give yourself the present of being present in the present

give yourself the present of being present in the present

Yes, that is a confusing tongue twister, for sure. However, an immensely powerful one, if you can decipher it. I have had quite an interesting and transformational seven days since my last blog. Last Sunday, the same message, from two different sources, came to me and agitated me to a seven-day focus. I was watching a live streamed event in the afternoon, and that same evening I was reading a self-help book. Both suggested strongly that focusing on what was happening in the present moment was the right thing to do.

I have the annoying habit of spending too much time in my past and then allowing it to determine my chance of succeeding in the future. In other words, when I think about the things I have previously done that were painful, rejected or didn’t work, I erroneously and unconsciously allow those experiences to affect my belief about my ability to achieve greater things in the future. I can tell you, being stuck between the past and the future is a scary, stressful and yucky place to be. I was reminded last Sunday, not once, but twice, to get out of there fast, and focus squarely on the only time and place I have any control over. The present.

Two amazing things happen when you give yourself the present of being present in the present. The first is that you will gain far more from your present moment experiences. The second is that the present is the only place you can take positive action, which will determine your future, irrespective of your past. Let’s explore…

I have been a reader, a listener and an attender of personal development material and events for a long time. I know when I have had positive changes in my life through this, and when I haven’t. The positive change came after I engaged in the material, in the present moment, and really absorbed it, believed it and acted on it. The reason nothing happened, at times, even while I was reading, listening and attending, was because I was not in the present moment. Have you ever read the same page of a book multiple times, and still not absorbed it? Have you ever listened to an audio or podcast, got to the end and had no idea what was said? Have you ever attended an event and been more focused on the temperature of the room and your hunger? I certainly have, because I was somewhere else, and not in the present moment.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, but been somewhere else? Maybe in the past, or in the future? When this happens, not only do you miss what that person is saying to you, which may be incredibly valuable, but they feel unimportant because people always know when you are not fully attentive to them. As you feel when someone is not listening to you, right? So, step one in being fully present in the present is to engage 100% in everything you do, in the moment. This has been a large part of my focus this week. So, I have switched off notifications, and removed other distractions when listening, reading or engaging with another person. Wow, I have learned some amazing stuff as a result.

My next challenge is to stop my past from determining my future. I have had a fear about a certain part of my business because of previous poor choices and undesirable results from years ago, and I have let them impact my belief about myself and my chance of success in the future. Incredibly, as soon as I start taking positive action, in the present, those fears seem to disappear, and the only time they reappear is when I stop living and acting in the present moment. Interesting! So, whilst it is important to have a vision for the future, it’s even more important to know that future will only ever eventuate by our focus on actions right now in this present moment.

Ironically, this week, I have been inspired by my mentor to set a BHAG. That is a big hairy and audacious goal that, to be honest, scares the hair off me. And there was not a lot of hair to start with! The great news is, that this goal, whilst a seemingly unassailable mountain right now, is a simple process and progression of small daily focused action steps required and taken in the only time I have available to me. That is, this time in this day and this moment.

My podcast this week, with Perry Venakis, called With simplicity, there is so much complexity, has inspired me to simplify my life, my eating and really focus to make sure my well being is optimal. This most effectively allows me to make the most of each moment and each opportunity that presents itself. It’s not easy. Our mind will bombard us with information about our past and predictions about our future based on that past. However, as you move into this upcoming week, I want to encourage you to give yourself a present. That present is a wonderful journey to nowhere except being totally present in the present moment.

Just trust!

Just trust!

I think as humans, one of the biggest challenges we have is surrendering to trust. I also believe that it is the one thing that will most help us live the life of joyful longevity that is available to us all. So, as you read this blog, I hope that you will trust me for a few minutes.  I hope, as I discuss trust, you will let go of the fear, the scepticism, the cynicism, the suspicion and just trust that you are good enough. I believe when you trust, the answers will appear as you finally realise everyone and everything is in your life for the higher good.

I don’t know about you, but for much of my life I have had trouble trusting myself and my own judgement, and was often, in fact almost always, suspicious of people trying to help me. Even though that mistrust was happening, I would then get in my car and drive in traffic, not even thinking about it, but just trusting that the drivers coming the other way would stay on the correct side of the road. I would then shop online and, as I entered my credit card details, simply trust that my computer or bank account wouldn’t be compromised. Do you know what I am saying? Have you ever been to the doctor and just trusted what they are saying is right? Have you ever eaten food and trusted that the ‘best before’ date on the packaging is correct?

Think about the things you already blindly trust and then ask yourself this question. If I actually have the capacity to trust, why am I still holding myself back to get up, go out and create the life I truly want to live? When we drive our car, why do we just blindly trust that the other drivers on the road will do the right thing? On the flip side, when we want to create change in our lives, why don’t we trust ourselves and then refuse to even take the first step? It is critical to understand the answers to these two questions because they hold the key to everything you want in life.

Are you ready for the answers? I will talk from my perspective here and see if you relate. When I get in my car, all I am focussed on is where I want to go. I don’t give any brain time to what could potentially happen or what other drivers are doing. When I have an aspiration, or get an opportunity, all of a sudden, I start to think about why I can’t do it, what could potentially go wrong and why it won’t work. Are you with me? When I get into my head, my ability to just trust is switched off, and I go into over analysis. The key to trusting is to get out of your head and into action, with eyes focused on the destination.

In my life I have had trouble trusting myself to write a book, play professional sport, be a successful PT, run a successful business and maintain a successful relationship. In my life, I have also had trouble trusting others who said they wanted to help me or offered me an opportunity. The aspiration or the other person was never the problem. The problem was always my inability to let go of fear, doubt, scepticism and just trust. When, I finally did, incredible things happened. I realised I was good enough to play professional sport, become a bestselling author, run a successful business and enjoy happiness. I found that people are good, and when you trust them, they most often respond by being trustworthy and trusting you.

I hear you potentially asking two questions. What happens if I trust myself and then fail? What happens if I trust someone else and the betray that trust? Are you ready for the answer? Just trust anyway! I will tell you from experience, when you don’t trust and don’t take action, nothing great can ever happen in your life. When you just trust and take action, incredible joy is there waiting for you. If you do fail, you will learn a valuable lesson for your next attempt. If on the chance your trust is not reciprocated by another person, again, you will gain some valuable insights which will help you on the next occasion that you choose to just trust!

In this week’s podcast with Lachlan Winter called Letting go, he discusses how he overcame debilitating Crohn’s disease by just letting go and trusting. I guess what I am saying is that there is far more to gain than to lose if you let go and just trust. I know for a fact I would not be writing this blog or enjoying the wonderful experiences in my life unless I chose to just trust. You are good enough, and people want to be there for you, so all you have do, moving forward from here, is to just trust!

just ask

just ask

Did you know that all the answers to all the questions you have, problems you are facing or dreams you are aspiring to are right there waiting for you if you just ask for help? If you didn’t know that your life is about to change, if you just ask. If you did know that, and you are still wallowing in the mud and muck of life, why aren’t you just asking for help? This is a question I have asked myself for many years, until I finally slapped myself and said, get over yourself and your ego and ask. So, I did!

You may know I have a beautiful little female Maltese Shih Tzu named Joia. A couple of years ago, I had two of them, but sadly Mr Big passed away at the end of 2018. Whilst they were both the same breed, they were very different dogs. Mr Big was very stoic and good at hiding any discomfort or pain. In fact, he would often walk with a stone or burr in his paw without any fuss. It would often be luck that I would even find the foreign object and wonder how long he had put up with the discomfort, before I made the discovery.

Joia, on the other hand, is very different. In fact, it was just the other day she again demonstrated this difference. We were on our morning walk when, all of a sudden, she stopped, sat, lifted her paw and looked at me with the face of a fluffy angel. Her look said, please help me dad. I knew exactly what it was, because she had done it many times before. I went over to her, removed the burr from her paw, that was causing a mild discomfort, and off she trotted, a happy girl. She had no problem asking me to help her in the very instant she needed the help, Yet Mr Big never asked, he just put up with the discomfort. My question is, what discomfort are you putting up with that could be solved immediately if you just asked for help?

Joia, doesn’t care what I think about her and she doesn’t care if it is inconvenient for me. She wants what she wants, and she will ask for it, no matter the time of the day, or night. Yes, some nights, at 2 or 3am she will ask, in her special squeaky way, to go out for a wee. In my mind, it’s far better to get up and let her out than clean up the doggy mess in the morning. Why is it that we – and by we, I am definitely including myself here – have so much trouble asking for help, when the solution may be as simple as removing a burr or opening a door?

I made a decision a while ago that I don’t want to live a life pretending everything is okay when, actually, I was not at all comfortable. I was not loving what I was doing day to day. I was not comfortable with the financial position I was in. I was not enjoying the stress and anxiety that came with living a life far short of what I believed it could be. I got to the point when I realised that what I knew had gotten me to where I was, and it definitely wasn’t awesome. I also knew that if I wanted a different outcome, I would need to borrow someone else’s brain to help me achieve it. How do you borrow someone else’s brain? You ask them for help, that’s what you do.

Do you know what? When you ask, you will receive. I found people who were happy to help me, and all I had to do was ask. The end result of overcoming my ego and perceived weakness, then admitting I don’t have all the answers and just asking for help, my life changed. It changed quickly! Back in 2004, just after I had published my first book, Eat Chocolate, Drink Alcohol and be Lean & Healthy, I wanted to be retired from my 15 year and 80-hour per week personal training career and be a full-time author. I was in a lot of debt at the time and had no idea of how I could do it. Well, after asking for help, learning some new skills and applying them, in 2006, I retired from personal training and have been a full-time author, speaker, mentor and life-lover ever since. The answer, my friend, just ask for help!

In the most incredible conversation I had with Petrea King on my podcast this week called, Weep the tears, I was so inspired by a lady committed to helping anyone who would simply ask. Her Quest for Life Foundation helps thousands of people every year deal with trauma, if only they are willing to have the courage to ask. Do you have the courage?

What are you struggling with at the moment? What are you trying to change with the same brain that got you to point you knew you needed to change in the first place? Do you want to stay struggling and uncomfortable? Do you want to keep living a life short of what is possible for you? Depending on how you answered those questions, I would have to say the one thing that will change everything for you, if that’s what you want, is to… just ask! Someone else has done what you want to do, is living the life you want to live and is achieving things you want to achieve. The great news is that they would love to help you, or at least point you in the right direction, if you just ask.

understand, accept, forgive and live

understand, accept, forgive and live

There are times I go through stages of themes and I lock onto an idea or concept I really believe in, and I try to get that message out. I am in one of those stages at the moment and really feel like I have a powerful message that I want you to get in your heart. Back on April 17, I released a blog called Get full to overflowing. I am so passionate about the fact that our success, happiness and fulfillment in life relies on the fact that we fill ourselves to overflowing.

Fill ourselves with what? I hear you asking. Fill ourselves with love, confidence, belief, respect and worth. Fill ourselves with the belief that we are good enough, to the point where those feelings of self-love and belief overflow and lead to great significance and success in your life, and the lives of many other people. It’s the overflow that is the key to this. To really understand what I mean, please go back and ready my blog, and watch this short video I did; Also, listen to my podcast, Your value is in you, not the bank, with Kye Harris.

I talk about filling yourself with affirming positive statements, reading inspiring books, listening to empowering audios and podcasts, attending amazing seminars, webinars and workshops and by associating with supportive, encouraging and successful people. I believe in these things totally and do them all on a daily basis. In this blog, however, I want to go a little deeper because, even if you do all these things, you can still struggle to get full to overflowing. Why? Because even though I may be reading and listening to things that empower and uplift me, and pour some water into my glass, if I am not very deliberate, my limiting self-talk and lack of self-love will pour that water straight back out again. So, I want to encourage you to go back to the foundation and understand, accept, forgive and then live.

I can tell you that this process has transformed my life, finally, after many years of struggling to really love myself. For so long, I couldn’t understand why I did and said the things I did. I couldn’t understand why I would give up on things and sabotage myself. I couldn’t understand why I found it hard to stay in a relationship. So, I decided I needed to understand myself. Whilst in lockdown and totally isolated in 2020, I did some serious self-reflection and work to understand this incredibly capable yet insecure man. I read an amazing book, called From Good Man to Valiant Man, by Dr Allan Meyer, and it helped me understand male chemistry, tendencies and challenges. Wow, did that ever open my eyes and help me recognise and finally understand myself in many ways. I reflected on my upbringing, my traumas and my parents’ own insecurities, and it really helped me see how they had influenced my beliefs and behaviours. I thought about the influence of seven years from the age of 16 to 23 at a professional football club and the impact of regular verbal abuse and the observation of some misogynistic behaviour. As I started to understand where many of my beliefs, fears and insecurities had come from, and as painful as it was, it helped enormously.

Then, I made the decision to accept myself. I started to accept and love myself for my quirks, my looks, which is often an area we beat ourselves up about, my preferences and differences and my dreams in life. I started to realise that I don’t need approval from anyone else, I only need to approve of an accept myself. I even started to accept and love my insecurities and fears. I know that sounds weird, but I am a human and I am not perfect, and I can tell you now, I love myself, warts and all. What a powerfully freeing feeling that is.

Then, the biggie, I chose to forgive myself. This was hard, as I have done and said so many things over my life that have led to regret, shame, embarrassment and pain. But I knew, if I was to live the life of joy, freedom and abundance I wanted, this was an essential step. So, I started the process of forgiving myself, with God’s help, for each and all of my mistakes, poor choices, inaction and thoughtlessness. It was a long list, it took time, was incredibly confronting and painfully uncomfortable, but it changed everything. The feeling of letting go of and total forgiveness for the self-bitterness, has given me wings to fly.

The end result of this process is that I feel I am now truly able to live my best life, and that all the other work I am doing to fill my glass to overflowing has more meaning and greater traction in my life. I am so aware that I only get one chance to live my life and I know now that I am good enough to make it the very best life it can be. I have a powerful passion and purpose to impact many lives and I know that the only way I can do that is get myself full to overflowing.

I know there is a lot of fluffy motivational stuff out there. I know that I have, in my time, contributed to that fluffy motivational stuff. Right now, forget about motivation and start in the process of honest self-evaluation and modification. I know you want to live an amazing life of significance and success. We all do. So, as hard as this may be, and in the interest of getting yourself full to overflowing, I want to encourage you to start on the adventure to understand, accept, forgive and then live the best life you can live.

peel the onion!

peel the onion!

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.

feel your way!

feel your way!

One of the greatest movies of all time and one of my faves is Grease. I’m about to date myself right now, but in 1978, when it was released, I was 14 years old. So, it was made for me and my generation. Watching it made me feel alive, because although a different culture and a fictional storyline, I related to the struggles of teens and I was empowered by the audacious characters. For me, as I’m sure most, the favourite song was ‘The one that I want.’ It was the song that evoked the most emotion for me, particularly the verse:

If you’re filled
With affection
You’re too shy to convey,
Meditate in my direction.
Feel your way.

Obviously, this song and verse are fuelled by sexual tension and emotion, but nevertheless it is a powerful moment in the movie. If you watch the clip, from the movie, you will see John Travolta immediately and powerfully emotionally effected when Olivia sings the line, ‘feel your way!’ This blog is not about Grease, but it is about the power of emotion to move us to great things in life, whether that be romantically, financially, physically, professionally or any other area of your life you are wanting to see happiness and fulfillment. The key, I believe, is to… feel your way!

On my podcast this week, I speak again to the amazing Deborah Stathis. The podcast is called, Harnessing the power of emotion. I urge you to listen to the conversation because Deb describes this far more powerfully than I can. She lived it. After a devastating car accident left her face and brain seriously damaged and disfigured, her future looked bleak. If logical thinking was to prevail, she would not have been at all optimistic about her life ahead. But Deb didn’t act on logic, she felt her way!  She looked in the mirror and really studied her face, her damage and her options, and it immediately created fear in her body. Fear of a life well short of what she had planned for herself.

She then used that fear in a constructive way to start thinking about the life she did want, and that vision sparked in her, as she describes it, ‘a relententless pursuit’ of her best life. It was this powerful emotion she felt and harnessed that moved her into action and kept her going until she had overcome every single limiting medical prediction for her life. She is now a gorgeous, fully functioning and inspiring lady making a difference in many lives.

The greatest mistake we make is trying to think our way, when the answer is to feel our way to our best life. If logic ruled, I would never have played professional sport. I was moved by the feeling and excitement of success in that arena. If common sense had prevailed, I would never be an author of eight published books today. It was the desire to change my circumstances and to impact lives that moved me into illogical action that has transformed my life. I am very grateful for the fact that I am a very emotional person and moved far more by feelings and far less that logic.

Here is the one piece of advice I would like to offer you this week; get out of your head quickly, get into your heart and feel your way! When you stay in your head too long, you often talk yourself into and then straight back out of things that if you acted would change your life for the better. Do you know what I mean? When you get an idea, a thought or an impulse, the quicker you can act on the feeling, the quicker you will be in motion. When in motion, things will start to logically unfold, and the path will open itself up to you. I have experienced this time and time again in my life.

Will you make some mistakes? Probably. Will you need to course correct at times? Definitely. Will you end up loving your life? Absolutely. You can’t go wrong if you act on an intuitive impulse. So, right now, as you are reading this, what is it in your life you want to change, achieve, acquire or resolve? Have you got a clear picture of what you want? When you think of being there in that moment, having realised that vision, how does it feel? You may not know exactly how to go about it, but don’t waste that powerful emotion. Get clear, get excited, get moving and… feel your way!