It‘s My Birthday! 30 (+4!) lessons I have learned…
When I turned 30 years old, to mark the end of an amazing decade that was my 20s, I wrote down 30 lessons I had learned along the way.
I didn’t published them at the time.
Self serving? Absolutely!
Helpful to serve you in your life today? I very much hope so!
These lessons were learned
The hard way
The easy way
And every way in between!
Lessons in life, exercise and nutrition, mindset and burgers…!
Some still stand true today 4 years down the line as I turn 34 tomorrow.
Others needed a bit of an update because if you’re living fully, you’re always learning.
They aren’t in any particular order.
I have added 4 “bonus” lessons from the last 4 years at the end of the post, which may be the most powerful.
I hope you enjoy them and they serve you the way they have me.
Lesson 1: Finding your true purpose is vital to be happy
I feel fortunate to have found this.
It has taken a combination of hard work on myself. Study, application, relentlessness and luck to discover why I am on this planet.
The answer is to help other people and have a lot of fun doing it!
In particular by (at this juncture of my life anyway) helping them gain the confidence in themselves by developing a lean, healthy body.
A lean, strong attractive body doesn’t guarantee happiness but it doesn’t hurt.
Lesson 2: I will always love electronic dance music whatever age I am
This made me laugh A LOT and ask “who the hell wrote this?!”
Doesn’t mean it isn’t true – I still love my beats – although I may have mellowed a little towards slightly lower BPM these days.
I am still to make my first pilgrimage to the White Island and aspire to do so before writing the 40 Life Lessons Blog!
Lesson 3: The rules of the body govern the rules of the exercise
Your body can’t possibly know what a made up name for any exercise is – all it can do is respond to the type and amount of demand placed on it.
And crucially, what it can TOLERATE.
Once you understand the rules of the body, building exercises and workouts to challenge it appropriately to reach certain goals becomes very straight forward.
Lesson 4: How you train definitely illustrates your personality
There is no doubting this, I have trained countless people over what is almost a decade and it is a great symbol to personify who we are.
Lesson 5: Optimising hormonal balance is the key to changing body composition
Your hormonal system is like The Matrix (what a movie!) – crack the code and you can:
Lose fat from “stubborn” areas
Boost sex drive
The list is endless and these chemical messengers hold the key.
Lesson 6: I hate being hungry
This is no longer the case – well, let me explain – I now actively challenge myself to not be bound to HAVING to eat at rigid times.
I realise at the time I wrote these, I had a pretty unhealthy relationship with food and sugar and was fairly reliant on it.
Lesson 7: Making decisions like you have no safety net
Acting like this keeps you honest and drives you to take massive action at certain times.
This is a strong message and comes with a caveat – it isn’t about being reckless (hindsight is a wonderful thing).
It is about building your own safety net and solid foundation whether it be for your body, life or business/finances.
Lesson 8: Sugar is by far the biggest legal drug and health problem the western developed world faces
No other is so unregulated, fed to children, mindlessly bought and consumed without a true awareness of the consequences.
Lesson 9: Dietary fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat on their own
“Eating fat makes you fat” Huge myth. Huge nonsense.
Fats are essential – they must be eaten, we can’t make all of them that are vital for many functions
Sugar is not essential – it doesn’t have to be eaten.
It is so crucial for survival we can make them ourselves.
Eat sugar and the wrong type of fats together and you are in trouble….
Lesson 10: Smiling vs scowling
I learned this a while ago.
Choosing to smile in the morning vs scowling in the morning will change your life.
Smile at your neighbour, the check out operator, barista, colleague, yourself in the mirror, the neighbourhood cat – watch how your whole outlook and energy changes to the positive.
It is your choice.
Lesson 11: Give first to get
Everyone is focused on asking “what is in it for me?”.
Instead focus on asking “how can I help?
Watch what you then get back in return…
Lesson 12: Enjoy the present
I love planning and visualising the future.
At times it can lead to worry and anxiety and also in the past, a lack of tangible action to get to where I wanted to be.
As well as missing out on stopping to smell the coffee along the way!
Getting lost in flow – doing something you love – being with people you love – laughing, playing and being together in the moment are key.
Lesson 13: The power of 5 is real
The 5 people you hang around with the most will shape you.
Whether you know it or not.
Be careful who you spend your time with.
Lesson 14: Becoming an RTS took my personal training career and perspective to a whole new dimension
As far as I am concerned it was the difference between being an amateur to becoming a professional.
It empowered me to train anyone that came to me for help. No matter who they were, what stage they were at and what they wanted to achieve.
Read more about RTS at www.resistancetrainingspecialist.com
Lesson 15: All of Nothing is not sustainable
You have to strive for “good enough” to progress and GSD (get shit done!).
If you only demand perfection you will either get paralysed or de-moralised and give up.
This is true for every walk of life.
Lesson 16: Having my heartbroken was one of the best things that ever happened to me
Because you survive and after moving on appreciate how good it is to have the memories and feel that way.
You also then have the knowledge about how good it can be and don’t settle for anything less in the future.
Lesson 17: London is made for me, I am made for London
Having started my business in London at the time of writing, you can see where my head and heart were!
I live in Glasgow for now.
And I am not going to lie – I looked down my nose at being back initially. That’s right, I was a London Snob.
But, I soon realised that wherever you are is what you make of it and shape it into.
I leaned in – re-establishing and nurturing wonderful friendships and building my business.
And it turns out Glasgow is a cracking city with much to offer.
So whilst this one is still true, I am up for more adventures and want to see where life takes me.
I know wherever I am will enrich me if I embrace it.
Lesson 18: Burgers are a true passion!
There is a burger for every occasion in London, here are my top 3:
Honest Burger – simply the best
5 Guys – the dirty hangover burger
Byron – the back up burger, better than a mcdonalds but easily accessible.
For the burger fan in Glasgow – Buddy’s on Pollokshaws Road is the best I have tasted to date.
Lesson 19: Training optimally is a LYNCHPIN to a positive or negative spiral
You stop training – everything unravels
You start and keep training – everything gets locked into gear
Message: don’t stop training, commit to participating for life
Lesson 20: The tug of war never stops
We are faced with decisions to make each and every day which will take you closer to or further away your ultimate goals and dreams.
This tug of war between good and evil, light and dark, positive and negative is never going away – accept it!
Start realising that actually there is a joy in the tussle – dance with it – accept it and welcome it in.
Lesson 21: Natural vs Man Made
The first piece of nutritional advice I give everyone and the one I give if I only have 10 seconds.
If you eat ACTUAL food from the ground or anything that runs, walks, swims, flies VERSUS if it was manufactured in a factory – you will make a massive leap towards health and happiness.
Lesson 22: You can only help people who want to help themselves
It took me ages to accept this, I am not sure I have yet.
I want everyone to feel as good as we and our members do.
However, it is 100% accurate.
If you don’t want the help the greatest coaches/mentors/gurus in the World don’t stand a chance of helping.
It must come from within.
Lesson 23: Learning who you are and how to be yourself is very attractive
It is not easy, it takes time and work piecing together attractive life, behaviour and body.
When you do look at what and who you attract…
Lesson 24: I can see the vision for people before they can
I can always see where I want to take people who are feeling out of control, fat, unhealthy and unhappy.
It is such a pleasure seeing it slowly dawn on them that they are doing what they thought they couldn’t or was out of reach.
Lesson 25: Inclusive vs Exclusive
Include people, don’t exclude them.
Integrate don’t separate.
There is so much derision in the World when it is as small as it has even been.
That is crazy.
Lesson 26: We are all human – be nice and forgive
Are we really that different from one another?
Wanting to have a fulfilling life?
Feed ourselves and our families?
Have some fun along the way?
So let’s help one another out rather than being defensive and closed.
Lesson 27: You have to be IN IT, to INFLUENCE IT
If you aren’t taking the risks others have and made the sacrifices others have, You don’t have the right to an opinion.
Only through experience and application can you have an informed opinion which could add value.
But more than that – when you document your experience you will have facts.
Which always outweigh opinions.
Especially from those on the safe sidelines.
The safe sidelines are ironically the most dangerous place to be – as you miss out on where the living takes place and find yourself a commentator on other people living.
Lesson 28: I have an insatiable Thirst for knowledge and Hunger for learning it
I am learning all the time.
I read constantly (non-fiction – fiction has it’s place but isn’t particularly useful in the real world).
Experiment and apply new techniques.
Reflect on how to solve problems and make things better.
It truly is this process that is rewarding because you learn how to live better and serve people deeper and deeper
Lesson 29: Live On your terms
Find your principles instead of the World’s protocols
I don’t want other people or environments influencing me.
I want people and environments to be influenced by me – for good
By determining principles to live by rather than the conventional protocols that are automatic for most, you can live an extraordinary life.
Lesson 30: Growth vs Fixed mindset
Ongoing self development and true self awareness gives you the reigns in your life
If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
Keep learning, keep inquisitive, keep moving forwards.
Lesson 31: The Power of Writing Shit down!
Visualise and design your life on paper.
Write down the steps you will need to take to make it a reality.
The things you will need to learn. The stuff you will need to practise and get good at.
Then watch them start to come true with daily actions and behaviours that lead you towards your picture.
Lesson 32: This Too Shall Pass
Good, bad, indifferent. The clock keeps ticking and our emotions change along with it.
Take solace in this during tough times
Savour the good fully and deeply.
Accept the mundane is a part of it all too
Lesson 33: Take The Risk
Whatever you are afraid of and avoiding, do it.
Not blindly or foolishly but mindfully and intelligently.
Everything you want in life is on the other side of that fear…
Lesson 34: Keep The Curtain Up
This refers to the metaphorical theatre stage curtain.
Don’t hide backstage away from the real world and reality.
All the things that you want that are on the other side of the curtain.
It will mean exposure, it could mean some hurt, but it will DEFINITELY mean great joy, happiness and fulfilment.