God does not give individual gifts 🎁 to frustrate a marriage. No. God gives us unique gifts to ENHANCE the marriage. God does not lead two people into a marriage to see “sparks fly”, pulling a husband & wife in opposite directions.
No… God, leads them into marriage to blend and maximise their strengths, their usefulness.
Whenever this happens in my relationship with my wife, I pray to God for his help…. To give me the strength, courage & wisdom to make good decisions.
This is where our faith in God helps us during turbulent times in the marriage. There are many forces (internal and external) that work hard to tear a marriage apart.
If you believe in your marriage & what it represents is important to you, ask for God’s guidance and work hard to keep your marriage .
Over the years I have listened to many individuals. Listened to their stories.
Over the years I think I have had in excess of twenty thousand conversations with people of all ages. From teens to ninety-year olds.
Over the years I have had many coaching conversations. In these coaching conversations, I have helped increase individuals awareness of how their perception of events in their lives either propel them forward or hold them back.
I have listened to others and the way in which the stories they tell ourselves have the power to hold us back or propel us forward.
As an example …
The bottom line is that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if my hearing hadn’t been terrible when I was young. Neither would you.
This is why taking the time to properly frame our narratives and the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves can be so critical.
The first turns your past into an anchor, while the second turns it into the wind that fills your sails and keeps you moving forward.
Is there some piece of your story, personal or professional, that you’ve been able to reframe in a way that moves you forward, instead of holding you back?
Wonderful question for all to ponder. I’m one of the most self-aware person you will ever meet, but that is nothing new to me as I have been this way since I was a kid (from the adults who knew me in my youth).
Cowboy 🤠 House.
Here’s one I’d like to share – I was raised by my grandparents as my biological Dad died when I was 4 years old, trying to save a person from downing … and was overpowered by the victim and drowning with that person). My biological mother was only 16 and had a choice to have an abortion but I thank her and God that she didn’t.
Her decision to give me life has allowed me to not only live but to do what I do – predominantly, helped people, help themselves building their bridges from where they are to where they desire to be over the last 3 decades.
Anyways, I grew up in a large extended family – grandparents, grand uncles and aunties, uncles, aunties, cousins and siblings and … visitors and extended family visiting.
My home was always full and was always noisy. Our neighbours used to call our home – the “Cowboy House”.
We didn’t have much of anything – food (there were no less than 10 people to feed every single day … and I do not know how my grandparents managed to do this), didn’t have much material possessions (my grandmother used to sew my school uniforms) … but the home certainly had a lot of love.
There was a lot of storytelling and sitting around talking almost every night. It was just part of the home … part of the culture.
Because there was so much noise, most kids would not be able to concentrate/focus. But, I told myself way back in early Primary School that I will teach myself to study/do school work/read in … noise.
My teachers couldn’t understand how a kid (me) could get Top Academic Results every year.
Most kids/people need peace and quiet to FOCUS, so we are told. “How does Paul do it?” I would over hear some teachers say. In my adult life, I have continued to learn/read/focus in any environment, no matter how noisy or ridiculous is.
Focus on what you can control
I remember my grandfather telling me many things (he was a very wise man) … saying something to the effect –
“Paul, focus on what you can control … and do the best with what you’ve got … don’t be part of the problem, always be part of the solution”.
I’ve always applied that in my life, not focusing on insufficient resources and constraints .,. But on HOW I can do better with what I have. That philosophy along with many others, has helped me create the life I’ve always imagined and realise short-term and long-term goals.
Growing up in an family environment that had very limited resources (except for love … the home was always infused with LOVE), has allowed me to almost always have an overall attitude of personal optimism and enthusiasm.
I completely understand the psychosomatic relationship – psyche and soma – mind and body … better than most (hence sculpting a Physique worthy of representing Australia at 2 x World Natural Physique Championships and placing in the Top 5 in consecutive years).
I am fully aware of how the body is the physical manifestation of the mind or in other words, the body expresses what the mind is concerned with. I’m a strong believer that life is many things … and one of which is that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy…. That you usually get what you expect.
My ‘tough’ upbringing has allowed me to develop a healthy self-expectancy and eliminated all forms of excuse from my vocabulary as … I expect to win, almost all the time. I have no doubt the so-called ‘luck’ is the intersection of preparation and awareness.
Life … a very real game but not a gamble.
I look at life as a very real game .. but not a gamble.
Part of what I have done over the last 3 decades is help people, help themselves build their bridges. I have learned and taught many things. It seems that every individual tends to receive what he or she expects in the long run.
From my experience and deducing from other people’s experiences in my life so far … it would appear that you may or may not get what is coming to you, or you may or may not get what you deserve – BUT YOU WILL nearly always get what you expect.
As someone who has mastered the art of body re-engineering (building muscle and reducing body fat to < 4%), believe me when I say, there is an intricately close connection between your mind and body … a negative thought can cause your ‘look’ (that you get judged on) to go from excellent (Top 5 and finalist) to awful.
I’ve learned and mastered much of the ‘mind-body-heart-soul’ interface connections and one important one is this – mental obsessions have physical manifestations. Basically, you BECOME WHAT YOU FEAR – you get what you expect – you are that which you expect to be!
Here’s the thing – since all individuals are responsible for their own actions and cause their own effects, optimism then, is a choice.
Choose well, my adult friends.
Optimism, Enthusiasm, Faith & Hope.
What is needed is : continual fueling of – OPTIMISM, ENTHUSIASM, FAITH & HOPE.
Each is a synonym for – having a HEALTHY SELF-EXPECTANCY.
So, my question to you (if you’ve made it this far) is –
1. Do you have a healthy self-expectancy about things in your life?
2. Do you expect the best for you – in life and as a way of life?
3. Do you look at problems/constraints as opportunities?
With regards to question 3 above, try this little exercise and let me know your answers –
Make a list of your KEY problems/constraints –
> the ones that block your professional and personal fulfillment.
> Next, write a one-or-two sentence definition of each problem/constraint.
Now, rewrite the definition, only this time view it as an opportunity or exercise to challenge your creativity and ingenuity (some refer to it as ‘re-framing’).
Here’s a tip: view the solution as you would if you were advising one of your best friends.
So, where does your thoughts stand in relation to your Self-Expectancy now?
I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
Trust and forgiveness is key to any relationship. Find it in your heart to trust and forgive not matter how many times you get let down. Vv.
There does not seem to be much trust and forgiveness in the world today.
A dying trait, like an endangered species. I think it can be put up on the “endangered character-quality” list.
Is it just me or have you observed this trend too?
It can be difficult to forgive sometimes but it is important that you do. There should be room for errors. These errors or mistakes a person makes should be embraced as feedback for improvement.
Forgiving can be hard, I know.
It seems in today’s world on many layers of society, trust and forgiveness is missing and it is sad because it sends a consistent message that both (or more parties) have lost care about whether the relationship continues or not.
You can see it on many levels, reflected in the media – between suppliers and customers; between organizations and its employees or contractors; between sports clubs and its coaches; between coaches and their players; between family members; between friends and even between husbands and wives.
What sort of person are you? Are you prudent and ‘trust but verify?” or are you careful and watch your back and consult your lawyer?
How has the world come to this point, I wonder?
Long-lasting friendship is built on trust and forgiveness. Don’t allow it to be on your endangered character-quality list. No matter what. Vv.
I know the bible asks that we find it in our hearts to trust and forgive, no matter how many times someone breaks it. This can be very difficult but it is important that we try. It helps build a better world. The Lord’s prayer says something along the lines “… forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us … “
How many of us really do this in today’s world? It seems that the prayer is now saying “…. Forgive our sins as we don’t forgive those who sin against us … ?”
For the world to come to this is indeed a sad world… but I am still hopeful.
It seems that these endangered human characteristics that was once in plentiful supply in years gone by is a rare sighting. There are daily reminders in many areas of modern life demonstrating signs that trust, love and even friendship has failed. These are no longer what is the norm.
Instead, they are becoming increasingly endangered and are a genuine luxury if you are lucky to witness or experience it in your daily life.
As for me, I am quite old-fashioned and believe in a lot of old-fashioned values like trust, love and friendship and forgiveness. I think it is important to find it in your heart to forgive. It can be difficult, yes, but don’t give up.
Persevere and believe. Trust against the odds, that the human spirit in what is right will always prevail.
In the end, relationships matter.
Sometimes it can be hard to take the bible seriously but finding it in your heart to forgive every time a person lets you down is always the best decision you can make.
If you value the relationship and want it to continue, you have to always be willing to forgive and trust again. No relationship can continue if we are not willing to trust and forgive, no matter how many times the person lets you down.
No forgiveness means no relationship. It is as simple as that!
If you believe that certain relationships matter, then forgive and trust again. Because this is part of what it means to be a practising Christian. It isn’t easy in today’s modern world and it takes enormous courage to follow God’s teachings in the Christian life.
Trusting and forgiving repeatedly requires tremendous spiritual courage and patience. Don’t make it part of your endangered character-quality list.
Because it is worth it.
Besides, from what I have learned through other people’s experiences over the years, trust is cheaper than lawyers.
All the best in your choices.
Until next time,
Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain Phil Waugh trusting my requests as he performs his exercise. Vv.
Ex-Australian Wallaby Captain – Phil Waugh performing a set of squats. What goes up must come down. A possible definition of a squat. Summarises most things in life. It could also symbolically represent the ups and downs of an equal friendship. Each person understands the boundaries of the relationship just like there are limits to a squatting range of motion.
I believe in friendship – equal friendship.
Who do you consider your ‘friend’ at this point in your life? Your partner, wife, husband? Your high school or university friend? Do you have hundreds of friends or just a few with many acquaintances?
I can honestly say that my best friend at this point in my life is my beautiful wife, a friendship that has lasted fifteen years and counting. There are also many friendships that have been in existence for various lengths of time. You would have the same too. For example, I have friendships that started all the way from kindergarten (over 37 years ago) all the way to a few current friends.
You may have many people in your life you consider friends. In this day and age where the definition of ‘friends’ can mean what we have on facebook, a friend could mean something else to you. Some people pride themselves on the number of friends they have. There are many definitions. Fair enough.
In my fourty years on this earth so far, I have experienced many types of friendships and one thing has stood out: You don’t need to be a friend to everyone. Understanding this will help you ‘manage your funnel better’.
It’s just not possible to spread yourself equally with all your friends or so-called friends. Friendship, genuine friendship takes time and effort. Most of you reading this would agree.
We don’t have to look very far for a decent model. If you are a Christian, let’s remind ourselves of the model say, Jesus, adopted. He preached to, healed and helped thousands of people but he only had twelve disciples. How many of these close disciples did he invite when he was transfigured on the mountain?
Only three! You could say that he had only three genuine friends.
Loading the ‘guns’ with proper execution. Here Brad is building his ‘mind-muscle’ connection under my watchful eye.
I recall seeing only two very good friends of my grandfather in his last few years of his life. They came around our home a few times a week just to sit and talk and reminisce of the ‘old days’. They were friends for over fifty years. I witnessed the beauty of very close, genuine friendship. It was truly a thing of beauty.
However, it was only after my grandfather passed away that I truly understood what I had observed.
With only 86,400 seconds in a day, you cannot possibly relate to every one of your friends in an equal fashion. Don’t stress if you aren’t. It all depends on the phase of life you’re in and the philosophy you adopt. Because of the finiteness of life, it is wise not to waste your precious friendship time on relationships that won’t be productive.
Don’t mis-understand me now. It is ok to lend a helping hand to a needy person but it is another to develop a friendship. Like I said, friendship takes time and hard work. It doesn’t JUST HAPPEN. In the case of the needy person, you could consider it as social work or community service or spiritual caring.
However, with a genuine friend, you and your friend will share and give equally to each other. You both get fulfilment and nourishment from being in the relationship.
For simplicity let’s break life up in to three categories to refer to relationships:
People whom you nourish and who return little or nothing to you
People who nourish you, but you may return nothing to them
Genuine and equal sharing relationships.
All three categories vital to your existence but I don’t believe the first two of the three types of relationships are friendships. The third type or category is what I refer to as real friendship. You must be strong and aware enough to distinguish between them. Mixing them up could cause problems.
It is important to reflect on your philosophy regarding life and the choices you make with regards to investing in certain relationships. What is needed is discernment and making the all important choice of taking some of these relationships to the level of genuine friendship.
Friendship that lasts because it is built on equality.
Here’s my little formula for friendship: Equal friendship = Genuine friendship.
Your ‘friends’ can have a big influence on where you end up in life. Increase your awareness and seek equality and authenticity.
All the best!
Until next time,
Retired rugby legend: Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Champion Captain & True Leader – Phil Waugh. Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework. Champions like Phil help us recognize that he believes in sacrifice and dedication to higher principles – higher standards. AWaken yours today towards THE BEST YOU CAN BE with one of my programs!
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