality Plan I designed for him and adopting my “3-legged stool’ framework, Nathan went from 125+kg to 88kg.
A massive transformation given he is leaning towards the ‘endomorph’ type.
I have not seen anyone work as hard as this man.
Very proud of what he achieved.

So, what are the lessons here?

There are four but I will just mention two. Firstly, if you have a body-type which is, you came from a family of obesity and endomorphic, then you will be ‘carb-sensitive’. If that is the case, then, you are definitely not an ectomorph and WILL just have to work that little bit harder. Sometimes, a whole lot harder. You may have to drop your carbs very low just to release fat cells and then increase the probability of using them as energy. That is difficult.. but there are tricks available. Knowing when to ‘cycle’ your carbs is essential and you will need to do more cardio and be willing to suffer more. I have had clients like these over the years and I take my hat off to them. They are real modern-day warriors.

There is little consolation when you feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your body transformation and weight loss. The scale can be very mean to those endomorphs. It is literally a “David vs Goliath” and where David beat Goliath and the tortoise beat the hare for these folks. You have to hang in there if you’re a ‘carb-sensitive’ individual. Hang in there … and summon all the patience you can muster. You will need it.

You will WIN this race and achieve your goal. You will kill Goliath.

Know YOU. Know your strengths. Work to your strengths. Not some of the time … ALL the time.

Until next time,

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

At 4.2% at my 1st world championships. Getting to 4% body-fat was very hard, staying there was harder.

The very popular “most muscular” pose. It brings the ‘house down.’

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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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ONE DAY …

 

Who are “YOU?”
Learn to love ❤️ YOU, first.

Maybe, YOU should ask Love.

ONE DAY…

When is that? It’s not a trick question, no.

One day ... you may realise that the beginning of a New Day … is also the “Death of Yesterday “

I guess it depends on how you hear it;

One day, every cliche’ that you hear will remind you that YOU alone are … here; that you alone came in your this world, alone … and you, alone will go out … alone;

One day, You’ll realize that You didn’t Love yourself, that you thought you did… but you didn’t;

Maybe, you should ask Love 💗

“What are you?”

Maybe, one day Love 💕 may reply –

“Can’t you feel me… I’m here … I’m the one ☝️holding your hand reminding you not to forget me …

I’m Life when I’m near … hope, without fear;

I’m the warm feeling in your belly when you don’t know why… I’m the tingle on your skin …by a raindrop …

I’m the beautiful jewel that’s never bought … I’m you … I’ve been YOU, since day one ☝️;

I’m the Knowing when your eyes 👀 meet … your eyes in the mirror and recognise yours”

Does my dog 🐶 “Mr Fuzzy/Fussy cuddles “ love 💗 himself?
Is he conscious of that?
Probably not, that’s what separates his level of consciousness from us, humans.
Learn to harness that consciousness and learn to love YOU better. And don’t let others make you feel bad about doing so.
Life is too short, otherwise.

You thought Love was reciprocal…

Think again ..

One day, You may realise that you were searching for love … and strove to love others, looked for others to Love You, and tried to get loved by others.

But …

One Day, you may realise that …

… while searching for Love, You missed the most important person in the world to You: “YOU!” – yourself.

Maybe You thought your lovability came from giving others Love, that it would guarantee You’d get Love back.

Maybe You thought that love 💗 was reciprocal… that if You gave more Love it would get You more.

Maybe You thought that getting others Love would make You worth more, make you feel more valuable.

But …

One day, maybe sooner… maybe, later … but one day, hopefully, you will realise that –

You didn’t know then what You know now: that  You were lovable from day One.

Kindly tell that “little voice “ in your head that fills you with doubt & guilt to kindly … “Fuck off!”
Just like the negative people in your life.

God don’t make no junk!

One day, hopefully, you will realise that You just needed to know it, and treat yourself as if You are loved by someone wonderful.

Why?

Simply because you are worth it. Because YOU were made in the image of God and that …

GOD DON’T MAKE NO JUNK!

One day, hopefully… you will realise that – You ARE a wonderful One, aren’t You??  That you are Perfect as you are.

One day, you will understand that all along, The lack of Love was from You, to You since Fucking day One dear.

So embrace and forgive yourself, respect YOU and your uniqueness and turn your weakness into strength and keep on the fight.

Or simply identify and build on your Strengths.

Life seems to only reward those from a position of strengths.

Begin with …

Love YOU, first!!

Be the “light” for you, first and develop & strengthen your light 💡
So that you can brighten up people who can’t see in the dark

Wise words from a wise man.
Please APPLY and most importantly, ADAPT.

 

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It’s the little things that add up to the big things.

Creating the right environment is important to achieve the best physique /company you aspire to


Little things MATTER.

I tell my kids that –

Elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes 🦟 do” meaning, little things, Matter.

Little actions, done daily … compounded over time, make a huge difference to anything… your grades in a qualification (time studying every day), paying off a mortgage, becoming a better master of your instrument (music, art etc ..$ &

Is akin to building good, quality muscles 💪 with ‘balance & symmetry’ using the tools ⚒ in the most efficient, effective & safest way (you can’t build a physique overnight … it takes 10 to 20 years of “over night success “)

Little things/habits (key) done consistently well, over time, makes a huge difference…

In whatever goal you desire, you need to make sure you understand how to use the tools 🛠 necessary to bring about the change you seek.

You need persistence and consistency.

For example, it took me 10 years of being a better master of my instrument- my body/mind-heart-spirit interface, to represent Australia 🇦🇺 at 2 x World 🌎 Championships in my chosen sport of natural bodybuilding)

Deliberately practising the key daily habits, with consistency & persistence over 10 years… produced magic, produced a 2 x world 🌎 Champion.

Going from being the best at what I did for 10 years (corporate consultancy & risk management business performance advisory) to physical excellence to stand against the best sculptured bodies in the world 🌎.

You need persistence and consistency in whatever you commit to.

People ask – “why?” … I /My curiosity continually askS “why not?”
Seek possibilities… always

little things matter.

Moral of the story: don’t underestimate the power of the key daily habits you practise and its impact on the quality of life you live & more importantly, Will Live.

Remember this: Little things, Matter.

More than you think 🤔…

Make the right choices

It’s your life, after all

All the very best

Cheers & ahoy!
The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️⚔️muscled 💪monk 🤔😎…& 💓alentine 💓itamins for the mind

Wonderful insight in to the mind of a Great Leader.
Be courageous. Everything stems from courage. Never let anyone or anything tear your dignity from you.

Those who dream … to be different … and aim to share their unique selves with the world, to help … get the love back in return.

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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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Timing is everything in life

A butterfly 🦋 knows when to fly and when to sit and feed.
Timing is everything in their life.

The Gambler
I loved listening to Kenny Rogers with my grandfather as a kid.

I particularly loved his song – “The Gambler”, some of the words something like this –

“… He said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy

You gotta learn to play it right

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em

Know when to fold ’em

Know when to walk away

And know when to run

You never count your money

When you’re sittin’ at the table

There’ll be time enough for countin’

When the dealin’s done…”

Powerful words. Have you heard it … almost everyone on this planet has heard it at least once in their lifetime.

A genuine classic. 

Powerful, not just for poker but for building quality muscles 💪, whilst staying injury – free and the game of life, too. From what I’ve observed, Many people fail to recognise just how important timing really is. Not just the type of timing we usually think of  – catching the stock market or real estate at precisely the right time or the pass or kick in a sport. Timing is critical in lifting heavy-assed weights in the gym, like I’ve done for almost 3 decades and not get injured.

Timing is everything.

Timing is also critical for your continuous inner calculations of knowing when to bet, when to stay Put, & when to fold or give something up entirely.

Timing is improved self-mastery

Timing is … also doing NOTHING 
There are times when the optimal action is to do NOTHING, be patient. Sometimes, it can be worthwhile in the long term to take a loss now, to fold. At other times, everything you touch & decision you make “turns to gold” or allows you to grow , to expand and progress.

How do you get the “timing” RIGHT?

Timing is everything in the sport of bodybuilding, for example. You can spend 4 to 5 months preparing for a contest. If you don’t understand your “body-mind connection” as well as you should, you could miss your “peak” by a day before or after or even an hour before or after. You could suffer from a bodybuilder’s worst nightmare – being told you’ve “spilled over”.

You basically got your nutrition timing wrong and you don’t look your BEST on stage when it mattered most. Timing is everything… it is the difference between making the Finals (Top 5) and not…. like I did at two consecutive World Natural Bodybuilding championships.

It can be the difference in having a child and not. The difference in getting and A and a C. The difference between mediocre and world-class.

intelligence is in plentiful supply but unfortunately, wisdom is in short-supply in our world.

 

Timing is everything in balance and creativity

What is needed is WISDOM 

In my experience and learning from other people’s experiences, I find that the worse thing to do is to be more “analytical “. You need to “QUIET” the mind… eradicate all the “noise” in your head. You need to UN-think and control your thinking.

What is needed is WISDOM.

And what is wisdom? It is knowing WHEN to do WHAT. Easier said than done.. look at the mess we humans have created in a areas of our lives and societies.

Wisdom is your ability to “be like water” as the philosopher- Bruce Lee said. You need to be hard and flexible at the right time.

Many people stubbornly hang on to their “habits”, some of which are not relevant now. They are simply unwilling to change. They have a “closed” mindset … believing change is impossible , saying –  “I’ve always done it that way “

Don’t short-change yourself. Love YOU, better.

Keep your pendulum swinging … because to be stuck at one end is not life-affirming.  Embrace the pendulum of life. 


UN-Busy your mind

My Tip: strive to QUIET your mind. UN-busy your mind. Allow your decision to “listen” to your heart
💖.

Apply WISDOM, understand the importance of timing in Making WISE decisions.

You Won’t regret it.

all the very best in your decisions ,

 

Popeye Pirate 🏴‍☠️ Paul … & the need for more wisdom in decision-making

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

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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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You don’t have to finish everything …

Beauty = truth.
Create your beauty , you find your truth. If you find your truth, you find beauty.
Beauty will always be proportional (have balance & symmetry)
My goal for the last 3 decades in bodybuilding(physique artistry )

Do what you have been born to do … NOW!

The title of this blog says ‘you don’t have to finish everything … ” and I agree. Just because you’ve started something, doesn’t mean you have to finish it. For example, I think I’ve only finished reading two books in my life …from cover to cover … one was Joseph Conrad’s Classic – “The Heart of Darkness” (I’ve read many times over) and the other is …. oh, i’ve forgottten.

I’ve always applied nature’s 80:20 Principle to most things in my life and book reading is one such activity. If I get the gist of the book (some authors tend to repeat their message over and over in their chapters), and the 5 or 6 KEY things give me 80 percent of the knowledge base (the ‘essence’), I’m content.

One of the best mentors said that to me on his 82nd birthday … saying that “Paul, whatever it is that you want to do … travelling, biking or whatever … do it now, don’t wait. That time may never come. Do what you have been born to do … Now!”

I’ve never forgotten that and I have tried to apply that in my life on a daily basis. 

As I see it, your inbox will never be finished, it’s never going to be over. There will never be a perfect time to do everything. Stop thinking the ‘grass will be greener’ on the other side so stop waiting for the good stuff before you decide to …. ACT!

I believe that most men have this idea and make the mistake that one day ‘it’ will be done. They think, “If I could work enough and … hard enough, that one day, I could retire and …. Rest.” Or, they think – “One day my woman will understand something and then she will stop complaining.’Or, “I’m only doing this now so that one day I can do what I really want with my life.”

This is an error in masculine thinking, passed down for many generations. Things won’t be different … they won’t get better. It never ends. 

Here’s what you do … to get out of that thinking … that ‘rutt’ –

Make sure you continuously work at having better (more effective) communication with your significant other

Don’t believe in the myth

And what myth is that? Well, it is the myth that has been propagated in society and that is, men lie to themselves and others by believing – 

“One day when everything will be different.”

I have news for you – it won’t! Don’t believe in the myth.

Here’s what you do – DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING TO DO – that you have been ‘putting off’ for reasons such as – 

  • When your finances are more secure
  • When your children have grown and left home
  • When you finish your obligations
  • When you get that job title/promotion
  • Other

Do what you love to do, what you are waiting to do, what you’ve been born to do, NOW!

There is a Tiger 🐅 in each and every one of us.
Know when you need to bring that fella out and … when to have the cute domestic cat 🐱 there

Are you willing to do what it takes to give your gift?

In my experience and having over twenty thousands of conversations with people (mostly Men) in gyms over the last 3 decades, I have found that most postponements or procrastination are just excuses for a lack of creative discipline. 

People give excuses such as they have no money or limited resources but that is all a lie. Limited money and family obligations have never stopped a man who REALLY wanted to do something, although they provide excuses for a man who is not really up to the creative challenge in the first place. 

Do you have the creative challenge? Can you deliver? DO IT! Do IT TODAY, NOT TOMORROW. TOMMORROW MAY NEVER COME. Do it TODAY! Find out now whether you have what it takes. Are you willing to do what it takes to give your gift … your gifts and … share it with the world?

That takes courage. Courage is the foundation of everything ever ventured.

“You cannot be truthful if you are not courageous. You cannot be loving if you are not courageous. You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous. You cannot inquire into reality if you are not courageous. Hence courage comes first and everything else follows.”

Osho

 Take one hour out of your day and give your fullest attention to your gift, whatever that is … for today. Right NOW. 

Protect your mind like a true champion warrior

Don’t hope that you woman/man will be fundamentally different

They won’t be. 

That is another myth men have told themselves for generations. That one day your life will be fundamentally different, and you hope that .. one day, your woman will be fundamentally different (that goes for a woman too).

Don’t wait. 

Just assume that she’s going to be however she is, forever. If you woman’s mood or behaviour is intolerable to you then you should leave her, and don’t look back (since you cannot change her). However, if you find her behaviour or mood only a little irritating then learn to live with it.

Don’t try to ‘fix’ your woman (she is not a electronic gadget or car that needs ‘fixing’). Instead, this is what you should do –

  • Embrace and hold her (or scream or yell or wrestle for the heck of it) … and tell her that you love her when she is ‘ _____________’ that way (fill in the blank).
  • Make no effort to provide a solution or bring a stop to that which pisses you off.
  • Just love her
  • Don’t avoid the tussle with your woman and absorb her femininity in all its glory

Don’t try to fix her. That won’t end in success. What will end in success is if you simply love her because the love that you magnify may realign her behaviour.

Notice I said – ‘may’. 

Live with that. 

Believe in love 😍. Give love. Receive love. Do all thoughts & actions with love.

Your woman and the world is much alike

Your woman and the world is much alike – they will always present you with unanticipated challenges and surprises. As I see it, you have a choice:

  1. You can live it FULLY, grab every single day and give your best and your gifts and share it with the world amidst those challenges or … 
  2. Procrastinate and wait for an imaginary future which will never come. 

Aim to live a life of significance. I have found that men who have live a significant lives are men who ACTED. They were courageous and made a decision with the limited information they had at the time. They never waited: not for money, security, ease or women. 

As the late Steven Jobs said – 

“The only way to do great work is to to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Even if what you want to do is “weird “. Just Do It. So, don’t wait. DO IT TODAY!

Feel and ask your heart the question. Feel what you want to give most as a gift, to you woman and … to share with the world, and do what you can to give it … TODAY. Not tomorrow … or next month or next year or … ten years from now. 

DO IT TODAY.

Every moment waited is a moment wasted. 

Each wasted moment puts a fog on your clarity and purpose in life which is essential to living a life of significance.

Be courageous. 

Don’t Think. DO.

All the very best to you, my fellow Man,

Cheers & Ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Muscled Monk

 

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

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Inspiration is the Catalyst of Change

The Tree of Life is special. Grow with it.

Unsought is … most valuable

The Scientist and Philosopher FRANCIS BACON said –

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.’

INSPIRATION IS THE CATALYST … that lights the fire or sets the journey of creativity in our ships as we sail & navigate the Seas of Life.

Without it, every Pirate and genuine Voyager … knows there would be no work of art or scientific discovery. In fact, very little that is New and Creative and Innovative would come into the world. Imagine not having your i-phone? What world would that be like? (actually, a lot of you from my generation would know what that was like .. ha ha ).

Like a kiss, inspiration opens the heart in each of us to receive … it gives us the means of reaching the mystery beyond our worldly identities.

I find that surrendering to inspiration brings about a greatness that is the glory of existence (every Pirate and Viking knows this). We all suffer from lack of inspiration at some point or points in our lives, there is no avoiding it.

Question is, what do you do when you’re experiencing it? 

There is inner and outer beauty. Appreciate both.

The only requirement is that Love

Romantic poets believed that inspiration came to them because their soul was able to receive such visions. In modern psychology, inspiration is seen as an entirely internal process, like Sigmund Freud believed it came from your inner psyche, directly from the subconscious.

Inspiration to me, has nothing to do with the skill or capability of you, the individual and therefore, anyone and every single person can get inspired. We can find it anywhere – in a book, a speech, a movie … a person .. a symbol … a hope. 

To me, the only requirement is that of love. That for you to be inspired, you need to allow the flow (of inspiration) to come from the heart … your heart. It is a Power from Within, necessary for all creation and innovation, which is the way of the future.

It is energy, so you cannot either create nor destroy it .. just become a better conduit of energy .. of what I call ‘un-mind energy’. It is but a brief moment in time … where that un-mind energy flows through your heart … allowing you to transmute that energy … into creating something beautiful.

‘That moment’ is like what the great thinker, Khalil Gibran described   when –

 “the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.”

There is courage within each person, There is inspiration available to all souls … just allow your courage to help it speak to your heart … to release that energy … that light … to light others who are in darkness

Inspiration helps light that catalyst

We’ve all faced many problems and challenges in our lives so far (and many of us are struggling with ones now) and … sometimes people, feel incapable of solving, realising and accepting their own limitations. But, it is in those ‘moments’ of challenges/problems/obstacles lay embedded in them, the hidden solutions.

Every situation and every individual stores a potential and strength that is yet to be discovered.

INSPIRATION helps light that catalyst to tap the source of power within … to face whatever obstacle we face. When our purpose is to give birth to our TRUE IDEAL SELF, inspiration allows us to see ourselves in a New way every time.

When you’re inspired, we glow on the outside from the light within and this radiance shines out from us .. and lights the way for others in the dark. Even the great RUMI explains how we can nurture the power of inspiration by transcending our perceived limitations (from whatever fear we are facing), he said –

” The sound of the bow provokes fear for the arrow wounds its mark. What is sense beyond the unseen is inspired by perception. Increase your necessity to increase your perception.”

Let inspiration be the catalyst to light your inner-world … to brighten up your external world and… those you come in contact with

Education

I love many genres of music and one of them is Raggae and I think Bob Marley was a genius. He sang about freedom and justice and was a great Leader and Thinker and Poet, saying –

“I have no education. I have inspiration. If I were educated, I would be a damn fool.”

But don’t confuse inspiration with motivation, they are not the same. Many make this mistake. There is a major difference and the difference is a “matter of heart’. Inspiration connects with the heart .. and motivation connects the mind and is often ego driven. The ego, may in the short-term give to you … but in the long term, will take ..and continually take from you until you don’t know what or who you are.

As Socrates said –

” I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.”

Find the “Giant” within you … within each person … of which inspiration is the catalyst.

Separate inspiration from motivation

“So, what should we do then? How should we live?”, you may ask. 

Here’s the thing, I believe that , one of the ways to separate inspiration from motivation is to be aware that at every moment we have a choice about how to live. With increased awareness, we can observe how those choices affect us. Now, keep it simple … if we allow inspiration to be our guide, then each day can possibly welcome a new and exciting opportunity. When we feel the heart engaging and singing … with and in what is happening ‘in the moment’ to us, we know that we are connected with a hidden source of joy!

Individuals, groups, communities, states and countries all around the world is crying out for inspiration (and for some, for a very long time). Let’s pray for all those in need of inspiration… of more inspiration … to summon the courage to face their fears … to find the solution(s) that may lay within the obstacles/challenges they are facing right now. 

I tell my kids, there is no such thing as a problem/mistake,… just opportunities to find a solution(s). 

The world needs many things right now … but now, more than ever, it needs – more love … more care … more compassion and … more trust. Please play your part in making this world a better place by giving this to whoever interacts with you on a daily basis. 

Inspiration has the Power to Empower. Inspiration has the Power to Change for the Better …. ONE LIFE AT A TIME.

It is a choice. Don’t sit on the fence. Inspiration without ACTION becomes a wasted opportunity.

Embrace inspiration. Embrace Change. Embrace your Heart. It leads to the ultimate Freedom… but you must ACT on that inspiration.

We are all inspired by many things to … Live. Die. With Dignity.

Yours in iron, heart, mind & muscles, 

 

Paul

(some people call me – “The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate Muscled Monk”

Find the inspiration within you … to help motivate you to making a choice … the Right Choice … for LIfe… in your life.

Release the Hulk in you .. when appropriate
There is a time to be placid and do nothing … then, there is a time to act … and stand for something.

 

 

 

 

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

Who are ‘you?”

The Lifeblood of connecting 

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

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

What is ‘connecting’/networking” to you?

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

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

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

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

There is life and happiness in sadness. Find it.

Good things come to those who have patience

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

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

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

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

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

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

But is it really good use of your time

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

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

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

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

Reach out and touch someone

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

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

And how do you do this?”

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

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

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

Read that last paragraph again. 

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

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

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

Be an Active Listener

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Powerful connection

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

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

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

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

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

Not everyone is a connection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you found this helpful to you and your business,

 

Yours in iron, mind, heart & muscles,

Paul e Valentine

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

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