It was more of an invite, not a requirement. Jesus, gave his disciples a choice … he gave them the freedom to decide for themselves.
He gave them the option to say “no”
In other words, he allowed them to keep their dignity. He gave them respect. As you know, the “no” Answer is perhaps the greatest expression of self respect … the greatest expression of dignity possible.
So … as a Christian… as a believer, like I am, let me ask you some questions :
⁃ do you follow him?
⁃ are you going to follow him?
⁃ Why / why not?
Ask, Seek & Knock.
Many individuals do not like to ask questions. One reason is that they don’t want to depend on someone else. To ask, makes them feel a sense of humiliation.
Personally, I’ve been asking questions since I was a toddler, some of which certainly makes me look like a fool. My insatiable CURIOSITY gets the better of me all the time as I don’t really ask questions for answers but for better understanding.
Here’s the thing, To ask, you may run the risk of indicating:
⁃ You don’t know.
⁃ You ran out.
⁃ You don’t understand.
⁃ You’re not prepared.
⁃ You need more information.
⁃ You came up short.
⁃ You can’t find it.
⁃ You failed.
⁃ You’re not sure.
As Christians, we should never be afraid or shamed of asking … of asking questions. Not asking questions, undermines our need for God.
Jesus says we should ask … we should knock … we should seek. And why?
Because asking puts us back in alignment with God. It assumes a “two-way relationship “… a NEED-Relationship with him. You could say a “hand-to-mouth” spiritual existence.
We live in modern Societies that tries to satisfy every desire … with instant gratification. Over time, this constant rush to fill every felt need of the individual … rips … steals the soul of a person.
We eventually get our soul back but … at a price.
“And what is this price?” You may ask
I will answer that question with a question: What do you think is the “price” you pay … for losing your soul?
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?
G’day & Bula & good morning/evening to YOU wherever YOU are in this beautiful planet 🌏!
I was thinking 🤔 about life, as I usually do & the concept of “truth” in particular and lies as well as they seem to be two sides of the same coin.
Lying 🤥, we all do it and have done it over the course of our lives so far.
We lie to others & we lie to ourselves. I guess we could split lies up in to two main types:
1. White lies
2. Black lies.
White Lies & Black Lies.
A black Lie, as I see it, could be defined as a statement we make we know is false. A white lie is a statement that we make that is not in itself false but that leaves out a significant part of the truth.
I think white lies can often be more destructive than black-lying. Think 💭 about it, we all do it almost every single day of our lives , as we consider white-lying more socially acceptable in many of our relationships because we “don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.”
Yet, people complain that their social relationships are generally superficial. Is this the right thing to teach our kids – that, as parents, part of being loving is feeding them heaps of white lies?
Is it right and truly beneficial for the children to not be told the cold truths about matters of life? Should parents continue (& I see this happening every day and have witnessed in many families over the last 3 decades of keen interest) “white-lying?”
So, parents tell each other everything but feed their children white lies. For example, that they fought with each other the night before about their relationship, or that their dad resents their grandparents for their manipulativeness & lack of caring over the years or that mum has a medical problem.
Rational behind white lies is – a loving desire to protect & shield their children from unnecessary worries.
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.
I tell my children to NEVER be afraid to ask questions BUT more important than that is to learn HOW to Ask the RIGHT QUESTION…. &…
To … Question EVERYTHING.
Everything that is passed down from earlier generation (even everything me or my wife tell them) … EVERYTHING they SEE … HEAR… READ….
Ask the RIGHT questions.
I know you know this.
And they do, & they’re getting really good at it … it’s tiring BUT it’s a lot of FUN.
Are you a “stirrer?”
Are you a “stirrer?”
Ive always been what you call a stirrer. I also encourage my kids to be so, too.
Question “why?”, three levels deep… “go deeper!”, i say, they say “why dad?” …. I say “why not?”
I encourage civil disobedience in kids against anything or anyone that suppreses imagination in kids. I also support a healthy disrespect for authority (question everything) & to find FUN in everything & anything Around you.
I tell them to “Find the craziness in the common or the Marvellous in the mundane “
YOU just have to pay more attention. Become more intentional with your attention. Become a better listener. In addition to listening to what people say, work on listening to what they don’t say. Most importantly, listen to what your inner voice/soul says.
You will learn much.
Learning to be Trouble-Makers.
So, my kids been taught to be and still learning to be trouble makers (within reason). They’re learning to be kids that “rock-the -boat”, young people that question the “status quo”; outsiders; & rabble-rousers… basically a little “weird.”
I believe The world 🌍 is crying out (& has been crying out for a while now) … crying out for heretics. Yep, those same people who were burned at the stake not too long ago.
I believe that the world needs YOU right now…YOU, in ALL your weirdness.
Regardless of your age however, I believe IMAGINATION & finding the marvellous in the mundane is a good habit to develop.
For YOU & your journey towards happiness.
Be weird (good weird) & share the BEST YOU with those you love.
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.