It is my mission to help people believe more in themselves. It is my passion to encourage people to do more, be more and have more in their lives. It is my vision to inspire people live the very best life they can live for as long as possible. It is my purpose to empower people to take more action, make more mistakes, yet create more success. That being case, it is my hope, after reading this blog and when the next opportunity arises to do something you are not sure you can do, you will respond with, ‘why not?’
I was recently listening to a podcast with the title ‘Why Not?’ The speaker, a very successful businessman, was talking about two very different experiences he had whilst travelling internationally. The first was when he arrived in Germany for a stopover on his way to Greece. He got off the plan after a long flight, wanting a coffee before he got on his next flight. Keep in mind, he was flying first class, and as he went to the airlines private lounge for a quick coffee, he was stopped at the desk by a gruff airline employee. She looked at his ticket, and said, “You can’t come in on this ticket.” I can’t remember the reason why, but this gentleman tried to reason with her and ask her if it would be okay, since he was flying first class with their airline, to just go in for 5 mins and get a quick coffee. She looked at him with a stern expression on her face and said, “No!”
She was just doing her job, but it did seem a little inflexible and unreasonable to the traveller. Anyway, he finally got a coffee in the busy food hall and then got on his next flight to Greece. When he finally arrived at his boutique hotel, right on the Aegean Sea, he had his second and very different experience. He was starving, tired and just wanted something to eat. It was, however 3pm, a time when everything in Europe shuts down, so he wasn’t optimistic about his chances. He decided to take a chance and ask the concierge if there was a chance to eat. He was told by a very friendly man that the kitchen was closed, but he would ask the manager. The manager came over, and again, the weary traveller asked, if it would be possible to get something to eat. The manager, looking very thoughtful for a moment, replied, “Why not?”
The manager arranged for food and the traveller ate a delicious meal. He then thought he would test this manager again and he asked if there were any chance of getting a massage. The manager smiled and, even though the masseur had gone home, said, “Why not?” After a beautiful massage, shower and rest it was evening time. The traveller was sitting looking out over the water and enjoying a pre-dinner drink, when he noticed something unusual on the beach below. There was a lone table set up, with candles and dining, for two people, and a piano on the beach right next to it. He called for the manager and asked him what was going on. The manager explained that a couple were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary and asked if there was something special the hotel could do for them. The manager had said, “Why not?” Then proceeded to carry chairs, tables, crockery, cutlery, glassware and even a grand piano down to the beach to make the couple’s experience a beautiful and memorable one.
That’s the power of ‘why not?’ You see, when you open your mind to possibilities, anything can be found, solved, created or achieved. I truly believe this. When I aspired to be a professional footballer, logic would have suggested that I was too young, too skinny and not talented enough. Whilst I don’t know if I actually believed I could make it happen, I didn’t know that I couldn’t and with a ‘why not?’ attitude, I got into action and made it happen. When I decided to write my first book, all the odds were against me and, again, it was hard to believe I could do it, but I couldn’t come up with strong evidence to prove that I couldn’t. Let me tell you, ‘why not?’ in that situation totally transformed my life, as I am now about to get my eighth book published. I am living my purpose today as a result of that ‘why not?’ almost 20 years ago.
Seriously, why can’t you write your book, regain your health, look amazing, forgive yourself, love yourself, create wealth, have beautiful relationships, make a difference and live the very best life you can possibly live? You can! The only reason you won’t is because of what you tell yourself. In my podacst this week with John Di Natale, called ‘Find your voice,’ we discuss the power of the words you use in helping you live your best life. So, from today and as you move forward in the one and only life you have, it is my greatest desire to empower and inspire you, as opportunities come your way, to ask, ‘why not?’ and then go on and make them happen. Trust me, you are good enough and you are on this planet to leave your mark. So, go forth and ‘why not?’ all over the place!
Why is it we spend so much of our life worrying about what others thinks of us? Why do we care whether others approve of us, think what we are doing is a good idea or not, or agree with our opinions? I ask myself that question on a daily basis. Why do I care so much? I mean, people only look from their perspective. They don’t know what’s inside of me and driving me to do the things I do. I know why I am doing them and that’s all that counts. I have realised that it doesn’t matter how it looks to anyone else, it only matters how it looks to me.
If you are a Rocky fan and have watched all of the movies, you will have watched the sixth movie, Rocky Balboa. In this movie, Rocky is well past his prime, has retired, owns a restaurant and has an adult son. He still, however, feels like he has some unfinished business as a boxer and, when an opportunity to fight in an exhibition bout with the World Heavy Weight champion comes up, he accepts it. Most of the world thinks he is crazy, the media have a field day, his son thinks he is crazy, and he starts to doubt whether it’s a good idea or not.
In a conversation with his friend Marie, he shares his concerns and fears of what others will think if he decides to go ahead with the fight. Marie listens intently, and after a short pause and a little preamble said; “You’ve got this opportunity, so do it! Why not? I mean, this is who you are, and this is who you’ll always be, and you don’t move aside for nobody until you’re ready to move. It doesn’t matter how this looks to other people, all that matters is how it looks to you. (Long pause) Rocky… Rocky… look at me (Rocky looks up at her). How it looks to you! And, if this is something that you wanna do, and if this is something you gotta do, then you do it. Fighter’s fight!”
I get chills up and down my spine watching this part of the movie, and even just thinking about that statement; all that matters is how it looks to you! I am definitely no Rocky, that’s for sure, but the other morning, I was taking Joia for her early morning walk. My morning routine is a little weird. When I get back from my training, I plug in my earphones and listen to worship music as I jog around the block with Joia. Now that may not sound weird to you, but I am jogging on the spot while she is pooping, peeing and sniffing, in an attempt to add to my step count for the day. In addition to that, I sing with the worship songs, out aloud, often with my arms raised to the sky. Yep, that’s weird.
The other morning, I was out doing my thing, when I saw a man, who I have seen before, doing his thing, and something seemingly just as weird. He was walking up the hill, in the middle of the road, and he was walking backwards. So, just as I turned the corner jogging on the spot and singing worship songs out aloud, he was walking backwards up the hill in the middle of the road. I had to smile. I mean, I could just imagine how it must look to other people. What would people think of us? I even thought what he was doing was weird, and I’m sure he thought the same about me. However, do you know what? It doesn’t matter how it looks to others, it only matters and how it looks to me, and how what he was doing looked to him. We both knew why we were doing what we were doing, so nothing or no-one else mattered.
This is powerful! I know that because it is an affliction we humans have, all of us. Can I please share two things? One, people are not thinking about you, or me, they are thinking about only one person… themselves! Two, what they think about you is none of your business! The only thing that matters now and the only thing that ever matters is what you think about yourself. It’s totally irrelevant how things look to other people, it only matters how it looks to you!
I did worry about how it would look to others when I was a skinny, talent-deficient teenager trying to make it at the top level of Australian football. Just not enough for it to stop me, because how it looked to me was more important. I was concerned about what people would think about my writing and my ideas when I decided to write my first book. Thankfully, what I thought about becoming an author was more important, so I did it. Are you worried about how you look to others in your aspiration to; achieve better wellbeing, find a new relationship, restore a broken one, build a business, write a book, change career or any other area of your life? If so, why? Why isn’t what is important to you enough? It should be. Why don’t you trust yourself? You can. Why don’t you naively believe that you are good enough? Because, you are.
In my podcast called, ‘Give naivety a try,’ with Pietro Girgenti, ex-lawyer now founder of the fitness app Fitii, we talk about the amazing strength that lies in just naively believing that you are good enough. As you move forward, hopefully inspired, after reading this blog, please take the wise advice of Rocky’s friend Marie, who said; ‘It doesn’t matter how it looks to other people, all that matters is how it looks to you.’
This week’s blog is a passionate plea. It’s a plea to you to know how important you are and how much your opinion and needs matter. It’s also a plea for you to open your heart and mind to encourage and allow others to speak their truth and use their voice. I have presented in two schools over the last week, and the thing that has impacted me the most, as I drove away after each session, is the lack of self-belief, self-confidence and self-value of many teenagers. This needs to change.
In a recent social media post, I wrote;
It is our responsibility to empower, encourage and instill belief and confidence in the wonderful teens of the world.
As I stood there talking to these incredible young people at a Melbourne based Secondary College yesterday, I was struck with the realisation that many of them lack belief in themselves and the confidence to trust their voice.
It is my greatest desire; to fill them with self-belief, to help them understand the power, capacity and potential they all have and to empower them to take immediate and even illogical action!
If you have a teenager, know a teenager, or were a teenager… Please act now. This incredible generation of people needs our help.
EMPOWER & ENCOURAGE A TEENAGER TODAY!
I wrote this post after speaking at one school to about 150 year 8 students. I try to keep my presentations fun, engaging and interactive. I love empowering teenagers, I love asking questions and getting responses, I love encouraging dreams and aspirations and I love it when I see the penny-drop, but I am finding this increasingly difficult. In this particular room, there were two boys who were the only ones with the confidence (or interest) to ask questions and to share ideas. There was the occasional contribution from a few other boys, and absolutely no sharing from any of the girls. This concerned me.
I am not a parent, and so I can’t even begin to relate to the challenges of raising healthy and well-balanced children, but I was a teenager and so I do understand the impact of parents, teachers, peers and the media. I am concerned about the unrealistic images and messages that are portrayed about being happy and successful in life. Somewhere in our younger years we are losing our voice and believing that we are not important and that no-one wants to hear our opinions. This is not just an affliction of teenagers, it is true for many adults. Maybe even you.
I would just ask you to reflect back when you were a baby. At that time in your life, were you worried about what others thought about you? Did you stay quiet when you wanted something? Did you give up crying when you didn’t get attention straight away? Did you care how loud you cried or how long you cried for? Were you embarrassed about pooing your nappy? Did you beat yourself up after falling time and time again whilst trying to walk for the first time? Did you worry about keeping people in the house, or the neighbours, awake? I think you know the answer to all of those questions. You were confident, bold, loud and determined. If you wanted something you cried at any time of the day and night until you got it. You kept getting up after each fall and you didn’t stop until you were walking. So, my friend, what happened to your confidence, your belief and your voice?
I say this often, and I will say it again. You are extra-ordinary, in fact every person is extra-ordinary. You are miraculous and on this planet for a reason. God made no junk. You are worthy, you are valuable, you are important and your voice counts. What do you want to say? What would you like to change? Who do you want to listen and hear you? Can I suggest you behave like a baby, and keep saying it, until you are heard? Cry if you have to! Why? Because your voice matters, and your ideas will impact lives.
I was talking to a group a teenagers a few months ago about their valuable voice. I asked them, what they would like to say to teachers, parents and community members, if they believed they would be heard. One girl raised her hand and said, she wished there was more awareness and education about disability. She talked about how many disabled people get treated poorly, because of lack of understanding. She passionately spoke about how this type of knowledge would make a difference for both the able-bodied and the disabled in our community. Wow!! This was a 16-year-old girl. Everyone has a powerful and valuable voice that will change lives.
Yes, that means you! Your voice counts, your opinion matters, and your ideas are valuable. So, can I encourage you to use your voice this week? Can I also ask that you to encourage others to do the same, and, when they do, welcome their ideas and opinions, even if they don’t agree with your own? This world is full of people, who are alive for a reason, and have a voice and a legacy to leave. I am a living example of someone, who is not always confident, not always secure in my value and often fearful of voicing my thoughts. Yet, I do know I have stuff to say, and I am going to say it, because I deeply believe, in my heart, that my voice counts, my opinions matter and my ideas will change lives. That is why I do what I do.
Often, it’s the voice in our head that stops us from voicing our thoughts. In my podcast this week, called ‘Get rid of the crap,’ with Tania Kolar, we discuss how to turn your self-talk into your powerful voice. I hope after reading this, you will open your mouth and share an idea that will help someone, confront an issue that will change something or tell someone how important they are and how much you love them. Just know, as you get on with your day today, that your voice counts.
Every day I get up to start my morning rituals and, after doing my elimination business, I drink one litre of purified water. I also take some vitamins with that water. I put the class in the sink with the tap on and filling the glass as I go and get my herbal Rhodiola tablets. If I take too long, when I get back to my glass, not only is it full, but it’s overflowing. Now you may be underwhelmed by this observation, but what I want to encourage you to do this week, if living your best life is the goal, is to get full to overflowing.
I know you are wondering what I mean by this, so bear with me as I try to help you take this visual, of an overflowing glass, and apply it to your life. If I were to ask you what the vision of your best life looked like, amongst other things, you would probably talk to me about; a fit and healthy body, wonderful relationships, career success, a strong financial position, a fulfilling social life and having a positive impact on the lives of others. Would I be right? Would I also be right in saying that each of those things is outside of you?
What I mean is that a fit and health body is your external being, wonderful relationships are with people who are not you, career success relies on other people and situations, financial success depends on money in a bank, your social life requires other people, as does having a positive impact on others. That being the case, and I may come across as a little ethereal and woo woo here, my belief is that you can never – yes, I said never – create amazing external results in your life, if you don’t fill yourself up first. You can’t love another if you don’t love yourself. You can’t be healthy if you lack self-worth. You can’t create career success if you can first develop personal success. You will not make money if you don’t value yourself.
A strong social life depends on your ability to help people feel good around you, and if you don’t already feel that way about yourself, you can’t or won’t develop strong bonds. In terms of your impact on others, and please hear me on this, it’s not what you say that will most influence others, but the person you are and become that will have the greatest positive effect. So can you see that no joyful fulfillment, impact or success is possible if you don’t first fill your own glass, and then when it is full, get it to overflowing. It is this overflow that will give you the results in life you want.
I hope I am making sense here. When you fill your glass full to overflowing with love for yourself, then you will genuinely and unconditionally love and interact with others. When you fill your glass to overflowing with esteem for yourself, you will take the steps necessary to be optimally healthy. When you fill your glass to overflowing with knowledge, wisdom and truly believe in your value, you will excel in your career and money will start to abundantly flow into your bank account. When you fill your glass to overflowing with a strong internal desire to be the best you can be, you will most profoundly impact others. I hope I am making sense.
So, the question you may be asking is, how do I fill my own glass and get it full to overflowing? That my friend, is a wonderful question to ask, and I hope you are ready to act on the answer. The answer is simple, focus on building yourself from the inside out, every singly day. Build your self-belief by affirming statements that reflect who you want to become, reading great books, listening to empowering audios, and associating with people who support and encourage you. Build your value by thinking about and writing every day, what you love about yourself, what you are most grateful for and what your unique strengths really are. Build your confidence by taking action every day on communication, vulnerability, trying new things and getting uncomfortable.
Improve your wellbeing by visualising how you want to be, loving yourself for who you are, moving your body and taking steps to put the right stuff into your mind and body every day. In my podcast this week with Dr Stephen Petteruti, called ‘Youthful living to 120,’ we discuss exactly what you can do to live a life of joyful longevity.
When you start talking personal positive action to start filling your own glass with positive input, strong self-belief, high value, self-confidence, self-love and positive actions, just watch what happens when that glass starts to overflow. As you overflow with love, belief, confidence and positive expectancy, watch what happens to the people and around and the things you are aspiring to in life. It is my greatest desire, as you come to the end of this blog, that as soon as you have finished reading you will start on the journey of getting full to overflowing.
I love being a human. As much as I love animals, and many inanimate objects, I am glad I am able to type, talk, think, choose, change and create. The one thing about being human that challenges me is my tendency to want things to be easy and comfortable. My observation is that this is a pretty natural human desire, even though the reality is that things are always hard before or after they are easy and comfortable. Yes, things are hard before they are easy or they are hard after they are easy, so, you get to choose your hard.
Let me share two personal scenarios with you to illustrate what I am talking about. One you know, because I am proud to talk about it and do so often, the other is not one I am not all that excited about making public knowledge, but will do so to share this powerful message. ‘Okay Andrew, just suck it up and do it!’ That’s just me talking to myself now and trying to motivate myself! Talking openly and sharing my feelings has always been hard for me, and particularly in situations where conflict could possibly result. So, for a long time I avoided talking and sharing to elude potential judgment and dispute. I always joked, as a footballer, I would win my fights by 50 metres! Yes, run rather than face it.
It was always easier for me, in the uncomfortable moment, to bite my tongue, pretend everything was okay and then go and distract myself with something I enjoyed. Well, that was easy before it got very hard. Yes, three failed marriages are very, very hard! Had I opened myself up, spoke up, shared what was on my heart, dealt with the issues at hand, communicated, negotiated and solved the underlying challenges, it would have been hard in that moment, but made things much easier in the long-term. Can you possibly relate to what I am saying now? So, whilst it easy first, it was way harder later.
I have spoken about my journey to become an author many times, and I will continue to do so because I am proud of it and there is a powerful lesson here. In the moment I decided to write a book it was hard. I was working in two businesses, one that was failing. I was working seven days and over 100 hours per week. I knew nothing about book writing and had no time, no skills, no qualifications and no experience. I think is fair to say, it was hard. If it was so hard, and so illogical, why did I do it? I had a vision and a gut feeling that if I did, then afterwards it would make my life easier and more enjoyable. I can tell you now, 17 years after my first book was published, with my eighth on the way, I don’t have to work seven days and over 100 hours per week, and I love everything that I do. Yes, it was hard before it much easier.
Enough about me. Here we are, back to you and the choices you have. You get to choose your hard. You get to choose whether you do ‘easy’ first and then deal with ‘the hard’ that will always come afterwards or go ‘the hard’ first and then enjoy ‘the easy’ that will come later. You can sit on the couch, eat anything you like now, because it’s easier, and then deal with ‘the hard’ of trying to restore poor health later, or you get off the couch now and do ‘the hard’ to enjoy the ease of optimal wellbeing later. I can tell which I would prefer and do, every day. You can choose to do ‘the easy’ spending now and deal with ‘the hard’ of financial stress later, or you do the hard yards now to work, save now to enjoy the ease of financial strength later. You can learn from my misjudgment and do the hard work to build trust, vulnerability and communication in your relationships now to enjoy the ease of great relationships later or make the same mistake I made too many times.
The point I am trying to share in this blog is that there will always be ‘hard,’ it is unavoidable. The question is, when will you choose to experience that ‘hard’? If you choose ‘the hard’ later, in my experience and observation, it will be harder and maybe even impossible. If you choose ‘hard’ now, while you still have a choice, then ‘the easy’ that will come is your wonderful reward and will bring incredible joy into your life. If you are inspired to reset your wellbeing and look for ‘the hard’ first, then my podcast called, ‘Reset today,’ with Miranda Mae will help. Whatever you are dealing with or aspiring to right now, know that ‘hardness’ is a part of the adventure. In my experience, choosing ‘hard’ first is the best option, so, with your best life in mind, get good at choosing your hard!
Last week I wrote about fighting for milk, this week it’s about peeling onions, what’s with the food stuff? No, I’m not about to write a cookbook, and for that you should be very grateful! I love stories and I love the analogies that teach lessons and that make success more visual, meaningful and achievable. So, this week I am talking about peeling onions and not because I want you to cry, but because I want you to understand what is truly holding you back from the success you are after, and how to move forward to achieve it.
I am sure that you, like me, want to achieve, improve or receive stuff in your life that, for some reason, you are not pursuing with zest, energy and passion. Why is that? If you were to ask yourself the question, you may, like me, answer with a definite and profound, ‘I have no idea!’ This is often the challenge for most people… they are not chasing what they want, or are continually giving up, and they don’t even know why. If this sounds like you, then my friend, it is time to start peeling the onion.
When I got the idea to become an author for the first time, it was a powerful and exciting vision. I could see the opportunity to help more people, make more money, have more time and enjoy more passion & purpose. I mean, who wouldn’t be excited by that? Despite that exciting and powerful vision, I hesitated and procrastinated getting started. Why? At the time, I didn’t consciously know, so I started to peel the onion.
I asked myself the question, ‘So, what is stopping me from getting started?’ The most obvious answer came to mind, and that was, I had no time. At that period in my life, I was working more than 100 hours per week in two businesses. Then, I realised that if I wanted to be an author, I would have to make time, so I then asked myself, ‘I don’t have lots of spare time, but I have some, so apart from that, what else is stopping me?’ I thought about it and the next thing that came to my mind was that I had no idea of the process. Upon reflection, I knew I could learn the process, so again I asked myself, ‘I can learn the process, so apart from that, what else is stopping me?’ I wanted to write a book about nutrition, and as I didn’t have a nutrition degree, I didn’t believe I was qualified. What I did have however, was years of experience, knowledge and passion, so again I asked myself, ‘I am absolutely qualified, so apart from that, what else is stopping me?’
I kept doing this, ‘peeling the onion,’ until I got to the point when there was nothing else stopping me after the question ‘apart from that, what else stopping me?’ The final thing I said, the real and only issue, was fear of rejection. The bottom line was, I was terrified of going through the whole process of writing a book and not finding a publisher, and even if I did, I was scared that no-one would buy, like or read my book. It had nothing to do with time, understanding the process, being qualified or any of the other excuses I was making as to why I didn’t get started. It was one thing and one thing only I had to deal with. If I hadn’t peeled the onion, and kept peeling, I would never have identified it.
I then only had to handle this one challenge, and when I did, everything else fell into place. Within two years of this epiphany, I was a published author with my first two best-selling books that sold over 100,000 copies between them. That fear of rejection was overcome by the strength of my vision and reasoning that, if I didn’t give it a go, I would never know if I could be a success, or ever live the amazing life I desired. The key to me sitting here, loving my life, fulfilling my purpose and on the verge of publishing my eighth book, was spending the time about 20 years ago, to peel the onion.
I hope my story inspires and encourages you. I hope you are ready now to start peeling your own onion, to find that one simple block that is stopping you from living the most amazing life that is possible for you. I can tell you, the real obstacle is none of 99% of excuses that you are telling yourself, it’s just one thing that lies at the core of the onion. Your job is to keep peeling until you find it. Then, when you do, you can deal with it. It is my strongest desire that you can break through your barrier to achieve anything you want, just start peeling.
To help you in this process to go on to great things, I want to invite you to an online event that is happening this week. I am partnering with the amazing Heather Rendulic to present, ‘Put the spring in your thing.’ This event is on Thursday evening, April 8 (in the USA and Northern Hemisphere) or Friday morning April 9 (in Australia & the Southern Hemisphere). To find out more, you can listen to the podcast I did with Heather last week, and to book for the event, simply click here.
Life is short and you only get one shot at making it the best it can be. I can pretty much guarantee you that there is only one thing you need to negotiate to be able to move forward and live that incredible life. Your job is to peel the onion until you find it, deal with it and then enjoy the amazing experiences that will happen as a result. Don’t put it off any longer, start peeling today.