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?
Muscle is precious. Build muscle then, do everything you can to preserve it.
Don’t believe everything you read, see and hear
Don’t believe the headline – eating and drinking in excess this Christmas will not help you lose weight!
But I am making a point as to how we can become needlessly fearful (because of all the conflicting views out there) of exercising with weights or eating certain foods or doing just about anything.
Everyone seems to have an ‘opinion’ these days with the proliferation of social media and a lot of these views have insufficient and inappropriate evidence (scientific) to back them up. This applies to almost everything, but especially, weight/fat loss and exercise and eating and drinking, because well, we all do these activities, more or less.
It seems that everyone is suddenly an expert.
Anyone can show how, by selectively citing some scientific research and blowing it all out of context, you can build a case for any argument, including the subject heading that I have used.
If you have a small amount of scientific nous, it is super easy for someone to give an opinion and by selectively citing some scientific research (based on some ridiculously small sample) and blowing it all out of context. You see this quite regularly on mainstream media as the ‘sensationalism’ of these stories sells ratings.
Have no doubt. Help yourself first. God will meet you half way … he ALWAYS does. All you ahve to do is: BELIEVE.
Key habit: Build muscle.
Below is the start of my view on fat loss and body re-engineering …
If you need to lose fat leading up to the festive season and summer (in some parts of the world – like Sydney, Australia) – build muscle. Naturally. Full stop!
There are countless weight-loss programs on the net and every where you go and read. Terrific for increasing awareness. However, fat-loss plans and weight-loss plans that don’t include strength training, fundamentally, rob the body of muscle.
Now, you don’t want to do something that robs the body of muscle because the process of ageing does this anyway. Ageing, is partly, by definition, the deterioration of muscles due to the reduction in protein synthesis.
Weight-training to build muscle ‘off-sets the on-set of ageing’. It is the potion of youth. It keeps people younger, longer. I know, because I have witnessed these people who seem to look and act five, ten, fifteen and twenty years younger.
The common denominator: they build muscle!
I love Chess growing up. I beat the University Chess Champion once. Life is like a game of chess …. you’ve got to learn to think many steps ahead … but also be able to ‘play what’s in front of you’ A delicate but necessary balance to succeed at anything in life for that matter Become a better chess player of life
Train SMART. Live BETTER.
I’ve always told everyone I have ever helped over the last two decades that every kilogram of muscle is a fat burning dynamo! Yep, a fat-burning dynamo.
If you compare your body’s metabolism (the rate at which it ‘burns’ calories) to that of an engine of a car, when you build lean body mass (muscle), you increase the engine size and power of your body. Your car engine (metabolism) goes from, say, a 1.8l engine to a 4.0l or even an 8.0l engine over time.
Muscle loss reduces calorie requirements, makes fat loss more difficult, and creates increased obstacles to the maintenance of a lean body, once the excess fat has been lost.
Fundamentally, your ‘life-force’ (or vitality) will be sucked out of you and you will literally feel like cr&p! Every single minute of every single day. Now, why would you or anyone for that matter want to feel like that every single day. I could and still can’t understand why people still do this to themselves. Instead of doing ‘life-affirming’ actions, they instead do ‘life destroying’ actions.
Not smart. Not sustainable.
Put simply, and to sum up – always remember, to help maintain a lean body, build muscle. To do this you need to Train SMART. Live Better.
It is as simple as that!
However, like some philosopher once said, “the easy things are also the hardest things to do”.
If you can dream and imagine a much more improved physical version of you and believe in executing a plan to get you there, by all means go for it!
With 8 x Mr Olympia – “The King”, Ronnie Coleman. Now, this man built and carried on his frame an unbelievable amount of muscle – 300lbs worth of it!
And don’t worry if you have never entered a gym in your life or you haven’t done anything since your late teens or early twenties. It is never too late to start.
Regardless of your age, or how out of condition you may think you are at present, I believe it is never too late to start an exercise program. The power to decide rests in your hands (literally when you start lifting weights in a gym to help the person in the mirror – YOU).
You can transform your fitness and muscle strength at any age, along with your appearance, and health. I believe this is important because from my observations as a coach over the years, when people’s image improves, their performances improves too. Feeling good about yourself is an important part of being a well-balanced human being.
Make that choice – for you or a loved one. Make that choice to help you so that you can enjoy not just a long life but a good quality life by lowering the risks of early on-set of age-related physical and mental diseases. Respect and love the most important person in the world to you – YOU, first.
That way, by default, everyone gets the best of you, too.
You have one life, make the most of it all the best in the choices you make. No one else can make them for you, so choose well.
5 key areas to manage your living better … for better balance in your life
To assist in the quality of your life right now, consider improving on these 5 key areas to manage your living better – for better balance in your life:
Eat – well composed, portioned meals, more frequently. If it is green leaf (and not a frog), include it in your meals.
Water – drink adequate levels of water daily. An average adult should aim for 3L per day.
Move – a combination of weight training, cardio and stretching done two to three times per week.
Enjoy yourself – don’t forget to have fun and laugh at least once a day.
Socially engage with your community in person.
Get, learn and apply the basics (of life) right so that YOU can ….
Muscle is precious. Build muscle, then do everything you can possibly to do to preserve what you have. You will thank your lucky and wise stars as you age.
Don’t accelerate the ageing process as age does it for you anyway. Build muscle, as if your life depended on it (and it does). Build muscle as it is your personal preventative insurance against age-related diseases as your life ticks on … tick, tock, tick, tock!
Then, watch your energy, mental state and vitality soar to new heights and ….
Live, really live.
Until next time,
Cheers & ahoy!
The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk … & managing your weight during Christmas festive season and beyond
Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you. Vv.
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