So, who really is the most important person in your life? Who is the person that holds the key to your happiness? Who is the person that can unlock your potential and take you to the success you want in life? Who is the person responsible for the state of your relationships? Who is the person to lead you to optimal wellbeing and joyful longevity? Whoever you choose, as you answered each of those questions, you had better love that person unconditionally, because you don’t want to lose them, right?
For the question about happiness, did you answer with your pet, your partner, your parents or politicians? Wrong, it’s you. For the question about unlocking potential, did you answer with your boss, your coach, Tony Robbins or God? Wrong again, it’s you. For the question about relationships, did you answer with your partner, your parents, Oprah Winfrey or Cupid? Wrong again, it’s you. For the question about optimal wellbeing, did you answer with your personal trainer, your gym owner, Arnie or the person who makes the muscle bulking meal replacement? Wrong again, it’s you.
You already knew that, didn’t you? That being the case, if you are the person who is 100% responsible for the happiness, success, relationships and wellbeing you experience today and every day, then would you agree, you should be nicer to that person? With your consent I would like to ask a couple of tough questions. As you are still reading, I am assuming you have consented. Question one; how do you really feel about yourself? Question two; how is that working for you? Please, for the sake of your life, answer them to yourself honestly.
For much of my life, I didn’t think much of myself and consequently I strived to achieve in certain areas because I thought external success would help that self-love develop. I was skinny, I was shy and I was insecure as a child, and I believed that success as a professional athlete would help me love myself. It didn’t. As a personal trainer, I believed having an incredible body would lead me to self-appreciation. It didn’t. I thought the respect from others that came with being a published author would be followed by self-respect. It didn’t.
Even after many of the things I had aspired to and achieved, I still was left feeling sad, lonely and unfulfilled. Why is that? Simple; love, happiness, wellbeing and fulfillment are an inside job. I needed to change the paradigm I held about myself as no amount of money, achievement, recognition, success or status could compensate for a lack of self-love. After many years of self-loathing, I stopped and started exploring who I really was, at the core of my being, and I actually liked what I found. I discovered someone who had amazing potential. I discovered someone with a heart for other people. I discovered someone with a purpose to make a difference in the world. I discovered someone with a strong vision and large capacity. I discovered someone who was gloriously imperfect. I discovered someone who, whilst flawed and had made poor choices in his life, was committed to learning from experiences to grow personally and to help others. Ultimately, I discovered a pretty cool person underneath the outer casing.
As I started to like myself, I found more peace in my life. As my regard for myself grew, I found the answers to things I had been struggling with my whole life. In the process of being more embracing of myself, my abilities, my potential and even my flaws, I have got to the place I can honestly tell you that, right now, I love me. Wow, what a difference it makes, in everything! I am healthier, happier and more energised. I am clearer on my purpose than ever before. I am more courageous and less worried about other people’s opinions. I am attracting more great people and opportunities into my life. I feel settled within myself and not needing to chase external recognition and validation.
Are you ready to fall in love with yourself? I hope so, because nothing great will happen in your life until you do. As a great mentor of mine once said, you can’t hate yourself into a better life. Can I suggest you start today to change your paradigm and discover the things about yourself you like, you are proud of, you are good at, and the things you are aspiring to and striving to improve. You are pretty amazing, right? This week’s podcast, Shift your paradigm, change your life, by Alaina Schwartz will help enormously. It is my hope that one word, one compliment, one self-recognition and one day at a time you will get to the point you can say… I love me!
Are you sick of being stuck, where you are, in certain areas of your life? Are you ready to break free and start to live the life you are destined to live? Are ready for positive change in your life? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then I have three simple words for you to help you do it. Those words are; win the day!
I have an amazing mentor, who has a saying that, success doesn’t happen in a day, it happens day-by-day. As you read this, I have a feeling there is something more you want in your life; better relationships, optimal wellbeing, more money, to be a published author, to impact more lives or some other worthy aspiration. Am I right? I also get the feeling that you are feeling stuck, confused, doubtful, unworthy or unable somewhere between where you are now and the realisation of that aspiration. Would I be right again?
Every time I look back upon my journey to this point in my life, I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I am continually amazed by what I have achieved and the life of joy and purpose I am living now. Amazed, because I know me. I know my insecurities, my flaws, my doubts and my fears. I continually ask myself how I got here, and the answer is always the same… one day at a time. I am proud to have played professional sport for seven years. I am impressed with my fitness industry career. I am excited that I am on the verge of publishing my eighth book. I am delighted that, in my mid-fifties, I am lean, fit and healthy. I am most proud of the fact that I have got here, not through talent, but through creating the right habits.
I have been told how lucky I am now for decades. Lucky for my natural ability to be a footballer. Lucky for my genetics to have the body and fitness I have. Lucky for my high profile to be a published author. Ha! I had very little natural ability as a footballer, instead I worked hard every day for years. Good genetics? I was a chopstick with ears and had to work my brains out and eat well every day to get, and keep, the body I have. As for my high profile, I was a household name in one house, that I know of! Nothing I have achieved happened because of luck or talent, instead because I focussed for a period of time to create unconscious habits that predictably led me to the outcomes I wanted. Here is the best news, you can do the same!
There are just 63 days between where you are now and creating strong neural pathways in the brain and forever unconscious habits that will automatically and predictably lead you to the outcomes you are after. I am talking about habits like breathing or brushing your teeth. These are things you don’t think about, you just do, because they are part of your DNA. That is the type of habit I am talking about. Can you imagine your life, when the things you are struggling with, negotiating on and often forgetting, become part of your DNA? Things like exercise, eating breakfast, writing your gratitude list, drinking water, writing your book, complimenting others or any of the other simple things you struggle with each day.
All you have to do is focus on a handful of things every day for 63 days, and then you will never have to focus on them again. The most successful people don’t rely on talent, focus, will power or intellect, they rely on taking the right daily actions and turning them into unconscious success habits. If you are ready to hack your current status quo and create the life you want, then I am going to give you one simple piece of advice. That is; win the day.
To prepare yourself for permanent and positive change, firstly set a goal that is meaningful for you. One that will have a positive impact on your life and the people you care about most. Secondly, decide on just a few small daily actions that you want to run through the 63 day process to transform into DNA type, just-what-you-do, unconscious habits. Thirdly, find an accountability partner to encourage you and keep you on track. Finally, focus on the only day that matters. That day is today. Win the day!
You see, focussing for 63 days is intimidating and overwhelming, right? Even trying to stay focused for 42 days, 21 days or even just 7 days are still too much. Focus on the one and only day you have any control over, that day is today. There is nothing more than today. On this day you have a couple of very basic actions to take, so take them, whether you want to, feel like it or not. Once you have done it, you are a winner, because the goal for the day was achieved. So, tick the box, feel like a winner and celebrate because you are on the path to your best life. When midnight hits, you have a new day to win, so focus on that day, and again; win it, celebrate, feel your confidence grow and simply repeat this, one day at a time, for 63 days.
This week’s podcast with Greg Sellar is a perfect one to listen to if you want to learn how to hack the status quo. You are good enough. You don’t need luck, talent or intelligence to have great things in your life. You just need to know what you want, know what you need to do and win each day until the habits you need to predictably create success are embedded in your DNA and will automatically lead you to the success you want. Trust me, all you have to do is… win the day!
There is no doubt about it, we are living in a time of loss. You and I have experienced some kind of loss so far in 2020. It may have been the loss of a job, loss of income, loss of a relationship, loss of someone close to you, loss of the ability to travel, loss of personal connection, loss of certain freedoms, loss of control of different areas of your life and loss of other things I haven’t even mentioned. The thing I want you to think about, as you read this blog, is, what do you do with that loss?
In this week’s podcast with Marie Alessi, called Loving life after loss, I was so inspired by this incredible lady, that I reflected more on her message. In June 2018, with no warning, her husband and the father of their two sons, died unexpectedly while he was travelling for business. They had an amazing marriage, a strong family bond, and you would expect this tragic event to devastate Marie. Well, the way she handled this tragedy was incredible, as she was immediately able to draw on her inner resources, tap into powerful love, draw from her husband’s strength and find empowerment that helped her move from grief to growth in a very short period of time.
Marie very quickly wrote a book to share her experiences called, “Loving Life after Loss”. When it hit the top 100 list in Australia on day one, she realised she had something the world needed. Only months later she founded a global movement with the same title. Using this empowerment, together with her strengths & inner guidance, she found and created her way back to JOY in a way that now ripples massive impact around the world. I recommend you listen to this podcast, if you haven’t already.
Right now, what loss, or losses, are you dealing with? It’s interesting, and Marie discusses this in the podcast, how society expects us to deal with loss. The recommendations, from various sources, suggest we need to go through the five, six, eight or however many steps there may be in the particular grieving process being touted at the time. Who has the right to tell us how long we have to grieve, be sad, withdraw from the world and just be miserable until we are able to find joy again? Well, let me tell you, if a lady who lost the love of her life can become empowered, find love and joy and move on to help people within weeks, then I’m sure we can all be – almost – immediately empowered by loss.
So, what does it mean, to be empowered by loss? It means, rather than allowing loss to disable us, stop us in our tracks or hold us back, it means finding the inspiration in that moment of loss, to move us into positive action. Is it easy? It’s not hard, it just all depends on your mindset and your desire to live your best life. Like you, I have experienced loss over the last 12 months. In that time, I have lost my marriage, my driver’s license, a large source of my income, and right now I am experiencing a significant loss of physical connection with people.
Did I have some low spots? You bet I did. There have been moments of hopelessness, sadness and tantrums, but I am proud to say the majority of my movement has been forward, with empowered action. Losing my marriage has empowered me to learn the lessons, forgive myself for my poor choices and start in the process of becoming a better person. Losing my driver’s license has empowered me to slow down, be more mindful, walk more, ride my bike more and improve my physical wellbeing. Losing a source of my income has empowered me to find alternatives and, right now, that part of my business is doing better than it has ever done. Losing physical connection has empowered me to become more connected to myself, to God and to really be grateful for the important people in my life.
I am not telling this for you to be impressed with me. Instead, I want to impress upon you, that you have the power to take control of any loss or any undesirable circumstance in your life. So, as you sit, reflect and consider any losses you may be currently experiencing, it is my strongest desire that you will see an opportunity to find joy, and be empowered to use that loss as a catalyst for great things. Enjoy your week and make it one in which you are empowered by loss!
Did you know that your outer world is simply a reflection of what’s happening on the inside of you? Bang! There’s a powerful opening statement for a blog. I know there will be people who disagree with it, maybe even you? How can the Coronavirus be a reflection of what’s happening on the inside? How can the way other people treat ‘me’ be a reflection of what’s happening on the inside? How can my health, finances and the undesirable circumstances I am experiencing, be a reflection of what’s happening on the inside?
I wish life was easier, don’t you? I wish people would all just respond and react the way I wanted them to. I wish that I just had optimal wellbeing without all the effort and discomfort. I wish I was paid more. I wish when I asked for things, people would just say yes. I wish there was no conflict. I wish we could all just love and respect each other and get along. Well, I can wish all I want, but that isn’t going to make things change or people behave the way I think they should. I guess, the good news is that every one of us is in the same situation, right?
That being the case, how come there are some people who thrive in life and other people who struggle? When the same circumstances confront us all and the same opportunities are there for us all, why are some people creating success, whilst others are spiralling into the pits? When we all have access to the same foods and exercise options, why are some people lean, fit and healthy, whilst others have failing health? Now, whilst there may, in some very extreme cases, be extenuating circumstances, I will tell you that the difference between these people is not result of their external circumstances, but very much because of their inner game.
As you may know, I am single again after another failed relationship. It’s not where I had planned to be at this stage of my life, and I have been very tempted to blame external circumstances and people, but instead, and as a result of COVID isolation, I have been forced, as uncomfortable as it has been, to go inside and do some self-evaluation. Wow, it was busy and messy place inside my head, until I went in there and did some spring cleaning. I have looked back at my past, my upbringing, my influences and my relationship history and I can now clearly see the problem. The one person in common with each of these relationships, is me! I can now also see what I need to do from a thinking, self-belief and behaviour point of view. I feel like I am starting to win the inner game, which I know will have a positive long-term impact on my next relationship, whenever that happens.
You have heard the saying, it’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s how you respond, right? That’s your inner game. There are things that are out of your control; COVID, other people’s opinions, the weather, government directives, the economy and many other things, but what you are in control of is your inner game. The people who are successful, happy and healthy in life are not the people with less struggles and challenges, but the people who are winning the inner game. So, what does that mean?
It means that they are able to clear out the noise in their head, focus on what really matters and make decisions that empower them to move forward in life. It means they are able to focus on what they are grateful for, no matter what their circumstances may be. It means they find opportunity when many find problems. It means they can find a lesson in adversity that can help them move forward in life. In other words, it means they have chosen and developed an attitude independent of circumstances.
I have to acknowledge that this can be difficult when life continually throws challenges at us. One of the things I have found incredibly powerful in terms of clearing out the internal noise to help me focus on what’s really important and win the inner game is the ability to silence my mind through meditation. I am grateful to have reconnected with Sara Picken-Brown, who has definitely helped. In fact, in this week’s podcast called Meditation with Sara – Introduction, we discuss the benefits of meditation and she guides a short five minute meditation. But wait, there’s more! Sara will be offering regular guided meditation on my podcast to help us all win our inner game.
Your outer world will always be a reflection of what’s happening on your inside. So, maybe now is the time to start to work on filtering, recalibrating and strengthening your inner voice. When you can win the inner game, the outer successes, relationships and outcomes will take care of themselves. Enjoy the game.
We live in a global fishbowl these days, don’t we? With the internet and the many social media platforms, it’s hard to avoid other people’s opinions about the world, current situations and you! The moment you post a blog, a quote, an activity or a picture, you will get people’s reactions and opinions, whether you like them, want them or not. No matter what opinions you get from other people, even those you care about, just know that the only opinion about you that matters, is your own.
If you read last week’s blog, you will know I had a little mishap last Friday. During my regular Friday box-jump session, I slipped and fell, gashing my shin on the sharp edge of the steel outdoor table I was jumping onto. I found myself in emergency, getting x-rayed and then receiving five stitches in my shin to patch up the mess. After posting about it and referring to it in my blog, I was incredibly touched and grateful for the volume of messages, calls and care-packages I received from many wonderful people.
As you will know, if you read my blogs and post about the event, I felt very positive about the whole situation. It was amazing how little pain I experienced and how good the leg felt all week, so, as this Friday approached, I decided I need to get straight back up on that horse and keep the tradition of ‘box-jump Friday’ going. One week after my fall, feeling amazing, still with stitches in my shin, I went and did my session of box-jumps. This time I did them with more focus and attention to great form, and I completed them easily and felt amazing afterwards.
I took a short video and decided to post it on social media, with a very simple, yet profound message; Don’t let falling be the reason why you give up. Get up, learn the lesson, modify your approach and then go again and again and again. I knew, as soon as I posted the video, I would get a variety of responses to my decision to be box-jumping again in a time that, to some, would be considered too soon. Deep down, I was even looking forward to the variety of comments I knew I would receive.
As expected, and grateful for, I got a range of comments from people who were; inspired, impressed, encouraged, caring, surprised, shocked, confused and concerned. What’s the point? It’s that, no matter what you say, write, post or do, people will have a variety of responses and opinions about it. It’s important to know that how people respond or react to the things you say and do, has less to do with you, but more to do with the beliefs and values that they hold true for themselves. In my mind, an ‘opinion’ is an inner belief that has been triggered by an external occurrence. I just came up with that and am pretty impressed with myself.
Just think about an opinion you may hold about what someone else said or did. If it’s a negative opinion, it was because their external words or actions, conflicted with a value and/or triggered an internal belief you hold. Right? That being the case, you will never get everyone to like you, agree with you or accept what you do, because we all have different internal beliefs and values. Therefore, there is only one opinion that matters in your life, and that is yours. As for me, I am proud of myself. I am pumped that, at my age, I am able to box-jump. I am excited about my resilience and willingness to bounce back after a serious fall. What other people think about me, is none of my business.
In my podcast this week, called ‘Embrace your uniqueness,’ I speak with the amazing Natalie Matthews. She is the Founder and CEO of Height of Fashion, a fabulous fashion brand for tall women. She is six feet, three inches tall, loves wearing high heels and is not ashamed or embarrassed to tower above most people, or, worry about what they think about her. Her belief in herself and her self-confidence is inspiring. She is passionate about helping people love themselves, no matter their uniqueness, and, only worry about they think about themselves.
Worrying about what other people think about us is stressful, unhealthy, exhausting and a total waste of your time, ability and potential. You, and only you, know what is right for you. So, trust yourself, believe in your strength, embrace your individuality and do things that help you fulfill your purpose and live your best life, no matter what other people think. Remember, it only matters what you think.
I have to honestly say, I love life; every day, every aspect and every situation. That may sound like I’ve just hit my head, but it’s how I feel. Back in March, I wrote a blog called, ‘Nothing is bad, it’s all content.’ I want to make a minor adjustment to that and add an addendum, and that is; ‘and it’s part of the journey of life that will help you fulfil your purpose to help other people.’
I truly believe, with the right attitude, you can enjoy every aspect of the journey you experience in your life and use it as a way to help and inspire others. Even the ones that may not seem so enjoyable. When you trust and believe that everything happens for a reason, that everything is putting you on the path to fulfill the destiny and purpose you are on this planet for and that everything can be used as a platform to help others, then why not be excited about everything that happens in your life.
In fact, as you may already know, I had an experience this week, which reinforced this to me in a powerful way. I got up at 5:20am on Friday, as I do most mornings, to go and do my training. Friday is leg and box-jump day. If you are not sure what a box-jump is, go to google. I have a special place where go to do my box-jumps, at the local council square on a fixed steel table-tennis table. Amongst other things, I jump up onto the table several times. Well, on Friday, after jumping up, I slipped and, on my way down, hit my shin on the sharp edge of the table. I hit the ground, with a thud, a bruised ego, and a sore shin. As I sat on the ground, looking around to make sure no one was watching (as if anyone would be at 5:45am), I lifted my track pants to survey the damage. I thought there might be a scratch, but what I saw alarmed me.
Without going into the gory details, I limped home, blood streaming down my leg and soaking my sock and questioned myself as to what I should do. I have to be honest here, I actually contemplated just putting a dressing on it and hoping for the best, but then decided to take myself to the emergency department of the closest hospital. For the next three and a half hours, from 6:30am till 10am, I spent time getting examined, x-rayed, stitched and doing lots of waiting.
Now, what I am about to say may sound a little weird, but I loved the whole journey. As crazy as it sounds, I wasn’t upset it happened, didn’t complain about it and really didn’t want to be anywhere else. Yes, there was a little pain involved, but it was a pain I knew I would grow from. I’m not sure if I am explaining this is a way you will understand, but, I knew there was a reason why I was there. Yes, obviously because I fell and needed attending to, but it was more than that.
As I mentioned at the start, one of the things I always say to myself, and others, is that there is nothing bad that happens, it’s all just content. So, I’m writing about it here and now. This mishap allowed me to slow down. I mean, if you’ve ever been in the emergency at a hospital, waiting time is all you have! It gave me time to refocus on what I had to be grateful for, what’s most important in my life and how I can help other people. I was very grateful for the staff at the hospital and the wonderful Dr Anna, who stitched up my gaping wound. As an added extra bonus, in this current time of COVID lockdown, it gave me an exciting reason to get out of the house!
During those three and a half hours I sent messages to everyone I needed to reschedule, I did my social media posting, I wrote more in my current book, I thought, I reflected and I caught up on some sleep in a comfortable bed. Sounds pretty great to me. I know this experience has benefited me, and I hope, by me sharing this, it will help you also. As insane as it may sound, I really enjoyed this journey and I know it happened for a reason. Even a couple of days later, I feel clearer, calmer and more focussed than I have in a long time.
Wow, who would have believed that you could enjoy this type of experience. Well, when you believe that everything happens for you and not to you, then your attitude will be… bring it on! In my most recent podcast ‘Making Lives Better,’ I speak to AFL and St Kilda FC legend, Nathan Burke, about his journey and mission to make other people’s lives better. It is an inspiring conversation with a very successful yet humble man.
It has inspired me, even more, to make sure that, everything I experience on my journey of life, I love and can use to help others as they negotiate the challenges in their own life. When you believe deep down everything that happens – seemingly good or bad – will help you fulfil your destiny and purpose in your life, then you, like me, will love every part of your journey.