Battling Through the Struggles of Life to Find Success Again.
I have overcome struggles that many people go through and I am grateful for these struggles as they have made me stronger. There are times I absolutely hated going through them, but the words someone once told me is “this too shall pass” helped me get through. Fear has been my biggest struggle, I have been through my parents divorce, my dad low opinion of me, his death, my mothers attempted suicide, depression, business failures and the longest prison sentence, the prison of the mind.
I want you to know who I really am. Every “about page” I see talks about how great the person is and what they have accomplished in business. I am an ordinary man trying to get through each day. It all comes down to the choices I have made. I have been able to make better choices in the last couple of years and I can see from the results I am getting are moving me to living my best life of abundance.
I was born in 1961 at 7 pounds in the Queen Victoria hospital in Johannesburg. (Yes that is me in the middle) My first few years of my life was full of friends, cousins and animals, plenty of animals, dogs cats birds and a goat. (We did not live on a farm).
My dad had a furniture store and my mother was a stay at home mom. We lived in a small town called Heidelberg, 45 minutes outside Johannesburg, till I was 4 or 5 years old. We then moved to Parktown in Johannesburg, a km from where I was born.
While living there I watched a hospital being built (the Park Lane Clinic) where all my 3 boys would be born some 25 years later, only 500 meters from our house.
Unfortunately once we moved my parents marriage started to deteriorate and I don’t have fond memories of that time. It finally came to a head in 1970 when they divorced. This came after a happy trip, in 1969/70 to, London, Switzerland, Florence and Rome and finally Israel.
I remember as if it was yesterday, I was in my mother’s room and she told me that they were getting divorced, quite a shock for any kid.
Looking back , this is were I first felt anxiety (fear) that has plagued my life ever since.
My dad was a good businessman but he gambled his money away. He also did not think much of me , in his eyes I was soft, he also was frightened I was gay- a terrible thought for him, especially in those days (Why my mom told me this is beyond belief!) He turned out to be wrong, but I struggled with this for many years and felt very inadequate. He had grown up a real tough boy, his dad was very strict and I don’t think he showed much love to my dad either.
I remember a specific day at a school sports day. I was running a sprint race and was leading and I looked around to see if anyone was catching me, and I was caught. Instead of praising me for coming second he said I should not have turned around otherwise I WOULD HAVE won. I was very upset and haven’t forgotten this till today.
He remarried after the divorce to my step-mom, Pauline , she had three daughters. My dad certainly treated them better than me , that enhanced my feeling if inadequacy.
One year he took them on holiday, leaving me behind , again hammering my feeling of not being wanted and self worth.
I used to stay with him on weekends, which I enjoyed, but one weekend he dropped me off at my mother. I remember very well watching him getting in the car, and he was looking very pale…
I knew something was wrong. This was the Sunday afternoon. On the following Wednesday I spoke to him on the phone, which I don’t remember ever doing before. The next day I was having supper with my mom when she told me that my dad had had a heart attack on Monday, but he was fine and recovering. This was about 6:40 pm when she told me and that we are going to phone him after supper. At about 7:15 pm my mother phoned the hospital and asked to be put through to his room, about 15 minutes later a man came on the phone and told her he had died around 6:25 pm, he was 41 (1973). He had suffered his second massive heart attack.
Later we found out he had got out of bed and left the hospital on Wednesday to go to the races, so bad was his addiction for gambling then. I was upset, but because of our relationship, it did not hit me hard till 16 years later and I cried like a baby for that one night.
My mother was born in Springs and was a very bright and hard working woman. She scored top grades at school. She was a caring person with her own inadequacies and she suffered from depression most of her life.
Soon after my dad remarried, my mom went to live in London for 8 months and I missed her very much. During this time I lived with my dad and Pauline as well as my grandparents. I don’t think I forgave her for leaving me so long.
The main tape in my head, I remember from her “you are a slow starter but you will catch up”
After the death of my father my world did change, I lost my dad and my step sisters (my instant family). My mother found it difficult to bring me up on her own and although I was not the worst child in the world, we struggled with our relationship that has continued till this day.
My Grand Parents
Both my grand parents were positive influences in my life. My grandmother, Phyllis, was the closest person I ever had in my life and I lost her suddenly in December 1991. I was devastated , I had lost my biggest fan.
My grandfather, Pop, as we called him affectionately, was a medical doctor who practiced for over 50 years in Springs. He was a true inspiration to me and was loved by his family and community he served for so many years.
I loved spending time with them and was always very excited to go and stay with them, so much so I l did my Pharmacy internship in Springs and stayed with them for that year. I felt that they loved me unconditionally.
My life changed again when we moved to Cape Town in 1976 and I went to Sea Point Boys High which stands in the shadow of the famous Table Mountain and I finished my matric there in 1979.
I loved the life, the beach, playing soccer on the beach front, made a lot of life long friends. Those years were the very best years in my life. I played soccer for school 1st team and was house captain. We lived on the beach front and could watch the sunset every evening. After matric I went to the world famous University of Cape Town to study Pharmacy. It was a time full of hopes and dreams, a time where I believed anything was possible.
We attended the medical school where many famous doctors had studied, the most famous of all was Chris Barnard who performed the first open heart transplant in the world.
I really enjoyed the studying and learning, being with my friends, playing soccer on the weekends. I managed a team and we won the cup final and missed out on being the champions of our league by 15 minutes. The ref of the other game allowed 15 minutes extra time in which the eventual champions scored the winning goal to give them all the points. So you can see I was quite a accomplished sportsman and I dreamed of playing in England as a goal keeper for Liverpool. But I did not really believe that I could do it!
During this time I taught myself to play goal-keeper and had an insatiable need for general knowledge and read the encyclopedias and history books. I did not focus on one thing and this lack of focus was to plague me all my life.
I was a jack of all trades, master of non. I also lived life unconsciously without any real direction. I always thought I would be rich and life would be happy.
After I qualified as a pharmacist (I had failed some subjects in my first year) as I struggled with chemistry. By my final year I was scoring top marks in chemistry. (I had focused on passing it as I was told it was very hard by older students).
The night my mother attempted suicide
As mentioned before my mom was depressed for many years while I grew up. She was obsessively in love with a man, who was married to a cousin of my moms. They where divorced, and one night my mother looked out of the window of our 5 story flat and saw them together, she absolutely lost it and ran to the balcony and I had to physically restrain her from jumping out the window of our beach front flat. I managed to stop her and I collapsed on the floor crying uncontrollably . This brought her back to her senses but our relationship as mother and son was never the same again. I wanted to leave her and go, which I did returning to Johannesburg in 1986. To say the least this was the most devastating thing I had to live with up to that time. I returned a few times but over the years I saw less of her and to this day I cannot bring myself to speak to her more than once or twice a year.
Moving back to Johannesburg
After qualifying as a pharmacist I needed to do an internship for one year and moved to Springs to complete the year.
I left my mother in Cape Town (I felt guilty for leaving her behind but I had looked after her, been her support and could not take the emotional stress anymore).
I had intended to go back to live there once my internship was complete. I left behind many friends including my best friend Leon. However my cousin gave me a girls number in June 1986 but I didn’t phone her till I started dating again that December (I wanted a break from relationships) she was the second date I went on, and she became my wife just over a year later.
I was called up to the army as a medic for 2 years, 3 months basics and the rest around an about Johannesburg. I even spent 3 months in Heidelberg. I really struggled in basics letting my fear of not being able to do what was expected overwhelm me. Thinking back to that time I managed easily enough and wasted a lot of energy on my fears. It did affect me as this has been my pattern over my life.
During the last year of my army days Cindy and I were married and we started our lives together staying at her parents for the first few months.
After the army I bought a pharmacy in Hillbrow in 1989, apartheid was breaking down by then and Hillbrow was the center of change and unfortunately the clientele that had supported the pharmacy for 60 years dried up and we had to close two years later. I was ignorant and unprepared for running a business and my feelings of inadequacy played a big role in that.
My Wife My sole mate
Cindy is a mother and grade 2 teacher, who is stunning in her looks and personality. She is a strong woman who has stuck with me through thick and thin. Her greatest quality is being a mother and it is thanks to her that our boys are so successful. She is amazing and if it was not for her my life would be worse off. I decided that she has suffered through our married life and it was time to change the course of our life by making better choices.
My Children, my treasures
My eldest son, Jess was born in Feb 1992 at the Park Lane Clinic and he is now a doctor. In 1994 and 1999 we had our second, Stefan and third son, Devin, born at the same hospital I had watched being built all those years ago.
Stefan is a great professional gamer and Devin is studying to be a journalist .
They teach me something everyday and inspire me to live a better life.
In July of 2012 , I suffered a mild heart attack but was saved by my cardiologist, Dr Gavin Angel, who turned out to be my angel. I wish I could say this frightened me into changing my life. but unfortunately, it did not have the magical effect it should have.
Self-sabotage is a behavior that creates problems and interferes with your long term goals. The most common behaviors are procrastination, comfort eating and often gets people into trouble trying to escape intense negative feelings.
So ignoring a problem due to procrastination creates larger problems, so the situation can get out of hand and you still need to deal with the original problem and the new one you have created.
Prison of the mind
During this time I moved from job to job living unconsciously thinking this is all there was. Over time we got deeper into debt. Every year our standard of living went down, and I became more and more a slave to debt. Debt is like a long prison sentence, it steals time from your family, it steals opportunities to invest your money in investments that will grow your money and let it work for you (financial freedom), instead you working for you, it steals your ability to live the life you want, your best lif of abundance.
So why does FREEDOM START IN THE MIND
I am sure you have heard about the child who was watching his mom cooking supper for the family. There was a lot of laughter as his older sister helped mom cook, talking about the days events at school. They both didn’t notice the young boy moving towards the stove. The next moment the child let out a blood curling scream and the mother and sister both turned to see him holding his hand crying uncontrollably. When the mother looked at his hand it was badly blistered and she realized that he had touched one of the hot plates and burnt himself. The child healed quickly as children do, but he never touched a hot plate again.
You can learn two things from this story, a fundamental mechanism of the brain and how ignorance caused him to suffer a serious consequence of his choice.
A Fundamental mechanism of the brain, is the concept of STIMULUS AND RESPONSE. Animals when attacked [STIMULUS] by a lion immediately start to run [RESPONSE]. Something happened between the stimulus and the response in the brain, its called CHOICE. Of course the child was ignorant of the consequences of touching the hot plate and could not make the right choice. After the accident happened his brain stored the memory and the next time he saw a hot plate he chose not to touch it.
This is how the brain works on a fundamental level, it stores memories , good or bad that cause certain behaviors, habits and ultimately our choices.
My life Changes
My life changed when I realized that fear and doubt had built up in my mind over many years, due to negative happenings in my life and resulted in my self-sabotaging behaviors and HABITS.
Self-sabotage is an old set of behaviors and habits that have built up in your life, so changing them can be like changing the direction of a giant container ship, it takes an enormous amount of effort, but once you start it gets easier as the momentum builds up. This can be and is more than often a very overwhelming experience.
So how did I start, two main influencing moments were when I read a North American Indian story of Changing The Course of a River and The Compound Effect [a book by Darren Hardy]
Let me tell you about the story of changing the course of a river, one hot day in North America, two Indian children about 10 years old where walking next to a river. They splashed in and out of the river squealing and really enjoying themselves. They were good friends and had just attended a lesson given by the Chief who spoke about the strength of the Indian people, and the great warriors that had always protected the tribe.
As they neared a great tree they saw an old Indian sitting under it, smoking his pipe. They ignored him and the conversation turned to the lesson and the warriors. Both the boys had fathers that where warriors and as often happens, an argument started about how strong their father was ” My father killed 10 buffalo in one day the one said , the other said “his father had killed 20” The argument became quite heated, with each becoming more exaggerated.
They were suddenly interrupted by a grunt from the old man, they looked at him and he stared back at them for a while. He called them over to him and they slowly moved towards him. After a long pause he started telling them how he believed that their fathers were great warrior and very strong.
What he said next made the boys snigger and eventually burst out laughing.
He ignored them and slowly lifted himself and walked towards the river. He bent over and lifted two stones and threw them in the river, he than pulled up some of the grass and put them aside. He watched as the water from the river moved into the path he had created.
He then turned around without looking at the boys and walked back towards the tribe. The boys looked open mouthed at the back of the old Indian now with admiration.
What the old Indian told them, while opening his hands wide, was how he could change the course of this mighty river , as he looked across the great expanse of one the widest rivers in the land. The boys could not believe that this old man was strong enough to do this.
This story illiterates that you can change the course of your life with one small step. Taking the first step is crucial and that will lead to reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy shows how these series of small, smart choices will change your life.
My strategy I follow is a three part strategy:
#1 Changing my sub-conscience mind by changing the thoughts with conscience effort, mainly studying the Law Of Attraction. The law of attraction is the best way I know how to change the beliefs and habits that will lead to my goal of Living My Best Life of Abundance.
#2 By looking for opportunities that would help me achieve financial freedom and abundance. I have over the last few years looked at many ways to make money online, but my failures in this regard have taught me what to look for and I have found the best way for me and that is Protection Through Gold and Karatbars.
#3 By enjoying were I am at this time, being grateful for what I have and keep being present in the moment. Being acutely aware of the Compound Effect all the time and doing things that take me closer to my goals.
If you would like to get tips, guides and more in depth information on my:
“3 Strategies for Living Your Best Life of Abundance”
Please Get Started Now below and receive my weekly newsletter:
The Fundamentals Guy Weekly Times