Three of us have made a break from the pack as we start to ascend the one and only hill on the course, a sweeping right turn that gets steeper and steeper and then becomes a gentle ascent for another quarter mile.
It’s my final year of high school and the last chance to win a provincial road race running title that has eluded me the last 4 years. The 5km road race is not my best distance (I’d won and been top 3 placed at national and provincial level as a middle distance track athlete) but I’m intent on winning this one to honor my father and coaches who have supported me as a college athlete. Plus I want to prove I can finally beat the guy whose been winning these length races the last few years.
Back to the hill, this is the make or break part of the course and normally I break in these instances but this feels different. I’m in a state I’ve never felt before. My mind is very settled and alert, my body is as fit and strong as it’s ever been, my vision is clear on the goal and I feel like I have access to infinite energy. In short, I know what I want, I feel I have the capacity to accomplish it without knowing how because can trust myself to make it happen because of this capacity.
Almost simultaneously all three of us start to accelerate up this make or break hill; we reach a cruising ascending speed that leaves the pack behind. I decide to put my two fellow competitors to the test by continuing to accelerate up the hill; they try to respond but the gap widens. It becomes a winning break of 20 seconds by the finish line and finally I get to savor a victory I’ve always wanted.
A Year Later: Olympic Belief
I’m dueling down the home straight in a training session with a former Olympic champion and World Mile record holder John Walker. It’s my 8th and final 400m rep, he has two more so I decide to finish strongly. Little did I know laying down a challenge to an Olympic champion, no matter what the race, evokes a strong competitive response. We finish about the same time with endorphins surging through my body, giving me a huge boost in confidence and belief that I could go to the Olympics, perhaps even be an Olympic champion…deluded or not it was a great feeling!
Five minutes later an omen occurred that taught me something invaluable for the rest of my life…even though I didn’t know it at the time.
This former Olympic champion, World Mile Record holder and first man to run 100 sub 4 minute miles went on to complete another two 400m repetitions.
Those 2 extra reps caused him to pull his achilles tendon and defeated his goal of becoming the first man at age 40 to run a sub-four minute mile. It’s a huge disappointment for him after such a long, illustrious career.
I witnessed this, yet I was either too naive, ignorant, arrogant or incoherent (or all of the above) to work out what the lesson was for me.
So I kept charging ahead with my usual training regimen and mentality, the more and harder you train the more you get better, believing I was on the right track.
Another year later: Crash and Burn
I’d failed to qualify for the world junior championships by a couple of seconds.
My relationship with my amazing girlfriend fizzled out.
And worst of all…
I lost my health (I had respiratory and digestive problems that kept me up most nights for over 6 months) and it what not just my physical health it was my mental, emotional and spiritual health to boot.
I was deeply depressed that I lost what I thought was my soul’s purpose in life, even though I hid this and put on a brave face to family and friends. I hit rock bottom wondering even if life was worth it.
I drank a little more, ate a little more and dated whoever seemed interested as a way to band-aid my wounds.
Pain Induced Forced Reflection
The band-aid approaches didn’t work and only intensified the pain I felt in my body, mind and heart. I was forced to reflect “what went wrong?” and more importantly “how could I prevent and protect this sort of total collapse from happening again?”
The forced reflection made me realize, “I required knowledge, deeper, more profound knowledge of how my mind and body really works.” Sub-consciously I knew I had corrupted my capacity to achieve and progress from being so attached to outward goals and outcomes but I didn’t know what or how to regain that capacity to be able to protect my achievement and progress.
So what did I do?
I came to America
Most people come to America in pursuit of better opportunity, quality of life, money, fame or freedom. I came in pursuit of Self-knowledge after graduating from the University of Auckland with a Bachelors degree in Commerce I went to a University in Iowa that taught how to gain this deeper Self-knowledge.
While there working on staff I dabbled in some side business ventures only to realize I was still half hearted in the pursuit of true Self-knowledge.
Self-imposed Monastic Sentence
At the age of 25 I found myself signing up for a full time advanced meditation program, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and committing to it for one year. This was the real deal when it comes to silent monastic living.
I literally gave up all desirable worldly things from a good salary and company car to work with my father in his business in New Zealand, to relations with the opposite sex, social activities, eating meat and most other worldly freedoms.
I did this because:
1. I was so damn intrigued and curious about the inner spiritual adventure as I had been with the outer physical adventure of running. I had to scratch my spiritual adventurer itch!
2. I realized that the only thing we really need to conquer in this world is our own mind and emotions; and this is an inside job not an outside job!
3. Accomplishing only for your self without giving and serving the world is empty. This was my chance to really serve the world on a profound level after years of only really accomplishing for myself!
What silent meditating monks really do…
They raise the collective consciousness of the world by super imposing more silence and coherence from the deepest level of the unified field to balance all the dynamism and noise happening on the surface.
Enlivening the power of silent coherence from the most powerful level of consciousness prevents things from getting out of control and spiraling into mass destruction like WWI & WWII did, which are times when there was a lack of silent coherence in the world.
Being a monk I believe is one of the highest most powerful forms of being a true peace warrior and keeper in the world. More large groups of silent meditating monks, or schools or businesses, everywhere would literally transform the quality of time and positive tendencies in world consciousness over night.
This noble purpose was inspiring to me both experientially and intellectually. Anyone who takes the time to close his or her eyes, meditate, transcend and experience more silence is also doing this for the world. Monks are simply devoted to doing this full-time.
As a group of over 300 men from all different ethnics, countries and religions, we were held accountable for creating an uplifting influence on a number of important events in the world during 1998-2007. It became a blissful burden supporting the collective coherence of the world from this deep level.
My one-year commitment became ten years and tens of thousands of hours of deep silent meditation. You could say I got a little addicted to the incredible inner bliss, enlightenment, purpose and simplicity this lifestyle offers.
The Impulse to Reintegrate through Acting in NYC
After 10 years I had a strong impulse to return and re-integrate with the relative world to see how I could serve.…this time with a little more Self-knowing.
I also wanted to know if this blissful non-changing silence I’d been culturing within myself could stand the rigors of the outside world…anyone can be enlightened in a cave right? Though it’s not as easy as you think…unless you have the right knowledge and techniques, which I was fortunate to receive while there.
My no holds bar re-integration involved one, going to NYC the most dynamic outward place on earth, two, doing a summer acting program for 6 weeks and it just so happened to be at the start of the global financial meltdown in mid 2007. I knew no one in NYC and had virtually no money of my own. I was fortunate to raise a small boon of funding in the space of 30 mins from some dear supporters to partially fund my acting programs.
Initially, I felt like Tony Stark in the first Iron Man returning from being captive in a cave developing the first Iron Man suit. That moment where he turns to Pepper Potts after returning to the US and says there’s only two things I want Pepper 1) A cheeseburger, I’d become vegetarian as a monk so I wanted some of that world famous New York pizza and cheesecake and 2) Yes, it was fascinating resuming relations with the opposite sex, needless to say I was a little rusty.
I loved the acting training; it really gave me a great insight into human psychology and what actors go through to prepare for a role. I realized we’re all actors preparing and playing roles in life.
Waking up to my New Maverick leadership state
Based on my athletic and monk expriences, the acting training and performing (I played a of couple roles as a coach and pirate) and the GFC, I felt a calling rise up inside to serve leaders in being more protected in their process of conceiving, believing and achieving.
My compassion gene got enlivened big time having gone through my suffering as an aspiring athlete and then being a monk to the point I hated seeing people suffer. I saw supporting and protecting leaders who lead a lot of people as a short cut to helping mitigate more suffering faster.
I started to wake up to my New Maverick leadership state; meaning knowing who I am and meant to become, what I’m good at, what my soul’s purpose is and how I’m meant to serve at this time in my life.
My father reminded me that since a young age I’ve always had this mentality of protecting family, friends and team mates as they strive to achieve and progress, and now I was beginning to fully wake up to it as my soul’s purpose and career.
I believe our unique new maverick leadership state is something that is continuously evolving and unfolding as we go through life, it should always be new and different. It’s a state where we’re becoming more and more intimately aware of the unique energy, intelligence and value we bring that helps evolve others, the world and ourselves at any given moment.
Becoming a Globally Trusted CEO Advisor
Within a year I’d teamed up with my now business partner, Paolo D’Angelo, who has a very similar past as I, and we started working with a number of top CEOs running multi-million and billion dollar companies in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Europe supporting them in developing their ability to feel more, see more and know more from within to make the best decisions.
We got to experience what they really go through behind the scenes (including their minds and emotions) as leaders with tremendous responsibility. We also keenly observed the destiny of other CEOs in the world.
Through experience and observation we confirmed that even though CEO’s or leaders may have the position, title, influence, status and money, it didn’t guarantee that their health, wealth, happiness, relationships, people, vision, achievement and progress was protected.
The State of Leadership
We realized no one is bigger than the game and no one should be lulled into thinking they can’t be affected by reactions or changes they can’t yet perceive. The following stats affirm this:
• According to collated research and a recent Harvard Business Review report, the failure rate for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) sits between 70 percent and 90 percent.
• Of the Fortune 500 firms in 1955 versus 2015; only 12% remain.
• Since 2000, 52%of the companies in the Fortune 500 have either gone bankrupt, been acquired, ceased to exist, or dropped off the list.
• 2 out of every 5 CEO’s fail within the first 18-months –Booze Allen Hamilton Business Study
Based on this state of leadership and our life experiences we created New Mavericks – a leadership development advisory service centered on protecting CEOs achievement and progress.
Our new found purpose
Our new found purpose became supporting and guiding top leaders, or anyone who wants to become one, in developing their invincible leadership state so they can more fully protect their people and company amidst exponential change and challenges.
Through this we’ve enabled leaders to avert and/or bounce back from being corrupted or diminished by internal and external enemies, vices, stresses and incoherence that cause costly mistakes that lead to the loss of time, money, energy, ROI, great opportunity, shareholder value, health & reputation.
In my next article..The Science of Protection
I’ll share more about the Science of Protection of achievement and progress. We’ve developed this new science through working with leaders over the last couple of decades.
This new science is designed to complement, supplement and be superimposed with the science of achievement; first advocated by Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich which states whatever you can conceive and believe you can achieve.
Protection as you achieve and progress is the need of the time as the rate of change becomes exponential. I’ll answer the question, how do you protect yourself on all fronts as you conceive, believe and achieve as a leader?
Till then enjoy evolving and unfolding your unique invincible New Maverick leadership state in 2018!
Founder / CEO New Mavericks