I like to think of these as the PRISONS WITHIN. Most of us live within the prison of our own minds, with anxieties, fears and uncertainties cluttering our brains and steering us away from mental freedom.
Currently, we are waging a war against being distracted. Yes, you read that right … we are constantly waging a daily war against formidable Goliaths, ripping our control over our ability to FOCUS.
These formidable Goliaths control the platforms and framework on which the increasing advanced technologies rest … and are voraciously consumed by the masses. Individuals have easy and relatively cheap access to and from the Weapons of Mass Distraction (WMD).
In the 90s, we came to know what the “Weapons of Mass Destruction” were during the annihilation of parts of the Middle-East.
Are WE really winning?
Yes, you could argue that we are winning against the infectious diseases that have afflicted the human race. The advances mankind has made in the last 50 years in the fields of Bioengineering and the hard Sciences have benefited the lives of millions.
It has made our lives more convenient. The question we’ve got to ask is – convenience in place of what … our freedom and our ability to control our lives?
However, the recent COVID debacle may not support this (winning against infectious diseases).
It seems, to me anyway, that while the infectious diseases are under control (Externally) … we are losing a lot of ground in our true UNDERSTANDING OF THE SELF. This is significantly affected by the increasing tendency to be DISTRACTED.
Our individual ability to MANAGE THE MIND … our ability to manage the CONFLICTS WITHIN .. INTERNALLY … has been on a downward spiral.
People are struggling to achieve “Peace of Mind” at all levels of society. It is an epidemic.
You, me … each and every one of us NEED to guard the doors of our mind like a good bouncer guards a nightclub door and stop potential trouble-makers.
Individual’s skills at doing this varies greatly and I believe the majority still have a long way to go in terms of mastering that skill being the BEST BOUNCER TO THEIR BRAIN.
In order to be a good bouncer, you must first try to become more AWARE of YOU. This increase in AWARENESS should be a positive one. You should then FIRST try to find your own HEALTHY STRESS LEVEL in life, for example, are you a –
Your increase in Positive Self-Awareness should be built on a strong foundation of the KEY SKILL OF IMPERTURBILITY.
And what does this mean?
PRESENCE of MIND.
Being “imperturble” refers to having the coolness and Presence of Mind under ALL Circumstances … not some of the time but ALL of the time.
Having the presence of mind in ALL weather .. in calm weather … and in storms …
Having a presence of mind means having a CLEARNESS OF JUDGEMENT in MOMENTS of GREAT PERIL.
This is one of the KEY SKILLS needed to live a relatively GOOD LIFE.
This is a key skill that is not spoken about often … a skill that does not get ‘the light of day’ … The KEY SKILL of IMPERTURBILITY.
Improving your AGILITY ABILITY Ratio strengthens your Aura of IMPERTURBILITY.
In my experience, because individuals don’t know themselves as well as they think they do, they don’t know what their STRESS TOLERANCE Levels are. As a result, their ability to RESPOND to Stresses is very poor. They essentially DO NOT have the necessary skills to RESPOND appropriately and sufficiently.
Improving your AGILITY ABILITY is heavily influenced by your ability to ADAPT. It is in the process of adaptation that you strengthen your Agility Ability Ratio.
As a mentor told me long ago –
“It is not the smartest or strongest who survive .. it is the one that ADAPTS the fastest.”
In my experience of life and from learning from other peoples’ experiences through life, another thing that helps is to begin by ACCEPTING the IDEA … the School of Thought … that ALL STRESSES OF LIFE is “NORMAL”.
This perspective helps improve your ABILITY to ADAPT and hence your AGILITY ABILITY Ratio.
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 .
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? “
He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.
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.
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,
Retired Legend of Rugby, Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh doing triceps press-downs and “feeling the essence” with perfectly performed repetitions. A great example of a human always striving to be the BEST he can be – for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.
Do you believe in miracles?
You see, just today a very good friend of mine from my undergraduate university days (over 20 years now) sent me a message saying that the suggestion I gave him with regards to playing the “I am” game worked. I shared with him the game I thought up to help my children sleep at night. It works for my children and I did ’not see why it would not work with his.
Well, he just wanted to say that it has worked with his son and he shared his gratitude with me. However, he asked me a question followed by an enlightened question. The question was “Paul, is there more to the I AM statement than what I am telling him? He was beginning to realise that “I Am” is a different entity/thing. He asked me the question “what is it?”
Now, I told him that there was no other use for the game other than what I mentioned in my earlier blog on “I am”. However, it got me thinking about whether there really is an “I” in I Am.
Have no doubt. Help yourself first. You are more than just YOU… God will meet you half way … he ALWAYS does. All you ahve to do is: BELIEVE.
connection is a “contact “ sport
You see, I have always believed that we are like mini-human-phones/computers all connected to a larger power-source (the universe force-field). Some people have stronger connections to this universe than others. connection or connecting is a contact sport.
The weaker the ‘connection’, the more you suffer in life. Your beliefs and belief system has a lot to do with a lot of your physical suffering.
I have always believed that “Your body does not lie”. Period.
I have deduced this from my lab in the gym helping thousands of people over the last 20+ years. All illness in the physical realm stems from a weakness in the spiritual realm. This included emotional illness too which almost stemmed from the perception people had of themselves. That their personalities were themselves. Ruled by their egos.
True? Neuroscience is still at the level of where medicine was in the 1700s A long way to fully understand who we are…. Who “I AM.”
A question I’ve wrestled with for many years
This realisation that we – each of us may be part of a greater network (for want of a better term) of consciousness has come to me many times over my 40 years on this planet 🌎.it is a question I’ve wrestled with for many years
I think my friend has a very good point because I did come to a realization many, many years ago in my late teens.
I have two stories to share with you (but will share the second in a future blog). The one I am going to share here, I have only told a handful of people in my life so far and now I am going to share it with you …
One day about 23 years ago, before I stepped in to the gym I would eventually own 15 years later (I saw myself owning it from the moment I first walked in to the place and I was only 17), I was driving along a major free-way about 5 minutes from home. It was between 5am and 6am somewhere and the sun was just beginning to rise. I hadn’t slept for 24 hours straight. My cousins and I had gone out to the city for a night out and I was the designated driver (well I didn’t start drinking until about 21). I was still only 17.
I was driving at about 70km per hour, passing a set of lights as it turned ‘orange’. I was on the inside lane of a 3 lane freeway. At that point, the Sun was rising and it’s morning rays shone in to my eyes, blinding me temporarily. I was caught between deciding to close my eyes or keep it open.
Believe or not believe. Get your ass off the pole of the fence (stop sitting on the fence!) Choose.
Closed my eyes
I closed my eyes.
It felt so good. I would have closed it only for a second or two but it seemed like eternity and I wanted to just leave it so. Like I said, it felt so good. My tiredness disappeared and was replaced by a delicious warmth … and then a state of peace beyond all description.
It was as if I became oblivious of the physical body.
But then … a voice in my head said “Paul, open your eyes”. It sounded like my grandmother who I was very close to until she died when I was 13. I didn’t want to open my eyes …
but I did. I loved her and would do almost anything for her.
The quality of your Neuronal Connections in your brain 🧠 is a good analogy to the quality of connections you have in life. Quality connections of neurons depend on its contact with others. Connections is a contact sport. Responsible for transmission of critical electrical, chemical & hormonal messages -internal communication
Frozen in Time
When I opened my eyes, I realised that I was driving my car (with my cousins in the back seat, still fast asleep intoxicated with alcohol) but there was a lamp post I was just about to crash in to.
In that instant (it would have been less than a second … but which seemed like an eternity), I saw my whole life flash before my eyes. But before this happened, I felt intense fear. I have never felt fear like this ever since. There was a freezing shiver that ran up my spine and it seemed that my heart cried out in tears that were frozen in time.
In that space of time (which seemed like an enternity), my thoughts focused on manouvering the car away from the pole which seemed to be only a meter from the car bonnet. It all happened so fast.
The Brain 🧠. The Real Power rests within this living organism… between the billions of neuronal network… Great thinkers know that thoughts 💭 change the world. Guard and work on your thoughts … every single day. Your most important investment. The mind. I AM. Use this most complex tool every created to become a better medium of communication to …. the universe, to infinite intelligence … to consciousness. To your GOD.
In that instant, that cold shiver in my spine disappeared and then it happened.
I felt a state of peace beyond all description. This was accompanied by a suffusion of light with my life to that point flashing by at lightning speed. I was filled with what seemed like love. An overwhelming sense of love. Infinite love. For that ‘split second’, I believe time and space became one with me … and stopped or it seemed like. My perception of time and space was like nothing I had ever experienced.
It seemed like I became oblivious to my physical body and it seemed that my awareness fused with this light that was flashing before my eyes, flushing me with all my ‘life moments’.
it felt as if I was now fully connected with the universe… with consciousness.. interconnected with time and space so intricately, I was ONE with it.
that I was not me. Me was not an separate entity … me was nothing as I was part of a larger living whole. “I” was non-existent.
I. AM. GOD?
I was in an illuminated state.
My mind stood still. My mind went silent. It seemed that all thought stopped. I was at my happiest. I was at peace. Fear vanished.
I am writing you this blog today because I survived that car accident. I have lived every second since that day, very differently. It changed my perception of life and the world forever.
You could say that I had a “near-death experience”.
After that experience, my accepted reality of the world seemed only temporary. Traditional religious teaching lost a lot of significance. So much so, that the loss of traditional religion spurned a personal discovery of spirituality.
ON that day, I believe that “I” didn’t really exist. That “I” was really a small, insignificant part of this larger, greater “I”. This greater “I” really determined what happened in my life.
“I am” didn’t really exist and “I” is NOTHING! It was this energy-field. This energy-field is the universe and we are all part of this universe.
We’re all connected to this greater force-field, we are ONE with it. I became ‘one with the universe’ at that moment where time stood still when I opened my eyes and so my life ‘flash’ before my eyes.
There is no “I am”. There is no ‘me’ so, if there is no “I am” and there is no ‘me’, then, it follows that “I AM NOTHING!”
I believe that so. We are all outposts of balls of consciousness that is connected to this universal consciousness. This is the real “I” in the “I AM”.
To strengthen this ‘connectivity’ to this wireless technology (that we call the universe), one just needs to replace ‘unloved’ with love. One needs to genuinely live with care and kindness. This is all that is required. The fruits of this will show itself in time.
One must also have patience and one must be compassionate towards everything,including one’s own self and thoughts. “I am” melds in to ‘nothingness’. Ponder on this thought for a moment…. And realise how profound this realisation of “I AM NOTHING” is. It is enlightening.
We are all part of ONE. One universe. Most of us just don’t have the right tools/applications to interpret the messages we perceive in the correct way.
You, me .. we … all are ONE with the universe. With time & space…consciousness, itself.
I.AM Nothing but I AM God
So, I think my friend is on to something very profound at this phase in his life. The realisation that “I am” is more than “I – AM” and NOTHING AT ALL!
I am happy for him. His realisation. It is his journey through the sea of life. It confirms something I concluded on and changed my life forever that early morning driving home from a ‘big night out’ on the town. It changed my life forever.
From my perspective, I agree with my friend – “I Am” does not exist. “I am” is only an instrument of a larger “I” and that “I” is the universe. It is GOD or whatever you want to call it. it could be that I Am Nothing but I Am God and so to see you.
But, for now this “I Am” game I created to help my children (and now my friend’s kid) sleep better – works. We will continue using it until it becomes useless.
Strengthen your connection to this “I”. Leave your “I am” on the floor. Leave your ego at the door! It’s not worth the pain and suffering you will endure if you let it run your life.
Live every day as if it were your last. I know I do.
Until next time,
Explaining some of the little things (mosquitoes) that add up to the larger things in body re-engineering. Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh.
Writing things down sometimes helps in the communication process. The goal is not communication. The goal is EFFECTIVE communication ie, ‘being on the same page’. A+ Student: Retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain listening intently.
~~Vitality, Health & Lifestyle Coach/Entrepreneur~~
My children have quite vivid imagination. When my daughter decides to play ‘pretend’ situations she really gets into the roles. From the start to the end of the game, she ‘becomes’ the role she chooses to be. It could be a princess or a fairy or a warrior. She dresses up like the character and immerses herself in to the role and if I mistakenly call her by her real name, she either does not respond to “Olivia” or she just reprimands me.
I have learned pretty fast not to go out of character until we have both agreed to. This has only strengthened my imagination. Try working on yours too, if you feel it needs improvement.
Remember: If you can’t conceive (imagination), and don’t believe, you won’t achieve.
This is another of life’s lessons that keeps coming up in relation to the achievement of any worthwhile goal you set for yourself, whatever field you choose to be in. Persistence is a critical element of goal achievement, especially when the ‘going gets tough’ and you hit hurdles along the way which you almost inevitably will. She reminded me of this very early in her existence.
If my son or daughter wants something, say chocolate for example, they will not stop asking for it even if it takes all day. They persist with requests until they get it, despite all the rejections they receive. They will find all sorts of ways to approach it and find new ways of persuasion and ‘getting their way’. They just don’t accept the word ‘no’. They find a solution.
My son and I have been wrestling on the living room floor almost every day ever since he was a few months old. He enjoys the “rough-housing” games we play and is getting very good at it now and growing increasingly stronger each time we tumble and rumble. Sometimes he gets up on the couch and jumps on to me. He has no hesitation nor fear. He just launches himself in the air like a professional wrestler in the direction of me on the floor.
He has no fear of being hurt because it seems he believes that I will ALWAYS catch him. I always have so far. We have had some close calls with regards to him missing me and landing on the floor and seriously hurting himself but that is as close as it gets: close.
I love this blind faith that he has. This belief that I will always catch him. His belief in me. It’s this sort of blind faith or belief that you need when you’re pursuing your goal, your dreams even in the face of insurmountable odds and risks. Sitting on the fence and over-analysing the situation, sometimes can fester more fear which leads to more fence-sitting and in-decision.
Sometimes you learn better by ‘doing. Sometimes you need to leap before you think. Sometimes you need to walk before you can crawl. Sometimes you need to – Just DO IT!
Enthusiasm and zest for life is one of the most under-rated traits of human beings. Everyone highly prizes academic intelligence, musical intelligence, spacial intelligence, mechanical intelligence, physical intelligence etc. Well and good. These can all be measured and managed. I believe, however that many people over-look enthusiasm.
What is enthusiasm? Well, I simply define enthusiasm as the ability to think positive every single day. Yes, I know that is very difficult. But, I think you should try it if you haven’t already being doing so. It is important that you take back control of your mind and make the conscious choice to do so. I help people do just this in my line of work and I thank God my children remind me of this every day as their enthusiasm and zest for life is beautiful and contagious.
This force of energy in direction of thought fills you with vitality and when it is transmuted or focused through the right channels, it generates even more energy – it not only adds years to your life but life into your years.
Before I go I would like to take this opportunity to thank my two children – Zachary and Olivia for raising my awareness of and in the improvement of these 4 skills.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I was once the proud owner and manager of a gym for about 7 years. It was the first gym I ever stepped foot in when I was in my late teens. I used to stand at the doorway as I left the gym, turn around to look at the owner (then) and say –
“One day I’m going to own this gym or something like this Tony!”
Imagine that, a young teenage boy still completing High School audaciously believing and saying out loud that he would own “this’ gym or something like it … one day? But I knew that I loved it and I didn’t know how then, but I knew that I desired it strongly. I had many dreams … this was one of the many. It lay dormant for a number of years.
He would say – ‘yep, but not this one … I’m not ready yet.”
Fifteen years later, I receive a call from him … saying “Remember me … remember what you said when you still in High School … well, I’m ready now, would you like to buy this gym?”
I said .. .”What took you so long?”
The rest is history.
I ran it like a family. A gym like no other. My little young family was intricately connected with hundreds of other families, making it one large huge extended family in this phase of our lives. I loved all the hundreds of relationships I had with the members along with the wider community. We won the Best Small Business Award for the Northern Beaches in one year and was a Finalist for many years.
I knew instantly that I wasn’t in the business of running gyms … no, I was in the business of managing relationships and I just happened to sell health, vitality and life-enhancing products and services. People would say “what?!” including my wife who would, after a few months, realise the truth in my statement.
Friends that workout together … stay together? Some of the family of gym members that called my gym ….. our gym .. their gym. Lovely people in a lovely phase of life.
Stories … ahh … this is one of the things I miss – listening to the hundreds of individuals’ stories over the years. Was fascinating and I feel very blessed that I was able to listen to and help the members write chapters of their life stories. I also feel very blessed to experience life through other peoples’ experiences.
Our gym was a place of social interaction where everyone knew one another’s names and we were always happy they came to the gym. Our gym was a ‘home away from home‘ for all the family of members. Just the way I envisioned it to be, the way gyms used to be.
I loved it. I lived and breathed it. I never took leave for 7 years because I loved what I did in serving the community the gym was in and all that came from afar (some driving past up to 15 gyms before they got to my gym). I helped serve people increased awareness, through increasing their knowledge of possibilities that would take them from where they were to where they would want to be. Using programs tailored specifically for each individual that was based on the framework that took me to 2 x World Championships and place in the Top 5 of both.
This blog is about one particular member. Her name was Margaret. She was an amazing woman.
The Family of Male Friends that bonded and developed great friendships in my gym … our gym.
She had been frequenting the gym 3 times per week for about 8 years. Rain, hail, dust storm, heat-wave. You name it. No extreme weather pattern stopped her from walking the 2km walk from her home to the gym. And Back. She does so with so much enthusiasm. I don’t think I have ever heard her whinge in the time I knew her.
What’s special about her is that she is accompanied by her friend – Desarae. You see wherever Margaret goes, her friend is by her side. Her friend knew each corner of the gym now and each machine. Her friend never utters a word but observes her very intently. Her friend watches and observes Margaret’s every move and never lets her out of her sight. Her friend even knows the order in which Margaret has to move from one machine to the other when she is executing one of her daily ‘work-outs’ specially tailored to her goals and needs.
Her friend listens to everything Margaret says but also most of what she does not say. A possible definition of a very good friend. But Desarae has not lifted one piece of weights equipment. You know why? Well, you see, Margaret’s friend is a guide dog and Margaret is blind.
Now, I know we read and see a lot of things and people that can be classed as “Inspiring” almost every day of our lives. You see and hear many grand, over-the-top stories that people class as inspirational. Well and good.
With Margaret and her guide dog. She was such a lovely human being. Never said never. I trained her daughter (who was also partially blind) to represent Australia at the Paralympics. She was one tough school girl with a lot of GRIT. Just like her mum.
However, each individual’s idea of what is or who is “inspiring” could differ and vary quite greatly. It’s all a matter of perspective. What someone may find inspirational may not be to another. If anyone asks me what or who I would consider inspiring, apart from my beautiful wife, Margaret would be another that would readily come to mind.
I’ve mentioned it countless times since I have known Margaret that everyone – men, women and boys and girls – everyone, could ‘take a page out of her book’.
Well, in a world; where there is a dwindling of personal responsibility and accountability; where reasons are only too readily replaced with excuses; where mediocrity is celebrated; where instant gratification dwarfs delayed satisfaction and patience … We have a no nonsense and unassuming, visually-impaired lady “working” on herself. Without fan-fare. Just going about what is part of her ‘daily-routine’.
It seems like she has turned this apparent weakness into a strength. I see the strength in this woman every time I see her. Not only when she lifts weights and goes through her workouts but the strength in the way she walks, talks and laughs. In the way she relates to the other members of the gym. It’s in her air of quiet confidence as she goes about her business.
Some of the members that came and enjoyed being part of my big ‘extended family’
Although she is blind in one sense, she seemingly has a special kind of blindness for a lot of the ‘other’ things in life that tends to affect us. Those of us who are fortunate enough to see.
So, I leave you with one thought: try to block out some of the clutter of life and don’t let anything or anyone prevent you from carrying out certain daily habits if they contribute to you being a better person – physically, spiritually, emotionally or intellectually.
When you find reasons to give in, think of Margaret. Work on developing your special kind of blindness. There is a champion in every single one of us, including YOU. Believe it so. Never stop dreaming, dreams do come true and dreamers change the world. Listen to your intuition. The combination of these two important ways of thinking …. is the beginning of taking the “I-M” out of “IMpossible”
All the very best!
Until next time,
Yours in muscles & iron,
The Old Captain Viking Pirate Fiji-Island born Muscle Monk
Some of the older female family members showing ‘how it’s done!” Branka and Karen were two ladies that had very positive outlooks on life and did everything they could to maintain the discipline and privilege of staying strong, healthy and wise. It was a way of life for them … and all the family of gym members.
Gym Extended Family Members enjoying a day of Lawn Bowls. We had some great lawn bowls events over the 7 years.