How Much Can You Learn From A Trip to Dominos?

I’ve been sick for a few days now. Bound to the couch for the most part. Sleeping excessively. Letting my body catch up and adjust to the rapidly changing seasons. Though still, between naps, my food supply, already rationed, had depleted. It was time to venture out to replenish the pantry.

Of course, I was still too lazy to cook, so a detour to Dominos en route from Woolies was necessary. Returning home, this meant a delicate balancing act was needed for the walk to my flat to transport the four grocery bags and pizza box, with a garlic bread baguette balancing precariously on top.

It took me long enough just to get all of these items in hand to commence the two hundred meter trek. I dreaded having to put everything down at the door to my apartment complex to contend with its awkward outward opening and subsequent three-flight climb to my apartment. Surely at least one egg, or my garlic bread, god forbid, were going to be casualties of this arduous journey.

As I neared the half way point, I decided it best to practice what I have been learning in one of the books I’m reading: Think and Grow Rich. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of the impending task, I decided it best to believe that somehow, someone would be entering the flat complex at exactly the same time thus assisting with this dreaded door. It is worth keeping in mind that in the seven months of living in this complex I had seen my neighbours less than half a dozen times. I accepted that I didn’t need to know how this would happen, I just needed to trust that it would. I took a deep breath and found a place of calm.

The moment drew ever closer and I turned down the final pathway. No one was in sight. I expected someone to be coming in at the same time. But as I arrived at the door no one was in sight. Maybe someone was going to come out? I peered in through the glass: No one. I inhaled deeply and began bending over to place my groceries down whilst closely monitoring the position of my garlic bread.

Then, just as the first bag began to touch the ground, I hear a voice, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll get that for you’. I paused for a moment, thinking that it was coming from the flat complex adjacent. Two or three seconds elapsed in my ponderous amazement before I turned to see if that call had indeed been for me. It had been. Leanne, my neighbour, hurriedly approached the door and opened it for me as I maintained a solid grip on all of my groceries AND, most importantly, my pizza.

This might all seem a little silly. You could say that it was a coincidence, chance or luck. But I would disagree. When you know you know. I have recently become aware of two distinct thought processes that I would typically employ in situations like these.

The first? Wishful thinking. Or attachment to a specific outcome, let’s say. The trap of ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if…’. We don’t genuinely believe that the desired outcome is possible. Instead, it’s place in the fantastical realm remains.

The second thought process feels vastly different and is difficult to explain. But I would describe it as ‘faithful thinking’. It does still maintain the element of desire but, unlike wishful thinking, lets go. It says, ‘Okay, this is what I need right now, but I can do no more.’

We are taught that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. And yet this teaching’s ties with religious origin confuses exactly what this means and detracts from its enormous power. We talk of ‘people of faith’ and people without faith. But what we mean by this is people who identify there to be a ‘higher being’ and people who cannot fathom the possibility. Faith I believe to be independent of this belief.

Faith is stillness. It is not so much about emitting an energy to seek out a desired result but rather calming yourself in order for the required frequency of energy to find you. This stillness, this letting go, is the most important part and is where we will find what it is that we seek.

Let me put it this way: You cannot say you ‘trust’ your partner yet still check their messages and incessantly question them on their whereabouts. This would be silly, right? And yet how many of us still do this not just in relationships but in life?

It is about letting go.

These lessons I have only recently learnt. Just three weeks ago I found myself in an argument in which I stood firmly on the opposing side of this philosophical position. Though as I am beginning to practice what I am now learning more and more I am very quickly changing my perspective and am excited to share with you some of the amazing outcomes. On this occasion it saved me a garlic bread (win!) but I’ve no doubt over the coming years it will save me a lot more.

What could it do for you?

PJ.

 

 

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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.

I can do all things but not all at once.

I’ve been waiting a while to write this blog. Time has not been plentiful enough in order to dedicate the time [and mental energy] required to do so.

For the past three months I have been reunited with my pursuits for tertiary qualifications. Last year served up a false start to such endeavours. Simply, I did not believe I could do it. I conjured up all manner of excuses as to why I could not.

I’m not designed for ‘structured learning’.

I can figure all of this out myself anyway.

And most [in]famously:

It’s just not meant to be…

I dropped out of four subjects with no intention of ever resuming my studies. This was in August last year. As 2017 began, this stubborn belief remained. I was unsure how the year would unfold. I was nervous and apprehensive. How could this year ever compare to the roller-coaster of 2016? A year which featured a move to Sydney, a trip to America and my first forays into the world of film and TV? On the cards were little exciting prospects.

I realise now the value of what 2017 is offering to my life. Intertwined with daily life at present is a simple message:

You can do all things but not all at once.

There was a time not that long ago in which I would draw in my journal mind maps detailing all of my life’s present endeavours: Businesses I wanted to start, friends I wanted to help, blogs I wanted to write, speeches I wanted to give, adventures I wanted to embark on, changes I wanted to make in the world, charities with whom I wanted to work. Not to mention the race car driving or fitness challenges I was also working on behind the scenes!

When you’re standing in the middle of this complicated web posing a myriad of possible directions about where your life could lead, inevitably making a step in any direction becomes rather hard. As I have found it to be.

This year I began to emit an energy that sought clarity over what I needed and where I needed to step next; what I needed to focus on. Fast forward six months and I have now concluded my first trimester of study (take two), albeit at a reduced study load.

I doubted myself in the early weeks. As the first round of assessments loomed large, the voice of negativity spoke loudly in the back of my mind, seeking to convince me once again that this just wasn’t for me. It did a good job too. In fact it was so convincing that at one point I emailed through my intention to withdraw from the course, mistakenly thinking I could do so without financial penalty having misread the dates on the student web portal.

Acknowledging the pain of having another $5,000 added to my student debt for nothing, I said to myself, ‘F*ck it, I’ll submit the work I have done and hope for the best.’

I only just passed my first exam, largely a result of attempting it with no preparation and beginning just half an hour before it needed to be submitted! But the other assignment I not only passed but received a High-Distinction.

Maybe I was on the right track after all?

As the trimester wore on, many distractions would rear their heads. But I chose to remain focused. All of the things I wanted to do, all of the things that were tempting me away, I began to put as reminders in my calendar for when I was on uni break.

I kept saying to myself, I can do all of these things but just not now.

Two bouts of sickness and some brutally long days at work served as continued attempts to lure me away from completing these subjects yet somehow, as the final due dates came and went, I’d somehow managed to submit everything. Now the anxious wait for my marks to come back…

***drum roll***

Two High Distinctions on my final two assessments and two distinctions overall.

Maybe I was on the right track!

It might only be the very beginning of a looooong three year course but in this short time I have learnt that I can do this. I’ve learnt that I can focus. I’ve learnt that all of those creative juices and ideas that flow through my mind every day for businesses and creative exploits are good enough.

But with these lessons acknowledged, by far the biggest thing that I’ve learnt so far – aside from creative strategy and integrated marketing communications – is that for me to succeed in all of the dreams and ambitions I have bustling around in my mind, I must learn to become disciplined in saying no to the ideas that serve only as distractions. Yes, I can do all of them, but no, not all at once.

I think there is a lesson here for all of us.

We wake every day with a multitude of possibilities at our fingertips. At any given point we can begin to write a completely different story for our lives. And whilst it can be hard to choose just one, only when we do will be able to realise the magnitude of the success that awaits us.

PJ.

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.

Hold on, dreamer.

Journal Entry – 4/4/17

As I begin writing this, the clock nears ever closer to 3AM. I hoped for an early night…

I’ve been terribly ill the last four days and haven’t been sleeping consistently. I’m back to work tomorrow, err, today, though I cannot slow my mind. So many great ideas! If only they could come a little earlier!

But isn’t it funny when you start to see the pieces of your life falling together. All of those trials faced, the lessons from which and necessary applications becoming clear. What’s even funnier is when the many dreams that seemed to have faded begin to resurface and grow to become even more powerful than they ever were before.

Because life does not take us away from our dreams without good reason. Sometimes it is because there is something even better waiting for us. But on other occasions, as it is in my case now, it takes us away from these dreams temporarily in order for us to gain the perspective we need to understand how things fit into the much larger picture.

We must hold onto those dreams; those dreams that remain though they might have turned from a clang to a whisper. We must remain tuned in to the broadcast of our heart. And we must listen carefully to what it is telling us and to where it is directing us. It might feel like life is pulling us away but in actual fact it is pushing us closer.

Hold on, dreamer.

PJ.

10 Simple Ways To Better Manage The ‘Bad Days’

Conquering depression or anxiety is no overnight fix. Often it will take many years. And even then there will still be times in which the pressures of the life cause us to feel a little down in the dumps. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up in situations like these. ‘Why is this happening again?!’ you might ask yourself. But having the odd ‘bad day’ is perfectly okay, we just need to understand how to better manage them.

In my struggles with depression and anxiety over the past decade I’ve learnt a thing or two that I’ve been inspired to share; some coping strategies and tools we can employ when the going gets a bit tough or we simply wake up one day and feel like the world is on top of us:

1. Watch a movie.

It’s okay to feel how you’re feeling. If you’re having a bad day and don’t feel up to leaving the house, that’s cool. Find a good movie to watch and cook up some popcorn! Chill out, it’s all good. There’s always tomorrow for all that ‘serious stuff’ anyway!

2. Have a shower.

Sitting around all day with bed hair smelling terribly doesn’t just sting the nostrils of those around you but is also bound to leave you feeling pretty sh*tty too. Freshen up and brush your hair so at least you can walk past your reflection without having to cringe every time! Self-esteem instant win!

3. Do something you enjoy.

Sometimes in our darkness it’s easy to forget the things we enjoy. Our heads becomes a dark mess in which everything seems pointless. But even something as simple as flicking through your favourite book or magazine can spark some much more positive thoughts. You should see my F1 magazine collection – ideal for times like these!

4. Have a normal conversation with a friend.

By all means talk to a close friend about how you’re feeling, have that conversation, but don’t forget to talk about normal stuff too, things you both enjoy. Have a laugh. Smile. Did someone say footy season?!

5. Sit outside for an hour.

‘Life on the inside’ can become pretty claustrophobic pretty quickly. And while you might not feel up to going out in public and seeing people, often chilling on the patio or in the sun reading a book or watching the clouds roll by can be the perfect remedy. Fresh air and Vitamin D anyone?

6. Listen to your favourite music (and maybe bust out a dance move or two!)

Whether you’re a music nut or not, all of us will have that song or two that get us feeling pretty fired up for life! So if need be, close your bedroom door (and perhaps the curtains!) and rock out. Did someone just drop the bass?! #onemanrave

7. Sleep if you need to.

It’s easy to feel guilty for feeling tired or needing to nap every hour. This guilt though I’ve found to be highly counter-productive! So put your PJs on and get comfy. Just as the body needs rest from physical activity the mind needs rest sometimes too. Sweet dreams!

8. Walk The Dog

If you don’t have a dog, fly the bird, swim the fish or drag the cat somewhere instead. While we might not all be ‘gym people’, simply getting the body moving for half an hour or so is often enough to point our mind back towards greener pastures. (Bonus points for those who comment with photos of them actually taking their bird for a fly…!)

9. Write

This one is a personal favourite though one that I cannot recommend highly enough. It has helped me to pull apart negative thought patterns and reflect on the underlying reasons behind many of the decisions I have made. Unintentionally it has taught me much of what I know about myself! You’ll be amazed at the revelations you stumble across!

10. Be honest with people.

Saving the most important to last is one that I admit to having neglected for far too long. So easy it is to make excuses as to why we can’t do things, to paint a much rosier picture than that of reality and to push people away or ignore them until things are better. But just as we would have no qualms in letting a friend know we’d broken our leg, there is no need to hide our mental struggles from the world either. The time has come for us all to realise this.

Take care team!

PJ.

Originally published on Greatness Via Passion, September 2015.


What are some ways that you manage your bad days? I’d love to keep adding to this list! Share in the comments below 🙂

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.

 

Don’t Tell Me Your Name, Tell Me Who You Are!

You meet someone for the first time at a party or social function and you ask them who they are. Of course, they answer with their name, but that’s not quite what you meant.

You continue, ‘Sorry, what I really meant was, who are you?’

‘I’m a recruitment consultant from Brisbane, but originally I’m from Reykjavik.’

Okay, great, but still that’s not what you meant.

What you really seek to inquire into is who they are? What do they stand for? What do they care about? What’s important to them in life? What guides their steps in life and their interactions with other people?

That is who they really are.

Okay, so maybe such a deep train of conversation is overkill for the first time meeting someone! And as a result you might find yourself as the guy or girl flying solo in the corner of the room checking the same Instagram posts over and over to avoid the social awkwardness you’ve just created for yourself!

But let me explain my point and elaborate on what I’ve recently come to see as an erroneous psychological thought process in modern day society…

We are not defined by what we do nor where we live, how many friends we have or where we go out to socialise. And we are certainly not defined by how much money we do or do not have in the bank!

None of that really matters. That’s not who we are. That’s largely just the result of where we happened to find ourselves in life, mostly by chance.

Think of how different our lives could have been if the genetic lottery had have lead us to be born into an impoverished central African village…

I was speaking with an old school teacher of mine recently. He really surprised me mid-conversation by saying:

‘You know what I really like about you Paul…?’

I had no idea what was coming next.

‘What I really like about you is that you always remain true to your core values. You are not defined by what job you have, how much money you have, where you live or what’s going on around you. You have such a strong sense of self and you know the person that you will become.’

Inevitably, I paraphrase. I was so blown away at the time by what I was hearing. And it all made so much sense. Something in my mind clicked. My Instagram bio now features the line:

‘Guided by values not status.’

Because that’s me. I never properly realised it until that impromptu phone conversation. But that’s what defines me. What I really care about in life defines who I am. Not my name. Not my job. Not my status. 

Nothing other than the instrinsic motivators that drive me to challenge and change the injustices, inequalities and social shortcomings I see around me in the world.

I am guided by love.

I can only now ask:

What are you guided by? What do you really care about? What in life matters the most to you?

Let the answers to these questions guide your steps through life’s labyrinth. Step back from the external and discover the wonder of the internal.

Dare to be yourself.

Dare to discover how great you really are!

Leave your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

PJ.

 

WARNING: Stories From Three Nights In Vegas…

Eight huuuuuuundred titties. I’ve got eight huuuuuuundred titties waiting for you boys for whenever you’re ready…

Olly and I looked at each other. We were amazed. Was that even possible?

I’ll get you boys a free limo, a free bottle of champagne…

The deal kept getting sweeter and sweeter. It almost seemed too good to be true…

As we slowed our walk in ponderous amazement, we looked back and forth at one another with both curiosity and disgust. Was his offer genuine? Just how big was this place to fit 400 topless girls?

Tonight was not the night on which we were going to find out however. In fact, no night was. We continued walking only now a little faster.

‘It’s a trap!’

We seemed to repeat this to one another every few hundred metres. Passing through what we thought was an exit out of one casino, we would somehow end up in the foyer of another.

Buying a beer and finding a seat at which to enjoy it presented the challenge of finding a table without a pokie machine at it’s center. A seat at the bar was no better.

Our gaze often met that of a beautiful girl walking by.

‘Was she, errr, checking me out?’ we would ask ourselves.

Maybe. But the price tag hanging from her neck, just barely shielding her enormous silicone bust from the seedy prying eyes of the three hundred desperately dissatisfied married men in her vicinity, was certainly not what we were after. Not now. Not ever.

We would eventually find a way out of this labyrinth of lustful greed. Though not before another hour spent navigating the ocean of roulette and blackjack tables.

Finally, we made it, throwing our arms into the air proclaiming:

‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last!’

I doubt whether a certain Martin Luther King Jr. ever foresaw his words being used for this particular purpose…

We woke up the following morning, checked out of our AirBNB two nights early and hit the road bound for San Diego which, for those of you who don’t know, means ‘A whale’s v…’.

I’ll cut myself short on that one.

Perhaps our time in Vegas might have been different had we have had thousands of dollars spare to spend. I’d like to think not. Though I can understand the temptation for those that do.

I’m sure I’ll return one day. But not to gamble. Or to have a twenty-seven year old single mum grind on my junk. Instead it will be for something much more worthwhile. Just what that is exactly, I don’t yet know.

Watch this space.

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.