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Self Mastery & the Three Pillars of Life – Jean-Pierre de Villiers

The Ultimate Healing Journey

Last year, I sat in the San Diego home of my coach, Lisa Nichols, one of my greatest teachers. She leaned forward, looked me in the eye and said  “JP, you’re playing it safe

She had been coaching me for a while and saw me not only for who I was, but for who I was capable of truly becoming. She said I was hiding behind what I was good at and not committing to why I believe I was here.

I remember feeling the resistance to her words.

But I took a deep breath and accepted she was right and, in that moment, I started to understand that the path I’d been on for so long just wasn’t enough to live my true purpose. I wanted to heal and master my heart and not settle for anything less.

It was time to really step onto the path of the ultimate healing journey – mastering my heart.


Physical Mastery

I’ve been coaching and speaking on stage for most of my adult life; talking to thousands of people at events and seminars and working with people one to one. I began my professional coaching career, originally as a fitness coach 14 years ago. Before that I was an athlete, cycling mostly.

When I was 7, I found sport and I used it as a strategy to feel good during my turbulent school years in Cape Town. It worked, but at 19 I found another strategy in partying and by the time I hit 23, I was getting life very wrong. I turned back to fitness and mindset to try and get it right.

For the next three years, I immersed myself in the world of fitness and physical mastery. I studied personal development, became a personal fitness trainer, surrounded myself with the right coaches, mentors and role models and within two and a half years, I’d turned my life around in a big way. I was very successful: I had written a book, featured in magazines and commercials and worked with celebrities. Yet I didn’t feel truly fulfilled.

Mind Mastery

During these years in fitness coaching, I discovered that true transformation lay in the mind, not the body, and I didn’t want to just help people change their bodies, I wanted to help them change their lives. To do that, I needed to help them master their minds.

I trained as an NLP Practitioner, transitioned into life coaching and a few years later, was making a real difference working in this way. But, again, for me, something felt missing. I wasn’t living fully  by my highest values of growth and contribution and giving the best of myself to the world.

Growing up, I’d experienced the lowest of lows and I’ve always been obsessed about chasing the highest of highs so I moved into high-performance coaching, aligning with clients who were intensely dedicated to their success, performance and constantly striving for more, as was I.

With over a decade of coaching, four books under my belt and a large social following, I now helped high performers with both their physical and mental mastery.

Yet I found myself seeking a deeper fulfilment, still. This time, though, I knew the right question to ask myself:

What does my heart want?

Because that’s exactly where fulfillment lies – in our hearts. Success is what we see on the outside, fulfillment is what we feel on the inside.

I needed to understand what really made me tick on the inside so I could continue to serve even more highly and make more impact, living as my true highest self.

I pulled back on coaching and turned away all speaking opportunities. I started to meditate, focus more on gratitude and mindfulness and after a further two years of personal growth focus with mentors and teachers, I began to unearth my answer.

That answer lay in finding my purpose.

Why I believed I was here and what I was truly meant to do and be.

Deep down, I’d always known I had more to give and, for the first time, I connected with being much greater than simply my existence; than my current life.


I wanted to create a massive impact in people’s lives and, the truth was, I had done great work so far, but just as my coach said, I was playing it safe.

So, I finally stepped into living in my truth and from my heart.

Heart Mastery

When you live from your heart, you live from contribution, not consumption.

Living from your heart means living completely from a place of service. It means truly living by your values, embracing your meaning and purpose: and this is never about you.

One of my greatest heroes, Nelson Mandela often used a very well-known African saying ‘UBUNTU’ – ‘I am because of you’.

Flip this and it reads ‘you are because of me‘. Live by this mantra and you will care and love others as much as you care for and love yourself.

For me, this is altruism.

Wanting for others as much as you want and wish for yourself.

In fact, I would go as far to say that your life is not about you. I believe when you are living as a true altruist, living for others, that’s how you know you’ve mastered your heart.

But a life of altruism mustn’t be at your own expense. You can’t pour from an empty cup – so always fill your own cup first, then give the overflow to others. Every time you give to others, you receive much more in return: as what you give is truly what you get.

How to live in the space of heart mastery and altruism

Share your truth. This article is my truth. I share in honesty wherever I go and those who listen to me speak invariably say: ‘thank you for your truth’. The truth sets us free and it frees others to free themselves from their own stories.

Live your life in contribution, not in consumption

Find ways to raise awareness for good causes, embark on challenges that raise money for charitable causes. Align your business with charitable goals, support non-profit organisations, your community or one of the UN sustainable goals. The more you give, the more you receive in the forms of gratitude, love and fulfillment.

Mentor someone You don’t need to know everything; there’s always going to be people around you who know less than you. Find those people and create a way to contribute and give back to others in need. It may be mentoring a young person or helping someone who lacks experience. There are great blessings in mentoring others and being a role model to someone who needs it.

 ‘The greatest way to learn is to teach’ – a principle I’ve lived by for most of my life.


Healing is the core of heart mastery

You came into this world limitless and abundant, believing you could do anything and everything you wanted and you’re on your own unique journey.

But I’m sure there will be something in your life that you feel needs to be healed.

Don’t ignore it. Pay attention to it, prioritise it and heal it.

If you keep doing the work for you, life will keep working for you but to reach your highest potential, you need to get out of your own way.

If you let fear, trauma, or limiting beliefs block you, you’re never going to embrace the unknown or step out of your comfort zone.

Step out now – because on the other side of high fear lies high love and on that side of high love lies high opportunity, high abundance and high impact.


Jean-Pierre De Villiers (JP) is a South African born professional athlete, High Performance Coach, inspirational Speaker and Author. He’s been coaching for 15 years and is an NLP Practitioner. He works with high performing business leaders and champions who demand the best from themselves, helping them to achieve self-mastery through building their physical, mental and heart connections.

He takes on extraordinary fitness challenges around the world and changes thousands of people’s lives every year through inspirational speaking. JP has invested his entire life in his own personal development and self- mastery.



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