After months of toiling away, indecision and sometimes doubting my creativity, I've reached the point where I can stick my head above the parapet and reveal my latest book.
It's fair to say I lost my mojo for a long, long time; with personal issues at the forefront. But, I persevered and believed I could create something which can inspire others to keep moving forward in their journey through this sometimes chaotic and troubled world. After all, the history of one man, is the history of all!
I hope you enjoy this sneek preview. And, your feedback will be much appreciated
Code of the Conqueror
A 21st Century Crusade for Self-Mastery
First Published In Great Britain 2018 by Azuni Book World Ltd ©
Copyright © Mark Weeks All rights reserved 2018
The Journey introduces you to the hapless Alex and the ideology behind Code of the Conqueror, my complete guide to personal transformation.
With inspiring ancient maxims, proverbs and aphorisms, this book provides wisdom and practical advice for everyday life. It conveys the human condition through the eyes of desire and tackles the unending complexity of change, happiness, suffering and loss. This book also offers direction on learning how to cope with anger, fear and love.
Encompassing a work of fiction, it combines both Eastern & Western self-leadership philosophies - including the teachings of Genghis Khans chief adviser, Yelu Chucai.
~ Preface ~
There comes a time in life when you must confront your inner voices
or be forever at their mercy. That time is now.
Whether you shall turn out to be the conqueror of your own life, or relinquish your power to another, the following pages must surely show. I already know they will amplify your inner world for better or for worse. You must confront your own personal truths. Sure, they can be delayed or ignored for a while, but eventually all will be revealed to you. You can't run away from your inner being forever. Wherever you go, you will still be there.
Allow me, Alex, to explain how I have become an authority on confronting those dreaded inner voices.
In the nine months leading to the publication of this book, an extraordinary series of events took place in my life, which finally shook me out of my self-imposed lethargy. It began while I was trekking the Great Wall of China, alongside a unit of Royal Marines, during which, I had a chance encounter. The adventures that followed transformed my life and, revealed my inner truths in all their naked glory. Being a stubborn son of a bitch, I fought against the inevitable but eventually, I began to take stock of my life and have somehow turned myself around. Believe me, it feels good.
Many of us reach critical points in our lives when our mental strength is tested to its limit, leaving us with little hope and a life spiralling out of control. Be it through toxic relationships, dead end jobs or the grief of losing a loved one. Sometimes, dare I say, we can't even tell what sent us on a downward spiral in the first place. Yet life conspires to keep us shut in, confines us, buries us alive, and seems to place a barrier between us and others.
Could it simply be our imagination's macabre sense of humour? Do we simply accept that life will always be this way? What can free us from such captivity?
Before my chance encounter on the Great Wall, one of the wonders of the world, I didn't know any of the answers and, to be truthful, I still don't have them all figured out, but I'm making continual progress to live a better life and, in the process to help others do the same. Before my personal transformation, I alienated so many good friends and loved ones, out of anger, lust, selfishness and pure greed. I felt there had to be a turning point, but damned if I could find it. Oscar Wilde noted, 'Each man kills the thing he loves,' and I feel this is pitifully true.
Before my trek to China, I had been struggling to establish myself as a self-help copy writer, I knew deep down I could help others overcome their fears and free themselves mentally. But there I was the most tortured soul of all.
Maybe it's the mere possibility of getting what we have desired for years that fills the human spirit with guilt and dread, the feeling that says, 'Why should you succeed, when others work harder, yet have less to show for their efforts.’ But I had this and a head full of other excuses to explain my lack of success.
My fits of depression, frustration and anger finally led to the failure of my marriage. I hadn’t spoken to my father for three years too, but he died of cancer, before I had the opportunity to make amends. It was too late; we always were both stubborn.
I refused help from anyone and simply shut myself away in my solitary home office.
I turned to my work with a vengeance, accepted copywriting jobs by the dozen and drove myself hard. Surviving on pastries, cigarettes and espressos during the day, with a heady mix of brandy most nights; convinced it helped with my creativity. But at fifty-three when was enough, enough? My ex-wife’s accusatory words would return to goad me, ‘When are you going to get a ‘proper job’?’
My overly aggressive approach to life and endurance to work though never waned. But I had begun piling on the pounds and my cute laughter lines from the past were in hysterics. My doctor warned of impending heart problems if I didn't cut out smoking, drinking and sedentary lifestyle. It wasn’t a wake-up call, in fact, I didn’t care one way or another.
Around this time an old friend finally persuaded me to join him on a charity walk. He sold it to me by saying we will do it in memory of those we had lost of cancer. With my weight ballooning and my social skills down the toilet, my friend didn’t take long to shame me into it, and I agreed to at least make the attempt. After all, what did I have to lose, but a few kilos of blubber?
As I said, the decision became the turning point of my life. Through the empowering lessons that follow, I was finally able to accept that everything in my life was fuelled by one thing only - my desires.
The same is true for you, and everyone you encounter for that matter. It's an inner conflict that will never be won. But to achieve a fulfilled life these internal desires must be tamed and understood. This is the starting point of the Code of the Conqueror. Without these essential lessons you will forever falter in your quest to find and master your true self.
I've heard it said before that no amount of reasoning is going to help a person see the way he does not want to see. But whatever challenges you face you must see things from a different perspective, and then take decisive action. There is no other way if you truly want a better life.
Let's move on, I have much to share with you -
Can you imagine getting up at dawn and seeing the sun rise whilst the rest of the world sleeps? This is how I have felt every day since my adventure, and it all began with Zhi, the most annoying man I’ve ever met.
'I was like a sleeping man when you came to me.
I was sitting in sadness aforetime and you roused me.'
~ Genghis Khan 1.
A soft warm breeze encircled the crumbling watchtower carrying the feint scent of pine mixed with the fragrant smoke of the morning camp fires. As I looked out from the tower I felt calmer than I had in months.
To my right lay Beijing and a little further the Yellow Sea. And, to the left the ever-mesmerising snake like wall climbing towards the faded horizon, embedded within lush forests and verdant valleys; a few still holding the morning mist in their grasp, so easily the scene of camouflaged forces ready to lay siege to this fantasy land.
As I allowed the stillness of the morning to soak into me I can vividly recall the first words the old man had spoken. I was trying in vain to read in peace and become aware of him watching over me. At the time I had no idea how his thoughts would impact on my existence.
'Words are a thing of beauty,' he said. 'Each is like a magical powder that, when combined with other words, create powerful potions, transforming even the most stubborn minds with imaginations that know no bounds. Yet, so many people choose to ignore such wisdom, continuing to live their lives in the grey twilight which knows neither victory, or defeat.'
As intrusive as the stranger was, he had unknowingly stirred my imagination and also my greatest passion - the power of words. I didn’t wish to be rude and simply smiled, making brief eye contact before I returned to my book, searching for my last sentence. The old man eased himself down onto the rock beside me and without taking the slightest hint from my body language continued talking in broken English.
'Your body and mind must advance as one unit my friend,' he stated.
'What?' I asked rather more abruptly than intended.
'You too tense, you not focused.'
'That may have something to do with you jabbering on and irritating the hell out of me. Why don't you get lost and annoy someone else? Camp breaks in fifteen and we won't stop for two hours, give me a friggin rest.'
Without saying another word, he lifted himself up with the aid of his cane and slowly walked away. Feeling irritated I continued reading, grateful for what I saw as some well-deserved quiet time.
Maybe it's true, the teachers of our lives only become so when the pupil is ready to listen. And, at that moment in time I was far from ready. But now, ten days after our first encounter and in a sombre, more reflective mood, I undid the buckle on my worn brown satchel. Took out my notebook containing the old man’s words of wisdom, and read randomly where the page fell open.
''Some people may snatch a secret from the depths of their hearts and souls that will drive them to find their true selves. But most will continue to wonder… wish… and dream. And then one day will awaken with a shock to find themselves standing in the same spot where they had dreamed as young men and women. Only now, they have lost sight of their dreams and will wonder why life has come to be.''
I’d scribbled notes frantically over the previous week, in an attempt to absorb the teachings of the old man. Yes, I had been given a second opportunity, and heaven knows why he chose me, but this time I grasped it with both hands.
Copyright © Mark Weeks All rights reserved 2018
Mark Weeks has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.