I never used to drink hot drinks. As I developed into an adult and social being, after my professional football career was over, I realised I should start drinking hot drinks because it was socially acceptable. I could not get my head around coffee, and, I didn’t need another addiction. For a Melburian, living in a city with a massive coffee culture, this gets me a lot of weird looks. So, I settled for herbal tea. To me it was the healthiest option, and one I would be willing to try. Over the years, I have come to love tea, particularly lemongrass & ginger. What I love the most, is knowing that when I put that lemongrass & ginger teabag in the hot water, lemongrass & ginger comes out.
Have I got you a little baffled already? Are you wondering if I’ve lost my sanity, talking about teabags, and, the obvious notion that depending on the flavour of the tea leaves that are in the bag, that’s what will come out? Well, as you may know by now, I’m always looking for recognisable examples to highlight powerful principles. The reality is that, what is inside of you will come out when you are in hot water, or under stress, so make sure you work to put the right stuff in.

I’ve spoken before about the world and Olympic 1500m swim champion, Kieren Perkins. He talks about a concept he refers to as our ‘worst practiced habits.’ He spent many hours, days, weeks, months and years honing his craft and developing his race strategy to the point it was firmly established ‘inside’ of him. He talks about turmoil he went through in the semi-final at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. He had not had as great Olympics, performance-wise, as he expected to have. So, he was in a negative head space as he dived into the pool to start the 1500m semi-final race.

He talks about the mental turmoil he was going through with every stroke, during the entire race. He was thinking about how flat he was feeling. He was dwelling on how embarrassing it would be if he missed out on a finals berth. He was tormenting himself with thoughts about getting to the finals and missing out on a medal. He actually got to the stage, during the race, when he decided to slow down and miss out on a spot in the finals. He had decided it would be better to miss out on making it to the last race than not win a medal. With this new plan in his mind, he finished the race, touched the end of the pool, looked up at the scoreboard to see that he had actually qualified for the final, even though he was trying not to.

He explained that his ‘worst practiced habit’ was to swim a certain way, and, it was that strategy which got him into the finals, despite the turmoil that was happening in his mind. He had developed an inner strength and pattern of behavior, which came out of him when he was in hot water, or, at least heated pool water! He went on to win the gold medal in Atlanta, swimming from lane 8.

You and I are a filter.
I have a water purifier/filter on my tap, because there are more pollutants and toxins in our tap water than I want in my body. Every time I change over the filter, I am extraordinarily grateful. The new filter goes into the machine virgin white and comes out, 12 months later, a slimy, stinky and disgusting brown. I’m grateful that the machine is filtering that water, and not my kidneys. Many people, maybe even you, drink water straight from the tap and think it’s okay, because it looks clear and clean. What they, and you, may not be realising is that there are many unseen toxins polluting that water and, over time, harming your body. They will be filtered by your body, that’s what the kidneys are for, but too many pollutants in your kidneys are impacting your wellbeing.

Why am I talking about water filtration? As well as your body filtering toxic chemicals in the water, your mind becomes the filter for any and all negative or toxic input you are exposed to over time, and, like the water filter, will get clogged with negative ideas, beliefs and experiences. Then, just like a teabag, when in hot water what is inside will come out. Now’s the time to make sure that what you want to come out of you, when times are challenging and you are under stress, is what you are deliberately putting into your mind and heart right now. Like Kieren Perkins, the things he practiced over many years, naturally came out of him when he was under emotional turmoil. That’s what we want in our own lives.

I made the decision many years ago, that I needed to change my environment if I wanted to create the type of life I truly wanted to live. I found a positive group of people that I could hang with and feel good around. Through the association with these people I learned this concept I am sharing with you now. I started attending regular meetings, seminars and conferences with positive, inspiring and encouraging big thinkers. I started reading self-help books each day and listening to inspiring and informative audios. I stopped listening to the radio, watching the news and reading the newspaper. I eliminated as much negative input as I could and started to only put in the positive. What happened next was incredible.

I had become a filter for positivity, and my teabag was becoming full of great ideas, different perspectives, great vision for myself, principles of success, more confidence and solutions for challenges. Guess what happened? When I found myself under stress, or in challenging situations, what came out of me surprised even me. I would say stuff I didn’t realise I knew. I would respond in ways that helped, not harmed the situation. I started finding solutions for the things that had blocked me for so long. I became more confident and did more things that, whilst scared me, I knew I needed to do. The result; in a short period of time my life changed dramatically. Within two years of starting this process and filling my teabag with the right stuff, I had replaced a full-time personal training income and was retired to follow my dream of being a full-time author, speaker and difference maker. That was almost 15 years ago.

Now, it’s about you and your life. When under stress, what’s coming out of you? What is your natural and normal response to challenges and adversity? Is it helping or harming the situation? Do you believe in yourself? Are you confident you have the answers? What results are you getting in life? Are they what you want? Just know, you are a filter and collecting the toxins from the people you associate with, the things you watch, read and listen to. These are all filling up your teabag and will be released when you are under pressure.

Now is the time to make sure your filter is being protected and that your teabag is being filled with the things that will give you the results you want. If you want success, health, abundance and prosperity, then make sure that’s exactly what you are putting in to you teabag. What is inside, will come out… every time!