For some, life can feel empty if they don’t find or grasp a higher calling… a “purpose” in life. These are the people who seek for answers in all kinds of places, some of which would be less than ideal.
Here is the thing about these types: They know they are looking for something, but they don’t really know what it is. Almost like a headless chook.
They have lost their zest for life … that essence of life, I call Vitality.
To me, purpose gives the Individual, hope … the strength to continue past obstacles and unexpected changes we face every day. In some views of life, hope is all we really have.
To find Purpose, I believe one has to find it WITHIN… but get inspiration, EXTERNALLY, from others.
Everyone looks to better themselves & strive to live a BETTER LIFE. Most think that to do this, they need to only acquire more VALUABLES.
Change your viewpoint: life should not be about acquiring more Valuables, instead, should be about making yourself more VALUABLE. We are alive on this planet to primarily, GIVE or express ourselves through sharing, in some creative outlet.
For me, it is GOD.
Success, like happiness, cannot me pursued. Release all desires to achieve success as a self-promoting goal/target. This route, taken by many will not give you the opportunity to live a FULL LIFE. It won’t bring you full success.
Success, true success, in any field, only comes through the pursuit of something greater than you … an ideal… a standard that allows you to surrender to a higher power.
Life’s purpose does not require intense cognitive power. It is not something that you can THINK your way to discovering. Thinking leads to overthinking, which is what many in this left-brain dominated modern societies celebrate – should I try this? What if it turns to failure? Would this work? What if it does not bring income? and leads to non-action or procrastination.
From my experience, I can gracefully admit and share that there is NO “ONE WAY” … THE WAY for me was not Found by simply looking for it… but by DOING IT… by LIVING what I LOVE TO DO.
This Diamond called CLARITY.
Success, in life (& any pursuit in life) comes to those who face their fears and TRY NEW THINGS… without being glued to the end result. What you get, then, is something that is a KEY foundation stone to your building of success: CLARITY.
If is only when you take on the role of the VIKING or PIRATE 🏴☠️ in you, that you sail out to EXPLORE uncharted seas. It is through exploration that you discover this gem … this diamond called CLARITY.
Results come only with repeated ACTIONS, done with sufficiency and appropriateness. Wondering and dwelling on what to do and not actually “doing”, pushes you even further away from reaching your ultimate purpose in life.
In finding my path, for example, I stopped watching tv many, many years ago. And as modes of communication increased, I taught myself to block more of these modes out. Just as I manage what I eat for my body for optimal physique conditions, I manage input into my brain.
Beginning with me, myself snd i snd the Holy Trinity within me : the Father, the Son & the Holy Spirit. I did and tried everything – fine-line sketching, body sculpting, writing poetry, writing books, photography, blogging, podcasting & public speaking…
I even tried doing NOTHING…. Snd appreciating the emptiness of nothing…. Ams trying to create SOMETHING FROM NOTHING.
There is now CLARITY, where confusion existed. There is PURPOSE where once was WONDERING and over-thinking.
The WAY to find your purpose is NO WAY. It all comes down to energy .. to that life source … to Vitality, the “essence of life”. The source for this brave discovery you intend to make is from the whispering of your heart.
You will experience more joy .. snd more inspiration when you listen to and follow the guidance of your heart. Here’s the challenge: you need to not only listen, but listen, WELL.
Energy is your fuel and you can find this energy to live … to live out your dream 😴 with purpose and meaning. The next step is to explore creative and new ways of expressing and sharing this energy of creativity that comes from within.
Embracing Passionate Living.
I’ve helped hundreds … no, thousands of individuals for close to 30 years now, many of these people the top of their fields … very successful in their own right.
But, I have noticed that sometimes, at the top of their success wave, some of these individuals acted and felt as if there was still something missing in their lives.
I heard many reasons why they felt that way. I strongly felt (for some of them), that they were feeling that way because they were trying to stay with the one thing they thought they were meant to be doing.
I felt that this way of thinking 🤔 was a self-imposed ceiling … a self-limiting belief … that blocked their journey towards reaching their full potential.
I don’t just consider myself – an enthusiastic World-Class Problem Solver or a 2 x World Natural Physique Champion … I actually wear many hats and play many roles … so apart from being a husband of 20 + Years and father to two kids …. I create.
I love creating through many mediums of expression: I actually create in multi-media, I sculpt, I design, I write (blogs & poetry & books), I coach, I conduct virtual talks & seminars, I design & create my podcast, I fine-line sketch, I educate and share “coaching conversations”, I dance & I do martial arts 🥋, and share NUGGETS OF VITALITY … but most of all …
I continue to DREAM 😴… and fuel my IMAGINATION. My goal is always to not only continue to imagine, but to IMAGINE, BETTER.
All of these constant daily activities brings me joy and helps express my PASSION FOR CREATING.
Here’s a little secret to living a BETTER LIFE: consider learning to and embracing PASSIONATE LIVING. Work towards doing what you truly enjoy doing and this, I believe, will guide your path towards finding Purpose.
Sometimes, you need to simply jump in and giving things a try. Sometimes, we just need to shoot before we take aim. Sometimes, picturing yourself after having “giving it a go”‘and thinking or saying our loud –
“Just DID IT!”
Would bring you an amazing sense of satisfaction. It is the DOING and the courage required & summoned that is the way to overcome the feeling that you are missing out on life.
There are endless opportunities in life and is only limited by your imagination.
And through this discovery, through this courageous Viking/Pirate adventure, you will also realise that it is a JOURNEY TO LOVE 💕. It is this journey that is the process of becoming increased AWARENESS , to fully be AWARE of this flow of the essence of Life .. of this Vitality … this Energy from your heart.
Here’s my tip: BE MORE LIKE A VIKING and/or PIRATE 🏴☠️.
This energy … you won’t see it … and it is not something that is tangible as what you can taste, smell, weigh …
It is more something that you FEEL… that comes from within … something INTANGIBLE.
Be awake when that message comes.
All the very best in being more like a Pirate & Viking… as you sail and Captain your ship through the changing seas of life.
Is there anything we read, hear or see ‘the truth’ anymore? THere are so many lies propagated in the media in today’s world. There is one truth – if a lie is being told and repeated enough .. the lie will eventually be believed to be a truth.
What is the truth when it comes to the covid-19 virus? There are many questions that should be asked and no question should be left out and put in an “out-of-the-question “ basket. With so much information at our fingertips, and most contradicting one another, one of our biggest risks is is our inability to sieve through the bullshit to …. Find the Truth.
I just don’t know what to believe anymore. One minute, one ‘expert’ says one thing … another minute, another expert says something else. Even the so-called experts and professional analysts cannot agree on the truth. They usually speak from their own self-interest and try to sell their ‘version of the truth’.
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
A question I ask is – why has the containment of this virus 🦠 done already … like six months ago? Why has it taken so long?
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
What has each individual country learned and what have we learned as human beings? One obvious thing is that the biggest threat to our existence is not something huge like a war or terrorist acts… it is the very very small (viral or bacterial) that we should be more fearful of. We should be more scared of the INVISIBLES … of what we CANNOT SEE with our naked eyes than … what we CAN SEE.
If you look at probabilities, there is a high probability (greater than 90%) that the virus originated from the Wuhann Lab, in China. The likelihood that the virus originated from “a Lab” is high. Then, it follows that, the likelihood that it originated from the Wuhann Lab is very high.
A question we should be asking is – was there a prior epidemic of this virus … that has allowed this current viral strain to be very effective in spreading? If it came from the Wuhann Lab, what were the protocols/internal controls used at the time? Why was this allowed to happen? On the other hand, if it wasn’t the Wuhann lab, we should be told that it wasn’t. If it was from nature, we deserve to be told. If it was from another lab, we need to know that , too. Why aren’t the governments giving us answers to these questions?
In other fields, say, in manufacturing, if a machine worker narrowly misses death when using a Machine or only loses a limb or his/her life, most businesses would do everything possible to NOT LET that happen again. In a factory setting, they would put up clear signs, get employees further training, counselling, boundaries indicated, protective gear and so forth…
And why? It was a “lucky break “ and control measures put in to mitigate the worst situation (losing a life) does not happen again in the future.
Why weren’t the voices that were raised in concern or this virus back in 2015 not listened to and taken seriously? What protocols were overlooked leading up to this pandemic? Why was the process off-shored to China? Did our current systems allow this? Who was responsible for this system at that time? Why hasn’t people brought to justice yet? Who is responsible for this pandemic? Governments collectively?
Is this going to be another case of INFLUENZA?
… and we will not find a cure and eliminate it but will just have to live with it.
Will it become part of our new “normal “ like the influenza virus has become? Living with the FLU virus has been a huge cost to governments and nations. Imagine the cost of living with the Covid forever? The cost to people’s well-being and the economy will be astronomical…& possibly incalculable.
** Here’s the thing:the ABILITY to ELIMINATE the disease goes down the longer we delay to have EFFECTIVE RESPONSES… to take control of its spread. It will be too late when large numbers of people catch this disease and their mutations and selections will result in adaptations that we just could not possibly manage.
Then we’ve got a HUGE PROBLEM!!
Medicine has come a long way. Yes, it has. The pertinent question is … is this going to be another case of influenza? I feel it will be.
If you look back in history, you will find that hospitals were dangerous places in the 18th century. One eminent Victorian surgeon commented that –
“a patient laid on an operating table … is exposed to more chances of death than the English soldier on the field of Waterloo.”
18th century medicine was not very effective. With all our advances in technology and medicine, can we say that 21st century medicine is ‘effective’ in it’s management of covid?
In the 19th century, Mary Wortley Montagu went back home with the smallpox inoculation/vaccine from Turkey but had a difficult time finding Doctors who would share this with people, given many were not willing to destroy a significant stream of their revenue. Even if it was for the good of mankind. Doctors were looking out for their own self-interests.
After the French Revolution, patients with similar symptoms were grouped together in wards. Doctors started to recognise and treat illnesses as ENTITIES in themselves rather than regarding complaints as being inseparable from individuals.
Is this happening in today’s world? Are beds and access to medical treatment going to be a “bidding war?” will the beds And medical professionals only be given to those with money as it was back in the 19th century?
Medicine … using vocabulary of the Military.
Also, in the late 19th century, medicine started using the vocabulary of the military, referring to diseases and germs similar in concept to enemy invasion.
Words like breakthroughs, defeats, and destruction and “let’s fight this”. Nowadays, they use phrases like ‘we’re in this together’. Like many other scientific metaphors used in the past, these images operated both ways:
Reflecting how illness was conceived
Affecting how foreigners should be treated
Back then, wealthy nations tried to defend themselves against infectious immigrants just as bodies had to be protected against viruses or microbes. This analogy was used. Question is – is it still being used today?
You see, diseases had usually been blamed on foreigners and this case of covid is no different. It also provides new grounds for rationally explaining old fears.
And what are these “old fears?”
Prejudices against race and cleanliness could now be given a “scientific label”. This was utilised by many wealthy nations back in history. Is it still being used now?
Is this one way of the government setting up a screening program to assess citizens health? Are our DNA (through swabs) just another way of science and governments finding out more about each individual? How can this be used against us?
Could the increased awareness through advertising, as “medical security “ really patchy vetting procedures … say, to allow rich immigrants easier process into more wealthy nations? Is this simply a tool to help curb unwanted immigrants?
Governments have had a history of controlling diseases by curtailing individual freedom… which is the same objection given by anti-vaccination supporters.
In science, often what seems straightforward in the labs proves quite complex outside the labs.
Over a century ago, Robert Koch, the German bacteriologist, shot to fame for identifying the organism responsible for Industrial Europe’s biggest killer – tuberculosis (TB).
Even though Koch proved that nobody could catch TB without first, being exposed to the TB, he was unable to explain why only about 10 % of people became infected. What sort of rates exist for the covid? Apart from age, are certain races more at risk?
During Koch’s time, it was found that the “Cure rate” for TB, proved lower than had been hoped. The enemy agent (similar to the covid strain identified today), had been identified but it seemed to leave many potential victims unscathed. Back then, many concluded that many individuals were somehow tainted in advance or had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to getting covid.
Over one hundred years later, society has learned to “live with the disease “ – TB, that is. TB was, only recently, given an identity as a contagious disease that circulates in squalid city slums. A mark of inferiority rather than aesthetic vulnerability.
At one time, to contract TB, was to invite scorn… it was a matter of shame… making it out to be that patients had been picked out rather than innocent victims of neural microbes.
TB was as bad a stigma as contracting syphilis, blamed on prostitutes. Society attitudes stayed this way until towards the end of the 20 th century. Cancer became the new TB…. The big C that could not be mentioned by name.
Given how long it has been for us to respond to the covid strain and managing it, it is highly likely that, we won’t find a cure … but instead, just learn to live with disease, like we did with TB, over the last one hundred years.
A lot of deaths.
A quick reference on Google on world-stats indicates that as of 9th July 2021, there were a little over 4,000,000 covid-related deaths, with the USA heading the tally with > 623,000, followed closely behind by Brazil at 530,000 and then India at > 400,00 and so on. Australia has just under 1,000 deaths. So, there has been over 4 million deaths in just over a year since it began.
A lot of deaths.
In 1999, the American Institute of Medicine published a landmark investigation called “To Err is Human”. It reported that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.
Lucian Leape, a Harvard professor put it higher (at 120,000 in America alone) estimated that a million patients are injured by errors during hospital treatment.
In 2013, a study done & published in the journal of patient safety put the number of premature deaths associated with “preventable harm “ at more than 400,000 per year (in America, alone). Compare this to the number of deaths caused attributed to Covid and it is comparable. But, no one is alarmed at this knowledge because not much is said about it and so not much is known about it, by the majority of people.
Preventable harm included –
Dispensing wrong drugs
Injuring patient during surgery
Operating on the wrong part of the body
Peter J. Pronovost, professor at Johns Hopkins school of medicine testified at senate pointing out that the deaths was equivalent of two jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day for an entire year! Comparing and saying –
“Every two months, 9-11 is occurring.”
Can you imagine, news headlines repeating information of deaths caused by the crashing of two jumbo jets EVERY DAY! It would cause utter chaos .. that could lead to an up-rising. Possibly. The public has lost a lot of trust in the medical systems and are turning to alternative medicines in droves. Question is why has it got to this point?
Why do we tolerate these numbers …. These stats in preventable harm in this area of life when we would not tolerate it in any other sector? We don’t tolerate the covid-related death toll numbers, so, why has the medical profession knowingly or unknowingly, hid this information from the public … year after year?
Upon further study, you will find that the numbers put preventable error in hospitals as the biggest killer in the United States – behind only heart disease and cancer. Can you imagine that?! Third highest!!
And these are just numbers for the USA, what about when we add all the other numbers from other countries? What sort of numbers would that total to? Highly likely be greater than the 4,000,000 reported deaths relating to covid.
This Affects ALL OF US.
But those numbers are incomplete and definitely higher now.
However, it is not just the number of deaths that should alarm us, there is also the non-lethal harm caused by preventable error. Back in that 2013 study, this equated to about 1000 preventable deaths AND 10,000 preventable serious complications per day …
The problem is not a small group of crazy, homicidal incompetent doctors going around causing havoc. Medical errors follow a normal, bell-shaped distribution.
They occur most often not when clinicians get bored or lazy or malign, but when they are going about their business with diligence and concern … but these mistakes STILL happen!
Imagine the flow-on negative effect it had on the patient, their family and friends, their community and wider.
The Biggest Risk right now, as I see it…
Strong Social connections allow for a better and longer life. There are decades of evidence from communities suffering the reverse phenomenon: the gradual loss of social ties.
A study by James House, published in the journal SCIENCE concluded that social isolation is as dangerous for health as obesity’s, inactivity and smoking. The evidence was as strong as in the landmark US government report that in 1964 officially linking smoking with lung cancer.
The House report says that social isolation is actually more dangerous than lack of exercise and obesity. This is the biggest risk right now, as I see it … in most western societies- deaths exacerbated by social isolation due to covid restrictions.
This is probably the single most powerful behavioural finding in the world.
Social isolation is indeed a death sentence!, I believe, as much a threat to iur survival as hunger, thirst or pain. If individuals are deprived or it – “human contact” (as imposed by covid restrictions), the extreme case is we can start to become attached to innanjmate objects. This is demonstrated by Tom Hank’s character on the movie CASTAWAY, who has a meaningful relationship with a volleyball he calls Wilson.
Will this pandemic lead to increased purchases or innanimate objects for companionship? More sales for the IT industry?
Lesson: this AFFECTS ALL of us.
Why do so many mistakes still happen?
Well, I will leave that for a future blog.
So many questions still left unanswered, about our past … our present …. And our future.
But, as they say …. That is JUST LIFE.
You can choose to enjoy your ‘one life’ and worry about what YOU CAN CONTROL … and NOT WORRY about what YOU CANNOT CONTROL.
May God continue to shower his blessing on you and your family and loved ones,
Did you have a father that invested a great deal of time and energy in to your life? Or was he in the shadows … or almost never around.
In my 7 years of owning and managing my Family Gym, I came to really know men from all backgrounds and status in society. My gym membership was about 70% male.
Over time, I came to notice correlations and strong causation between their behaviour as grown men and their relationship with their dads in their childhood. It didn’t matter which race, culture or status, there were some strong connections.
Happy Men & Not-so-happy Men.
Do you consider yourself a “Happy Man?”
Who are the happiest Men in society? Not by any kind of horizontal segmentation but as a species – “male”.
I think there are Happy Men and the not-so-happy men in our modern-day societies.
Experience has indicated that the men who are the happiest and most content in the masculine role today are those whose fathers put in the time and effort in their upbringing. And continue to do so.
I’ll refer to them as the “Happy Dads” in society.
These Happy Dads had dads who were around to begin with. Dads that were committed to maintaining a positive, nurturing, encouraging relationship with their sons. These Fathers of Happy Dads provided that secure foundation and supported their sons in their ups and downs.
The sons (Happy Dads) had support from their Fathers with their careers and decisions they made and acknowledged their achievements.
These Happy Dads had dads that were just “there for them”. No excuses, full-stop!
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
That consistent loving time spent with their sons (not “quality “‘time), paid off … in time. These Father’s sons, who the the Happy Dads of today are, I believe, among the most well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers in our modern-day societies.
Are they increasing? Are they easily recognised?
Does he look like you? Your friend, maybe?
I believe these well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers is and has been on the decline. They could be safely said to be in the “minority “.
Normally, I would say that in a democratic society, the majority should rule. In this instance, I believe that this minority should rule … these men should be the norm and not rare and abnormal.
We need these types of men … Happy Dads … to flourish again and increase.
What do we do? How do we go about this?
I believe it is up to me, you and … all the current dads/fathers reading this and out there with young sons… to commit to these young impressionable souls.
The majority of men today are struggling to recover from relationships with fathers who failed to nurture, affirm and validate them at some level … or all levels.
These sons (who are now fathers/dads/husbands themselves), are left with a legacy of pain, confusion, frustration, anxiety, bitterness, fear & anger. A lot of these men never had a choice in having their father in their lives as the mothers decided to bring them up as single parent.
I believe a big percentage of These adult sons are the angry men of our societies.
We need to stop rearing angry men.
If you’re part of the minority that is, the Happy Men, congratulations 🎉! Go and give your old man a hug and tell him you love him…. and just give him thanks for being there for you through your tumultuous years of youth.
Letʼs imagine that youʼre walking and you got to the end of your walk because you got to the end of your land – and youʼre at a cliff … a place where the land meets the sea. Letʼs say youʼre looking down and you think … what if?
What are you thinking at that point? Should you stay on land or should you swim? Question is – do you love being wet or dry or do you like both (like me)? The other question is one of love or hate. Do you love your life or do you hate it?
Do you know what love is? Do you love, love?
Well, if you really understand what love is then you’re way ahead of the pack. Love is too large, too deep to be truly understood or measured or limited within a framework of words.
In a very real sense, to examine love is a futile attempt to examine the unexaminable; to know the unknowable. But that is ok, we will try anyway.
The Bible gives a pretty good definition of what love isn’t and the great thinker and poet – Kahlil Gibran wrote about it. Many have attempted to but no one has, to my knowledge arrived at a truly satisfactory definition of love.
If there isnʼt, well, there should be. We have a “Golden Ratio” popularized by a mathematician called Fibonac .. something.
But, what if there was a Golden Moment, what would your “G”-moment look like? What would you do if your G-moment was at that cliff? Choose, Land or sea?
Would you conclude that choosing sea means that you hate your life? Or, would choosing the sea indicate that you love your life? How would you define ‘life?ʼ Have you ever been at this “crossroad?” Have you ever had to decide whether you loved land or sea at the point where the land meets the sea?
My Golden Moment is where the land and sea meets the sky. Do you know where that is? That is my G-moment and it is beautiful. It is my point, my peace.
What is ‘life’ anyway? Have you thought about that? Is it reality or is it a simulation, life is just all in your mind … your imagination? Maybe, our physical world is actually a virtual world – our virtual world is our realiy. If it were, do we have any way of knowing to prove beyond all doubt? Maybe, we’re just all little pcs/tablets ‘connected’ to a mainframe or gigantic computer. Maybe, when you reach that Golden point where the land meets the sea … and you wonder ‘what if?” … maybe, you’re just an actor in a huge movie production and it is all UN-REAL. Just a magnificent simulation or parallel universe.
When you step off …. And choose the sea … you leave this simulate/make-believe world and enter the REAL world. A world which is infinite and that which has no pain and suffering?
This may be an absurd idea … but logical thinking cannot exclude it.
Stopping to reflect, is a vital key to adjust your attitude if you need to.
Other peoplesʼ pain
What if you got to this point because maybe, just maybe, you have a great sense of empathy for pain, for other peoplesʼ pain, in particular.
What if you can literally ‘feelʼ othersʼ pain? You can see their pain, even pain they donʼt realize they are putting themselves through?
Is that a definition of wisdom? To not just be able to ‘seeʼ things but … to see through things? Is it possible that you get to this ‘point … this dot”, and you look around you, around at the world, hoping to see acts of kindness, care and love but you don’t.
All you see and feel is suffering because you can literally feel immense pain and suffering people are experiencing that is all around us and happening every single moment of the day?
Is it possible that you are just very highly empathetic and caring, that you are a person who continuously feels and has very high trust, care and compassionate levels? Superhuman even.
That extraordinary ability you have of feeling other peoplesʼ pain brings you to the edge, brings you to the brink … that it is just too much … the suffering has to stop and you are powerless to stop it. So, you keep walking until you reach the point where the land meets the sea? Is that when you stop walking?
What do you do then? This is the point at which the term you ‘die for what you believe inʼ springs from, I think.
If it isnʼt, they should change that story.
Essentially, that is what separates us humans from other mammals, say, dogs for example. That we can ‘feel’ feelings and emotions. We can feel hungry or pain and put ourselves in another’s shoes and empathise but a dog may be hungry but it cannot have the feeling of hunger.
The thing is we have access to parts of the brain but we do not … have direct access to your feelings … to feeling and no matter how hard we try to empathise with others, no person has direct experience of anyone else’s feelings.
Sad, but true … but that doesn’t mean we stop trying, is it?
Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you … kick the bucket! Keep moving forward, I say!
Your story needs to be told …
You have a story – your story, so far.
Everyone we know and donʼt know has their stories too. Dead and alive. The former donʼt have any more chapters to write in their story in this dimension at least but the latter have every chance to write the best chapters of their lives yet to live.
Read that last line again.
Let me tell you something, your story needs to be told .
By you. No one else but you.
Pick up your courage and … tell it. Youʼll be surprised at the amount of people who want to listen to your story….
Summon courage like a super hero like Superman has
Bare your own cross
I loved the sermon our Head Catholic Priest of the parish that my family have been going to for the last twenty years shared today. It was about carrying or being prepared to bare or carry your own cross.
That in life, every single person is asked (not at their choosing) to carry certain burdens. Their unique burdens. He said that we should all be prepared to bare our own crosses – our own burdens, just as Jesus did prior to being nailed to the cross that he literally bared.
It is important to note that if you are able to, reach out and …. Touch someone. Reach out and provide some help to othersʼ who may be carrying a much more heavier cross than you are handling at a certain point in your lives.
The Father asked us – the congregation to pray that more care and empathy be demonstrated to those who need it most. By sharing the weight of someoneʼs cross, you give the possibility of liberating that person.
You may just be the wind needed beneathe their wings.
Just remember though, you need to know you and know your limits. You may just find yourself being overwhelmed by carrying too much of another person’s cross. Don’t let this get out of hand because then, it may just be untenable.
You both suffer.
You may then find yourself at that Golden Moment again.
Bare your cross. Then … Help someone else carry their’s … only if you can manage both
The connections that matter
In life, connections matter – in the family, between families, between friends and families, between communities and between nations.
Connections matter, the right connections, in particular. For many reasons, one of which is survival.
There is one other connection that is paramount in all this and that is the brain-body connection and even further, the connection between the pre-frontal cortex and the rest of the circuits/parts of the brain. It differs in every single person.
Fundamentally, you are your connectome (all the 100 billion neurons and 100trillion connections, that is uniquely – YOU).
But within these connections and circuits may lay answers to some of the questions that have been baffling science since the dawn of time, like –
How is the mind connected to the brain and how is the mind connected to the universe? We now know for a fact that it is. But how?
For those who feel more than others, who feel more hurt than others, there would obviously be an avalanche of hormones flooding through them because there may be an imbalance of or rather an impairment between the prefrontal cortex and their reward systems.
A neuron example and its network of dentrites One of the 100 billions neurons in your brain that make you … who you are. Your are your connectome
Well, neuroscience shows and tells us that if these connections within the brain is impaired, then the reward systems prevents the prefrontal cortex from using its decision-making powers to put the brakes on risky behavior.
I will explore in more detail the importance of taking care of the connections within the greatest computer that man has known to date – the brain.
Your body goes where your mind goes.
But what can you do right now to help you?
Simple – get your body in shape, your mind will follow. Get in to the gym and work your muscles, that is the hard and the easy part of it. Your mind is the GPS system of your body. Iʼve always told the people that your body goes where your mind goes.
From my almost thirty years of helping people, help themselves achieve a stronger, healthier version of themselves and observing thousands of gym goers … and getting confirmation from the scientific community, amongst many other things that (an impossibly obvious conclusion) –
The Body and brain are connected.
True? Neuroscience is still at the level of where medicine was in the 1700s A long way to fully understand who we are…. Who “I AM.”
My tip to you: Given the fact that the body and brain are intricately connected, my question to you is –
Why not take care of both?
As best as you can.
It just makes sense and may just be the most important decision that youʼll ever make in your life. Your quality of life, literally depends on it. You have the power to do something about it, and make a positive change in your life – a change that empowers you.
To live the life youʼve always wanted and imagined you’d like to live, starting first, with your mind … or your brain to specific. This is not wishful/delusional thinking, this is positive thinking as wishful thinking can be dangerous if it’s not based on reality.
Remember, science is telling us now that you are more than your genes. You are your connectome. You must make the changes in the connectome required to make the behavioural changes you hope for and find a way to bring about these changes. After 30 years of helping people, help themselves … achieve
All the best in your choices.
Remember, keep in mind what my grandfather used to tell me in my youth –
“be careful of thoughts, it determines, you actions; be careful of your actions, it determines your habits; be careful of your habits, it determines your character and be careful of your character, it determines your destiny.”
Program your mind …your thoughts & protect it or someone or something else will program it for you.
Choose well Cheers & ahoy!
The Old Capʼn Viking Pirate …. & cross-roads in life
One of my quirks … walking around places with very little clothes on .. ha ha ha !! Here I am Working out in my gym during a photo shoot
A ‘coaching conversation’ with Brad, while taking a rest break between exercise sets. Helping Brad, help himself, achieve something he cares about and become more of who he wants to be. Through belief, hope and effort + heart.
Aesthetic (balance & elegance) = Grace
Are you graceful?
Do you consider yourself a man or woman of grace? If you do, that’s great, you’re way ahead of the majority. I read somewhere recently that there is a never-ending worldwide shortage!
What does it mean to be ‘graceful’?
I would think graceful means balanced, elegant, subtle,effective and possibly artistic. A graceful person is someone who strives for aesthetic-ness as well as substance, as he or she understands that Aesthetic (balance & elegance) = Grace. A graceful person gets things done, but does it in a way that is beautiful and you would be happy to have him or her repeat it.
A graceful person raises the standards of everyone close by, forcing everyone to the top, not to the bottom. A graceful person is the person we cannot live without, the one who makes the difference.
There is no such thing as being born graceful. It’s not a talent, it is a choice! Only one person could have that exception and that is Jesus, our saviour.
Jesus’s birthday is only one night away now and it got me thinking….
Bare your cross. Then … Help someone else carry their’s … only if you can manage both
Jesus was – a man who was the epitome’ of grace
What a beautiful and graceful man Jesus was – a man that was the epitome of grace. Do you think you know him or do you know the celebration of his birthday more – Christmas Day?
It’s not easy knowing Jesus, not easy at all. He has very high standards, especially relevant in the modern-day’s world where there appears to be none in many areas of life. I say, be prepared to stumble if you want to get to ‘know’ him, as I think everyone who ever tried has stumbled, and more than once I think. I know I have.
But what do you learn when you fall or fail, you learn how to pick yourself back up faster, don’t you? So, don’t be afraid to fall or fail. Pick yourself up and try again and find a better way.
Knowing Jesus means that you have to be disappointed when he doesn’t meet your wrong expectations. Notice I said ‘wrong’ expectations.
Knowing Jesus may also spur you on to become something or someone you thought you could never do or be. Achieving the seemingly impossible.
He will remind you in various ways of how much you need him. And you do.
Knowing Jesus is a little like building muscle – he breaks us to pieces so that he can put us back together again, but this time in his image – his grace. Just like muscle, you need to break it to pieces so that you can nourish it and allow it to repair and grow. A definite fusion of chaos and order.
Christmas is life
All Christians are work-in-progress, all under construction. I know I am. However, the most powerful thing for a Christian is the unwavering belief that Jesus, the son of God, born on Christmas Day – is our saviour.
Christmas Day is many things to many people but like I said in the previous blog post, Christmas to me is everything. Christmas is life. Christmas is a celebration of the birth of the world’s saviour. That, even in this fast-paced, ever-changing world, there is something that is un-changing. Something that we hang on to courageously.
We humans, we Christians, still have the courage to hang on to the belief that Jesus is still needed. Courage to believe that he was born on Christmas Day and died not long later but he will also come again.
Christians (and non-christian’s) insistence on celebrating Christmas could also be interpreted as an outward expression and belief that we (the world) still hungers for Jesus grace and hope.
Let’s pray that the world increasingly gets filled with more people like him, filled with grace. People the world just can’t do without.
May you be filled with grace this Christmas.
Until next time,
Cheers & Ahoy!
The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk
Feeling the ‘essence!’ Believe. Believe. Believe! Make the impossible, possible!
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Christmas is a few days away and it got me thinking.
What does Christmas mean to you?
For me, it has always meant a lot, it meant and still means everything. It means a celebration of a birth, a life, a saviour of the world of one of the most influential person that has ever walked this earth.
Does Christmas mean everything to you too? What does it mean to you?
Or is it just about getting together with friends and families and drinking, eating and merry-making? Or is it about present giving and Santa Claus? There’s a few sitting under our Christmas tree. Or is it about being alone? What does Christmas mean to you?
Like I said, for me, Christmas means everything – it meansLIFE.
It is a beginning and it is an end.
It is a time of chaos and a time of order.
It is a time of darkness and a time of light.
It is a time of reflection and a time of hope.
It is a time of aloneness and a time of interaction.
It is a time of blessed relief and imagining and believing all of God’s promises manifest itself in to that one person – Jesus Christ.
Amongst all the chaos and loudness and joyousness of the Christmas period, take a moment or two if you can to try and imagine what it was like for this little baby that was born in to poverty. This little baby that we all believe was and is the saviour of the world.
A little baby called Jesus.
Imagine what the conditions were like during the time of his birth. There might have only been one candle inside the stable. Today, Christmas, like Diwali in the hindu calendar is a celebration of light and you don’t need to look very hard to see it before your eyes in your own neighbourhood – beautifully designed lighting on houses and buildings.
Many people today associate Christmas being filled with the ones you love with lots of noise and laughter. Wonderful version of the truth.
When Jesus was born, I imagine the place located on a hill outside Jerusalem would have wreaked with loneliness. So, for those of you that may feel a sense of loneliness during this time and in particular, on Christmas day don’t be. You’re not alone, you have good company. Jesus too was very lonely at birth.
Jesus’s birth certainly wasn’t in luxury. You could imagine the toughness and roughness of the trough that he laid in. The trough or what was a similar to a modern-day baby cot, he felt at birth may have been as cruel a place as the cross he felt at his death. The end was like the beginning for Jesus. What will your end be like?
What about his first gasp for air? What about his first few cries, what would they have been like to welcome in to this world? I imagine that his infant cries we may have heard coming from stable may have been no less desperate and heart-piercing than his final cry on the cross. I wonder if some of the shouts and yells on Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations this year will be for the pain our saviour cried out over during his arrival and departure from this world. Our world, the world he came to save.
A variation of the ‘back single biceps” pose … on the beach. The combination of chaos + order = Life.
So, what is Christmas to you?
Celebrate? You say. Yes, of course, I say. Celebrate and be merry!
But if you have a little time, try to … imagine and … project yourself back to that lonely stable and try to imagine celebrating, most heartily with food and wine and dance amidst the stench of the stable. Do you know what that dung-like smell that existed in that little stable could represent today? It could represent the refuse of the world – the ugliness, the hatred, the selfishness, the rubbish.
And when you hope for a better New Year, try imagining celebrating at the foot of that painful cross. And why do I leave you with that ghastly image – not to sound negative, but to point out that that image of us at the foot of that cross is the one and only thing that really keeps that ‘life force’ lit in you for yet another day.
Do you know what that life force is? It is that image that epitomises the whole foundation of Christianity and the whole reason we have Christmas. That image of us Christians at the foot of his cross is the ending and the beginning. It is our belief – our hope.It is the essence of what it means to be a Christian. The unwavering belief and hope that that little baby boy born in to poverty and rejected by many, died for all our sins.
Hope – that is all that we are and all that we will ever truly have within us for as long as we are alive.
Christmas for Christians is the celebration of the saviour of the world! Believe. Really believe. There is a passage that has always stayed with me since my youth:
“Ask and ye shall receive; seek and ye shall find.” Achieve your salvation at Christmas, through Jesus – our saviour.
From me to you – Merry Christmas.
Imagine then. Live and be ALIVE now. Imagine and hope for a better future. A better YOU.
Until next time,
Push-ups on the local beach. Basics can be hard work!
Me and my children – carriers of my genes. A taste of immortality for me.
My children are learning about life at a very high rate. There’s not one day that passes that I don’t hear them say or try something new. I am constantly surprised and fascinated about the next thing I will hear come out of their mouths. I am also increasingly aware of them ‘growing up’.
They are still to learn a lot of things about life and they will learn as time passes. One of the things they still have to learn are the little rhetorical phrases that Cathy and I say every now and then. One that I tend to use a lot is “its in your genes” or something related to the term “genes’ when we are seated around the table having a meal or just hanging out at home.
Each time I say it, my daughter Olivia would quickly respond (with a questioning look on her face) – “dad, I’m not wearing Jeans!”
Cathy and I would look at each other, doing our best not to break out in laughter. The certainty of her look with regards to her not wearing jeans and mocking my rather dumb statement (based on her facial expression) is priceless.
I have made various versions of that particular statement regarding ‘genes’ and each time Olivia would be the first one to correct me. My wife and I haven’t yet been caught laughing but I’m certain one day soon, we will.
It’s so cute, the ‘black and white’ view children have of the world at this age, which includes their progressive understanding of the English language and all it’s idiosyncrasies. I am looking forward to explaining to her and Zachary what I meant about the word ‘genes’ because at this present time, they only knows the word as ‘jeans’.
I’m looking forward to explaining the many ‘new’ things they will learn about life as they mature, through each phase of life. One of my roles as a parent (and every parent’s role) as I see it is to do my utmost to prepare my children for adulthood. It does not stop there, being a parent continues until the day I die.
Winning the NSW titles – one of the 3 times I won it. My signature winning pose at that time.
Over the weekend, my wife and I were getting our children ready for bed and my son, Zachary was being quite disruptive and being difficult. After repeated requests, I blurted out –
“Zachary, pay attention, you’ve got to start pulling up yours socks son, you’re a year older now!”
Just then, I got reminded by Olivia that –
“Dad, Zach is not wearing socks to bed tonight, it’s too hot!”. She had that – “dad, you’re silly” look on her face again.
I expect that I will be seeing that face many more times in to the future, probably will expect to see quite a lot in her teenage years. I am looking forward to hearing her cute reminders to a silly dad.
This is one of the many ‘little daily miracles’ all of us who are lucky to be parents get to experience. Having children is truly a blessing, many times over.
I thank God and my beautiful wife Cathy, that I am able to pass on my genes on to the next generation – my children. I am sure she is appreciative too of the opportunity of passing on her genes to our children.
After all, the overall purpose of life is to procreate. To live on indefinitely or at least one more generation through your off-springs. It is surely an ‘off-set’ of our own mortality.
It gives us mortals – hope. A taste of immortality, even if most of it will be experienced through our imagination. Hope, however, is a beautiful thing and the very essence of it, of the belief summoned for it, allows some people the courage to continue to live.
Appropriate outfit given the Rugby World Cup currently under-way in England, Me and my two Australian Valentines. My 2 favourite teams are Fiji and Australia. As Fiji has not progressed to the quarter finals, Go the Australian Wallabies!
So, live. Love. Laugh. Hope. Live on through genes.
Reflect on YOU, your uniqueness. On your unique genes that has been passed on to you, that makes up who you are. Your blueprint. Ask yourself, have you allowed YOU – to be the BEST YOU CAN BE? Have you worked on your genetic strengths? Have you or are you working towards your potential? For example, would you say you “strongly agree” to the statement –
“At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best, every day”.
If not, why not?
If you answered ‘strongly disagree’ or ‘disagree’, the costs to you and your life could be staggering. There seems to be an epidemic of disengagement at work of a majority of people simply because they are not working to their strengths and not emotionally engaged on their job.
A lot of unhappy, unmotivated people.
This impacts greatly on the overall quality of your life. So, work towards your strengths – your genes and try to align your job and your goals with your natural talents. It’s never too late. Just ACT and build a strengths-based development plan for a better you. A better life.
The impetus for this, for any worthwhile change in life is DESIRE. You’ve got to desire the BEST YOU to step forward. You’ve got to fuel the desire, the hunger to be the BEST YOU CAN BE, using your God-given talents. The strength in your genes, that has been passed down to you from your ascendents.
Ask yourself – have these strengths, these talents laid dormant for a number of years? Time for a change. A change for your good, for the good of your life and those around you.
Be courageous – take action.
Food for thought.
This is my genes for jeans story.
If you’ve got this far, thank you. I hope you enjoyed the story-telling and found some value in it that you could use in your life. I wish you all the very best in your search for your best, now and in to the future.
Until next time,
Here we are … my beautiful wife and I. at a dinner party.
A semi-posing shot. Enjoying the sun and day out at my favourite beach here in Sydney , Australia.
Less abdominal fat is not only poses less health risks for you, it gives you a more aesthetically pleasing physique. Knowing what ‘to leave out’ in your diet is vital to achieving a tight mid-section
Friends for life.
I’ve met a lot of intelligent people in my life, the smartest person (Intelligent and wise) I have met (thus far) passed away earlier this year at 82.
We were friends for about four and half years or so. I considered a friend for life. You know the type, I hope you’ve got a few friends that you can honestly look at and say, yes, you are a friend for life.
We had all the characteristics of good friendship – honesty, trust, care, inter-dependence, willingness to provide a shoulder to lean on when one needs help, forgiveness and a genuine desire to help the other become a better person.
I miss my friend. A lot.
One of my good old friends at the gym
Opportunities disguised as challenges
He taught me much and I, him. We shared. Stories. I was fascinated with his stories of life. Not necessarily his life, but life in general, in particular where he saw ‘opportunities’ and others saw ‘challenges’.
Guess who got the rewards? Yep, “nothing risked, nothing gained”, he would tell me. Made me realise that life was a big exercise in “Risk Management” … but I won’t go in to that right now, it can be a topic for later.
Retired Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah’s Captain – Phil Waugh doing triceps press-downs and “feeling the essence” with perfectly performed repetitions. A great example of a human being striving to be the BEST he can be – for himself, first and then, everyone else. All day. Every day. If he can, so can you using my framework.
Work hard at adding life in to your years, not just life to your years
Back to my dear friend … I saw him 3 times a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays) between 10:30 & 12 noon, in my gym – for our usual chats and his exercise. We had an arrangement: he listens and follows everything I say to keep him alive and I get an hour coffee and mentorship every Friday morning after his session with me.
Having only six months to live (as told to him by his doctors), my good old friend lived for another four years. He took care of the little mosquitoes, the daily habits and this along with other factors helped him live longer.
I got him to work on his breathing, sense of balance, strength, agility and keeping the ‘whole body’ in mind. The usual services that a typical gym owner and manager would provide.
Basically, make him exert enough effort to his skeletal and smooth muscles, to help make his daily activities just that little bit easier and more pleasant – like walking, walking up stairs, carrying shopping bags, doing a little gardening and breathing better.
He certainly lived a long life, but he was more interested in adding “Life to his years”, in the years I had known him.
Choose what to leave out – choose wisely
He was so diligent in his approach to exercise that he came in for a workout on his 80th birthday. He sat on the reclining stationary bike to warm up and I got everyone in the gym to sing ‘happy birthday’ and cheered ‘Hip hip, hooray!!’.
I think he enjoyed the attention.
One of my favourites – the Most Muscular pose. Circa 2007.
After the singing, we started our chat and I thought I’d ask him in honour of his 80th birthday what was the one thing he could share with me that he learned in his last 40 years that he hadn’t known in his first 40 years. He stopped pedalling for a few seconds, looked up to the gym ceiling and said …
“Work on being a master of your funnel, Paul!”, he yelled whilst catching his breath.
“Don’t stop cycling, mate, keep those legs pumping!” I said
“Don’t think, answering my question gives you permission to stop moving.”
He smiled, gave me a look, and happily continued.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “What funnel?”
He called out, over the music in the gym, “I learned how to cut out more bul#@it in my life, Paul!”
This was very interesting, coming from a man who had a huge part of his career in advertising and strategy, advising large companies on selling. Matter of fact he ran a company that employed 200+ people, which he successfully sold along with another business he started after that.
He had also acted as adviser to some of the most prominent businessmen Australia had ever seen. One such high wealth individual he advised for more than thirty years was Australia’s Richest Man at one stage – Mr Kerry Packer.
This retired friend of mine did alright for himself.
Attitude is key at winning in the Game of Life.
Rid your life of ‘stuff’
He then proceeded to say that in life, we get bombarded with so much ‘stuff’, and now more than ever, due to the proliferation of the various media types, one has to be more diligent in ‘policing’ the many sensory stimulants entering our minds through what we see, hear, who we talk to and the groups we mix with.
We have to exercise vigilance inself-regulating behaviour,in particular, with regards to the impact exposure to all this modern-day living ‘stuff’ (or in his words “bul#$@it”) has on you.
Try this suggestion; Limit your television viewing to stimulating, special shows. If you make television watching a habit, you can become narrow-minded, tunnel vision sets in and creative imagination will vanish. All the better if you can record or download them and watch when it fits your schedule instead of someone else’s.
See how you feel in 1 week.
A famous company slogan goes something like this …. “Life is short”… we could all heed the advice from my wise friend and assess how well you are using your own funnels in sieving out the irrelevant ‘crap’ from your lives NOW … not 40 years from now.
Maybe, just maybe, we will not only add years to our life … but more importantly, LIFE TO OUR YEARS!
Choose wisely … & have fun,
Cheers & ahoy!
The old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & cutting out more bullshit from your life
Learning from the best at something, to be your best is the quickest way to get to where you’re going. No one can teach you what they don’t know.
Explaining the fine points of re-engineering the physique and increased self-awareness through enhanced ‘mind-muscle’ connection..