The question we all face today and for the rest of our lives is this : to risk or not to risk?
I believe everything we do is built on a foundation of confidence. Whether you’re a student or a master in your field comes down to your confidence in your abilities and experience and … risk to your professional reputation.
I believe that there is an inordinate level of security-mindedness in our modern-day societies. Perhaps We shouldn’t be surprised that in our post 9/11 world, the topic of of risk is a sensitive one.
Prior to the recent covid , in recent history, Scientists have regularly made headlines with warnings about such new risks as (as examples) : bird-flu pandemics and flesh-eating bacteria and old risks like category 5 hurricanes and earthquake-triggered tsunamis.
I believe we live in a world where risk -benefit analysis has become a recognised science… where “risk management “(an area I worked as a senior consultant to multinationals for almost 10 years) … is a popular college major .
It prepares more and more young professionals to work in all manner of industries
But …. here’s the thing …
No matter what safety steps we take or what security precautions we adopt, our risk of death 💀, say, is not approximately – but EXACTLY – 100 percent.
There is no margin of error in that statistic.
I spent my early childhood in a culture that encouraged risk-taking and … a sense of wonder and mystery… one that did not put more of our trust in technology. One that did not think about increasing regulations whenever something goes wrong.
No … there was a communicated emphasis on community & togetherness. There was purposeful shift towards more trust, more care and more compassion.
Three things I think the world needs more of.
My question is: in our modern-day societies, what impact does people’s abnormally elevated security-mindedness has on people’s willingness to take risks now ? That we are being taught one way (in our educational institutions) …. This is the way I remember doing when I was in year 7. There is nothing extraordinary about it … I’ve been doing that since I was in early secondary school and then we learn it again university and further education . … and in our professional careers.
Life itself is a Risky Business.
I think RISK & FEAR has become an increasingly significant word in American lexicon. If you google these 4-letter words … you’ll receive more than a billion references in less than a second.
I believe people are more sensitive to risk today than at any other time in history. So many are kit merely preoccupied with risk & fear … but I think are often downright schizophrenic about the topics.
This anxiety about risk permeates in American society and impacts it in endless ways. Good. Bad. Ugly. And sometimes ridiculous. American society dictate the world’s societies because well, America is the Super Power.
This fear mongering is everywhere and in everything… embedded deep in the psyche of modern-day citizens, many of which are unaware.
For example, It’s why we have surgeons general warnings on every pack of cigarettes. There are just so many examples of this “fear” everywhere … down to even a phrase : “fear setting”.
How did society become so intrigued by fear /risk – and so worried about it at the same time? People forget that Life itself is a risky business. We have heard many parables and/or stories … and most of us know the messages behind these stories.
It’s like the adventurer who was asked why he climbed the mountains and answered, “because it’s there!”
He took the risk. That’s the message… he just DID IT! No FEAR babee!!
So-called EXPERTS DO NOT always have the last words …
I truly believe the US and many modern societies (Europe and Australia) have cultures that has developed this intense love-hate relationship with risk/fear, in part because it’s always there.
I believe we are seeing a timely and unprecedented convergence of trends and historical & current developments that supports the contention that we (Americans and western societies) are more focused on, and aware of, the risks/fears we face today than any other society In history.
Well… simply because we can.
People can easily equip themselves (technology) to recognise, understand, catalogue, measure, compare and know more about fears/risks they face than any other society in history.
One truth I’ve learned in my experience in Risk Mamagement is that so-called “experts” (in all fields) DO NOT always have the last word on risk/fears. Sometimes they only add to people’s doubts and confusions about the uncertainties and fears/risks people face in life.
The ratings-driven nature of the media today only further distorts people’s perspectives on the risks/fears they face. As a result of people’s misperceptions, I believe people overrate and worry more than they should. Despite the mind-boggling amount of information available today…. there’s clearly a huge gap between people’s perception of some fears/risks and thee actual magnitude.
What risks /fears do people really need to worry about?
So another question is: what risks/fears do people really need to worry about?
How in the world does the average person make reasonable and wise decisions about their fears and risks they face when their perspectives on the subject is so often distorted? How does the average person decides what risks are acceptable?
Rather than worrying /reacting to every fear/risk…. what’s more important is the skill at discerning which ones you can do something about.
In other words, the wisdom to know what to worry about and the courage to find solutions to the issues and act on them.
I also believe not all fears/risks are bad.
Very important point: WISDOM is different from, and often more critical than, KNOWLEDGE.
In fact, I believe that too often, all information we’ve been given, all the risks/fears we’ve encountered and contemplate.. & all the warnings people receive from so many sources actually combine to skew people’s perceptions.
So, what hope s is that EFFECTIVE Risk Analysis and decision-making becomes MORE difficult rather than less.
So… back to my previous entry – instead of losing ourselves in all the knowledge before us and sliding into more worry, people should exercise more wisdom.
I think it was Teddy Roosevelt who once declared-
“Far better is it to dare mighty things than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much.”
I’m convinced most of the success I’ve experienced in my life so far and the majority of my personal and professional accomplishments over the years is from a practical formula I developed and used from my early childhood.
I have helped thousands overcome their fears using this formula … and
It hasn’t failed me yet.
It has never failed.
Want to know the “fail-proof” method I use? Get in touch with me.
Until next time,
Keep punching…. Don’t stop believing… most importantly , in –
God does not give individual gifts 🎁 to frustrate a marriage. No. God gives us unique gifts to ENHANCE the marriage. God does not lead two people into a marriage to see “sparks fly”, pulling a husband & wife in opposite directions.
No… God, leads them into marriage to blend and maximise their strengths, their usefulness.
Whenever this happens in my relationship with my wife, I pray to God for his help…. To give me the strength, courage & wisdom to make good decisions.
This is where our faith in God helps us during turbulent times in the marriage. There are many forces (internal and external) that work hard to tear a marriage apart.
If you believe in your marriage & what it represents is important to you, ask for God’s guidance and work hard to keep your marriage .
All human behaviour is fundamentally, REACTIONARY.
We are ALWAYS Reacting to something or someone. Many businesses thrive on this Reaction and the predictive futures of this reaction.
We stop reacting when we are dead. Have you observed people who have “stopped”. They’re like walking zombies … they effectively live like they were dead!
Not healthy. Not recommended.
So, I believe ALL human thinking is, in a way, reactionary.
And we, as individuals, as communities, as nations … have to react to accepted ideas propagated by those who control communication platforms.
Here’s one accepted idea: PROGRESS.
What does that mean?
You hear it regularly thrown about by large corporations as they exploit the resources of developing and poorer nations. As they force archaic working policies on our fellow civil citizens. And their request: that we just stand by idly and accept.
Without a voice. Without a reaction.
Progress in technology … progress in pollution… progress in pornography … progress in freedom of speech… progress in behaviour … and so forth… are not All that good.
Well, because the HUMAN NATURE does not change. The term “progress” is a human invention. There is no evolution in the human character and … in the human mind. Human Relationships still take time to form.
Does that mean that you need to stop the change?
Change, in itself, is not necessarily good. Just like stability. Change can be good or bad, just like stability can be good or bad.
Everything in our lives … our human life … every problem is a question of Quality and not quantity.
And yet, the progress has technology and importance of numbers and logic is of paramount importance. This is a very distorted approach to viewing progress as it primarily uses a very deductive and logical framework. At the expense of intuition, of matters of the heart. Of feelings.
All for the sake of Progress.
As part of a healthy inclusive discussion, we should be encouraged to listen to all sides of anything or anyone claiming that something should be adopted.
The pros and cons of the idea or creation or technology should be debated and “thrashed out” before it is implemented.
This should be a normal part of any healthy discussion.
Over the years I have listened to many individuals. Listened to their stories.
Over the years I think I have had in excess of twenty thousand conversations with people of all ages. From teens to ninety-year olds.
Over the years I have had many coaching conversations. In these coaching conversations, I have helped increase individuals awareness of how their perception of events in their lives either propel them forward or hold them back.
I have listened to others and the way in which the stories they tell ourselves have the power to hold us back or propel us forward.
As an example …
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if my hearing hadn’t been terrible when I was young. Neither would you.
This is why taking the time to properly frame our narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves can be so critical.
The first turns your past into an anchor, while the second turns it into the wind that fills your sails and keeps you moving forward.
Is there some piece of your story, personal or professional, that you’ve been able to reframe in a way that moves you forward, instead of holding you back?
Wonderful question for all to ponder. I’m one of the most self-aware person you will ever meet, but that is nothing new to me as I have been this way since I was a kid (from the adults who knew me in my youth).
Cowboy 🤠 House.
Here’s one I’d like to share – I was raised by my grandparents as my biological Dad died when I was 4 years old, trying to save a person from downing … and was overpowered by the victim and drowning with that person). My biological mother was only 16 and had a choice to have an abortion but I thank her and God that she didn’t.
Her decision to give me life has allowed me to not only live but to do what I do – predominantly, helped people, help themselves building their bridges from where they are to where they desire to be over the last 3 decades.
Anyways, I grew up in a large extended family – grandparents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins and siblings and … visitors and extended family visiting.
My home was always full and was always noisy. Our neighbours used to call our home – the “Cowboy House”.
We didn’t have much of anything – food (there were no less than 10 people to feed every single day … and I do not know how my grandparents managed to do this), didn’t have much material possessions (my grandmother used to sew my school uniforms) … but the home certainly had a lot of love.
There was a lot of storytelling and sitting around talking almost every night. It was just part of the home … part of the culture.
Because there was so much noise, most kids would not be able to concentrate/focus. But, I told myself way back in early Primary School that I will teach myself to study/do school work/read in … noise.
My teachers couldn’t understand how a kid (me) could get Top Academic Results every year.
Most kids/people need peace and quiet to FOCUS, so we are told. “How does Paul do it?” I would over hear some teachers say. In my adult life, I have continued to learn/read/focus in any environment, no matter how noisy or ridiculous is.
Focus on what you can control
I remember my grandfather telling me many things (he was a very wise man) … saying something to the effect –
“Paul, focus on what you can control … and do the best with what you’ve got … don’t be part of the problem, always be part of the solution”.
I’ve always applied that in my life, not focusing on insufficient resources and constraints .,. But on HOW I can do better with what I have. That philosophy along with many others, has helped me create the life I’ve always imagined and realise short-term and long-term goals.
Growing up in an family environment that had very limited resources (except for love … the home was always infused with LOVE), has allowed me to almost always have an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm.
I completely understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma – mind and body … better than most (hence sculpting a Physique worthy of representing Australia at 2 x World Natural Physique Championships and placing in the Top 5 in consecutive years).
I am fully aware of how the body is the physical manifestation of the mind or in other words, the body expresses what the mind is concerned with. I’m a strong believer that life is many things … and one of which is that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy…. That you usually get what you expect.
My ‘tough’ upbringing has allowed me to develop a healthy self-expectancy and eliminated all forms of excuse from my vocabulary as … I expect to win, almost all the time. I have no doubt the so-called ‘luck’ is the intersection of preparation and awareness.
Life … a very real game but not a gamble.
I look at life as a very real game .. but not a gamble.
Part of what I have done over the last 3 decades is help people, help themselves build their bridges. I have learned and taught many things. It seems that every individual tends to receive what he or she expects in the long run.
From my experience and deducing from other people’s experiences in my life so far … it would appear that you may or may not get what is coming to you, or you may or may not get what you deserve – BUT YOU WILL nearly always get what you expect.
As someone who has mastered the art of body re-engineering (building muscle and reducing body fat to < 4%), believe me when I say, there is an intricately close connection between your mind and body … a negative thought can cause your ‘look’ (that you get judged on) to go from excellent (Top 5 and finalist) to awful.
I’ve learned and mastered much of the ‘mind-body-heart-soul’ interface connections and one important one is this – mental obsessions have physical manifestations. Basically, you BECOME WHAT YOU FEAR – you get what you expect – you are that which you expect to be!
Here’s the thing – since all individuals are responsible for their own actions and cause their own effects, optimism then, is a choice.
Choose well, my adult friends.
Optimism, Enthusiasm, Faith & Hope.
What is needed is : continual fueling of – OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM, FAITH & HOPE.
Each is a synonym for – having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.
So, my question to you (if you’ve made it this far) is –
1. Do you have a healthy self-expectancy about things in your life?
2. Do you expect the best for you – in life and as a way of life?
3. Do you look at problems/constraints as opportunities?
With regards to question 3 above, try this little exercise and let me know your answers –
Make a list of your KEY problems/constraints –
> the ones that block your professional and personal fulfillment.
> Next, write a one-or-two sentence definition of each problem/constraint.
Now, rewrite the definition, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creativity and ingenuity (some refer to it as ‘re-framing’).
Here’s a tip: view the solution as you would if you were advising one of your best friends.
So, where does your thoughts stand in relation to your Self-Expectancy now?
Here is one ☝️ loooong thought 💭, posing questions –
“What does IT all mean… ?
Me, you, everyone else … everyday? The Everyday. What does IT all mean? The empty words .. the useless thoughts … the lies we tell ourselves.. the lies we tell others … the ineffective actions.. the roads, the cars, the buildings, the bright lights … everyday … The Everyday. The thing we call and hang on to called … Life. The Life… … we thought we had … the life we now live … the life we thought we would have… The Life … we would like to Create. What does it all mean? When does Life begin? In the womb ? … at conception? Why? When does laughter really begin? In the womb? At conception? Why? Life … When does life end? When does laughter end? Does life end when laughter ends … or is it the other way round? Does it matter? Does IT begin with the rise of the sun ☀️.. everyday? Does IT end with the setting of the sun 🌞.. everyday? Is the Sun our true measure of time? Is the sun our pendulum of … Life? What does IT all mean? Where does our “time” go? Why do we think being “busy“ is important… is right? What about what’s left? Who gets what’s left? Of time … of Life. Why should there be a “waste” of time, when you, me, no one … can control time? Who makes that judgement? Is it better to fill our time with laughter? Why? How so? What do you believe? Do you believe… that you’re the INFINITE? Why? Why not? Do you believe you’re the culmination of each and each & every improbable moment that led to your existence? And what about the SCARS you carry? Do you wear them with pride? With honour? Like badges you’ve collected along your path … your way? For ALL to see? Why? Why not? What are you hiding? Who are you hiding it from? Does it IT really matter? You hesitate? Don’t! Don’t even allow any of your future precious moments be taken up by “looking down on yourself “ There are enough people in the world who would gladly do this – “put you down … “ So, don’t do it to yourself. It’s not worth your … Life .. That is THE INFINITE. YOU are … The INFINITE. So… What does IT all mean… anyway? What abyss of time does IT fill? IT … The Life… “What does IT all mean?” I curiously ask… Anyone? “
I used to tell people that if I made that person I see in the mirror better than, last week, than last month, than last year … in ten years I will be on the World Stage, standing and competing against the best in the world.”
Within ten years, I stood on stage against the best natural bodybuilders at that time, representing Australia. A Big Dream, come true. I repeated the feat the following year for good measure. As a great mentor once said –
“If you think you can, you’re right … you CAN.”
Don’t ever laugh at another person’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it is.
2.5 Disagree with people, if you must but don’t hate them.
It’s ok agree to disagree and still like someone.
In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling and personal judgements. Leave judgemental comments to God or people who have a profession as a Judge.
Why has society demonised anger? Why is it that we (especially Men) cannot and not encouraged to “get angry?” This is hammered into men right from when we are toddlers. Why? Why have we only focused on the destructive results of anger?
It is just as much a valid emotion as being happy, sad, excited, joyful etc.
Yes, that’s right, he has been a great friend. Not a lovey-dovey friend, not a particularly nice friend, far from being a gentle friend. No, anger … is a very, veery very LOYAL friend.
Anger has always been there with and FOR “me”. Anger loyalty reminds me with ease when i have betrayed myself enough. It is there to stop anyone or anything from taking advantage of me, beyond what is reasonable.
“Reasonable “ here would refer to my imaginary boundaries/tolerance limits of certain suffering.
To me, Anger is fuel. This is a KEY aspect of the power of a loyal friend.
This friend loves me.
This friend LOVES ME.
And, I have come to love this friend, all the way back to consciously recognising him when I was about 9 years old.
Yes, it is a form of power… a powerful energy. When we feel it, we almost always want yo do something about it – hit someone, throw something, break or smash something, punch a wall or spew out profanities to the person.
Why do we do everything to it … except LISTEN to it. I mean, we are taught to … deny it, bury it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, ignore it or simply muffle it.
Why don’t we just allow ourselves to feel and express it just like we do with other feelings?
Anger not only summons courage, but it points the finger and shows the way… an alternative way. To me, anger is a sign of health … good 💝itality.
Unlike what most of modern societies espouse, I believe anger is a good thing. It means you’re alive. Anger is part of our inner voice … it is meant to be listened to.
As fuel, we can embrace the energy of anger to turbo-boost our actions to where our anger points us. Here’s the catch that many struggle with – anger is meant to be ACTED UPON, not ACTED OUT.
It awakens me.
Re-read that last sentence again. Let it sink in.
Every time I get angry, it reminds me that I am being courageous and expressing something that is pushing me towards my perceived boundaries. Should I tolerate it, extend the boundaries or … resist.
It AWAKENS me.
It is a a tsunami o that annihilates and with that destruction, signals that death 💀 of our old life. Anger is the springboard that springs you into your new life.
To me, anger is envigorating. It helps INFUSE me with the “essence of life” – 💝itality!
It is a tool, and like all tools, when used in the appropriate manner, allows you to CREATE something with it. It is not something to MASTER. Anger, instead should be something used as a resource .. to be tapped in to and drawn upon.
For example, I have used my loyal gym training partner & friend – “Anger” to accomplish record-breaking lifts & intensity in my workouts . He has always been there. He helps me “climb mountains” and achieve small goals in the gym. As a tool, I TRANSMUTE my loyal friend, Anger into the various mediums of Art that I express my love through.
Anger, my loyal friend, has also been the wind under my wings when I need to summon courage to fly.
I cannot live with my loyal friend.
I need him.
Every single day.
Anger, I pray 🙏 that you visit me again. Soon. I need you to fill up my senses. As John Denver sings in his song “Annie” –
You fill up my senses,
Like a night in a forest;
Like mountains in springtime,
Like a walk in the rain;
You fill up my sensors,
Come fill me again;
Come let me love you,
Let me give my love to you;
Let me drown in your laughter,
Let me die in your arms;
Let me lay down beside you,
Let me always be with you;”
And you should, too.
Embrace your Anger. Make him your friend.
Dance with him. Get to know him again, if you have to.
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 …
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