3103, 2015

20 things I wish I knew about life before I was 40

By |March 31st, 2015|Life lessons, Miscellaneous|1 Comment

Am I really half way through my life ?

I turned 40 a couple of years ago. It was a great day and I had a great weekend celebrating with friends at an incredible house. Here I was an energetic, ‘young’ 40 year old celebrating and enjoying life – with loved ones around me, a positive future and no major regrets.

40th speech me on my 40th View from 40th house

But on the inside, there was a lot more going on. For me, turning 40 was a transformational time. It was a time of self-reflection where I started asking myself some big questions and thinking about life. Thinking about who I was. Thinking about my life to date. Thinking about where I was going and what I wanted to do and achieve in life. And thinking about what I wish I’d known earlier.

Fortunately I can say that I’ve given my first 40 years a good tilt. I’ve travelled to over 25 countries, studied overseas, written 2 books, lived overseas as a professional athlete and competed at two Olympic Games. I’ve driven a team of husky dogs for 2 days in Norway, dived with Great White Sharks and am soon to ride an elephant in Africa. I’ve seen the high life during some of my investment banking days, and had a glimpse into those who live in extreme poverty (through my work as an ambassador of the Global Poverty Project and when visiting my sponsored child in remote Kenya). I’ve met famous people, powerful people, inspiring people, homeless people, ordinary people and people I wish I hadn’t ever met. I’ve seen and experienced a fair amount and learnt a lot.

But one thing I have realised with the benefit of a little bit of wisdom as I grow older is how much I don’t know and how much I wish I’d known earlier. When you’re in your 20’s and 30’s you have all this potential … but often you don’t know what to do with it or how to really leverage it. Or you think you have it all figured out but you find out later that you didn’t really.

So here’s a list of things that I wish I’d known earlier.

20 THINGS I WISH I WOULD HAVE KNOWN BEFORE I TURNED 40

1. I wish I had spent more time deciding what I really wanted from life.

Figure out your passion and purpose. Don’t wait until 30 or 40 to find that out. Chances are the guys and girls that figured it out earlier are not only doing what they love which is reward in itself, but are probably successful at it and now reaping the rewards. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to do something because that is all you can do and your stuck. Doing what you love is a key to life. So don’t feel the pressure to do any particular thing, or follow any particular path. It’s your life. So its worth taking the time to figure out (even in part) what you want from life, how you want it to look, what you want to do and how you want to live.

Passion-nicky kurta

2. I wish I had drunk more water.

Observe a plant before you water it and after you water it and treat your body the same. I wish I’d drunk more water and less coke and fruit juice.

water

3. I wish I had had more confidence around girls.

I was always really comfortable around girls when they were friends. But the minute it was a girl I liked – things changed. And don’t even suggest to me to go up and talk to that girl in the bar ! (Even if I knew in my head that she was out with her girlfriends not only to have a fun night with them, but to meet them too). The older you get the more you realise that women appreciate being asked out in a genuine and confident way. You come to realise that if the worst that happens is a ‘no’ then that’s not really that big a deal. You also realise that women are more attracted to men who have fun and make them laugh. That our male obsession with bodies and image is less important in meeting a girl and then making her happy than we thought. (Mind you – men are still from Mars and women from Venus !) 🙂

4. I wish I had known more about food and what was truly good for me.

Can you believe it was only after competing in two Olympics that I really started educating myself on healthy goods. Understanding what foods affect me poorly eg allergies, bloating. Understanding that most labels with “Light,” “Healthy,” “Diet”, “Sugar Free” are probably just trying to cover something up. Understanding that wholefoods are good. Understanding the difference between good fats and bad fats. Understanding how good I feel when I feed my body the right fuel / foods.

healthyfood

5. I wish I had followed my instincts more.

I tend to over-think things. And yet, my gut instinct has been nearly always right. Listen to that knot in your gut and your intuition. Take note of that red light going off deep down inside you. If you think she might not be the right girl, she probably isn’t. Same goes for your job. Of all the voices you hear, your own may be the wisest and hardest to listen to.

6. I wish I had taken more photos.

Ever noticed how photos are one of the first things that everyone rescues from their home in an emergency. There’s a good reason for that – photos mean memories and emotions. A reminder of experiences, of community, of fun times, and of a life well-lived.

pope selfie

7. I wish I had started my “private” university earlier.

Robert Kiyosaki is right. We go to school but do we really get educated on the things that really matter after we finish school ? Things like financial acumen; communication skills and emotional intelligence; life skills like discovering your purpose, getting over disappointment and developing belief in yourself. I’ve learnt that self-development and personal education is so valuable. So build your personal library and read more. Listen to more podcasts and CDs in the car. Read a book a month and you’ve read 100 books in 10 years. Listen to a podcast a week and that’s 250 learnings and lessons in 5 years. Imagine what that knowledge could do for you.

8. I wish I had learned the true power of a thank you.

I’m trying to make sure I say a genuine “thankyou’ more often. To adopt an attitude of gratitude. Life is nicer this way.  Hint: send a card, send a gift or write a letter to someone that deserves it today.

9. I wish I had not been “too busy” for my parents.

When you get older and life gets busier with family, work and other commitments, you only have less time for your parents and grandparents. Time is precious with them. And besides, when you realise that they’re people, just like you, it makes you realise that they’re pretty interesting, smart, and fun to be around. The older you get the more they appreciate that time with you too.

camping - bikes Fam - my 29

10. I wish I was less concerned with what everyone else thought about me.

Here’s eight words to remove from your vocabulary: “What will people say? What will people think?”
I wish I’d realised earlier how irrelevant other people’s opinions were to my life and to making me happy. I’ve learnt to not live by others expectations or opinions. Stay true to yourself and don’t be so concerned with what others think about you.

11. I wish I would have laughed more.

Make sure to laugh everyday. Just like children do. Learn to speak the language of “serious fun.” As it implies, get the serious stuff done … but make sure you have your share of fun and play, too.

old-woman-laughing

12. I wish I would have realised that the world is “service” oriented and relationship based.

I wish I’d learnt earlier the power of serving others. From two aspects. From the selfish side, I wish I’d learnt the power of the “law of reciprocity” earlier – that is that people feel an inherent obligation to reciprocate your kind actions. But more importantly, the older you get, the more you realise that it’s not about what you get, but what you give back that really counts. And you realise that it’s the relationships you make that are the things that make life easier, better and more enjoyable.

13. I wish I’d learnt that there is a big difference between regret and disappointment.

I’ve learned this the hard way – through many disappointments. But the good part is that those disappointments came in the pursuit of my dreams and after having given it everything – like my crash in my second Olympics. In these tough times I had no regrets eating away at me, only bitter disappointment. But they’re different. And the understanding that regret and disappointment are different is so powerful because it frees you up to go after every other dream you have for your life, even if you don’t know whether it will turn out the way you want. You’ll go after these things because you understand and appreciate that twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.

shutterstock_3278413-regret

14. I wish I had been a morning person.

I’m still not a morning person, but I’m trying. It is indeed the best time of the day. The time to get things done early. Or the time for stillness and reflection. Or the time for exercise before the busyness of the day.

Sunrise-Wallpaper-07

15. I wish I had learnt the power of language earlier.

Through my sport and NLP courses I have learnt the power of language – to effect the image we have in our mind, which affects the emotions we feel, which affects our actions. Language is far more powerful than we often give it credit for. Use it powerfully for yourself and use it powerfully to encourage and build up others not tear them down.

Its easier to build up a child than repair an adult

16. I wish I had built my network even faster.

The older you get the more you realise the power of networks, connections and relationships. Both for business and for your personal life. Surround yourself with people who have done more than you, gone further than you and inspire you. Just like the tide, you will rise or fall according to the influential people around you and the relationships you have.

17. I wish I had learnt to count to 10, recite ‘Baa baa black sheep’ or sleep on things earlier.

I’m a bit impetuous and emotional. I react quickly. As you get older you realise it is much better to be wise about what you say or email in the first instance as it is far harder to try and restore relationships or take things back later. You realise that reacting and retaliating merely escalates things and responding with a clear head rather than emotions is much wiser and will serve you better.

18. I wish I had learnt that the best things really are free.

Health. Loving relationships. Freedom. Inner peace. Purpose. It is these things that make our lives rich and make us truly happy. And they’re free. They can’t be bought and they can’t be earned. And sadly and ironically that’s the opposite of what the world teaches us.

Trying to be happy by possessions

19. I wish I had learnt that only the good feel guilty.

Bad people don’t feel guilty. Good people feel guilty because they are good and they feel they have done wrong, let somebody down or made a mistake. Good people have a conscience. So if you feel guilty that’s a good sign. In that event, recognise the guilt, put it right, learn the lesson, drop the guilt and move on.

20. I wish I had learnt that you’ll never understand everything.

I’ve learnt that the world is big and complex. That people behave oddly. That things will go unexpectedly wrong – or right. That some things just don’t make sense. That I wont be able to understand everything or figure everything out. But letting go and learning to live with the questions and the unknown can ironically help you sleep easier at night and bring a peace of mind.

 

1803, 2015

Fishing without knowing it is not fish you’re after

By |March 18th, 2015|Life lessons, Uncategorized|0 Comments

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after”
(Henry David Thoreau)

It’s a funny quote this isn’t it because it could be interpreted in a few ways. For me it makes me think of two things.

Firstly, the journey. In today’s society we are so goal focussed. And I’m certainly guilty of this – both as an individual and also as someone who writes on this and speaks on this a lot. But ‘guilty’ is not the right word because being purpose-driven and having a dream and chasing goals around this dream is not a bad thing at all. In fact it is a great thing. BUT, often we spend our whole lives chasing the goal (our whole lives fishing), without realising that it is not in the achievement, but in the activity itself that we find enjoyment, meaning and value. Is the contestant on The Biggest Loser proud of losing all that weight? Of course. But do they also look back and realise they are prouder of the person they’ve become through the journey that enabled them to lose that weight?! Is the Olympian proud of getting to the Olympics? Of course. But are they also proud of the journey and what it took to even qualify and get there?!

Secondly, perspective.  When I wrote A Life That Counts and chose the title it was because I wanted to challenge us as to what it means to live a life that really matters and stands for something. I’m all for following my/your dreams and achieving my/your goals. I write about this and speak about this so often. But, they’re just part of the picture of life. They’re not the whole fabric. The purpose of life is far greater than our own personal fulfilment, our career and our own peace of mind. It is not measured solely by an Olympic medal, by a particular goal achieved, by how wealthy you are and what you earn, by how many twitter followers you have, or by public recognition and fame. After all, at our funeral and after we die, it’s not our achievements, our degrees, our bank balance or our fame that people will really remember and speak about. I write more about this in the last chapter of my book. What is it to live a life that counts?

Furthermore, happiness and fulfilment aren’t ‘out there’, they’re within. They’re independent of circumstance and they don’t rest solely on whether we achieve a specific goal. Succeeding in the game of life is bigger than all this. How often do we go running after things that we think will make us happy, only to realise that they don’t ultimately satisfy? The next car. The next job. The next girl or boy. The next drug. The next adventure or experience.  We go fishing to catch one kind of fish and realise it doesn’t make us happy, so we try and catch another one. We spend our whole lives fishing without realising it’s not the fish that will make us happy.  As a christian, it reminds me of the wise words of Jesus “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world yet forfeits his soul. And what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). For me, Jesus is the only one that could satisfy my heart and fill that God-shaped hole that I tried to fill with so many other things. He is the only one that could fill me with a peace which is unexplainable.

Many men go fishing their whole lives, without knowing it is not fish they’re after. Food for thought.

 

 

 

 

403, 2015

A lesson from an African tribe on positive psychology

By |March 4th, 2015|Miscellaneous, Psychology|0 Comments

African-Tribe

I recently read about an African tribe that does the most beautiful thing when dealing with crime or when someone has done something hurtful and wrong.

What they do is …

… they take the person to the center of town and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the person every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as GOOD, each of us desiring safety, love, peace and happiness. And each of us fashioned to do good. But sometimes in the pursuit of those things and needs people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help. So they band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true nature and to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he’d temporarily been disconnected.

Positive psychology would say the same – that everyone acts with the highest intentions. It’s just that the actions in pursuit of that need or want (which are good needs or wants eg attention, to be loved etc) aren’t always good. But of course, we don’t need modern and ‘advanced’ positive psychology to teach us that. We just need an African tribe.

Challenge

There’s a lesson in this … see the good in people. Speak to the goodness in them. See the best in them even when they can’t yet see it themselves. Remind them positively of their capacity to do good and be great, not their capacity to do wrong, do evil or make mistakes. People will respond far better to this approach. 

1802, 2015

The journey has begun … (Beach Flags – Part 5)

By |February 18th, 2015|Goal Setting|0 Comments

18 months I set myself a goal – to become World Champion (Masters) in the beach flags. And to achieve that goal I started a process that I have used when trying to achieve any goal I set – be that for the Olympics, rugby, work or something else in my life. I’ve taken you on that journey with me through four previous blog posts:

http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-1/
http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-2/
http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-3/
http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-4/

My hope is that by sharing with you a current and real example of mine that it really helps build on and solidify what I wrote about in my book about goal-setting and following your dreams. It’s not about me and the outcome of this goal in particular. It’s about the process and learnings and example. I want it to inspire you and equip you to go after whatever you want in YOUR life. (And I hope that it answers your original question Jesper).

So here’s the final instalment on chasing my goal of becoming world champion.

Staying focussed in the lead-up – The funny thing is that this all happened in the lead-up to my wedding. World Championships just happened to be 10 days after our wedding. Or perhaps better said – we organised our wedding for September 5th and World Championships were scheduled for the 15th. So half the battle for me was keeping up the training and keeping focussed with so much else going on in the 6 months prior – be they family arriving from overseas, or all the organisation that needed to be done, or wedding cakes that begged to be eaten, or finding the time to fit everything in, or how our honeymoon would fit in with this. Luckily my beautiful wife Satu was happy to let me fly off to France 5 days after our wedding and compete. Meanwhile she stayed home in Sydney and hung out with friends and family and we organised to meet in Thailand for our honeymoon immediately after competition ended. 🙂 You’d also be interested to know (or perhaps not to) that I trained on the morning of my wedding!

World champs - taperingWedding

I’m here and it’s time to perform – there’s nothing like the feeling of arriving at a big competition like the Olympic Games or World Championships. You wonder how things are going to work out in the following few days. You also know internally whether you’ve done the training and preparation or whether you haven’t (this is not a good feeling). I knew I had trained hard, prepared well and was in good shape. So it was just a matter of performing on the day when it counted.
IMG_0872 World champs - here we are World champs - here we are 2

Prepared, motivated and focussed – there wasn’t much more to do now. And this in itself can be a challenge. Your body feels great but you have to force yourself to sit and do very little. To internalise and conserve your energy. To be focussed, but not over focussed too early – unleash that focus when it counts. (For me, the way to deal with this is to be organised and stick to a plan and routine. It takes my mind off things so I feel like I’m doing more than I am, I’m relaxed and I’m not thinking too much of the upcoming competition. And it makes sure I’ve thought of everything so the only thing that matters is performing when it counts). You also want to surround yourself with positive thoughts, belief and motivation. But at the same time to remain relaxed and also to enjoy the journey. Pre-competition is a funny time.
World champs - plan Motivation on the wall

The Beach Sprint and Beach Flags – these photos aren’t of me as I was too busy concentrating on performing. They were taken after my events. But they’ll give you a good sense of everything.
World champs - the sprint World champs - the flags

World Champion – I did it. Mission accomplished. Goal achieved. World Champion in the beach sprint. And World Champion in the beach flags the next day. From retiring from bobsleigh; then discovering Surf-Life Saving as something that I enjoyed and wanted to do to keep me fit and healthy; to starting the sport and then having a dream and a big goal to win the world title in France in 18 months time; to training and all that was involved in that process along the way; to doing it !
World champs - gold 3 World champs - gold World champs - gold 2

The reward – whenever you set yourself goals you should give yourself a reward. Many people say to me “shouldn’t your goal be enough though?”. Well it should, but you always give yourself secondary leverage. Something else to look forward to. Something else to think about during the tough times. I mean, what harm is there in giving yourself more incentive to achieve what you want? For me, as someone with a ‘sweet tooth’ who had really tried hard to eat better and improve my nutrition, that was eating what I wanted for the next few weeks. First stop – Macdonalds at the airport ! Second stop – my honeymoon !
The rewardHoneymoon

The end.

And now onto the next dream / goal – whatever that is and whenever that is. I have no idea what that is right now. It may be back in Surf Life Saving to win that elusive Australian title. It may be outside of sport and be more business focussed. Time will tell. And so will my heart !

In the meantime, here’s to your own dreams. Go after them without regret. Remember you’re better off regardless and you always regret the things you don’t do more than the things you do. You’ve only got one life so go for it !

 

 

 

402, 2015

The journey has begun … (Beach Flags – Part 4)

By |February 4th, 2015|Dare to Dream, Goal Setting|0 Comments

You will recall that a friend of mine who had read my book, wanted some more information and examples of how I actually goal-set and go about following my dreams and achieving my goals. To do this I used as the example my latest goal – to become World Champion in beach flags as a perfect example of this. Here is the 4th instalment of my journey to become World Champion and links to the three previous posts.

http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-1/
http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-2/
http://www.jeremyrolleston.com/the-journey-has-begun-beach-flags-part-3/

You may recall that I went into my first Australian Championships after three months in the sport with no real expectations – more to perform to the best of my ability and see what happens. Well … I won silver and it gave me a taste for more. So the focus turned to Australian Championships a year later and then the World Championships six months after that. Here’s some of the things around my goal-setting that I did in that 12-18 months.

Continue to make the vision big, exciting and motivating – I already had the dream and was motivated towards it. But redoing my vision board, having it on the wall in my room, and seeing it all the time is always very powerful. Vision boards are a powerful tool to make that dream come alive (Read more about this in my book A Life That Counts). You need to see it, before you can believe it, before you can achieve it. Sounds cliche doesn’t it. But it’s true. 
Vision board Flags Simon Harris

Belief – I’d now had a taste of it and knew I could do it. If I could come second in the Australian titles after 3 months, then with a concerted focus, with a good training base, and with time to learn and improve in flags … I knew I could win if things went right. But to develop a deep unshakeable belief, I developed a visualisation CD with Craig Townsend whom I have worked with before. (If you want to know more on this I also talk about visualisation and hypnosis/visualisation CDs in my book A Life That Counts).

Reset my goals for the upcoming year – basically I needed to be fitter, faster, stronger, and lose some weight (to improve my power to weight). That meant reassessing, critiquing and resetting my goals. (That’s the thing most people don’t realise – goal-setting is not a once off thing – it’s a dynamic process. You’re always looking at them and writing new little milestone goals along the way – even while the big goal remains unchanged).
New goal setting

Improve my nutrition – my training was good and always has been. But now my eating needed to be equally good. And for me this was haaaarrd – I have a sweet tooth like no other! During my bobsleigh and rugby days I could get away with it as I needed to be big and strong. But now I couldn’t hide these bad habits – well not if I wanted to be lean for beach flags!

Concentrate on nutrition

Training – this is pretty obvious isn’t it. But I needed to do two things. Firstly, I had to do more specific flags training as technique is so important in this sport. And second, I needed to learn from the best. So in the last 6 months before World titles I committed to flying up to the Gold Coast and training with Australian flags legend (9 times Australian champion and four-time World Champion – Simon Harris). And of course, there’s no substitute for hard work!
Training Training Training

 

Competitions – practice makes perfect. I went in all the competitions I could. And thank goodness I did as I made many mistakes – from false-starting and being disqualified. To tripping. To missing the flag when I dived for it. To being too tense and that affecting my get-up. To realising I wasn’t fit enough. To not having peripheral vision to see what other people were doing. I had some success and won branch titles and State championships.
East Coast Masters - flags State champs

Preparation and focus – for me the goal was winning that World title. So training was a chance to try some things out and Australian Championships was a dress rehearsal and a good opportunity to try everything out in competition. Then I’d either replicate what I did or take the learnings from it and make improvements. In particular that mean getting organised about the gear I took onto the beach for the various events (as you’re on the beach for a lot of the day and need to have clothes to warm up in, feel relaxed in, be warm in, be protected from the sun in). It also meant getting organised about my food and what I would eat in the morning, as well as throughout the day.
Trailling stuff at training Aust champs - food Aust champs - food 3 Aust champs - bags and organisation Aust champs - food

Australian Titles – I flew over to Perth in April to compete in Australian Championships and unfortunately didn’t get the result I wanted. I was bumped out in the final flag and ended up with silver. What it did do though – was flame that fire inside me for that original goal – to win that world title in six months time in France. There was lots of work to do. I now had a good base to work off, but I was going to be faster, stronger, technically better at flags, really lean and ready !
Aust champs

Stay tuned for the final chapter – World Championships

1712, 2014

Pay it forward – paid with a bag of veggie soup

By |December 17th, 2014|A Life That Counts, Action|1 Comment

Ah … another incredible and moving video. This time from Thailand. I love it.

In fact, this is why I absolutely love writing my blog. I write this blog as much for myself as all of you who read it. A video like this moves me and stays with me. It inspires me to live a better life. It challenges me to live a life outside of my own selfish pursuits and concerns. It encourages me that when you pay it forward and help people that they never forget that and that they will in turn do the same. It reminds me that I want to live a life that makes a difference – a life that really counts.

So amidst the routine and the daily grind of life that can often wear us down, I hope my blog brings you inspiration and energy and life. May it be like a library of inspiration, encouragement, tips, and motivation. And we can never have enough of that in our lives !

Enjoy this latest dose !

 

 

1711, 2014

Are you happy ? … how to get happiness

By |November 17th, 2014|Life lessons, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Happiness. We all want to be happy don't we. It's on top of all of our lists when it comes to things we want in our life. And its the same for everyone – regardless of where you live in the world; no matter how rich or poor you are; no matter your background or your age – we all want to be happy.


The question then is how ? Some try and achieve it through money and wealth (buying happiness). Others through service and charity. Others through achievements. Others through meditation. Others through drugs and alcohol. Others through relationships and sex.

So what makes you happy ? Perhaps you remember a past blog I wrote on happiness where I shared some findings around happiness. Some of the key points I wrote about were:

  • Surprisingly, according to this research, genetics play a bigger role than we would have first thought in our happiness. And yet, life's circumstances (our wealth, material possessions, what happens to us) play a much smaller role than we would have first thought. It is why a Masai herdsman can be as happy as a multi-millionaire (see details here). Or why a lottery winner and a paraplegic can return to the same previous long-term happiness level (see this article and see here).
  • Most importantly, a big part of our happiness is determined by our intentional activity – what we think and what we do. And the good news is that this is in our control – so in this way happiness is a choice. So if we find and use strategies focussed on increasing our happiness (exercise gratitude, enjoy pleasurable activities, improve your stress management skills, manage and harness your thoughts, focussing on those things and those people that make you happy, make sure you are striving after the right goals for the right reasons etc) it can have a big effect.

So with that in mind, here's a couple of thoughts from my life experience so far as to things you can do that will contribute to being happier.

1.  Realise that it's your life and that you (and noone else) is responsible for your happiness.  This sounds so chiche, but it's true. You along know what makes you happy. You alone cultivate those things in your life. You alone do those activities, and surround yourself with those people, and think those thoughts, and make those decisions that contribute to your happiness. You alone create the happy life you dream of. You and not someone else.

2. Don't live your life by other people's expectations or to try to please everyone.  Don't live to please others. And don't live by their expectations and their comments. You'll never please everyone anyway and it honestly doesn't really matter that they think anyway. Live your life by the beat of your own drum. Live your life how you want to and on your terms.

3. Quit worrying.  What will worrying add to your life? It is time and energy invested in what you think and hope wont happen, and may not actually happen. Worrying achieves absolutely nothing. It isn't productive. It wastes precious time. It is destructive in many cases. And it puts your focus in the wrong direction. Learn to quit worrying and you'll be a whole lot happier.

4. You can't buy happiness. Never forget that the best things in life truly are free. Health. Love. Relationships. Satsfaction. Enjoyment. Purpose. Happiness. You can't buy these. We try and fill our life with things that give us 'momentary' pleasure. And in many respects these 'things' complicate our lives. Life is simpler than that. And happiness is simpler than that too – despite what the world tries to tell us.

 

My Challenge
What makes you happy ? Find out. Cultivate and embrace these things. Implement them in your life
. And let your happiness be the judge and proof of if they make a difference. 

1301, 2014

Thank God for closed doors

By |January 13th, 2014|Perseverence, Uncategorized|0 Comments

I THANK GOD FOR CLOSED DOORS.

This past few years has been a really difficult journey for me. I gave up a job I loved to pursue my olympic dream again and after all the sacrifice, hard work and effort to get there again, and after being in the best shape of my life (physically and mentally) – that Olympic journey ended up with a bizarre, unexpected and devastating crash in front of the world’s media at the Vancouver Olympic Games. I couldn’t have scripted that Olympics worse if I had tried. But that’s another story. And then on the job front I made a slight change with my career and ended up working for a firm which was the antithesis of everything that I am, that I embrace and how I operate. And the parting gift from this work stress was glandular fever. But that’s another story. I’m better now but things on the work front have still not taken shape the way I want them to. I feel like I’m walking through mud and treading water. Of course there have been some good times and some good things along the way – it isn’t all bad. But, there is no doubt – it has been a tough time.

And yet, despite not having found the next open door yet, I actively thank God for closed doors.

Enter Tyler. It was a post of his that inspired this blog and what he writes below I completely agree with. Thankyou Tyler for the encouragement and wisdom. I hope this inspired all of you too.

“When I wake up in the morning and see the sunrise as I’m running, I thank God for new mercies every day. As I was running this morning I started thinking about this and you know how much I like to share my morning thoughts… LOL

I was out just thinking about my life and all the times that I wished that a door had opened. All the times I had promoters and people lie to me saying that they would help me… I remember wishing the bank would approve my loan request for a house or a car (usually one I couldn’t afford at the time). I wished that this person would help me or that person would do something to help my business, or this person would help my dreams come true.

As I look back now I’m so glad that none of those situations worked out. I’m so glad God closed those doors because they forced me to find the right path for me. If you’re in this situation and you feel like doors are closing all around you and you are frustrated, here’s something I’d like you to think about: Life can be like a living maze. You know what a maze is. In a maze, you start out at one end and your objective is to find your way to the finish line.

Many times you may make a turn and hit a dead end and you have to go another way. Just like life, that door closing on you sends you another way. It doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen, it just means you need to go another way. If you keep moving, eventually you will get to where you’re going.

Another thing that is important when you’re in a maze, as in life, is to remember where you have been. If you get turned around and confused in a maze, in order to get out, you have to remember the dead-ends that you have already hit. Just like in life you have to remember all the doors that were closed so you don’t waste time going that way again. If you want to get to your dreams you can’t expect to get there by doing the same thing and going to the same spots. You must try something different. I’m not saying give up on your dream, I’m saying try another path to the same dream. Same maze, same dream, but take a different direction to get there.

I feel sorry for people who have a dream and give up because it gets hard. Let me tell you something, “IT’S GOING TO GET HARD!” And my answer to that is, “SO WHAT? MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!” Don’t stop because a door closed. I have learned to thank God for closed doors. You have to know that if God wanted you to go that way, no man could close that door. But for some reason he allowed that door to be closed, but if that one was closed I assure you that there is one that is open somewhere. And it’s the right one. Don’t stop until you are living your dream.”

Challenge
Closed doors happen. Thank God for them. But don’t stop there. Keep going until you find the open one and until you  are living your dreams. We’ve only got one life – so let’s make it count !

612, 2013

Inspired Gifts for Christmas and other occasions

By |December 6th, 2013|Miscellaneous|0 Comments

images

Well it's almost Christmas time and so we turn our thoughts to presents and gifts. But this year I want to share with you a tradition I have just started in our family – one that I think taps into one of the real meanings of Christmas – giving.

Why not this Christmas give a gift that makes a difference to others and helps others in need ? I mean, who needs another candle ?! Or another T-shirt? Instead, why don't you buy a gift for someone that goes to someone else in need. A goat. Or a bike. Or a water purifier that thenn helps an entire family have clean drinking water which then lifts their health, which means they don't miss school because of sickness, which means they get better educated, which means … you get the picture. It is better to give than to receive. And if you're reading this then it is clear that you live a blessed life. So why not start a tradition in your family or use this Christmas or birthday or wedding or other occasion to bless others. And you know what – there is a saying that I like that says "The fragrance of the rose always stays in the hand of the giver". Trust me – you'll be blessed from giving.

So here's a list of a few inspired gift programs I know of and some of my favourite gifts.

  • Water Charity – 100% of public donations funding water projects around the world. 9,458 water projects funded so far, giving clean water to 3,500,000 people, in over 20 countries. And you get photos and GPS co-ordinates to prove the difference you made. Click here to find out why water is so important.

Present idea => A Biosand filter ($65)- a gift wrapped in concrete, filled with sand and running on bacteria !

watercharity2

 

  • Childfund – The charity I have sponsored my children through for almost 20 years. And having visited my sponsored child in Kenya in 2003, I know how incredibly effective this organisation is – I've seen it with my own eyes ! 

Present idea => Mosquito Nets ($60) – Provide 10 insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets to keep children safe from lethal maleria.

Present idea => Goat ($55) – Goats are easy to raise, can survice the toughest conditions, eat almost anything, reporoduce quickly, provide milk and can be sold if necessary.

Present idea => 15 Fruit Tree seedings ($28) – What could be better for a hungry child than healthy fruit that they can eat or sell at market

TOP-STORY-3-GOATcharity-gift-10-mosquito-nets

  • Unicef – This amazing organisation had made worldwide impact as you can see from this picture.

Present idea => A bike ($103)- so helpful for health workers or to transport product, vaccines etc

Present idea => Measles vaccines ($28) – this will protect 100 children from measles

Present idea => Pencils ($13) – 500 pencils will unlock imagination & are a vital tool for learning and education

2013-Infographic

 

 

Challenge

It’s always someone’s birthday or wedding. So why not institute this in your family this year or do this throughout the year. Or getting married and don't need another platter or toaster ? Imagine the difference you could make with some inspired gifts ! 

312, 2013

One of the best ads I’ve ever seen (Jean-Claude Van Damme style)

By |December 3rd, 2013|Miscellaneous|0 Comments

This blog isn't one to make you think or to challenge or inspire you. Just one to enjoy …