Written by Jade Ruston
“First and foremost, I am human” A statement that resonates much further than the lips of Amadu Koroma. Words that are said with hard confidence and warmth. Words that you really know are honest.
The extraordinary becoming of Mr Koroma began in Sierra Leone, surrounded by the love of his seven sisters and high moraled parents, but conflicted within the civil war that had the country in unrelenting stress for 11 long years. There is nothing worse than war, but with every dark cloud, with perspective there is a silver lining which in this case, is having survived with a life.
Amadu (Armi), arrived in Australia at the buoyant age of seven, with a consistently evolving growth of gratitude and compassion.
“Whilst there is life there is hope. Yes I’ve been through struggle, but I’m alive. There’s hope for tomorrow, there’s hope for now, there’s hope for me to push forward and use that opportunity that I’ve been given –
another chance at life.
It’s about your sense of perspective, I could use that suffering as a negative thing, but i’m using it as a positive to reframe the structure of my daily spiritual life”
Amadu (30), is a lambent businessman who is rising up fast to inspire the big city light streets of Melbourne, Australia, by showing sweet readers like yourself how it is possible to live a motivated and mindful existence, from the comfort of your own brian. Once in conversation, it’s very easy to recognise the link between his passion and joyfulness to his subsequent endeavours.
Not only is Armi a highly respected personal fitness trainer running his brand AKFitness, he is also the strength and conditioning coach for South Melbourne FC national premier league, he is the vice chairman and soccer coach of non for profit One Ball and on top of all of that, his services extend ‘above and beyond’ into the deep core mental well being of all of his clients.
“They say don’t get attached to your clients, but I am attached to every single one of my clients from a humane point of view. Not from a financial point of view, just to be human. At the end of every session I will try and spend some time with every client. I actually make gaps in between clients so I can make sure I get to spend some one on one time, either going for a walk or enjoy the moment where we are, because we all have tough days, it’s such a joy out of my day to spend time with people”
Upholding this broad means of livelihood takes a measurement of motivation that many of us struggle to reach and sustain. For Armi, the daily strong reminder that the next day is not guaranteed is the pinnacle of his driven energy, and by openly nurturing the seven dimensions of wellness, he strengthens the scaffolding to his daily success. See part two of this interview for step by step examples of how these can be nuzzled into your own daily routine, you’ll find that most of them already are there, they just require attention and a little rebalance.
“We have to look at life from all different dimensions and try to cultivate these things, AND IT’S FOR FREE all you have to do is change your mindset, that is it, but a lot of people get caught up.”
One dimension of wellness is occupational, whereby it’s important to execute a balance between work and social, but also strive towards a goal that provides some sort of fulfilment for you. Amadu demonstrates this by creating a fluidity within his businesses. The non for profit One Ball which Amadu is vice chairman of, is a fantastic organisation founded by his equally inspirational close friend and housemate Kamal Ibrahim. One Ball encourages people from tots to teens to be physically active through sport and mentally healthy through the holistic style of training that is provided. The physical training is soccer based, and uses affirmation cards throughout their practices to establish confidence, a positive approach towards themselves and a sport, consciously keeping the players aware of their physical and mental capabilities on and off the pitch. As the players grow, the training gets more personalised and targeted to enhance upon each individual’s strengths, developing not only great team players for the sport, but well rounded human beings in all corners of their life.
“Some strengths can be your sense of caring, your gratitude mindset, your resilience. It could be things that we don’t really say about ourselves but we get told from others.”
Amadu continues, “I use my strengths daily, I focus on my strengths. Everything else is secondary
If you have a positive mindset on yourself, it all starts within, so then you can express that to the world, you can express that in sport, in your workplace, in your relationships, and that’s what we teach the kids, it’s not just about kicking a ball, but the holistic approach in life.”
Recently this year, Amadu flew all of this energy back to his home town in Sierra leone to support his father for his work, and take his experiences with AKFitness and One Ball to the neighbouring villages in his area. With help from from friends, family and one particular ‘committed to the cause’ sponsor Sonel Projects, Amadu was able to provide areas with sports equipment such as balls and cones etc donated by One Ball as well as classroom essentials and demonstrations of how far a positive and grateful mindset can get you if you practise it daily. His efforts were met with an overwhelming bout of joyfulness and appreciation form his neighbours and the kids, with lessons to last a lifetime.
If there is one word to be pulled from this interview with Mr Koroma it would be grateful. He said,
“John F Kennedy said, ‘It’s one thing to utter your words, but it’s another thing to live by them’. Gratitude is a form of action, and gratitude is something that I live by in every moment.”
“You don’t need to be successful to give back to society”. Amadu continues to explain, “If someone is walking past, be kind to them, it starts now, do something now.
I’m just grateful to be alive, because while there is life, there is hope for me to harvest every single day, and from that positive outlook on myself, I try to take that onto the world.
Everyday the first person I meet I say ‘good morning, how are you?’ And when they reply to me ‘I’m good’, I say to them ‘I’m grateful’, and it’s fast, people’s eyes go wide! It’s incredible how powerful words are to people. You just feel like people have never heard that before and there’s like this joy from their eyes. So I constantly do this, do this, do this, do this, to get people to understand their own mental attitude. Over time they start to say it back. It’s incredible what the power of language or just being open minded to people can transcend into people’s lives.
I don’t think too much about the future, the future is not here. I know it’s hard to say but I may not be around tomorrow so I try and harvest every single day. I am always grateful to the highest of my life, meaning a spiritual being, it can be a god or whatever you think of it. I’m very open minded about religion, it could be absolutely anything for you. My days are filled with love, gratitude, hope, compassion, laughter.”
Continue to part two where we discover the roots of Armis inspiration, step by step examples of how you can incorporate the seven dimensions of wellness into your days, and more inspiring tales from Amadu Koroma himself.
Written by, Jade Ruston