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.
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 …
Life is a succession of deals. The three key components of any deal are: an offer, an acceptance and a consideration. We’re constantly making deals every single day of our lives and some times, we aren’t even aware of them. We are constantly improvising, compromising and committing snd re-committing or leaving the many agreements we make.
What is the worst deal in history?
What is the worst deal you’ve ever made? Did you get the “short-end-of-the-stick?” How short?
We’ve all made bad deals in our life so far, haven’t we? If you have not, you’re one of the lucky ones. Or are you?
Think 🤔 of all the worst deals you’ve ever made… snd then, all the worst deals ever made in the history of the world 🌎 to date …
I repeat, nothing compares to or even comes close to the ULTIMATE DEAL… you, me and every person who has ever been born, have by default, made.
A possible solution to this “Bad Deal”: FOLLOWING GOD.
“And what do I mean?” You may be thinking.
Well, it literally means to – follow in His footsteps as we walk through life. “Following God” is another term for “being a disciple.” I think it entails having unwavering belief in God, loving him, faithfully sticking to Him … very importantly – obeying him.
Here’s the huge challenge for many –
You see in this age of abundance, some people are enjoying “the good life” right now, and are soaking in its comforts & pleasures. They’re quite satisfied by what this world has to offer. They struggle to understand the difference between needs and greeds.
But, most of us, I feel, are tired of the hardships, injustices, suffering, pain & sorrows of this life. I know we all don’t wish all this continues without an end in sight.
But… many cannot fathom the thought of life ending permanently. Many simply want to LIVE ON.
Is that such an impossible ideal?
For those that think that Living Life is supposed to be about being eternally happy with no problems at all. This is not the case. They chase happiness. But this is a big mistake
How does God reconcile this?
You see, Jesus said that following Him would be rough at times. He therefore warned us that we’d need to deny ourselves many things, exercise self-control, & think more about others & less about ourselves.
I think I this is a critical step to renegotiating the original Bad Deal with God… FOLLOW GOD. Be his disciple.
To me, one of the most uplifting benefits of FOLLOWING CHRIST … is the SIMPLICITY it brings to the COMPLEXITY of life. Through this … we experience true hidden WONDER.
What if … BELIEVING IN & FOLLOWING GOD brings you CLOSER to HARMONY with his FREQUENCY and …
The OLD “bad” Deal becomes the … NEW “Good” DEAL where ETERNAL LIFE is your ULTIMATE REWARD? Where you experience UNLIMITED POWER.
As the great thinker & philosopher, Nikola Tesla said –
“The Gift of Mental Power comes from God… the Devine being, and if we concentrate our minds on that TRUTH, we become IN TUNE with this great power.”
The critical question now is … is your mind ready for this inflow of information… is mankind’s LIMITATIONS OF MIND a severe handicap to accepting this Great Power that is UNLIMITED?
Success for you means you need to Prepare YOU.
Are you ready to negotiate a better deal? Have your prepared your Mind to act as a repository of UNLIMITED POWER? And have ETERNAL LIFE.
As the disciple John said – John 3:16 :
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone that believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
In a sense, this is how God reconciles things.
Here’s a tip: FOLLOW GOD. Be the best DISCIPLE you can be.
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.
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,
I love McDonald’s. … and I maintain a “6-pack” eating it. The 2nd part of that first sentence is UN-true.
obviously. But, sometimes the obvious things in life are also hard to see, pay attention to.
One of the things I love about it is it’s familiarity. There are no surprises. When I ask for a Big Mac Meal, I know I’ll get what I expect. No surprises. It is consistently the same everywhere I go and any time I get it.
It’s like family and marriage. Life can be like McDonald’s a lot of times. But it is that familiarity that can be a blessing and a curse.
In marriage, the task of communication faces a big challenge: familiarity. For many people, the self they show to the world is far different to that shown to the family, to those who know them best – their family. They perform for the world – for their bosses, their friends, their work colleagues, their sponsors, their church and sports and social groups but at home – they simply don’t.
Well, I believe, sometimes many do not perform for home because of the ‘curse of familiarity’. For many, that familiarity erodes their energy, saps their strength and cuts off their compassion, which incidentally is – all key ingredients to good listening.
About to start a workout in my Old School Gym. Old School training principles with a ‘modern twist’. Know the basics. Stick to the basics. Apply the basics. Its the most efficient, effective and safe approach to building a muscular physique in the gym. An authentic physique artist spends a lot of time alone … with his art, working on the guy in the mirror. Not out of vanity but .. because the mirror is one of the most honest feedback tools one could ever have. Muscle building allows you to appreciate patience & dedication and the importance of the “little things” in their overall impact on your health, fitness and art. The importance doing things “right” ALL the time … not some of the time. Just like in all relationships you love the most – it requires all these traits and above all – respect, trust, care ‘ compassion.
When the phone rings
Have you listened to the tone of voice you hear people use when they answer the phone when the phone rings? A lot of times the tone of voice is quite different to the tone of voice they use when it is a close friend, family member or loved one.
Ideally, homes offer a shelter from the storms of life… I try to give that for my kids. However, when we grow empathetic within our safe place, the familiarity that was meant to help and nurture, can end up hurting. I have witnessed it through helping thousands of individuals and families over the years.
Good listening skills require that you give loved ones in the home the same attention you would with those outside of the home and not pay attention simply because it’s ‘just my husband’ talking.
A ‘coaching conversation’ with Brad, while taking a rest break between exercise sets. Helping Brad, help himself, achieve something he cares about and become more of who he wants to be. I love having coaching conversations with people who aspire for something different… with people who want to grow by Being helped to recognise the strength from WITHIN themselves. As a coach, one of my key strengths is the ability to LISTEN to not only what is said … but what is not said. That is a big part of my >84% of clients achieving or bettering their original goals in their programs with me.
The art of listening and respect begins in the home.
If people are to survive this era in which families are ripped apart almost as fast as they are made, people need to make more effort in paying more attention to the loved ones in the home. People need to resist the temptation to ‘tune out’ at home.
I believe, people need to open their ears and hearts more – they need to listen more intently with their ears, hearts, body and soul … to the voices inside the walls of their homes.
It may sound easy but believe me, it isn’t. In a lot of cases, the “easiest” things to do are also the hardest things to do.
In general, I believe family members need to open their ears better – try to listen to the voices inside the walls of their homes. While good communication alone cannot cure a bad marriage, it can make a big difference. Many relationships end because of the reason – ‘break-down in communication’. I believe, people are communicating but the majority are not communicating EFFECTIVELY.
The ‘break-down’ is usually the result of ineffective communication. The art of listening and respect begins in the home.
Explaining the fine points of re-engineering the physique and increased self-awareness through enhanced ‘mind-muscle’ connection.. building Quality lean muscle within a structure that is “balanced & symmetrical” takes time – vision, Unwavering belief, Ability, stick-ability, character, love, care and …. constant monitoring /listening to all the “feedback loops” of the body and its environment. Very similar to managing key relationships in your life. “Listening And communicating EFFECTIVELY is one of the keys.
Love well, those you love most
Love is many things to different people. I believe that love begins in the home .. the safety of the family. If we’re to love well, those we love most, we must all learn to Listen. Like I tell my son ….. To not only ‘listen’ but to listen ‘better’.
For this to happen, each spouse should strive to learn to really hear what their spouses are saying and also what they are not saying … through effective communication, more families will remain together as they combat the curse of familiarity.
And make familiarity …
For those of you that are married – what benefits and pitfalls come with familiarity of having been married for years?
How can you improve your communication radar when it comes to listening to your spouse?
Until next time,
Cheers & ahoy!
Popeye Pirate 🏴☠️ Paul … & listening EFFECTIVELY at home
Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging. Progress, any form of progress is a motivating factor. So, don’t strive for perfection, instead seek progress … towards your ideal SELF. Here you have retired Rugby Union legend & former Australian Wallabies Captain – Phil Waugh still embracing knowledge to better himself. Vv
Successful achievement of goals require excellence in listening – for the coach and the pupil.
We’ve bought into a model that taught us to embrace the system, to consume insatiably … to spend for pleasure and to separate ourselves from work. We’ve been taught that this approach works… but it DOES NOT (not anymore).
This GAP keeps us from succeeding, cripples the growth of our society, & makes us really stressed. We are all racing towards something, praising each other for being ‘busy’. What is that something? It seems “natural” to live the life so many of us live, but in fact, it’s quite recent and totally man-made.
Most who are caught up in this ‘system’ understand this. Our schooling taught us through years of study to be the perfect worker, the perfect employee. We exist in a corporate manufacturing mindset, one so complete that anyone off the grid seems like an oddity. In the last few years, though, it’s becoming clear that people who reject the worst of the current system are actually MORE likely to succeed.
Classrooms have been teaching the wrong stuff. It has been reinforcing the wrong stuff for years. School teaches us Fear and it has been very good at it. Decades of school have drilled that into us …& still doing to our children – fear, fear and more fear. Fear of getting a D-minus, fear of not getting a job right out of school. Fear of not fitting in.
Question is does school still work or prepare you for work?
Here’s what more schooling does & continuesto teach people –
Take good notes
Cram for tests and dong miss deadlines
Don’t ask questions
Don’t challenge authority
Have a good resume’
Don’t say anything that might embarrass you
Don’t answer back
Being a mis-fit, the outsider, the rebel and weirdo is a strength
Being you, and no one else but you, takes courage. Especially in a world that is continuously trying to make you someone else. Courage is the foundation of everything you can do with significance. As stated by philosopher Osho –
Be conscious of your unique-ness or weirdness and understand how you can serve the world better, with the unique strengths that you possess. I believe, being a misfit, an outsider, the rebel and weirdo is a strength in this day and age. It is less superficial and I think the world deserves and is hungry for authenticity.
The mind is like a gushing spring and at any and every moment, we’re thinking about dozens of different things. To a large extent, we inevitably live inside our heads. This constant ebb and flow consciousness can take us to places we do not want to go and … should not allow ourselves to go.
I believe schools/colleges/universities… should teach ONLY TWO things :
how to THINK 🤔 & find solutions to interesting problems/challenges. We should also be learning how to Think extensively, not intensively.
Lead (this skill of leading needs to be taught … like the system has taught compliance. The world not only needs more Leaders … but also Champion Leaders. Leaders who are socially smart & responsible purpose, ability to connect & have a positive impact on society).
And I believe we need good QUALITY teachers/educators. As Malcolm Gladwell mentions in his book “Tipping Point”, the quality of the teachers have a bigger bearing on the performance of the students than the number of students per teacher. Great teachers in all areas of life are precious. Bad & lousy teachers/lecturers cause damage that last forever.
Bad & lousy teachers are dangerous but don’t blame them … get rid of them. Blame the Corporate system that still requires complaint workers who do well at Tests.
Here’s what I imagine :
I imagine a teaching facility that has sign something like this –
“We teach people to THINK 💭 for themselves, to take initiative and to create their beauty … their truths, to question the status quo and to do everything with more care, more trust and more compassion. We teach our graduates 🎓 to interact with transparency and understand that more consumption is Not the Answer to social problems. We teach people to have courage in their convictions and be Leaders. To take a stand for what they believe in“
I imagine schools/colleges/higher education organised around teaching people to BELIEVE.
In themselves & realising their dreams to makethe world a better place .. & live a life of significance.
The real foundation is to treat your ‘uniqueness’, your difference as the cornerstone to building your Mansion … not be just another brick in someone else’s building/mansion/dreams.
Keep seeking until you find what you’re looking for. When you find what you’ve been looking for, you will most probably find pain and suffering but it is in this pain and suffering that you will discover your treasures. For it is the everyday challenges that are in itself, heroic: the little battles we all fight to stay focused and do our best, to overcome doubts and fears, to keep our cool when all about us may be losing theirs.
Above all else, believe in YOU … believe in yourself.
Create your own Bible and be the best your can be, always, as Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) said –
To lead is to inspire To help create new leaders To truly lead is to truly love 💕 unselfishly I had a family gym that was predominantly male (70%) for about 7 years. I encouraged the men to speak freely and communicate all their feelings and we shared stories and helped one another through tough emotionally difficult phases of life. What a wonderful group of ‘post-feminite new age males’. The key to making and keeping any relationship is effective communication. This is easier said than done. It requires work … a lot of work.
So is the operations of your brain, in what is called the connectome.
In my years as owner and manager of my family gym for seven years, many things contributed to having a ‘family’ culture within it. A big factor came down to not just the connections but the quality of connections. Between the members and most importantly me and the members and the various sub-groups within the membership.
It was akin to being the Prime Minister and leader of a party, with many factions within that party and also the existence of an powerful opposition leader and his party. An interesting, fulfilling and wonderful learning experience.
Whenever a new person walks in to the gym, I train my staff to greet them politely and to simply say “how can I help you?” What I find is the important moments following that initial interaction is that awkward moment after you say ‘hello’.
Communication in life is like a neuron connectome. A neuron example and its network of dentrites One of the 100 billions neurons in your brain that make you … who you are. Your are your connectome
Three minutes too late
We’ve all been there.
With the potential friend or the new boss. Your brother’s new girlfriend or just an attractive stranger at a party. I guess from my perspective there are two scenarios with social situations –
Make a good first impression
Just want to be liked
Three minutes too late or so following that awkward interaction that we reflect on and feel and think of what we should have said, instead of what we had said.
Would you take a magic pill if it would get your through that awkward phase after saying hello? Would you take it?
Find your light. Conversations can take many turns. Key is to stay focused on a few lines of thought at a time. Multi-tasking is a myth.
Have you drifted off after meeting someone for the first time?
What do you do? I think we all have found ourselves in situations, supposedly in deep conversation but we’re no longer listening to the other person and generally start talking to ourselves.
We basically, start drifting off.
Thinking thoughts like –
“What on earth was he thinking combing his hair into that hairstyle?”
“Am I making a positive first impression?”
“what am I going to take for lunch tomorrow?”
“geez, what’s that song’s name you hear on the radio this morning?”
“who the person you came with is talking to”
Staying focused on the person(s) you’re having a conversation with is key to connecting. Best. And stay tuned alert to changes in topics but keep your destination clear in your mind.
The power of Focus
In my experience with owning and managing a gym for seven years and managing the relationships I had with the members in that time, there were many variables but I believe the key was focus.
I interacted with members and listened to and talked to members from 5:30am when the gym opened all day until the gym closed at 9:00pm. When I was there, I was there. I was present. In every interaction I had with each and every member, I gave them my full attention (even when I was talking to multiple people).
This really helps in “connecting” with people – giving them the respect they wish for and giving them our full attention, however difficult that may be.
Focus on one thing at a time if you want to maximise results and chances of getting the result you want. Connecting with people also depends on your ability to focus. Giving them trust and respect.
The power of focus allows you to achieve results that you strongly desire. My power of focus allowed me to reach and place in the Top 5 of the World in Natural Bodybuilding in two consecutive years. Here’s a little formula for you: –
** Focus (mind-set/attitude) + Effort (hard yaka/work) + heart (feel) + visualisation (imagination) + sumulation (deliberate practice) =====> put in to a quality plan + quality implementation ====>> Results/Success **
Here are 4.5 key things I use when I want to focus on the person I am with –
1). Don’t judge
I just don’t have a habit of judging people. Period. I leave that to God, that is not one of my roles. However, I don’t mind a good debate and agreeing to disagree after hearing what the other person has to say first.
Putting aside any preconceptions and biases in thinking and having an “open mind-set/growth mind-set”, I allow the person I’m with to experience total focus.
Multi-tasking is stressful. THe brain CANNOT multitask, it can only TASK-SWITCH. Be kind on yourself and FOCUS on one thing at a time and … do it once and do it well.
2)Find the excitement in someone even when they appear to be ‘boring’
Yes, this can be very difficult. Very difficult indeed. Especially, when you find yourself thinking about what you’re going to be having for your next meal or the episodes you still have left to watch on Netflix Game of Thrones.
All you can do is – try. Just try.
Give them your full attention and listen, really ‘listen’. What I mean is listen not only with your ears but your body (facing the person), your hand gestures not crossed, your head and eyes looking in to the person. And your heart, your heart should be listening too.
Then, find out something about the person that you find exciting and ask them, and hope that they would love to talk about that thing too.
Try. For God’s sake, just try.
Feel and practice feeling good positive, winning thoughts Find something interesting in the person you’re talking with
3) Be part of the action and conversation
Especially in a group situation – ask questions about what happened and who was involved and what fears were felt and so forth.
Don’t stay silent, even if you have to nod your head, say a few ‘ahums’ and basically put forward a body-language that is agreeable.
It pays off in the long run.
Don’t stress out in social functions. They are just human beings and make mistakes just like you You should only be stressed if you had to connect with lions in a cage or gorrillas. Relax. Your performance and ability to communicate effectively depends on this.
Try to mirror or match the other person you’re talking with.
What is it, well, in effect, matching or mirroring is doing the same as the other person. This could be the same body language – she raises her glass and so does everyone else or same nod of the head.
Mirroring doesn’t only include body language, we also make similar sounds – sort speak in harmony with the other person, like “aha … aha, yeah” when we hear them say it.
So, in this world that has multiple communication platforms and social media that allows for increased connections, … is increasingly built on connections, it is not the number of connections that matter or continuously creating more connections in your network. No, I believe it is the quality of connections that matter most.
Whether consciously or not, and it is usually “not”, when we are connecting with someone or keen to get on with them, we adopt similar postures and movements. And when this happens the other person is more likely to assume that our thoughts and emotions are similar so they tend to feel warmer towards us, almost regardless of what we are actually saying.
I experienced this every single day in the gym for the seven years that I owned and managed my own. It didn’t matter who it was, how old the person was, level of education or what level of society they came from, matching and mirroring body language helped me ‘connect’ with them better.
Don’t force it, just ‘go with the flow’ so-to-speak. And relax, don’t over do things.
You’ll be just fine.
Practise thinking winning thoughts.
Practice does not make perfect
No, Perfect practice makes perfect, was what one of my early coaches would tell me.
In other words, there is always an optimal way or right way of doing something very well. Understand what it is, learn it and then deliberately practice it – that way – ALL the time.
Not some of the time.
So, practice some of these key communication points in the mirror. Do it every day. Simulate some of the conversations you may have with people in social situations. Imagination is key … if you can ‘see’/imagine yourself doing something and acting in a certain way and you have practiced the right form/technique/way, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will make a great first impression and make a lot of connections.
Simply because people will be drawn to you and your mannerism.
First impressions, matter. Remember: You never get another chance to make a first impression.
All the very best,
Cheers & Ahoy!
The Old Captain Viking Pirate … & why first impression is important in making you connect better.
Me my extended family members; a group of members of my family gym. They all loved training and being part of the extended family that was my gym Relationship take time to develop .. just like an Oak Tree needs time to grow
Connections with humans of all ages is important for one’s own personal development. Try it.
The old Captain Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ ⚔️Enjoying a beer 🍺 in a hot 🥵 spring day here in Sydney Australia 🇦🇺