By modern standards, I always considered myself to be winning at life.
I’d played by my own rules for such a long time, convinced that I knew it all.
I was convinced that I had all the answers and if I didn’t, I was free to just make them up as I went.
Oh, how naïve I was.
Only later did I come to realise that I hardly knew anything at all, I hardly know anything at all.
Only later did I come to understand that this world we live in, seen or unseen, has an order to it.
A cosmic structure that you and I are both subject to whether we like it or not.
I wasn’t free to make it all up as I go, that was my ego getting in the way.
I came to see that I had essentially chosen to go to war with nature and with my very own nature, and I wasn’t winning at all.
All the material possessions in the world made no difference, there was still something missing, deep within.
A misalignment of sorts
Most of my success has come working as a professional in the sports industry. I work with some incredible humans and incredible athletes.
The thing about them is, they play by the rules, and they play hard.
They don’t make it up as they go, they accept all the limitations that are placed upon them.
They adapt to what their sport requires of them, they don’t try and rewrite the whole game just so it suits them.
Accepting the challenges that have been laid out for them, no complaints, just good preparation and a willingness to play with everything they've got.
Pushing themselves, celebrating the triumphs and learning and growing from defeat.
They squeeze every ounce out of themselves, knowing that even if they fall short, they gave it everything they could, no regrets.
It’s a mindset.
There’s no blaming the rules, no blaming the referee, it is what it is.
Life works much in the same way, but we’ve become accustomed to responding a little differently.
We don’t want to play by the rules; instead we want to question everything and make up our own.
We call it freedom.
And although your will to choose is and should always be free, you’re not free to recreate the whole universe - you simply can't.
The same rules, the so-called natural laws, have applied to the natural world for millennia and will continue to apply long after you’re gone.
The point is, to not fight it, but instead to deepen your understanding, to learn the rules, the laws that govern you and me.
To keep an open mind, stay curious, seek truth and get on that path.
To grapple with the big ideas.
Learning to get the most out of yourself knowing full well what life really demands of you.
How to win at life and what success actually means.
You’ll be much better served.
The other option is to wage your own war with nature and that’s a battle that you just can't win.
Despite my university degrees and all my other accomplishments, I can say that the best lessons I ever learned have always come through my lived experience.
Through mixing with people like you, with world cultures and sharing knowledge, only for it to be transformed to wisdom and deep understanding.
And despite being an educator, a coach and a mentor to some, the role I cherish most, is the one of student - being a close observer of life and drawing on all the wisdom that has gone before me.
And I now invite you to join me on this journey