I like to be helpful, so here I share my three biggest challenges I faced on the journey to a childhood dream and becoming one with the vision of my youth. One of my childhood heroes was Bruce Lee and he said’ always be yourself, honestly express yourself, have faith in yourself. And I’m certain you too can become who you’ve always wanted to be.
Who are you? Where are you? What are you here to give? Are you living into your grandest vision?
The journey begun when I was a 15-year-old schoolboy who regularly received sports star of the month’s awards at my local Yass high school. I had realised what I liked to do and where I was fitting into the world with my character strengths, and above all “How best I could be used”. I imagined into the future what it would be like to one day return to my local high school and train the students. That meant I had to embark on the hero’s journey by training the mind, body, heart and soul to become a person who runs a school initiative of integrity, resourcefulness, self-discipline and the win-win way of life.
What would David Barrie like to be known for? to encourage children to be who you really are and strive for what you’re capable of? Therefore, we must never stop learning, growing and improving. Adversity shapes us more than anything else, so what are the values you’re willing to struggle for?
Will you endure? I was venturing from my hometown Yass and began schooling in Canberra to pursue ambitions. Within a few weeks I was given captaincy of my new college football team. But after about 3 months almost the entire peer group had begun a habit of turning on me daily. This was because I calmly called them out on the social injustice towards other school members. This led to my own peer group surrounding me multiple times a day; hitting, spitting, throwing my food away or stripping me down to my underwear in a pack mentality. This occurred for 18months of my college school life daily. At no stage did I ever demonstrate physical or verbal violence towards them, and I didn’t need to as I had the mental character strengths to handle the situations.
The mental character strengths I used were; altruism, sublimation, forgiveness, and de-reflection with contribution. Therefore, people can bully and attack and harass you all they like and you can become morally stronger. Do you understand the fundamentals why people bully? Bullying is about judgment and the emotional need of significance. Violence is one of the quickest ways to gain significance and control if you don’t have it?
Another childhood hero of mine was Mahatma Gandhi and I had already seen his non-violence in leadership and the power of transformational leadership in action. Outstanding individuals are courteous to all people. They even turn perceived enemies into spiritual friends. Because the true character strength of a great leader is shown in difficult times when dealing with others, they never lower their standards for self-respect, bravery, humility, humanity and care. How will you earn self-respect?
It makes me very happy to let you know that I have always still been friends with my college peer group and although we live completely different lives, if I see them I still have great conversations and I ask how their families and children are doing. How would I like to live?
I went to an all-day music festival and then into the city for the night. I was happily adventuring but on my way home to where I was staying. I met 2 girls who I’m assuming pretended to be my friends and lead me down the wrong street. I was already heavily intoxicated and then was attacked and picked up from the ground and had a pill put in my mouth by a guy. Obviously, that wasn’t helpful for me. Because I was carried somewhere and had sex with. Some people would call it rape and robbery as they also stole all my possessions. Someone must have called an ambulance. Had I spent the night out on the street it’s very possible I could have died. Thank you!
The 3 months after the incident was very difficult PTSD as I had so much adrenalin and cortisol running through my body that I was unable to go to sleep at night for the best part of 3 months. If I did sleep it was probably an hour, but I was alert. I also immediately gave up alcohol for 12 months and made sure I went to locations to program myself for the exposure that it was a freak incident. After trialling all kinds of medication and sleeping pills excessively I noticed I was becoming more addicted and that wasn’t the path for my identity and in a single decision with a powerful vision of my future I threw all the medication in the bin and that’s the difference in how peoples lives work out, it’s the decision in our moment of crisis. The thing that also stopped me from driving my car off the road and kill myself was the contributions I hadn’t yet made, Australian champion in sport, building a beautiful family, the childhood school vision. Suffering occurs when we obsess about ourselves?
What other people choose to believe and do has nothing to do with me, it’s not personal it’s about them so learn to not take things personally and separate your ego from the equation of life. Can you train yourself to not be offended by anyone, anything or any set of circumstances?
Most people in society would say that they know they need to be responsible for their life and actions. But rarely will you meet someone who admits they’re still responsible for their feelings and experiences in all of life’s situations. For most people their amygdala which is an emotional part of the brain is untrained and over-reactive so whilst they might have experienced a difficult event in their life, they still don’t realise they’re the person whose created their life experience and outcome. The highest value of all is to choose your attitude in situations you cannot control, because how you see the situation will affect how you feel and what you do is your behaviour. We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we’re being. Rising above blame will allow you to enter a growth-mindset paradigm to how you see the world. Victimhood or leadership? It’s a choice and you don’t get to do both.
Therefore, you can completely and radically change the structures and functions of your brain to respond beyond societal mythologies. How? By doing the work on your cognition, and perception. Therefore, you can build new neural connections and develop world-class habits so your mental response is different and then you would have a different mental: emotional reaction?
For example: most people have heard of post-traumatic stress, but have you heard of post-traumatic growth? Adversity can be anything? It’s up to the individual. I strongly encourage you to train yourself by doing activities of hardship daily and reframing that stress and trauma are good for you and it’s for your growth. Stress is a thought; it’s the vocabulary of the brain and feelings are the vocabulary of the body. Therefore, how you think, act and feel will create your state of being. Can I adapt and improve my personality? You must raise your standards. Period.
Heartbreak to heroism
What’s the difference between faith and fear? And our life expands or shrinks in proportion to our courage. I knew that it was still a very difficult journey ahead and I wanted Jess to be there. We last met over coffee and I finally told Jess my past circumstances, and that I’m highly functional and my goals of doing master-level work projects for the upliftment of humanity. Jess said to me that I was so hungry, and she felt she couldn’t satisfy me. Jess said it was up to me if we keep seeing each other. Unfortunately, I believed that I had to complete the grand plan by myself as she had been crying a lot and was clearly fearful towards the adventure. I hadn’t been receiving any support at all from her. And I didn’t know how long it was going to take me to transition, restructure my life and complete the school day. So, I let her life flow and backed myself with active faith to bring everything full circle into the future.
Why? Integrity, Authenticity, Humility, and Love for Jess to have a better future, my family, community and humanity. How we view things determines how we do things? And courage is the character strength to do the “right thing” even when it’s very hard. Therefore, “Integrity in the moment of choice.” meant I was off to complete my Hero’s Journey.
I now understand the decision I made in our relationship to leave Jess behind was my fault as I did lack the skills to patiently communicate the leadership vision, where she fit into the plan and why she is important. And of course, her weaknesses of not being proactive and a supportive role from her would have been helpful.
“Growth means change”
Our relationships are co-created, but you’ll hear and see a lot of people in society blame another or say they personally cannot change their brain and circumstances it’s because they’re unwilling to put themselves into voluntary discomfort and now science confirms the process is called neurogenesis where we create new neuroplasticity, psychology and emotionality circuits in our personal expansion. Of course, this requires people to face their deepest fears and true weaknesses to create new habits from applying uncommon courage, compassion, self-control and spiritual strength of character to transform and transcend.
Over the next 12 months I had finally represented Australia in sport, moved into my home with my brothers and began the construction of the school initiative. I sent her six messages in 12 months to see how she was doing and where I was and if she was doing the activities she wanted to evolve as a person. She clearly still felt rejected, resentment, angry and upset towards me as she sent the police to my house for harassment and to meet at courthouse for mediation.
I sat down with the court mediator stating that my leadership style is highly visionary and highly practical as I openly explained myself specifically within 1 minute. The mediator looked at me strangely with a big list of accusations and one for sexual violence against me. Everyone in the room knew I was up against it and just encouraged me to sign the document even when they could see I could prove most of her statements were completely inaccurate or exaggerated pessimistic explanations. I see myself and have a personal rule of non-violence. I think she told some white lies to protect a new relationship. Jess had also previously told me she had a friend who took out police action on a guy for other reasons before. Truthfully, I’m not even embarrassed about the situation. I was happy to be marshalled to the courthouse because ultimately, I didn’t want Jess to settle for less than she’s capable of and for a lower quality of life. Because so many people in our society do give into their fears, environment and expectations of their peer group. We must learn the skills to go beyond the conditioned mind. Why be alive if you’re not going to be totally alive? I sent her a message as she refused to come in the mediation room and deal with reality, honestly and openly.
Text message: WOW, I always wanted your support. But I didn’t know how to ask for it. For that I’m sorry #Love #Compassion #Forgiveness…and as promised I will win for you #EVERYBODY WINS.
Legally I didn’t have to sign the document at all. But I chose to continue with her current wishes and the mission: vision in my heart and allow the events to unfold naturally. Signing the document meant that I would uphold a period of 24months with no contact. Coincidently, about 6 months into the negotiation she ended up walking in my direction, I seen her coming, I completely stopped on the spot and faced the other direction and allowed her to pass gracefully.
I think most people are good. They’re just trying to meet their needs in the best way they know how. Our beliefs create our stories and that doesn’t mean it’s true so what I came to realise was that all learning meets us where we’re at with our consciousness and knowledge and if people knew and could do better, they would have. Often when people are left to fill in the blanks, they do it negatively. Our most important address isn’t our residential address its our emotional home and it doesn’t really matter what’s occurring in the environments around people, they will find a way to their emotional home. Will you do the emotionality work on any disappointment, resentments, hurt or past trauma to purify your heart and elevate your soul?
We must learn to trust the masculine ability to act clearly despite chaotic emotions, and to trust the feminine in the intuition of love so we evolve together and create the polarity for a total loving and passionate relationship. Will I trade my doubts, fears and insecurities for faith, hope and strength?
There’s POWER in forgiveness!! If an individual cannot forgive self and others, they can forget about achieving their best in life? I had truly become one with the vision of my youth. A total-loving human being, unconditionally loving, freely forgiving and a man of genuine forgiveness ascending to a rare-air apex of personal-mastery. The Buddhists call it nirvana. As a child I challenged myself to have the interior life and foundational skills of my childhood heroes; Bruce Lee, Rocky Balboa, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. Mandela strove for inclusion, education and legendary forgiveness.
The “Everybody Wins” concept is an ideal for health, happiness and harmony.
A true hero must have heroic courage. Because without the bravery training and deep conviction, you won’t be able to complete the hero’s journey when the going gets tough. And conviction comes from conscience. How will you demonstrate valour, chivalry, honesty and compassion? What kind of character will you be known for? How can you show heroism?
Honour your commitments.
To Jessica. I love you, I’m sorry, I forgive us, I thank you!!
For personal mastery;
1. Faith or fear? How will you live?
2. Who needs me at my best? Can I Identify myself as a hero so I can act like one?
3. What’s the heroes journey I need to take? Why?
Because we become what we believe,