finding humour

finding humour

I am a far less self-absorbed human than I used to be. I still am to an extent, that’s for sure, but I am better. Do you know how I know that I am better? Simple, I am able to laugh at myself now, much more than I used to. When we are self-absorbed, we take everything personally and are way too serious. It is stressful and exhausting, and it will stop us from experiencing the joy that life has to offer. This week, I want to encourage you to laugh at yourself and make it a mission in life to find humour in everything that you can.

I am going to say something right now that is coming from my heart yet may sound harsh. I am saying it because, it was me and I wish someone would have said it to me many years ago. Are you ready? Here it goes: when you are insecure, you are high maintenance! There, I said it, now to justify it. When I was insecure, needing attention and validation, I thought I was humble and low maintenance, but I was the opposite. I was always needing someone else to help me feel good or better about myself, because I didn’t feel it inside. When something undesirable happened, I would search for sympathy, grasp for pity, and be offended by anyone who laughed at me. It was horrible because I never got what I wanted.

When you are hoping for others to react the way you want, you will regularly be disappointed and frustrated, because others will only do what they want to do, not what you want them to do. When you the person trying to console the insecure person, you will realise, very quickly, that no consolation can help, because what they want is nothing that you can provide. Things started to change for me when I was able to find humour in my situation. I am not sure why it helped, but it was the key to reducing stress, for everyone concerned.

I have told the story many times about my classy 1977 purple Holden Gemini, but for the sake of this blog, I will tell it again. I was about 20 years old, and at the time was in the middle of my professional football career. I woke up early one Sunday morning to get to a recovery training session. We had played the day before, and partied well into the wee hours, so I am sure you can imagine the state I was in. Let’s just say, I was not at my peak. The alarm went off, I rolled out of bed feeling very sore from the game and very seedy from the post-game. I got my training gear and headed out to my limousine, to drive to training. On reflection, I probably should not have been driving, however, it was the 80’s… say no more!

I got to my car to find that the driver side door was unlocked, which was strange as I always locked it. I was in no state to analyse or worry about it, so I got in the car, put my keys in the ignition, put on my seatbelt and went to grab the steering wheel. My hands grabbed air. I looked. I rubbed my eyes. I looked again. There was no steering wheel! Someone broke into my car and stole my steering wheel. I couldn’t understand it, and I was in no logical state to comprehend what had happened. I was distraught! Clearly, I could not drive the car anywhere, unless of course it was a straight road! So, I went in, woke up my dad and asked if he could drive me to training. He agreed.

I was really upset. Certainly, more upset than I should have been, that’s for sure. At that stage of my insecure and self-absorbed life, however, all I wanted was sympathy. I incorrectly assumed I would get it from a group of footballers. I walked into the change rooms, where 30-40 men were getting ready to train, with a distraught look on my face. They looked at me, and said, What’s wrong Jobbas, is everything okay? They genuinely thought something bad must have happened. So, I told them, fully expecting sympathy. Instead, within a few seconds, the whole group of men were rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter.

I was so offended, and I kept telling them it wasn’t funny. Each time I did, the laughter and jokes grew louder and longer. I moped around for a while, I sucked my thumb for a few days, I had my little pity party and then I thought, do you know what, that is funny! I have been laughing about that story and at myself ever since.

Do you want to be happier? Do you want to be healthier? Do you want better relationships with yourself and others? Do you want to find joy in every area of life? Do you want to live a long and purposeful life of success and prosperity? I am sure you answered yes to all of those questions. The answer is simple, find humour. In my podcast with Craig Harper this week called Time to laugh, we discuss this is detail, and laugh a lot. What you look for, you will find. So, start looking for and you will start finding humour.

tootpaste is not eyepaste!

tootpaste is not eyepaste!

My goal this week is to make sure you are fully aware of the preciousness, fragility and temporariness of your life. Are you living like there is no tomorrow? Are you making the most of every opportunity that comes your way? Are you treating the important people in your life the way they would want to be treated? Are you acting every day on the things that make your heart sing? Are you able to lay your head on the pillow each night with no regret? If you answered no to any or all of these questions, please read this blog carefully, with an intent to take immediate action.

As an author, speaker, mentor, blogger, and podcaster I am always looking for content. You may have heard me mention before that I believe, there is nothing bad that happens, it’s just content! When you are open to it, content comes from the most unusual and seemingly meaningless places. As was the content for this blog. I was in the bathroom the other day, and about to brush my teeth. I got my brush, squeezed the toothpaste out of the tube and was placing it on my brush. Just as I was about to finish, I accidentally flicked the brush up and some toothpaste also flicked up and landed in my eye. I don’t know if you have every had toothpaste in your eye before, but if you have you will know, as I discovered, it’s not meant to be in your eye! Ouch! It stung! After rinsing it from my eye, I was left with a red and raw eyeball which was very aggravated for quite some time afterwards. It left me knowing something more assuredly than ever, and that is: toothpaste is definitely not eyepaste!

I hear you asking: what possible content could I get from that dumb little story? As I was in the shower, shortly after the toothpaste-in-the-eye trauma, I started thinking, and this blog is what resulted. Somethings are just not meant to be. Toothpaste is not meant to go in your eye. Soap is not meant to be eaten. Petrol is not to be drunk. I think we can all agree with these blindingly obvious statements. What may not be so obvious, and what may be significantly affecting you and your life, is what you are choosing to do, that may not be right for you. Let me ask you a question: when your alarm goes off in the morning, are you excited about a new day, or do you feel anxious, stressed and just want to stay in bed? If you answered the latter, do you know what that is? Toothpaste in your eye?

You wouldn’t force yourself to put up with toothpaste in your eye, so why force yourself to put up with a job, career or vocation that is not right for you? As simple as it is to rinse the toothpaste from your eye, it is as simple to decide to do something that fuels your passion and purpose. In the first sentence of the blog I declared I want to make sure you are fully aware of the preciousness, fragility and temporariness of your life. Life is short, so please, for your sake and the sake of the people you care about, chase your purpose and do what inspires you.

Where else in your life are you putting up with toothpaste in your eye? Are you putting up with lack of energy and justifying it? Are you suffering through financial scarcity and resigning yourself to it as your norm? Are you putting up with a strained relationship and taking no responsibility to act and make it better? Are you talking yourself out of the things you really want to do and the person you truly want to become, because you don’t feel worthy? All of these are akin to just putting up with toothpaste in your eye. You wouldn’t do that, so please stop putting up with things that are leading you down the path of regret and lack.

Toothpaste is absolutely not eyepaste, and you are not meant to live a life that you do not love. That is a fact. In my podcast this week with Meryem Arpaci, called Highest vision of you, we discuss how to live this passionate and purposeful life. From today on, I want you to imagine toothpaste in your eye every time you force yourself to put up with something that is not giving or leading you to joy, health and prosperity. Have the courage to make the changes you need to make to ensure your health, career, relationships, finances, and lifestyle are moving towards exactly what you want. Life is short my friend, and every day is a precious gift, to be maximised and enjoyed. Right now, as you finish reading this blog, rinse the toothpaste out of your eye, look clearly at the way you want to live, and get to work immediately. Just always remember: toothpaste is not eyepaste!

leave room for miracles

leave room for miracles

As humans we are often too logical and too evidence-seeking for our own good. If something doesn’t make sense, can’t be explained, or maybe sounds too woo-woo then we discount it as a possibility. For much of my life, that was me. However, I have seen and experienced too many things that can’t be explained by logical human-thinking. I am now at a place where I truly believe I have another source available to me to achieve the success, happiness, and fulfilment I am looking for in my life. Here it is: when I have tried everything and nothing has worked, I simply leave room for miracles.

I know this blog is going to challenge some people. I know there will be sceptics and cynics. I know that what I am about to explain makes me sound a little crazy. I know all that and I am excited to share this anyway. Too many people are wondering what is missing in their lives. Too many people ponder what they are doing wrong and why they aren’t achieving what they want. Too many people believe that they are not good enough. Too many people are not leaving room for miracles.

This is what I mean. This week I had a major concern and a source of stress and frustration. I publish my podcast every Wednesday morning, so that means it needs to be uploaded to the hosting site by Tuesday night at the latest. I was super organised this week and I had all the editing and producing done by Tuesday morning. I was excited that I would simply upload the audio file, type the notes for the podcast and relax for the rest of the day. Normally, uploading and processing the audio file would take just a few minutes, however, for some reason it was taking longer.

I left it an hour or so, and it still hadn’t finished processing. I thought that maybe I just needed to refresh it and then it would be good to go. Well, I refreshed, and I lost it altogether. D’oh! So, I uploaded it again, and made sure not to refresh. A couple of hours later, it still hadn’t finished processing. So, I cancelled it, shut down the program, started it up, uploaded the audio file, and again, after an hour or so, still no luck. Now my day was disappearing, and my stress level was starting to rise a little. So, I went to my laptop, and I tried it on another computer thinking that would be the solution. Nope, another hour later, it wasn’t processed. I had tried everything, and I was at a loss as to what to do. Until, that is, I thought about my only available option: leave room for miracles.

For me, when I want a miracle, I go to prayer. So, I went into my office, shut down my desktop, and then restarted. As it was restarting, I was praying for a miracle. I know I am losing people right now, so bear with me. The computer started, I logged onto the hosting site, I uploaded the audio file, and again, I prayed. Guess what happened? Correct! A miracle. Two minutes later, the file had been uploaded, and the podcast was ready to publish. I know you can throw me all kinds of logic, explanations, and reasons why that happened, but I choose to believe in the power of prayer and that miracles occur.

You would not believe how often this unwavering expectancy and belief in miracles pays off for me. So, you can be as sceptical as you like, but it helps me answer the unanswerable, achieve the unachievable and solve the unsolvable. The secret to this working lies in your willingness to let go of logical, evidence-based, and sceptical thinking and just have faith in the existence and power of miracles. The question is: can you do that? It sure beats the alternative which includes frustration, stress, anger, and anxiety.

In my podcast this week with Dr Jacques Mitchell, called Believing is seeing, we discuss the importance and power of a clear vision. Jacques is the author eight books and a man having a profound impact on many lives. Both of us have created things in our lives that we had no idea how they would happen when the vision was first imagined. We did what had to do, we acted each day, we learned to overcome discouragement, and we both left room for miracles to help us achieve what seemed illogical, unreasonable, and maybe even impossible.

Faith, as described in the Bible, is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It is believing in miracles. It is knowing in your heart that if you get started on a journey, even with no idea how to get there, the path will open, the right people will appear, the perfect opportunities will arrive, and miracles will occur. This may be a difficult concept for you to get your head around, but I want to encourage you to just give it a go this week. See what happens if you simply remove logic and make room for miracles.

play the game, one move at a time

play the game, one move at a time

Life is a game. It may not feel like a game, at times, but if you treat it that way, I know life can be more fun and fulfilling. Games are fun, right? Even if the game has some stress involved, finds you behind at times, and deals with some challenging concepts, it is fun. Isn’t that life? How can we enjoy a game where we take risks, face challenging situations, win some and lose some, and still enjoy it, yet we often find life difficult and stressful? This is an interesting question to ponder. There are two things I want to encourage you to consider this week: treat life as a game, and just make one move at a time.

Treating life as a game means that we don’t take things too seriously. That doesn’t mean there are not serious things to consider, it simply suggests you look at every situation like you are making a move in a game. Have fun with the challenge, look for the lesson and opportunity, think about the where you are heading, consider the next move, make it and feel good that you are moving. Any move is a good one, because the alternative is standing still, staying stuck and getting frustrated. That is one sure way to lose any game you are playing in.

As I am writing this, it is Saturday morning, and I have just finished my training session. Saturday, on my weekly exercise calendar is affectionately known as ‘Muscle-Up Saturday’. Every Saturday for the last few years, I ride my bike to the local park, with workout equipment, and I monopolise the chin-up bar to do muscle-ups. This morning it was raining, but, as crazy as I am, my routine is muscle-ups, so I do it regardless of rain, hail or shine. Today, I did my personal best of 215 muscle-ups in just under 40 mins. Before you start saying: this guy is a crazy freak, just know it didn’t start at 215, and it happened just one move at a time.

When I started ‘Muscle-Up Saturday’, about three years ago, I think I did 20. So, how do you go from 20 to 215? One move at a time. Each Saturday, I would simply add one to five additional muscle-ups, and so from one week to the next, it really felt no different than the previous week. Can you see how, by simply adding one small move each week, and a commitment to doing it every week, seemingly miraculous things are possible? I could never have imagined getting to 100 let-alone 215, but it happened naturally one move at a time. My big goal is 300, which seems impossible right now, but I know that with one small move forward each week, I will have that done in just 25 weeks. So, watch this space.

If you have not listened to this week’s podcast called, It’s never too late to have a happy childhood, with Yair Kellner, I strongly encourage you to do it. Yair is an adventure and outdoor fanatic. He has hiked, climbed, swam, paddled, dog-sledded and Bike-packed, in some of the most extreme conditions, all around the world for the last 61 years. In 2012, whilst competing in a 1000-mile bike-packing invitational event in Alaska, he found himself in an undesirable situation. Actually, that is the understatement of the century. With weather conditions extreme, temperatures around 30 degrees Celsius below freezing, and a wind-chill factor of 60 degrees below, he and is 80kg laden bike fell through the ice into a flowing river.

With only 2 minutes to get out with his 80kg bike, or freeze to death, what do you think he did? I know what I would’ve done… panicked! He didn’t. Instead, he decided he would survive, and then he just made the next logical move. This story is amazing, as he got through a situation that so many would not have, simply because he just kept making the next move. You will love this podcast and will be captivated by Yair and his story.

Yair treats his life as a game. Every day for him is a fun adventure, and I feel the same about my life. What about you? Every day you wake up is a good day. Every day you have a blank page to imagine, explore and create. Please get excited about your life. Look for the joy in every situation. Most of all I want you to know that you can easily win the game of life, whatever that means for you, if you simply make one move at a time.

please take the chicken

please take the chicken

I celebrated my 57th birthday on Monday just gone. I am in lockdown, and, on the day, I was unable to see any of my family or friends. As I woke up in the morning, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was happy it was my birthday, on the other, what could I do? What could have been a normal day in lockdown actually became the most memorable birthday I have ever had and may ever have. The highlight was saying no the chicken.

Bear with me, I will get to the chicken. As I woke up on my birthday, I thought about the day and what I would do. I couldn’t do any of the normal birthday things, so I just asked the question, what will I do today? It was interesting that the overwhelming feeling I had was gratitude. I was overwhelmingly grateful for my life, my family, my friends and for the gift that is my existence on this planet. It was in that moment I decided to give myself a gift on my birthday. That gift was to give to others. The important thing about this day of giving I was planning, was that it was to give freely with no agenda or need to get anything in return.

Now, I do believe wholeheartedly in the law of reciprocity that states what you give you will receive. I didn’t give wanting to receive, but I did know that by giving, I open myself up to receive. The first thing I did that morning was donate money to my friend Pablo Miller’s GoFundMe campaign, as he was raising money to help young people with genetic disease. He talks about this in my podcast, Another Day, another 5K. He has run every day for over 500 days and is using it as a way to raise this money as his five-year-old daughter has a genetic disease.

Then out into the world I went. I gave half a dozen healthy energy drinks to a group of tradies on a worksite around the corner from my home. I gave a healthy energy drink and a copy of my book, The Wellness Puzzle to a bus driver as he stopped at a bus stop. I went to my local café and paid for a lady’s milk, and a gentleman’s coffee. I went to the local shopping centre with a pile of my books, and I gave away about ten copies to a variety of wonderful people. One of those people, after I gave her and her daughter a copy, bought another copy for twenty dollars. I took that twenty dollar note and gave it to the owner of another local café and asked him to put it on the till for the next few customers.

After a couple of hours, I felt amazing, and as I said, it was a birthday I will never forget. The giving was way more for me than it was for the people I gave small tokens to. I am excited about the ripple effect of this giving. The lady I bought the milk for, said she would do the same thing on her birthday. One of the ladies I gave a book to put a beautiful post on Instagram. Then, there was the lady who insisted I take the chicken.

I gave her two books, one for her and one for her teenage daughter. She was all in a fluster, because she was determined to pay for the books, or at least give me something in return. I graciously declined all her offers and just encouraged her to pay-it-forward. As she was about to turn and walk away, she made one last attempt. She had just come out of the supermarket with some shopping, and she said, I have just bought this cooked chicken, would you please take it, and I will go back and get another? So uncomfortable was she with just receiving, she had to keep trying to give me something. Again, I declined, but I know that moment impacted her life. I have blurred her face in the picture you can see as I don’t have permission to post it publicly.

Here’s the end of the story, because as always, my desire is to inspire you into positive action. Kindness, giving and making a positive difference in the life of others will have an effect that you and I can really never comprehend, or will never really know. But what you do need to know is that, when giving without an agenda, you will receive. I woke up the next day and got into my normal routine. Part of that regime is to track my finances. I log my income and expenses each day. I opened my bank account, looked at the balance, then I stopped and looked again. Something was different. Something had happened that I was not expecting. A large sum of money had been deposited into my account. When you give, you will receive.

I want to encourage you to make this week a week of giving, knowing that your giving will start a ripple effect of positivity that will flow back to you. It is my hope this week that, as a result of your kindness, someone will insist that you take the chicken.  

The answer lies in your emotion

The answer lies in your emotion

As humans, one of the most amazing God given gifts we have that sets us apart from other living things is emotion. It is actually a super-power, yet I am not sure we really understand or use it. I didn’t for a long time. We judge emotion. We hide emotion. We ignore emotion. We run from emotion. We blame emotion. We criticise emotion. However, do you understand, accept, and use emotion to help you move forward in life? If you have the courage to spend time in it, trust me, the answer lies in your emotion.

If you haven’t listened to this week’s podcast, Healing through feeling, with Matthew Caruana, I want to encourage you to do so. He is the most powerful and inspiring example of what I am talking about in this blog. He spent much of his early life holding in, stuffing down and ignoring his emotions. He felt worthless, insecure, and depressed to the point, at age 16, he attempted to take his own life. Thankfully, he failed, even though he became a paraplegic. At his lowest point in the hospital, still feeling the same way about himself as before attempting suicide, he now had to deal with significant physical trauma.

Finally, with nowhere to run, no drugs to take, no gym at which to build his biceps and no other way of masking his emotions, he was forced to face them. He did, and whilst painful and confronting it put him on the path to find passion and purpose in his life. He is now having a powerful and positive impact on the lives of many people. If you want to know more about Matt, and his incredible story, you will need to listen to the podcast. Just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby!

I have been plagued by anxiety my whole life. I have been confused by it. I have been affected by it. I have reacted to it. I have put up with it. I have ignored it. I have resigned myself to it. Then, I finally decided to explore it and question it. You see, for much of my life, I sabotaged myself in many areas of life, including sporting pursuits, career & business aspirations, and love interests. I didn’t make the connection between my anxiety and these ‘failures’ until I stopped to assess. I got to the moment when I said, enough is enough. I sat with my anxiety, and I really let it surround me, and then I asked a key question. I asked, why am I feeling this and what thoughts am I focusing on?

You see, for many people certain emotions stem from unconscious thoughts that have been brewing for many years. It’s easy to understand where the anger comes from when some insults us. It’s not so easy to identify the source of chronic anxiety we have just put up with for decades. After some deep reflection, I found the source of my anxiety. It had come from the incorrect belief that I was not enough. A belief I had harboured since childhood and one which had affected everything I did in my life to that point. Once I had an understanding and awareness of that belief, I was able to begin the journey of changing the thought process, changing my focus and, all of a sudden, things started changing in my life.

If I say I am grateful for my anxiety, would that surprise you? If I declare I am appreciative of fear, anger, sadness, resentment, and shame, does that make any sense at all? Knowing what I now know, all emotion holds within it the answers to joy, health and prosperity. We just need to pay attention, go inside and find those powerful answers. As I have said, many times, all emotion is good. Why do I say that? Simply because, emotion is your body’s way of giving you life-changing information. Your only job is to listen, pay attention and take the necessary action.

When you sit with anger, you will understand the perspective you have about a person or situation, and you will be able to decide if that is a healthy perspective or not, and change it if required. When you spend time with your fear, you will possibly realise that what you are afraid of is not that scary at all. You may then be ready to take the action you have been putting off for so long. When you allow yourself to experience anxiety, you will probably find, like I did, you have some very incorrect belief about yourself and your potential, and then be a position to change. Even when you feel joy, gratitude, and empowerment, it’s a good idea to really be there and feel them, so you know how to spend more time experiencing these incredibly healthy emotions.

My greatest plea is that you face, and don’t ignore your emotions. My hope is that you will embrace, not judge the things you feel. It is my desire that you will feel grateful every time you experience anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, resentment, and shame, because within them lies answers to questions you have previously been unable to answer. Make no mistake, within each and every emotion you experience lies information, insights and answers. You just need to have the courage to go in there and look.