When I am hosting workshops or seminars, I like to share parts of my origin story, for the groups benefit. I also like to think of myself as a ‘crash test dummy’.
I try things out on myself first (like a 5-day water-only fast) and then share with someone like you, what the outcomes were – good, bad and otherwise.
Starting during Easter 1999, I decided to undertake a 30-day challenge, which came in the form of a number CD’s and was presented by Tony Robbins. As a result of that activity, I decided to make (an action) three significant life choices, which steered my life in a (completely) different direction.
This is what I learned back then, coupled with insights from the last couple of decades.
Major Life Change Behaviour #1: I changed my diet
During 1999 I was a Major in the Australian Army, and a big fan of a big feed at the Officers Mess, which generally consisted of a decent sized slab of meat and a bunch of vegetables to go with it. Followed by a decent sized helping of desert.
I also was a fan of the afternoon ‘bar snacks’ after finishing work – which if I recall rightly – did not include carrot and celery sticks.
So my first big change was to switch to a principally vegetarian diet, with the occasional serving of seafood.
I also decided to actually pay attention to what I stuffed in my gob. Plus I got interested in understanding more about nutrition, beyond the standard Food Pyramid (which is a bit of a dud). I started devouring books on different types of diets and eating regimes, including: Atkins, Vegan, Whole Food Plant-Based, Paleo, Keto, Alkaline, Intermittent Fasting and more.
The most noticeable change occurred in my life because I became more knowledgeable, conscious, and mindful of the food I put into my body, including how much and when. I embodied that food is truly my medicine, and has a huge impact on my health. It even affects my moods and mental health.
I actually suspect changing to a more plant-based diet back in 1999 also caused me to be less aggressive and intense, and more open-hearted, though the next two life changes also helped with that.
Major Life Change Behaviour #2: I decided to get (more) conscious
I remember when I started at the Australian Defence Force Academy, back in 1987, that the drinks at the Officer Cadets Mess, were $0.70 for a beer and $0.80 for spirits. I had arrived there at 17 years of age, having come from a family where my parents didn’t drink. My father has never drank alcohol in his life.
Can anyone sense of where this story might be heading??
In addition to those environmental factors, there were other more personal psychological elements to contend with, such as some social anxiety, short-mans complex (5’4″ of it), and a torrent of beliefs about needing to fit in, to be liked, to be considered cool and to be respected.
In summary, through my military career and up until Easter 1999, I used to consume quite a bit of alcohol to not only fit in (and feel ‘comfortable’ in my skin) but to build a reputation of being a bit of a ‘player’ when it came to drinking and partying.
So in 1999 I decided to stop getting drunk. I decided to drink low alcohol beers, if I did, and only a couple. I also decided to walk to and from any social events (about 5km / 3mi). This was not easy, because the environment (and friends) supported and encouraged drinking and getting drunk. It was changing my mindset and my environment, which made this possible.
As I look back now, what I fundamentally did was to stop doing things that lowered my consciousness and choose things that raised my consciousness.
In full disclosure the ‘not getting drunk thing’ was peppered with the occasional 3-monthly bender for a number of years. Then in 2004 I experienced pneumonia, so I decided to call the drinking thing pretty much quits. Since then I might have about one beer per year, perhaps, with my brother when we catch up.
A by-product of raising my consciousness (and not getting drunk), has also meant making a whole lot less REALLY DUMB decisions with disastrous outcomes.
Major Life Change Behaviour #3: I decided to listen to some people older and wiser than me
I decided it was time to eat some humble pie, and realise I only knew what I knew, and didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I decided I actually knew very little when it came to optimizing my mind, body and spirit, and it might be time to seek out some wisdom. My wisdom of choice was to delve into this thing called ‘yoga’, which I have been practicing now for about 23 years.
I decided to practice yoga plus learn more about it from the writings of more ancient teachers and teachings. Reading the book ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda is a pretty standard read for budding yogi’s and opens a whole can of possibilities. You start wondering what we – as humans – are really capable of.
In my book – The Guidebook to Optimum Health – I suggest that yoga is one of the most complete practices for ‘exercising’ us physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually. For me, it is a high ROI activity.
Choosing to step into yoga (and ancient wisdom) has also introduced me to numerous healing modalities, guided meditations by neuroscientists like Dr Joe Dispenza, and a daily meditation practice, which I believe is one of the most powerful and effective daily practices I undertake. Check out 5 reasons why in this Blog Post.
It started with a CHOICE to attend a yoga class at a gym in Bondi Junction (Sydney), and has opened me up to whole different way of perceiving and navigating my way through life, for which I am eternally grateful.
Three choices (enacted) changed the course of my life, in an unimaginable way:
- You are what you eat. It directly effects your physical and mental health. It is important to understand and doubly important to practice.
- Choose to do less things that lower your consciousness and replace them with things that raise your consciousness. Because the decisions you make, in a low consciousness state, will definitely impact your destiny, and perhaps not for the best.
- Choosing a practice which has had the physical test of time (1000’s of years), had huge positive outcomes. The yogi’s gained considerable subjective and practical wisdom about body, mind and spirit over 1000’s of years, which can serve us well – even in 2022.
- These three choices significantly changed the trajectory of my life.
My question for you is: Are there any choices you might (need to) make, which will have a significantly high outcome on the quality of your life now, and in the future?
Choose wisely, step into them and reap the rewards!
Be a true co-creator of your destiny.
All the very best.
PS: For a deeper conversations, check out my weekly Podcasts here.