1. Create hyper presence
Back in August, I was on a workshop run by Jason Ferruggia and something which was constantly being reinforced was the importance of being as present as possible in every moment.
2. Accessing higher levels of consciousness
We’re all built from the same matter, and share a level of consciousness that creates oneness.
I’m reminded of something I read a few months ago by Eckhart Tolle, when I was trying to understand a specific experience. He said, ‘You are not the universe, you are the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle’.
3. Questions around fulfilment
4. Threats to my ‘HILPs’
My last instalment of this series was written when I booked a spontaneous trip to Sicily, 10 days before going. At the time, I put it down to being ‘burnt out’ and just needing to get away.
A large part of her teachings revolve around defining and understanding your hierarchy of life priorities, or your HILPs. When running the HILP test, my number one at the time was (and still is) building my business. However, what she said was that whenever your top priority is under threat, you’ll co-create chaos in your life to bring it back to order.
But then one of my best friends mentioned it to me a few weeks after when he said I was slipping from my normal routine, I wasn’t working as hard and didn’t seem as ‘on it’ as normal. Subconsciously, I guess I knew. Yet I wasn’t allowing my conscious to deal with it, and instead tried to bury it, and ‘create chaos’ externally to run away from it. After this realisation, I knew I had to deal with the problem head on, and I’ve noticed since doing so that all the ‘slips’ my friend had noticed are beginning to disappear.
5. Emotional neutrality
Since becoming aware of my previous response to difficult situations, I’ve now shifted my mindset to a more emotionally neutral and conscious approach.
When I met Mike in LA, one phrase that stuck with me is ‘so what, now what’.
He said that any time a challenge is presented, instead of panicking, tackle it in a different way. Reframe your mind and think ‘ok this has happened, now what?’ This can stop a lot of the paralysis by analysis and overthinking that typically accompanies an otherwise stressful issue or situation.
6. Never about the physical
Since releasing it, I’ve seen more and more people speak about the mental health benefits that a physical transformation brings, and the real, deep internal driving force behind their transformation. It’s not just about the six packs and bikini bodies for most people; that’s merely the cool bonus, and the by-product for the hard work that’s been put in.
7. Rethinking bodybuilding
Does this mean I won’t compete again? Who knows. I probably will in a few years’ time, but it’s not a huge priority now, and not something I’m thinking about just yet.
My aim now is to get as strong as I can while staying relatively lean. I feel like I’ve put those ‘fluffy years’ in to build my foundation, and now the benefits of pushing bodyweight really high for a few extra pounds of muscle aren’t as clear.
8. Exploring fitness
For years I’ve kept my sole focus in fitness as weight training. Besides the odd week, I’ve never really tried anything outside of it. In fact, when I first started training at 17, I gave up all sports I was playing at the time so that nothing could take away from my goal of getting bigger and stronger.
The stand out example for me is the concept of running. Yes, running. A few months ago, I completed my first run in 10 years. By run, I mean a steady state run. No intervals, or HIIT. But a normal, outdoor run.
9. Following your passion in your career
Recently I had the privilege to speak at a local community career’s fair about following your passion, and thinking outside of the box when it comes to choosing your career path.
With so many teenagers (especially in Asian culture) being pigeon holed into what they think they should be doing, and following the traditional route of medicine, law and finance, it was refreshing to see how many took an interest in this talk. With lots of follow up questions from the youngsters and parents, it’s clear we’re entering the early stages of a shift in mindset towards career choices.
10. Being grateful to my mentors
A common theme in all my introspective pieces is to spend time being grateful to those who’ve helped, and continue to help me along my journey.
This time I’d like to thank Charles Poliquin, who recently passed away suddenly at the age of 57. Charles was a pioneer in the fitness industry, and completely changed the way everyone thought about weight training. Back when I was first getting into fitness, I remember reading every article every published by Charles, and soaking it up like a sponge. He was a fountain of knowledge, and forgot more about training than I’ll ever know.