Podcast 24 John McGrath: motivational coach, speaker, trainer and martial artist

Podcast 24 John McGrath - the spirit of motivation

At the age of 14 he started with gymnastics, strength training, racing and rowing. Rowing has become his favorite sport and brought him to the most diverse places in the world. At the age of 24, he got a lower back injury. That was the end of his rowing career. With the flexibility and mobility of the martial arts he tried to rehabilitate. But it was not possible for him to get back to rowing. So, he stayed with the martial arts. Through this he came to many places around the world where he trained different martial arts, as for example Kombatan, Hapkido and Aikido.

For him, it is important that you learn things - such as the martial arts - from the people who have created them themselves, or know much about the origin of it. He has implemented this into practice. On his way he met many celebrities, who taught him a lot. Those were, for example, Grandmaster of Ernesto Presas (Kombatan), Grandmaster JI Han Jae - who was also the trainer of Bruce Lee, Slim the Hammer Man and Dennis Rodgers.

Today he is telling me more about his principles and how he masters his life journey with a lot of discipline and practice.

  • This is Hamburg Kettlebell Club Podcast, as you hear we are mumbling in English, so this will be in English. Hopefully we'll get it all transcribed in English and translated into German so that you're not required to pick up your dictionary and look up the words you do not understand. Today I'm really honored to have John McGrath as an interview partner. He's a motivational coach, speaker, trainer. He's a renowned martial artist. He just bended, it's unbelievable, 6 IronMind rednails in under one minute. There's a lot of mist, John. So may you fill up the German audience who is most probably not familiar if there's something else that should be mentioned. #00:01:11-0#
  • Okay. Good morning, Frank and thanks very much for having me on your podcast and you're very welcome to South Africa. #00:01:21-0#
  • I feel welcome. #00:01:22-8#
  • Yeah. It's a phenomenal place as you can see. And I've enjoyed you being here for the last few days and we're having a great time in the Brothers of Strength. So thank you for that. So, yeah, I'm Irish by birth. I spent my first 40 years in Ireland and since a young boy I knew that strength was going to be my ticket to the world. Somehow I knew that. It's impossible to say how or why or whatever, but I just had that feeling inside me. And so with that I began to train, very rudimentary types of training, but nonetheless began weight training at age 14 / 15 with normal calisthenics, weight training, running, got into rowing. And from there rowing became my thing, because obviously to be a rower one needs to be very strong. As well as total strength, you need a massive amount of strength endurance. And that stayed with me to this day. A lot of that strength endurance is still there. You spoke about the 6-inch nails. It's not only the strength, but it's the power to endure, the power to go on is fundamental. I injured my lower back when I was 24 years old in rowing. So rowing took me all over the world, all over Europe, to Cologne, Essen and Munich. #00:02:54-4#
  • Munich. #00:02:56-2#
  • Munich, I was there, I rowed there, competed there, obviously in Henley and Ghent, Mexico, anywhere, it took me everywhere. But I injured my lower back and that was the beginning of the end of my rowing career. I tried to rehabilitate it, using the flexibility and mobility from martial arts to rehabilitate it, but never could rehabilitate it to the extent that I could compete in rowing again. But it led me down a journey of martial arts and led me to - literally east and west. I ended up going east to the Philippines to study the art of Kombatan. I always like studying things with the founder or people who have a sense of what the original was. There's a saying in martial arts that if you spend your first year looking for the right instructor it's the best year in your martial arts journey. Because most people just start off anywhere where there is/ #00:04:06-0#
  • Could apply to strength too. #00:04:07-6#
  • Yes, it applies to everything. It's important to not trip and fall into. One has got to take time to study, to look at the road ahead and to see where this master has been and where he can take you as an individual and where you can lead others in also going forward. It can save you an awful lot of trouble later on in life. #00:04:33-1#
  • And injuries. #00:04:34-4#
  • Yeah. Injuries as well as that is, that if you're getting involved with somebody who is bickering and fighting and politically inclined the chances are that you'll also be stuck in that world going forward as well. So, I prefer to save myself that trouble whenever I can. So, I ended up going to the Philippines to study Kombatan with Grandmaster Ernesto Presas who is the founder of the art. Him and his brother founded it in the island of Hinigaran, and the Philippines is kind of - I believe - up to 7000 islands, so it's one of those islands. And that was quite a journey to go there and to experience - both the climate and the culture. It was fascinating and the art itself, the wonderful flowing art and open hand, sticks, knives, Espada y daga - sword and dagger. It's just everything that you could want in an art. I also ended up traveling to the United States to work with Grandmaster Ji Han-Jae. Grandmaster Ji Han-Jae was Bruce Lee's coach and he also starred in the movie Game of Death with Bruce Lee. So, I got my Black Belts in Hapkido from both of those gentlemen. I also fought for Ireland in kick-boxing and in karate. So, that was quite comprehensive. With the martial arts journey you cannot be involved in martial arts at any deep level without encountering the classical - the Kung Fu, the Shaolin, the Karate Kid also have the breaking - I mean that for me was fascinating. So I really enjoyed the breaking, bending things, I saw as well some of these guys were able to bend steel bars and I thought: Wow! That was incredible. And I started following that vein. I said, "Wow! That's interesting." And then the name of the Mighty Atom also came up somewhere and I started googling him and finding out about him and I ended up traveling to New York and I met these crazy old man. Some of them, Joe Rollino was 104 years old. He performed on-stage with Harry Houdini. Obviously the Mighty Atom died in the early 1970s. But I was able to meet his son as well, which was incredible to meet him and to talk to him. Also an incredible strong man in his own, right. #00:07:21-5#
  • Yes. #00:07:21-8#
  • I met Slim the Hammer Man who was also in that book, in the Mighty Atom book. And he became an iconic figure in my life, because we share similar levers, similar heights, similar body weights and in ways somewhat similar personalities and styles of how we go about things. So that was fascinating for me to encounter these guys and to see that the legacy that these guys left behind, coaches like Dennis Rodgers as well. I ended up training with him in Texas and made some amazing friends including my great friend Chris Rider, also a phenomenal coach. #00:08:07-2#
  • Yeah, he is my mentor. #00:08:09-3#
  • He is an outstanding man. And yeah, I became involved in that world of strength. I ended up doing the feats on my own. I ended up doing some of them what would be probably described as at a world class level. #00:08:28-5#
  • Definitely, yes. So, I saw the Hammer leverage which is pretty intense. #00:08:34-6#
  • So, I have a passion for performing it, I love the history of it. I mean guys like Alexander Zass and people like that and so when I perform I think you keep their memory alive as well. And so it's very rich, it's very textured and it's a throwback to a bygone era. And it's also needed in a world. I think we spoke - even before the interview - about how it's needed and how the world needs to see what is possible. Because people live in a very condensed and closed down space in their mind. Every three-, four-, five-year old child can sing and dance. By the time they are 14, very few can sing or dance. So what happens in the meantime? #00:09:25-7#
  • They learn to sit still. #00:09:27-8#
  • Yeah, they're taught to sit still. They are encouraged to sit still. I believe as well at that age, at a young age, that your mind is wide open, you interpret the world largely through the subconscious mind. And because of that the subconscious mind doesn't acknowledge these barriers. But the conscious mind starts to acknowledge them and starts to/ particularly parents or parents at schools say, “Don't do this!”; “Stop that!”; “I told you not to do that!” #00:09:59-1#
  • My God. I had this one time with my daughter. So, I was picking her up from school. And so, she was at the school yard, they had some big trees there. And she was, "Look, daddy", and she started climbing the tree, really, really high up in the air, I don't know 7 - 10 meters up. And I was just looking and she was really concentrating and guarding that she had a safe step and a good grip, then bring it up again. And then she was up there and then a teacher came and she freaked out. And so, Jana came down and, "No, this is not allowed to do." and everything. And then it was very hard for me, because I was so proud of her being able to climb and to concentrate on everything so intense and good. So I said, in front of the teacher, "You know, not all children can climb as good as you. They do not know it and so here this is not allowed. And we have to respect that." Then the teacher went on and was kind of like, "But it was so brilliantly how you climbed it. Great." #00:11:21-6#
  • That's precisely it. We live in a world where playgrounds at school are being taken down, because parents are going to sue if anything happens to their child. We live in an upside down world, Frank, with all of this. And so hence the need for people who can perform feats of strength that are astounding and that open people up the possibility. Because when I perform a feat of strength, I say to people, “This is just my gift. You also have a gift. Everybody is born with a gift.” #00:11:56-3#
  • Sure. #00:11:56-6#
  • And in our case we found the true strength and performing the feats of strength and associated feats around that. But everybody's got a gift. And so definitely when I perform I don't perform from an egotistical viewpoint, I just use the feats themselves as metaphors. The feats are metaphors for the possibility and for opening up the possibility within every individual. So, I view them as that myself. I view them as something that has to be shared with the world and to say, "You too, can do something amazing. You too are born with that inside you." And people say, "Oh! I'm not so sure. I'm not so sure." But I'm telling you everybody is born with the ability to do something incredible and everybody is born with a dream. #00:12:47-6#
  • This is what I liked about David Whitley, the Iron Tamer, he wrote a book: Superhuman You. And this is what I really liked. He basically had the same message and also that you should visualize what would be cool and then just chase it, go after it. #00:13:04-6#
  • Absolutely. #00:13:05-3#
  • So, if we limit our minds, our bodies will be far, far more limited than our mind. #00:13:13-1#
  • Spot on. Spot on. I mean the mind is the athlete, the body is just the tool it uses. The mind is the athlete. People must remember that, the body is really the tool. And so, if the mind is right, the body is never going to be too far behind. That's the way I look at it. So, yeah the world needs to be inspired now more so than ever perhaps. That's one of the things that we bring to the party, as well as having fun and as well as being entertaining, is that we bring that: Wow! And an inspiring thing into the consciousness of the world. To say that these things are possible and that you too can achieve something unbelievable. I always say this to people, “Everyone is born with a dream and everyone is born with a possibility and sometimes we dismiss the dream. But in reality you wouldn't have been given the dream unless you have the possibility of achieving it. If there is a consistent dream in your head, it's there for you. It's there for the taking. The question is: How can we get there?” Fear, I think, is the number one thing that holds us back. #00:14:28-1#
  • Is it the fear of not being able to achieve it? Or is it the fear of what others would say while you are trying to precede it? #00:14:39-9#
  • That's a good question. I think the fear of what other people will say, is significant in most people's lives. #00:14:47-5#
  • Is this getting greater with social media? #00:14:50-1#
  • I think so. I think it's in the world. With social media it opens up the world and the fear of putting it on, the fear of being judged, the fear of what people will say about you or ridicule you. And that's the test. That fear stands on the bridge of where you are and what you can become. And that bridge must be crossed. And you've got to cross that barrier of fear in order to become the greatest single version of you. And those who can do that become it. And those who back away to make others comfortable around them. If you are going to achieve anything in life, if you are going to achieve your dreams get ready to be ridiculed, get ready for people to laugh at you, get ready for disrespect, and get ready for all sorts. Because that's the way the world works and those who laughed at you in the beginning would be the ones who say, when you achieve your dream and achieve, what most people say is impossible achieve that magnificent life, they will be the ones to say, “I knew him. I knew Frank with 20 years.” That's the way the world works. That's all it is, but it's only a game. It's actually not real at all in the sense. People say it's none of your business what other people think about you. You were given that dream to do whatever it is and we're speaking here to people who are not just in the strength world or different forms of the strength world, whatever it is and the strength world is just also a metaphor for the other things in your life. It can be anything in your life. You were given a dream. And people ridicule it because in a way it comes from their fear of losing you. If that makes sense. Because if you become successful, you're no longer in their world or in their surrounding. #00:17:02-4#
  • Okay, so it's the crab in a bucket example? #00:17:08-9#
  • Yeah, yeah. #00:17:09-2#
  • So, maybe for the audience, crab in the bucket it's like - maybe you explain it. #00:17:14-1#
  • Yeah, if you've got five crabs in a bucket and one of them tries to escape, the others will automatically pull it back down into the bucket. And so that's also a phenomenon in human form. People will pull you back. And it's out of their fear. Their fear being projected on to you. So, with that in mind then you must ask yourself: How do I break free? I mean if we're locked up and we are breaking chains and bending bars and we do all that stuff on stage. I mean if we had do stuff at a higher level and if we're speaking to our audience to do things on a different level as well, I mean one of the most important things are if you want to change your life up, you’ve got to change and invest in yourself and invest in consciously choose who you surround yourself with. It must be a conscious decision. There was a time in my life when anybody entered my life. It was cool and sometimes even the rougher they were, the more cool it was. I quickly learned that it also can be a mistake just to allow yourself wide open with no filters, is a mistake. I'm much more careful about who I associate with, who I allow into my life now. And if you're traveling a journey with people who are traveling a journey you're more than likely to get to your destination. Whereas if you're traveling with people who are not going on any particular journey, that's cool. So, they say, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with in the world. In every sense of that word - right down to your strength, right down to your bank balance, you are the average of the five you spend the most time with. We become the average of the five. So, with that in mind - that's a phenomenal thought. So, put that in mind. If we want to change who we are, we've got to change who we hang with. On every single level. So, that's just enough to say that school friends won't always be friends, or family will always be family, but if you're going on a journey you've got to be prepared to walk that with people who are already on that journey, who've already perhaps been there before you. And that's the only way you're going to achieve that, you won't sustainably stay there otherwise. So, that's a critical factor. So, the only difference between who you are now and who you will be in five years time, are the five people you surround yourself with. The amount of podcasts and books and material and how you grow your mind, that's going to be the difference. That's why these podcasts, audio books are invaluable. I mean that's how you change your mind. If you do not have a growth mindset/ So, I'll change that around. If you do have a growth mindset, if you are surrounding yourself with people who are on a similar journey or who have even been there, then you can become one of them - in a sense. Obviously with your own style and with your own personality, you will become like that. So, we face a choice, so we can scratch with the turkeys or we can fly with the eagles. And I mean it's much more fun to fly with the eagles. #00:20:43-4#
  • Yeah, awesome, I like to eat turkey. Okay, bad pun. #00:20:50-4#
  • Particularly when you're speaking to a vegetarian. #00:20:54-5#
  • Yes, yes, I'm feeling a little bit guilty. I take a little piece off of this one chocolate here and just get over my pain. #00:21:03-9#
  • Good, good. #00:21:06-9#
  • For me, when I am doing feats of strength, I try to explain to people that this is just an expression of the journey. It's not the goal itself. So, if you're bending a nail or bending a horseshoe, ripping a telephone book, you have to get a lot of people and a lot of points in your life in line. So, you are training the way you are able to take physical discomfort, because bending a nail or bending a horseshoe, stuff like this that seriously hurts your hands for a very, very long time, before you can do it with ease. And also being able to focus, to keep correct posture, to breathe correctly. And so, all these things add up until you're able to do something most people find astonishing. So, for me I try to relate it, it's like a Shaolin monk. And the martial art is just an expression for the inner journey and not the goal itself. How to relate this to some people who have not been already into our same path? Do you find better words for this? This would be very cool. #00:22:39-5#
  • Sure, I think you've described it quite well. #00:22:42-0#
  • Yes, but only for people who are already in our path and our world. And I would like to open this world up to more people. This is the reason why I'm doing this podcast. I want to inspire people. And so this is the reason why I do not just take body builders, just do not take strength guys. So I try to open up new worlds for the people. #00:23:08-9#
  • As we discussed previously, everybody has got something in them. Through the journey, through our journey, one begins his journey of self-discovery and one begins to find out what's possible and what's possible is far, far in excess. The real boundaries are way beyond where we perceive them to be currently in our own mind. And that's the case with everybody. And so by coming into this world, I mean whatever it is, if it's Kettlebells, if it's feats of strength, if it's martial arts. #00:23:50-4#
  • Running. #00:23:51-0#
  • I mean everybody's got their thing. And the other way I look at it is, you've got to be very careful to find your thing. Because your thing is very, very specific. You could be very strong or you could be really strong at one thing but it's not quite “the” thing. But everything you're doing is leading you already to where you should be. Everything you have always done, is actually preparing you for the journey ahead. And to have faith in yourself and to think that if somebody else can do it, you can also do it. Maybe not to the same extent in the beginning, but by merely beginning it, by starting it off and by doing that one feat whatever it is, by having the ability to commit to doing that like you spoke already, it's a lifestyle of you to progress in the world that we live in - bending bigger nails and breaking bigger chains and levering different hammers and axes - it takes commitment, it takes study, it takes deliberate practice, but that's all it takes. And I don't say that that's all it takes. I believe anybody can become supernaturally strong. If they follow through, if they spend the first time looking for the good teacher, if they are diligent in their practice and you do stuff every week without fail, you will become world class within a few years. You will become a phenomenally strong person in our world or whatever else. I mean Erickson says it in his study, I think he studied, what it is to be world class. It's a very famous study. He studied across a genre from everything from musicians to athletes and Erickson says that people are born with advantages in certain things, but it is only like a head start in a race. You're born with a predisposition to be good at a certain thing. I will never be a fantastic gymnast, at 2 meters tall the levers are not there for that. So, within what suits my levers, if I apply 10 years or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to that field, that is accurate and suitable for me, I will become world class. So, to become world class it's not a fantasy, it's not something that's beyond you. It's there for you to take and everybody from Olympic gold medalists to world class musicians and orchestras, all have that one thing in common - that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice or 10 years in training. And that's all it takes. But that is all. You don't have to be born with anything. But I would say that one must go around your specialty, in the journey and we all have levers that are advantageous and disadvantageous. So, with that in mind all you've got to do is take the first steps and keep walking. #00:27:29-3#
  • What I think also if you pick something up you should at least pick up some degree of expertise, not necessarily mastery but expertise. So, I found out the more skills you acquire on a bit higher level the more you found interlocking pieces, for example, my kettlebell training greatly improved by having my previous journey to Aikido. So, I learned about how to generate energies for my hip and once I realized that there's this connection both Aikido and kettlebell improved from realizing that there's this common factor. #00:28:35-5#
  • Absolutely. Like you said everything you've ever done prepares you for the thing you're going to do and that's why it's important as children that we give people the chance to develop various skills. I mean I know climbing for Jana, your own daughter is a fun, they call it fun-damentals but the emphasis also is on fun. That you have fun when you climb, it's exciting, it's exploring. And particularly when we're coaching youth we've got to give them that broad base, we've got to get them some running, some gymnastic ability, climbing, and work on their core. So, because of all of those things you do and when you start to put it, everything is connected. We live in a world where everything is connected. We're all connected. In fact, the quantum physics says that there is a connection between everything and everybody, which is different from what Newtonian physics suggests that everything is separate. So, with that in mind there's always pass over - from different sports, different activities if you're open and if you have the growth mindset and if you're looking for the connection between the two, then you're going to find it. So, there was an example of a growth mindset study. It was carried out by Dr. Dweck in the United States, I think she was at Stanford University, where they took two groups of children who were underperforming in math, one group received one extra or two extra lessons per week, the other group received no extra math training, but they were taught about how your mind grows. And your mind literally grows in the same way as roots of a tree. And develop new neural pathways and if it encounters a rock, it finds a way around it - under it or over it. And at the end of the year they kind of had an exam. And the children who learned about growth mindset outperformed the children who got the extra math lesson. So, I mean there it's at. That brought in terms of physically with your body being able to encounter and being able to manipulate and move around in space and mentally as a person that you are able to find solutions as well. #00:31:12-1#
  • I think this has also something to do with if you're not interested in math it's just very, very hard to solve math problems. #00:31:23-6#
  • Yes. #00:31:23-8#
  • And if you can be taught this is not math, this is just a game and math is just a way to progress in this game and it being little bit more fun, a different perspective then this is getting kind of more interesting, what is interesting is getting somehow easier. #00:31:43-6#
  • Yes. #00:31:44-3#
  • This is very funny. I was working in school vacations to make some money and I was just scrubbing off plates at a big canteen, and there was this one guy - a cook, he was a very, very philosophical guy. And he says, "Well, of course I can cook, I could also do something differently. Or work in a high class restaurant, but I don't want to because here I can think - about what's going to be interesting to me." And he told me, "If I got a problem there's two ways: first I can solve the problem or I change my perspective to that problem. Both are ways. Some things you cannot change." So, you could endure this all the time - this pain - or change your perspective and then if you find a good way to change your perspective, the pain is gone because you see it from a different light. #00:32:48-6#
  • So they say the problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude to the problem. #00:32:53-9#
  • Sometimes yeah. #00:32:55-4#
  • Life and the metaphors are rich, I mean when you're performing feats, I mean the amount of times you get setbacks, you go backwards, you get injured, you get hurt and the lessons are - do you accept that or do you fall down and do you get back up again. And the answer is one's got to get back up again, you don't have a choice. So, it doesn't matter how many times people/ The other thing that's important to get across is that people view failures in life. And I'm just tagging what we spoke about there onto this, in that people view failure in a negative way, if that makes sense. And that failure becomes the opposite of success but it's actually not the opposite, failure is part of success. #00:33:52-9#
  • Definitely, and it just reminds me of my own story. I would never been as strong as I am now, if I did not hurt myself very, very bad and were not being able to do anything. It took me over a year to recover with my shoulder and I still feel my shoulder is kind of my weak part. But the thing is, if it wouldn't have been that, I wouldn't have to find other ways. And for me what I found was a kettlebell training and through that I learned to get away from Frankenstein training - thanks again John, for his metaphor - to learn to move myself as a unit. Which I did not understand at that moment. It was years later that I understood the difference and what it meant in practical output. And if it wouldn't have been for this, I wouldn't have been getting as strong as I am right now. #00:34:59-2#
  • There you go. #00:34:59-7#
  • It's a good starting point. I do not consider this as a finish of my journey. Yeah, I want to progress from this to see where it goes. #00:35:13-2#
  • The journey goes on. The journey is never ending. Never ending. That's why it's also important to have a goal setting and to begin with the end in mind. Always have a rabbit to chase. It just keeps you in the game and it keeps you motivated and it keeps you moving in a certain direction. That's why it is important to have these goals that pull you forward, they make you become a different person, they bring out the best in you. #00:35:53-8#
  • How to get someone who maybe just considers himself as ordinary, how to make him realize the idea that he has the potential to do more. A lot of people are just being happy in their - how to say it? What's a place where we keep sheep? #00:36:26-9#
  • In the pen. #00:36:28-4#
  • The pen, yeah, they are happy in the pen: Okay, everything's fine, I get my food, I get my drink. That's for a lot of people the boozing on the weekend. How people to realize that there's more, that they could unlock a bigger world? #00:36:46-5#
  • That's a great question, Frank. The problem with the world is that most people actually die in their 20s. They get buried in their 70s or the 80s, but they die in their 20s. When I say they die, I mean they lose all hope of ever living an independent life, in terms of financial freedom, in terms of doing something for the world and doing something spectacular, giving something to the world and they give up all hope of achieving something incredible. And they gave up their dream, the thought, the thing that they were born to do they give up all that. What do they give it up for? Safety. Safety. #00:37:36-8#
  • Is it really safety? #00:37:40-5#
  • Here we go. The ultimate safety is in the grave actually. It's the only place that there's absolute safety. And a pen, they say the only difference between a rut and a grave is a matter of death. So, when you're in a rut, they are also in a grave and it's what people do. And people have got to make a choice about where you want to live in that. You wouldn't have come to where you came from or I certainly wouldn't without massive pain in your life. And while we do need some things that are consistent, we need things that are consistent in our own life, we need to know that - I suppose - we can earn a certain living, but we also need to explore things in life. We need to encounter and surpass new boundaries and see new worlds and travel the world, explore the world, meet new people, we need to challenge ourselves. So, the human needs both of those things, we need consistency and we also need, on the other side, variability and so, that's a human need. So, are you fulfilling that? To summarize it, to do one thing every day that frightens you. So, if you're not doing/ #00:39:06-1#
  • Tax declaration. #00:39:06-9#
  • If you are not doing something every day that frightens you, you're not growing as a human being. And all growth comes through pain, be it physical or mental. You've got to be prepared to push through that. And Dr. Maxwell Maltz said - he was a forerunner of psychology - he said, "The mind once stretched to buy a new idea, can never return to where it was." #00:39:32-1#
  • Yes, definitely. #00:39:35-3#
  • So, once we're stretched, we can never go back to where we were. So, we got to continue stretching ourselves and all of that growth is outside of your comfort zone. So, you can stay in your comfort zone, but then your life is largely dependent on the whim of other people. If you want to live an independent life where you choose the direction of your life, and you choose more in terms of all the major things, that are important for you in your life - where you're going to go, when you're going to do it, how you are going to do it. That exists outside of your comfort zone. So, you have a choice in life. You can either go for safety and go for what the world tells you is good, and what the world tells you is important, and what the world tells you, you need. You need all these designer labels, you need all of this type of car, to live in that type of house or apartment. And you make a choice largely between that and the type of life you want to lead. But the other thing is once you leave your life you could only be but successful. It's like they say, as to principles there are a few but methods there are thousands. So, for instance there are 3000 diets in the world. Not one of them works. If one of them worked, there wouldn’t be need for any others. So, principles are few, methods are many. They say the one who chooses their own principles, the ones who stick to the principles, can choose your own methods of doing it. And therein lies the secret to success. You got to stick with principles and then you can choose this method or that method. #00:41:25-9#
  • It reminds me and I've seen this in martial arts. That some of the best people were at the start not the most talented ones. So the most talented ones they graduated quickly and then they came to a level when they actually had to work for their progress. And then it was not fun for them anymore and they left. And other people who had to work more, they had to work from the beginning, slowly started to get better. But they never quit getting better. And it's like my old master, Eckhart told me, it was very nice - I was just astonished while he did and with what ease and with which small movements - he says, "Frank, this is not a problem, once you do it for 30 years, it's just really easy." #00:42:25-4#
  • There you go. I mean he is far in excess of his 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. So, that's why it became like breathing at that stage to him. #00:42:36-0#
  • I think it was about 45 years of Aikido. #00:42:40-3#
  • Wow! It becomes unconscious knowing at that stage, it's so deeply ingrained you don't even think about what you're doing. And in a crazy way it becomes easy. That's hard for people to understand, but it actually does become easy at that level, yeah. #00:42:58-1#
  • John, for the audience would you just give them three tips to improve in any way, it could be social life, it could be training, it could be in a sport or just to be a nicer person. Just maybe three short/ It doesn't have to be perfect, just ideas, I just want to give them seeds. #00:43:24-7#
  • I am going to follow on what you said there. It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. You just have to get going. Okay, that's the first thing in life. You look at everybody else and you think: Oh! I could never be this. I could never be that. Don't worry about that. Just get going at the thing you feel you were born to do, and stay with the law of consistency - I'm just going to follow on from the conversation we were just having - with that law of consistency, stay with it. It doesn't matter how slow you think you're going, an inch is better than a mile in the right direction. Stay with it. And over the course of a few years. And keep it simple, stick with the principles, don't look for new methods all the time. Every magazine has got a new way of achieving a six pack - every second week. And there are all of these thousands of diets and thousands of experts. Stick with people who follow principles. Follow your own principles and you too will become world class at the thing you're born to do. Believe in it, see it, write it down. I believe there's an importance and a great strength in writing something down. And begin with the end in mind. See yourself performing that thing. And there's lots of material out there on visualization. As soon as you write it down, as soon as you are birthing the dream - as soon as you write it down, as soon as you start believing that you're giving it, you are creating it. We create our world with our thoughts, our entire world - who we are, who we become. That would be two, I would say. There's an old saying as well, it says, "Stay humble or get humbled." It is important to have an open mind, a growth mindset and a humble heart. And I think if you've got those things going forward in the world, the world will bring an awful lot to you. As soon as you get - in South Africa, they say, (unv. #00:45:27-3#). As soon as you get too big for your boots or you think you're something special, the world stops bringing things to you. So, if you are in a space of humbleness and if you are in a space of giving - I mean that’s something you are Frank, thanks for that sack full of goodies that you brought me from Germany - if you've got a giving heart, remember, the world teaches us, that if we have something and we give it away, that we've actually lost once that we give. It's actually the other way around. When you give you receive far more in return - directly or indirectly. #00:46:09-5#
  • Just be a little bit careful who you give it to and that is your decision if you give and not their demanding. #00:46:17-3#
  • Oh! For sure. #00:46:17-9#
  • So, this is no free ride for people who: I demand and you have to give. Because then you'll get more, that's just fuck you, no. #00:46:26-1#
  • There are principles that go with that as well. But if you are prepared to give and you've got that open mind and an open heart, the world is going to feed you. The resources of the universe are going to come into your life. #00:46:45-3#
  • It's funny I had this little discussion, but a kind discussion with my wife and she said, "You didn't have to do that." I said, "No, no, I wanted to do that." #00:46:55-9#
  • There you go. #00:46:56-5#
  • I wanted to do that. If I wouldn't have wanted to I wouldn't have done it. #00:47:01-1#
  • There you go, yeah. So, it changes you. It changes you as a person. And it opens the pathway to miraculous things happening in your life. Once you begin that journey people and situations and places come into your life, once you decide that you're going to go on that journey, once you are prepared to encounter some pain and some resistance on the way, but remember it's only a challenge, it's only a test for you to become/ It's like the hero's journey. What hero's journey doesn't have setbacks? Doesn't have enormous difficulty? But always ends up in incredible triumphs. #00:47:46-3#
  • Just imagine Lord of the Rings. #00:47:47-8#
  • There you go. #00:47:48-8#
  • Yeah, they took the ring, they checked in a bus ride, went to the volcano and threw it in. Great story. #00:47:56-8#
  • Yes, there you go. And that's it. I mean what great story or what great lifetime. Tell me one great person, tell me one great person that had an easy lifetime. #00:48:08-6#
  • Most of them not. Most just became great because of the pain and the circumstances. #00:48:18-2#
  • What they were able to push through. #00:48:20-4#
  • And saw that they have to get different. And it doesn't matter, if you take Mahatma Gandhi or if you take Bruce Lee. #00:48:27-8#
  • Steve Jobs. #00:48:29-2#
  • Steve Jobs. #00:48:30-0#
  • Any world class person in any genre had to encounter the same set of difficulties – ridicule - Bruce Lee was ridiculed, Bruce Lee was laughed at, all of that. In any genre you're going to encounter the same set of difficulties, the same sets of problems. And they say that – I love quotes and sayings - and they say, "Failure is an orphan, but success has a thousand fathers." So, when you do become successful and you come out the other side, all those who criticized you, condemned you, laughed at you and sneered at you, would be the first as we said earlier, to shake your hand and clap you on the back. And so if that's the case don't take anything too seriously because it's all/ #00:49:19-5#
  • Yeah, definitely. #00:49:20-1#
  • The journey itself is a game and you cannot allow your life to depend on what other people say. You got to be the captain of that ship - of your ship. You've got to be the captain of that and be able to guide it through those difficult waters. They say, "Smooth seas never made for a good sailor." So, you are not going to encounter smooth seas, you are going to encounter choppy - and you are at the Cape, it's never more choppier than what it is around the Cape of Good Hope. #00:49:48-0#
  • Yes, I know. #00:49:49-2#
  • It's choppy waters that we're in now. But embrace the choppy waters and you learn to sail. And any fool can sail, when the wind is at your back. But how to sail, how to tuck in to when the wind is blowing in your face and how to make progress there and that's the journey. So, you have a choice to start out on the hero's journey - as Joseph Campbell called it - or to stay in the pen - as you called it. To stay in that safe place. And I know the journey we're on and I'm encouraging anybody who's listening to this, this is a worthwhile journey in life. Really think about what you can do with that. If you're listening to this, by the fact that you're listening to this, you're already calling yourself to do something higher. Because you wouldn't be listening to this, unless you had something inside you. You wouldn't be listening to this podcast, unless you already were sensing something different, unless you were already unhappy with circumstances to a degree, unhappy with what the world is telling you. You wouldn't be listening to this, unless you were ready to do something significant with your life. So, you're already there and if you were looking for a sign, if you ever were looking for a sign - and the sign and the time is now and the clarification is there. And we're encouraging you to take whatever it is, that you have with whatever your dream is and to begin that journey right now. #00:51:14-1#
  • It can be anything, Sebastian Müller, a friend of mine, he said, he was just walking through the streets and somebody wrote on the pathway, he just wrote “breath”. And he saw this, smiled and immediately erected his posture, breath and went on differently. So, it can be really small things, just being reminding you, that there's more fun, more excitement out there. Because success and achieving something is fun. So, go for it. Thanks, John. #00:51:55-8#
  • Thank you, Frank. #00:51:56-5#
  • Thank you very much. #00:51:57-2#

Contact to John McGrath

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