Love, Loss and Trust - Intuitively

{Original Post drafted 6 August 2017}

Today is a new day. Of a new week. Of a new life. A life without a parent. A life without my Mum. 

Last weeks post was one of procrastination, for it was the eve of my darling mothers passing. It was unknown to me then that i only had a few hours left with Mum, and perhaps my intuition, my sub-conscious was protecting me from the pain with pointless procrastination.  When i look back at that moment now, still really vivid in my memory, there were so many thoughts racing through my mind, and flooding my heart.

Both my brother and i were fortunate enough to be by our mothers side as she passed away. It was the early hours of the morning and the there of us were all at peace together, sleeping. Considering the circumstances it was as peaceful as this moment could be. Something suddenly comes to my mind as I am writing this. A quote i once looked at daily on my bedroom wall: "Peace - Does not mean to be in a place free from chaos, noise or calamity, it is to be amongst these things and have calm in your heart". 

A little earlier that evening when i walked into the hospital a new podcast episode appeared with a particular topic, it was so close to my radar it is far too uncanny to be a coincidence! I sat in a reclining chair by Mum's bed, my brother laying down on the other side, It was late. I lay and watched Mum breathe (with difficulty). I started listening to the podcast on biochemistry, autophagy and cancer. (The last time i had even thought about this particular topic and/or what it means to me i wrote about it here 4 months ago). The moments before i began to dose off, earbuds in ears, it happened. Mum's last breath was drawn. This was truly a defining moment in my life, brutally hard and forever grateful i could have my brother in my arms as we said goodbye.

It is so amazing how the universe works, the subtle little hints that are put in front of you. We have to listen to that voice, that intuition. It is so much more advanced than that biped brain of ours that allows us to operate autonomously throughout our day to day lives. Our intuition is looking out for us long before our brain can figure out what it is we need to do. And it is the connected person that can can learn to curate the meanings of intuition with the skills of logic.

Today i am moving forward with my life, which is different from moving on. My mother is forever in my heart and my purpose is clear. I remember a promise i made to her, and i will use every ounce of my strength to full fill that promise. But i also remember that my mother urged me not to be stressed. So with that in mind i will dance carefully between progression and commitment together with freedom and enjoyment. There are so many beaultiful things in life we are yet to experience and with that in mind we should treat every day as if it is our last, life is too precious to waste.

Going Deep Inside

I wish I had the opportunity to write a piece about the state my head was in a few weeks back. My business was becoming very demanding and I had multiple issues to deal with at the same time. Needless to say my head and heart was in turmoil. You know that you have gone into overdrive when you wake up each morning when a huge knot of anxiety twisting through your stomach. 

There's no need for me to go through the finer details of what the individual challenge was, as each individual has their own issues to deal with and the ones issues magnitude is only relevant to the person experiencing it. In any case a challenge is a challenge and whether it is a personal battle or a large scale problem we still need to approach them with the same diligence and respect. 

As a start I  renamed issues to challenges as to see each problem as an obstacle that can be met and overcome (this puts the focus on resolve and not focusing on a problem itself, a great little way for me to trick my subconscious to remaining optimistic).

I had spent just about every ounce of energy I had and every waking hour tending to the necessary demands of my business. To the point where I forcefully prescribed myself a recreational day at the beach on the coming Friday. Simply by having these moments to myself completely free of the impending challenges gave me great reprieve, freedom from the snowballing anxiety I could now feel getting out of control. This illuminated the need for me to go into great self reflection.

So I decided it was time for me to dive deep into mediation, and I was fortunate enough to find a group of people looking for the same resolve in their lives. The setting was amazing, deep in the foothills of the Byron Bay area fittingly away from any mobile phone reception. So even if I had to jump onto a fire urgently (I'm not talking about walking hot coals here), I was not able to do so, meaning I could completely unplug from the digital world. A very powerful exercise in its own right.

Mediation has many preconceptions and can be interpreted in many ways. Previously my experience of meditation was limited to the last few quiet minutes of a yoga practice (Shavasana) plus the odd few YouTube videos I utilised to try and get some inner peace. But nothing as deep as what I felt and experienced on this profound weekend. We all have our own journey, and the words written here wouldn't do any justice to the inner peace and pure bliss I was about to uncover. 

First you must be very honest with yourself and write down all that it is that has been troubling you, and you then make a commitment to put in the effort do the work on yourself. When we are in self reflection, the work that is involved is to figure out where the roots of these troubles come from and how we can develop a strategy to see us through this in our every day life. This was something very challenging and tended to deviate from our minds default decision making process aka - Logic. In my experience this intelligence came to me through intuition more than logic, and I believe this is ultimately our end goal. To feel the experience of life, not think about what experiences we should or shouldn't be having.

Having nothing else to focus on but the present moment allowed me to go into every nuance of my own psychology and come out on the other side a little bit more enlightened about the path ahead of me. All this may sound a little airy fairy but I can assure you it had profound impact on me as a whole. The clarity and peace I have with me now gives me the confidence and strength that everything is going to be ok, and that worrying is like a rocking chair - Keeps you occupied but gets you nowhere. 

You are a smarter person when you meditate. Period. Any person striving for achievement whether it be within their career or within themselves must embark on some sort of meditation and/or self reflection to enable success. Is that a big call? Nope. Just research the articles (One of many here) that relate to the hormone cortisol that we dump into our system when stress levels are high. What happens to our IQ when we are stressed? It decreases! Yep, and not just a slight decrease, its pretty big, maybe even 50%! Something to think about when you are trying to make that big decision, tackle that assignment, stay committed to the task at hand.

Wouldn't it make sense to be in a more peaceful state of mind? And how do you remain in a peaceful state of mind whilst amidst this chaos?

The person that stands out in any endeavor has an edge, and that edge will be attributed to a calmer state of mind, a peaceful mind, and one that is grateful. I would put my money on the person with these common denominators.  Sure there are plenty narcissistic greedy fucks out there that will take advantage of any opportunity in the name of self gratification, but contrary to the saying, the nice guy DOES win, because they have found peace within themselves.

Being grateful releases the hormone DHEA and this my friends is responsible for many positive attributes to ones health and well being. You need to self reflect! Fortunately in todays fashionably new age world there are many really good studios that cater to all sorts of yoga, meditation, self reflection classes and workshops. Perhaps it sounds all a bit fluffy, but I am yet to experience a grumpy, worried, stressed "self"  when I am walking out of one of these places.

Take my advice and take time out to reward yourself with this gift, this advantage, this outlook on life. You wont regret it. 

" Peace - Does not mean to be at a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be amidst all those things and still have calm in your heart"

Quote - Peaceful loving tree hugger person

 

 

Why is it tough - Finding your passion

I start this piece as being the second most desired thing i wanted to full fill this evening. I was well on track to full filling my most desired - until the internet crashed, and no that didnt involve a candlelit bedroom (where anything could catch fire, so silly!). It was also another piece of writing, which is for me, enjoyable to flesh out. I feel i have a lot to talk about, particularly travel, but lack of a good internet connection has failed me. India by Motorcycle can wait another day.

If you have been reading these posts, sparse as they may be you should begin to notice a particlar tone. A tone that is directed towards self improvement and business development that is also aligned with the important things in life such as  - Just enjoy your fucking life!

So despite the amount of great motivational people we follow, supurb business books we read, sometimes all the focus and positivity in the world still cant shake off a really shitty experience. Perhaps it was a bad day, perhaps a bad week, or a string of misfortunes or events that break the so called camels back. Because that is how we feel sometimes right? Like a Camel. We remain focused, eat, shit, breath and sleep all along with the perils of running a business on our mind, we are encouraged to remain positive and focused as this is what the great leaders of today have done to get to where they are, and if your not ready, not prepared, not willing to let go of the small stuff, push on and keep striving, well then your in the wrong game my friend, go get a job!

Then the featherweight straw falls, its burden too much to carry, and it seems like all hope is lost.

This is how i felt 7 days ago, when i woke up with an unsettled feeling in my stomach for no apparent reason, it was only 1.5 hours of traffic that started the great unravelling but for the next 10 hours i would be met with a series of unfortunate events that led me to my first ever 'Man-Down' which was my version a break down, something uncontrollable that just errupted from the smallest of things.

"Whats the fucking point" I said to myself, and im now answering that question in this post.

Sure, i reasoned with myself. I consulted with the people closest to me, i let it out, had a bitch and moan, but i knew that wasnt going to get me anywhere. The very next day i set out to improve my thought patterns and pull my sub-consiousness out of the ever repeating self doubt cycle that is common amongst the many that fail. The reason that the few succeed (and success doesnt need to be reflected in a dollar value) is their ability to stay true to what they believe in themselves, their well defined goals and outcomes and the mental strength that allows them to realise that these kind of days/weeks/years can happen to anyone, and they do, so accept them, brush them off and move on.

I quickly found momentum by concentrating on all that had gone well for me over the last few years (of business development that is). How much i knowledge i had learned, how much insight i had gained, the new professional skills and the guts to give things a crack and not be too concearned about the outcome. From doing this i realised, wow, Im doing pretty well for myself! Its all about persepective, and the the perspective i needed was shining the light on my life, not the life of others or expectations of others. 

So this week i am really no more successful than last week, in terms of net worth, profit, dollar value or wealth. Unless of course you are talking about wealth of being

Right now i feel great, my week has been filled with the same challenges but i have refocused my thoughts to be greatful for the opportunity to work out how to overcome the challenges. There has been some simple little hacks that have helped a long the way and the epiphany of their success only came to fruition by the simple act of carrying them out.

The 5am (sometimes 5.45) run, albiet a short run, gets the blood and the brain flowing. Im not pushing myself into exhaustion here, but enough to chant a repative scentence of focus for the day to imprint these thoughts into my subconsious. This simple act of moving the body sets a very positive tone for the rest of the day, i often fight the urge to sleep in, and its worth it. As Jocko Willink U.S. Navy Seal/Mentor says: Your alarm clock is the first test of the day, you either pass or fail. 

There was one morning in which i had at least 3 hours from rising to leaving for work. The fact i had time to do everthing i would always love to do with a morning routine immediatly diminished the feeling of stress that normally precedes one as they rush out of the door (usually late). To expand on this a little more, im not suggesting that you take 3 hours to prepeare yourself each day, this would be absolutely fantastic, but not realistic. However one day a week could be!  couldnt it? Even if it meant getting up early to feel the benefit!

Doing something that excites you on two levels: The first on this occasion was allowing myself the late afternoon off to engage in my favourite hobby for relaxing - Kitesurfing! It never ceases to amaze my fiance that my method of relaxation is an extreme sport, but my best ideas and motivation for life come when im done on the water, packed up and heading home from a great session kiting.

Which brings me to the second level of doing something exciting; and that is do just go with the feeling that tells you where you want to spend your energy. Before i took to tapping this keyboard i had the option of visiting a friend, a social outing, Netflix, etc... But i thought well i have a few hours spare tonight, i should do something like configure my new laptop which is necessary for work, or finish off the pile of paperwork that never depletes... Or i could just write a blog piece about my travels in India  - Holy fuck yeah, that sounds fun! And all of a sudden my heart beats faster, my eyes light up, my energy levels sore and im in a zone where i realize that this is where people discover their passion! 

This doesnt mean writing is my passion, but following this energy flow and getting all these thoughts out of my head and onto digital paper certainly does stroke the sleeping giant that is a passion waiting to be woken! 

The moral of the story is - When you do things for yourself, you are more likely to discover your passion, and then you can use your skills, focus and drive and channel it more effectivly towards something more fullfilling. Good luck friends!

 

 

Closing a deal

Tonight is a Wednesday evening and i have been selected to be part of Kerwin Rae's Fast Growth Summit K-Team crew. I can clearly remember attending this night almost 12 months ago now, and a little apprehensive about being out this late on a school night. Routine (what Tony Robin's calls "security") after all is the recipe for my own success, or so i thought.

If we rewind to this same evening last year, myself and my partner were coming off the back of running some health reatreats and having somewhat success after a great deal of hard work. This 3 hour long event was going to give our new start up the social media 'hacks' we needed to begin our fast growth journey. This was not the first time i had attended one of these types of free events and i was very aware that at the end of the evening there would be a product or service that would be pitched to me. Before even hearing the offer, before even attending the evening i had predertimined that i wouldnt buy anything. I didnt need to, i knew what i was doing. How mistaken I was. There were two classes of people in the room, the 'Know All's' and the 'Do All's'. Unfortunately i fell into the former category and like a jack of all trades i was yet to master one.

Over the next few weeks i had a series of phone calls with one of KR's sales team, a very polite, understanding and informative guy (thanks Eric) . I was quite firm on my position and i was not ready to purchase any sort of coaching or training that he wanted to sell me. His skill of listening and being able to understand my frustrations were on point. I even was pushed to a point of being quite agitated during the conversation, however by the end of the phone call i had become a 'Do All' and agreed that to join their team was a positive step forward.

A few months later my brother and I attended the Nail It/Scale It weekend long business workshop. What an outstanding experience that was. This was not my first Rodeo to one of these events however i must say it was definitly the best, we learnt so much about the REAL methods of business growth and better yet we got pushed far outside of our comfort zone with many practical tasks and objectives to complete on the spot, overnight, and over the course of the weekend. The benefit of this entire weekend was having these practical boundries to push beyond whilst being  being held accountable, surrounded, supported by the 300+ other people in the room. 

Ok, so thats enough plugging the NISI weekend (ill start to sound like a salesperson - my biggest fear - epiphany happening right now).

The real reason i wanted to write this post was to share the smallest little win, yet my biggest personal achievement to date (in business). Several months go by and we have implemented many of the new learnings, but we are also caught up with the perils of daily life and put a hold on some of our plans whilst our attention was diverted to the most important person my our lives (love you Mum, miss you!). We are now part of a private Facebook group within the KR tribe and i see the opportunity to volunteer at the next Fast Growth Summit event. So being a newly acclaimed 'Do All' i put my hand up.

Essentially i was under the impression all i would have to do is help out during the event, being an usher, setting up chairs, etc... Again, how mistaken i was. Although we still had to fullfill these little duties, our main objective for the evening was to Close-The-Deal and sign people up for the NISI weekend. OMG! What am i going to do? I know that sales (the act of pitching something and cohersing someone into a purchase) is my biggest fear, I could already feel my palms get sweaty!

But the experienced team give us a crash course on KR's closing technique (what he calls an ethical bribe) and re-assure us with the ever repeated phrase trust the process. We are also reminded that the risk here is entirely Kerwin's, not ours, therfore we should not fear failing here. 

So i summond up all my confidence, soaked up as much instructional guidelines as i could and got ready to tend to the 500+ people surging out of the packed room wanted to know more about the next event.

The questions came flowing in just as KR had anticipated, and it was at this point i was about to retreat to my default style of responding when i quickly remembered my newly learned technique. At first i fumbled and lacked some confidence, perhaps i lost a few clients here. But the line up was big and the opportunity was many, so after a failed first attempt, i tried and tried again. This time it began paying off. I even took over another persons prospect when i overhead a conversation derailing. I trusted the process, spoke to the gentleman with confidence, responded efficiently with purpose and with the technique that was took and BOOM, the credit card was handed over!

Im a salesman! I quietly exclaimed in my head, and the feeling was sensational! I wanted more opportunities but the room had emptied by now and it was time to revel in my success.

My key learning here was facing my fear, and what i now think is only a fear of rejection. I repeatedly tell myself that i am not a good salesperson, however i also believe i know how to run a good business (everything else but sales). How does that even make sense when sales IS the lifeblood of the business. Pushing through my self doubt and realligning my sub-conscious to believe that i can effectively sell gives me the confidence to become a better person in business. The negative association i have with sales was because of a belief that these people are trying to take money from you unethically (scams/overpriced uneeded product/pressure tactics) where as i just had to realise that we are selling something of great value and our job is to bring the buyer to the realisation that they need this and help them take the step to the transaction. 

I cant wait for the next opportunity, the the fun begin!

A 10 year goal realised

July 12th

2 years in the making and the band is now in the studio. It's winter, in Adelaide, and we are parked in Capital Studios for the next 7 days attempting to produce the first full length album for TSCU.

I've now been here for 2 days, listening to our drummer Reece track drums with double the amount of microphones than pieces of drumming equipment in the room (surely to become a unique an ambient sound.) I've got the layout of the studio now and I'm about to track my Bass parts, I'm not going to lie, i am feeling a bit nervous as it has been a good 10 years since being in a studio, but at the same time I'm also pretty dam excited to be full filling this part of my life again.

On the journey to Adelaide I started a new book during the flight, Tim Ferris's 4 hour work week. It was quite fitting that the whole premise of this book is to define your success by what you want to do with the time you have, not the amount of $$$ in the bank (and the workload to achieve it).  Im now realising that these moments have presented themselves to be enjoyed, so sit back, relax and enjoy the process.

 

Side note: I wrote this part of the entry moments before picking up my instrument and in hindsight it was the perfect mental preparation for me to personally remind myself to have fun. With a somewhat perfectionist personality, the pressure I put on myself can paralyse my efforts (in any endeavour). This is definitely my own pearl of wisdom to remember.

The result: 7 tracks down in 6 hours! Im pretty happy with the performance, the sound, the whole experience in fact. And to top it off finishing the day with a few beers and listening to Adelaide hard rockers Grenadiers rehearse... Im Stoked!

Day 3 in the studio went just as fast. 3 songs down back to back and 2 brand new unrehearsed songs tracked as well. I felt pretty proud that although my skills aren't quite as good as they once were as a younger more dedicated musician i was still able to pull off some pretty mean bass riffs, it's still in the blood!

So my life is generally one that revolves around progression, learning, thinking logically and relatively and it is very rare that I am relaxing (unless I'm kitesurfing - if you can consider that relaxing.) Unleashing this creative side of my brain/personality was truly a feeling of freedom. Something most of us commonly forget that we have the option to do.

My lesson from this week is to immerse yourself in something you love, even if it only benefits you in that moment, you will remember what it is THIS is all about.

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The control room of Capital Studios

Why 5am?

Monday 3rd July 5am

Setting my alarm for 2 - 3 hours before I need to leave the house is not an indication that I am slow to get going of a morning, it's quite the opposite actually. I have curated this time so diligently that i could easily say it is my favourite time of the day. Each morning i am rejuvenated, motivated  and pumped for the new challenge ahead, and as each day comes, new challenges are met, and I am satisfied knowing i have taken away a valuable lesson that in time will serve me.

But it hasn't always been like this, being the protagonist that i am i felt an enormous burden that you are doomed for failure unless you get your arse out of bed and work harder. I had a to-do list as long as my arm and no matter what i did, it only ever grew (sometimes exponentially). Quite frankly, it stressed me out.

I am a business owner. I am an aspiring musician, a health fanatic, an introvert and extrovert, a passionate person, an adventurer, a loving person to my friends, my family and the biggest person in my life, my soon to be wife.

The opening sentence in the paragraph preceding this tends to be one that takes over a person's life. Some people learn the lesson, and some people do not. Everything that is important in this life is everything else that follows that sentence. From today (and every other day) these posts will be my purpose and are the expression of the lessons one person can learn through this journey we call life.

I feel  that this process is more important to me than for any reader that chooses to come for the ride. Perhaps i will not engage anyone, and at this point, i am completely ok with this. For now i am taking my ever evolving thoughts from my paper diary into the public domain. At least this way i can give my fiance some reprieve from the endless philosophical chatter she so conscientiously listens to. I love her so much. I am a better person because of her, as you will soon find out.