Story Time: Twelve Months Ago Today

There are much deeper questions woven into what I am about to write. Much deeper questions that involve our origin and greater forces at play. And yet, what I have chosen to guide my focus delves not into such fantastical philosophy but rather the fortuitous memory of rather a challenging time.

— — —

One beer, two beers, now three. I look across at her and feel the energy and enthusiasm cast upon me. My dreams no longer dreams instead burgeoning realities. The fjord that had long since divided the two no longer impassable. Not that it ever was, really.

There are those conversations we have in life; those conversations in which the many dots in our life that once carved their own solitary pursuits become one. Tonight was one of those moments.

We talked and talked and the food kept coming. We spoke about life and about love. And businesses that could change the world. We spoke about ‘The Secret’ and the law of attraction. Synchronicity in thought and in desire. We spoke about the tough times and the many struggles we have both faced. And then it dawned on me…

On this day, 365 days ago, I was discharged from hospital. Three days earlier I had admitted myself. I was scared for my life. I could no longer trust myself in my own company.

Those three days were a strange three days. Of course I will say that I did not belong. I did not want to be there. In fact, I wanted to leave before even being admitted. One night in the emergency ward seemed enough of an aid.

There was however the doctor that convinced me to stay. And the nurse who slid some tablets my way. The decision was somehow made. And eight hours later I woke up in my room. It was grey and empty; the door resembling something more from a prison cell than a hospital ward.

There were four others with whom I shared this ward. It took me a day and a half to talk to any of them. I wasn’t there to talk. Not to them. I was scared. It was all so weird. And yet still part of me wanted to understand their stories and how they too came to be staying here. Of course this was not possible. And my journal to record such stories I had left at home.

The jigsaw puzzle, the literal one, left unfinished on the dining table would become my legacy. Between attempts at its completion I would nap on the couch and watch a movie or three. The world around me seemed a monochromatic and dull affair. The food was bland. Though I don’t think I was able to taste much at the time anyway.

I would endure the daily psychology sessions. No great revelations here. I could only think about the day I was free from these suffocating confines. Time was tight too, I was meant to fly to Perth for my sister’s wedding later that week. And my parents were yet to know of my whereabouts.

I negotiated my release and finally set foot back into the outside world once more. I arrived at my car and noticed two parking fines. Not a great start. But nothing a medical certificate and a heartfelt story couldn’t get me out of.

I returned home and fell to my bedroom floor. How had all of this happened? I packed my bags for my trip west that night and drifted off into a comfortable sleep. The morning dawned, my Uber arrived and to the airport I set off.

As VA551 spread its wings and took flight, I reclined my seat and pulled out the journal that had been a much needed though missing companion these past days. For three hours I wrote and wrote, filling more than seventy pages.

We landed at last and I navigated my way to the pick up point. Dad arrived and I sat down in his rental with a feeling of relief. I felt safe. At home. He asked, ‘How are you?’.

Now I had to spill the beans.

It was a strange journey to meet the rest of my family in which we shared the most open and honest conversation we have ever had. It began a re-birth of sorts. A reminder that things were okay. That family was the important thing. And that despite the relationship heartache I was transiting in Sydney at the time, I was loved. Unconditionally.

— — —

This was precisely a year ago now. It seems to have passed far quicker than the six months that preceded that horrible week.

I am proud of myself for what I did. To realise that my health and safety were far more important than my pride and ego. And now I understand that what I feared the most was not so bad after all; that if things were ever to get to that point again, I do not need to be scared, because I know of all the beautiful people who are there to help.

Still there are days in which my anxiety feels crippling. And silly thoughts tempt my focus. But I have vowed never to return to such a place of despair. I have committed myself instead to focused pursuits of the positives and towards my potential.

What I have found in making this commitment is that when times become tough my focus no longer drifts to that place of toxic thought but rather to a place that seeks only to find a way. It’s harder some days than others. But that’s okay.

I’ve proven a lot to myself these past twelve months. And moments like last night provide valuable reminders that I am, in fact, a fucking champion. But only with the help and support of my team.

Much love to all.

PJ.

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Throwback: Passion and Persistence Pays Off!

This moment pictured above was almost three years ago now. It’s hard to believe just how quickly that time has passed! It was a moment that at times I thought was never going to be possible. Doubt is natural of course; our inclination to avoid painful situations, potential failure, intrinsically human.

And yet we can challenge this. We can change this. We can decide not to doubt but instead to focus on the goal and only that which draws us closer.

After seven years of dreaming and seven months of intense focus and hard work immediately preceding, it finally happened.

— — — —

In January 2014, having not raced for four years (previously in go karts), I decided that it was time this dream came to fruition. I decided that I could no longer continue to dream this dream and not take the action needed to make it a reality. I decided that this was the year in which I was going to make my car racing debut AND that I was going to do it in the UK!

I can’t quite describe just how certain I felt on this. And yet to enable this certainty I somehow needed to raise $25,000 in investment…

After two months of hard work and focus, attending networking events, speaking at events myself and connecting with potential investors, I was fired from my ‘day job’. I bet you didn’t see that coming – nor did I! I guess it was clear to my employer where my real motivation and focus was…

This began a difficult week. And though I’d been in similar positions before, something felt different. Whilst the financial practicalities of the situation remained, I didn’t plummet to the depressive lows like I had done in the past. I remained focused and within a week had found another job.

Win.

For the next six months, working a job that meant absolutely nothing to me other than a means to pay the bills, my schedule looked like this:

Wake Up – 7am
‘Day Job’ – 8am to 5pm
Gym – 530pm to 7pm
‘Night Job’ – 8pm to 2am+

Night job? I began operating on UK time when I made it home from the gym. I Skyped UK companies, sent emails, made phone calls, wrote proposals and prepared presentations. It was during this period in which my addiction to strong [and shitty] black coffee came to the fore. (One that continues to this day!)

I would sit in my bedroom, at my desk, beneath my vision board; on it were images of the car that I would race, screenshots from on-board footage and ideas and strategies pinned around it on how I would get there – how I would sit in that seat and enjoy that same view!

I was totally consumed.

In those six months there were setbacks, of course. A sponsor that I thought was a sure thing pulled out. A week or two later another sure thing fell through. Time was running out. And yet still I remained certain of my impending success.

Then the breakthroughs, two of which particularly stand out, not just for their financial impact but for the enormous confidence boost they gave me.

The first:

I attended a local business networking event to deliver a short speech. I was given the opportunity by a business connection in the hope that I could share my dream and garner investment from those in attendance. A young bank manager came up to me afterwards and handed me his business card saying simply, ‘Give me a call, would love to chat’.

A week later I had my first sponsor.

WIN!

The second:

I had set up a crowdfunding campaign to complement my sponsorship push. Anyone who has run a crowdfunding campaign will appreciate just how hard it can be to attract donations! Things were just as slow for me and I wasn’t expecting much to come as the campaign began to wind down to a close. Then…

I attended another speaking event and struck up a fortuitous conversation with a man there after my presentation. We exchanged business cards and he invited me to a conference a couple of months down the line. THEN…

That night, I was having dinner with a friend, relaxing after a busy, and relatively successful day, when an email notification came through to my phone. I couldn’t believe my eyes. A donation to my campaign that more than doubled what I had raised up until that point.

WIN!

And yet still, despite all of this, now with only two weeks to go, I had not raised enough money to make this dream come true. So what did I do? The only logical thing of course…

I bought my plane ticket!

I was convinced that a door would open up. Even if it took knocking on the door of every company in London, somehow, this was going to happen. I just knew it.

In the end my conviction not only persuaded business but the man who enabled my passion from the very beginning – my Dad. One final conversation, whilst pacing the hallway of my South East London apartment, with a $1 Tesco’s pizza in the oven, the final deal was done.

My dream was about to become a reality!

WIN!!!

I’m very grateful to have been afforded this amazing opportunity. And while it has not yet lead to my ultimate goal, one that has proven to require a rather different and longer term strategy, I am taught, and now reminded, of this:

Passion, persistence; they really do pay off!

PJ.

The end of evangelism?

Easter: A time of love, hope, forgiveness and new beginnings. Whether your life philosophy originates from theistic or anti-theistic foundations, the Easter Spirit is one that we can all embrace.
 
There is little need for ongoing religious debate. Surely this only reinforces societal divides. Simply, my beliefs are my beliefs. Your beliefs are your beliefs. Both have come to be through a complex chain of events that is, for the most part, impossible to explain and to be understood.
 
We must simply choose to accept one another and to learn from one another; seeking to create a society that is built upon the best bits from all ideologies and not to discount the beneficial merely for its religious origin.
 
There is no right and wrong. Only what is right and wrong for you and I. Surely the time has now come in which we must cease fighting and forcing our opinions on each other; the time has come in which we must simply love one another.
 
This sense of growing religious stigma is as frustrating as it is destructive. None of us should be defined by what we believe. We should only be defined by how we act, how we treat other people and how we love other people.
 
There are those that exist within religious communities who fuel enormous misconceptions. Broad generalisations are subsequently made and many lessons of love, hope and forgiveness left to rot by the wayside, lost in the rubble of selfish terror.
 
What is the point of this?
 
There are fools who exist on both sides of the religious divide. And yet we are fine to call the atheist fools what they are without going on to label every member of the anti-theistic community with the same label.
 
How can we not see what we are doing here?
 
I write this as a young man with thought origins of Christian foundation. I grew up in a Christian home, I attended a Christian school, I try to attend church as often as I can and I pray every day, giving thanks for the blessings that come into my life. Personally, this adds great value to my life.
 
My beliefs are not founded from what I read in a book. They are founded through real life experience. They are founded in the moments of my life in which I was alone, lost and hurting. In these moments I prayed, calling out for the strength needed to endure such struggles. I believed. I persevered. And hope was revealed and the strength needed provided.
 
This is where I found my faith.
 
And whilst I say this, my faith strong, I acknowledge that the universal embodiment of ‘my belief’ is not the way forward. There are lessons I seek to learn from all cultures, all religions and all life philosophies.
 
The way forward I believe to be through universal understanding of all ideologies. The way forward I believe to be through open conversations with those of differing belief systems; conversations in which we seek not to argue but simply to understand; conversations in which we can walk away content with the knowledge we have gained rather than angry having failed to convince them of our belief.
 
We must not be afraid to have such conversations. We must not be afraid to engage with those who might not agree with us or share our thoughts. This fear being most counter-productive.
 
I am excited to be making plans for my life in which my adventures will enable me to learn many of these crucial lessons. And I hope to be able to share some of these with the world so that we may garner a more holistic understanding of humanity’s binding purpose.
 
Religion, I believe, has now grown to become an enormous obstacle in the way of the advancement and prosperity of the human race. I believe if religion stands in the way of any member of our human family receiving love, respect and equal opportunity, then we as a religious community have failed.
 
Times like these, symbolic of love, hope, forgiveness and new beginnings, must serve as such a reminder. We are not here to force opinion. We are here to serve. It is not about us, it is about one another. Love is selfless, remember.
 
Religious or not, this is something we must all remember.
 
Happy Easter!
 
PJ.

When You Just Need To Write…

They call it a stream of consciousness. Where you just start writing and don’t stop to read over what you are writing. That’s what I’m doing now.

I haven’t written for a while. I don’t know where the weeks are going! I’ve been through an interesting period as of late. Financial doom loomed large for a period. Miraculously I was able to pull through with the help of close friends. It was a re-commitment to my connection with a higher purpose. It was the embrace of what Tony Robbins describes as ‘absolute certainty’.  It was the knowledge that things were going to be okay no matter what. That the job, the flat, the friends and the opportunities I required would come. And they did. Through patience, prayer and persistence I was able to endure.

And so I sit here today ready to start work. I don’t feel too great. Sydney’s cold and rainy weather is taking its toll with illness slowly setting in. I’ve wanted to write more. But I’ve been distracted by life and things that are happening. Study, now, that has recommenced. Marketing. Advertising. I love it! The pursuit of a deeper understanding of human psychology. Behavioural economics. It’s fascinating!

I didn’t see myself studying this year. I’d put it on hold last year when work and other projects got in the way. Instead I’d entertained ideas of travel and adventure. Dreams in which I saw myself downsizing my life, packing my bags and setting off on a journey around the world! That’s what I had in my mind for 2017. And yet a relationship, short-lived albeit, opened my mind to some ideas that I hadn’t previously considered. It made me realise that the talents I have could no longer be allowed to remain undeveloped and unrefined; that I needed to invest greater time into understanding and expanding my knowledge base. And so within a week the decision to return to study seemed obvious. And with it a return to a dream I first had at the age of eleven.

Let me add that this relationship was rather disappointing in the end. Though short, it didn’t seem that way. And so heartbreak was an unfortunate consequence of its quick demise. Though I recognize the important part it played in my forward steps. It reminded me of underlying anger and the passion I have for empathy and selfless nature. It is hard for me to write. Still there is a wound to heal. This realm can be a times all too confusing.

But still I march on. Making plans. Assessment deadlines loom. I am progressing. This feels good. I acknowledge and embrace the sacrifices I must make in order to fulfill this grand vision. It is hard to say no to social invitations when for so long this was all my soul craved. Acceptance. Belonging. Sure, there is a balance I must find. And in this space I feel I am also making progress. But still I must not allow myself to become distracted.

Every day I add thoughts and ideas to the journal I carry around with me. Thoughts and ideas on businesses, speeches and changes I hope to soon create in the world. Improvements. I don’t know exactly how all of these ideas will unite to guide my direction. But slowly I feel I am getting there.

I carry a US $1 bill with me in my wallet leftover from my time in California last year. It serves as motivation that pushes me toward the next phase of learning I will embark on. Sometimes you just know when something feels right. And so very quickly this has become my goal. A return to the US  to connect and to learn.

Surely things will only get harder from here. My patience for ‘the simple life’ I am currently lead to live will wear thin I’m sure. And yet in honesty to myself I must confess that all these visions and dreams I have are not self-created. And with that in mind I must realise that the strength I must find to achieve such feats will only come from the same origin.

And so I look up.

PJ.

Understanding The Seasons Of Life

Today I sit in this quaint Surry Hills cafe. I have my laptop and journal laid out on the table in front of me. There’s little room spare for my enormous coffee. A necessity for me today!

The weather of late has been glorious. Days at the beach have become the norm; broken up only by quick trips to the nearest smoothie bar for some refreshment and hydration.

Though today could not have been any more different!

This morning my umbrella was retrieved from the depths of my wardrobe and dusted off as torrential rain flooded the streets. It’s still hot as hell though and I’m sweating just as much as I would normally. But I am spared from the guilt that would normally accompany an adventure so far from my sea-side flat.

I love the beach. I love the feeling of the cold water against my skin; the loving, refreshing and reinvigorating sensation that awakens my spirit and energizes my soul. I love the feeling I find when floating peacefully behind the break of the waves. I detach myself from the realities found back on shore, breathing deeply and embracing the wonder of that very moment.

It is beautiful.

You could say then that rainy days like these might fill me with a certain sense of disappointment. And yet it is in fact the opposite.

Days like today remind me not just of the value found in those sunny days but more importantly the value in days like these. Just as the sea and sunshine are so re-invigorating for my soul, the rain is so important for the re-invigoration of the soul of the world.

We must remind ourselves that in order for the world around us to grow and flourish there must be a balance between days of sunshine and days of rain. Though we might fantasize about endless sunshine and idyllic holiday destinations that provide us with such, speak to one or two drought stricken farmers and you’ll quickly learn that such realities are far from what is ultimately necessary.

It’s about balance.

Thus we must return to look at ourselves and acknowledge this reality as a value that must be embraced within our own lives. As fellow energies that exist within the same world, we must not forget that we too cannot grow and flourish without both days of sunshine and days of rain.

Surely it would be foolish to ignore the connection we share with our natural surrounds; surely it would be foolish to overlook the reality found within our deepest origin?

At a talk I attended last year by acclaimed speaker Rob Bell, he spoke of the changing of seasons within our lives. That feeling we get at times when one chapter closes and another begins to open. At the time we cannot articulate this feeling in the way we would perhaps like to though still we know. We can feel it. Somehow. Science can only explain so much.

Surely then we must not ignore the coincidence found between the character of the world and our own character? The ups and downs and ebbs and flows are not so much just a part of life but are in fact the very essence of life; the days of sunshine and the days of rain.

Might we also remind ourselves that even in the peak of Summer there will be days of rain just as in the depths of Winter there will be days of sun.

Life thus becomes not a fight but rather a challenge to embrace. Through the trials and tribulations that form our lives we must learn to both recognise and embrace this fluid habit of our natural surrounds; we must learn not to attach ourselves to circumstance or a particular moment in time but rather to let go and allow that which gives our existence its true meaning the freedom to guide our steps forward.

Herein lies a key I hope many will soon find.

True joy awaits.

PJ.

 

An Eternal Possibility: What Will You Create?

Dare to dream, they say.

Shoot for the stars!

Better to aim for the moon and to hit a tree than to aim for a tree and to hit a rock.

So focused we have come to be on what comes next. On where we are going. On where we want to be; on who we want to become.

It is a mark that is forever moving. It will always be this way. Our dreams change because we change. We are not the same person that we were five years ago. Nor will we be the same person five years from now.

I must remind you, we have in life only three things:

Memories of the past, dreams of the future and now.

But there is of course only one constant through all: Now.

One moment. Not bound to a timeline. Now is forever.

Remove from your mind this concept of time with which we have grown so familiar. The idea that there is a beginning and an end. I cannot overlook the challenge in doing this of course. It is all that we know.

And yet still I ask, expand your mind.

This moment will never end. Even in the absence of all, this moment will endure.

And thus we realise that the concept of an eternity, or dare I say, an ‘eternal being’, is not so hard to comprehend after all. Nor our own ability to be creators.

And so I must ask:

What will you create?

PJ.

Reflections: The Day Before My TV Debut

I woke up, panicked.

Why?

I was overwhelmed.

Breakfast with one friend, a meeting with another to discuss a business proposal, a pitch immediately following that to a prospective investor, after which began just eight hours of the ‘day job’. That was the day. Scary, I know.

Not to mention that somewhere in between all of that I had to clothes shop for my role as an extra on the set of Home and Away, my first foray into the world of film and TV. I didn’t quite know where I was going to fit that in. Nor how I was going to be able to afford the spree. Six outfits I needed. I had one.

At the time my clothes were scattered between numerous locations across Sydney as I settled into my new flat. The prospect of arriving on set under-prepared terrified me. And yet the twenty-five minutes I had to spare in my dinner break provided little reward. My size seemed to be rather popular…

I didn’t know how to cope with all of this. In days gone by I’d have snoozed my alarm and bailed on all of these commitments. And yet somehow, in this instance, I got up, dressed up and showed up. To it all. Despite coming down with a cold and feeling like a tonne of bricks.

Breakthrough.

Being in and around the world of motorsport for the past ten years, I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever felt 100% comfortable with my surrounds. Is that a good thing? Certainly an opportunity for personal growth. And yet my instinct – should I have chosen to listen to it – would tell me that it just wasn’t right for me. I needed to explore myself in other environments.

Now, here I was, in what should have been a terrifying environment. In an environment that should have made me feel self-conscious and insecure. And yet, nothing. Instead, a mysterious sense of calm. A mysterious sense of belonging.

Surely I should look to this as a sign of sorts. The likely avenue that I am meant to pursue. Surely this sense of purposeful calm cannot be brushed aside as anything else.

Though now with the ‘beginners luck’ having worn off, I am forced to fight for my way back in. It is my time to follow through and to believe in such omens presented before me.

It is my time to trust.

Patience and prayer.

Faith.

PJ.

 

Welcoming In 2017: Notes On Faith and Surrender

I woke up to the sound of my alarm, a rarity. It was 5am. The sun would rise in 47 minutes. ‘Twas a goal of mine to see every sunrise this year. But my head was spinning. I had slept on the floor. I don’t remember falling asleep. I just remember scrambling to plug my phone in. That must have been around 3am. Only two hours earlier. Yuck.

There was little possibility of getting up. Let’s be honest. So I rolled myself over and returned to my slumber. Five hours later I rose, at last.

That was NYE. A fun night spent watching the fireworks over Sydney Harbour and dancing with random groups of Brazilians and Canadians. My knees bear the scars of such antics. I think an impromptu game of limbo may have been the culprit. But we won’t ever know for sure.

It was now NYD. Cloudy. And a bit windy. Not ideal. But still a trip to the beach and a dip in the ocean was a necessary cure to my hangover pain.

I wasn’t entirely ‘with it’. My mind was a bit scattered. I didn’t really know what to do with myself. It was Sunday, however…

‘I wonder if there was a church service on today?’ I asked myself.

There was. At 5pm.

‘Perfect’, I thought, ‘enough time to grab one NYD beer with friends at the pub at 3 and then head in to the city for some spiritual healing’.

Of course, that was the plan, though surely enough the prospect of fun times with friends won out and, before I could say ‘Beach Burrito’, it was 1am and I was swimming in a local rock pool cooling myself down from the hours of dancing that came before!

I don’t remember exactly what time this finished up. Needless to say, the following day was a write off too.

‘Paul The Introvert’ now needed some time to recharge the batteries. It was time to go back to the beach; back to my place of calm.

The end of 2017 provided some interesting challenges. Challenges that I did not expect to face. It left me with a feeling of emptiness and in a place of intense soul searching.

Financial stress loomed larger than ever. My mind had become a constant flurry of numbers, dates and deadlines. Debt had slowly been rising amid my exploratory steps over the past six months.

And whilst I feel so much closer to the man I’m meant to become, still there seems to be an impassable gorge between myself and the final few puzzle pieces I need to discover.

How was I to find the answers to these questions I was asking myself?

I gazed over the ocean and wrote in my journal:

What good is this stress doing? I can only do what I can do, right? If indeed the time comes in which I am stuck, then I must ask for help. What other choice do I have?

It pains me to say this; to have to concede defeat, again. Though not yet. There is still time. I just don’t know where to start.

Wait, why am I still trying to figure this out myself?

God, please help. This is you now. I cannot do this alone. Please show me what it is that I must do. This is all that I ask.

I closed my journal and laid back down on my towel. Less than five minutes later, between the sound of waves crashing, I hear a noise. A notification. An email. Never have I sat up so quickly. I stared at the subject line. I could barely believe what I was seeing!

Could it be?

Yes!

An opportunity. The opportunity. The opportunity for which I had been waiting!

Words escaped me. I cried.

What is this that I keep doing? This erroneous belief that I must find all of the answers myself? That I am climbing this Everest alone?

Why do I so often forget the enormous power there is in prayer? The enormous power there is in surrender? The enormous power there is in faith? Faith even as small as a mustard seed…

God’s wonder surely does continue to amaze; His love remaining constant despite my sometimes wayward steps from His intended path.

And whilst this opportunity I speak of is far from secured, I can only ask now for your prayers too. If this is in fact what God has intended for these next steps in my journey, I do hope that this opportunity will come to fruition. And, if not, I trust there will be something better. Just as there always seems to be.

Patience, now.

Prayer, always.

PJ.

23 Things I Learned As A 23-Year Old

What an unbelievable year!

Since the age of thirteen the number twenty-three has been an important one for me. Inspired by my hero Mark Webber’s first number in Formula One, it would go on to become my number of choice throughout my stint racing go karts, growing then to hold significance across many other areas of my life in the decade that has followed.

Thus, the year being twenty-three was much anticipated!

I can’t say the year didn’t come without its difficulties, the details of which I will save for future blogs/books, though I can share and reflect on many of the lessons these difficulties taught me. Lessons that I’m sure now never to forget!

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no to the wrong opportunity, however amazing that opportunity might seem. Trust your gut.
  2. Be able to recognise when you’re doing some half-arsed. Take the time to understand why and reflect on your TRUE motivation in life. Chase that instead.
  3. You always know what you really want to be doing… Don’t let the bullshit the world tells you lead you away from that or lead you into thinking it’s not possible.
  4. Learn to recognise the omens presented throughout life. Trust them. Don’t be afraid to take a leap into the unknown.
  5. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends when they’re out of line. Co-workers too. And be ready to receive the same back!
  6. Take the time to understand the problem, yes, but always remember to steer yourself toward a solution. Don’t let emotion take over. Always be solution focused.
  7. When you feel your blood boiling, an argument brewing, pause, breathe, then speak. Repeat as many times as necessary. Revisit lesson number 6 if required.
  8. Anger is a good thing. But only when focused on the things you’re passionate about changing in the world. When someone is really pissing you off, remember that passion. Save the emotional outburst you want to unleash on them for what really matters. Channel that energy positively. Don’t waste it.
  9. Stop being so patient! Impatience creates impetus. It forces action and gets things done. Sometimes these things just take longer than we’d hope/like… Find a healthy balance between the two.
  10. Things don’t have to be perfect to get the result you want. Let your passion shine through. And if this passion isn’t bright enough for everyone to see, do something else. Something that you’re really passionate about. Life is short.
  11. Money is only money. Credit cards are helpful when you’re in the shit and need to survive a difficult period! Don’t let debt ruin your life. Accept it and work to fix it. Your bank balance, whether positive or negative, doesn’t define who you are or what you’re capable of achieving in the future.
  12. It’s not weird to compliment someone. In fact, actively look for opportunities to make someone’s day! Life’s so much better this way. Share the love.
  13. Own your situation. All parts of it. Don’t be embarrassed to say you only have one clean shirt to wear. Or that you’re broke and couch surfing until you have enough money for your own flat. It’s your story. Be proud of what you’re in the process of creating.
  14. True joy is found in simplicity. Don’t burden your life with meaningless shit just to fill your cupboards and bookshelves to fool yourself and others into thinking you lead a successful life. Focus on what’s important. People. Passion. Purpose.
  15. The best business meetings are held on the beach or in the water and are definitely not in a suit or tie! Mix it up. Get out of the cafe. Take your coffee down to the sand. Get out your notepad. And talk ideas in the sunshine!
  16. Sleeping in a car is terribly uncomfortable but not the end of the world! Silence your ego and do whatever is necessary to draw closer to your Personal Legend. Revisit lesson number 13.
  17. Being employed in job is better than not being employed at all! Don’t let the sexy career trajectory outlined in your CV lead you to believe your better than any role. There are always new things we can learn in life. And on that note:
  18. A leader is so much more than just a person who sits at the top of an organisational chart. You can lead and inspire from wherever you sit in the hierarchy. In fact, the mark of a true leader is someone who can do just that.
  19. Send out positive energies to the universe each and every day to attract the people you need in your life. Become acutely aware of the people that you’re just keeping around because you’re scared of being alone…
  20. Doing one small thing each day that gets you closer to your ultimate goal is better than doing a million other things that only stress you out and cause you to take ‘mental health days’ off work.
  21. Laying on the office floor for twenty minutes a day listening to meditation playlists and breathing is not a waste of time. Instead, taking the time to bring yourself back to a place of intimate connection with your surrounds instead of worrisome thought is perhaps the most valuable use of our time.
  22. Never forget the miracles that have occurred in your life. Stay true to yourself and be thankful for the helping hands, whether seen or unseen, that have guided and supported your journey.
  23. The power of prayer and faith continues to astound. Just as the universe is ever-expanding, God’s love and wonder too. Remember this.

Let’s see what the next twelve months have in store. To say I am merely excited would be a tremendous understatement!

PJ.

Isn’t life meant for so much more?

I sit here uncomfortably; the house a hive of activity.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I was more extroverted to feel comfortable joining in.

The challenge of couch surfing isn’t the couch but rather the lack of personal space at times like these. It’s nights like these that I remember just how valuable my own personal space is. A space to call mine.

It is however interesting to think of the culture and way of life they’re embracing. Weekend after weekend it remains the same. The young mentality. Quick wins. The high of the moment. Drug induced or otherwise.

Part of me would like to fit this mould to be able to genuinely enjoy such simple pleasures. And I do occasionally. But it leads me on a slippery slope. I cannot sustain such levels of enjoyment. I cannot help but feel we are missing the point…

Is not life meant for so much more than just one drunken, sleep depriving and financially crippling escapade across the dawn lit city skyline after another?

Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe instead this is exactly what makes life the crazy adventure that it is? Raw uninhibited connection with our fellow human life-goers?

Maybe. Though I hope not. There’s a whole world to see and explore out there. And $16 vodka lime and sodas whilst trying to survive in Sydney’s eastern suburbs don’t help with such aspirations…

PJ.

[Originally written ~September 2016.]