Life is pure chemistry

Life is pure chemistry

It is the things I create that give me the greatest pleasure.

I really enjoy making fermented foods. It reminds of a place in myself that yearns for simplicity. A back to the roots kind of feeling, when life is simple, recycles itself and we create what we eat and drink. To extend that; it's simply the pleasure of touching base with the fundamentals of life. With food, I wonder can I create a bigger connection? A primal real and evolved sense of self,  a connection with such a fundamental aspect of life. What we eat. If life is pure chemistry which it appears to be, then the dynamic transformation of the things we eat and drink is like life itself.

Tonight I drank from the plums of the tree of friends, I ate of the bacon I made though it had travelled from Finland. That intoxicating mix of salty cured pork, and the plums now fruit essence in alcohol distilled, are a relaxant and a tonic.  It's the fusion of elements of life and existence combining in tastes to make the most wonderful experience. Of the earth but touched with humanity, and the evolution of thousands of craftspeople's skills who refined and perfected and I learned from to make fermented foods: The process of changing things to alter them, to bring them into another existence. Is it like men and women that with our fusion we create new worlds?

The irritation of goals

The irritation of goals

Why is the template of goal setting so thrust upon us?

Life is a moving palette of colour that we continuously add too. We splash or we deliberately dab. Which do you do? I have a kind of a controlled dab with spontaneous swipes. However, if I look back there is a goal theme, something like a drive of direction.  Not always a tangible goal, like;' I am going to be a millionaire'. Which would be nice, but it is not really a goal, it's an end state. It's a result of having done something well, usually many times over. Or let us say we wanted a Rolls Royce but by the time you had the money, there was a hybrid electric version that could also fly. Would you stay with your old goal or adapt to the new. 

So I think goals are kind of crappy and can be stressy. They are definitely irritating but necessary. Life changes and so do your desires and as you reach one pinnacle in life another challenge may become far more interesting. So do you plug on the same course or change?

I think you adapt. A goal is a generalised desire in a direction. I hope that's not too abstract. It's an opportunity to discover your talents which perhaps you sensed you could realise if you achieved this goal. Or it's a feeling of success, or being better than others, or pushes the feeling of poverty, or failure, far from you. 

If you choose to be a big-time New York lawyer and make it your goal. What is your hidden agenda? Let me guess. A sense of power, helplessness is distant, your feel important, you influence lives and you control your own. So aren't the real goals those abstract elements and you need a tangible role for them to be realised. Would you feel and have the same tangible benefits if you had chosen another career? Power, control, important, influence, sovereign of your life. 

It doesn't matter what the role is, Lawyer, Doctor, Architect, Salesperson, Mechanic. We all need elements in our life to make us feel important and needed and healthy and wealthy and safe. So your external goals are and must be jobs, or ideas of things you can 'do' that can help those things come true. 

At least this is my experience of life. The tangible goals change, the intangible qualities you desire mostly stay. But if you accomplish one there is another similar waiting as a challenge. So for me its realising what I can do. What attracted me, what interested and what world I wanted to get involved in. The more I looked the more I discovered it was really a journey of certain aims. States of being, not in a ridiculous way. But feeling successful, wanted, healthy, safe, wealthy, knowledgeable. It's all subjective and objective because you need to feel right inside. That takes self-acceptance, you need maturity for that, and a lot also involves others judging you. Your bank balance is bigger, your muscles larger, your position more respected.

So its up to you and me, to establish the parameters. What do you need to feel about yourself? What do you need to do to feel that?

Then take action and adapt as needed. I think that is pretty well my take on goals. At least it hits traditional targets for a six. That's a goal. 

 

Beauty

Beauty

Something that has always fascinated me is 'beauty'. Not your simple interpretation of beauty but how it can wrap us up and spit us out and we still stay enchanted. I mean the kind of beauty that turns your brain around, gets your hormones spinning, then all of a sudden it's gone. 

Well, that's one form. I met a couple from Puerto Rico on the top of a pyramid in Mexico. In the Yucatán. It was one of those mysterious forms that no-one has really found the reason behind. It just exists and fascinates us. The steps are really short, and there are many, and some are a little crumbly. I wasn't at my best when climbing them, and each time I turned around I wondered why I was doing it. I could reassure myself this was the adventure of a lifetime, after all, they were thousands of years old, mysterious and full of treasure. I left that gold behind, but what I did discover was two humans who were incredibly physically gorgeous. I couldn't believe it, and perhaps I shouldn't have. But I was young and open, as I am now to the newness of life.

It was a young Puerto Rican man and his girlfriend. I remember looking at his teeth and thinking. " How can they be so impossibly white? And perfectly formed" The lips the cheekbones the eyes. There was fine detail there I had never seen before. Maybe because I come from rough Scottish-Irish stock, or it genuinely was incredibly refined. He had muscles too, big ones and clear finger nails, the white moons shining clearly. My mother always said the crescent moon at the bottom of a fingernail indicated your health. He must have been stunningly healthy. I was dumbstruck. His girlfriend however somehow dims into the background. Funny as it was not a sexual thing, it was an appreciation of a human thing. Dumbstruck.

It's happened one other time in Budapest. I was out with a good English friend of mine and a few expats. We were in a bar called Oscars near the Castle. There was a group of very tall very elegant women who had been doing hostess jobs in the day. They were accompanied by tall males who made us look very small. Back to the woman. These again were extraordinary beings physically. I had never except in Mexico seen this impeccable flawless beauty. Stupefying. They were redheads, brunettes, blonds and raven haired. The same thing; this flawless skin, ears that looked designed and carved, lips perfectly pouted with no help at all. Blindingly white teeth. Taller than me. I am now 179 cms and shrinking. A muscular kind of fit and healthy. But you know what stood out. The whites of their eyes. There were no blood shot lines, no faults just this clear setting for two eyes that looked right at you, then the teeth dazzled you, and inside you fell over. 

Honestly. I felt at that time there was another race on earth. The beautiful people. But as John reminded me, the central Europeans and eastward are this wonderful mix of many races and bloodlines. All combined to form a shocking kind of immaculate beauty.

There is a secret something else to beauty. That's the " when I really like you" or " I see so much good in you" kind of beauty. It's the kind of beauty we see when we get close to someone and begin to love. It's the seeing of good in someone and the vibration that sets it all alive. It's magic dust and fly's off sometimes and returns when you are happy with each other again. 

Life is a Rocket ship

Life is a Rocket ship

Yesterday, I listened to part of a wild rambling by Gary Vaynerchuk, machine-gunning down his take on life. It was all about 'do'. The power of 'do' and how age is no excuse. His pitch is true, but not true because life is a rocket. You are a rocket. 

Life is a rocket ship that we launch and let go of in stages. Of course, we have the chance to restart our stages at different times in life, but we know that certain times are better than others for doing things. This sounds so prosaic and unfashionable as we are often told to reach for the impossible, that you have unlimited potential. But isn't it better when the timing is right, you get in the flow, you feel part of the crowd? 

The fact is that unless you are cryogenically preserved for a hopeful but at the present time very uncertain future, you are still mortal. So let's act mortal, go with the flow and live our best in each launch phase, as ultimately, life is a practical thing. 

We are born and we grow. Our bodies morph incredibly into fully fledged human beings. We have bodies capable of more than most of us can conceive. That's pretty incredible and it gets to a point when we actually don't grow anymore, except in our spirit and in our minds. Then it is up to us. The body needs maintenance through food and movement. Our minds grow through mind food and maintenance. The two belong and work together, like the partners that they are.

I used to think life could be explained in "Sevens". That is, through 7-year-stages of life. At 7 years old, you are a child with a child's thoughts and child's body good for things children do. 

At 14, you are leaving your child's body. It's as though we jettison a stage of life and go through the struggles of hormones and growth. At 21, we are young adults. Fully developed bodies and minds (although admittedly our minds can still be that of an infant). But young flexible minds, resilient, looking for direction. 

At 28, many look for a partner. At 35, it can be consolidation into a path of life, as it is often expected by society. Perhaps even children in the foreground, mortgage, strength, and trustworthy health. 

42 is a midpoint. Often people choose new careers, businesses, or new partners, a changing of the old guard and reaching for a new feeling of being alive. 

49, well I don't have a particularly good one for this age. It's more: "well buddy, you are responsible for everything that has gone on  until this point, so keep doing the same to get more of the same, or change". So it's time to tucker down, use history and work on your body and mind. If everything to this point has been tragic, then it's turn- around time because you are nearly at the end of the rocket stages of life. 

56. Well, that's the denial or acceptance stage. You know that biologically you are in the last quarter, so you really have to pump it. Mentally, you have the experience of all those years of trial and tribulation and "the world is your oyster". If you have been looking after yourself you already have an advantage and a little dignity with age.

63. Well I am not there yet, but its on the horizon. Dare I create an opinion around an age I have yet to meet. Yep sure. Like Gary. Everything till then will be the sum of your life. I guess as it is for me now it will be about looking to the future to focus on the happy things, the bits that make you buzz and the time to turn down negativity and people that make you fret. After all, you are in one of the last launch stages and who knows what is beyond the mortal coil. I don't and I believe very firmly in following your own mind. No other mortal does know what comes next. 

Let's live, go wild a little, acknowledging mistakes, correcting course and fly into deep space. You can chart your own course, and for most of us, unencumbered by the chemistry of stages and the social obligations of age, life is a rocket ship.

The effects of what you do and say are greater than just you

The effects of what you do and say are greater than just you

This is a bit of a sad one.

But the thought can also be so positive.  When my mother died hundreds of people came to her funeral. As I stood in front of this crowd of academics, and creatives, and intellectuals the only thing that strongly resonated for me was the effect, my mother had had, on life. I described her as being the one who threw the stone into the looking glass lake. It broke the water and turned it into ripples of itself. Mirror upon the mirror of effect. She did this with life. She created an effect wherever she went. You could feel her. She would enter a room and people would notice. It became more pronounced as she grew older.

 She had a way of engaging particularly with women and getting directly to their souls. They would say she could read them.  There was a time when a good friend of the family went through a breakup and came to see my mother. She was taking her afternoon rest perched in bed with a book in the old bedroom. When the young woman came in and told her story she just listened. Her response was " Lie down her beside me and just rest". To be honest that is all I remember she said. But that woman was allowed to be herself, uncritically accepted and welcomed. She moved on strongly from that relationship looking back but not in pain.

We are the thrown stone. Your life has an effect on others. If you are negative bitchy and arrogant it will cast that shadow. If you are accepting and welcoming you will have that effect. It is not my opinion it's so bloody obvious surely it's carved in stone somewhere. Karma as the Buddhists would say. Obvious you might think. 

So when you hurt someone and attack them or criticise them at home in the workplace anywhere in your field of life. You are hurting more than them, you are hurting those close to them. You hurt their world. When they are unhappy and hurt, their families hurt, their health hurts. Their friends, parents children, partners are hurt. When you care and demonstrate care, and love and show it. It radiates out and helps all those close to them. 
What do you choose to do?

Somethings going on

These are strange times. They are earthquake times. Yet it's calm today, no storm, no booming sounds and the earth throwing us around, but previous days have rained and stormed and thundered and shaken and frightened us. But you would never see it on our faces. Funny that; we humans don't like to show our fear. We feel fear is contagious. Perhaps it is, but perhaps it isn't but reserve and not wanting to appear weak prevent us from showing our fear.

Honestly the earthquakes were not scary in a superficial way as when they happen your adrenaline rises and you feel brave before you feel afraid. The fear comes from thinking, and I think everyone is having that. You mull it. What ifs. Is the house insured enough, what if there was a Tsunami, the inner city collapsed like they do in apocalyptic films; and it could. But it didn't. But in your mind it can. Where would we go? Why do we stay here? And we know all the answers and they are obvious and strong. But still there is the feeling of fear. It permeates us all on an unseen level.  

I talked to a good friend today whose office was close like many in the city. He is a big strong man and I could hear the concern in his voice. It's the voice of all of us. It is the voice of the considered, the thoughtful, the bright, the not so bright, the everyday human. It's a sound you never hear, that has no words. It's simply the sound of uncertainty no matter how advanced a human being you are.

When the earth moves we do too. It sits at the bottom of our thinking and smiling faces, and you know what. That's okay. We rise to the challenge or sink, we find the good, or we discover the bad, we strike new ground or we regret the old. But whatever position we take, it determines our outlook on life. Perhaps not forever but for the next wee while. It is certain to change.

Well life has moved on

Funny that. No matter what you think at the time. It always changes.

It's either in the little things you haven't paid attention too, and often is, or the measurable change you were hoping for. Though I think that is the hardest one to judge. 

Have you ever looked at a rough stone being washed by water? Eventually it becomes smooth. It's like looking at our lives. We just don't see it but the process of life does wash us around and sometimes even tumble dries. I am sure you have felt it; smooth. 

The point I am getting at is; I am looking for a way to refresh this site. Make it more poignant more impactful more effective. But for what? I don't want to change you. I have no vested interest at all. I want to create something, something that resonates that is fun insightful, and is perhaps a little of me that is universal that will help you on your journey. I don't want it to be teacherly. Though I know now after teaching Karate for ten plus years that is a hat I wear. But something of value, not a grand value with haughty pretensions. But an every day upper level of quality thinking simply by being a cut above the rest. It may not happen, but it is certainly worth a go.

So the Natalie Sisson thing was a thing. It's gone. I admire her for her need to be a star and as an independent spirit travelling the world as she earns.  That was those days.

The next entries will be 52 thrusts toward life. That is themes and goals and striving ideas. Till then adieu. 

Celebration #10DBC #freedomplan

Celebration #10DBC #freedomplan

Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10

It's the finale. I can hear the curtains parting and the bloggers in this challenge all step out to front of stage and bow. Quite simply the audience reaction is thunderous. The clapping never seems to stop. I am clapping too. Hands are getting sore. It may be time to make some decisions. 

What did I love the most in the challenge?

As I was writing this my mind was quietly mulling on what I enjoyed the most in this challenge. It wasn’t the days as individual challenges, or getting them done on time, or the different topics.

I just simply loved the writing. It was absolutely brilliant to be given the task to write about just anything. The act of thinking and creating it with words. Wonderful.

The bestest bit

If I had to cherry pick the most stimulating topic, it would have been, now let me see: Finding your tribe. You see I have had a thing about people choosing their tribes. Self assembly tribes of the people kind. You choose who you hang out with. This Sisson tribe has been awesome. I can bring my tribe here. That’s a tribal kind of thing. 

The biggest takeaway

Is that the dreams you have for creating your better life, are for nothing if you don’t take them to reality. It’s that action thing. It can also be the decision thing. But that big thing is choosing and doing. At least it is for me. OMG here we go action man. See superpower figure in tight leotard. Or maybe not. 

Next steps.

Well obviously they can’t be tentative, because tentative steps are feeling testing steps. It’s time to put the boots on and kick the idea into existence. It feels a lot like jumping off a Skyscraper, and the preparation feels like the walk to the top.

Its jump time boots and all. 

Relative Freedom

Relative Freedom

[Day 9] Location Independence.#10DBC #freedomplan

Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

Isn’t it an amazing word ‘freedom’? It means so much and sometimes It’s meaning is so different from what you expect. When I was a young man living in London I separated from my girlfriend at the time. I had this feeling of amazing freedom. Really light really free. I rang my Dad in New Zealand and told him. His response was “ Julian, freedom is a relative thing”. I immediately plonked back to earth.  Yes it is relative to your situation and your choices. Freedom to think your own thoughts, freedom to wear the clothes you choose, to eat the foods you choose, and keep the company of the people you choose. What an amazing thing is freedom of choice.

For me freedom of location will look something like this:

Budapest in summer. It’s heat is pummelling outdoors, and indoors fans are on and air conditioning hums. Daily routine is something like the Wellington rhythm. The major difference is language food family and architecture. Come to think of it. That’s huge. But the pulse is the same.

Wake Up and it’s warm. Work out in the morning and swim. Walk do Yoga, read. Go to the market to pick up food. Spend time after siesta buckling down to a good two hours of writing content Skyping or Facetiming, answering emails. Then wander out to events either in the Castle, down by the river, or with family and friends. Budapest really pulses during the summer so entertainment is literally live in the streets. Work is blended into life. If we are away for the week in our country house it’s garden work and palinka making with two hours writing content and checking emails in the afternoon. 

That’s my freedom. 

[Day 8] Natalie Sissons Choosing Your Adventure #10DBC #freedomplan

[Day 8] Natalie Sissons Choosing Your Adventure #10DBC #freedomplan

Adventure Sunday This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

It was a wet Sunday. Not just wet but a sodden Sunday. You could feel the rain sticking to you. When you walked a thousand drops jumped on your legs, like suicidal ice blocks. Little softly melting chunks. It was spring cold today. We decided to do a movie. Family day out with a friend. Perfect day for a film. Tuck into the middle rows in a warm cinema and while away the hours. Our heads in a perfect space listening to someone else's story. 

I didn’t get the take ‘a selfie bit’ till this night so will post another. I didn’t age too much since the last ice dump and the rain has dried off. So what did we see? I loved it. Laughed my head off in different parts and gurgled in delight. Another romance. 

Bridget Jones Baby.

Six rows from the front sandwiched in and the cinema was full. Renee Zellweger has changed so much. I kept looking at her face and comparing it in memory to the previous Bridget Jones. It’s a beautiful face now, not just a chunky friendly one. Its sculpted and her body is too.I could see the age in the thinning of her hands. The fingers slightly brittle. Are those cheek bones shiny? More prominent? The lips look the same to me. But she is now aquiline, almost a model. Elegant and quite a difference from the woman that was. She has had double earrings in her left ear, i can see the old scars. So not all is hidden. It is high definition film after all and in many ways its high definition life.

I have often puzzled on plastic surgery and the before and after pics. This time I can’t find the tags that let you know. She just looks so different. Modern confident and the walk of a beautiful woman. Whatever she did worked wonders. 

That little family and friend adventure on a wet Sunday will evolve. It will evolve into other Sundays with friends, new and old. There is always a new story and soft discovery waiting in turn away from routine. With friends with family and on our own. It’s worth marking these on the calendar for me. 

We used to travel north to do hot baths for a weekend. Or walk for days with my daughter. Find a film that everyone will enjoy though there is no guarantee. Spend the whole day in bed, though I have never managed to accomplish that. 

But in a month of Sundays looking for the next adventure is a tonic to life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two devils; procrastination and overwhelm #10DBC #freedomplan

The two devils; procrastination and overwhelm #10DBC #freedomplan

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

“Procrastination and Overwhelm are two sides of the same coin, and their only purpose is to keep you stuck in the place you are. But here’s the secret — any time you feel either of them, it’s an indication that you are on the right path” Natalie Sisson

Waiting for perfection.

Have you ever felt that? It’s not good enough yet, not perfect, wont work, it could but you are not sure. So you don’t do it and yes there is so much more to learn, and you just sit there in your mind stuck in that uncomfortable place called Overwhelm. So into the room comes Procrastination. “ I will just put that one off for a while yet, too much to do, know and act upon.

This reminds me so strongly of ‘Waiting for Godot’.

The two men who wait at the roadside for their third companion who never arrives. They can’t decide what to do till their companion is there, so they do nothing.But when their companion arrives surely everything will change.  But they do talk and discuss the world around. Nothing happens.

I really love Natalie's description. In a way it sums up the essence of why we don't get things done. Fear of not doing things properly and any consequences we imagine. It stops us from meeting people we fancy or are interested in and our minds invent a thousand excuses. A thousand cuts of pain from goals unmet.  “ I am not good enough, I can’t do that, I don't have all the information” You know this situation and I do too. The human mind throws all kind of ‘be careful’ ideas at us. Fair enough too. Life is often a survival or it used to be. The truth is that with these ideas of businesses we give ourselves and goals we set the same rules except with ‘being completely ridiculous with money’ obviously don't apply. 

My system

A leap of faith. Now don’t think for one iota of a second I am a Superhero. Aha I knew you knew, just testing. But courage doesn't come into it. A leap of faith does because you trust the action you take will not destroy you, it may possibly enhance you. 

So you step up to the line

Then do it. That means jump. All of a sudden you are plunged into this abyss, that isn’t. It goes and works you stumble and fall, pick yourself up, and find you have more energy. That what you have now started has a shape and your goal is slowly being modeled into the form  you dreamed of. Now that's very romantic. Plus it is the way I do things. I have never been a brave man. I prefer to rip the plaster off quickly rather than bit by bit. But when you know what's coming, and you have the courage you can start the project bit by bit. But till then, and I am talking to myself. 

Rip the plaster off and get it done.

What is the biggest one for me right now:

Going to Teachable at a fixed time every day and instead of researching till it drives you crazy. Just follow the template. Hold my breath and do. What’s my lesson. ‘ Rip the plaster off’ Yes I know I started with waiting for Godot. So let’s quickly look at that. You wait for a certain time, then you leave and do what you have to do.

Life is too short to wait for Godot and not to just get on with what you decided to do. 

That's it.

Finding your tribe and three people I would love to have as Mentors

Finding your tribe and three people I would love to have as Mentors

#10DBC #freedomplan This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

My tribe:

I have often thought about this as we either join tribes or create our own. I am more of the create my own type. Oh yes I have joined tribes, but when tribes develop an ethic or a dogma you don’t enjoy we are generally able to leave them. There are tribes everywhere; not simply ancestral but tied to our values and perceptions of life. Then of course there are the religions. There is comfort and safety in tribes and of course back up. 

My tribe members are the people I surround myself with. The people I respect or whose company I enjoy, who make me laugh and make me grow. They can be old and young, they think for themselves and they are constructive in their lives. My tribe is their tribe and our tribe is a thinking active tribe of intelligent people carving their niche in life.

If I could choose Mentors:

There are two humans I really admire both for very different reasons and qualities. Though I am sure that although they look so wildly different from each other. Their inner lives are remarkably similar. One compliments the other. They represent my ambition and my core values. Both took action in their lives and acted on their thinking to become remarkable.

The inner life man:

Jim Rohn.  Although I have taken a very strong interest in the spiritual side of life at different stages, nothing really hit the spot. Perhaps Buddhism to a larger degree, it’s philosophy still resonates as one of the most practical and insightful philosophies on earth without being a controlling religion. Then there are the Masters of this world. I met many in the 80’s and quite honestly they were not masters. They were men sometimes woman on a growth a curve of self discovery and sharing their experiences. 

But this one. Jim Rohn. Shocked me to the core, as what he did in himself, and what I can learn and anyone can benefit from is a timeless practical wisdom. It drills down into the bedrock of life in a respectful self responsible manner. You are the life you choose to create. It wasn’t just a resonance I felt when I met his work, it had become a firm conviction long before I heard of him. But now I know. What wouldn’t I give to be mentored by a man who could give so much practical everyday wisdom. I would love that. His inner life perhaps reminds me of my fathers. Though my father would never have spoke of it. His mores of living practically with learning and a responsible self to create value in the world will never cease to amaze me. All respect. 

The man of Spirit

Plus while we are here there is one perhaps less practical but infinitely wise soul who lived in another age. Who could breathe the deeper essence of life into verse. Kahlil Gibran. His understanding is the vision of life and it’s whys from a soul born wise.

The outer life man

My last. Not a huge amount older than I but a decade. Arnold Schwarzenegger. I like the physical I always have. From the teenage years to now. I liked the spiritual and I liked the physical. I found my physical self in Martial Arts. Now Arnold was not a Martial Artist but he was the epitome of muscle and as time went on he became an artist of muscle. I had plenty of opportunity to watch his public self. His early films when muscles weren't fashionable and they began to catch on. It was when I caught a glimpse of his attitude  that it influenced mine forever. There was a short article about his time shortly after arriving in Hollywood. The story goes something like this. ‘Arnold walked into the office of a Producer in a large Hollywood production Studio. When the producer said to him “ We have no kind of role for someone who looks like you” Arnold replied in very typical fashion, you have to imagine his accent       “ No, I am not looking for a job in your film, I am looking for you to build a film around me”. Thus Conan was born.

It was this risk taking, banking on himself attitude that shaped my 20’s. It still does decades later. I love that ‘walk in and do it attitude’. Create it and the audience will come. He built many businesses, build his body, married into a good family, loved women, became the Californian Governor and contributed his life to life.  A richer life.

These men. If I could have Mentors. I would have these men as the pillars of learning for my life. 

Setting yourself up for success

Setting yourself up for success

 Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

My daughter is the best at this I know. Where she got it from not sure, maybe her Mum she’s pretty good too. But me. A little of that, a little of this. But that isn’t completely true. Sometimes. But the core issues get handled, mostly. Gulp.

Here are my three most desired focus points, now I let you into the depth of my life ambitions.Plus I use the Pomodoro timer and love it for 25 minute bursts.

My online world

 My future online earning vision which I am starting now. Is starting now. I am building a course on Teachable on how to set up and run a profitable and fun airbnb. We have been doing it for years.

My offline world

I am in study time and do time before Christmas. I need company I enjoy company and I enjoy the human fusion. That’s the real estate training. Law it is right now. Because if I have a client with a question I need to be able to deftly answer and to keep them feeling comfortable and informed.

My creative itch

Writing a book. It doesn’t have to be rushed but I want it done and in the can. Its priority number 3, in the stack. I am learning how to use Scrivener as I have chosen this as my medium to compose on. It really does take some learning.

Man at home

Lastly but interwoven are my responsibilities as being the man at home. Being the driver, cook when needed, which is pretty frequent, cleaner boy, personal shopper, delivery man, Dad.

It’s good stuff and I am lucky to have it.

A good clean day for me goes something like this:

Wake up

Breakfast

Gymn

Scrivener

Teachable

Harcourts

Teachable

Lunch

Harcourts

Teachable

Cook clean make fire

Teach Karate if its on.

Relax, family, social media,

Sleep

This is fun: #10DBC #freedomplan

This is fun: #10DBC #freedomplan

Superpowers

Superpowers

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4

Well all have super powers. Sometimes you may not be aware of it,and other times you may. Are you good at teaching, listening, assessing analyzing, presenting. What have you been paid for, really enjoyed, and others have said you are good at? Mine or at least the ones I know of are quite simple. They make me happy, fill me with a confidence and I have been paid for using them. 

My first superpower:

Telling stories and communicating. Good at great at and enjoy. One of the things I love about being me, is my ability to get to know almost anyone. I just find making the connection as simple as 1.2.3. Take a person as they are, talk to the the person inside them, show you like them by finding the good in them and Bobs your uncle open communication lines. I love that. The face to face connection with people.

My second Superpower:

Is ideas, as a Creative. For years I was paid to create the narrative of a product or service. Take something to the market in an entertaining way that would changes habits and stimulate an interest. I loved doing that, and still do it. This is the world of Advertising. Though its changed from its hay day of Mad Men its core is pretty much the same. 

Thought to mind through writing through images and words. For me it’s storytelling and conversation. My background advertising and ideas generation. That was my strongest suit. Make ideas then communicate them through picture ideas and words.

My third Superpower:

Combining these into a constructive life I love. 

I enjoy, movement, dancing, karate, exercising, meeting, listening, curiosity, mental freedom, writing, and the infinitely interesting subject: People. 

My daughter thinks: Ambitious, “most people at your age would be thinking of retiring”, loving, good basic values, teach good life lessons, good values, “ old school” committed. Whew.  

My perfect day

My perfect day

Day 3. My response to Natalie Sisson's perfect day.

You too can do the challenge:  Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

I stretch and yawn as I roll my body idly round in the bed, becoming aware of how rested I am and ready for life. The Duvet is soft and fluffy and cocoons me in an envelope of warmth. I am aware of my wifes’ movements around the room. She is an early riser and the sounds are unhurried, as though happy, getting on with the things that are important to her. It’s a good sound. I retreat into my head, and half thoughts, of the semi formed world, and scan the day ahead of me. 

The important features of the day bubble up in my mind and I scan them, rehearsing the challenges, and skipping through the easy things.  It is the things that interest me that engage me. There is no overwhelm, no thinking ‘ oops you have taken on too much’, it’s a quiet confidence.  

When both feet touch the floor they feel confident and grounded, pain free. My body stands and unfolds and I can feel the work my muscles did the day before and they are ready to move again. 

My daugher is up and in School Uniform ready and confident and feeling challenged. We all dawdle around eating our breakfast. All of us eat protein and only I drink coffee. A light coffee.

I stretch then get ready to take my daughter to School and myself to the Gymn. A 30 to 45 minute workout that pumps my heart and challenges my muscles is awesome for me. I feel like a thinking mind in Tarzan's body. A lithe living being. A good shower after exercise is a tropical tonic. Feel ready to begin the day.

If there is time I like to read a little Jim Rohn, whom I admire and check my goals and work on my self development. Which means reflecting on the past week and looking at the next.

If there is any work to be done on our Bed and Breakfast I like to get it done, the beds made, the sheets clean the space ready and shining. 

Then I like to fully concentrate in 25 minute spells on the things I am doing. It can be admin, writing, or learning.

At the moment I am am writing the outline for my online courses, and studying Real Estate law. One to get me face to face with people and the other an investment in my future that will take me anywhere. 

A perfect day is one that hums. It’s not a perfectly smooth day, it’s a day when I see things happening and I know I am extending and challenging myself. Its when my family are happy with their challenges, and confident in themselves knowing that life gets better by embracing it.  The challenges are overcome or ways are found around obstacles or they simply disappear which they often do because you just imagined it. 

In the evenings that I teach and the karate session really hangs together the students love it and feed that back to me. Then back at home we relax chat for a while eat slump and I play with ideas, but turn everything off one hour before bed, stretch read, kiss my wife good night and sleep.

It’s simple but that’s my perfect day today.

 

 

Discovering your WHY Day 2

Discovering your WHY Day 2

The second day of the Natalie Sisson 10 day blog challenge. 

'Write down a reason for why you want to live the freedom lifestyle. Bonus points if you can figure out how to make a positive impact in the world by living this lifestyle'.

 

Why oh why art thou? This is my response. Life is incredibly short but often seems incredibly long. When are engaged and interested it feels as though life should last forever and we could bask in the excitement of those moments.

When I think of a Freedom Lifestyle, it’s more that I can be everywhere without moving. That sounds terrible. But it means my reach into the world from where I sit regardless of where I am has no limits. I can talk to timbuktoo, my family and friends in Budapest, or feel that I am sitting in a Cafe in London. All from my wee desk at the edge of the world in Noo Zilund. This freedom is the ability to earn from anywhere. Right now that is in New Zealand while my daughter finds her feet and before she literally flies out to the rest of the world.

I love the access to the world and people that interest me and the subjects that stimulate, that my corner of the universe is not just down the road but its down your road a 1000 kms away if we choose.  That is just amazing and true freedom.

Plus you know what true freedom gives: An independence of thought a freedom of spirit and in that freedom you change lives in the most simple of ways: By being yourself.

In five or so years I would like to live in Budapest again and that means getting an income stream going that I can maintain from anywhere.

The time to start that stream is now.

 

#10DBC #freedomplan

 

The Natalie Sisson blog challenge

The Natalie Sisson blog challenge

I am writing this tonight in response to a blog challenge from Natalie Sisson.

I will add links here to reveal all. She is a young woman with strong ambition and a very accomplished grasp of the intricacies of earning a living with a web based life. I admire and respect her. Let's get that straight. Not a worshipful way, I don't do that. But a human to human way when you can see that someone is really good at what they do. As a karate man that's an OSU with a short bow of respect. As a human, it's a thanks Natalie this is really good.

Here we go. My three biggest challenges. Oh crikey, this is scary or is it. I think the scary bit is thinking that life is a smorgasbord and you can help yourself to anything. Its always been like that for me. So many interesting things so much to do so much excitement and so much uncertainty. 

But life has moved on and feels so much shorter now. I really feel the push to enjoy the next 20 years; and much of that is because maybe there will only be 20 years. It may seem long to you, but I am so age sensitive now. I have done six lots of ten.

Done the 50 years ago. " It's School and its so confusing"

Done the 40 years ago 'life is an adventure let's go and see it' .

Done the 30 years ago, ' I need to discover what I am really good at'

Done the 20 years ago, ' find a woman for life and have a family'

Done the 10 years ago: Do something different and recalibrate.

Now at now. OMG there is probably around 20 years left based on the history of my parents and average life span. I have no problem with that. But 20 has now become 19. That is nothing. It's ticking even as I write. It's evening the day has gone. Yikes.

My three greatest challenges right now: Planning the next 20 years. Anything after that is a bonus. 

1. Income streams that make me happy and pay the way.

I have decided to go and sell Real Estate. Quite some time ago when I was miserable and at the height of my advertising career I would see market sellers hawking their wares. They had simple lives not lives of continuous idea generation, which was my job. Plus I loved talking and could communicate with almost anyone if I met them on an equal footing. It's a mindset kind of thing. I loved the idea generation but I love the communication more. My friend David said, " you can sell anything but if you sell an Ocean liner you only sell a few for 3% and you don't have to work for years. Or you can sell a bag of nuts, and you have to sell thousands. So I have chosen houses, and I am a student again studying the law around selling property. Looking forward to starting around Christmas.

Number two in the earning streams ambitions and is a real challenge for me. Is: Since we got to Noo Zilund I have been thinking of earning online. It's an independence thing and a future thing. Recently I was back in Hungary in Budapest in the balmy  heat of summer. I was invited there for a promotion in my karate life which is now more than 30 years. It was while I was there, in our old city of 20 years that I realised how good it was to be there. To be there and to be a mature man. Not a girl hungry man as I was in my 30's but a man man. A mature male, I find the word old difficult to roll off my tongue. But okay, older. It was the contentment on the older people, the easy slope of life and the acceptance of age I could feel. I sat in the outdoor market with the 'oldies' and let myself have a beer. I sat a  table with a 'oldie' drinking beer and smoking. You know there are very few of us NZers who smoke now. It's so passe. And on my right was a younger man reading a book in English: ' How to write your business plan'. The one beer put a lens on the afternoon, well not really, but it was wonderful. Then one day on the way home from the thermal baths where I had soaked out the city heat, to our apartment I met an old friend who had just been to a Yoga class beneath the Castle. She said to me in Hungarian " Oh Julian the yoga here is so good, and it's only $1 a class'. She was just beaming and  her friend, the older man, ha ha a couple of years older than me, a handsome hungarian spoke American English with a thick husky voice seemed just as pleased. The summer heat slows everything and  city quietly hums.

It was in that moment I decided. This is just so good. Lets make this happen. Lets live between Hungary and New Zealand. Summer to summer. That's the goal that's the challenge. For that I need an online income stream. That is wrapped into challenge number 1. Thanks Natalie.

Challenge number 2. Health and strength.

When I turned 52 or around there I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2. It made me angry for a couple of years. I am not angry any more. But I am scared of it. It's like a shadow that follows you around but if you stand in the sunshine long enough you can burn it away. Maybe. I think it came on after a nasty divorce,  a falling out in a business partnership, and my mother dying all in the same year. Those were really really hard years and I don't wish them on anyone. Some of it preventable and some not. I put on weight got miserable and angry. None of those helped.

I am now a muscular god. Nope not that. Just joking but that's how much work it takes and I know it. I know now what I put in my mouth changes the way I feel, changes the chemistry of me. I know too that a moving body that has pain is better than a body that hasnt moved and has pain. It's prouder body that walks out the Gymn than one that slept all day. So that's that part really. The work it takes to be as good as you can be without stressing yourself out to be better than can be. Ha ha. We work to make life better.

Challenge number 3. To be able to say no to myself.

 That is to say no to myself. Not another idea you have to do Julian and idea that needs to be given shared or let go of. Sowing ideas to the wind. I did it for a living, and it's so hard to stop. Now I do it because I do it. My challenge is to cherry pick. To accept the choices and work with the ones I am happy to work with. The goodies maybe not the millionaire makers, but in spirit the ones that shine. Learning to say no to myself and structuring my time to get the one I choose done. That would be an accomplishment of gold for me.

 

 #10DBC #freedomplan

Fathers' day.

Fathers' day.

A thought of thanks. A word of thanks, a gesture of thanks. All these I feel in this day. This is the angle I take. It's so great to be appreciated, and treated, and spoilt rotten. Like an endorsement of parenthood. I didn't have that with my first child, still don't. But with my second a daughter with spirit and ambition and a wife a friend and sometimes a combatant, I chose my course and steered my ship into uncharted waters as is the voyage of life.

This is another angle: It's just so good to relax into being a male a gifted spoilt male. They bought me a massage. A foot and back massage. I'd been thinking I might need this, since I have been training with weights and placing the bar too high on my back muscle when doing squats. That kind of heavy lifting thing that heroes do. (In my mind) The knots are still there, but smaller. 

I had my legs massaged in brown sugar like a skin purge. Sweet sandpaper and the Balinese womans' hands so small like a child's. My legs so hairy and and male, I wondered what she thought with all the clients she must have. School boys feet, old mens feet, scarred and baby soft feet. I sat next to a European women in the foot massage room who was having her toenails done. I would love to get a pedicure one day. Its on the goals list. Why don't men do that?

Then I had my back massaged. She was a gentle woman and asked would I like it harder. I replied 'no it's fine' and thought. Yes its perfect as it is. Not invasive but a positive touch, and made me think of the respect for women thing that for me a man must have. She slowly kneaded my oiled back, and discovered the knots that had been so painful. I remember thinking that they were shrinking like little walnuts under my skin.

So what's the message in all of this? It's a giant thank you. It passed through my mind like a whisper followed by a thought. It's time to say thank you Julian. Just do that. So I did. She massaged a knot and I said thankyou. I said thank you to reception.  I came home and said thank you to  my wife for organising and to my daughter for instigating. Isn't thank you just the greatest thing you can do? A thank you to the people who celebrate you and all those involved in the myriad of small things that make those experiences real thank yous. It's gratitude acted on without it no-one knows.

Thank you. That feels awesome. Thank you. 

 

 

Now here's a quickie

Now here's a quickie

I thought I would duck out of this tonight but I feel obliged. To whom? To myself.

So I am just going to write without a forethought. Its about this day.

I had great ambitions for this day. It was lined up nicely like bottles on a wall. I was going to shoot down my goals one by one, and listen to the satisfying sound of breaking glass. A kind of a cathartic knee jerk to how the rest of the week had been. Great ambitions and I knew that with a little of that twang of accomplishment I would have struck the chords correctly. Do that at this time, that at that time, that should be enough. Even used the Pomodoro timer. But somehow none of it was enough. I was busy scratching my knee, and shaking my foot before 25 minutes was up. It seemed I had lined up rubber bottles. None of them were giving that satisfying crunch of broken cathartic glass shredding into a thousand screams.

Nope nothing. So I ate a pie. I rationalised it as a meat sandwich. I had been dreaming of a bacon and egg pie and had even driven to a shop that made monster drool worthy pies. They had no bacon and egg pie. I compromised and got a mince. Honestly mince; a grey mash of nothing. That's how my day felt.

Great goals, but nothing had the crisp crunch of accomplishment. The pomodoro timer had me restless, the pie wasn't there for me.

But then I went to Karate. In the thrust and the sweat of the concentration of the moment I forgot the no crunch pie, the boring countdown of the timer, and that there was no shattering sound of accomplishment. 

There was simply me in the company of others lost in movement fully engaged and fully crunched in being in that session. It was just bloody wonderful.

Now I feel whole again. 

How to completely control someone

How to completely control someone

To get exactly what you want.

I am being ironic, a little. But I find this to be so close to the truth I had to write the title. This is how you go about it. Take it with a pinch of salt but the essence is here.

Look directly into their soul.

I bet you were not expecting me to say that. But you do. With your gaze  completely unwavering and with no guile or malice or alternate agenda greet them with the full you. You project your complete honesty as a person to the other in this moment. It's almost a way of entering their psyche. For that moment you become completely a friend and an equal with them. 

Your speech has a balanced timbre that resonates with them. It is stressless and talks to them as if you have known them forever. It's a sound that for them comes from within them. They feel your purity and your honesty of intention.

Then you ask for what your want. The same voice the same tenor. It just comes from the middle of you. There is no expectation in your tone, no push no doubt. You are talking to them from within them, partnering and being part of them.

Then you get what you want, and if it doesn't look like what you wanted. Try again. Life works better when  we partner with another and they choose to be with us. Choice sets us free.