a better life, adaptation, asking questions, attitude, awareness, better choices, change, change management, choices, courage, decisions, Energy, examined life, game of life, habits, life

Your daily elevator ride.

Bodybuilding is not about how much weight you can lift. It is about creation and constant re-creation of a better YOU. It is about change and constantly embracing change.

Bodybuilding is not about how much weight you can lift.
It is about creation and constant re-creation of a better YOU.
It is about change and constantly embracing change.

Changeless change.

I like that phrase, something I have coined which means: to change within change – to have an effect of not changing. To remain constant for certain things in life. Certain things like – your values, your principles, your integrity, your dignity, your belief in the goodness of humanity for example.

We have been told that nothing stays the same, everything changes – we change and age, people around us change and age, nature changes, life changes. It seems that way for almost everything.

Change is good – for the most part.

I believe it is in every one of us – like a ‘worked’ muscle, we all have the desire to grow and develop into stronger, more powerful versions of ourselves, in essence – to change. It is in every one of us, the desire to prosper, to become better and strive to find the elusive happiness while we are here on this beautiful earth.

However, making the decision to change for the better can be very hard. Matter of fact, it could be just like having your daily elevator ride – mentally. It seems that we can consciously work towards moving ourselves upwards to a better place with our thoughts and actions and then, bam!

Some thoughtless person in your life keeps pushing the ‘down button’ and then your mental elevator ride lets gravity take you down. Sometimes, at speed. It can be a constant daily battle in your head. Even when you’re physically still, you’re having your daily elevator ride.

Don’t give up, don’t despair. Keep pressing the ‘up button’ and aim for the top – your version of the top. There will always be negative people everywhere, there will always be nay-sayers, and is just a part of life.

Part of what I do is help people become better versions of themselves – physically, emotionally and spiritually and am very successful at it for over two decades now.

"Back Double Biceps" in the heat of competition! Change from the gym to the stage is quite significant with management of key variables being extremely important. Placing: 2nd in Australia

“Back Double Biceps” in the heat of competition! Change from the gym to the stage is quite significant with management of key variables being extremely important.
Placing: 2nd in Australia

I’ve always believed that it takes a lot of courage and discipline and strength to say ‘no’ to foods and drinks at your mouth, foods that are less than ideal. Saying no is one of, if not the highest form of self-respect. Yes, that is real courage but I believe that it takes a lot more courage and discipline and strength to stand guard and protect the doorway of your mind.

This is the most important protective measure you can adopt – to stand guard to your mind, to stand guard to the doorway of possibilities. To protect the doorway to your potential.

Most of us have a protective side, I know I do. I’ve been told that I am very protective over my wife and my two children. I’m sure you’re very protective of your loved ones too. I don’t blame you.

However, I believe, before you can truly protect others, you need to protect yourself, in particular, you’ve got to stand guard and protect your mind – from negative people who press the ‘down button’ in your daily elevator ride.

So, keep moving – up, whatever gradient you’re travelling at! Keep changing for the better to be the best you can be – for you, first, then for everyone else like I tell my children almost daily. Remember, we never completely stand still, we’re either moving and progressing towards how we imagine ourselves to be or we regress to our former self.

Whichever direction you take, remember that you only have one life and ultimately, you’re responsible for everything – the questions that you ask and all the answers that you get, the incomplete information of which you will base your life decisions on.

To achieve goals in any endeavour, most people would say you need two key ingredients:

  1. Plan
  2. Implementation

I disagree. You need to precede those two ingredients above with the word – “Quality”. Yes, my formula is:

“Quality Plan + Quality Implementation => Quality Result (Goals Achievement)”

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.

Quality Plan + Quality Implementation allowed Team Valentine (my wife & I) to beat the best in the sport of Natural Bodybuilding, here in Australia and stand on the stage against the best in the World, placing in the Top 5 two years in a row.

To get these two key ingredients, every person should go through three stages of development:

  1. Increased Awareness
  2. Developing Actions (sufficient and appropriate)
  3. Continuously Adapt (using a self-adaptive/self-tuning habit)

It is quite a complex process but as you can see above, I have attempted to simplify the complex. Ultimately I simplify to Amplify. Every journey of change, begins with a single step towards your destination.

Try adopting my “Triple A Framework”  (above) to self-development/change.

While you’re on your journey towards your best self or any worthwhile project, continuously stand guard to the doorway of your mind. Always. Be the best bouncer/doorman to the club that is your mind you can be and don’t let ‘potential threats’ in to the club in the first place.

Get better at managing your funnel better. As someone once said – “the business of life is not business, it is about learning how to live”. Become the best student of life you can be and learn how to live better. Learn how to better filter out people and activities that do not add value to your life but instead continue to press the ‘down button’ as you travel in your daily elevator ride.

That way you can enjoy your daily elevator ride and have more movements upwards than downwards and live a life filled with celebrations (of success through failures and experiences), not collections (of material possessions).

 

Until next time,

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships - New York, USA. Standing with middle-weight (my category) and overall World Champion. Me - 4th placed in the world Competitor beside me - 1st place and World champion Right: My Team Partner and wife - Cathy.

World Natural Bodybuilding Championships – New York, USA.
Standing backstage with middle-weight (my category) and overall World Champion.
Left: Me – ranked 4th in the world
Right: My Team Partner and wife – Cathy.

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.

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a better life, action, attitude, awareness, belief systems, Beliefs, Goals, strengths, success

Making a mission impossible, possible.

Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby Champion Captain & Leader - Phil Waugh. Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework. > dedication to higher principles - higher standards is something we can all aspire to. > 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 Champion Captain & Leader – Phil Waugh.
Setting his own standards of excellence in all areas of his life, following my framework.
> dedication to higher principles – higher standards is something we can all aspire to.
> awaken awareness of the principle of higher standards that rests within the heart of every man and woman.
Awaken yours today!

I am going to introduce you to a great bloke: He’s name is Joel.

A current client and friend. I am going to share a story about when Joel made a mission impossible’, possible.  Tom Cruise has made a killing with his versions of the “Mission Impossible” movies, one of which is screening right now.

Yes, these grand missions in these movies are truly impossible and great entertainment, if that is what you’re in to. These are the kinds of stories that sells. Big, grand stories. But, I am going to talk about one of the many miracles that happen to normal, everyday people just like you. Just like all of us.

I am going to share with you a story about how a man, actually two men made one of their impossible missions at that time, possible. One of the thing that is special about Joel is that he is the strongest natural bloke I have ever trained or come across in my life and believe me, I have come across many.

NOTE: Naturally strong means: never experimented with illegal performance enhancing drugs – EVER! Steroid free.

What goes up must go down.  A possible definition of a squat. Summarises most things in life.

What goes up must go down.
A possible definition of a squat.
Summarises most things in life.

Let me share you a bit of his story…

You see, I first met Joel about five years ago. He came in to my gym (I owned and managed a great Family Gym for about 7 years) and enquired about my services. He knew what he wanted and he seemed very determined. My kind of person.

He hadn’t been in a gym for a long time and was not in the best of shape but had the desire to look and feel better. That was a helpful starting point: the right desire, coming from nowhere else but his heart. My job was to do what I do best and help him get to his ‘imagined version of himself’ using one of my products that adopted by unique body re-engineering framework.

And get him there in the most efficient and effective manner with due care and safety in mind, which is the foundation of my framework.

Easy. That is what I have always done, with a great success rate over the last 10 years (over 84% of past clients have achieved or gotten better results than they desired).

It didn’t’ take me long to deduce that Joel was indeed an abnormally strong man. He knew this but was quite modest about it. The interesting thing was that he had not done deadlifts in his life before he met me.

Around that same time, I was also helping an Englishman called James get past a ‘sticking point’ with regards to his deadlifting. James couldn’t seem to lift anything past ‘3 plates’ (on each side) for 10 reps. It was frustrating him to say the least for the last 2 months. For those of you who aren’t too familiar with gym lingo, a plate is a (45lb or 20kg) weight that you slide on to either side of an Olympic bar when doing lifts such as a dead-lift or squat or a bench press.

So, James was struggling to lift past the 140kg (the bar is 20kg too) for reps. He was upset that he had ‘plateau’ (or so he believed) and needed help getting past this point.

I said that I would help him and I did. I told him that the first thing we need to do was to ‘take a step back to take two steps forward’. He was a little taken aback by my recommendation because that plan seemed to contradict what his goal was: to lift more! There I was trying to ask him to lift less.

Life is about choices. Choose well.

Life is about choices.
Choose well.

I explained my philosophy and he understood what I was trying to achieve to help him achieve what he wanted to achieve. He trusted and allowed me to diagnose the issue. It was a combination of technique and mind-set. Once I identified the problem areas, I designed the plan to get him to lift ‘5 plates’ in the dead-lift for 6 to 8 reps.

For those of you who are mathematically inclined, that is 220kg. Not for 1 rep, for 6 to 8 reps!

When I told him what I was going to get him to do (get him to lift at least ‘5 plates’), his first reaction was that of dis-belief, that it was impossible. He was right though, with the mind-set he had at that point, it would be close to impossible for me to help him, help himself achieve it. I explained to him that before he was going to lift what I said he would lift, we needed to re-adjust his mind-set, in particular, his beliefs and belief system.

I put a plan to do just that: to allow James to progressively let go of self-limiting beliefs. Beliefs that only he harboured and grow within him like an unwanted fungus.

The plan worked. In a short 3 weeks, James was already doing a little more than 3 plates (got passed his ‘sticking point’ quite easily). He was on fire, increasingly filled with belief! Before long – I think it was just under 5 weeks of training with me, he was doing his first set of 5 plate dead-lifts, where a set was 6 to 8 reps, not one rep!

James and Joel got to know one another during that period but they probably only met each other once in that whole time. That was intentionally choreographed by me. The reason I scheduled their training sessions that way was that I saw them as potential competitors that could both help each other ‘raise their standards’ and both achieve far beyond what they had ever imagined. I did just that: I slowly pitted each other’s efforts against the other.

Setting his own standards through -  Mind-muscle connection. 'flexing the muscles' in a "most-muscular' pose.  Chris is an A+ student and the results show for a 47 year old man.  On his way to realizing  a physique and mind-set he imagines himself having. ... adopting my framework to body/mind re-engineering. Vv

Setting his own standards through –
Mind-muscle connection. ‘flexing the muscles’ in a “most-muscular’ pose.
Chris is an A+ student and the results show for a 47 year old man.
On his way to realizing a physique and mind-set he imagines himself having: being more of who he already is.
… adopting my framework to body/mind re-engineering.
Vv

You see, one week Joel would do 4 plates for the required number of repetitions and I would mention it to James and that would lift James’s game. He would do 4 and ½ plates and so on. This little battle went on for a while. Eventually it was game on!

It became a full-on competition. England v Australia right there in my gym where my two students were going head-to-head on who was the strongest man in the gym.

You have got to understand that these two individuals were genetically very strong specimens. They also manufactured extraordinary belief in themselves in the short time they were with me. This is a story of the many missions impossible, made possible through the POWER OF THE MIND guided with a GREAT PLAN.

Yet again (like I have seen over the decades of helping people in the gym), I witnessed first-hand how amazing the human mind is when it is channelled towards a goal that is worth achieving by that human being. Some people would call these ‘miracles’ in some circles. These were just “two ordinary men doing an extraordinary thing”.

I witnessed it with these two gentle, very strong men. A natural talent of theirs.

They went toe-to-toe, besting each other’s personal lift record (which just happened to be the gym record at that time) every week until we hit the “6 plate” zone.

“How much is that?” I hear you say.

Only 260kg!

Not lifting it for 1 rep, no! The lift is only recognised if it is done for 6 to 8 reps. they both did it. It was a draw …. For a short while – less than 7 days actually.

Joel came in one day with the energy and look in his eye that he wanted to take that title. He had the hunger of a starving tiger. We added just 2.5kg on either side of the bar (in addition to the 6 plates that were already on each side). He was going to take the record by a mere 5kg.

He did. He lifted that 265 kg for 6 reps!

His legs were bleeding after that lift. The blood came from both his shins. The bar shaved off his skin from his shins and a bit off his upper thighs while executing the amazing record. This was an extraordinary thing with extraordinary risks.

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These two students of mine realized their potential with regards to knowing how strong they were. They both achieved something that they both thought were impossible when I first mentioned it to them.

But they did. They achieved the seemingly impossible. They made their mission impossible – possible.

Fast forward to today and it was only last week that Joel ( who sees me two times a week in the program he is doing) mentioned that he just cannot believe he lifted that record almost 4 years ago. He was not talking about anyone else, he was referring to him. He couldn’t believe that he had done what he had done. Admittedly, he mentioned this dis-belief after just completing his set of 8 reps for 3 plates (140kg). He found it challenging.

Looking back, it would seem that it was impossible but I told Joel that he made the impossible, possible. He still cannot believe he did it today. How often can each and every one of you reading this honestly say that you gave something a try, and gave it your best shot and achieved something that you never thought was possible? How many of you can say that?

Joel did. And so did James. They achieved their BEST when it came to these lifts.

Joel still has the scars on his shins and thighs to tell this story to his kids and grand-kids.

You all have your own unique stories. You all have those special moments in your life so far where you may have given it your best and achieved something you only dreamed of. Maybe, you didn’t win number one or made the podium and that is ok, too. But that isn’t my point. My point is that you GAVE IT A TRY and you DID YOUR BEST.

You tried to fulfil a dream of yours. In my books, you are a champion.

Never stop dreaming of a better you, a better tomorrow, a better life and a better future. Everything you ever had and will ever hope to have, begins in your mind.

A signature winning pose of mine at the 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in New York. Represented: Australia Placing: 4th in the World.

Achieving a dream of mine at the 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in New York. Repeated it again in 2008.
Representing: Australia
Placing: 4th in the World.

I know from experience in helping hundreds of people achieve their goals over the years that – If you can dream it (conceive the idea), and truly believe (feel it in your heart) and have a great plan, you CAN ACHIEVE your dream, whichever area in life it is in, provided you WORK TO YOUR STRENGTHS.

Start small. Start local. Work to your strengths. Build on your strengths. Don’t waste any more time on your weaknesses. From the cradle to the cubicle, most people devote more time to their short-comings than to their strengths. This approach makes for good story-telling but unfortunately, it is taking the path of MOST RESISTANCE.

Work to your strengths, not your weaknesses. Devote more energy to the development of your strengths to be more of what you are. The reality is that a person who has always struggled with numbers is unlikely to be a great accountant or statistician. Look at the great Michael Jordan, probably the greatest basketball player of all time. He could not be the “Michael Jordan” of golf or baseball, no matter how hard he tried.

Each person has greater potential for success in specific areas, and one of the keys to human development is building on who you already are.

Don’t be afraid, sometimes it is best to ‘take aim, fire and then look’. Sometimes it is just better to ‘take a leap of faith’. Don’t let fear hold you back.

It is ok to fail … matter of fact, fail if you have to. Sometimes, failure gives you a better perspective on what it takes to succeed.

47 year old Chris set himself a goal to making the top 3 in his very first contest last year and achieved just that - a 3rd place finish in the MASTERS event.  Months of dedication and focus got him the results he was after.

47 year old Chris set himself a goal to making the top 3 in his very first contest last year and achieved just that – a 3rd place finish in the MASTERS event.
Months of dedication and focus got him the results he was after.

You don’t need to look far for the opportunity. Sometimes, the opportunity lies just ‘under your nose’, in your small, little world. Reflect and increase your own self-awareness. Sometimes, opportunities come clothed in overcoats. Sometimes, it is the day-to-day mundane living that produces the miracle you always had within you.

Work towards being a better version of YOU, putting most of your energy and time into developing your natural talents. Every day. Work on creating miracles within yourself. Seek to find the extraordinary in ordinary experiences by using your natural talents.

Extraordinary room for growth exists, just like it did for these two men in this story.

Seek those missions that you may consider impossible to change (weight loss, less-than ideal personal habits etc.) and try to make that positive change and make that mission – possible. The miracle lies within YOU.

Maybe, try adopting this dream (I use sometimes): think of YOU as being part of the Special Forces of self-development. You aspire to and set higher standards – your standards. Let everyone else that buy in to ‘mission impossible’ mind-set (believing their self-limiting beliefs) settle for the general army. That’s ok too.

Seek help if you need to. It’s never too late to seek help. See what doors that would open up for you.

Start working on making all your little (and big) ‘mission impossible’ in your life, possible. Take them on, ONE-BY-ONE!

Remember: you may not be able to be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are (aligning yourself with your strengths), just as this story of Joel and James shows.

All the best.

Until next time,

"Back Double Biceps" in the heat of competition! Placing: 2nd in Australia

“Back Double Biceps” in the heat of competition!
Placing: 2nd in Australia

~~Life COACH~~

~~Life COACH~~

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