I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
For some, life can feel empty if they don’t find or grasp a higher calling… a “purpose” in life. These are the people who seek for answers in all kinds of places, some of which would be less than ideal.
Here is the thing about these types: They know they are looking for something, but they don’t really know what it is. Almost like a headless chook.
They have lost their zest for life … that essence of life, I call Vitality.
To me, purpose gives the Individual, hope … the strength to continue past obstacles and unexpected changes we face every day. In some views of life, hope is all we really have.
To find Purpose, I believe one has to find it WITHIN… but get inspiration, EXTERNALLY, from others.
Everyone looks to better themselves & strive to live a BETTER LIFE. Most think that to do this, they need to only acquire more VALUABLES.
Change your viewpoint: life should not be about acquiring more Valuables, instead, should be about making yourself more VALUABLE. We are alive on this planet to primarily, GIVE or express ourselves through sharing, in some creative outlet.
For me, it is GOD.
Success, like happiness, cannot me pursued. Release all desires to achieve success as a self-promoting goal/target. This route, taken by many will not give you the opportunity to live a FULL LIFE. It won’t bring you full success.
Success, true success, in any field, only comes through the pursuit of something greater than you … an ideal… a standard that allows you to surrender to a higher power.
Life’s purpose does not require intense cognitive power. It is not something that you can THINK your way to discovering. Thinking leads to overthinking, which is what many in this left-brain dominated modern societies celebrate – should I try this? What if it turns to failure? Would this work? What if it does not bring income? and leads to non-action or procrastination.
From my experience, I can gracefully admit and share that there is NO “ONE WAY” … THE WAY for me was not Found by simply looking for it… but by DOING IT… by LIVING what I LOVE TO DO.
This Diamond called CLARITY.
Success, in life (& any pursuit in life) comes to those who face their fears and TRY NEW THINGS… without being glued to the end result. What you get, then, is something that is a KEY foundation stone to your building of success: CLARITY.
If is only when you take on the role of the VIKING or PIRATE 🏴☠️ in you, that you sail out to EXPLORE uncharted seas. It is through exploration that you discover this gem … this diamond called CLARITY.
Results come only with repeated ACTIONS, done with sufficiency and appropriateness. Wondering and dwelling on what to do and not actually “doing”, pushes you even further away from reaching your ultimate purpose in life.
In finding my path, for example, I stopped watching tv many, many years ago. And as modes of communication increased, I taught myself to block more of these modes out. Just as I manage what I eat for my body for optimal physique conditions, I manage input into my brain.
Beginning with me, myself snd i snd the Holy Trinity within me : the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. I did and tried everything – fine-line sketching, body sculpting, writing poetry, writing books, photography, blogging, podcasting & public speaking…
I even tried doing NOTHING…. Snd appreciating the emptiness of nothing…. Ams trying to create SOMETHING FROM NOTHING.
There is now CLARITY, where confusion existed. There is PURPOSE where once was WONDERING and over-thinking.
The WAY to find your purpose is NO WAY. It all comes down to energy .. to that life source … to Vitality, the “essence of life”. The source for this brave discovery you intend to make is from the whispering of your heart.
You will experience more joy .. snd more inspiration when you listen to and follow the guidance of your heart. Here’s the challenge: you need to not only listen, but listen, WELL.
Energy is your fuel and you can find this energy to live … to live out your dream 😴 with purpose and meaning. The next step is to explore creative and new ways of expressing and sharing this energy of creativity that comes from within.
Embracing Passionate Living.
I’ve helped hundreds … no, thousands of individuals for close to 30 years now, many of these people the top of their fields … very successful in their own right.
But, I have noticed that sometimes, at the top of their success wave, some of these individuals acted and felt as if there was still something missing in their lives.
I heard many reasons why they felt that way. I strongly felt (for some of them), that they were feeling that way because they were trying to stay with the one thing they thought they were meant to be doing.
I felt that this way of thinking 🤔 was a self-imposed ceiling … a self-limiting belief … that blocked their journey towards reaching their full potential.
I don’t just consider myself – an enthusiastic World-Class Problem Solver or a 2 x World Natural Physique Champion … I actually wear many hats and play many roles … so apart from being a husband of 20 + Years and father to two kids …. I create.
I love creating through many mediums of expression: I actually create in multi-media, I sculpt, I design, I write (blogs & poetry & books), I coach, I conduct virtual talks & seminars, I design & create my podcast, I fine-line sketch, I educate and share “coaching conversations”, I dance & I do martial arts 🥋, and share NUGGETS OF VITALITY … but most of all …
I continue to DREAM 😴… and fuel my IMAGINATION. My goal is always to not only continue to imagine, but to IMAGINE, BETTER.
All of these constant daily activities brings me joy and helps express my PASSION FOR CREATING.
Here’s a little secret to living a BETTER LIFE: consider learning to and embracing PASSIONATE LIVING. Work towards doing what you truly enjoy doing and this, I believe, will guide your path towards finding Purpose.
Sometimes, you need to simply jump in and giving things a try. Sometimes, we just need to shoot before we take aim. Sometimes, picturing yourself after having “giving it a go”‘and thinking or saying our loud –
“Just DID IT!”
Would bring you an amazing sense of satisfaction. It is the DOING and the courage required & summoned that is the way to overcome the feeling that you are missing out on life.
There are endless opportunities in life and is only limited by your imagination.
And through this discovery, through this courageous Viking/Pirate adventure, you will also realise that it is a JOURNEY TO LOVE 💕. It is this journey that is the process of becoming increased AWARENESS , to fully be AWARE of this flow of the essence of Life .. of this Vitality … this Energy from your heart.
Here’s my tip: BE MORE LIKE A VIKING and/or PIRATE 🏴☠️.
This energy … you won’t see it … and it is not something that is tangible as what you can taste, smell, weigh …
It is more something that you FEEL… that comes from within … something INTANGIBLE.
Be awake when that message comes.
All the very best in being more like a Pirate & Viking… as you sail and Captain your ship through the changing seas of life.
Where has time gone? Ten years went by … .like a blink of an eye. Memories… that is all we have … shared memories.
We have many.
He knows he will always have a home.
He has spent his first ten years of his life, with me, his mother and his sister. Spent it in our home .. which is HIS HOME.
I like to think that his home is a place of celebration, a continuous celebration of Life. His home is the place where he can let down his hair and just be, himself. His home is where living happens and laughter rocks the walls.
I’d like to think that his home is the place where he learns to play, to have fun, to relax, to love and … to pray. Each day in our household is a celebration. Everyday, our Family prayers allows us to reflect on our life so far … with GRATITUDE.
There is an abundance of laughter in his home. So loud that it carries all the way to the streets and neighbours.
His home is where Real Living, takes place.
He learns how to work, how to play, how to eat, how to ride in cars together, how to attend Taekwondo lessons, how to play music in bands virtually, how to watch youtubes and videos, how to host friends, how to take care of his self, how To be a better brother, how to be the loving son that he is, how to develop our own private family jokes (usually they love “roasting’ me).
In our home .. his home, we try not to take life too seriously. In our home … a home of celebration we thrive in conversation and accept that humour and laughter is essential elements to our Family cohesion.
Our home … his home … vibrates to us and to everyone around us that …
“This is what life is all about. In a nutshell, life is what happens in our home … it is where he is celebrated.”
Home is where …
My son … has his Nintendo game, his soccer and rugby balls, his books, his swords, his toy guns, his snacks.
Home is …. Being able to walk around in his undies all day … home is Eating cold watermelon and tropical pineapple together at the dinner table on a winter day. Home is where he is allowed to yell … to get angry … and it is ok. Home is where he can play wrestle games in the bedroom and backyard and come out of it … unscathed.
Home is where he gets unlimited hugs and kisses and learns about the important things in life. Home is where he learns how to agree to disagree and resolve conflicts.
Home is where he learns to be appreciated and listened to. Home is where his strong sense of self … his powerful self image … his confidence is built. Home is where he understands his responsibilities to contribute to the family to make it work … that little things, matter.
To sum up … I hope my ten year old son learns much … in our home .. his home.
One day, I hope, he would look back and realise that home is where he discovered wonder and learned to not only Dream … but …. To Dream BIG. One day, he remembers to repeat some of … OUR traditions … OUR unique family qwirks … our UNUSUAL ceremonies.
I hope that one day, my son looks back and views his time in his home .. our home as a period where he not only FOUND but …. EXPERIENCED, JOY.
With … his dad (me), his mum, Cathy, his sister, Olivia and our pet schnoodle : “Mr Fussy/Fuzzy Cuddles”.
Is there anything we read, hear or see ‘the truth’ anymore? THere are so many lies propagated in the media in today’s world. There is one truth – if a lie is being told and repeated enough .. the lie will eventually be believed to be a truth.
What is the truth when it comes to the covid-19 virus? There are many questions that should be asked and no question should be left out and put in an “out-of-the-question “ basket. With so much information at our fingertips, and most contradicting one another, one of our biggest risks is is our inability to sieve through the bullshit to …. Find the Truth.
I just don’t know what to believe anymore. One minute, one ‘expert’ says one thing … another minute, another expert says something else. Even the so-called experts and professional analysts cannot agree on the truth. They usually speak from their own self-interest and try to sell their ‘version of the truth’.
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
A question I ask is – why has the containment of this virus 🦠 done already … like six months ago? Why has it taken so long?
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
What has each individual country learned and what have we learned as human beings? One obvious thing is that the biggest threat to our existence is not something huge like a war or terrorist acts… it is the very very small (viral or bacterial) that we should be more fearful of. We should be more scared of the INVISIBLES … of what we CANNOT SEE with our naked eyes than … what we CAN SEE.
If you look at probabilities, there is a high probability (greater than 90%) that the virus originated from the Wuhann Lab, in China. The likelihood that the virus originated from “a Lab” is high. Then, it follows that, the likelihood that it originated from the Wuhann Lab is very high.
A question we should be asking is – was there a prior epidemic of this virus … that has allowed this current viral strain to be very effective in spreading? If it came from the Wuhann Lab, what were the protocols/internal controls used at the time? Why was this allowed to happen? On the other hand, if it wasn’t the Wuhann lab, we should be told that it wasn’t. If it was from nature, we deserve to be told. If it was from another lab, we need to know that , too. Why aren’t the governments giving us answers to these questions?
In other fields, say, in manufacturing, if a machine worker narrowly misses death when using a Machine or only loses a limb or his/her life, most businesses would do everything possible to NOT LET that happen again. In a factory setting, they would put up clear signs, get employees further training, counselling, boundaries indicated, protective gear and so forth…
And why? It was a “lucky break “ and control measures put in to mitigate the worst situation (losing a life) does not happen again in the future.
Why weren’t the voices that were raised in concern or this virus back in 2015 not listened to and taken seriously? What protocols were overlooked leading up to this pandemic? Why was the process off-shored to China? Did our current systems allow this? Who was responsible for this system at that time? Why hasn’t people brought to justice yet? Who is responsible for this pandemic? Governments collectively?
Is this going to be another case of INFLUENZA?
… and we will not find a cure and eliminate it but will just have to live with it.
Will it become part of our new “normal “ like the influenza virus has become? Living with the FLU virus has been a huge cost to governments and nations. Imagine the cost of living with the Covid forever? The cost to people’s well-being and the economy will be astronomical…& possibly incalculable.
** Here’s the thing:the ABILITY to ELIMINATE the disease goes down the longer we delay to have EFFECTIVE RESPONSES… to take control of its spread. It will be too late when large numbers of people catch this disease and their mutations and selections will result in adaptations that we just could not possibly manage.
Then we’ve got a HUGE PROBLEM!!
Medicine has come a long way. Yes, it has. The pertinent question is … is this going to be another case of influenza? I feel it will be.
If you look back in history, you will find that hospitals were dangerous places in the 18th century. One eminent Victorian surgeon commented that –
“a patient laid on an operating table … is exposed to more chances of death than the English soldier on the field of Waterloo.”
18th century medicine was not very effective. With all our advances in technology and medicine, can we say that 21st century medicine is ‘effective’ in it’s management of covid?
In the 19th century, Mary Wortley Montagu went back home with the smallpox inoculation/vaccine from Turkey but had a difficult time finding Doctors who would share this with people, given many were not willing to destroy a significant stream of their revenue. Even if it was for the good of mankind. Doctors were looking out for their own self-interests.
After the French Revolution, patients with similar symptoms were grouped together in wards. Doctors started to recognise and treat illnesses as ENTITIES in themselves rather than regarding complaints as being inseparable from individuals.
Is this happening in today’s world? Are beds and access to medical treatment going to be a “bidding war?” will the beds And medical professionals only be given to those with money as it was back in the 19th century?
Medicine … using vocabulary of the Military.
Also, in the late 19th century, medicine started using the vocabulary of the military, referring to diseases and germs similar in concept to enemy invasion.
Words like breakthroughs, defeats, and destruction and “let’s fight this”. Nowadays, they use phrases like ‘we’re in this together’. Like many other scientific metaphors used in the past, these images operated both ways:
Reflecting how illness was conceived
Affecting how foreigners should be treated
Back then, wealthy nations tried to defend themselves against infectious immigrants just as bodies had to be protected against viruses or microbes. This analogy was used. Question is – is it still being used today?
You see, diseases had usually been blamed on foreigners and this case of covid is no different. It also provides new grounds for rationally explaining old fears.
And what are these “old fears?”
Prejudices against race and cleanliness could now be given a “scientific label”. This was utilised by many wealthy nations back in history. Is it still being used now?
Is this one way of the government setting up a screening program to assess citizens health? Are our DNA (through swabs) just another way of science and governments finding out more about each individual? How can this be used against us?
Could the increased awareness through advertising, as “medical security “ really patchy vetting procedures … say, to allow rich immigrants easier process into more wealthy nations? Is this simply a tool to help curb unwanted immigrants?
Governments have had a history of controlling diseases by curtailing individual freedom… which is the same objection given by anti-vaccination supporters.
In science, often what seems straightforward in the labs proves quite complex outside the labs.
Over a century ago, Robert Koch, the German bacteriologist, shot to fame for identifying the organism responsible for Industrial Europe’s biggest killer – tuberculosis (TB).
Even though Koch proved that nobody could catch TB without first, being exposed to the TB, he was unable to explain why only about 10 % of people became infected. What sort of rates exist for the covid? Apart from age, are certain races more at risk?
During Koch’s time, it was found that the “Cure rate” for TB, proved lower than had been hoped. The enemy agent (similar to the covid strain identified today), had been identified but it seemed to leave many potential victims unscathed. Back then, many concluded that many individuals were somehow tainted in advance or had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to getting covid.
Over one hundred years later, society has learned to “live with the disease “ – TB, that is. TB was, only recently, given an identity as a contagious disease that circulates in squalid city slums. A mark of inferiority rather than aesthetic vulnerability.
At one time, to contract TB, was to invite scorn… it was a matter of shame… making it out to be that patients had been picked out rather than innocent victims of neural microbes.
TB was as bad a stigma as contracting syphilis, blamed on prostitutes. Society attitudes stayed this way until towards the end of the 20 th century. Cancer became the new TB…. The big C that could not be mentioned by name.
Given how long it has been for us to respond to the covid strain and managing it, it is highly likely that, we won’t find a cure … but instead, just learn to live with disease, like we did with TB, over the last one hundred years.
A lot of deaths.
A quick reference on Google on world-stats indicates that as of 9th July 2021, there were a little over 4,000,000 covid-related deaths, with the USA heading the tally with > 623,000, followed closely behind by Brazil at 530,000 and then India at > 400,00 and so on. Australia has just under 1,000 deaths. So, there has been over 4 million deaths in just over a year since it began.
A lot of deaths.
In 1999, the American Institute of Medicine published a landmark investigation called “To Err is Human”. It reported that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.
Lucian Leape, a Harvard professor put it higher (at 120,000 in America alone) estimated that a million patients are injured by errors during hospital treatment.
In 2013, a study done & published in the journal of patient safety put the number of premature deaths associated with “preventable harm “ at more than 400,000 per year (in America, alone). Compare this to the number of deaths caused attributed to Covid and it is comparable. But, no one is alarmed at this knowledge because not much is said about it and so not much is known about it, by the majority of people.
Preventable harm included –
Dispensing wrong drugs
Injuring patient during surgery
Operating on the wrong part of the body
Peter J. Pronovost, professor at Johns Hopkins school of medicine testified at senate pointing out that the deaths was equivalent of two jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day for an entire year! Comparing and saying –
“Every two months, 9-11 is occurring.”
Can you imagine, news headlines repeating information of deaths caused by the crashing of two jumbo jets EVERY DAY! It would cause utter chaos .. that could lead to an up-rising. Possibly. The public has lost a lot of trust in the medical systems and are turning to alternative medicines in droves. Question is why has it got to this point?
Why do we tolerate these numbers …. These stats in preventable harm in this area of life when we would not tolerate it in any other sector? We don’t tolerate the covid-related death toll numbers, so, why has the medical profession knowingly or unknowingly, hid this information from the public … year after year?
Upon further study, you will find that the numbers put preventable error in hospitals as the biggest killer in the United States – behind only heart disease and cancer. Can you imagine that?! Third highest!!
And these are just numbers for the USA, what about when we add all the other numbers from other countries? What sort of numbers would that total to? Highly likely be greater than the 4,000,000 reported deaths relating to covid.
This Affects ALL OF US.
But those numbers are incomplete and definitely higher now.
However, it is not just the number of deaths that should alarm us, there is also the non-lethal harm caused by preventable error. Back in that 2013 study, this equated to about 1000 preventable deaths AND 10,000 preventable serious complications per day …
The problem is not a small group of crazy, homicidal incompetent doctors going around causing havoc. Medical errors follow a normal, bell-shaped distribution.
They occur most often not when clinicians get bored or lazy or malign, but when they are going about their business with diligence and concern … but these mistakes STILL happen!
Imagine the flow-on negative effect it had on the patient, their family and friends, their community and wider.
The Biggest Risk right now, as I see it…
Strong Social connections allow for a better and longer life. There are decades of evidence from communities suffering the reverse phenomenon: the gradual loss of social ties.
A study by James House, published in the journal SCIENCE concluded that social isolation is as dangerous for health as obesity’s, inactivity and smoking. The evidence was as strong as in the landmark US government report that in 1964 officially linking smoking with lung cancer.
The House report says that social isolation is actually more dangerous than lack of exercise and obesity. This is the biggest risk right now, as I see it … in most western societies- deaths exacerbated by social isolation due to covid restrictions.
This is probably the single most powerful behavioural finding in the world.
Social isolation is indeed a death sentence!, I believe, as much a threat to iur survival as hunger, thirst or pain. If individuals are deprived or it – “human contact” (as imposed by covid restrictions), the extreme case is we can start to become attached to innanjmate objects. This is demonstrated by Tom Hank’s character on the movie CASTAWAY, who has a meaningful relationship with a volleyball he calls Wilson.
Will this pandemic lead to increased purchases or innanimate objects for companionship? More sales for the IT industry?
Lesson: this AFFECTS ALL of us.
Why do so many mistakes still happen?
Well, I will leave that for a future blog.
So many questions still left unanswered, about our past … our present …. And our future.
But, as they say …. That is JUST LIFE.
You can choose to enjoy your ‘one life’ and worry about what YOU CAN CONTROL … and NOT WORRY about what YOU CANNOT CONTROL.
May God continue to shower his blessing on you and your family and loved ones,
My biological mum had me before she turned 16. She had a choice to have an abortion but chose to give me life. Being so young and incapable, her parents (my grandparents) decided to raise me as their own.
Because of the societal norms at that time, I now understand that my grandparents adopted me as their own, in every sense of the word. They were the best Parents any kid could wish for. My “mom” (grandmother) died when I was 12. It felt like the end of the world to me because she was the word to me.
She was caring, compassionate and loving 🥰 & very strong (usually welcoming in strangers and the homeless. She would clean them, clothe them, feed them and give them a place to sleep for a short while … and give them a little help on their way.
Some of the Strangers we helped, would return, sometimes years later, to offer money and thanks for her (& my grandfather’s unsolicited care & hospitality when they had hit a “rut”). I recall seeing the turnaround in the individuals and the impact my humble grandparents and their kindness gave them.
A whole new lease of life.
My grandmother was my first role model of a loving & strong independent woman. I really loved her full body massages she gave me to wake me for school almost every morning. This is where my penchant for hugs 🤗 & kisses originated. I thank her for that.
In my pre-teens, my biological mother’s sister (my Aunty) stepped in and assumed a “mother” role for me. She showed me a second type of strong woman. She was a woman’s woman.
My Second Mum: the Ambitious Career Woman.
She wasn’t too lovey-Dovey like my mum # 1. She was very ambitious and career-focused and very risk-averse. Very strategic and almost always chose a conservative approach to many things. Her thing was – “don’t rush life, Paul”.
Two things were important for her – good education and making money. She was very successful and raised me in very rich surroundings in my teens. I learned and experienced life through very wealthy lens and feel very fortunate to have done so. Not many children grow up in a 3 car-garage, 3 storey 6 bedroom mansion with a pool. My bedroom even had its own bathroom and walk-in wardrobe.
I only got to know my biological mum after an uncle broke the “news” to me two weeks before my Final Exams at High School. We had a heated argument and he let out the “truth”. In hindsight, Not the best time. I wish he had waited until I had finished my exams before telling me that the first 17 years of my life was a lie. That my grandma was not my mother and that my “older sister “ was in fact, my real mother!
I was shattered. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing .
I locked myself in my room for a whole week… trying to come to terms with this bomb 💣. I cried a river in my room…. Everything I ever knew … about my family … about my life … was a lie. Who could I trust? Why is this happening to me? I was angry at everyone… they all played a part in the lie.
It had a significant effect on my High School Results. Negative. I was aiming to be in the Top 10 but I failed. I think I made the Top 20. In the whole scope of life, the mark I got didn’t matter. I still got to do what I wanted to do at University.
That was a first. Me, getting to University in my immediate and extended families. The ceiling in academia was High School… but I raised it … and still raising it.
It’s been almost 30 years since I learned of this truth. Along the way, I learned that many other individuals have experienced similar situations. Some famous like Jack Nicholson, who only found out that his older sister was in fact, his mother. He only find out in his late 30s when a reporter dug up his background for a story on him.
In many cultures, especially in Polynesian cultures, “step in”. Grandparents generally stepped in to protect the child and give them every opportunity to succeed. They did. I got all the love and attention any child could have. I am very grateful for the unconditional love life they gave me.
They were my parents and friends & family and schools & teachers and anyone I ever interacted with all played their roles.
You could say my first 17 years was a lie.
That’s ok. Every family has their “secrets” and “skeletons in the closet”. What are yours? Do you have any? Is your whole life “the whole truth & nothing but the truth?” Is the truth better than living a lie? What if living the truth disadvantages you more? Would you then choose to live a lie? If you had the choice?
My Third Mum: the Risk Taker. Biology Matters.
The choice was made for me. Her choice to give me life rather than get an abortion.
And it was made with love snd for my benefit and protection. An unselfish choice by my biological mother in playing her role as my “older sister “.
It was only in my later years that I realised how amazingly courageous and unselfish she was to live in the same household as me … and stop herself from playing the “mum” role to me.
I had many arguments with her and told her off on many occasions. I would see her run into the bedroom, close the door and I’d hear her crying. She wouldn’t cry in front of me or argue with me.
Remember, she was my older sister to me. Little did I know then … who she REALLY WAS. This is the Mum that didn’t always make decisions logically because she usually made it with her heart. She was a “thinker”, the most academically gifted of all her siblings. A rebel, a risk-taker.
I buried my biological mum in 2011, 3 months after my son, Zachary was born. Like my grandmother, My biological mum, Margaret, died from cancer within 3 months of being diagnosed. Aaaahhh… the Circle of Life, as they say.
She did not live long but she epitomised what courage is to me. What a brave woman, who lived & died, with integrity & dignity.
THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW HAS COME!
The Bible has been a big comfort for me all my life. It gave me strength in those years (18 – 22) that I refer to as my “lost years “. It was always a source of inspiration and strength for me … in the many times I needed courage.
We have been gifted not only from our genetic background but also by the environment in which we were brought up. Each of us were formed by all the people who have made an impression on us.
From the people who gave us affirmations (like my grandparents did for me) to the people who put us down or belittled us. The former types gave us a positive view of other human beings and the latter, a view that fed our uncertainty about ourselves and … others…
Genesis 1 relays a story that God created living things to bring forth according to their own kind. So, not only are we likely to look like our parents but it is likely that we will embrace life’s challenges just as our parents did.
“So God created man in his own image.” (Genesis 1:27)
So, i/we were not only created in our parents image but also in God’s.
Yes, we all have our past (and even if part of it was not lived in truth like mine), take comfort that we also have God (if you’re a Christian). I spent 8 years as a Catholic Altar boy in my early youth and one phrase that sticks in my mind is –
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the NEW HAS COME!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This verse has always given me comfort. Especially, after I learned of certain truths at 17. I get Comfort in knowing that the curses and the distortions and sins of previous generations does not hold me back. That it does NOT MAKE ALL “ME”… that I can release the OLD… to make room for the NEW.
We are Built in God’s image. Something that I can … we can ALL use as a springboard to being the BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES.
Yes, We are trapped with our old us … the past experiences… and the good (& imperfections in genetics 🧬 passed down to us) ….
With the knowledge and belief that we, as Christians, are also created in the image of God, gives all of us I mmense COURAGE…. And hope … and belief… that we have a huge capacity to change!!
You are unique! Believe it so…. And you can change!! We ALL CAN!!
But, this is not easy and TAKES COURAGE and … a lot of WORK! In my experience, You MUST TAKE CHARGE of your life! You must stop saying –
“I’ll always be the same … I’ll never be different “
Instead, you should begin saying –
“I CAN be different because of God’s love 💕 working in me.”
DO NOT FEAR CHANGE especially if the change is to make you all that God wants you to be.
When you decide to Invite Christ into your life, know that you have been re-born… snd the Holy Spirit will guide you.
I know I have been “re-born “ many times … in my life, so far. When I reflect, I was very fortunate to have been influenced by three strong & courageous women. They were all different and they were women who loved me differently but all had strong values & principles.
I may have lost two Mums, but there still remains one. Something many cannot say. I will continue to love this Mum that is still alive today….and the other two Mums are always with me in spirit.
Thank you God. Amen.
Ask yourself for God’s guidance and he will answer.
Passing on the instructions of good decision-making to my daughter is fundamental to my role as her father. Much guidance is given by the Bible.
Wisdom stems from the discipline of Character.
I also ask myself the question of what is the GOAL of a Father’s advice to his children?
It is clear to me that the Goal of a father’s Godly instruction MUST be spiritual and must stem from the insight learned in Proverb’s WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE or UNDERSTANDING.
But, I don’t believe this wisdom is from Academic Achievements measured by membership to University boards or clubs or some Ivy League College. No, I believe this “wisdom” goes beyond scholastic wins. It goes to a place few dare to go.
That place is – MORAL RESPONSIBILITY. Getting there is difficult. Staying there is far greater a challenge.
Like Father – like son.
The Power of Discretion and Discernment.
It ALL boils down to decision-making, the mastery of this Art. Many Leaders and would-be leaders spend years at universities trying to learn the many tools that assist and help them make decisions.
To live prudently means to make decisions that are NOT based a whim or changing appetite but knowing right from wrong. This is the skill and power of discretion or discernment. Exactly what the Bible, Proverbs prescribed.
Whenever I make a decision in my children’s presence, I have a “walk-through “ how I arrived at that decision (s). I let them know the THINKING 🤔 BEHIND THE INTELLIGENCE. I mention the KEY components like – the initial assessment of risks; the consequences it could lead to if not addressed with mitigating controls; the probability/likelihood of the consequences occurring (with and without mitigating controls) and the possible impact, to self and others.
And then factoring in what my heart ♥️ & soul tells me too.
Such instruction DOES NOT presume that the child somehow already knows what’s best. So, if you’re thinking of having kids or have very young kids, I believe that parents need to instruct and educate them from the earliest years.
They must be shown, trained and taught to tell the truth rather than lies; to respect the property of others rather than take for themselves; that harming anyone else is unacceptable;
And … to hold and RESPECT THE MIRACLE OF LIFE... whether it is flora or fauna or human, in respectful and highest regard.
All the very best in your decisions, big and small and may God continue to shower his blessings on you and your family and cherished ones.
cheers & ahoy from beautiful Sydney, Australia!!
* Dr. of Muscle/Energy Aesthetics & 💝itality/❤️Ove *
Children need a good framework to build their character on. Your instructions as a parent and the guidance given in Proverbs in the Bible are great tools ⚒️ to harness.
Think 🤔. To Really think, does not only involve the brain 🧠. It involves the mind, the heart ❤️, the spirit and the “essence of life” – 💝itality. It includes the blessings of Wisdom.
I AM. I an Entrepreneur of IMAGINATION. Through Mastery of Self, I am able to be an Agent of Creative Destruction to allow the release of new ideas … new thinking … and a new Meaning. Meaning is the NEW MONEY.
Building a Physique of high quality dense muscle that is balanced & symmetrical on a human being takes an high understanding of striking a balance between control and creativity.
Successful Businesses now and in near future need leaders who understand HOW to strike a balance between control and creativity in organisations…
.. if they are to survive and thrive. Business Leaders need to think like Physique Artists ... like designers.
”Businesspeople don’t need to understand designers better. They need to be designers.”
– ROGER MARTIN, dean, Rottman School of Management
Here’s how the principles of physique artistry can be used in the Corporate World.
Believe. Embrace Creative Destruction. You never know what you’ll discover.
What it takes.
My sport found me at 19.
It was and is the hardest sport an individual can participate in. The sport name is : bodybuilding. The great Arnold Schwarzenegger is the most famous bodybuilding champion and has done and still contributes to the wellness & fitness industry.
I like to refer to it as : Physique Artistry.
To master the “Art” you need to master – YOU.
It is the fusion of science 🧬/engineering and art(design/creativity).
I got to the Top of my sport. Representing Australia to two consecutive world 🌎 NATURAL bodybuilding championships in New York, USA.
It was a 10 year goal (To stand on the world stage against the best in the world). I developed and managed the best execution of a 10 year plan. I achieved (& exceeded) the goal in that time by making the Finals (Top 5) in both championships.
It took /takes a lot to build muscle.
It took much much more knowledge to Sculpt a “physique “. One that leans towards “ better balance & symmetry “. Consistency, focus, persistence and belief got tested in the journey towards my best. It took learning to“listen” to the myriad of feedback signals the human body and mind Gives you, positive or negative feedback. Being “in-tune” with yourself is key 🔑 to success in this sport.
Sticking to the plan and making changes based on feedback signals ⚒️ I have (the mirror, the scale, energy levels …) where and when necessary to changing circumstances was part and parcel of the journey. It was science 🧬 & art constantly fused together. It is one of the reasons I love the art/science of physique artistry – it feeds in to my thirst for learning.
I know “what it takes.” A big part of this is the “connection “ I have with me … and my enhanced listening /detective abilities of the myriads of feedback my body gives me.
One of my Top 3 Physique Artists of all time. Balanced & symmetrical ==> beauty. And when you CREATE your beauty my friend is … When you discover your TRUTH.
Tomorrow’s Organisations need to create a culture that supports feedback and embrace creativity and “Imagine BETTER”.
In creating a physique that is worthy to represent your country against the best in the world, you need a very good understanding of balancing Control and creativity.
As a physique artist I am constantly tearing down the old me … designing the new me, from within… I have to continue to let my imagination and heart lead me. I am constantly trying to IMAGINE BETTER.
That is what business leaders of tomorrow need to be: Entrepreneurs of Imagination. By testing and exceeding our own personal limits, can society’s horizons be expanded and enriched. That is the way all civilisations innovated .
As Fredrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) said –
“ whoever must be a creator always annihilates”
As a Champion Physique Artist I need to not only continually monitor what can be controlled in the “micro-environment “ but also the macro-environment. All this is balanced with the creativity and freedom needed to “push-boundaries “ in training and nutrition.
Excelling in physique artistry requires you to continuously assess actions and evaluate feedback from your body. You need to embrace feedback, whether it is negative or positive and constantly ‘tweak’ existing or create new processesses to and environment that is very dynamic and rapidly changing.
“Creativity is the manifestation of the playful spirit of a creator having fun.”
As a Physique Artist, I see the whole body as one but I see it as having many moving parts. An important task I have to do is ensure that all the parts ‘flow together’ and are in ‘harmony’ in an ever-changing environment. Depending on feedback received and assessed, I will be able to have the courage to try new things or ‘new ways’ and still achieve the desired results or better. and ‘getting it right’.
In organisations, there are lot of different parts/divisions and they need to all work together, in relative harmony and effective communication in these relationships, between these divisions is the key.
All good and effective feedback has a strong 💪 foundation of strong 💪 relationships. Feedback should come from someone the recipient respects and has built a good relationship with.
In my experience, for feedback to be most effective, however, it helps that the parties involved need to see the persons as “people” first and foremost instead of titles & roles. This allows people to let their guard down and feel comfortable to take risks and fail. It is the ‘fear of failure’ that stalls new ways of thinking about doing things and this is emphasised by some organisations in bad performance reviews.
Freedom to be vulnerable is a contributor to creative thinking. This freedom is not encouraged by many organisations. Those that do encourage this freedom and build processes and systems that encourage and foster creative-thinking idea formulation will increase their chances of remaining competitive in fast-changing, increasingly uncertain world we live in.
Just like I have done for many many years as a physique artist and an entrepreneur.
These are Key ingredients for successful creative thinking & innovative behaviour.
Keep your dreams alive . Snd if you’re going to dream … Dream BIG. You serve no one by being and thinking small. Think BIG!
Get your hands dirty, to find the diamond.
A key part of effective organisations is having well-oiled processes that are aligned with the overall mission of the organisation (make profit, increase market share etc). This is the same for building a Physique that is beautiful, that is, ‘flows’ with balance and symmetry. A physique that exudes great design.
There are many Systems for feedback that I use with physique artistry. One of my key systems, I call it the “3-step to showing my diamond💎 to the world“:
mining ⛏– how I manage (mix n match all the variables – how much cardio, how long, what type? Best food combos ? ). Organisations need a process of how employees are to voice grievance with others . Maybe write down “why”. Here’s where you “get your hands dirty “.
2. Re-fining : making sure that I make the right substitutions at the right time (from the larger goal … to monthly and weekly and daily goals). This is where the bulk of my time is Spent – in the beginning when working through the process of setting goals.
Organisations need to separate the “facts”‘from emotions and “he says” – “she says”. Leaders and participants in this “feedback “ process, needs to Spend time here. Refining.
3. Defining: once my goals (micro & macro employees should have the ability to re-write what they wrote initially after learning about all the other information in the two stages. This is a stage of reflection. How can you do or say things better?
Processes of feedback could be done this way, for example.
In their book, “Thanks for the Feedback”, Douglas Stone & Sheila Heen stressed that feedback is about the quality of relationship, as I mentioned earlier –
“Feedback isn’t about the quality of the advice or the accuracy of the assessments. It’s about the quality of the relationships, your willingness to show that you don’t have it all figured out, and to bring your whole self – flaws, uncertainties, and all – into the relationship.”
It is the formula I use to project manage my building of muscle & the design & creativity I apply. I need to keep introducing these principles to encourage muscle growth and burn fat.
I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life. SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be. One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life. A wonderful book says – “Seek and ye shall find; Ask and ye shall receive.” True.
Feedback: Food for Champions. Organisations to allow “feedback” to be seen as “Opportunities to learn”.
That is exactly the approach I take when listening to the various feedback loops my body gives me – the micro and the macro: I always see it as an opportunity to learn.
I see all feedback as “food for champions “.
Personally, I’ve Always had a “feedback – seeking behaviour. I subsequently found out that it is a self-regulatory trait in learning & orientation. Probably explain why I’ve always believed in learning from someone who “has skin in the game” in every key area in life.
To me, it is part of a “Champion mindset “. Being eternally curious like me, demonstrates an awareness of feeling psychologically safe enough to proactively seek out feedback with the intention for self-improvement.
Organisations and its leaders need to emphasise a “learning environment “ instead of one based on fear. Evolving a “Culture of Learning’ is key to success and emphasising the importance of having a ‘growth mind-set’. Having a growth mind-set is part-and-parcel of being a great Physique Artist.
But, bear in mind there are no perfect learning people, even if you have a close-to-perfect feedback system like the human body.
To dig deep, you have to dig deep. To find “YOU “, you need to Mine … for your diamond 💎…Re-fine YOU… and then Define … your BEST YOU.
Feedback is essential to enhancing effectiveness and creativity but the feedback process needs good design.
There are no perfect feedback systems. All business people need to be good designers.
Most adults are wired to fear failure. It’s drummed into people by our archaic outdated education systems.
Organisations suffer because staff are afraid to take risks as there isn’t an environment that encourages this. In physique artistry, it’s important to feel the freedom to take “calculated risks” on key aspects that will have a dramatic effect on your final outcome.
just like I need to create the right environment, an environment that encourages an anabolic response from muscles 💪, an organisation needs to create a culture where failing is not the focus.
Businesses will need leadership has the ability and fortitude to experiment with novel combinations. This inspiration-centred approach will inevitably have many mistakes but the journey from innovation to commodity is so swift that individuals and organisations must be relentless if they are to remain competitive.
For a organisation, The question is what should you do with the failure? What can we learn from it? A great physique artist learns to have a strong 💪 “connection “ with his self … it is a strong relationship, one based on experimentation, process and reflection and assessment (using the mirror is a key component – the mirror does not lie).
As Trevor Baylis, INVENTOR said –
“The key to success is to risk thinking unconventional thoughts. Convention is the enemy of progress. As long as you’ve got slightly more perception than the average wrapped loaf, your could invent something.”
That is, what organisations need to do through the feedback process : to focus on the human connection… the relationship and building that “emotional labour”. Developing and going through the process of reflection and “looking in the mirror “ and actually asking the RIGHT questions:
why do they do the things the say they do?
Is there a better way?
What are their intrinsic values ?
Are these values tied to their purpose
How are they giving value to their loca & global communities.
Most Innovation and inventions and breakthroughs come from reassembling existing ideas in new, creative ways.
I love Trees. Be like a Tree. Let go of old ways of doing things … like trees let go of their leaves … each season to allow for new fresh ones (ideas) to evolve.
Neurons that wire together, fire 🔥 together!!
The leaders of tomorrow’s successful organisations need to create and maintain an environment that fosters support for risk-taking and creativity.
This will lead to innovation.
The organisation needs to encourage vulnerable behaviour, openness…. this evolves from More trust, more care and more patience. And this should come from the top and filter down through all the levels of the organisation.
The culture is to be fuelled by a change of thinking … a re-wiring of the brain🧠 to create a way of thinking that does not fear failure. And not just with words or “window-dressing “. It should be authentic.
The environment should be one that fosters “Champion Feelings and Champion Thinking. An organisation that focuses on feedback being a learning experience and opportunity, like a good physique artist does with his self.
Lesrning to have Champion Feelings and Champion thinking is Something that all employees can learn to be better at. This is encouraged with feedback processes that is there to enhance learning. Organisations where employees are allowed to be themselves and be comfortable being vulnerable.
Build your bridge from where you are to … where you desire to be. A lot of times, it pays to get help from an experienced builder… who “walks the walk” ..& not all “just talk”
Mr Vulnerable, where are you … come out, come out … wherever you are!
In much of today’s modern society, allowing oneself to be vulnerable is not something that is encouraged. There are “pockets of this kind of behaviour “ here and there, but on the whole, It is frowned upon.
Men should never show weakness and vulnerability. It requires a lot of courage from employees (especially men). What is needed is undying support from leaders of the organisation.
As we know, learning can be painful (and i have learned many painful lessons lifting weights in the gym). The key thing is to allow yourself to learn to be better at “being comfortable being uncomfortable “.
Learning, like muscle growth, needs stimulation and involveschange snd adaptation. It is the process of adaptation that new muscle grows (.new exercise techniques to maximise growth). In businesses, change and adaptation happens when it wrestles with new ways of doing things and continually asking questions.
Questions that forces them to question the way they do things, Even what they think is “what’s best” or “correct “.
Here’s something I learned along the way to the Top of my sport of Physique Artistry:
“You have to be willing to be wrong! That is what leaders of tomorrow’s organisations should be focused on to foster environments that encourages more creativity.” And why is Creativity important? If you’re not exercising creativity, you may as well be dead.
“To cease to think creatively is only slightly different from ceasing to live.” (Benjamin Franklin)
Less fear, happier employees, more creativity. Better productivity? Better profits? Is there a strong correlation, at least?
I know there is.
I’ve got – not one, but two world championships Trophies 🏆 & medals 🏅& have designed and run several successful businesses to prove it.
Quality lean muscle that “flows” takes time & a goal of balance & symmetry
I love hats. I wear different hats, depending on the occasion and the style of dressing that I feel is appropriate to the setting. Just like in “life”, we all have to juggle the many roles that we play in the play-ground and classrooms of life. Each role can be likened to a different hat. In life, there is no – “one-size-fits-all’ solution for every one. A key part of life for everyone is: SEARCHING for the relevant hat/strategy to fit the situation/circumstance you’re in. Do you like hats? What type?
We’re ALL in tribes or groups. Family. Extended Families. Work colleague. Sporting tribes and so forth. The tribes are small to the very big.
In One of the many “tribes” I am a member in, we all get a question that relates to aspects of life. Members of this little tribe are of all ages and come from different backgrounds and socio-economic & cultural backdrops.
In one question, we were comparing the different paths people take to success. Based on a Ted-talk by the David Epstein, our Modern societies place a lot of emphasis and pump up the “stay focused “ on one thing and specialise your way to success (like Tiger Woods did). David called this the “Kind Learning Environment”. In this environment, the rules are clear and never change; largely based on knowledge of recurring patterns;
The other way – which he called “wicked learning environment “ was “sampling “ or “trying many things before settling on one”. In this environment, the rules may change; it may be delayed, it may be inaccurate. This is the route the great Roger Federer took – trying out a huge variety of sports before settling on Tennis.
The former (Tiger Woods ) chose and specialised from before he was 2 years old and built up his > 10,000 hours before he was in his teens. The latter has fun with many sports and specialised latter.
Society tends to trump up the former method because it makes for good storytelling. Why? Well, for many reasons , chief among them is “making a decision early “ shows decisiveness and a competitive advantage is far better. Yes, that is true for many things in life.
Taking the 2nd route like Rodger Federer seems like “wandering “ and indecisiveness and that is frowned upon by society.
Is it? Really?!
As David Epstein postulates, the wicked learning environment is more like the world we are living in than the former, isn’t it? We are living in an increasingly uncertain world, where the rules and ‘way of life’ can change very suddenly. Have a look at what happened in 2020. We are living in an increasingly uncertain world and we need to re-learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable and adapt quickly to survive.
YOU are WORTHY. Never forget that. TRUTH.
Being a Wanderer, DOES NOT mean you’re LOST.
So, one of the members in this little tribe said that he has been called a “wanderer” for a big chunk of his early life. Confirming what I have said about the way society in this point-in-time “deemed acceptable “. There was a great list of “sampling” he wanted to experience in the future.
Being a “weirdo” and referred to as a “wanderer” is a blessing in disguise.
Many great thinkers were wanderers – pick a few names from the Bible – Jesus Christ, Moses… then you have Buddha, and Rumi .
Being a wanderer DOES NOT mean you’re lost.
To me, It just means that you have unanswered questions. It’s good to be asking questions- whether the “small” (what tasks to run today for example) … then the high level questions (which generally involve greater consequences – like what work suits me or who am I going to marry as examples).
But to me, the important questions are the “large “ questions, like – How can I derive “meaning “ from my life, for example.
However, most people would rather keep themselves “busy “ Or focused on a project(s).
in my experience, our lives and our happiness are inextricably entwined with the Large questions of meaning.
Keep searching … keep asking questions. That is where you will find … your ‘meaning’ to your life. MEANING IS THE NEW MONEY. Build your WEALTH WITHIN.
Some Questions are UNANSWERABLE.
If your “wanderer” hat takes you on this journey seeking answers to the more IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, know this:
That’s ok. For some things in life, what’s important is not that you find the ‘answer’ but … that you asked the question. The RIGHT question.
I’ve always told my family, that for some things, there are no answers – “that’s just the way it is”. I’ve even invented a word that is all encompassing: “KAKA!”
It comes in to use when I am tired of answering my two kids endless questions. when I say “Kaka!” … it means – I am not obligated to explain or give a reason … it is “just the way it is”.
END OF CONVERSATION!
They DO NOT like the word and I use sparingly.
Oops … I may have digressed there a bit …
My 3 kids never stop asking me questions. Some questions get the “kaka” answer. Silence.
Someone is TRULY “LOST” when …
So, wandering is a good strength and is a courageous thing to do. you “open” yourself up, you allow yourself to be vulnerable.
BEING a wanderer does not mean you are necessarily, Lost.
To me, a person is LOST when they are too obtuse, filled with fear or distracted or “busying “ their lives just to avoid asking the IMPORTANT Questions… that is when someone is truly, Lost.
That, my friend, are the seemingly “ UN-Weird “people of this world.That also happens to be the majority of the population.
But… in many times in life, the “majority “ doesn’t always mean you’re in “the right “. It just means that is the prevailing view of the majority of a group /community/societies …. at that time period.
Does it mean that it was “right?”
For example, the punishment for stealing a loaf of bread 🥖to feed your family two hundred years ago was to be classed in the same mold as murderers. You were all simply bunched together and shipped off to an “island” on the other side of the world 🌎… never to ever return.
That faraway “Island” was modern day’s Australia. And those “convicts” were modern-day Australian’s forefathers. Now, did the “punishment fit the crime?” At that time, yes… the majority felt so … the society felt it was so.
Is that punishment appropriate in today’s societies?
I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life. SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be. One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life. A wonderful book says – “Seek and ye shall find; Ask and ye shall receive.” True.
There is no “one-size-fits-all”.
So, enjoy your “weirdness” and accept that there is no ANSWER (s) that would be applicable to ALL… there is no “one-size-fits-all” category.
Remember, it is that “search “ for answers… wearing the “wanderer” hat… that makes the search so important. Enjoy the UniqueYOU.
To me: I firmly believe it is spirituality that serves as the foundation for our existence. Besides, many years ago, I didn’t really catch the ‘message’ the Priest of my Catholic Church was during the church service. On my way out, I asked the “Father” what his message was and he said –
“Son, the world needs more ‘weirdos’ … more ‘stirrers’ … more ‘questioners’ and people who ‘rock the boat’. I agree. It is the wanderers .. the questioners .. the rebels .., the ‘shit-stirrers’ that will help change the world and help create environments that encourage better creativity and innovative thinking.
We don’t just need to work on ‘improving what is already there/here” … we need dreamers .. more ‘weirdos’ … more wanderers … to help not just IMAGINE. We need to Imagine BETTER. We can’t arrive at better solutions by doing the same thing that got us here.
May God continue to shower his blessings on you and guide you in your decisions.
All the very best in your search (and don’t forget to take a torch with you, to help you see in the darkness… as you sail through the Seas of Life … he he he !!)
Cheers & ahoy!
From another “weirdo” … from the Land from Down-under!
Courage is the springboard to success in anything worthwhile.
Be YOU. As YOU are. Accept the uniqueness … and weirdness that you know you are. Embrace YOU. Never imitate.
The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ ⚔️Enjoying a beer 🍺 in a hot 🥵 spring day here in Sydney Australia 🇦🇺
On the other end of the spectrum.
In a past phase of life, I was a Business Advisor and Corporate Consultant to a number of multinationals. I specialised in “cleaning up other people’s messes” and correcting accounting treatment errors and assessing Risks for companies. I enjoyed the relationship management side of things.
In one particular consulting firm, I went to one of the Firm’s many corporate functions. It was the usual shit, people talking about trivial unimportant things like the weather. In this particular function, one of my colleagues on a similar seniority level to me approached me and said –
“Paul, I can tell you don’t want to be here. I’m the spectrum of connections, everyone here would be on one end … the “superficial end, and you, my friend… you’re all the way on the other end of the spectrum.”
I said –
“you’re right. I’m leaving. Goodbye.”
I took my tie off and left the function.
I resigned from that role, not too long after that. … buying a gym and operating other businesses of interest.
Friends that workout together … stay together? Some of the family of gym members that called my gym ….. our gym .. their gym. Lovely people in a lovely phase of life.
Old-school Gym with a modern twist.
In one phase of my life, I owned & managed Australia’s Longest-running Gym at that time. I poured my heart & soul into it… I ran it like a Family.
The gym was old-school traditional with a lot of history. For example, the great 7 x Mr Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger trained in this gym when he was Mr O (the @mrolympiallc was held in Sydney, Australia in 1980, which he won, after a 5 year lay-off). He even took a few famous photos in this gym, of him, going through some of his poses.
Frank Zane, arguably one of the most aesthetically built physique artists during his prime worked out here. He won the “super bowl of bodybuilding “ – the Mr Olympia Title three years in a row (1977 – 1979). He had visited that place and a few other greats, too. The Dumbells we used and many of the machines were the same ones we used back in the 70s. We used the weight-training equipment that Champions used.
But, my gym was not about the equipment and the fancy lights, it was about the people. People passed 15 other gyms because they wanted to be part of this special gym. They wanted to be part of my extended family. I was very proud of the culture I created, of the love that we all shared.
I liked to say that it was an “old school gym, with a modern-twist “ … and I was the modern-twist.
They knew that I CARED. And gave them the results/needs they were looking for.
My grandfather used to always tell me when I was a kid –
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Very true indeed.
That challenging, yet beautiful phase of my life came to an end 6 years ago, when I sold it.
My Family of friends in my gym I owned and managed for 7 years. All working towards being the ‘best the can be’
A few things to be aware of when choosing a gym.
A few notes on gyms –
If you’re a beginner (in weight training), look for a good gym. A gym that caters to your needs. There are many types of gyms today – big, small, studios and out-door gyms. It depends on your preference. Before choosing a gym, evaluate things like – cleanliness & hygiene; whether they have lockers or not (most modern gyms do); the condition of equipment – you don’t want holes in upholstery and they should be well-maintained; the Equipment Manufacturer (some manufacturers are better quality than others; $$ (your budget) – if you’re looking for just weights & cardio then you don’t need to pay extra; the friendliness & authenticity of owner – Do they have “skin in the game?”
Now, why should you take advice about gyms from someone like me. Well, it’s simple: I have and have had “skin in the game” and still do. I have walked the walk before I can talk the talk”. You should always apply this approach with anyone offering you advice in any field, especially if they call themselves an “Expert”. I’m sure you do.
Gym Extended Family Members enjoying a day of Lawn Bowls. We had some great lawn bowls events over the 7 years.
Winning this award in 2008 for the BEST GYM in the Northern Beaches of Sydney was the best award I have ever received (better than my 2 x World Championship trophies) It was an award judged and voted on by the residents of the Northern Beaches on the BEST GYM & related Services in the Health & Fitness category
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
The inevitable Growth of Scientism or Evolutionism.
We’ve all read countless studies over the last decade telling us that Christian attendance numbers have reduced in many major cities of the world. There has been growing ‘Scientism’ or “evolutionism’ followers, hoping that Science, being a measure, can replace religion as a worldview and a touchstone.
It has been driven in the minds of people by various media sources , that there is no possibility that God exists (with great certainty)…. & have been pretty successful at this.
Celebrity atheists and authors like Stephen Hawking somehow claimed that we don’t Need God, saying –
“For God’s sake, it’s 2010: science and God are enemies, & science 🧬 has defeated God. In the light of modern scientific discoveries, belief in God is idiocy. If you picked religion, you picked the wrong team. You picked faith and fantasy over reason and evidence, so we are allowed to mock you.”
This seems to be the way science & religion has been playing in recent times.
Wherever the Mind goes, the body WILL follow. The key: get your mind “there “ first
“Choose a side!”
The thing is I believe Christians don’t need to choose between God and science. There is room for both because, firstly, they have both had a long-lasting relationship. They have been “good mates” for centuries.
Thing is … you have to believe in an ordered universe to be involved in scientific pursuit, and this is exactly what we find on page 1 of the Bible. “Page 1?’ you ask. Yes, in the Book of Genesis, describes how God fashioned the universe out of nothingness in six days.
Here’s the thing: I think there is room for both.
I believe Science is compatible with the Christian faith. God’s existence is either true or not. But calling it a scientific question implies that the tools of science can provide the answer like it tries to do ‘logically’ for everything else.
I believe you cannot use the same tools for God, just as much you cannot use 4th century weapons to win a modern-day war. God is ‘all-encompassing’.
As Professor Francis Collins, author of “The Language of God”, supports this too, saying –
“God cannot be completely contained with nature, and therefor God’s existence is outside of science’s ability to really weigh in.”
ok, first, to understand the present, What does History tell us?
Also bear in mind, Christians and Christians movements have been intimately entangled with the progress of science 🧬, and were in part responsible for the explosion 💥 of modern science 🧪 in the western world 🌎 in the 17th century.
Remember Galileo? The thinker that developed a telescope 🔭 to use to observe and measure Copernicus’ new “sun-centered “ view of the galaxy?
Well, contrary to what many believe, Galileo not only believed in God, but also loved his Bible & science and (most importantly) refused to choose between them.
He was a Hero for both science and God. And let’s not forget
Darwin and Evolution have become virtually synonymous; yet the basic concept of evolutionary change had been around since before Charles Darwin’s grandfather’s time. People forget (or simply do not know) that Darwin’s model (as was proposed in his book: “On the Origin of Species released in 1859) was rejected for decades and was never fully accepted. Even the so-called Darwinian synthesis of the twentieth century was very different from his original formulation.
Yes, Darwin, now rivals Newton as Britain’s major scientific genius even though he had never been an obvious candidate for the accolade of genius. He was a mediocre student, leaving university with a passion for bugs and geology and few ambitions. In his own lifetime he was a controversial celebrity and spent much of his life as a virtual recluse in his country home.
Is God outside of Nature or is he part of Nature?
The New Atheist crowd today
Chief protagonist Richard Dawkins makes his case In the “God Delusion” that it is impossible to be a logical, intelligent scientific thinker and a faithful religious follower at the same time. Big supporters of the Evolutionary Theory espoused by Darwin, even giving credit to Darwin for the catchphrase – “Survival of the fittest’.
The truth is, the reclusive semi-valid, Darwin left others to defend his theory for him. The catchphrase was invented by somebody else, not Darwin.
History shows that, like with many other examples, Darwin was affected greatly by prejudices of the time. And even though his evolution theory was accepted by 1900, his explanation seemed on its way out. His supporters had failed to come up with any mechanism for change, and rival theories proliferated.
Here’s the truth: Modern Darwin Evolutionism is very different from Darwin’s Darwinism.
Find your light. Light your path. It is YOUR path. No one can ride that path with you, but YOU.
Many scientists also believe in God.
Luckily, there are many scientists that strongly believe in a God, here are a few examples-
Francis Collins – was the head of the multi-billion dollar “Human Genome Project”
Professor Bill Phillips(Nobel Prize in Physics) – who was part of a bunch of other scientists who urged Barack Obama to invest $15B in clean energy research
World-renown Neurosurgeon, Dr Ben Carson who was part of the advisory committee to Barack Obama.
Obviously there are many smart scientists that don’t believe in God.
Francis Collins (above) stated –
“Science is powerless to answer questions such as – WHY did the universe come into being?” WHAT is the meaning of human existence?” WHAT happens after we die?”
Have no doubt. Help yourself first. You are more than just YOU… God will meet you half way … he ALWAYS does. All you ahve to do is: BELIEVE.
and … Atheists speak up
But the Atheist Leaders (like Professor Peter Atkins at the University of Oxford) say –
“Humanity should accept that science 🧬 has eliminated the justification for believing in cosmic purpose ….”
Let’s think about these atheists claims for a second ….
And ask science to explain –
Whether a song is good or painful /bad for you …. NO, IT CANNOT
Can science Put the day I got married under microscope so that I may thoroughly understand it?
Christians believe in Jesus Christ, their saviour. Do you believe in him? DO you believe in God?
Like, think about when you were born… think about all the key causes of that – I can think of 3 key ones :
your parents decision
The successful sperm that fertilised the egg
The safe & steady growth in the amniotic sack
And other causes ….
So, if we accept that everything that has a beginning has a CAUSE, then… it is just difficult to see that something caused our universe to begin.
Question is:WHO or WHAT caused the universe to begin? If you’re an atheist and say, nothing “causes” it to begin, then, you demolish the fundamental statement of Law of Causality.
The altar of worship. Some find their beauty, their truth in Religion of choice. Their search for beauty is being ONE with the ONE. Keep searching for your beauty. Your truth. No one else can take your journey for you, but you. Be brave. Slay your Goliath.
Religion and Science will always combat one another!
The market has been flooded with books, particularly over the last two decades, by Scientists describing a caged death match between Science and God. It seems, the latter (Science) winning, or at least chipping away at faith’s underlying verities.
Maybe, most people (like me), occupy the ‘middle ground’, we want it all: to cheer on science’s progress (for possible vaccination against the covid virus for example) but still practise humility on Sabbath; and also want access to MRIs and miracles …
Maybe, just maybe, there is widespread hope that science and God are actually in alignment .. in Harmony – that, indeed, SCIENCE IS OF GOD.
One way to know YOU is to understand God. God is in you. God is you.
There is room for both God & Science.
Science (my first degree was in Mathematics & Physics) & God should not be viewed as at loggerheads. Yes, it could be viewed that Professor Dawkins basic account of evolution is incompatible with God’s having designed it but I see differently.
I see Mr Dawkins basic account as being rather compatible with God’s doing. If God is external to nature … if he is outside the realm of Nature, then, it follows that he is also outside the concept of space and time.
So, if God can see the whole time continuum, even me writing this … it follows that he could see the future and still give us free will to carry out our own desires.
So, we could simply agree that Science 🧫 & God are asking a different set of questions. There is room for both God & Science.
Without a doubt , science is a great & noble thing to pursue but leave the “arrogance at the door”. Science certainly helps “unpack the universe that God brought into existence…
That is not enough, as we need to know God , personally.
And it is through Jesus Christ that we learn and understand God … through his life,.. his death at resurrection.
The most important thing is ….
Scientific knowledge is good & is only a fraction of the knowledge we gain.
The most important thing is … the personal knowledge or relational knowledge we have and make , through being human … through our connections
Personal knowledge of your friends, family, your Mum & dad … your world mates, your church members … your neighbours.
Ultimately, in life .,, that is the most important Thing of all – our Personal knowledge through connecting and sharing …
And … trying to know God. … through his only son, Jesus Christ.
So, what do you believe in?
I’ll stop 🛑 there ….
Cheers 🍻 & ahoy!
The old captain Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ ⚔️Evangelist muscled 💪monk …& the healthy co-existence of God and Science.
Questions … questions and more questions … as we sail through the Seas of Life.