a better life, action, adaptation, asking questions, attitude, authenticness, awareness, belief systems, Beliefs, better choices, breaking points, change, change management, choices, consciousness, courage, decisions, Energy, examined life, game of life, hope, love, man, mid-life crisis, patience, perseverance, perspective, recreate, responsibility, risk, self discipline, self love, self-image, self-respect, time, you, your life

Death of a Cubicle Worker

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

Bigger isn’t necessarily better

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

Paul, bigger isn’t necessarily better’.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

When being your Best isn’t good enough

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

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

It is now the Big Four.

Was nice to be back, or so I thought.

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

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

But I had a bit of pride about it all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Life-Controlling Mechanism

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

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

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

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

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

I didn’t know where to turn.

I felt trapped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s no room for error.

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

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

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

Maybe what we need is simply – a Fresh Start.

I did.

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

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

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

I wonder what yours is?

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

Never forget: BELIEVE in YOU, first.

All the very best,

 

Cheers & Ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk

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

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awareness, basics of training, beauty, better choices, Body shape, change management, choices, Energy, fundamentals, muscles, recreate, self improvement, shoulders, symmetry

Shoulder Boulders.

Retired rugby legend: Ex-Australian Wallaby Champion Captain & True Leader - Phil Waugh. Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework. Working towards improved balance and symmetry in his life.

Retired rugby legend: Ex-Australian Wallaby Champion Captain & True Leader – Phil Waugh.
Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework.
Working towards improved balance and symmetry in his life.

One of the most painful sights I see on a man is small shoulders.

When I say ‘small’, I mean that he or she is genetically small on the upper torso width, and I am not talking about ‘lat width’ here. Admittedly, shoulder width is limited by a person’s clavicle width. The smaller the clavicle width, the smaller the shoulder width.

Some blokes accentuate this problem though. In the gym, they focus on their chests, arms and back and forget about their shoulder widths – the very thing that adds to the elusive ‘x-frame’ that every man strives for in shape in his life.

The elusive ‘x-frame’ is somewhat a rare commodity in the modern-day masculine shape. If a man has a narrow clavicle width, he starts out with an disadvantage but he does not have to stay that way. How could he address this problem? Well, the smartest thing to do is to lift weights and to build the shoulder muscles. And what are they?

Well, firstly – they help define (from a physical point of view) what a true man is. I know this statement is rather old fashion and somewhat controversial, but I believe it still holds true. A man’s man is partially defined according to the shoulders he has on him.

Obviously, this is not the only point of ‘being a man’ but it does contribute to the aura of what it means to be a man. Secondly, no man in his right mind would not want bigger shoulders than he already has. In my opinion, the bigger the better. Bigger is better in this aspect. Full stop!

The shoulder muscles are used every time you push or pull or twist your upper torso. That means every time you use your arms. They are some of the most used muscles in the body since you were a toddler.

The shoulder muscles are composed of three distinct muscle heads – the posterior, the medial and the anterior deltoids. All three heads need a good delicate balance throughout. This can be enhanced through weight training.

A good sequence of exercises could include:

  1. Barbell presses.
  2. Barbell upright rows.
  3. Dumbell side lateral raises.
  4. Rear dumbbell later raises.
  5. Dumbell shrugs.
The pursuit of harmony (balance & symmetry) poses a few challenges to help us get closer to its achievement. To achieve order and beauty one needs to strive to wade through chaos (disorder) in everything one does.

The pursuit of harmony (balance & symmetry) poses a few challenges to help us get closer to its achievement.
To achieve order and beauty one needs to strive to wade through chaos (disorder) in everything one does.

Like I said earlier, one of the most painful sights (from an aesthetic point of view) is to see a grown man with less than ideal shoulder width. Most men fall short of the ideal ‘x-frame’ width. Most men have the choice to do something about it. Most men can help build those shoulder boulders with a application of a well thought-out weight-training program.

Another important point I would like to stress is that what is most important is not that you have ‘big’ shoulders. No, anyone can have big shoulders! What is most important is to develop the ‘caps’ on those shoulders. Shoulder width is all about ‘caps’, not so much muscle meat.

So, work on your width with weights. Yes, I encourage that.

But when you do, remember to build those ‘twin caps’. Remember to ‘cap’ those delts (short for deltoids). There’s a lot more to just lifting weights when it comes to sculpturing your physique. Like I have always said, anyone can lift weights, but very few ever learn how to sculpt a physique, just like anyone can swim, but very few can swim like an Olympian.

Part of the key: Focus.

All the very best in your workouts.

All the very best in your search for balance and symmetry. All the very best in your search for beauty. As Keats said “Beauty is truth and truth, beauty. “ How true. You get closer to beauty through the search for balance and symmetry or elegance in all areas of your life.

The physique is one area/aspect. Keep it simple.

So, build those delts, those shoulders but most importantly, build those ‘caps’. It is those caps that will help you attain that elusive ‘x-frame’.

Awaken the sculpture, the artist in you. Build those shoulder boulders!

Let loose …

 

Until next time,

2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships staged in NY, USA. Represented: Australia. Placing: 4th. Judged criteria heavy on balance and symmetry.

2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships staged in NY, USA.
Represented: Australia.
Placing: 4th.
Judging criteria heavy on balance and symmetry.

Back Double Biceps - few days out from the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships Result: 2nd in Australia. Here, you can see the "x-frame" and shoulder boulders in action. Takes years of focused work.

Back Double Biceps – few days out from the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships
Result: 2nd in Australia.
Here, you can see the “x-frame” and shoulder boulders in action. Takes years of focused work.

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a better life, adaptation, awareness, Beliefs, better choices, creation, creator, God, life, recreate

Be an instrument, not an object.

1) Balance 2) Symmetry (harmony) In body shaping/moulding that is key. The same can be said with regards to all  other areas in life: - work/rest balance - internal/external harmony It is every human being's ultimate search. Become an instrument, not an object.

1) Balance
2) Symmetry (harmony)
In body shaping/moulding that is key. The same can be said with regards to all other areas in life:
– work/rest balance
– internal/external harmony
It is every human being’s ultimate search.
Become an instrument, not an object.

As part of what I do in helping people be their best physical self, I help them re-shape their physiques in the process of working towards a healthier, stronger, fitter versions of themselves. I have had over 80% success rate in achieving or exceeding client’s expectations over the last twelve years.

Like a potter, I help in moulding and making and holding an individual’s dream alive using the tools I am accustomed to. Unlike a potter though, my subject is a human being, not a piece of clay. Unlike the piece of clay, my subject thinks, talks, walks, eats, doubts and laughs amongst the many other traits of a human being. It makes re-shaping a human being quite a bit more complex than a piece of clay or inanimate object.

I do not currently or have ever viewed anyone I have ever helped in the gym as an ‘object’. Instead, I have always seen my role as a privilege and viewed one of my roles as one who empowers individuals. I see part of my role as that of increasing awareness of individuals, of their potential, help them become better students of life. I have seen everyone as instruments that needed to understand the unique music each of them played.

Through my programs and unique framework to body re-engineering, I help individuals see themselves, not as objects but as instruments, an instrument that says and believes that …

  • I’m good for something.
  • I have purpose.
  • I have value.
  • I can add value to others’ lives.
  • And so on …
Helping someone achieve his best, in one of the best ways I know how: through increasing self-awareness. Vv.

Helping someone achieve his best, in one of the best ways I know how: through increasing self-awareness.
Vv.

It should be noted that unlike the potter, I don’t have power over the person. She or he stays in control always. Like the potter though, I have creative power as I help bring in to being that which was not (as far as creating the physique the individual imagines he or she has).

Unlike the potter though, I DO NOT have RE-CREATIVE POWER.

If the potter made a mistake and the pot does not produce the desired shape, the potter can just break it up and re-mould it again in to what he or she had originally desired. It does not work that way with the instruments I help every day. Matter of fact, it is darn right difficult, because there are just too many variables.

From my perspective, it is impossible and I don’t desire it either.

The individual has total power within his hands. It is up to him or her, ALWAYS.

In my youth I spent a number of years serving as an altar boy during masses, assisting the priests. If you’re a Christian, we all believe that God created us. So, as I see it, God is the ultimate potter. I am so glad God is what God is. I mean, wouldn’t you agree that we should consider ourselves very lucky that when we are marred and broken, the Lord our God is like the potter with the clay.

You see, God just does not give up on you that easily. When you’re broken and feel helpless and don’t believe in yourself anymore, rest assured that God still believes in you. Like the potter, God has re-creative power. The only catch is: you have to desire it so, you’ve got to want to be a better person. You have got to BELIEVE you can be a better YOU.

“Dust to dust”, I remember some elderly person mutter when I was a kid. Later on in life, I figured what he meant was … We all end where we began: like the potter, God holds us in his hands and moulds and shapes us. So, you see, no matter what challenges life throws at you, whatever obstacles or speed bumps you have in your path, always remember that you’re in his hands – God’s hands.

This I believe, is the definition of the ultimate potter.

Not matter what happens in your life – whether you’re right or wrong, up or down, poverty or wealth, sickness or in health or death, always have faith and believe that YOU ARE IN HIS HANDS.

The hands that belong to the best shaper, the best moulder, the best creator and re-creator of possibilities and ultimately, the BEST YOU.

His got the whole world in his hands. So, desire his help and be the instrument you believe God wants you to be.

Be an instrument, not an object.

Helping Chris close the gap between how he imagines himself to be and what he sees in the mirror. Or in other words: Manifesting the 'unfolding universe' of his 'enfolded' invisible universe (what he imagines/dreams) Vv

Helping Chris close the gap between how he imagines himself to be and what he sees in the mirror.
Or in other words: Manifesting the ‘unfolding universe’ of his ‘enfolded’ invisible universe (what he imagines/dreams)
Vv

One of my top 3 songs is a song sung by one of my top 10 bands “Journey”. The song encapsulates what I am trying to say in it’s title and chorus line – “Don’t stop believing!”. My children have listened to it in the car on our travels countless times already in their lives so far and refer to it as our “Family song”, even requesting to listen to it regularly.

I never want my children to ever stop believing. To never stop believing in themselves and whatever it is they will eventually believe in and pursue in their lives. I know I will never stop believing in them ‘til the day I die. If you have children, I am sure you will do the same.

Our children is a blessing, we all are God’s children. We are all living examples of a blessed instrument, not an object. Find your tune, and play it to help yourself and use your uniqueness to help others.

Be confident, be brave and face all your fears. After all, God, our creator, our potter, is always on our side.

Just BELIEVE it so.

All the best.

Until next time,

My Unique WAY.  Helping create the body a student desires. Helping him or her become a better instrument to play his/her own unique music. Vv

My Unique WAY.
Helping create the body a student desires. Helping him or her become a better instrument to play his/her own unique music.
Vv

A former student of mine. Mother of 2 two young children with a dream to BE HER BEST. To find the CHAMPION LYING DORMANT WITHIN HER.  After 8 years of total devotion to motherhood, I helped her, help herself realize her dream in  less than 10 months.  She placed 2nd in NSW in Figure in a very tough line up.  A great student who believed. Believed in herself. Believed in my program. Believed in her dream.  Well done champ!

A former student of mine. Mother of 2 two young children with a dream to BE HER BEST. To find the CHAMPION LYING DORMANT WITHIN HER.
After 8 years of total devotion to motherhood, I helped her, help herself realize her dream in less than 10 months.
She placed 2nd in NSW in Figure in a very tough line up.
A great student who believed. Believed in herself. Believed in my program. Believed in her dream. Quality plan + Quality execution = Quality Result!
Create.

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

~~Life & wellness COACH~~

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