I have been threatening to send you a sample from my upcoming book, so here is the PREFACE, which gives you a sense of where I am going with the book, plus I get to share with you some of my (mis)adventures and insights along the way.
“It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.”
Henry Poincare (French Mathematician)
Have you ever been to Bali (Indonesia)?
What a magical place. Beaches. Balinese massages. Sunshine. Great surfing. Outstanding food (did anyone tell you Bali is a food mecca?). Beautiful local people. Such an amazing place to relocate to, in order to start the next phase of your life journey and professional transition. What could possibly go wrong?
And yes, I was chuckling as I wrote that line, as I am sure at some points in your life you have uttered those very same magical and fateful words. “What could possibly go wrong?”
’18 WAYS THAT WE MAKE LIFE WAY HARDER THAN IT NEEDS TO BE’ by Carl Massy
I moved to Bali in late 2007, to manifest my dream lifestyle experience, after having worked for the previous 5 years as a senior consultant to Olympic Games and mega events (Salt Lake City, Athens, Torino and Doha), and before that I had retired as a Major in the Australian Army after 14 years of service. My new lifestyle and profession was going to be as a Neuro Linguistics Life and Lifestyle Coach, as I stepped into showing exactly how creating the ideal lifestyle was done. I was going to live this easeful, peaceful, successful and fulfilling life, and doing it the HARD WAY was definitely not on the agenda.
Having arrived in Bali as a newbie Expat, and with a decent chunk of money in my pocket (figuratively and not literally, as that would be a really stupid way to start out in Asia), I set about making friends, building my professional and social network and working on my Business Plan. Part of the network building saw me introduced to a friend of a friend (which is its own story), who had this great idea. The idea was to build a boutique Backpackers hotel in Bali, and then once that was thriving, expand the brand and concept into other Indonesian locations like Jakarta and Lombok, and then finally into East Timor. It sounded like an awesome idea, and I was excited to be a Founder and Co-owner in my first business. Life was looking great. All my best-laid plans were coming together in perfect symphony.
Well not exactly.
The plan, and extrapolation of that plan, was a thing of excitement and the thought of being part of something like this sounded great to me. I was in. All in. Well the ‘intellectual’ part was in; that is for sure. But here is the thing. Sometimes our intellectual ‘smarts’ think they are way too smart. Too smart to get professional advice. Too smart to slow things down. Too smart to ask the tougher (incongruent) questions coming up for me. And too smart to listen to my gut, which was trying to get my conscious attention.
You see, as much as the guy who was leading the project was a nice enough guy, my gut was trying to tell me he might not be the right person to align myself with. His values and beliefs were a little too different to mine. And one thing my gut was definitely telling me, based on a number of events I witnessed, was this person might be a little shallow in how he interacts with life and people. Unfortunately, the smarty pants me figured because I had been a part of all of these huge multi-billion-dollar projects around the world I could make the right decision on something relatively small like this. So, my thought was, “Thanks for the shout out gut (also known as ‘intuition’), but the plan for this project looks outstanding and totally rock solid.”
Now if I had listened to my gut and considered if there were any downsides or blind spots associated with having a person – who has different values to me – heading up this project, I might have considered this could manifest as a hyper-fixation on the ‘look’ of the hotel, at the expense of all of the deeper (and less sexy) operational and financial elements of the business. Was this the person to best lead this project? Especially as I was going to be spending a decent chunk of the money I had worked hard to save over the last 5 years.
What was my gut and intuition telling me?
Nothing I was ready to hear (unfortunately). This meant my first dream project in Bali was an absolute disaster! It was sort of okay for the first couple of years (though very poor financial return on my investment). Then for the next few years it was extremely painful (emotionally), somewhat embarrassing and financially abysmal; and then the nail in the coffin was a complete blow up in the relationship of the primary investors, which saw a mini turf war unfold. Leading to me leaving the whole show, having lost all of my investment, and feeling pretty despondent.
Now the primary thing I did wrong, which lead to this disastrous experience, was at the very start, where I didn’t listen to my gut, or question why my gut was feeling unsettled about the whole show. I ignored my intuition at my own peril. I made life way harder than it needs to be, by not listening to my gut. This is my very first lesson and suggestion to you. Listen to your gut, as it often has a powerful message or discernment to share.
Not listening to your gut is like having a business meeting, where you conduct the meeting without one of the key players at the table. The decisions you make at the meeting are likely to have holes in them, or be missing component parts. Also this key player, as they are expert in a particular field, might ask the right tough questions, which would lead to a much deeper look into the future plans.
I am here to tell you your intuition is one of the key players you need to bring to the table when making decisions. And I have no doubts you can relate to this. Do you remember a time where your intuition was trying to get your attention and you decided to ignore it, because old smarty-pants new better?!?! I have coached a lot of A-Type women over my career, who were very successful professionally, but taking in the bigger holistic picture, made some terrible decisions in their life. My observation, with this specific demographic, is they have a great piece of intuition made aware to them (call it a woman’s intuition), but with an over inflation on the value of the intellect and brain, they ‘logicalize’the sensation (to suppress it) and miss the wisdom their intuition was trying to share. They trust their head over their gut. Making decisions that are not in alignment with all of themselves. Making life harder than in needs to be.
The other mistakes I made in my glorious first business venture in Bali – which I will be diving in deeper throughout this book – was things like not asking for help, not seeking out the advice of professionals, being in a rush, and in general making some rookie decision-making mistakes. These are all things we can actively add into our lives, to make our lives more easeful, peaceful, fulfilling, joyful and authentically successful. So get ready for not only a look at 18 things that make our lives way harder than they need to be, but let me share with you the ways we can circumvent, eliminate, by-pass, knockdown, transcend, transmute (and a bunch of other related words), these pesky things that suck a little bit too much of the goodness from our lives.
I am sort of like your very own, personal, crash test dummy. Making the mistakes. Taking the tumbles. Trying out lots of different strategies, techniques, modalities and pathways, to let you know what works, what doesn’t, and what just needs minor tweaking to make it (and your life) AWESOME.
And finally, there is a happy ending to my first business venture (disaster), which I have now reframed as my ‘Real-world MBA’, because understanding the do’s and don’ts from that experience and having practiced many of the lessons I share in this book, my second business venture was a thriving and joyful success.
I hope you enjoy learning how to make life less hard, and more peaceful, joyful and fulfilling; and I want to thank you personally for joining me on this insightful and life changing adventure.
Coach and Crash-Test-Dummy
Bali, Indonesia, 2023
My Parting words
My Parting words
I hope you enjoyed that and got a taste for what my book will be about.
The publishing date is 20 November, and it will be published on Kindle (probably for $0.99 in the first week!), as a Paperback and as an Audiobook.
Have a super fabulous day and a keeping-it-real kinda week.
See you next week.