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To know the unknowable.

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Do you know what love is?

Do you believe in it? Do you desire to share your love with others? Do you act on that desire? To ‘know’ what love is, is I believe, to know the unknowable.

But where do we begin?

It is too large a subject and too deep to truly understand and I believe there are insufficient words to describe what it is. There have been many attempts to define love and by now you will have formed your definition of love, from your experience and perception of truth.

I believe that to love – either oneself or another, you have to desire to and act on nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth. Yep, spiritual growth.

I have helped many people on their individual journey’s to become better versions of themselves, adopting my unique framework. I tell them at the start of the program that it is as much a spiritual journey as it is physical. What I have found is that each time I journey with them and helped them, help themselves, to extend their limits and evolve in to the person they imagine themselves to be, I feel profoundly satisfied.

Each and every journey and as they evolve and re-engineer themselves, I feel that I also evolve. It seems as though, through reaching toward change and evolution for someone we also evolve, just like it is in the process of adaption that muscle grows.

I know one thing for certain about love: we are incapable of loving others unless we love ourselves, just as we are capable of teaching our children self-discipline unless we ourselves are disciplined or just like we cannot be a source of strength if we do not nurture our own strength. We cannot teach what we do not own or know.

Ultimately, self-love and the love of others go hand in hand and more and more I believe that they are one and same. They are indistinguishable.

Just like love, muscle needs sufficient and appropriate stimulus to adapt. It is in the process of adaptation that muscle evolves/grows.

Just like love, muscle needs sufficient and appropriate stimulus to adapt. It is in the process of adaptation that muscle evolves/grows.

I have deduced though that many people think they are loving but when in fact, they are not! It seems that in our modern culture, many desire and have intentions of being loving but they are not in fact loving. How? Why? Well, firstly, the desire or intention to love is not the same as love. Let’s make that clear.

It is simple: love is as love does!

It is a choice, a personal choice. We do not have to love (and many decide this).

We choose to love.

So, it does not matter how much you think you are loving, if you have chosen not to love, you do not love! Full stop! You have made your choice despite your good intentions.

The topic of love is truly totally unknowable and almost unexaminable. To fully know the unknowable is one of life’s wonders and challenges.

However, in my experience, to love, to really love, I believe one does not have to feel love. I believe that real love is often present when the feeling of love may be non-existent or is lacking. Real love is what happens when we act lovingly when we don’t actually feel loving.

Try to get your head around that one.

So, back to my earlier definition of this unknowable subject – love is what love does.

In my heart, I believe that to love (whether oneself or another person), one has to help the person (including you) journey towards being a spiritually better person. This brings more balance back in to your life, amongst other things.

This is one of the major keys to life: balance. Without it, everything becomes more difficult than what it needs to be.

The act of helping another human being evolve spiritually is the foundation of knowing this unknowable, an important part of love. Even though, ultimately, you will only know a little bit of what love is.

But that is ok, persevere as life is short and like someone once said “… none of us will get out of this alive, anyway”.

Think. Desire. Act. Love.

Re-establish your balance within.

Choose well.

 

Until next time,

Work on strengthening the spirit within. It is par of the foundation of love - the unknowable.

Work on strengthening the spirit within. It is part of the foundation of love – the unknowable.

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a better life, action, attitude, belief systems, Beliefs, better choices, decisions, Goals, self, self improvement, self-image, success, you, your life

Are you the master or slave to your “shadow”?

Each rep of each exercise, executed with constant tension throughout the full range of motion gets you closer to the person you 'imagine yourself to be'. Goal of set: make the last rep as good as the first. An A+ student here - Phil Waugh.

Each rep of each exercise, executed with constant tension throughout the full range of motion gets you closer to the person you ‘imagine yourself to be’.
Goal of set: make the last rep as good as the first.
As A+ student here – former Australian Rugby Wallabies & NSW Waratahs Captain,  Phil Waugh, executing perfect form in triceps extensions.

In daylight or any light for that matter, you cast a shadow. Even if the sun or light is right above you, your shadow is still there. It is always there. Your shadow here can be likened to your self-image, your sub-conscious. Are you the master or slave to your shadow?

It is an interesting relationship – this one between you and your shadow. Can be likened to a ‘master-slave’ relationship where you would think that YOU are the master and your shadow, the slave.

All actions you take comes from this relationship. Well, many actions can be taken by the master but no action whatsoever can be taken without consulting the shadow.

The shadow or the ‘sub-conscious’ ability of the mind houses your very important ‘self-image’. By the time we are adults, we would have developed a self-image about every talent, every characteristic and every performance we have ever had. Have you ever heard yourself or others state perceptions out loud like – “I’m a lousy cook, I can’t even scramble eggs’ or “I have a terrible memory”. “I’m never on time”. “I can’t stick to a healthy diet”. I have heard many of these self-limiting impositions people have made and believed in my time in the gym.

These all make up your shadow, shaped by your subconscious mind. The important thing to remember is this:

“you cannot outgrow these limits you place on yourself – you can only set new limits within which you must live.”

Results with care. Here, Brad is 'feeling the essence' of the exercise and inching closer to his best self. Managing your 'shadow' better is a giant step towards realising your goals. Vv

Results with care.
Here, Brad is ‘feeling the essence’ of the exercise and inching closer to his best self.
Managing your ‘shadow’ better is a giant step towards realising your goals. Vv

In my two decades of helping individuals in the gym find the best version of themselves, whether it be in losing weight or in quitting a bad habit, effort alone is not enough to achieve and sustain the goals. You also need imagination!

I always tell my students that they need to “walk, talk, eat, sleep, sh%t, talk, run …. Like the person they need to be, before they become the person they will be.” As there is another important point to remember:

  • It is not what you “are” that holds you back, it’s “what you think you are not.”

I have learned a lot about people and a lot from the many thousands of people I have met over the last two decades in the gym. I love ‘people watching’ and one thing I do know that holds true for every person is this:

  • Individuals DO NOT behave in accordance with reality. Individuals behave in accordance with their ‘perception of reality’.

What is your reality? What is your perception of the ‘truth’?

I have found that if a person does not desire to work on changing his/her self-beliefs that are aligned with the person they desire to be then the change they are seeking will be temporary. This will apply to any worthwhile change, for example weight loss, alcohol consumption or quitting smoking and so forth.

Self-image is fundamental to understanding human behaviour and what I discovered years ago is that if you change a person’s self-image, you change their personality and their behaviour. I think this is a very important part of any mentoring/coaching role, whether it be in a team capacity or on an individual basis.

This is why effort (or will-power) alone is not enough to make a change that is lasting in yourself. Trying to make a worthwhile change at the conscious level by using will-power, will usually result in a temporary change. I have seen this many times with the thousands of gym goers that seek a positive change in their lives. You see them – bursting out of their seams doing all the group classes, sporting the latest clothing gear, looking the ‘part’ but never achieving their goals.

There are many reasons that people fail to achieve lasting change but a big part of it is that they try and take on a new habit for example – going to the gym or give up a bad habit for example – one-pack-a-day smoker for ten years by good ol-fashioned, teeth-gritting WILL POWER.

This is where people fundamentally go wrong: people think that they are masters of their shadow and have not understood that they are in fact slaves to their shadow, the shadow being your subconscious part of your mind. Because they have not spent the time working on their self-beliefs that make up part of their self-image, the conscious mind is still unconvinced.

Two principles of building muscle: 1) Simplicity and 2} Continuity. Become aware; Apply action: Adapt accordingly.

Two principles of building muscle: 1) Simplicity and 2} Continuity.
Become aware; Apply action: Adapt accordingly.

Reminds me of a client I trained a few years ago. He did very well. He lost around 30kg and built a decent physique. He worked very hard and was a very good student. For about 8 months I reminded him daily of the importance of ‘walking, talking, sitting, eating, sleeping, shi%ting …. Like the person he desires to be”. And for those first 8 months he told me he had it under control and he had mastered this request of mine.

However, I wasn’t convinced he was (even though he had achieved a body-weight he had not been at since he was a late teenager). It was unchartered territory for him.

It wasn’t until he went out and played a round of golf with some of his old mates one weekend that he truly understood what I meant by that statement and what I said was his biggest challenge was.

For the entire round of golf, he was having an extremely bad day and he couldn’t understand why he was hitting the ball that bad. It just so happened that a friend in the group (an ex-Olympian who understood a bit of sport psychology) went up to him and said,

“you are still hitting the ball like you were the guy who was 30kg heavier – the old YOU?”

That was when everything crystallised. He then realised what I had meant when I reminded him of how important it was to train his mind and mastering his shadow. I have said this a thousand times over the last two decades – losing weight is the easy part. What is the most difficult thing to do is convincing the REAL YOU that you are the NEW YOU.

In the case of the example of the smoker, your shadow (self-image) has seen you as a smoker for the past ten years and believes that you will still “see” yourself inside as a smoker.

Result: The smoker fails his attempt to quit smoking. Puts it in the “Too – hard busket.”

This is where imagination and emotion (or heart) comes in to the equation. I have always believed that effort (will-power and hard work) alone is not enough to achieve lasting results, one needs imagination and ‘heart’. You need to feel the end result you are seeking.

If you don’t change your self-image or shadow then when there is a conflict between will-power and conviction, the latter will always WIN. You can see this in action for example when you know you’re tired but you’re convinced you won’t sleep, you just won’t sleep no matter how hard you try (will-power).

Chris enjoying a well-deserved rest between sets. A 'set' as I define it is: a continuous progression of 15 to 45 sec 'focused moments'. Focus + heart + visualization ===> results. Vv.

Chris enjoying a well-deserved rest between sets.
A ‘set’ as I define it is: a continuous progression of 15 to 45 sec ‘focused moments’.
Focus + heart + visualization ===> results.
Vv.

For any worthwhile change to be sustainable and permanent in your personality or behaviour, you should first involve change in your belief-systems and self-image (change the control your shadow has over you). This change in self-image needs to be followed up with a quality plan and quality implementation for any successful change in your lifestyle.

We make decisions (small and big) every single moment of every day of our lives. To me, most if not all decisions in life come down to 2 things:

  1. Plan
  2. Implementation

You need these 2 things if you want to get results. That is easy to understand. It follows then that to achieve QUALITY RESULTS, you need to have a QUALTIY Plan and have QUALITY implementation.

So, a question you would ask yourself is “are you going to be a slave to your shadow for the rest of your life” and use it as a ‘handicap’ or are you going to use this shadow as a springboard to achieving greatness?” However, which way you define greatness.

Scientists agree that the human nervous system cannot tell the difference between an actual experience and an experience imagined vividly, emotionally and in detail. This is why your shadow can be used as a springboard to achieving greatness if that is what you choose to achieve.

It is yet another of the many decisions you have to make in your life. A choice.

So, it would follow that you need to “see’ through the eyes of the person  you would like to be if you desire to be the person you desire to be.

You need to take control and manage your shadow if you wish to make any worthwhile, sustainable change in YOU and your life. Let me sum it up in this formula:

A quality plan + quality implementation = quality life.

This is what my framework and the products I have developed help people do. I give them a quality plan (tailored to each individual) and I guide them through quality implementation towards a quality result. So, don’t leave such an important aspect of self-achievement with the ‘lottery of life’ attitude, that a big percentage of the population do – you can see this behaviour reflected in the popularity and increasing prevalence of games of chances, led by the gambling industry.

It is the one thing you have some control over, if you desired it. What is needed from you is the courage to manage your shadow better and become master to it and not the servant. Make a quality plan to change your belief systems for the better and use your shadow (self-image) as a spring board to a better YOU, a better LIFE.

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

Overcoming many small hurdles on your way to achieving your ultimate goal is encouraging.
Progress, any form of progress is a motivating factor.
So, don’t strive for perfection, instead seek progress … towards your ideal SELF. Former student, demonstrates that desire to be and do his BEST in this photo. … like he has done ✅ all his life. To be his best, he trains with the BEST. 
Vv

So, if there is one important investment you will ever make and abstain from putting the ‘cart before the horse’ like the majority of people do, is to work on your shadow. In order to do this, you need to understand your shadow, understand the REAL YOU. You need to increase your awareness. The first step to any form of self-improvement.

To do this, to understand – you need to work towards simplifying things. Matter of fact, in the beginning you need to ‘over-simplify’ things to understand things better – to ‘manage your funnel better’.

So, that is your first step, simplify YOU. Simplify your life. Make the complex, simple. Simplify to understand. Understand you and your shadow. Seek to understand the master-slave relationship that exists. Before becoming a master of the many other external things in life, become a master to yourself – your shadow.

Work towards managing this master-slave relationship in your favour. Take better control of your shadow by understanding and changing your self-image, with a vivid, clear, emotional, sensory vision of the person you want to be.

If you have children, watch them play ‘pretend’ games. Understand your shadow by adopting this “lets pretend” attitude, and play the role of whomever you want to be. My kids just don’t go out of character until the pretend game has ended. Imagination is one thing my kids have helped me improve over the last few years of fatherhood.

So continue to work on your imagination and believe in your dreams. Believe you can become a better version of YOU and try ‘pretending’ you ARE before YOU ARE. After-all, your shadow cannot tell the difference between “The real me” and the ‘the one I see’.

Managing my shadow better, helped me towards representing Australia twice at the World Natural Body-building Championships and be placed in the Top 5 in the world in consecutive years. It has also been one of the reasons over 84% of everyone I have ever helped over the last 10 years have successfully achieved their goals or better.

So, don’t be a slave to your shadow. Instead work towards becoming the master that you deserve to be and be the best you can be, for YOU first (in whatever worthwhile goal you have), and by default everyone gets the best of you too. Be the best you can be to live the best life you can live.

Besides, I read somewhere a long time ago that life is like a parachute, you only have one chance to open/live it.

Choose well.

All the best.

Until next time,

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

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

Side Triceps pose in the heat of competition at the 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Contest held in NY, USA. Represented Australia. Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World. Repeated this in 2008.

Side Triceps pose in the heat of competition at the 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Contest held in NY, USA.
Represented Australia.
Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World.
Repeated this in 2008.

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a better life, action, adaptation, asking questions, attitude, awareness, balance, beauty, belief, Beliefs, better choices, care empathy, change, Change Agent, change management, choices, compassion, consciousness, decisions, desire, dreams, Energy, examined life, game of life, Imagination, life, long-term perspective, mind, self improvement, strengths, success, symmetry, taking action, trust, you, your life

What can you “see” that lies behind your eyes when you look in the mirror?

Are you your brain or are you your mind?

The two greatest mysteries of nature

What do yousee’ when you look at that person looking back at you when you look in the mirror? When you pick up the comb or brush to set your hair the way you want (lucky you if you have that … because I don’t have much hair to comb, like so many other balding middle-aged men out there in the world).

Specifically, what and who lies behind those eyes that look back at you in the mirror.

Now, this is not a very easy question to answer for many reasons. Why is this question so difficult? Well, because it is one of the two greatest mysteries of nature. And what is that? Well, it is simply –

The MIND.

The other great mystery is – the Universe.

Now, as I see it …. to witness the mystery of our mind, all we have to do is stare at ourselves in the mirror and wonder, What lurks behind our eyes? But, this raises even more questions like: Do we have a soul? What happens to use after we die? Who am “I” anyway?

I believe the universe and the mind intersect in a variety of ways but I won’t go in that here. Suffice to say, there is a connection … between the mind and the universe or consciousness.

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.”

Triple A

In our journey through life, I would like to think each and every one of us are striving, at our own individual pace, to become the best person we can be … the best person we want to be … the best person we know we imagine ourselves to be, in all areas:

  • the very definition of Personal Development.

And if you’re not trying to be better than you were yesterday in whatever form and whichever area of life and you choose to do so, then, I have three words for you: you’re a fool!

Read no further.

But, if you desire to help you, then all I believe we all need is: an open, determined and curious mind. 

Now there are many approaches to personal development but the one I aspire to, as detailed on the face of this blog page, is quite simple. A system I developed summarising this process: my Triple A (AAA) approach to any form of personal development is:

  • Awareness
  • Action
  • Adaptation

Responsible for transmission of critical electrical, chemical & hormonal messages -internal communication

The first A: Awareness

Today I will elaborate on the first of the three A’s: AWARENESS.

What does it mean to be Aware or rather Self-Aware?

Now, we’ve got to be careful here, as there are always two sides to a coin, there is Negative Self-Awareness and there is Positive Self-Awareness, lets focus on the latter.

Positive Self-Awareness is the first and most important step in self-development. It is that “aha” moment one experiences in understanding the potential and abundance we have, and perhaps how little we have done to challenge our minds thus far.

And just how little we know.

Here’s a thought to give you an idea of what it means to be self-Aware: Can you look in the mirror and “see” what you don’t see? Can you look in the mirror and see what lies behind your own eyes? Have you? Is how you think, feel and act consistent? Keep looking in the mirror until you see the real “you”.

Me, some of my quirks (showing off my muscles, posing at every and any opportunity and my desire to ‘over’ dress than to ‘under’ dress. Also, my quirk of love for dogs (and in particular, my pirate dog _ MR Fuzzy/Fussy Cuddles!) and animals in general. I know who “I am”. Do you?

Being Open-minded

I believe, fundamentally, being Positively Self-Aware means being open-minded. Are you open-minded? Or, do you look at life through your parents glasses? Are your prejudices inherited or are they your own?

Or, are you hardened, cold and closed to new ideas and new opportunities and change? This hardness can come in various forms: vulgarity and rudeness, intellectual cynicism, prejudice, stubbornness, lack of empathy etc. Ask yourself this the next time you look at yourself in the mirror, if you’re brave enough.

The Brain 🧠.
The mind.
I AM.
Use this most complex tool every created to become a better medium of communication to …. the universe, to infinite intelligence … to consciousness.
To your GOD.

To Not become narrow-minded

Strive to not become a narrow-minded human being.

Being open and able to see the many alternatives in every situation is being Positively self-Aware. Try looking at “relative” rather than “absolute” facts in a situation.

I’ve always asked my kids when they tell me something from School, like “Dad, this was my best day ever!” I would tell them that that was great but “compared to what?. Everything is relative.

Being self-Aware is accepting that skin colour, birthplace, religious beliefs, sex, financial status, and intelligence are not measures of worth. It is realizing that each human being on earth is a person with equal rights to fulfill his or her own potential in life.

Allow your mind to ”connect’ with infinite intelligence.
With consciousness.
It is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.

We’re not on the same wavelength

Each of us are unique, unique in our fingerprints, unique in our footprints, unique even in our lip-prints. We also speak and think on different frequencies. Haven’t we all found ourselves saying “we’re not on the same wave length or page!”

We don’t have to look very far for examples of this, just give the nightly TV news 5 minutes and you will see the result of people on different frequencies illustrated in many ways …. discord in family, social and international life. Everyone is looking through a different set of lens. Looking at different mirrors.

Empathy

What it means to be positively self-Aware is to have empathy.

How is your ability to be empathetic? Ask yourself “how would I like to have a husband like me if I were my wife?” or “how would I like to have a father like me if I were my children?” or “how would I like to have a manager like me if I were my employees?”

Like what the great modern-day thinker, Mr Seth Godin says … work on your ‘emotional labour’ to help others, help themselves. Become more in touch with elements of trust, care and compassion.

Or as I would like to say – “become more human”.

Love your ‘feminine side’ … appreciate beauty in all it’s forms … like cars, watches, beautiful architecture … beautiful women.
Embrace the “Real Man” in YOU … men!

Know your limits

Being self-Aware, we must all strive to find our own healthy stress level in life and to operate within that range or level. A domestic cat would not be able to handle the stress levels that which a tiger would be able to handle out it’s environment.

Know yourself. Know your limits. The truth is some never do.

Being self-Aware also understands that the person who does not read is no better than the person who cannot read – and, that a person who does not continue to learn, to adapt and grow, is not better than one who cannot grow.

We’re all truly unique individuals with unique strengths and weaknesses. Understand your uniqueness and appreciate the differences in others. It is a beautiful world indeed.

De-clutter your brain of all that noise built up from early childhood clouding your thoughts.
Delete and stop contributing to the bottom-line of ‘bullshit’
Work on managing your funnel better.
Know your limits.
Seek help before it is too late.
As a great book says –
“Seek and ye shall find;
Ask and ye shall receive”
Now do.

Like a dog chasing it’s tail

So, I leave you with these thoughts:

  • by knowing who you are, where you’re at and where you’re going allows you to see the possibilities and alternatives available in your life. If you leave things up to chance you may miss opportunities as you muddle around in circles, like a dog chasing its tail.

Alternatives only exist if you know which way you are going.

Change your philosophy on life. Change your environment. Change your life.

A change of philosophy follows a better Awareness of self.

The altar of worship.
Some find their beauty, their truth in Religion of choice.
Their search for beauty is being ONE with the ONE.
Keep searching for your beauty. Your truth.
No one else can take your journey for you, but you.
Be brave. Slay your Goliath.Make believe and imagination is key to improved self-awareness

Here’s one idea to increase your sense of self-Awareness you may want to try: Try imagining being someone else that you know for a day: your wife; your husband; your parents, your children, your workmate.

Make believe and imagination is key to improved self-awareness. Try seeing life through their eyes and how you imagine them to ‘see’ you. What would each of them be thinking about you. Why?

I’ll leave you with a little prayer that I’ve got my lovely daughter to say every night as I tuck her in to bed. She says “Lord, help me be the best I can be…. for me, … and for everyone else”. and I also get my kids to say … Ïf I can dream it … and believe it … I can achieve it!”

The key phrase is: ” and I believe it” . Belief is everything. Without it, you achieve nothing. I’ve always believed – “No belief, no nothing!” . Do you think I got to 2 x World Championships without unwavering belief in me, my God and my team … to win? All the way to the Top?

No, I didn’t think so.

So, dream …and imagine … and believe. With your whole heart and soul. Believe it so.

Believe or not believe.
Get your ass off the pole of the fence (stop sitting on the fence!)
Choose.

The best you can be. For YOU. First.

Understand that person who is behind those eyes when you look in the mirror.

Strive to become more self-Aware, more positively self-aware. Your destiny in life hinges on it.

All the very best!

 

Cheers & Ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate … & thoughts on ‘seeing’ beyond what you look at, when you look in the mirror.

Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science.
One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.
Top 5 in the world, two years in a row at a sport I love ain’t too shaby for an city boy from the beautiful paradise islands of Fiji
If YOU think you can and you BELIEVE YOU CAN … YOU CAN.

Beauty comes in the human form.
It is a living masterpiece.
On display, from a masterful poser/artist, the human body exemplifies beauty and truth rolled in to vibrating ball of flow of muscle.
The hard part is to CREATE beauty. We all have the ability within us.
To create a beauty through the human form is genius.
Providing the scaffolding for your childs(ren) character building towards a ‘beautiful character’ is like sculpturing a great physique.
Everything matters, however, small it is.
GIGO for their minds:
If you want to create champions and leaders , feed them daily champion & leadership thoughts.

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