As a young child I always struggled in school. I could never understand what was going on in class. My parents were war torn survivors that barely survived world war 2 and they finally made it to Australia. They loved me so much but didn’t have the greatest parental skills in the world. As far as they were concerned if you had a Television Set, a roof over your head with food to eat and the Nazis weren’t coming to get you, that was paradise. So we always had this survival mentality. Life was very limited and there was never enough.
Bowling balls and seeing stars at the same time
I was 6 years old. when were at an assembly line up. I didn’t even know what an assembly was at that point in my life while I was innocently speaking to my friend Michael. Mrs Lynch (her name says it all), went and took our two heads together and slammed them into each other. Oh my gosh, looking back it felt like she must have treated our heads like bowling balls. I just remember experiencing excruciating pain at the time and bawling my eyes out because of it and feeling so dizzy that I thought I was going to faint from the pain. There was course no explanation, no warning, just action. I know action speaks louder than words but what a way to be taught that you can’t speak at a line up. I was in a state of confusion besides the unbearable pain while seeing ‘stars’ and getting really dizzy.
We were in class at the time and I used to see all these toys the kids would bring for show and tell time in the classroom and I really wanted them so I just happened to take a bunch of them home and hide them under my cupboard. My housekeeper got wind of this and eventually took them back to school and told the teacher what I had done. In front of the whole class the teacher called out, “guess who took all those toys that went missing?” And I just started to cringe and bend my head down in shameful tears as the teacher started to point her finger at me and then the students followed suit and also pointed at me for public shame. It was the most humiliating event in my life. I was only 6 and to experience such public humiliation at the time coupled with the fact that I was learning nothing in the classroom certainly lay down the seeds of low self worth and low self esteem for the future. But it was only the beginning. My father was so horrified by what I told him that he immediately took me out of the school and sent me to another on in the hope that things would get better. Unfortunately they did not get better.
I then joined Grade 1 in the middle of the year when joining this particular school and I just couldn’t fit in the classroom. My mind couldn’t fathom it I was totally lost. And at the end of the year the teacher said something that was going to influence me for the rest of my life. He used to write on the board, ‘Good’ and ‘Bad.’ He had two lists and yours truly was of course on ‘bad’ each day. But that wasn’t the final nail in the coffin. It came at the end of the year when he announced that I and another boy were both on the ‘bad’ list. I would fail the year and stay down and he would go up. I’m not sure why the other kid went up since we were both on ‘bad’ but one thing I do know is that ironically, I interpreted the word ‘bad’ completely differently from what it usually means. I didn’t believe I was bad, I believed I was dumb and stupid and hopeless. When you change the meaning and interpretation, everything changes and in this case my whole internal well being was not well, it was destroyed in one sentence and one interpretation.
That’s the way I lived my life for another 11 years in that school and beyond for another 40 years. Each year I went up in school, I knew I was just going up because they felt sorry for me and couldn’t keep me down again. Who knows, maybe they didn’t even feel sorry for me, but I knew I felt totally useless and worthless inside.
So I grew up being the dunce of the class and the only way I could contribute to the class was by acting out in order to get some sort of attention albeit negative attention which was not good for anyone.
Outlets – and Near Death experience
Most people in life who don’t succeed usually have negative outlets. I was no different. For some people its sex, others, its alcohol or drugs but for me it was none of those. It was cars. I think I should have been a race car driver in another life. But that is what I did to ‘let off steam’ since I felt like such a failure. The only way I could feel good inside and escape the misery, was driving very fast and very dangerously. I still remember it where I drove through an intersection here in Australia. Like most places you’re supposed to slow down and give way if there is a car crossing the road. I once made a dangerous decision that I’m going to go full speed ahead and I don’t care if I die! The full speed was not at the speed limit of course. I was driving through at 65 miles an hour down a narrow street! That was wild thrilling and really stupid! But that is all I could do to get me to feel good on the inside and escape my pain on the outside. I survived but what for? Life was totally meaningless. Today, however, I certainly do know with the work I currently do, that it was obviously for a higher reason beyond what I could fathom at the time.
Somehow I barely survived my crazy driving stunts which occurred throughout my youth and I eventually got married but still wasn’t happy inside because of my feeling of lack of self worth. I worked in computers and sales but never really enjoyed them. I eventually went into Jewish education where I taught Jewish studies in elementary and eventually High School as well. After 9 years of doing that, I was very successful and was pulled out of regular teaching duties to work in the Special Ed department where I developed programs for kids who struggle in their Jewish studies.
I worked hard to develop these great programs for kids and I have been running these programs for the past 11 years with great success. I saw a whole gamut of kids from the really academically brilliant to the really academically weak and I learned a lot and especially on how the mind works and what it takes to make someone successful at anything and what it takes to fail. Little secret here: you can be blessed with a greatest of intellectual brilliance but that is not what ultimately sets apart the low achievers from the high achievers. You can have the most loving parents in the world like I did, but that doesn’t cut it either. It can definitely help but it won’t necessarily give you the cutting edge of life.
The Key – Psychological grounding/Mindset
The real difference is all to do with your physiological grounding or mindset. I have had all types of kids and adults come to me for coaching over the years. The hallmark of success is the willingness to resiliently get up and try again when you make a mistake. That’s all it is but so many people who fail just find it hard to get up with enthusiasm and try and try again. But you’ll notice that the ones that do get up with that positive resilience streak in them are the ones that become super success stories.
The insight – Teacher becomes student and the student becomes the teacher
The biggest insight came from this one boy I was working with who just never gave up. Benji was no academic genius but his attitude was the archetypal, quintessential example of a real “go getter” and success story. To this day I never saw anyone like this in my life and he was only 10 years old! I’m in awe of this little teacher of mine. No matter how many times he got it wrong we just went over the same exercise till he got it right. He would almost give these soliloquies when he would ‘fail.’ He was so pure and positive on the inside, his self talk was just so powerful to watch! He would always speak to himself out aloud that he’s getting there and encourage himself till he did get it right. He was a real fighter that would always get up again and again. “Success is the ability move from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill. And that is what Benji is all about. He just kept on going like this unstoppable train. And when he grows up he'll be able to do what ever he wants because of his winning attitude.
Today, unsurprisingly, he’s doing brilliantly in his studies because of his never ending enthusiasm to just try again. As a result of this I found myself very often coaching kids with their mind set and eventually parents and adults as well. After this I also realized that its an inside job and I heavily invested in coaching for myself to release my own subconscious blocks and rewire my thinking for success. When you invest in resetting your own mindset, ‘sky high’ success is truly the only limit we have as human beings. Sure, I’ve got ups and downs like everyone. But now I have learned and teach the skill on how to turn life around, firstly from the inside and then make it manifest on the outside. It’s truly miraculous.
Timeless wisdom from my Mum -You can learn to like what you may not love
The beauty of all this is that you can learn to undo your old set of beliefs and install new ones. When I didn’t like the food my mother made for me, she would tell me something that I never understood till many decades later and then I applied it to my own life. Her words were, “you’ll learn to like it.” I didn’t see the wisdom in this at the time because she just wanted me to eat her food, but after everything I’ve studied as a hypnotherapist and life coach, I now understand that there is a lot of truth to this.
I didn’t originally like to exercise or have cold showers, but I eventually got to liking them and appreciating them on some level. And this is what I focus on while doing it to make it more bearable. Sure it can be hard If I tell myself, “I hate this, I hate this,” while doing it. Well guess what? I’ll hate it. But when I changed my words, my thoughts and focus around the exercise and cold shower, I changed this to something not only bearable but even enjoyable when I re-wired my thinking. And if you have a brain, no matter how hopeless things may look for you, I’m telling you it’s possible to turn around. If the dunce of the class could do this, then anyone can.
Timeless wisdom from my Dad – Never give up
I was too young and stupid to understand what he was on about but for some reason his aphorism never left me. I was always struggling with my studies. My parents invested in tutors who just ripped them off and taught me nothing. I really did want to do well as a kid growing up but my parents, bless them just didn’t know how at the time. My Dad came home once from my school and he told me that the teachers told him that he needs to instill confidence in me. I just retorted immediately I said, “Dad, don’t tell me about what you have to do just give me the confidence I need!” My Dad tried to encourage me by telling me that I should never give up. He said that going through the Nazi concentration camps was a mental game. He was a very smart with a technical orientation to life and managed to get a job supervising the building of the German aircraft wings during the war. Because he did such a good job, they would throw a rotten tomato on the floor as a bonus for the work he did and he ran like crazy to pick it up to eat because of nearly dying from starvation. He said to me that there was death all over the camps happening at the time. He also said that “if you would think death you would become death.” That really hit home with me although it didn’t change anything for me at the time.
However, many years later, as I began to study how the mind works, I began to understand the profundity of his words. We live our lives based on how we perceive and think about ourselves and the world. And we can make a shift in our lives when we make the shift in our perceptions based on what we think.
I have made this shift with my relationships and even with my eating habits. Are my relationships and eating habits always perfect? No. I’m always a work in progress. We all have fights at times, sometimes I eat foods that aren’t the healthiest. That’s normal but its how you have the fights and how centered you become during those fights that gives you the resilience to bounce back to stay on track in that relationship. The same applies to food and anything else. We are in a relationship with everything from people to the food we eat and even the furniture we sit on. But the key to success is in the ‘color’ of the lens you view the world through and your ability to change the way you look at things. “When you change the way you look at things, the things you are looking at change.” – Wayne Dyer and it’s also called the observer effect. It’s certainly not always the case that the things will change on the outside just by looking at them, but at least your experience of those things can indeed change.
If the ‘lens’ you operate from is full of scratches you can learn to change them to ‘clearer’ ones which allows you to have your own insights, a sight from within, on where to go next in your own journey, to a happier life in your relationships with the ones that are most dear to you. When someone believes in you way beyond you, guess what eventually happens to you? You finally start to see the light at the end of your own tunnel and start to believe in you too. That’s what my coach did for me and that’s what I can now do for you too. I only got to where I am today because I invested in me. Here’s the thing: Your biggest investment is not in gold or land, it’s in you…
My marriage to Shainy, my wife, has always been the most sacred thing to me since I met her 30 plus years ago. Sure, like all couples we too have had our ups and downs. We’ve made mistakes along the way. But they’re only mistakes if you’re not willing to swallow your ego enough to learn the important lessons from them. Then they go from being ‘mistakes’ to powerful life lessons with ‘course corrections’ you make in your relationships along the way. Just like I have been coached in my relationships along the way, I invite you to join me and learn from someone that has been in the relationships trenches for a long time where I have built up a great relationship with my wife and 5 beautiful kids and their families too. And if you have read so far, it shows that you are interested in doing the same for yourself too. And as hopeless as things may look, just like I’ve turned my life around, you can do the same thing too.
When the student is ready the next level appears
Coaching is about reinventing yourself every moment. I believe that we are constantly evolving and reinventing ourselves and I love the quote “when the student is ready the teacher appears.” And what I have learned from being a coach is that when the student is ready the next level appears. That has certainly been the case for myself and the many clients I have worked with over the years. Would you like to turbo charge your own relationships from dull, boring and painful, to meaningful, exciting and lasting? Would you like to learn more on re-wiring your thinking to have greater resilience and remove your self sabotaging blocks?
Then click on the button below to book in for a free session with me to strategize on how to:
- Create a crystal clear Vision of how your ideal relationship would look like for you
- Uncover hidden Challenges that are eluding you from the meaningful relationships you seek
- Optimise your environment to make you more ripe and open to having those long lasting relationships
- Upgrade your communication skills for better relationships
- Create a new mindset that will allow you to have more meaningful relationships without the headaches and arguments.