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The Gym, Reps, Sets, Synergy and Workouts.

You perform your reps, sets and workout with one of the tools – dumbells, when you search for that ‘elusive pump’ feeling in the gym.

In my almost three decades in the ‘iron game’, I have learned many things.

About gyms, about people, about different training methods and styles, about perceptions, about limitations, about the mind, and about muscles, fat loss and body sculpturing.

I have learned a lot, filling my domain knowledge of subject areas that have always been fascinated about. And still am.

The Gym

I’ve always believed the gym was a micro-cosim of society. It is a metaphor for Life.

It does not represent reality – it tells (beautiful lies) about people. What it basically says, in my opinion, is I’m bigger or better than I really am. It is a kind of fantasy world.

But the gym is also not pure fantasy – it voices and indirectly describes and reflects, the real world (outside) by people the same people that make up the gym, by inventing little worlds that resemble it, loosely or closely.

I find it fascinating because, like Forest Gump said of life – “life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re gonna get.” That is exactly how I feel before each visit to the gym. You never know what you’re gonna get, like who will be there, what equipment will be available when you need it, whether the gym will be “packed to the rafters” or quiet and empty.

No, you never know what you’re gonna get.

The gym alters reality to allow us to ‘see’ reality better.

What I find most interesting is that the gym lies (if it is a good gym), to reveal the truth to you (about the world outside the gym).

Each person in the gym has their own history, their own story, if you pause and ‘listen to what they’re not saying.’ Each person’s story is a metaphor for an aspect of the Real World.

The gym, in a sense, and among other things, is allegory. What it gives you (if you’re willing to listen and look and feel) is the real world – indirectly.

Maybe, that is why the gym is appealing to many of gym-goers world over. Maybe, it just allows us ‘let be.’

It allows the world each person is creating within their minds to come into being for themselves and everyone else in the gym … by leaving the real world (outside) well enough alone.

Just for those minutes or hours they are in the gym.

The gym allows each user the ability to create their own worlds in their minds. That is one of the reasons why, I think the gym has been so appealing to me all these years because it is fundamentally, how real life goes.

You see, most people proceed each visit to the gym with ignorance and uncertainty; then they get glimpses of the ‘truth’ – their truth, or moments of understanding. And, if you’re like most people, you rarely (and usually too late) get to ‘see’ the whole version of reality.

The gym is, maybe, the TRUEST REALISM.

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. That’s me on the extreme left.

 The workout.

Every workout is got to be about some part of the body or … I guess, these days, the ‘whole body.’ Every workout has got to be about something at the very least.

It doesn’t take much to do a workout – less still to do a set or just a handful of sets. In terms of action, I mean.

A workout to me is more than just a number of sets or selected exercises performed for a pre-selected number of repetitions. To some, a workout in the gym with traditional weight-training equipment is akin to a meditation hour or so. No, a workout is the pattern of a thing, a living thing – its rhyme and reason. It is what a moment or a memory or silence is about, if that makes any sense.

A workout does not need to be scientific. There are many types of workouts and I have tried and experimented with many over the last three decades.

To me, a workout is the genius of a thing. A workout could comprise just about anything, it may even be nothing. A workout is what you experience to write the story you are writing in the gym.

The Sets

A Set is simply, one tool a gym enthusiast might use to fulfil his goal to achieve a workout, the workout he or she imagines he is going to do. The set is, to some extent, a form of a workout in itself which uses action as its mode, usually in the form of a slight discomfort or pain.

The set intricately and closely connects one exercise to another, usually through a causal chain, ending in a moment of pain and pleasure or what I refer to as ending in a climax.

I have done thousands of sets since I began lifting weights in my late teens almost thirty years ago. To me, a set is a miracle and a mystery. A set is the track from somewhere to somewhere else – the start and the beginning of a mii-project, a small journey.

It carries the performer from silence to understanding, from nothing to something.

A set to a workout is like a river is to a whole catchment. Namely, everything. The part serves the whole; it is what the whole comes down to.

It is the point, the ‘dot.’

Sets alone or sets performed in no particular order mean something to the enthusiast but not much. I find that when I am doing a set, I am telling a part of my story, my life because what I am striving for ultimately is, meaning. And how does meaning arise when you’re doing a set?

It arises when I put the repetitions required to perform each and every set into an order in which I have learned to recognise a pattern of relationship (through the many thousands of sets and workouts I have performed over the last 3 decades).

I then derive meaning.

Over the years, I have learned to recognise relationships between sets and causality. We all have that gift for seeing and attributing meaning patterns – and for storing and repeating them in mind and workouts when recalling. We do this for almost everything in our lives, it is just easier on our brain as the brain relies heavily on autopilot, ultimately to conserve energy.

We humans, make sense of life that way, by learning how things interact, what causes what. The only thing is, like anything else, learning so, takes time.

Climaxing at the end of a set is one kind of pleasure, a lot of time, with pain thrown in to the mix. The completion of the pre-determined number of sets is not the point of the workout.

So, the point of a workout as I see it and story-tell, is in the ‘feeling.’

It is the feeling that allows one to build and soak in the ‘essence of the exercise.’ And how do you get the essence? That involves much, much more than just lifting a weight against gravity and moving the weight from point A to point B.

I will save that ‘find the essence of the exercise’ to another blog.

Providing a little bit of assistance. My pupil here ‘feeling the essence’ of the exercise.
All relationships require work and time .
Sometimes, its the little things, that determine your success in pursuit of a worthwhile goal.

Reps

Reps, is the shortened version of repetition. Part of gym lingo. It is the basic unit of a set and the building blocks of your workout. It is the number and tempo that dictates what kind of set you’re doing and the feeling you get at the end of the set (if you get any at all).

Not every rep is the same, just like not every golf swing is the same, using different clubs for different strokes.

Performing the rep is when you ‘get your hands dirty.’ It is when you feel the blood pumping excitedly through your veins. It is when you sweat. You sweat to earn those muscles. The rep is when you experience what I call a ‘continuous progression of focused moments.’

Some people call this meditation.

Everyone is at varying levels of meditation and are, ideally, working towards improving their meditation ability or what we, bodybuilders refer to ‘mind-muscle’ connection.

This is when you ‘feel the essence’ or what Arnold calls the ‘pump’. It is an elusive thing and not many gym rats get to experience this climaxing moment. It is the holy grail of lifting weights. It is one of the factors that separate real bodybuilders from the gym rats.

So-called self-help gurus have, for decades now, spoken about how one can ‘get in touch with one’s inner-self. Well, I have news for everyone, bodybuilders, real, authentic bodybuilders have been their inner-self for over a hundred years now.

Bodybuilders have a very highly level of understanding of getting in touch with one’s inner-self, because you couldn’t really get any more any ‘in touch’ with yourself then getting in to the individual cell, with vitality-infused blood.

Feel the essence, I say!

Fully focused!
A true warrior & champion. Phil applying principles in one of my programs and adopting my framework.
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 Captain & NSW Waratahs Captain and player in action under my watchful eyes.

Synergy

Sets alone or sets carried out in no particular order could mean success … but very little: Second set, 8 to 12 reps, power on the positive, control on the negative with a 2-1-3 tempo! Oh, I get it. A workout is completed; sense of achievement arise. How does that happen? It happens because the gym enthusiast/bodybuilder puts the sets in an order in which he has learned to recognise a pattern of relationships and so can derive satisfaction and purpose. It happens because of the innate human avidness of the human GIFT for seeing and attributing meaning to patterns – and for storing and repeating them in mind and body and spirit (dare I say, speech).

We humans make sense of our life and in the world we live in by learning how things interact, what causes what. The way every cause has its effect; the way every action has its actor, its object and its consequence. So, most gym rats learn that for every

What I am trying to say is that put a man and woman who like the look of each other in a place together and what you’ll get pretty soon, among other things, is someone doing something; and someone doing it back; and two people doing something together. What you get is ‘synergy’.

Sex; a relationship; perhaps issues. What you get is sets performed – simple, compound, complex and compound-complex, fragments and fractals.

What you get is synergy.

Anyone can ‘lift weights’, but unfortunately, not many can lift weights with synergy. And how do you do you make those reps, those sets perform their alchemy and achieve synergy and purpose.

I have found that one can learn the many different types of training ‘techniques’ and ways of lifting without ever knowing what the essence feels like. Just like you can understand the whole scheme of evolutionary history, without ever knowing why a minah bird moves exactly, and with such intelligence, as it does – why that is necessary and how it came to pass.

Achieving and feeling the essence and flowing with synergy in your workouts is another lively mystery.

A tip: one needs to learn rhythm. This comes after years of deliberate mind-muscle-heart-spirit practise. One of the greatest joys of doing a workout is not just achieving synergy but also making music within.

That is when you get hold of ‘that mystery’ and master that miracle within.

Good repetitions of good sets of good exercises performed well, amongst other variables, performed with synergy and music .. .makes for a good workout.

And the more balanced and elegant one’s sets are, the sounder they are structurally, the better one’s workouts will be.

You approach what I refer to as the ‘state of beauty’ … an enlightened state that brings you closer to balance and symmetry, a state of finite bliss. A state of enhanced balance and symmetry, when done correctly.

Not many gym enthusiasts ever get to that state. That is ok, most don’t. … and most don’t know how to, either.

 

Until next time,

Captain Viking Pirate Vaughn-Van-Valentine (VvV)

Collage of some bodybuilding poses

Collage of members of my gym in action … many, many years ago.

Quality Plan + Quality Implementation allowed Team Valentine (my wife & I) to beat the best in the sport here in Australia and stand on the stage against the best in the World.

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Eating and drinking in excess this Christmas and New Year can help you lose weight – a lot of weight!

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.

Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.

Don’t believe the headline – eating and drinking in excess this Christmas will not help you lose weight!

But I am making a point as to how we can become needlessly fearful (because of all the conflicting views out there) of exercising with weights or eating certain foods or doing just about anything.

Everyone seems to have an ‘opinion’ these days with the proliferation of social media and a lot of these views have insufficient and inappropriate evidence (scientific) to back them up. This applies to almost everything, but especially, weight/fat loss and exercise and eating and drinking, because well, we all do these activities, more or less.

It seems that everyone is suddenly an expert.

Anyone can show how, by selectively citing some scientific research and blowing it all out of context, you can build a case for any argument, including the subject heading that I have used.

If you have a small amount of scientific nous, it is super easy for someone to give an opinion and by selectively citing some scientific research (based on some ridiculously small sample) and blowing it all out of context. You see this quite regularly on mainstream media as the ‘sensationalism’ of these stories sells ratings.

Below is the start of my view on fat loss and body re-engineering …

If you need to lose fat leading up to the festive season and summer (in some parts of the world – like Sydney, Australia) – build muscle. Naturally. Full stop!

There are countless weight-loss programs on the net and every where you go and read. Terrific for increasing awareness. However, fat-loss plans and weight-loss plans that don’t include strength training, fundamentally, rob the body of muscle.

Now, you don’t want to do something that robs the body of muscle because the process of ageing does this anyway. Ageing, is partly, by definition, the deterioration of muscles due to the reduction in protein synthesis.

Weight-training to build muscle ‘off-sets the on-set of ageing’. It is the potion of youth. It keeps people younger, longer. I know, because I have witnessed these people who seem to look and act five, ten, fifteen and twenty years younger.

The common denominator: they build muscle!

I’ve always told everyone I have ever helped over the last two decades that every kilogram of muscle is a fat burning dynamo! Yep, a fat-burning dynamo.

If you compare your body’s metabolism (the rate at which it ‘burns’ calories) to that of an engine of a car, when you build lean body mass (muscle), you increase the engine size and power of your body. Your car engine (metabolism) goes from, say, a 1.8l engine to a 4.0l or even an 8.0l engine over time.

Muscle loss reduces calorie requirements, makes fat loss more difficult, and creates increased obstacles to the maintenance of a lean body, once the excess fat has been lost.

Fundamentally, your ‘life-force’ (or vitality) will be sucked out of you and you will literally feel like cr&p! Every single minute of every single day. Now, why would you or anyone for that matter want to feel like that every single day. I could and still can’t understand why people still do this to themselves. Instead of doing ‘life-affirming’ actions, they instead do ‘life destroying’ actions.

Not smart. Not sustainable.

Put simply, and to sum up – always remember, to help maintain a lean body, build muscle.

It is as simple as that!

However, like some philosopher once said, “the easy things are also the hardest things to do”.

So, don’t think. Do!

If you can dream and imagine a much more improved physical version of you and believe in executing a plan to get you there, by all means go for it!

With 8 x Mr Olympia - "The King", Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle - 300lbs worth of it!

With 8 x Mr Olympia – “The King”, Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle – 300lbs worth of it!

And don’t worry if you have never entered a gym in your life or you haven’t done anything since your late teens or early twenties. It is never too late to start.

Regardless of your age, or how out of condition you may think you are at present, I believe it is never too late to start an exercise program. The power to decide rests in your hands (literally when you start lifting weights in a gym to help the person in the mirror – YOU).

You can transform your fitness and muscle strength at any age, along with your appearance, and health. I believe this is important because from my observations as a coach over the years, when people’s image improves, their performances improves too. Feeling good about yourself is an important part of being a well-balanced human being.

Make that choice – for you or a loved one. Make that choice to help you so that you can enjoy not just a long life but a good quality life by lowering the risks of early on-set of age-related physical and mental diseases. Respect and love the most important person in the world to you – YOU, first.

That way, by default, everyone gets the best of you, too.

You have one life, make the most of it all the best in the choices you make. No one else can make them for you, so choose well.

To assist in the quality of your life right now, consider improving on these:

  1. Eat – well composed, portioned meals, more frequently. If it is green leaf (and not a frog), include it in your meals.
  2. Water – drink adequate levels of water daily. An average adult should aim for 3L per day.
  3. Move – a combination of weight training, cardio and stretching done two to three times per week.
  4. Enjoy yourself – don’t forget to have fun and laugh at least once a day.
  5. Socially engage with your community in person.
  6. Get, learn and apply the basics (of life) right so that YOU can ….

Muscle is precious. Build muscle, then do everything you can possibly to do to preserve what you have. You will thank your lucky and wise stars as you age.

Don’t accelerate the ageing process as age does it for you anyway. Build muscle, as if your life depended on it (and it does). Build muscle as it is your personal preventative insurance against age-related diseases as your life ticks on … tick, tock, tick, tock!

Then, watch your energy, mental state and vitality soar to new heights and ….

Live, really live.

Until next time,

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you. Vv.

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you.
Vv.

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The greatest expression of self-respect.

Say no. Vv.

Say no.
Vv.

The first twenty years of my life was a little more difficult than the second twenty years of my life and it was partly because of one little thing, one little ‘mosquito’.

That little mosquito I am referring to is the inability to say ‘no’. Sometimes, when left to grow, that little “mozzie” (Australian lingo for mosquito) can become huge problems like dengue fever or even the deadly malaria which has been responsible for more deaths than all the deaths caused by wars since the beginning of the world.

The ability to know when to and actually say ‘no’ is, I believe, the greatest expression of self-respect.

It reminds me of what a great wise eighty five year old friend of mine said to me before he died about four years ago, that –

“elephants don’t bite, mosquitoes do.”  Or in other words – Little things matter. So true, indeed.

What about you? Think about your life to this point. Did you suffer from this too? If you still do, you’re not alone because I believe that a large proportion of humans in the world still cannot get this “mosquito problem” under control.

For me, in those first twenty years of my life, not being able to say no sometimes felt akin to a dog chasing its tail, never getting anywhere and not knowing where the start and end of everything was. I strived to please everybody and their requests and was constantly disappointed.

It was hard – very hard. Until one day, I came to the realisation that you cannot please everyone and not everyone will agree with you and that is ok. Increased awareness is one very important step and then taking appropriate and sufficient action, finally leading you to adapting you or your environment or a combination of both.

I had a simple but significant change in philosophy. or the way I saw life and how life operates.

I realised that you don’t owe anything to anyone in life except one thing: love. And, contrary to what some believe, sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to say no to someone else’s request or simply saying no to an internal request – a want you need to immediately gratify. Self-control from or delayed satisfaction for oneself with regards to wants, is the greatest expression of self-respect you can give yourself.

An indication that you genuinely love the person who see looking back at you when you look at yourself in the mirror – you!

It is quite interesting but that is one of the most underrated traits in this world – simply, the power and strength to say ‘no’.

Saying 'no' to the maxim "No pain, no gain" could be one of the best things you can do for your joints and longevity in the gym. Choose your exercise and exercise execution wisely. More is not necessarily better. Vv.

Saying ‘no’ to the maxim “No pain, no gain” could be one of the best things you can do for your joints and longevity in the gym.
Choose your exercise and exercise execution wisely.
More is not necessarily better.
Vv.

The power to say no is empowering. The power to say no is so great, I have literally seen it make the impossible – possible in the lives of many people I have helped. The power to say no allows individuals to create their own miracles, to release the champion that rests dormant within them.

I have witnessed it, it is amazing – the power to say no is a miracle waiting to happen! You don’t have to climb Mount Everest to feel on top of the world. No, the feeling you get when you say no is even better, more profound, because each and every uttering of no, builds your ability climb all the internal mountain climbs you face in your life.

Mountains you will get to the top of. If I remember correctly I think it was Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest that put it:

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

This is something that I request from and re-enforce with everyone that I have helped over the years. The ability to summon courage to start saying ‘no’ again within their re-engineering programs. I encourage each of them to say no to some of the excesses of life that they may have been used to experiencing to that point in their lives. I encourage them to say no to excuses.

I know it seems counter-intuitive to deprive yourself of what you desire to get what you ultimately desire but it is vitally important to achieving goals you place a high priority on. Even a little no with conviction is far better than a lame, weak ‘yes’. It takes a lot of courage to say no.

“Saying no to help you, help yourself, get what you care about, to get what you want!” is what I say to my students.

Saying no to self-limiting beliefs, thought patterns, words, actions, habits and character traits that are not aligned with their ultimate goal of how they ‘imagine themselves to be’ in the mirror. This is where the real struggles of real people in everyday living rests. This is where true grit is required. This is where you climb the many mountains towards success.

Why? Because it is often a whole lot easier not to do the simple things, the simple things – the little mozzies – like saying no! Just like many other mozzies in life, the little things that are important to do are also easy not to do, so a lot of people don’t do them for whatever reasons or fears.

Saying no empowers you to successfully climb the internal obstacles, the internal self-created mountains and get to the ‘other side’. This is not a genetic trait, nor one of talent. This is just sheer grit!

To overcome temptation, to say no to habits that you have indulged in for a big chunk of your life is a true sign of self-respect. Saying no allows you to use your 86,400 seconds in a day more productively and manage your energy better.

Like I said, I believe, the ‘no’ answer is perhaps the greatest expression of self-respect and ultimate representation of human dignity there is.  Your attitude is key to your destiny in life as it determines the actions you take (good or bad) . Ultimately, this all flows from you philosophy once again. What is the opposite of self-respect? Well, choosing to live a life of insignificance.

So, be brave and summon the courage that rests within you and proudly announce to the world ‘no!’ No to things, people and activities that do not help align you towards you being your best. No to things, people and activities that bring you down rather than elevate you. No to the naysayers.

If there is one very important habit that you can do for yourself is this little habit of saying no again. Don’t be afraid. Just do it! Remember, knowing what to do isn’t the same as doing it.

Say NO. Release the champion within you!

Start loving yourself a little more each time you say no. Don’t just live your life, consider living your life with the greatest expression of self-respect and say no.

To be alive and live is a gift so, consider living your life with the highest expression of human dignity there is and say no, when appropriate and relevant. Being able to say no without regret also allows you to say yes with confidence. Yes, what you do matters, but I think what you think and say to yourself matters too – I believe, even more so.

Think about it: what I have been speaking about comes full circle – what you think determines the source of attitudes, which is your philosophy.

As the great thinker Aristotle said –

 “Where we are free to act,

We are also free to refrain from acting,

And where we are able to say No,

We are also able to say yes.”

All the very best to you in your life choices. Remember, if you want to change what’s happening in your life, change your philosophy or how you see things. It is not some huge task but simply comes down to – you guessed it – small (mozzie) steps.

Little steps, compounded over time, do make a difference. this is real magic. That the little things you do every single day – the little things that don’t look dramatic, that don’t even look like they matter – DO MATTER!

Little things (like saying no) matters.

Dream. Decide. Do.

 

Until next time,

Side triceps pose. Contest: Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles. Placing: 2nd. Saying "no" has allowed me to choose exercises wisely and understand that quality training is more important than quantity when it comes to getting quality results.

Side triceps pose.
Contest: Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles.
Placing: 2nd.
Saying “no” has allowed me to choose actions which in turn became habits that allowed me to build one of the best natural physiques in the world.

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Resolve.

Assisting Phil achieve something he desores and cares about. Vv.

Assisting Phil achieve something he desires and cares about.
Vv.

What do you think about most of the time? Every day.

What is your answer to this question? The great motivational thinker and speaker – Earl Nightingale said that –

“we become what we think about most of the time.”

What do you think, is there an element of truth in that statement? Well, what do you think about, most of the time?

If you don’t have an answer to that question, that’s ok, it probably changes every day. What’s important is not that you have an answer, no, what’s important is that you RESOLVE to desire and seek solutions by asking the right questions.

What is important as far as your success is concerned is that you have the desire to want change for the better. To resolve is the first step towards the successful achievement of any worthwhile goal.

You need insatiable desire to win and genuinely be unsatisfied with the status quo. You need to have courage to keep those desires burning and keep fanning those flames, despite the many failures you have had in the past. You need to keep thinking those thoughts that will get you there, every step of the way. This applies to all areas of life.

Your desire, your window to your soul should yell out to the world that you want something special for you – in spite of your past failures. In spite of your blood line or home life. You simply need the desire to win! Better still, if you could … travel into the future, what would your legacy look like? The quality of life in your family tree for generations to come will hinge on the choices you make with your family today.

This is why I have always believed that one man/woman can make a difference. A difference that will be magnified over time.

Striving towards the best version of you is a very worthwhile goal. Desire. Seek. Get. Vv.

Striving towards the best version of you is a very worthwhile goal.
Desire. Seek. Get.
Vv.

I hate to use the word ‘motivation’ because it is one of the most mis-used terms in the modern language. It is over-franchised, exaggerated, over-promoted and greatly mis-understood. People have asked me countless times over the years how I motivate people that I help.

I usually reply by saying that I don’t do that – that I don’t motivate people. The motivation comes from with each person. I just provide a vehicle (my unique framework to body re-engineering) to help them achieve their goals more efficiently, effectively and safely.

You see, everything you do (which stem from the thoughts you have), everything we all do, whether positive or negative, intentional or unintentional is the direct result of motivation. So, you need to be careful what you think, every day.

Motivation comes from ‘within’. It is a force, a burst of energy that moves us to action and is not external, it springs from inside you.

You need to summon great motivation to keep on your path, despite past failures, doubts and naysayers. Remember, history is littered with many greats that turned past failures in to successes, for example, the great Winston Churchill was a very poor student but look at what a great leader and speaker of men he became.

Psychology tells us that you can only really be motivated by two things:

  • Desire
  • Fear

They are poles apart. The first is positive and the second is negative and lead to opposite destinies as fear looks at life through the prism of the past and desire looks to the future.

Viewing life through the lens of desire, you are less likely to look at risks as restrictive. You will see risk as opportunity and will not fear the penalty of failure. This is because your dominant thought, the thoughts you think about mostly, is to be better and you desire better.

To win.

I’ve always believed fear should never be used as a reason for quitting; it is only an excuse! Most importantly, from my experience and from my observations of other people’s experiences, you should never be afraid, to be afraid.

Experience the emotion (being afraid), summon the courage and do what you are supposed to do anyway, that will help you realise your desire, your goal.

Another thing I have learned is that if you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. The opportunity may slip from under your nose – seize it while you can. Mountains may never be climbed, seas un-chartered nor happiness ever achieved if you waited for everything to be ‘just right’.

Ultimately, when the going gets tough…. The tough gets going as the saying goes. Never quit on life but most importantly, challenge yourself and strive to ‘win over yourself’ when the going gets tough. Like I sometimes remind my clients – “when it gets harder, you get tougher!”

Side Triceps.

Side Triceps.

Please don’t confuse what I am talking about with the seemingly insatiable desire in many parts of modern society that seem to associate drive, motivation and initiative only with materialism and materialistic power and gain. No, far from it.

What I am talking about is simply ‘personal achievement’ and the honest pursuit of individual excellence. This desire comes with the help from above, from God. My family includes in our daily prayer, the request to God to help us, help ourselves be the best we can individually be – for ourselves, first, and then for everyone else.

Putting aside any thought of material gain for a second, there is a certain pure personal pleasure that only comes with achieving the difficult. To do this, history has shown us that all winners have a very high level of motivation. Just like any other skill, this is something that can be learned and made in to habit, with effort.

So, eliminate doubt. Success is not reserved only for the talented. Talent is over-rated. Don’t think success is only reserved for those with high I.Q or for the rich and famous. It is not even in the best equipment, not even in ability.

Ultimately, success comes down to you and your thoughts and what you think about every day. You become what you think about mostly, as Earl Nightingale said many, many years ago.

You have one life and you have one important choice – to build your life around desire rather than fear. So, choose well, my friend. Like I alluded to earlier, out of desire comes the most important driver and that is ‘energy’. This to me, is part of my overall philosophy of life and that is Life is about energy management. The extra energy to make an extra effort, to ‘go the extra mile’ is a vital key to success.

It is through the increased energy for your desire that you keep the drive and motivation, focus and persistence. It is through the extra energy that you develop ‘grit’.

You find that energy by looking within with God’s help or your spiritual side, not without.

So, there is no time to waste, make haste and make big plans, not little ones. There is magic in your thinking. In particular, there is magic in thinking big.

From me to you – Mr/Ms/Mrs Big, RESOLVE to re-align your daily thoughts towards your desires, not fears and ….. THINK BIG!

All the best in your journey through your life.

Until next time,

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships. Side Chest pose. Placing: 4th.

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships. Dreaming big and thinking big helped me twice represent Australia against the best natural bodybuilders in the world at that time.
Side Chest pose.
Placing: 4th.

back double biceps In the thick of competition. Placing: 2nd Asia-Pacific Championships.

back double biceps
In the thick of competition.
Placing: 2nd Asia-Pacific Championships.

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balance, balance sheets, Energy, spirit, spiritual balance sheet, spirituality

Balance Sheets should balance.

Body-building, like LIFE, is about balance and symmetry (harmony).  All the muscles need to flow and you 'paint a picture of the 'flow of muscle' when you're on stage.  Building muscle is hard but not s hard as attaining balance and symmetry.

Body-building, like LIFE, is about balance and symmetry (harmony).
All the muscles need to flow and you ‘paint a picture of the ‘flow of muscle’ when you’re on stage.
Building muscle is hard but not as hard as attaining balance and symmetry.

I have had some experience with balance sheets, my first university degree was in Business. I also spent a number of years working for large multi-national corporations advising and consulting towards best practises.

If there is one thing I know very well with balance sheets, it’s that balance sheets should balance. Right? The right side must equal the left. Debits and credits should balance.

We constantly read and see in the daily news large corporations going ‘bust’ or even countries in recent times, sometimes not just Third World countries. Big banks who loaned out monies to help finance these businesses or countries have to suddenly ‘write-off’ millions and millions of dollars for debts gone bad. They would have likely set a provision for bad debtors in their balance sheet in the likelihood of debts not being recovered.

When a bank does this, it is known in accounting as good practise and in compliance with accounting standards. The lenders are said to be prudent.

I have always wondered what it would be like if this approach should also be applied to us individuals, in every area of our lives. I mean if some person has done you harm, must we retaliate with the same or worse force? Or should we set aside a provision (like doubtful debts in the balance sheet) for such actions to be ‘written-off’ against and forgiven?

There are many examples over the last two decades at the least, of companies demonstrating how accounting can be more of a creative art than a science.

Balance sheets should balance like a great body-builders physique should be balanced and harmonious (symmetrical).

On stage painting a picture for the audience of the 'flow of muscle'

On stage painting a picture for the audience of the ‘flow of muscle’

As a Christian I was told in my early years of religious teachings that I will be held accountable for all my actions (sins and good) before entering the kingdom of heaven. This was my first introduction to balance sheets.

It seems that most if not all religions have similar teachings about each individual’s accountability at the end of his or her life. I have always thought that if this were the case and that most of us believe it so, then maybe, it would be a good idea to stop, reflect on past transactions (like a good Accountant), and draw up a ‘personal balance sheet’.

A personal balance sheet, maybe say, quarterly. An interim set of accounts for YOU. Drawn up from a trial balance consisting of what you have ‘taken’ on one side and ‘what you have ‘given’ back to life. A chance to review past transactions (behavioural patterns) to help predict the future. Each side of the trial balance should balance, after all …

.. balance sheets should balance.

You will find that there are some amongst us that just take and keep taking, with very little to give. I’m not talking about money here, even though this could also be considered in this point. I’m referring specifically to a person’s spiritual balance sheet. Your spiritual net worth, when you are held accountable at the gates of the after-life (whatever religion you follow).

Have you considered this?

What if God came through and acted like the large banks, with proper accounting practises of ‘writing off’ bad debts? What if your spiritual net worth was in the negative (in accounting terms)? Should you be collapsed like business gone bankrupt without any chance to continue? Should your life end, right there?

Should the receivers be called in? Or do you think you should be given some ‘slack’ because you hope to get better and can expect to get in spiritual surplus in the next accounting period? I know I prefer the latter. I’m sure we all do. Aren’t we all fortunate that we have such a God?

It nice to know that that is how God operates, isn’t it? Your sins (and mine) and all the bad debts(deeds) will be forgiven. Forgiven but not forgotten. He sent his only begotten son to live and die amongst us so that all sins may be forgiven, for all of time (this is our provision for doubtful debts taken care of).

This is prudent spiritual banking but very smart banking, I think.

Abdominal/thigh pose with the top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the world in 2007.

Abdominal/thigh pose with the top 2 Natural Bodybuilders in the world in 2007. “Balance” and symmetry is a big part of a top bodybuilder’s winning physique.

So, I’ll ask again, what is your balance sheet, your spiritual balance sheet?

Do an interim set of your spiritual balance sheet to assess how you’re going. It may just help you lower the risk of sinking to a spiritual net worth deficit. Not a good place to be. If you’re in this predicament, seek ways to start ‘giving back’ to life to balance off what you have ‘taken’. Seek balance in your life, spiritual balance.

Balance your spiritual balance sheet and watch how more balanced life will love you back. Spirit, after all equates with or equals LIFE. Specifically quality of life. When you lose your spiritual balance, you lose or lack those qualities we all refer to as spiritual. You become devoid of humanity, love and self-respect. At the worst, you may become selfish or even violent.

So, don’t leave it until it’s too late. Do an interim spiritual balance sheet TODAY. I believe if you do so, it will help you align YOU with life better, with the life’s energy.

Work towards your spiritual net worth surplus.

All the best in your spiritual journey.

Until next time,

Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging.  Progress, any form of progress is a motivating factor. So, don't strive for perfection, instead seek progress ... towards your ideal SELF. Vv

Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging.
Progress, any form of progress – especially spiritual, is a motivating factor.
So, don’t strive for perfection, instead seek progress … towards your ideal SELF.
Vv

Seek spiritual balance. It will align you with life's energy better.  It will help you get internal/external balance. Vv.

Seek spiritual balance. It will align you with life’s energy better.
It will help you get internal/external balance.
Vv.

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adequate sleep, Energy, life, sleep

Sleeping – there’s just no escaping it.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder. Plan the work - to work the plan. Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby - Phil Waugh.  Ex-Australian Wallaby &  Waratahs Captain. A living legend of the sport of rugby.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder.
Plan the work – to work the plan.
Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.
Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain. A living legend of the sport of rugby.

A large part of most our lives is sleeping.

If you sleep eight hours a day and live to sixty, you would have slept 20 years of your life away. Wow, it’s quite sobering when you view it this way, isn’t it? I’ve always believed that each of us should sleep the right amount – adequate: nothing more, nothing less. Just adequate amounts of sleep. But how do you know what is ‘adequate’? What is ‘right’ for you? How many hours do you sleep every day – this does not include the hours you lay in bed playing with your phone or reading or ..?

It is a personal thing, a personal habit after-all.

In this era of ever-increasing distractions through the advancing technologies, people are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘switch-off’ and enjoy a restful, uninterrupted sleep. We all do it every day but a vast number of people have forgotten how to ‘have a good night’s sleep’.

People are really struggling to adopt and implement good sleeping habits and most are not sure of how to get them too. Very sad and very dangerous, indeed. When you lose control of one of our most basic needs – sleep, you increase your overall ‘life risk’.

But why? Why are more people having poorer sleeping habits?

Feeling the 'essence!' Practise does not make perfect. PERFECT PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT.

Feeling the ‘essence!’
Practise does not make perfect. PERFECT PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT.

There are many contributing factors, yes. There is no escaping it: sleeping is a ‘mini-death sentence’ we all have to regularly serve. Ideally, every single day. If this true then I would have thought that more people would be learning and investigating the best ways to get good sleeping habits. I mean, the average person would sleep 1/3 of their day away, it makes good sense to learn and implementing good habits, wouldn’t it?

The good news is it’s never too late to learn or re-learn.

You would probably have your own unique way of ‘falling asleep’. Well and good. Some of you (like me), could just transport your mind back to your early child-hood and imagine the way you fell asleep most nights. For me, I re-live the lovely, caressing hands of my grandmother massaging my body all over whilst humming a traditional song. It has NEVER FAILED ME. I fall asleep ALL THE TIME!

Don’t underestimate the importance of adequate levels of sleep in your daily life. The body, mind, heart and spirit all need ‘time-out’ and recovery time (for those of you who use weights to train, sleep/rest is vital to maximising muscle recovery and growth) to function optimally. Time-out to encourage longevity. Time-out to enhance your vitality. Time-out to allow you to be AT YOUR BEST. Time-out to evolve, to grow to adapt. Time-out to love – you, your loved ones and life. Time-out to generate zest in your life!

We all need time-out. We all need sleep and good rest.

It seems that there is an inverse relationship with increasing technology people’s abilities to sleep. Yes, to simply sleep! It’s not that simple anymore for a lot of people. Maybe, you? Whilst a lot of modernites are moving in to a ‘minimalist’ age, there still seems to be a struggle with this one habit: learning HOW TO SLEEP WELL. What used to be simple has been made complex!

Loading the 'guns' with proper execution.

Loading the ‘guns’ with proper execution.

And whose fault is it? Partly yours, partly mine, partly everybody’s. We all consume these products and we need to embrace it – yes. However, it seems that the more accessible people are to advancing and new technologies, the less able they are in managing their habits of good sleeping. Matter of fact, many people are applying bad habits of sleeping. Most are struggling to just sleep!

“What is the answer here?” you may be thinking. Well, I think, just like any other source of energy, you must become a better manager of the energy, the tool. You are in control, don’t let it control you. This can be more difficult than it sounds for a lot of people though as advancing technology also means that ‘personal/family time’ is now being invaded by employers. You’re working even when you’re ‘not at work (physically).

That is the life now. That’s just how it is. If that is the path you choose, then that is one of the drawbacks to the increasing use of advancing technologies: an uninvited, invasion of personal time/life (which may include ‘sleeping time’ too). Remember, I did say that it’s a choice: It’s YOUR CHOICE. It’s YOUR LIFE, after-all.

_O7A0283_C_small

So, if you’re not getting adequate sleep or ‘time-out’, please do yourself (and your family) a favour and seek help. Seek help from the relevant professionals and services available today that may help you with the various sleeping dis-orders that millions of people suffer from every single day. Not seeking help before it is too late could be very costly to you and everyone that depends on you being alive.

The killer is: the compounding effect of continuous less than adequate sleep over weeks, months, years.

Life is not just about living longer, it is also about pumping life (vitality) in to the years you have left. One very important habit that ADDS VALUE to your life is sleep, adequate sleep. You can ‘pump life back in to you’ by getting consistent adequate levels of sleep. It’s not the quantity of hours that matter, it is the quality of your sleep.

So, if you have increased disruptions in your sleep due to say, insomnia – seek help. Not next year, today. The disastrous result of the compound effect of continuously being sleep deprived can strike at any time. Without warning. Boom!

All the very best in your decision regarding the adoption of good sleeping habits, in the time you have left on this planet.

Choose well.

Until next time,

Another view of the "front-double biceps' pose.

Another view of the “front-double biceps’ pose.

~~Life COACH~~

~~Life COACH~~

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awareness, belief systems, Beliefs, Energy, life, you

Do you believe in miracles?

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder. Plan the work - to work the plan. Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby - Phil Waugh.  Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain. A living legend of sport.

A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder.
Plan the work – to work the plan.
Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.
Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain. A living legend of sport.

So, do you believe in miracles or not?

I shared with you a story about my near-death experience in an earlier blog “I.Am.Nothing” and I mentioned that I would share with you the second story of the point I was trying to emphasise in that blog. The point being: that we are not alone, that ‘I am” does not exist …. That we are all outlying ‘balls of consciousnesses all connected (to various degrees and intensities) to the greater consciousness. This higher energy field. This Higher Force. This Universal Consciousness. Let’s just refer to it as: the Universe.

Let’s begin with a little hypothesis: We are ALL – ONE!

Well, that same friend I introduced in “I.Am.Nothing.” that asked me that loaded question regarding his realization that “I am” was not what it seemed was also part of this next story. What transpired reinforced my belief that I was and am part of something ‘bigger than me. That ‘me’ – this physical self that I know as ‘me’ was not really the ‘true me’.

It happened a few years after that ‘near-death experience’ I described in “I.Am.Nothing”. I asked the question of whether you believed in miracles. Well, do you? Or do you think that meaning links mind and matter like two sides of the same coin? That what we interpret as a ‘miracle’ is really just an example of the limits of our perception.

What I am about to share with you, some may consider a “miracle’. You decide …

Now, I told you that I have always loved mathematics and still do. I love the power of reasoning that you develop as you delve more and more in to it. Mathematics explains life (but I will go more into this in later blogs) but also helps you become a better student of life.

I remember being fascinated with mathematics all the way from kindergarten, through Primary and Secondary School. This love for it showed in my excellent placings in examinations throughout school years (I placed in the Top 2/3 of most of my subjects and in particular – Mathematics).

I loved it so much that I majored in Mathematics along with Physics in my first years at University. This friend of mine (who lives only 5 minutes from me today) was also doing a similar undergraduate degree as I was. He is a pretty good mathematician too.

This story is about an exam I took in my 2nd year at University. It was an advanced Calculus/Algebra mathematics examination. A 3 hour exam at the end of a semester. My friend did this same exam too. A pretty difficult, high pressured exam.

I am sharing you this because I believe what transpired reinforced my belief that we are not alone. That reality as we ‘see’ it is not what it seems. That we are all a walking, talking, sleeping, eating, sh%tting … “balls of energy/consciousness”.

Up until now, I have only shared this story with my wife, close friends and some family members.

In retrospect, two weeks before the exam date, I had a strange feeling come over me. I felt quite different. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I remember I didn’t feel like ‘hanging out’ with my mates or anyone else for that matter. I just seemed to be very focused.

I seemed to have an increased awareness of everything – internally and externally. I had a part-time job as an aerobics/body pump instructor and ran an aquarobics business at the University pool. Apart from this and my workouts, I seemed to have had an increased and somewhat overwhelming passion and love for mathematics in the two weeks leading up to the exam.

Like I said, I felt quite different. It was a strange feeling. It felt very weird. Something, an energy, a sense of vitality that I hadn’t felt since that moment in the car 2 years before that.

This was 20 years ago.

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Champion Captain & Leader - Phil Waugh. Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework. A champion such as Phil is celebrated because we recognize that he has overcome personal ambition through sacrifice and dedication to higher principles - higher standards. Great leaders & sportsmen and women like Phil, can awaken awareness of the principle of higher standards that rests within the heart of every man and woman. Awaken yours today!

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Champion Captain & Leader – Phil Waugh.
Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework.
Champions such as Phil are celebrated because we recognize that they have overcome personal ambition through sacrifice and dedication to higher principles – higher standards.
Great leaders & sportsmen and women like Phil, can awaken awareness of the principle of higher standards that rests within the heart of every man and woman.
Awaken yours today!

I don’t remember sitting the 3 hour high-level mathematics exam. I cannot recall anything that transpired during that exam and to some extent leading up to it. I remember how I felt though, I felt an amazing sense of euphoria and an almost fearless sense of intense awareness. There was a confidence level that was beauty personified. I felt this same thing about 11 years later when I represented Australia at the World Natural Bodybuilding Championships in New York.

A feeling of ‘one-ness’ with the universe. Being in what seemed to be in ‘perfect balance & symmetry’ or in perfect balance in internal/external harmony. It was almost like floating along on the notes of music. In perfect harmony. I seemed to have a condition of infinite power, compassion, gentleness and love.

But I do remember what happened after, very clearly.

At that time, the internet was still young. Exam results would get posted on the faculty notice boards – with the course name, student i.d number and marks awarded. When it was released, I was playing a game of tennis in the mid-day sun. As usual, I had my shirt off (thinking that I would get a sun-tan while I played: killing two birds with one stone, so to speak).

On this particular day, I noticed that groups of students were gathering around and peering through the fence that surrounded the tennis courts. They appeared to be watching my game. Initially, I thought that they were actually watching our game with interest but then more students gathered and now I caught some of them talking to each other and pointing fingers at me.

I didn’t know what to think. A lot of thoughts crossed my mind. I couldn’t believe me and my opponent (who was a top University tennis player) were attracting this growing number of on-lookers. This had never happened before.

I thought that they may have been watching my opponent because of his standing in the tennis fraternity at the University but then he said that they were watching ‘me’.

“Watching me?” I thought. Wow! But, I was only a casual B grade player at best. I wasn’t anything special in tennis, I just enjoy all sports and used it as a form of cardio. Then, I thought that maybe they were admiring my physique and muscles (that I had been working very hard in the gym for). So, I started striking a few ‘body-building’ poses after every point won or lost. Alright girls, here is my ‘front double biceps’! I thought. It didn’t make sense though, the crowd were now clapping for me whether I won or lost the point.

Finally, I walked up to a girl I knew. As I approached her, I noticed a few other faces that I recognised in the large lecture theatre that we had our mathematics lectures in. What was happening, I thought?

I said hi to the girl–friend I knew and asked her what she was doing here watching and why was she and everyone else clapping for me. She then asked me if I had seen the examination results. I said, no. She then smiled and asked me for my i.d number and then said that I had the highest mark. Well, I wasn’t too surprised because I had had first place finishes many times throughout my Primary and Secondary school exams. It wasn’t very new to me.

Then, she said – “No, Paul, you didn’t just get the highest, you got FULL MARKS. You got One hundred per cent!”

Now, I was flabbergasted and shocked with this piece of news. In a 3 hour major calculus/algebra university exam, I got a PERFECT score. Not, 98%, not 99%, not 99.9% …. No, but 100%!

I had to go and see it to believe it.

Helping Chris close the gap between how he imagines himself to be and what he sees in the mirror. Or in other words: Manifesting the 'unfolding universe' of his 'enfolded' invisible universe (what he imagines/dreams)

Helping Chris close the gap between how he imagines himself to be and what he sees in the mirror.
Or in other words: Manifesting the ‘unfolding universe’ of his ‘enfolded’ invisible universe (what he imagines/dreams)

People who I didn’t know, were coming up to me to congratulate me on this achievement. Even the eventual Mathematics Gold Medallist came up to me to shake my hand and ask me how l did it. He only managed 92% and he got the second highest. It was so difficult that less than 20 people (my good friend had 82% and was one of these) out of the hundreds of candidates had greater than 80% (A grade). I told him I didn’t know how.

We were given back our marked exam papers in the lecture theatre. When they called out my name, I received even more applause. The lecturer said that in the history of the University and the history of the mathematics examination and faculty, nothing like this had ever happened. No one had ever got FULL MARKS. No one had got a PERFECT SCORE! But …

I DID. I mean, think about it … I didn’t even have a comma or a derivative mark wrong. It was the perfect exam paper.

If anyone asked me how I did it, even today, I still don’t know how. I honestly DO NOT KNOW HOW I DID IT. I do know, however, that I wasn’t myself in the two weeks leading up to the exam but was heightened during that particular 3 hours (whatever I was feeling ‘peaked’ at this point).

I know one thing: I wasn’t myself, I wasn’t ‘me’ as I knew it. “Me” was part of something greater.

I strongly believe today, that it wasn’t ‘me’ sitting that exam. I believe that I tapped in to consciousness and consciousness ‘worked through me’ to sit the perfect exam. It seemed that I knew the perfect answer to any mathematics question relating to that course. That is the only way I can explain it.

This was another example of when ‘me’ was not ‘me’.

What happened was a mathematical miracle at that time (and still has not been repeated since – a record that may stand the test of time). Like an Olympic record that has never been broken in decades. It was, as some may refer to it – an anomaly.

I won’t take credit for my performance in that exam. It was not ‘me’. I believe I was just a medium through which consciousness transmuted through. It is another story of when my ‘self’ was part of a larger Universal – SELF.

I was truly ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE.

I believe it comes in certain bursts. It is available to all of us. An avenue through heightened sense of awareness and enlightenment. I believe each individual has the potential to allow the transmutation of that energy via the energy-field that is all around us.

Each person just needs to prepare their SELF to facilitate this connection with the Universal Consciousness. Each individual need to develop their recognition tools/mechanism.

When you do, I believe you tap in to great ideas, great innovation, great creativity (that is already there in your subconscious).

You tap in to infinite intelligence.

Tap in to yours today and allow infinite intelligence ‘flow’ through you.

Whether you believe in miracles or not, try to comprehend that the unfolded universe is merely a physical manifestation of the ‘enfolded’ universe within YOU. If you accept that everything is connected with everything else, then, there’s no such thing as an “accident”. Nothing is ‘outside’ the universe. There is no such thing as a ‘miracle’. It is just a limitation of your perception of reality.

So, if everything is connected, it follows that you should watch your thoughts. Be fully aware of your beliefs. Why? Because the critical point in any complex system is that which the least power is required to alter the whole system, for example, a single move of a pawn on the chessboard completely changes the possibilities of the game. 

Every detail of your beliefs and your belief system that you hold has consequences for better or for worse in the unfolded universe – in your reality. Work on changing your beliefs if they are not serving you as they did in the past. What served you when you were a child may not serve you now. Let those beliefs go. Be courageous to ‘let go’.

Work towards becoming more aware of the ‘real YOU’ in you and try keeping this formula in mind:

Do what you like to do best, and do it to the very best of your ability. You may just create something in the physical realm that may be referred to as a miracle…. but hopefully after reading this, you’re now questioning that thought pattern.

 

Until next time,

Manifesting the 'unfolding universe' in reality from the unfolded universe (invisible/imaginary). What's required to achieve "Peak Performance"?: the capacity to exhaustively utilize necessary experience combined with perseverance, courage, concentration, enormous drive and absolute integrity. TALENT ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH! Everyone needs a little helping hand (or two) in the successful achievement of a worthwhile goal. VV

Manifesting the ‘unfolding universe’ in reality from the unfolded universe (invisible/imaginary).
What’s required to achieve “Peak Performance”?: the capacity to exhaustively utilize necessary experience combined with perseverance, courage, concentration, enormous drive and absolute integrity. TALENT ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH!
Everyone needs a little helping hand (or two) in the successful achievement of a worthwhile goal. VV

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