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Reflection, a Key to having an Attitude of Gratitude.

Me: The Old Captain Viking Pirate

In your opinion, what is your most priceless possession?

Ok, I’m sure you will all say very different answers and none will be wrong. They are simply what you believe is priceless to you at this point in time.

I believe, that your attitude is, specifically, your attitude of gratitude is your most priceless possession. And you need to keep it in check regularly and you do this by structuring in what I refer to as ‘moments of reflection‘ to refresh, restore and/or renew your views, rejuvenate your approach and reestablish your positive focus.

This is (reflection) of your mental attitude is a very important key to your adaptation to the changing landscape in the environments you find yourself in. Do this regularly to repair the damage of wear and tear to your attitude. Life is not a sprint and sometimes we are all guilty of living as if it were. In a grand Prix race, the eventual winner isn’t necessarily the driver that just speeds endlessly and never stops. No, the eventual winner is usually the person who structures in regular “pit stop” into the race with his support crew.

Pit-stops here could be weekends, holidays or vacations that you use to stop, slow down, revive and readjust and then … move on.

You see, your attitude, is your mental position on facts or more simply, how you view things. Remember, your attitude is contagious and affects everyone who comes in contact with you either in person or on the telephone.

Your attitude is not only reflected by your tone of voice but also by the way you stand or sit, your facial expression and in other non-verbal ways.

Stopping to reflect, is a vital key to adjust your attitude if you need to.

An attitude of gratitude is the foundation of a thankful spirit & a grateful heart. There is real magic in this because a thankful spirit has the power to replace many negative worldviews.

As I reflect, I believe an attitude of gratitude has the power to replace anger with love;

Displace resentment with peace;

Supplant fear with faith;

Restore worry with peace;

Substitute the desire to dominate with the wish to play on a team;

Supersede self-preoccupation with concern for the needs of others;

Return sexual impurity with honor and respect;

Replenish jealousy with joy at another’s success;

Renew lack of creativity with inspired productivity;

Take the place of inferiorities with dignity;

And …

Replace a lack of love with an abundance of self-sharing.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Your attitude is never static, it is an on-going dynamic, sensitive, perceptive process.

The attitude you choose to display is entirely up to you. It is a choice. One needs to always take time to take stock regularly, to reflect. One needs to go through the process of self evaluation which leads to attitude renewal or adjustment. There is no other way, no escape.

Always striving to have an attitude of gratitude in everything you say and do to reduce the risk of a high “say:do” ratio or gap. Bringing these two factors in to alignment will help you immensely.

Having a positive attitude, is, in my opinion, the most powerful and priceless personality characteristic you can possess. There is no such thing as remaining neutral when it comes to attitude – you either contribute or subtract from a better personal or work environment.

The old Captain Viking Pirate at his favourite beach. Find your ‘quiet time’. Your place of peace. Here I am at one of mine.
Regular moments of reflection.

From my experience, having a positive attitude or always trying to adopt an attitude of gratitude is one of the main keys to success in any problem solving procedure or major lifestyle change or managing your transition to the many phases of life. 

Remember, life is about energy and your ability to manage energy. A positive attitude or an attitude of gratitude can certainly provide higher energy levels, greater creativity and an improved personality. Put simply, a positive helpful attitude can cause good things to happen to you. … even to such an extent where a person not considered beautiful by physical standards (someone that is ugly) can still be regarded as beautiful with a cheerful positive outlook.

Adopting a philosophy of an attitude of gratitude and consistently working towards using it in your daily life puts you in a more favourable position to win the game of life in all directions: personal satisfaction, strong relationships and success in a meaningful career.

So, how’s your attitude right now?

Stop. Reflect. Take Stock. Re-stock. Re-adjust. March on ….

 

Cheers & Ahoy!!!

 

Until next time,

 

The old Captain Viking Pirate … & thoughts on attitude of gratitude.

Me and my children.
Children gives you a hint of eternity.
A true blessing to be graced with seeds. Showing your kids through marrying up your words and actions is an important habit. Bestowing them with examples of embracing an ”attitude of gratitudë” in everything you say and do is one of the best gifts you can pass on. I’m sure you do already. 
Vv.

Side Chest Pose with the Top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the World.
Year: 2007
Venue: in NY, USA (representing Australia)
NOTE: I believe an áttitude of gratitude’ helped me go all the way to the top echelon in the world in my chosen sport. Being the best at natural bodybuilding requires the management of many key habits/variables (on a micro and macro level). One of the keys to my success in 2 World Championships was my habitual practise of ‘moments of reflection’ to continuously keep me going when the going got tough. And believe me, there were many instances when I wanted to ‘throw in the towel’

 

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Know your Limits (Life within Limits)

Simply simple.
In Life, try to be the Best YOU can be … to be the light … the star that is ALWAYS there
but truly reveals itself when darkness comes & surrounds us.
We all need mediums/messengers of Light … to show us the way.
Be the Light the world needs.
Today. Not tomorrow.
For …
tomorrow may never come.

Most successful sportspeople not only accept rules and limitations, they accept and play within boundaries. I believe they need them.

In fact, I believe sportsmen and women are free to perform at their best only when they know what the expectations are – with their roles as an individual, as part of a sporting team, their position with the sporting club, their fans, the sporting body and the world at large.

The sportsperson – male or female performs at their best, when they are crystal clear on where the limits stand, their limits or boundaries are. For example, I have been to the top of my chosen sport of natural bodybuilding, representing my country Australia at not one, but two consecutive World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in New York, USA. I placed in the Top 5 in the World in both World Championships.

You see, on a personal level in striving for excellence and Peak Performance in my Sport and to do this with Real Freedom, I had to know what my limits were – physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally and socially …  and how far I could possibly take myself on a genuinely ‘natural’ way. Natural meaning I chose not to resort to steroids or performance enhancing drugs.

That was my personal limits within the sport which has stretched the limits of human possibilities and being the honest sport that it is – you can “see it’ when some one is on something. Unlike cycling and many other sports cultures, for example in when a famous Lance Armstrong denied, denied, denied … for a decade.

So … personal limits and limits imposed on us externally, need to be set, communicated and clearly understood by all participants in the game or games in and within Life, in general.

I see this as a Biblical principle that also applies to life, but it seems to be a principle our modern-day society as a whole has forgotten.

After almost 5 decades I have learned many Truths (from experience, from patient wise mentors and from spending hours and hours reading & learning and un-learning), so …

Consider this truth: You cannot enjoy true freedom without limits.

Heck, we all need limits and boundaries (that is what rules, laws and regulations are there for) to help us individually, and as a group, community and society function smoothly. The key words here are limits, boundaries and smoothly.

Take the recent example of a certain elite athlete, here in Australia (there are quite a few examples in the history of Sport where athletes have communicated in one way, shape or form). He sent a tweet that paraphrased a passage straight out of the Bible. He has been castrated by all sides regarding this, I think very unfairly. It seems there was a ‘break down in communication’. The limits & boundaries was not clearly communicated by those ‘in Power with Titles’.

You see the titled are powerful. This is yet another example (but with huge consequences) at play of the ineffectiveness of communication. People/parties communicate but they don’t do it effectively. And how do we get communication to be ‘effective’. Well, as the famous Management guru stated – there needs to be a ‘feedback loop(s)’ Basically, people/parties need to be ‘on the same page’ when communicating.

In this case, the limits and boundaries ‘permitted’ with the use of social media were probably not established and so this ‘grey area’ does not get addressed.

Representing Australia at the World Natural Physique Championships in New York, USA.
Placed: 4th In the world.
Success = Preparation meeting opportunity. I was prepared.

As I repeat, take the recent example of the extremely gifted and hard-working elite athlete – Mr Israel Folau. He plays one of the main football codes, called Rugby Union and has represented Australia in over seventy games against International Teams over the years.

An amazing achievement considering he has crossed football codes three times and been a success at all these codes when some players have played just one and never made it to the top level of anything, let alone, that one.

Totally committed, he originally played Rugby League, playing and winning at club level, state level (played State of Origin) and the Australian Kangaroos (where he represented Australia many times, making Australians feel like “winners” whenever the team won) and played at the highest levels.

As some of you, Australian Sports Fans would recall, he also switched to Australian Football League (AFL) for a while to develop other skills in his arsenal, like his aerial awareness involving jumping high in the air to catch footballs as well as enhancing his already super spatial awareness skills. This aerial skill is one of the many skills at his disposal that sets him apart from the other current Rugby Wallaby Players.

This proud, very talented and hard-working dual Australian Representative at the most highest levels has brought so much joy and entertainment to the sports-mad citizens of Australia over the last decade. He has been under fire recently for posting on a social media account a paraphrase of a passage right out of the Bible.

Right out of the Bible and he is being crucified and treated like a criminal on the media, by the media. Is Australia a Christian country? I don’t understand how and why he – a decorated Australian Citizen who has represented Australia at the highest levels of multiple sports is now being treated similar to that of a criminal.

Like many genetically gifted athletes that have come before him, Israel Folau has stretched the boundaries or limits of the particular sport he plays and has played, beyond what was thought possible. Adding to the awe and entertainment value of the Sport for the Sports fans, the paying fan, the paying public.

Geniuses – in this case, a Physical Genius moves the limits … the boundaries of apparent possibilities to places the general public, the audience never thought was possible.

It is these geniuses (in all fields of Life for that matter), that are responsible for challenging the ‘status quo’, the acceptable level of play. We accept and understand it when he does something ‘miraculous’ on the field of play but do not understand when he makes a statement that tests the perceived limits of society at large.

Demonstrating leadership on the rugby field is one thing for ex-Waratah & Australian Wallaby Captain Mr Phil Waugh.
Being the Champion Leader that he is, Phil continues to embrace and learn secrets towards bettering himself.
Off the field in post-rugby retirement. A proven leader on and off the field. A champion Leader is one who leads with heart and one who continuously strives for change. But more importantly, learn the skills necessary to adapt to change.
That is part of what I teach.

We’ve got to understand though, that challenging the status quo requires commitment, both public and private. It involves reaching out to others and putting your ideas, your beliefs on the line.

He has done just that. Put forward views that are written in the Bible. The Bible – the best story book ever written, by amazing storytellers. He took a few lines out that storybook, I mean he could have taken a few lines out of Dr Seuss books and got in to trouble too. Would Israel have got in to trouble if he had followed Dr Seuss’s advice? For your information –

Dr Seuss, enjoyed a successful advertising career before becoming a children’s author. Dr Seuss was many things and he was a social critic and he was fundamentally, a trouble-maker, an instigator, a leader. Throughout his career he encouraged kids to take risks and make their own decisions.

He wanted kids to be Leaders, Leaders who believed in something. He called on kids to respond with civil disobedience against anything that threatens to suppress their imaginations. He praised spontaneity and daring and a healthy disrespect for authority. He encouraged kids to THINK for themselves and continue to ask questions…. specifically, the Right Questions.

One needs to be aware of his limits (physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally), the limits of the sport he is in, the limits, the limits in he relationships he has, the limits to his mortality.
This ALL needs to be communicated effectively between all parties involved.

From one perspective, Israel did something Dr Seuss encouraged – thinking for oneself and believing in something . That belief is something Israel has in droves. It is quite simple: Israel is simply a Leader.

He has his followers, his tribe. In today’s world there are tribes everywhere now, inside and outside of organizations, in public and in private, in non-profits, in classrooms, across the planet. Every one of these tribes is yearning for leadership and connection.

Governments and Political Leaders are aware of this phenomena and it is Real, very Real. If you think Sport is not intricately linked to Politics and Big Business, Science and Religion, you may as well live under a Rock! Just read up on the last 4000 years of history and you’ll see the connections.

Like I said earlier, Israel Folau is a Leader.

Leadership is not about being Mr Popular (even though this helps). Leadership, as HBR May/June 2017 Issue stipulates that there are four behaviours that Top Leaders need to be successful at leading (this is leadership that is bestowed on Financial Leaders). They are a mix of key ingredients: decisiveness, the ability to engage stakeholders, adaptability and reliability. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach but focusing, they say, on these four key attributes separates the Best from the Rest.

What about qualities such as – compassion, caring, trust, integrity and honesty and such? Based on ‘cut-throat’ business stakes, these qualities are not key. It was interesting to learn that 100% of low-performing CEOs/Leaders in the sample studied scored very high on integrity and 97% scored high on work ethic. However, in the financial world of the Fortune 500 companies think otherwise.

Good for business, it seems but not much good for other areas of life that require True, passionate Leadership.

In life, without leaders, there are no followers.

Tribes are about faith – about belief in an idea and in community. His followers ( I would think the Christian Community) are grounded in respect and admiration for the Leader (Israel) of this new tribe and for other members as well.

So, my question to you is, do you believe in what you do? Every day? Can you honestly say you do?

I believe Israel does – not only does he believe in the Sport he plays – Rugby Union at the moment but he also shows belief in his Religious Faith. He is simply a man of faith, of belief and of passion. He ‘wears his heart on his sleeve’ and is as authentic as it comes. He does not shy away or try to make everyone happy and love him. He is true to his beliefs. What is wrong with that, I ask?

To lead is to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
This develops, amongst other things – GRIT.
An essential ingredient of all Champions, all Leaders and most importantly, all Champion Leaders.

“How was your day?” is a question I have always been fascinated about and I believe is a question that matters a lot more than it seems. You see, I believe that someone like Israel, being the Leader on the field (and now showing Leadership off the field) is one of the few human beings who really like their jobs.

How do I know? Well, it turns out that the people who like their jobs the most are doing their best work, making the greatest impact, and changing the most. That certainly describes Israel’s on-field performances every single time he takes the field. He is a ‘cut-above’ the rest.

You see, Leaders, real Leaders change the most – changing the way they see the world, certainly, but more importantly, changing the world. We can’t say that much for many so-called Leaders running countries today, Leaders we call Politicians.

By challenging the status-quo, Israel, funnily enough could be considered a ‘heretic’ because of his Christian Beliefs. This used to be the complete opposite less than hundred years ago. They used to burn individuals at the stake, drown them, denounce them, ignore them and hang them from the rafters.

Some of them were people went against the Church at that time, people who ‘didn’t believe in Christian teachings’.

Not any more.

With my trophy – doing the “Abdominal/Thigh” pose.
4th in the World in something you love isn’t too shaby for an Fiji Island Boy… who dared to not only dream … but to DREAM BIG

Now, heretics are invited to speak at business conferences. Heretics get elected to Parliament and Congress. Heretics make a fortune when their companies go public. Heretics not only love their jobs; they get a private jet too.

Societies around the world are not burning heretics, they are celebrating them. Let me remind you of a few heretics/Leaders: Bill Gates; Larry Page; Steve Job and the list goes on….

Then, why are the media in Australia putting this heretic through the grinder?

Now, it seems, Israel, the strong Christian believer, is made out to be a heretic in this day age. Where are all the Christian supporters? Everyone is quiet and looking to ‘point that finger’ because everything is tied back to Big Business getting their way. Huge corporate interests and influence tied to dollars.

That is business they say, that is Capitalism at work. Fine, but remember, there is also many delusions of Capitalism too. But I’ll save that for another blog.

True Leaders develop Leaders.
Here we have former Australian Rugby Wallaby Captain – Mr Phil Waugh, allowing himself to be led and coached to help him, help himself … find his best self.
Leaders have belief, they have faith but most importantly … they have hope.
That tomorrow will be better than today.

I’m gonna go ahead and say it … I strongly believe that heretics, like Israel are the New Leaders.

Israel, this mighty Athlete, is suddenly a heretic. Yes, but this new type of Leaders are propping out all over the place, all over the world. Suddenly also, heretics , troublemakers, and the change agents aren’t merely thorns in our side – they are the key to our success.

And Governments and Politicians know this because people are looking for that Leader, they are tired of ‘fence-sitters’. They want Real Passionate Leaders. They want to believe again. They want faith… they want hope …. They want a Religion (and not necessarily spiritual) to follow. It is already happening.

The Tsunami Tides of change is coming, if it hasn’t already began.

The thing is a lot of people don’t see this as genuine Leadership from a Leader because most people have been trained all their lives to avoid it. Leadership is many things to different people but to me, and I think to many out there …  Leadership is about creating change that you believe in.

We often resent rules because they limit what we can do. Yet without the rules that define a football game, for example, you can’t play the game, let alone enjoy it. The same thing is true in life.

To live and enjoy the freedom we have in Australia, we have to live by the rules of society. To live life to its fullest and truly enjoy it, we need to understand and abide by the rules God spells out in the Bible. God isn’t out to spoil our fun; he knows that life without limits results in anarchy and misery.

It would seem that this Sports Star is “suffering for Being a Christian” and this is mentioned in the Book of Peter, 12 – 16.

It’s only when we have absolute limits that we can be truly be free to enjoy the best life has to offer. Why don’t many other thousands of Christians speak out like Israel? Well, it is simply because of fear.

Fear is an emotion, no doubt about it. One of the strongest, oldest, and most hardwired. In every single human being. And what, my friends, can overcome all fear? Faith or belief. This is because faith or belief leads to Hope … and this is what overcomes fear.

This is not about the “Religion” he believes in, no, this is about the Religion that is currently the norm (and probably has been for a long while now). The Religion here I am referring to is not the spiritual type, no, this religion on the other hand, represents a strict set of rules that Rugby authorities has overlaid on top of our faith. This religion supports the status quo and encourages us to ‘fit in’, not ‘stand out.’

We have all kinds of Religions surrounding us – not just the Capital – R religions like Catholicism or Judaism. There’s the IBM religion of the 1960s, for example which included workplace protocols, dress codes, and even a precise method of presenting ideas. There’s the religion of Amazon and Google as the modern-day giants that they are.

The media love to glamorise the rare downfall of the heretic who doesn’t quite make it, which is what is happening to Israel at this present time. You see we’re already primed to hear about the person who got into trouble, who lost his job, his house, his family – his business – because he had the hubris and audacity to challenge the status quo.

And since we’re eager for this news, we notice it the few times it happens. Israel’s apparent ‘mistake’ is great for the news empires. They know they have the masses’ attention.

You see, Israel, like many heretics that have come before him, have talked himself out of fear. I mean, I’m sure the fear is still there, but it’s drowned out by a different story.

A different story that he tells himself.

In this case, I presume it’s the story of success, of drive, of doing something that matters. Whatever comes of the case against his beliefs, I know one thing:

Israel is more engaged, passionate and more powerful and happier than most and I think he has a tribe that he supports (and that support him in return).

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Israel is a Leader.

Real Leadership is rare because few people are willing to go through the discomfort level required to lead. At this point in time, and in this era, Heretics like Israel must above all else – believe.

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement.
Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response.
Vv

Challenging the status quo (as it is in regards to freedom of speech in today’s modern societies) requires a commitment, both public and private. It involves reaching out to others and putting your thoughts on the line.

Leadership is choice. It’s a choice to not do nothing!

Israel chose to lead and he is curious to see who will follow him, who will be part of his ‘tribe’. Maybe, just maybe this is just a case of curiosity. Israel has let his curiosity get the better of him. He has been wrestling and managing perceived tensions between his religion and something else … wrestling with it (for a while maybe), through it and then finally expressing his views on it.

Bam!! There it goes on Twitter. Just like that … his elasticity point has been reached and broken!

Can and should we consider his views to be fundamentalist in nature?

Maybe.

But, what we’re seeing in today’s world is that fundamentalism really has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with an outlook, a worldview, regardless what your religion is. Through his actions as a leader, he attracts a tribe that wants to follow him. This tribe has a worldview that matches the message he is sending.

Tribes are voluntary and I think great leaders don’t try to please everyone. Great leaders don’t water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger. Instead, they realize that a motivated, connected tribe in the midst of a movement is far more powerful than a larger group could ever

So, all the best to you Mr Israel Folau.

Your fate rests in the hands of people put their by the society we live in, established and limited by the rules that have been put in place to govern us.

Let’s wait and see what happens.

Will certainly set a precedent for things of a similar nature in the future. Will common sense (which isn’t very common anymore) prevail?

Until next time,

 

Ahoy!

The old Captain Viking Pirate ….. & his thoughts on limits, perceived or real, sports stars and society and Life in general.

Change your philosophy, change your life.
Vv.

Infusing ‘the essence of life’ (Vitality) in to my attentive pupil.
Student/apprentice who is ready to be coached, to be enlightened.
Simply because he/she believes in what I believe in.
I have coaching conversations that produces results, fuelled by a by-product called “Positive Energy”

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What Men (really) Need.

A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach. I love the interface between land+sea+sky. Brings me closer to my ‘home’ in my childhood … in the Beautiful Paradise Islands of Fiji.
The managed combination of chaos + order => Better Life.

We have all heard about ‘that relationship’ that broke down because there was a ‘break-down in communication.” Usually, when you dig a little deeper, you find that there was communication but it wasn’t ‘effective’ communication.

And how does communication become effective?

Well, it simply comes down to the ‘feedback loop.’ Yep, the feedback loop. I like to refer to it as ‘being on the same page’ as the person(s) you’re communicating with. Effectively, having clarity on what the other person(s) are saying and ‘seeing’ things from their viewpoint.

Not an easy thing to do.

So, what is the secret? Well, as I see it when it comes to relationships and what a man needs, what it really comes down to is – a man really needs someone who simply cares. Yep, it is as simple and as complex as that. The care factor.

Not an easy thing to find, yes because it requires that person to love him and this involves a lot of work, a lot of effort, from the care-giver. Men search far and wide for this care, in all kinds of places and all kinds of things and never stop searching because it is wired in to the very life-blood of all true-blooded males.

Men will never stop searching and will do all sorts of crazy shit to experience and do almost anything … for this love … this care, because that is what they really need and they will keep searching from the beginning til the end of time.

Let me explain …

Even though it sounds simple, it masks a lot of complexity. You see, most reasonably educated persons know how to communicate. You know how to talk, send e-mails and texts but very few people know how to communicate well. What I mean is communicate effectively.

Most children learn from their parents (who learned from their parents who learned from their parents  … ) but the thing is that a lot of parents don’t communicate well or effectively, to begin with. So, you end up with people who learn from people in the foundation years of their lives who are not the best communicators and so this ineffective communication skill is perpetuated through generations.

Until someone decides to question such practices and put forward a brave new way of communicating, a way that encourages communication to be made in an effective manner, with that feedback loop.

Like most good things, it takes work and being good at it takes practice. Not just practise but lots and lots of deliberate practise (because people could become good at communicating ineffectively. What one needs to do is learn the right way and then deliberately practice the right practise.

That is how you become better at your communication skills. Perfect practise.

It is hard work, hard YAKA! (Australian term that means ‘hard work!”). There is no easy way of going about this because you need to stubbornly change or un-learn years of imprinting of bad communication learned in your early years and then …

Now this is the hard part – learning and adopting the new communication method & skills in all your daily communication. All the time, not some of the time – all the time!

Attitude is key at winning in the Game of Life.

You see, from what I have observed so far in my life, communication between a woman and a man is very different from what happens when two women talk.

It seems that when two women get together, they do a lot of explaining and restating until the other person understands what is being said. They understand one another from each other’s point-of-view.

They seem to communicate more effectively than men.

A man may say something vague, like “I don’t know, I guess, I’m just having a tough day.” After making that short statement, it is very likely, he would not add any more words. He may just drop it, so to speak. His wife or partner assumes it must not be a big problem since he didn’t say more than two sentences. However, this is where the mistake arises.

You see, she needs to pick up on the little phrase that he did say and if she really, really knows him, pick up on what he did not say as well.

It is very likely he is feeling a great loss, but he is not expressing it. Women, I feel, need to listen to the small phrases that their husbands or partners are saying and then find the right response. She needs to generate a response that is sufficient and appropriate. ]

A response that is sufficient and not appropriate is not complete. And a response that is appropriate and not sufficient is less than adequate. Her response needs to have both present – appropriateness and sufficiency.

This is a huge challenge for any person, let alone a woman.

The challenge here is developing the life skill of the power of discernment and applying the right amount of appropriateness and sufficiency in one’s response. What a challenge.

A wise man once told me that “elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do.’ This applies to many things in life and would apply in this instance when a woman tries to understand how a man communicates.

A man needs a wife or partner who cares enough to listen to the brief, sometimes weak, signals that he gives off. And then, she needs to respond, I believe, with gentle questions to draw him out, not by taking the opportunity to describe her own struggles.

But to listen, really listen.

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement.
Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response.
Vv

In my experience with dealing with and helping people in the gyms and my line of work over the last two decades, when one spouse is drawn away by someone outside the marriage, it’s usually not that he’s being drawn away by love.

More often than not, I believe, he is drawn away because someone else show they cared.

Ask yourself how you show your man you care? Is it sufficient and appropriate for the phase of life you’re in? My grandfather used to always say “actions speaks louder than words.’ What do you think? I think it holds more than an element of truth to it.

Someone could think and say that they love someone else but not actually show or demonstrate/do the act of love. Is this love? I don’t think so.

Thinking and doing can be two different things.

What is your definition of love anyway? We tend to see acts of love all around us but what is love?

Who is the best listener you know? What is that person doing that works?

My tip: After nineteen years of being with the woman of my childhood dreams and marriage as well as helping people (couples) help themselves, help themselves over the years of owning my own gym and my keen observation in general life, I would remind you to – show you care in everything you say and most importantly, do.

Men are simple creatures, keep things simple – simply show your man you care for and about him. Don’t complicate things, keeping it simple aids greatly in contributing to more effective communication. And is ultimately the saviour of all relationships.

We have heard that love is effortless, I disagree … to love some one other yourself requires effort, a lot of effort.

Love is EFFORT-FULL!

Keep loving … it is worth it in the whole scheme of life.

 

Until next time,

Members of my ‘extended family’ when I used to own and manage my gym for seven years. Some of the best and hardest years of my life so far. I loved leading the members (predominantly males – 70%) and they allowed me to take them to unchartered territories for us all.
The gym was (unlike today’s) a social place. An ‘inbetween home’ between your place of work and your home.
Relationships based on fairness, trust, care and compassion.
A place where men could share stories, their aspirations, their fears and hopes …and be listened to … without fear of retribution or ridicule.
It was these group of Mens ‘last refuge’.
I hope to bring it back one day … to the world.

Explaining the fine points of re-engineering the physique and increased self-awareness through enhanced ‘mind-muscle’ connection..

Side Triceps in the gym. … in between sets.
Building a physique that is balanced and symmetrical takes years of toil in the gym and outside the gym. There is countless assessment of all the variables that go into it … a constant assessment of appropriateness and sufficiency in relation to the key inputs that go in to mastering the iron … the art … of knowing oneself .. of knowing life.
Better. Builds. Beauty. A
Always.

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a better life, accountability, action, adaptation, awareness, balance, Beliefs, better choices, choices, courage, decisions, Energy, examined life, game of life, genuineness, Goals, taking action, truths, your life

The big mistakes I see people making when it comes to muscle, fitness and nutrition.

 

Enjoying the sun at a local beach.

In my line of work, part of what I do is help people, help themselves with change as they transition through various phases of life. I help people, help themselves re-engineer themselves in to the person the imagine themselves to be.

A Life affirming approach.

I help men and women of all ages and sizes help themselves, find their best selves and work towards increased balanced and symmetry – externally and internally.

Someone asked me the question posed in the blog heading recently, and it got me thinking. Put simply, people don’t stop, start from a clean slate and prepare for the beginning and the end. Upon reflection of my experience over the last quarter of a century, I have attempted to answer it below –

I have found that ….

People don’t begin with belief.

People don’t begin with trust.

People don’t begin with hope.

People don’t begin with love.

People don’t begin with patience.

People don’t begin with a dream.

People don’t begin with their imagination.

People don’t begin with simplicity.

People don’t begin with continuity.

People don’t begin with gratitude.

People don’t begin with care.

People don’t begin with discipline.

People don’t begin with courage.

People don’t begin with balance.

People don’t begin with harmony.

People don’t begin with the end in mind.

People don’t begin with responsibility.

People don’t begin with their heart.

People don’t begin with desire.

People don’t begin with forgiveness.

People don’t begin by unthinking.

People don’t begin with acceptance of responsibility.

People don’t begin by aligning their philosophy with nature’s principles that is fundamental to Life and living well.

People don’t begin with the end in mind.

People don’t begin with the unconscious.

People don’t begin with their spirit.

People don’t begin by being still.

People don’t think.

People don’t DO.

Enough.

People don’t begin by giving….

So …

People don’t receive …

Enough.

But letting go of things you hold dear is very difficult and the little things, like letting go of a habit that is not life affirming can be very difficult. Neuroscience research tells us now that letting go a habit can take anywhere between 31 and 267 days. Wow! So, be patient and be kind to yourself if you’re thinking about making a change in the way you look.

The fact that you are ‘thinking’ about change is a win in itself. Before a change, any worthwhile, life-changing change can happen, you must want to have a change in mind-set. Now, to do this, even before you think about exercise, dieting or your fitness, you should firstly accept YOU as you are now, not the you – yesterday. The present self “is”, and your former self ‘was’, and in truth, your ‘was’ self is not identical to your ‘is’ now.

They are not the same.

People change, you change. Life is about change, if you’re not changing, you’re not living!

So, let go of the ‘was’ self (past) by letting go of any and all regret and guilt resulting from the past ‘was’ self. The past cannot be rewritten, but you can view it through different lenses and re-framing your view of your ‘was’ self. Tell yourself that past errors are mainly due to limitations in perception and ignorance and that they belong to that ‘was’ self at a certain point in the time continuum. It was all part of the learning process and gaining wisdom and was unavoidable.

This applies not only individually but collectively as a human race.

Most importantly, tell yourself – your ‘is’ self (now) that the habits that were acceptable in the past is no longer acceptable today and now. All regrets and guilt of less-than-ideal and less-than life-affirming habits that helped create the ‘was’ self is now boxed up and viewed simply as an error of judgement, ignorance, mis-perception or miscalculation. Put simply – an error.

All this brought about as a consequence of a limitation of human consciousness.

The first stage is self-forgiveness. This is facilitated by humility but also acceptance of this limitation (by letting go of the ego).

Solution: Begin with the right philosophy, filter and remove beliefs that are no longer relevant, acknowledge your soul and then reach out and …

Embrace the ‘is’ YOU with your whole being. Show you care. Feel your love. Allow the healing to happen – to you and those you value around you. Changes then become long-lasting and sustainable as you chart your new course through the sea of life.

All the best in your choices,

 

Until next time,

The right strategy –
” a quality plan + quality implementation
===> quality results. A quality strategy
of a balanced nutrition, exercise philosophy and rest of the body, mind and spirit helps you achieve a ”6-pack”.

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a better life, balance, belief, courage, Energy, grace, gracefullness

Grace.

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. Through belief, hope and effort + heart.

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.
Through belief, hope and effort + heart.

Are you graceful?

Do you consider yourself a man or woman of grace? If you do, that’s great, you’re way ahead of the majority. I read somewhere recently that there is a never-ending worldwide shortage!

What does it mean to be ‘graceful’?

I would think graceful means balanced, elegant, subtle, effective and possibly artistic. A graceful person gets things done, but does it in a way that is beautiful and you would be happy to have him or her repeat it.

A graceful person raises the standards of everyone close by, forcing everyone to the top, not to the bottom. A graceful person is the person we cannot live without, the one who makes the difference.

There is no such thing as being born graceful. It’s not a talent, it is a choice! Only one person could have that exception and that is Jesus, our saviour.

Jesus’s birthday is only one night away now and it got me thinking….

What a beautiful and graceful man Jesus was – a man that was the epitome of grace. Do you think you know him or do you know the celebration of his birthday more – Christmas Day?

It’s not easy knowing Jesus, not easy at all. He has very high standards, especially relevant in the modern-day’s world where there appears to be none in many areas of life. I say, be prepared to stumble if you want to get to ‘know’ him, as I think everyone who ever tried has stumbled, and more than once I think. I know I have.

But what do you learn when you fall or fail, you learn how to pick yourself back up faster, don’t you? So, don’t be afraid to fall or fail. Pick yourself up and try again and find a better way.

Knowing Jesus means that you have to be disappointed when he doesn’t meet your wrong expectations. Notice I said ‘wrong’ expectations.

Knowing Jesus may also spur you on to become something or someone you thought you could never do or be. Achieving the seemingly impossible.

Through his help, the impossible is made possible. Don’t stop believing!

He will remind you in various ways of how much you need him. And you do.

Knowing Jesus is a little like building muscle – he breaks us to pieces so that he can put us back together again, but this time in his image – his grace. Just like muscle, you need to break it to pieces so that you can nourish it and allow it to repair and grow. A definite fusion of chaos and order.

All Christians are work-in-progress, all under construction. I know I am. However, the most powerful thing for a Christian is the unwavering belief that Jesus, the son of God, born on Christmas Day – is our saviour.

Christmas Day is many things to many people but like I said in the previous blog post, Christmas to me is everything. Christmas is life. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the world’s saviour. That, even in this fast-paced, ever-changing world, there is something that is un-changing. Something that we hang on to courageously.

We humans, we Christians, still have the courage to hang on to the belief that Jesus is still needed. Courage to believe that he was born on Christmas Day and died not long later but he will also come again.

Christians (and non-christian’s) insistence on celebrating Christmas could also be interpreted as an outward expression and belief that we (the world) still hungers for Jesus grace and hope.

Let’s pray that the world increasingly gets filled with more people like him, filled with grace. People the world just can’t do without.

May you be filled with grace this Christmas.

 

Until next time,

Feeling the 'essence!' Believe. Believe. Believe! Make the impossible, possible!

Feeling the ‘essence!’
Believe. Believe. Believe!
Make the impossible, possible!

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adaptation, ageing, awareness, belief systems, change, choices, courage

Be what you are.

The Best of the Best. Phil Waugh - retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Warrahs Captain willing to embrace knowledge.  Increasing his awareness towards being the BEST HE IMAGINES HE CAN BE, using my framework. An A+ Student!

The Best of the Best.
Phil Waugh – retired ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain willing to embrace knowledge.
Increasing his awareness towards being the BEST HE IMAGINES HE CAN BE, using my framework.
An A+ Student!

Knowing when it is time to ‘move on’ is very important.

Recognizing the various stages in your life is very important. Doing the right things at the right stages of life is important too. What’s key is that we need to be aware of these phases, take sufficient and appropriate action and adapt accordingly.

We all have experience of this already as it is beyond our control – baby to toddler; toddler to a young boy or girl; early teens and then late teens; the trying twenties and then the thirties and then middle-age. And it goes on … until you die.

I would like to talk about the change we have some control over. Most of the time it can be a very difficult time. You will experience emotional hurt and pain and more than likely, your actions may hurt others too. There is hurt and sorrow in the short-term but it is better for everyone in the long term.

There was a time in my life when I was doing group aerobics/body pump instructing and aquarobics instructing – back in the mid-90s, during my undergraduate years. I enjoyed helping the thousands of people that I saw over the four years and I was very good at it.

I could have continued and opened up my own franchises but I didn’t. Circumstances and philosophy on life changes and you find yourself saying “now, that’s enough of that”. A person’s philosophy is like the set of a sail on a ship he is captaining.

That was one short but important phase of my life. I felt that it was time to move on. And I did, with my first undergrad degree in hand, seeking work experience in a different field for a while.

But, letting go can be difficult. Matter of fact, it is probably one of the most difficult things we humans can endure in our life-time. Letting go of our bad experiences in our past; letting go of anger; letting go of guilt; letting go of friends and so forth.

It takes a lot of energy and courage to let go and to … move on.

Have you ever felt that way?

Have you ever felt that it was time to move on from a phase of life; a job maybe or even a career? Or have you ever felt that it was time to move on from a business relationship or friendship?

Recognizing these ‘moments’ and listening to your ‘inner-voice’ of reason and hard facts to tell you that it is time to move on is very important to your contentment in life.

A lot of people don’t move on for fear of the unknown. Fear holds people back like an anchor for a ship. Familiarity also keeps people from new adventures. But, not trying something new, not venturing in to unchartered territory as you sail your ship through life could result in you missing out on possible opportunities that may lie ahead in a different path.

Sometimes, opportunities come clothed in an overcoat.

Don’t let your ship be controlled by the changing currents of the seas. If you don’t make the change, someone else will. They say that a person’s philosophy is a major determining factor in how a person’s life turns out.

You could conclude if you desire to change your life for the better, you need to change your philosophy.

Re-set your sails and cut through the changing currents you face as you captain your ship through the sea of life. I suppose I would feel that way about a lot of things in life. If I feel that the activity doesn’t interest me or have an element of ‘freshness’ in it, I move away from it. Some people choose not to, but I believe it is very healthy for one to do so.

I move on from it.

Retired 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 being striving to be the BEST he can be - for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.

Retired 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 being striving to be the BEST he can be – for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day.

 

Take your profession seriously but don’t take yourself too seriously. I think a lot of people make this rather childish mistake – taking themselves too seriously.

A long time ago, a wise man once told me at his birthday party not to take myself too seriously. He said that in the whole scope of life, the little things that go wrong and that you might stress about don’t really matter a whole lot.

Wise man. I agree.

The little things you stress about – for example, being late for an important meeting or missing a deadline or looking like a fool at the company’s Christmas party or missing out on a job – is minute in relation to the whole circus act out there, out there in life.

Meaning: You only really matter to a certain degree – so don’t take yourself too seriously in the process of various stages or projects/activities you undertake in your life.

That is life. That is as good as life gets…. So far (as Homer Simpson would say)!

If you take yourself too seriously, you will anchor yourself and won’t be able to move forward. You don’t help yourself and you can’t serve people any better. You would not be much help to society either. So, do yourself and everyone a favour and ‘lighten up’!

If you believe in you and your abilities. If you believe that change is inevitable, that change is good. If you believe that change is necessary then you will agree that the whole of life is a series of change and if you’re not changing, you’re not living.

The key ingredient is to work on improving your CHANGE MANAGEMENT skills.

If you’re confident enough in the way you feel, and in your abilities, whether it’s in an art form or whether it’s just your line of work, it comes off! You will always find a way to succeed.

Therein lies your hidden treasure: Confidence.

You don’t have anything to prove; you can just be what you are.  

As another wise man also said: Besides, Everyone else is taken.

 

Until next time,

Fully focused! A true warrior & champion.  Focusing on making every repetition of every set of every exercise as ideal as possible.  Practise does not make perfect - Perfect practise makes perfect! Photo: Retired Champion Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain and player in action under my watchful eyes.

Fully focused!
A true warrior & champion.
Focusing on making every repetition of every set of every exercise as ideal as possible.
Practise does not make perfect – Perfect practise makes perfect!
Photo: Retired Champion Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain and player in action under my watchful eyes.

~~Life COACH~~

~~Life COACH~~

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action, adaptation, awareness, belief systems, Beliefs, change, choices, courage, Energy, game of life, Imagination, life, long-term strategy, perspective, planning, respect, self-image, you

Real Love for The Real Man.

Every man needs to wake and release the 'champion' within him. Let it loose. Let it fly. Let it go. In his own way.

Every man needs to wake and release the ‘champion’ within him. Let it loose. Let it fly with wings. Let it go and serve others … In his own way.

I mentioned in my previous blog The Simple-Complex Man”, it is without doubt that being a father is difficult in today’s world but, I believe, being a man – a ‘Real Man’ is more difficult.

Look around us and the avalanche of images and messages that bombards us, every day, of what a Real Man is. In Australia and most of the developed world, it is heavily communicated in stereotypes in beer ads or car commercials. A lot of these stereotypes I find, conflicts with what most men out there think of themselves.

There are a lot of great men out there but many of them are confused. Confused of what it means to be a REAL MAN. Let me elaborate …

You see, from my experience in helping hundreds of men in gyms over the last two decades, a lot of men are so much more than what these narrow stereotypes convey. Really shallow stereotypes actually. What is even more concerning is the various messages of ‘love’ and what love means to a ‘Real Man’. The majority buy in to these stereotypes and meet disappointment in life – sooner or later.

Very sad indeed.

Like I said, it is very difficult for a lot of men out there. A lot of men who don’t know what it means to be a Real Man.

I must admit that I do not know the full answer but I do think that a big part of being a Real Man is that he is AUTHENTIC.

We learn many definitions of ‘love’ and we can think of many examples of what it is. Some think it is impossible to understand or define. Fair enough. It does not, however, mean we should not try to understand it.

You see, as I see it, for all you men reading this, “Love” for a Real Man is simply this: Action. Remember that saying “action speaks louder than words?”. Well, I think certain elements apply here.

There’s also another definition and for you Christians reading this – a Real Man will love a woman the way the Bible says it to. I think even the most militant feminist would not dispute a love like THAT!

I believe if every man out there just has one goal and that is: to be the BEST MAN HE CAN BE. For himself, FIRST and then for everyone else. And, when he leaves this world for the other world, he might just come close enough to be a REAL MAN.

From my interaction with men of all ages over the last two decades, I have deduced that Real Men have a few common traits –

  1. He treats his wife RIGHT (in all areas of life).
  2. He is a SERVANT rather than a MASTER ( I would like to think my wife and I are Co-CEOs)
  3. He will do the RIGHT THING (doing the right thing is quite different to do what he has the RIGHT to do. Everything he does, he DOES WITH 100%. Why? Because nothing else would measure up).

So, how are you faring with the above traits (they are by no means exhaustive but are 3 that first come to my mind, deduced from my large sample of men over the last two decades)? Are you a Real Man? When can you call yourself a Real Man?

Well, let’s keep it simple. As I see it, there is only one way: become a BETTER SERVANT. Even the great Mother Theresa said that we need to serve ’til it hurts. I think this should be every man’s motto for his love for his woman. Yes, all REAL MEN seek to SERVE. Keep giving of yourself to your woman. To give is to serve.

If you’re a christian, then just like Jesus Christ, our saviour served his beloved followers. All GREAT MEN seek to SERVE.

This can be quite difficult to accept because most of today’s men are told the opposite with all the unfiltered messages being absorbed in to their minds, their ‘thought factories’. These unfiltered messages tell these men that they should grow up and find a gorgeous wife who will take care of his needs.

He then spends his entire existence seeking out that someone, he is brainwashed in to believing that she will bring him happiness because she will SERVE HIM. In return for this fulfilment of his distorted delusions of what life and love is and what it means to be a Real Man, he is made King of his Castle!

Yes, he works very hard. It’s the ‘manly’ thing to do, after-all he is told. He works very hard and gives her everything HE THINKS SHE WANTS. 

But is that really what the woman wants? I beg to differ.

I have helped many men and women transition through very painful separations and divorces over the years and have felt the pain with them. It is very difficult for all parties involved. What I have noticed was that a lot of these women did get everything (from a material sense) that money could buy. A lot of these women had men who bought them everything THEY THOUGHT THEIR WIVES WANTED.

Costly mistake. I am appealing to all men reading this and all men out there to not make this mistake, like so many men have made before you.

What I found was that most of these women were miserable. Why? The reason I am about to tell you is something people don’t seem to talk about and may surprise some of you readers but I think it is one of the major factors in the consistently high divorce rates in society. Men reading this, I think the one very strong contributing factor that made these women miserable was that they were permanently PUT IN SECOND PLACE!

Not fair at all.

No one likes being in SECOND PLACE in anything for too long. Believe me, I know what it is like because I came 2nd in the Australian Natural Body-building Championships in three separate occasions. Came so close, within a whisker … but to no avail.

Very dis-heartening and demoralising.

So, what I have found is that by the time I help these men and women during these painful transitions, most of these men do not fully understand what went wrong. A lot of these men are a little confused and I don’t blame them.

They are confused because they cannot ‘see’ how they have put their woman 2nd all along. But by the time I see them, it is too late. These men just cannot put their woman first.

These men cannot because it goes against every fibre of their being. It goes against everything that they have been taught in all the messages society has pumped in to him from early child-hood. From within his family, his neighbours, his schools, his friends, his extended families and all the advertising messages and shows.

It surrounds him and blinds him. Chokes him. The Real Man is chained within, as he suffers silently. Like so many men in today’s world do. Suffer in silence with inconsistent definitions of what a Real Man is. His whole belief-system is distorted and he has been following blindly.

He cannot be blamed for total responsibility for this, if everything, everyone and his whole world is telling him that the distorted definition of Real Love is what it is. The world has inverted whatever that was made perfect by God. That of the real definition of love for a Real Man.

And do you know what the imitation is? Do you want to know what the counterfeit is dear readers? Do you know what the substitute is (just like there is for almost all genuine products out there)?

It is this: LUST.

It is everywhere and this is one of the many reasons I believe it is very difficult just to be A MAN in today’s world. Just like all non-genuine, unauthentic, imitation products and parts you buy – LUST can be cheaper, looks good and is just like the REAL DEAL. It can be very satisfying and bring excitement in to your life for a little while.

But, it is NOT TRUE LOVE!

You see – Lust, takes. Love, gives.

Lust is all about you, your selfish desires – your need to be the MASTER. Love puts your woman’s desires FIRST. Love puts SERVICE to your woman at the top of your ‘TO DO’ list.

Lust takes – for your selfish benefit. Love GIVES, for the one we love. This GIVING MUSCLE keeps growing if you feed and train it right. Strive to become a Real Man. All day. Every day. For the rest of your life on this earth.

Search for Real Love. Curb your enthusiasm for lust.

Lust is temporary, it will perish. Love is forever – in this lifetime and infinity. Even though you will return to dirt when you die, your soul – your spirit, your consciousness, will remain in the universe for all eternity. Your love will keep GIVING and you will be fulfilled beyond your desires.

… knowing that you were a REAL MAN while you were breathing and walked this earth. That you truly loved. That you were truly a servant to her – that you genuinely SERVED.

Those that you leave behind will have memories of this man. This version of a man that …. Went against the grain and was a … Real Man. To all Men reading this, I leave you this last message:

Be your AUTHENTIC-SELF. Tell the TRUTH. DO and BE YOUR BEST – ALWAYS. Take care OF YOUR FAMILY. RESPECT YOU – RESPECT OTHERS. Never stop DREAMING. Follow your DREAMS.

 

Until next time,

Connecting the dots through 'mind-muscle' communication via the nervous system strengthening. Hold!

Connecting the dots through ‘mind-muscle’ communication via the nervous system strengthening.
Hold!

 

~~Life COACH~~

~~Life COACH~~

All photos taken by Robert Walsh Photography. Visit “www.robertwalsh.com.au” for an authentic artist. A true professional. A lovely human-being that is Robert. Vv.

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