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2.5 Lessons I’ve learned in my life so far …

Here are a few more questions: 1) do you like the colour red? On doors? 2) Do you like doors? 3) Is a question the “door to what lies beyond?”

1.0: Great love and great achievements involve great risk.

It is worth it, if you desire it so.

Life, is many things and one of them is – life is a big exercise in Risk Management.

Remember: No Risk, No nothing.

2.0Don’t laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams, don’t have much.

What are dreams?

Dreams tell dreamers what could be as opposed to what currently is. Dreams are essential to creativity and innovation and achieving goals.

They are ‘dreams with a deadline.’ Everything begins and ends in the mind, starting with your imagination/dreams. As a mentor once said –

What are goals?

If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.’

I used to tell people that if I made that person I see in the mirror better than, last week, than last month, than last year … in ten years I will be on the World Stage, standing and competing against the best in the world.”

Within ten years, I stood on stage against the best natural bodybuilders at that time, representing Australia. A Big Dream, come true. I repeated the feat the following year for good measure. As a great mentor once said –

If you think you can, you’re right … you CAN.”

Don’t ever laugh at another person’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it is.

Does the shape of the door affect what is inside? Why does colour matter? Why do we need doors?

2.5 Disagree with people, if you must but don’t hate them.

It’s ok agree to disagree and still like someone.

In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling and personal judgements. Leave judgemental comments to God or people who have a profession as a Judge.

Shit happens. Stand your ground. Don’t be afraid.

So, there you go… 2.5 lessons. “0.5” as the list is far from exhaustive. I’m sure your can add many more to it from your observations of life so far.

Until next time, take good care of your lovely self

Yours in care, compassion & trust,

Paul.

A yellow door maybe? Perhaps you like the colour yellow. What is your colour blind?
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Ask the RIGHT Question.

Be, YOU.

Question Everything.

I tell my children to NEVER be afraid to ask questions BUT more important than that is to learn HOW to Ask the RIGHT QUESTION…. &…

To … Question EVERYTHING.

Everything that is passed down from earlier generation (even everything me or my wife tell them) … EVERYTHING they SEE … HEAR… READ….

And …

Most importantly…

Ask the RIGHT questions.

I know you know this.

And they do, & they’re getting really good at it … it’s tiring BUT it’s a lot of FUN.

Be YOU. As YOU are. Accept the uniqueness … and weirdness that you know you are. Embrace YOU. Never imitate.

Are you a “stirrer?”

Are you a “stirrer?”

I am.

Ive always been what you call a stirrer. I also encourage my kids to be so, too.

Question “why?”, three levels deep… “go deeper!”, i say, they say “why dad?” …. I say “why not?”

I encourage civil disobedience in kids against anything or anyone that suppreses imagination in kids. I also support a healthy disrespect for authority (question everything) & to find FUN in everything & anything Around you.

I tell them to “Find the craziness in the common or the Marvellous in the mundane “

YOU just have to pay more attention. Become more intentional with your attention. Become a better listener. In addition to listening to what people say, work on listening to what they don’t say. Most importantly, listen to what your inner voice/soul says.

You will learn much.

Keep your dreams alive . Snd if you’re going to dream … Dream BIG. You serve no one by being and thinking small. Think BIG!

Learning to be Trouble-Makers.

So, my kids been taught to be and still learning to be trouble makers (within reason). They’re learning to be kids that “rock-the -boat”, young people that question the “status quo”; outsiders; & rabble-rousers… basically a little “weird.”

I believe The world 🌍 is crying out (& has been crying out for a while now) … crying out for heretics. Yep, those same people who were burned at the stake not too long ago.

I believe that the world needs YOU right now…YOU, in ALL your weirdness.

Regardless of your age however, I believe IMAGINATION & finding the marvellous in the mundane is a good habit to develop.

For YOU & your journey towards happiness.

Be weird (good weird) & share the BEST YOU with those you love.

Have a great day & weekend,

The old man-
P.e.💪💥❤️alentine 🌴💥

I AM. Me .. & my constant companion – Mr Fuzzy/Fussy Cuddles
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My LOYAL friend who FILLS UP My SENSES.

Do you think 🤔 this is an “Angry look?”. Why? Why not? What does your angry look, look like?

Anger, my friend.

Why has society increasingly frowned on Anger?

Why has society demonised anger? Why is it that we (especially Men) cannot and not encouraged to “get angry?” This is hammered into men right from when we are toddlers. Why? Why have we only focused on the destructive results of anger?

It is just as much a valid emotion as being happy, sad, excited, joyful etc.

I have found Anger to be a friend.

Yes, that’s right, he has been a great friend. Not a lovey-dovey friend, not a particularly nice friend, far from being a gentle friend. No, anger … is a very, veery very LOYAL friend.

Anger has always been there with and FOR “me”. Anger loyalty reminds me with ease when i have betrayed myself enough. It is there to stop anyone or anything from taking advantage of me, beyond what is reasonable.

“Reasonable “ here would refer to my imaginary boundaries/tolerance limits of certain suffering.

To me, Anger is fuel. This is a KEY aspect of the power of a loyal friend.

Anger,

I love this quote. Increasing your awareness is parameters to having clarity and success in your life. SEARCH. Become the BEST ‘searcher’ you can be. One day .. you may find ALL the answers you’re seeking for YOUR questions to give ‘meaning’ to your life. A wonderful book says – “Seek and ye shall find; Ask and ye shall receive.” True.

This friend loves me.

This friend LOVES ME.

And, I have come to love this friend, all the way back to consciously recognising him when I was about 9 years old.

Yes, it is a form of power… a powerful energy. When we feel it, we almost always want yo do something about it – hit someone, throw something, break or smash something, punch a wall or spew out profanities to the person.

Why do we do everything to it … except LISTEN to it. I mean, we are taught to … deny it, bury it, hide it, lie about it, medicate it, ignore it or simply muffle it.

Why don’t we just allow ourselves to feel and express it just like we do with other feelings?

Anger not only summons courage, but it points the finger and shows the way… an alternative way. To me, anger is a sign of health … good 💝itality.

Unlike what most of modern societies espouse, I believe anger is a good thing. It means you’re alive. Anger is part of our inner voice … it is meant to be listened to.

Not ignored.

As fuel, we can embrace the energy of anger to turbo-boost our actions to where our anger points us. Here’s the catch that many struggle with – anger is meant to be ACTED UPON, not ACTED OUT.

Highly likely if you’re one of these, you’ll certainly have a healthy relationship with your friend – Anger.

It awakens me.

Re-read that last sentence again. Let it sink in.

Every time I get angry, it reminds me that I am being courageous and expressing something that is pushing me towards my perceived boundaries. Should I tolerate it, extend the boundaries or … resist.

It AWAKENS me.

It is a a tsunami o that annihilates and with that destruction, signals that death 💀 of our old life. Anger is the springboard that springs you into your new life.

To me, anger is envigorating. It helps INFUSE me with the “essence of life” – 💝itality!

It is a tool, and like all tools, when used in the appropriate manner, allows you to CREATE something with it. It is not something to MASTER. Anger, instead should be something used as a resource .. to be tapped in to and drawn upon.

For example, I have used my loyal gym training partner & friend – “Anger” to accomplish record-breaking lifts & intensity in my workouts . He has always been there. He helps me “climb mountains” and achieve small goals in the gym. As a tool, I TRANSMUTE my loyal friend, Anger into the various mediums of Art that I express my love through.

Anger, my loyal friend, has also been the wings under my wings when I need to summon courage to fly.

I cannot live with my loyal friend.

I need him.

Every single day.

Anger, I pray 🙏 that you visit me again. Soon. I need you to fill up my senses. As John Denver sings in his song “Annie” –

You fill up my senses,

Like a night in a forest;

Like mountains in springtime,

Like a walk in the rain;

You fill up my sensors,

Come fill me again;

Come let me love you,

Let me give my love to you;

Let me drown in your laughter,

Let me die in your arms;

Let me lay down beside you,

Let me always be with you;”

And you should, too.

Embrace your Anger. Make him your friend.

Dance with him. Get to know him again, if you have to.

Let him point and … show you THE WAY.

Thank you

Until next time,

P.

Maybe all the answers to your questions lie within YOU. Your mind, your consciousness. Maybe, it is not about seeking answers but simply asking more questions. Maybe questions are asked simply for discussion and debate … to help fuel our capacity to RE-IMAGINE … a better future. A future that is NOT based on the doors of the past…/ future based on alternate possibilities of the future. A Future based on the future, not past.
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What is PURPOSE to you?

Embrace Love. BE Loving. BE, Love.

To GIVE is to RECEIVE.

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.

Stop ✋!

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.

Believe in love 😍. Give love. Receive love. Do all thoughts & actions with love.

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.

For me, it is GOD.

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.

We all have a light that helps us see as we journey through the paths we choose in life. My light is God. What is yours?

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.

I simply began, being more LOVING.

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.

I learned and discovered my TRUE PASSION and that is … speaking and sharing NUGGETS OF VITALITY.

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.

My fridge magnet. Have courage. Continue to fuel your courage … every single day of your life.

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.

Not a nice feeling at all.

One of my Top Students to have not only achieved and exceed her initial goals but has gone on to share and guide others with the education she learned from me & my programs.

Be more like a VIKING/Pirate.

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.

Cheers & ahoy!

The old cap’n Viking Pirate 🏴‍☠️ muscled monk

Find the Viking… or Pirate in you. It is there, embrace it and … sail your ship towards your purpose.
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My son turned 10, today.

10!

I sit back and go … “wow!’

Where has time gone? Ten years went by … .like a blink of an eye. Memories… that is all we have … shared memories.

We have many.

The young man and I. Cruising.

He knows he will always have a home.

He has spent his first ten years of his life, with me, his mother and his sister. Spent it in our home .. which is HIS HOME. 

I like to think that his home is a place of celebration, a continuous celebration of Life. His home is the place where he can let down his hair and just be, himself. His home is where living happens and laughter rocks the walls. 

I’d like to think that his home is the place where he learns to play, to have fun, to relax, to love and … to pray. Each day in our household is a celebration. Everyday, our Family prayers allows us to reflect on our life so far … with GRATITUDE.

Our home is A celebration of Life.

There is an abundance of laughter in his home. So loud that it carries all the way to the streets and neighbours.

Enjoying Kayaking together in Sydney’s beautiful seas

His home is where Real Living, takes place.

He learns how to work, how to play, how to eat, how to ride in cars together, how to attend Taekwondo lessons, how to play music in bands virtually, how to watch youtubes and videos, how to host friends, how to take care of his self, how To be a better brother, how to be the loving son that he is, how to develop our own private family jokes (usually they love “roasting’ me).

In our home .. his home, we try not to take life too seriously. In our home … a home of celebration we thrive in conversation and accept that humour and laughter is essential elements to our Family cohesion.

Our home … his home … vibrates to us and to everyone around us that … 

“This is what life is all about. In a nutshell, life is what happens in our home … it is where he is celebrated.”

He loves creating stuff. With all kinds of tools.

Home is where … 

My son … has his Nintendo game, his soccer and rugby balls, his books, his swords, his toy guns, his snacks. 

Home is …. Being able to walk around in his undies all day … home is Eating cold watermelon and tropical pineapple together at the dinner table on a winter day. Home is where he is allowed to yell … to get angry … and it is ok. Home is where he can play wrestle games in the bedroom and backyard and come out of it … unscathed.

Home is where he gets unlimited hugs and kisses and learns about the important things in life. Home is where he learns how to agree to disagree and resolve conflicts.

Home is where he learns to be appreciated and listened to. Home is where his strong sense of self … his powerful self image … his confidence is built. Home is where he understands his responsibilities to contribute to the family to make it work … that little things, matter.

To sum up … I hope my ten year old son learns much … in our home .. his home.

One day, I hope, he would look back and realise that home is where he discovered wonder and learned to not only Dream … but …. To Dream BIG. One day, he remembers to repeat some of … OUR traditions … OUR unique family qwirks … our UNUSUAL ceremonies.

I hope that one day, my son looks back and views his time in his home .. our home as a period where he not only FOUND but …. EXPERIENCED, JOY.

With … his dad (me), his mum, Cathy, his sister, Olivia and our pet schnoodle : “Mr Fussy/Fuzzy Cuddles”.

Until next time,

P.

Can you see “me” in my son? Can you see you in your son?
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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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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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