Whenever I find myself in a conversation with someone I've recently met, I love to ask questions about their life; their experiences, passions, the people they admire and hear about what frustrates them.
I feel like these things give me a better understanding of the person I'm speaking with.
You may have been reading my posts for a while now, so I thought I'd offer you a little insight into the person behind the posts. I have tried to be open about my biggest achievements, biggest failures and the random, interesting facts that have shaped me over the last ten years.
- Finished high school I finished High School in November 2005. This was an exciting day as I had spent the previous two years questioning the relevance of most of what I'd been learning. I've never since used algebra, the correct structure of an essay or a Bunsen burner.
- Started reading more I would estimate that 90% of students in my year level were not interested in the books we had to read as a class in High School. I zoned out each time the teacher started reading another awful book. Leaving school gave me more time to focus on what I was interested in, and so I started reading books. Mindset and Performance was what I always came back to. If you want to see the books I love, you can join my newsletter.
- Decided to save sex for marriage From the time I finished school until mid-2007 I had discovered the wonderful world of girls. I then met a couple of people who told me they were saving sex until they were married. I was shocked, but a little bit impressed. I decided to give it a go.
- Started dating Jessie In 2007 Jessie rejected my offer to be her boyfriend. She said she wasn't interested. I didn't believe her as she was being a flirt. Her Mum was my wingman, inviting me around to their place for dinner every Thursday. After a while, Jessie caved and told me she wanted to give it a go.
- Selected to run for Australia Having spent nearly 10 years as a middle distance runner, I was selected to compete at the World University Cross Country Championships to be held in Kingston, Canada in 2010. It was a proud moment.
- Surgery - Round 1 Since early 2002 I had a constant blocked nose. It had made me susceptible to colds, flu's and fevers, which negatively impacted my running. It was now June 2010, and I was getting it fixed. Or so I thought.
- Started running fast For 9 months after my surgery I was running well. My health was better than ever. In this time I ran a 3000m PR of 8mins 10 seconds. Won the Melbourne Marathon 10km against thousands of athletes and was crowned Victorian Mile Champion. Things were looking good.
- Graduated from university I only went to University because it was what I thought you're supposed to do after school. It was an interesting time. I had to sit down with the heads of my course in the first year as I failed more subjects than I was allowed to, and had to justify why I should be allowed to stay. I also didn't fully understand plagiarism at the time. Because I only used Wikipedia and Google for some of my assignments, I got in trouble. There about a few great teachers from the university I'm still in touch with. They made the experience worthwhile.
- Married Jessie In 2010, I asked Jessie to marry me. We got married in November 2011. I managed to stay off sex until this point too, incase you were wondering.
- Spent one month in a van in U.S.A Jessie and I decided to go to the West Coast of America and travel around in a van for one month. It was an eye opening experience and a trip that I think has inspired us to spend more and more time travelling together.
- Retired from running My sinus problem was back and had been impacting my health and performance for nearly 3 years. I was on antibiotics for constant sinus infections, but the symptoms kept returning. The doctors would continually treat the symptoms, but told me antibiotics and operations were the only way they could fix it.
- Surgery - Round 2 I went back in to have surgery. Temporary relief once again.
- Bulked up I told Jessie that after my running career, I would bulk up. I started going to the gym and eating more than I ever had. I was eating steaks, tuna, chicken and drinking protein shakes. I went from 67kg to 80kg in less than 12 months.
- Considered playing AFL I love AFL. Now that my athletics career was done, I decided to give Football one more go. In 2014 I met with Paul Roos (Coach of Melbourne Football Club) and former AFL player Todd Viney, to discuss whether they would consider taking me on as a player in the year to come. After a number of conversations they selected another player. We got close. Good story now though.
- Stopped drinking milk For five years Jessie's Grandma had told me to stop drinking milk if I wanted my sinuses to improve. I didn't listen to her as the doctors laughed at this advice. I decided to try it. My sinuses cleared up immediately and I have never had sinus problems again.
- Became vegetarian I noticed a major supermarket advertising their meat with "No added hormones". I wondered why any meat had added hormones and started to do some research. After seeing and hearing about the rubbish put in our meat to help it grow, and watching the way we kill animals for mass consumption, I was disgusted and decided not to eat it anymore.
- Completed personal ultra-marathon One morning I decided to try and walk 100km. It was the hardest physical challenge I've ever done. I hadn't trained specifically for it, but I wanted to test how far I could push my body. I did it in 16 hours.
- Minimized I operate better with less clutter. It makes me think more clearly. I realised that I didn't use 80% of what I owned so I got rid of it.
- Attempted to climb Mt Everest I went to Nepal for one month in November 2015 to try and qualify to climb Mt Everest in 2016. I had to climb two mountains to be given the okay to climb Everest. There was a hard mountain (Mt Lobuche) and an easier mountain (Island Peak) according to my guide. We got to the top of the hard mountain, but I got food poisoning the morning of the easy mountain, which ruled me out of the 2016 Everest Expedition. It was disappointing, but still amazing. This trip proved to me that the ultimate cliche was true: The journey is more important than the destination.
- Cancelled gym membership I went to a gym for nearly 3 years. Then I started looking at the exercises I was doing and realised that I could do most of them at the park. That's what I do now. I haven't lost any size, my weight is still the same, I feel great and I save a lot of money.
- Got clarity I'm a Type 7 on the Enneagram Test. I can be very easily attracted to the shiny things in life. That means, if I want to develop excellent results, I need to develop excellent focus and clarity. When I realised this, I spent the next couple of months deciding exactly what I see are my biggest strengths, and committing my life to helping those strengths flourish. My top priorities in life are: God, Family, Health, Coaching, Contribution, Adventure.
- Established a morning routine I established a personalised morning routine which has me feeling outstanding before I begin my day.
- Started working for myself Though this was a scary step at first, I am so happy I made the leap. I am now fully committed to helping people develop the mindset they require for the results they desire.
- Started blog I often find myself speaking to people about the correlation between mindset and performance, and the things that are making an impact in my life. I found that a few people were calling me after our conversation so that we could go back over something we discussed. To offer something a little more permanent than a conversation, I decided to create this space to store the information I find helpful. This blog is dedicated to sharing tips on not only building a great mindset, but on how to build a great life.
- Moved to London In July this year (2016) Jessie and I moved to London. We chose London as it allows us to travel around Europe with great ease. We plan on being here for around two years. Jessie is teaching and I am writing and speaking in schools about how we create an intentional lifestyle.
- Started Podcast In January 2017 I started my podcast, Intention. It's a show that looks at how to create space for the things we really value, in a world that's obsessed with busy.
One thing I love about reflecting on my last decade, is that it proves to me that time has a great capacity to heal our wounds.
The areas I thought I'd failed in have become the most transformative experiences. Shaping my character, and simply becoming great stories.
I realised that my fear of failure has often been an attempt to stop me from discovering the enlightening lessons that comes with the pursuit of chasing great things.
I wonder what your story would tell you if you sat down and listened to it?