Sunday, 28 October 2007

Taoism - a philosophical shield

In life, there are two types of people. 
  1. Warriors - People who possess force. They are strong people who work hard to cover their own weaknesses, search for their opponents weaknesses and strike at them. 
  2. Sages - People who have power. They discover themselves, give themselves up and therefore have no weaknesses.
I reckon most people are warriors. Warriors have an air of invincibility to keep up. They have an image to uphold. Conflicts arise when their circumstances threaten their image.
There are precious few sages. They have no need of weapons, because they know themselves. For if you master others, you will merely possess force. If you master yourself, you have true power. 
The monks demonstrating in Burma were not behaving like sages. They broke their spiritual progress to threaten the government with protests. This was a warrior attack, and the warriors in the Burma government retaliated in kind. In the circumstances, the repercussions were to be expected. 
It does not remove the fact that those monks are heroes in my heart. To me, they not only demonstrated. Their actions
The true path to longevity, strength and power is to know and master yourself completely. The burma government will soon learn that their fortress is built on fear, which will one day collapse like a house of cards.

Yin and Yang

Chinese philosophy coming your way. Yin and Yang are properties for the balance of opposing forces or properties:
Yin = Feminine, Dark, Negative, Soft, Yielding, Resting, Cold.
Yang = Masculine, Light, Positive, Hard, Thrusting, Active, Hot.
According to the I-Ching (pronounced "ee jing"), all of existence is an interplay between yin and yang. 
So how can yin and yang theory help me with my life? Simply put, utilising yin and yang will allow you to look more completely at a situation or problem. Very often, we tend to have one view. 
For instance, if our car which refuses to start, we focus on what is wrong with it (inactive - yin). However, it is also worth identifying which parts of the car are still active (yang), and by process of elimination, can ascertain which part needs fixing. We can also remember back when the car was last working (yang), and work out what has changed since.

Yin and yang theory also states that when going extremely yang, you eventually become yin - and vice versa.  To keep the car example - a car will get you from a to b very quickly (yang). However, if everyone wants to go the same way at the same time, traffic jams occur (yin) and it's quicker to walk.

If you have any questions about yin and yang theory, email me.

Be happy,


Saturday, 27 October 2007

What's the problem?

When you get a problem, do you say something like, "What a disaster! Why does this s**t always happen to me?"

If you start with this kind of mindset, you are focusing on the problem, rather than the solution. How you feel about problems will seriously affect how well you will solve them, so lets try a little attitude adjustment.

Firstly, replace the word 'problem' with 'opportunity'. Because - believe it or not - we are built to deal with problems. Our whole evolutionary path has been shaped by the resolution of physical and mental problems. That's how we developed large brains, hind leg standing and opposable thumbs. So treat every problem as a chance to evolve and grow. Still don't believe me?

If you didn't have a problem with travel, why did you learn to walk?

If you didn't have a problem with communication, why did you learn to speak?

Every problem gives you an opportunity to grow and learn. So instead of the victim mentality, ask yourself about some constructive questions:
  1. How can I turn this to my advantage?
  2. How can I have fun solving this problem?
  3. Is there a lesson to learn here?
  4. What opportunities are there?
  5. Who will benefit from me solving this problem?
  6. How will I be rewarded for solving this problem?
And don't forget - whatever the problem - there are billions of people on this planet,who will never know. So don't be afraid of mistakes - it's how we learn.

Problem solving is a skill that can easily be learned. If you want to know more about problem solving, email me:

Be happy,


Friday, 26 October 2007

This is scrummy!

Did you taste your lunch today? 

I mean REALLY taste it?.... 

or did you throw it down in ten minutes so that you could catch that meeting or get to that deadline?

With our microwave instant culture, it's no wonder we eat too much. We don't give ourselves time to enjoy what we have. Tasting and enjoying food is a vital part of the digestion process. If we bolt our food without savouring the texture and flavour, we don't meet an essential need. So what do we do? We have more to make up. No wonder obesity is growing at a staggering rate in developed countries.
  • Ensure you won't be rushed.
  • Prepare or choose something that you know you will enjoy. 
  • Pause and get yourself ready. 
  • Are you sat comfortably? 
  • Make sure that you have some water to drink. 
  • If you feel pressured, move somewhere else or at least away from sight of a clock.
  • Chew your food thoroughly.
  • Savour the taste and texture.
It's common sense, but sometimes we forget under the pressure of modern life.

Be happy,


Thursday, 25 October 2007

So you think you can't do something?

A martial art is not about brute strength and violence. The literal translation of "Kung Fu" is "skill". 

Guo Cairu is 106 years old. He practices Tai Chi in the Jiangsu province in China. To me, he is the embodiment of the full life skills that regular practice brings.

Every time I think I can't do something, I think of this man in his suit. Every time I feel like giving up on something, I think of the many many years he has practiced his daily exercises and marvel at his longevity.

Thank you Mr Guo. 

First Post

"You can labour 10 years under a Master,
Trying to discern whether his teachings are true.
But all you might learn is this.....
One must live one's own life."
                                                                Deng Ming-Dao

Who do you look up to? Your parents, pop stars, footballers, teachers, business gurus, work colleagues? When embarking on any journey, it is essential that you equip yourself with knowledge and tools to help you along the way. Whichever beliefs you choose - whatever role models you have - whoever you choose to learn from - it's important to understand that all doors are open to you, and that it is you who needs to walk through them.

There is a time to learn, and a time to implement your knowledge and skill. Most people spend all their lives thinking "If I knew just a little bit more, then I can begin". They prepare all their lives for an earthly journey that never starts. Or worst still - spend all their lives hiding from it's inevitable end. All this suffering over our limiting beliefs. Yet it is beliefs that can set us free and bring joy, power, love and wealth into our lives.

So where am I in this journey? I have studied Taijiquan (Tai Chi), Qigong (Chee Gung) Taoist Philosophy and Meditation for ten years. When I first discovered I was to be a father, I took a long, hard look at how I was brought up. I spent 9 months going over and over my formative years - what was good and what was bad. And on the birth of my beautiful daughter, Jenna, I vowed that she would not have the same harmful beliefs that took me so long to undo. And I started writing down the fruits of ten years of study, martial arts practice, business training and meditation (in case I fell under a bus before Jenna was old enough to understand). 

I now resolve to synthesize all my knowledge into useful, common sense lessons that can be worked through by anyone in the comfort of their own home. This is the blog of my evolution of these lessons, with healthy doses of some of my view on what's happening around me along the way. 

Be happy,