Thanks for the shout out 🙂
Great passage from Paulo Coelho’s The Manual of the Warrior of Light:
First: God is sacrifice. Suffer in this life and you will be happy in the next.
Second: People who have fun are childish. Remain tense at all times.
Third: Other people know what is best for us because they have more experience.
Fourth: Our duty is to make other people happy. We must please them even if that means making major sacrifices.
Fifth: We must not drink from the cup of happiness; we might get to like it and we won’t always have it in our hands.
Sixth: We must accept all punishments. We are guilty.
Seventh: Fear is a warning. We don’t want to take any risks.
These are the commandments that no warrior of light can obey.
Great message about not following ‘tradition’ or ‘rules’, cutting your own path through life. I recommend reading the whole book, it’s not a story but a series of passages like the above as guidance for being a ‘warrior of light’ in a seemingly dark world. Maybe Dan Millman and Paulo can get together and write ‘The Peaceful Warrior of Light’?
Here’s the first half of my social Futsal team season highlights. Putting it together to have a really good full season video but thought I’d release this one to see what people thought. Will probably put more effort into editing, speeds, music and generally flow for the final one. It is a little long but I hope you enjoy it 🙂
The last couple of days for me have been quite incredible. And it’s not so much what happened but how things happened. I thought I’d just write a quick post about it all and tie in with a term known as maktub. For those who don’t know, this word is used in Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist – which is an amazing book I would recommend to everybody. But basically, it’s an arabic word that means ‘it is written’. I’ve wanted a reason to write about this and I think I have one now.
The idea is that everything in this world – no, the universe – has been written. For a more western analogy, it is akin to the saying ‘everything happens for a reason’. More importantly though, is that everything is written by the same hand. The deeper meaning of it all that every single moment in your life, every tiny and seemingly insignificant occasion, every major and overwhelming event – has all been written, and written for a reason. When you look at your life this way, you could do two things. First, you could ignore it, it’s all fairy tale stuff anyway right? Or second, you could apply it to your life, and realise that everything you do has it’s purpose, and approach every moment in your life with 100% of your spirit.
Now, I’ll explain a little more about why this has come about for me in the last week or so. At the moment I’ve been playing around on my GoPro, making soccer videos and other things. So about two weeks ago I film a game and the team we played against were absolutely incredible. I had never seen skills in person like that before – pro videos yes, not in real life. Anyway after the game I talk to a couple of the guys and asked if I could put videos up because I thought they were really good, and they were really happy for me to do that. So that night I put up just a quick video, because I didn’t have too much time to make anything bigger, here’s the video in question:
As you can see, that goal was ridiculous. But anyway, moving on, I didn’t really think about it too much after doing this. Since then two pretty incredible things have happened. First, I saw the guy in the video the next time we played Futsal. He thought the video was really good and has now offered to pay me to do more videos for him. I couldn’t really believe it and was never planning on making money doing videos. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to do good videos for him, but I’m excited to try and see where it goes. Now the next part of the story is still a little unbelievable for me. There were two brothers on that team, also really great players. My best mate had a house cooling down party on Friday night. It turns out those two brothers are good friends with my best mate and were there that night. I am still spinning out at how small the world is. But, more to the point we chatted heaps and got along really well, and they were quite impressed with the way I played and now want me to play A grade outdoor soccer with them. Which first, is incredibly flattering, as a player I’ve never considered myself special, I just play with all my heart. But, it is also really exciting for me and opens up so many possibilities for the future.
So, the point of my post today is not to brag. The point is that the universe works in mysterious ways and it really is written. Chance encounters with strangers can have such massive impacts on your life. I’ve taken upon myself to treat every conversation with a stranger as important as a conversation with the king. Because you just don’t know what someone has to offer you, or what you can offer them. And if you are hostile or rude on first encounter, the door closes extremely fast. I can think back to that Futsal game, and things could have gone completely different if I let losing the game get to me and let anger out. By keeping a happy and cool attitude and played the game, that door not only stayed upon, but was almost inviting me in. And so, while that is a very personal event for me, I wanted to make the point that if you put 100% into every moment of your life, you just don’t know what could happen, but I guarantee whatever happens will be much better than if you just ‘let things happen’ or treat others badly because you had a bad day at work or get impatient. And I’ll finish with a sentence used in The Peaceful Warrior which not only relates so well to the topic of this post, but also serves as a lead on to what my next post will be.
‘There are no ordinary moments’
Well my last post ended up proving to be more profound than I first thought. So I thought it would be a good idea to continue on with one of the important themes from that. Being the idea of having an internal purpose. Two reasons why I want to expand on that. First, I have just finished reading the book that The Way of the Peaceful Warrior movie was based on. And it was probably the most incredible book I’ve read to date. Second, I guess I’d like to provide a little more insight into what having an inner purpose really means, where it may come from and, through things I’ve learned through that book, how to apply it across your entire life, so that every day you are not only motivated, but happy. Because happiness is really the secret to life. And the key to complete happiness is inside you, and it always has been.
The majority of people are trying to find this key in everything but themselves. They look in their job, they look in their partners, they look in their achievements, their wealth, their kids, even their workouts themselves. Their external surroundings. You hear it all the time, and you probably say the same thing yourself. After watching the movie and the reading the book, I’ve come to realize that happiness is a choice you make, despite anything going on around you. Now I can tell you’re probably thinking ‘but bad things happen, I got fired, I can’t find a great partner, I’m in debt’ etc etc. But when you think of things like a promotion, new job, a great wife, you think happiness don’t you? And that is the fundamental problem – we as humans, label things good or bad, right or wrong. I’ve realised I probably cannot do justice to the experience learned from this book in one blog post, but I will try to highlight some key points and apply to the intrinsic purpose.
One of the overall points the hero of the book had to learn was that a warrior takes action. The master says ‘the warriors acts, the fool only reacts’. It is through action that the warrior finds happiness. And that term also means the action of choosing to be happy. Now, to apply this to your intrinsic purpose, I’ll try making a comparison to the reactive fool and the active warrior. The fool will react to social cues such as ‘you’re overweight’ ‘Ryan Gosling is soooo sexy why can’t you have a body like his’ and so on. So, they react by going on a diet, working out, getting fit and all the rest. They really give it their all, idealizing this outside influence a la carrot and the donkey. But it generally doesn’t last. They are trying to live up to external ideals, that may not even be synchronized with what they really want. And so it is very easy for them to give up, saying things like ‘I’m okay with my weight’ ‘I can’t possibly look like Ryan Gosling’. And the cycle can often repeat.
Now, in comparison, the warrior will act for no other reason than the action itself. The choice of action reflects the warriors inner purpose. For example, Dan in Peaceful Warrior is a gymnast. In the beginning, he explains to Socrates (Soc) how hard he trains to try making the Olympics and that is his dream. Soc, in the movie adaptation, in very few words breaks him down. Dan says, in a very assertive and domineering voice – ‘I train 6 days a week, 50 weeks a year’.
Soc: ‘Why so much?’
Dan: ‘Are you serious? I’m a heartbeat from making the qualifiers’
‘Qualifiers for what?’
Dan (Smugly): ‘Well, you ever watch the Olympics?’
‘Nope’. And that was it
Well, you’re probably thinking who cares if he doesn’t watch the Olympics because millions of people do. But the actual lesson is profound.
Dan was using these outside influences to motivate and give purpose to his training. He was ‘chasing gold’. But it is all an illusion, those things cannot really bring you happiness, and it’s the act itself that brings you real happiness. What happens when you receive your gold medal? That single moment in time is quickly passed by and can then make you feel empty inside. Try applying this to yourself now. Think back to any achievement you received an award or trophy for, even grab that trophy and feel it in your hands. How do you feel? Does it make you feel happy inside? Do you feel like your now doing what it was you won the trophy for? My guess is it doesn’t really bring any feeling to you. In the end, it’s a piece of metal.
In Dan’s case he naturally loved gymnastics so the act of doing is all that is really necessary. Once he realized this, his training evolved. He devoted, and I now follow this principle, each training session to the act of training for training alone. It wasn’t focused on winning a prize or making the qualifiers. Because these external forces are beyond your control and will come and go. However training, in whatever it is you choose it to be, exists every single time you do it. It cannot be taken away from you any more then it can be given to you. It is you. This can apply to any single thing you do in your life, and in this case, to properly apply it to your workouts, you need to shift your focus from any external motivation and look inside you for the reason.
For myself, I love Futsal. And as a player, I have finally evolved the way I play in an incredible way, because I now play for the sake of playing itself. It doesn’t matter to me if we win or lose, doesn’t matter if the ref makes bad calls or I get injured. Where not so long ago I would get angry or try to start fights very frequently. But none of that makes a difference now. As long as I’m playing (playing is most certainly a form of training) I’m at peace, and I will choose to be happy no matter what happens. So I want you try this in your own life. Think of something you like to do, be it sport, a hobby, work, whatever it is. Break it down. Do you do it because you want to win, because you want money, because you want fame? If so, try to step back and think why you actually enjoy doing it. Doing this you will surely learn whether you are doing something because you genuinely enjoy it or if you are really only doing it for some reward or recognition. If the former, try to forget any result and enjoy each time you are doing it for doing it alone. I guarantee you will not only find happiness in doing it, you may also find that you end up achieving more than when you were focused on just that.
Hello everybody and anybody who has stumbled across my blog. This is my first ever attempt at writing a blog. I’ve been told by a few people that I should start a blog so this is it.
My overall aim is to motivate people to enjoy a happy life. I take great pleasure in helping people through hard times, pushing people to achieve and if this blog succeeds in motivating just one person then I have succeeded in my books.
So the theme of my blog is highlighted by what I feel are 3 strong foundations to a great life, and I’ll briefly explain each now and why I feel this.
First off, fitness. You would think fitness speaks for itself but I feel it’s an underestimated term. To some, fitness means running 5km’s in 20 minutes. For others, it’s sprinting 100m in 10 seconds. While to others it’s about lifting 200kg’s off the ground. So I feel it’s necessary to assign a definition of ‘fitness’ for the purposes of my blog.
For this, I’ll take the words of Mark Lauren from his book, ‘You Are Your Own Gym’: the degree to which a person possesses muscular endurance, strength, power, balance, flexibility, coordination, speed, and cardiovascular endurance. For this blog, fitness is an all encompassing term. The reason I chose this is because as one of the pillars, possessing a high level of fitness as that term is now defined has profound effects on the quality of your life.
When your fitness increases, your health increases. When your fitness increases, your confidence increases. These two reasons alone are substantial enough to seek higher levels of fitness. And the great thing is, anybody is capable of achieving above average levels of fitness. We aren’t all going to be Olympians, but that’s okay. This blog will be about helping people achieve a very good foundation of fitness, which I promise will overflow into all levels of your life. But that’s enough of that, now, Focus.
What do I mean by Focus? Surely everybody knows what focus is. What I mean by Focus as a pillar to a great life, is the Focus on a craft, sport, hobby, anything. And this focus is something that you develop a mastery of. It can literally be anything. And it can change as your life goes on. Right now, my Focus’s are futsal and calisthenics. What this means is I spend a great deal of my spare time increasing my skill at these two areas through consistent Practice. I emphasized practice because that is a part under focus that I will deal greatly with. Reason being most of us don’t really know how to practice something. We think ‘Go to football training weekly to practice’ or something similar. But what I’ve learned through reading several books and applying the principles is that practice in itself is and art – the art of practice. And only when you truly, consciously practice something, can you ever achieve mastery. And the point of Focus is to achieve mastery (or really, be on the path of mastery) in something you really enjoy, as I’ve found this to bring great happiness to my life.
Phew, okay finally Freedom. Once again, I’ll be using a more abstract definition for this pillar. What I mean by freedom is, basically taking from Victor Frankl’s book A Man’s Search for Meaning, is freedom of the mind. Freedom of choice in any situation. This type of freedom is very unclear to the general masses. How often do you hear a colleague complain ‘I have to do this, I need to this, my husband is making me do this, blah blah blah’. The thing is, every single human being has freedom of choice. Everything you do is by choice. Now I can imagine a lot of you will be thinking ‘what are you talking about, I HAVE to work, I HAVE to etc etc’. That’s the second facet of freedom of choice, is that every choice you make you ACCEPT all the consequences. And if you’re accepting the consequences you are choosing them. But no matter what, you can choose either way. And to truly achieve happiness in life you need to grasp this concept and trust me when you do, you will feel a great weight lifted off your shoulders. I know I did.
I’ll use a fairly simple example of myself and my housemate. We both studied law and commerce. I’m an accountant and he’s a lawyer. He works 8am to 6pm and makes more money than me. I only work 8:30am to 5:00pm with pretty much no overtime ever. So what is my point? He constantly complains about how much he has to work. What my point is, no – he does not have to work so much. The choice here is A) work long hours in current field and B) not work long hours either in same field or different field. The consequences? A)Higher pay and higher chance of promotion or B)Less pay and lower chance of promotion. Nobody is holding a gun to his head making him work long hours. Some people might say ‘but he needs to if he wants to make more money’. And that’s part of my point. Because he wants to make more money he is choosing longer hours. On the other side of this is me, I don’t ever complain about how little I make because that is what I have chosen. I choose this because I prefer to have more free time to work on my passions and live my life. There will be plenty of blog posts on things like wasting time away. But for now I hope my little example cleared the air a little. And if not, I hope to do so in later posts.
Thank you all that have taken the time to read my first post. I will typically write each blog under one of the three pillars so I can focus on finer details in each. There may be posts that cover more than one but we’ll see how I go.