LifeDoneDifferent.ly

Neil Witten & Ray Richards

Do you wonder whether there’s another way? Another, more creative, more meaningful approach to living your life. Well there is and there’s a growing movement of people from all kinds of walks of life who are proving that the way we end up doing what we do in life is often a side effect of external forces. Rather than a deliberate, conscious and authentic set of choices that have come from you and your unique needs. What are you chasing? Success? Safety? Fame? Fortune? Recognition? Have you stopped to think recently why you’re doing what your doing with your life? Are the stories that you're creating today the ones that you hope your grandchildren will be telling to their children? Are you creating your legacy? read less

Derek Sivers - The usefulness of opposites
Dec 22 2022
Derek Sivers - The usefulness of opposites
Derek Sivers is a man with his own mind. To describe him as a musician, circus clown, entrepreneur, programmer, author, speaker, philosopher and Dad might whet your appetite but it would only be a part of the story. Whatever Derek does, he rarely does it on auto-pilot. He has a knack for questioning things. His beliefs are less likely to be a story he's inherited and more likely to be a useful experience. He listens to himself and when what he does fails to resonate, he notices it and explores the alternatives. He's learned to be unafraid of hierarchies, unafraid of complimenting people and understands the considerable benefits of doing things differently when things don't feel quite right. Don't try and put Derek in a box.I discovered Derek's 'How to start a movement' Ted Talk over 10 years ago and have been recommending it ever since. It was a real pleasure to speak with him. He seems very clear that he learns from the people he respects and the material they recommend but it seems to me the lessons unlock something he already knows. He's not a man to change his mind because someone simply tells him something.I've enjoyed every conversation on this podcast (at least all those we've released) but this was a little bit special. There are some useful take-outs - the power we all have to influence others if we're respected. The influence of negative motivation in our lives or put another way "I'm not going to be like him or her". In Derek's case he was driven to not be like the best musicians at school, who very early on traded the chance of doing what they loved, for a day job. There are many other take-outs for me but the biggest was sort of left hanging which is understandable given it's the subject of the book Derek's in the middle of writing. It seems to me his thesis is that we can benefit from adjusting the threshold for beliefs from 'being true' to 'being useful'. To me, this makes huge sense. "True" sounds permanent, unwavering, and inflexible. "Useful" sounds impermanent, adjustable, and flexible.Our beliefs are a product of our history. Growing up we inherit them from the people around us and if we're awake and noticing and not on auto-pilot, our experiences provide us with the opportunity to shape or change them. But . . . what if we understood that the key is behavioural flexibility which simply explains that taking risks is often useful but sometimes playing it safe is the way to go, being assertive is useful and sometimes letting others assert themselves is the best approach, planning ahead is useful and sometimes spontaneous is . . . and so on. It seems clear to me that Derek's next book is a step on from his last book "How to live", which he describes as a book of conflicting philosophies. If you're into the world of polarities or duality you'll recognize the link. Derek describes himself as a pop philosopher but he's just a philosopher. He didn't consider the academic route and we're all the better for that. The constraints would have choked him before he got to the first corner. As with all good dialogue, this conversation left me with as many questions as it did answers. I hope we get a chance to continue the conversation.Enjoy "Derek Sivers: The usefulness of opposites" Links from this Episodederek@sivers.orgDerek's Website https://sive.rs/  Anything You Want by Derek Sivers HELL YEAH! Or No. by Derek SiversAwaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins Almost Perfect by Erika Lemay
Steve Chapman (@stevexoh) - exploring the counter-intuitive
Aug 29 2022
Steve Chapman (@stevexoh) - exploring the counter-intuitive
This is a conversation with Steve Chapman. Steve worked for Glaxo Smith Kline for 20 years, he started packing boxes and ended up in a senior management role - and then he became an artist. It sounds like a huge dose of doing something very different but it's not quite as dramatic as that. Steve has found a way to do what he wants to do and earn a living selling his art and helping organisations understand creativity and the human condition. He says "I'm at my best when I’m on the edge of not quite knowing what I’m doing". Amen to that, I think we all are. We can only grow when we're pushed, when we step into the unknown. Steve talks here about working in a factory, social loafing, our addiction to expertise, embodying 'not knowing', the beginner's mind, silent podcasts, rumblings of discontent, helpful bosses, feelings being real, quantum flirting, safe uncertainty, child-like enthusiasm, comedy, money, learning to live below his means and more.To me, Steve is a great example of someone who has and continues to, trust his gut. He has swapped financial security for more meaningful, experimental work. He fully understands that with the joy of this approach comes despair but he also knows it comes in waves. Steve is an adventurer. He experiments, He wins and loses and does his best to practice letting go, noticing more and using everything.Enjoy 'Steve Chapman - exploring the counter-intuitive'Want to know whether scorpions can smoke or not? You'll find the answer here too.
Pieter Levels - Thinking and doing for yourself
May 16 2022
Pieter Levels - Thinking and doing for yourself
Hello and welcome to our conversation with Pieter Levels. Peter is the man behind NomadList.com, remoteOK.com, InflationChart.com, rebase.co and more.Pieter is hard to describe if you’re after an old-world description. He’s most certainly a business guy and a software developer guy but he works remotely, sometimes he charges for his creations, sometimes he doesn’t. He practices radical honesty with himself and others. He’s unafraid to experiment, to play and learned as a student that doing something different can have unexpected and very rewarding consequences.He works with a few trusted friends but creatively he’s the man. Neil has been telling me for six months that a conversation with Pieter would be fun and interesting. He was right. Pieter is in charge of himself, he’s not going with the flow unless it serves him. He’s not short of money but doesn’t own a home and his laptop seems to be as extravagant as it gets.He keeps things simple and for someone so successfully immersed in the world of digital, has a level of self-awareness that ensures he spends time IRLing. For the uninitiated (as I was before this conversation) IRL stands for In Real Life, which means no screens just doing stuff out there in the real world. Amen to that.Pieter seems to be on a quest to find the joy in life but fully understands that what brings joy today may not be what brings joy tomorrow. It’s all an adventure. Enjoy - Pieter Levels - Thinking and doing for yourself
Steph Smith - Life done differently for the risk adverse
Apr 29 2022
Steph Smith - Life done differently for the risk adverse
Until she went to Sweden as part of a student exchange programme, Steph didn't really question the trajectory she was on. She was going with the flow. A spell in Sweden, a different culture with different people and in particular a different educational system woke Steph up to the idea that she had led a sheltered life and that different was at the very least interesting and at very best, significantly better than the way things were done back home.The idea that there were other ways to do things stuck . .  so when it came to joining the world of work, Steph started to question the model of get a job, go to the job, keep the job and climb the career ladder. She started to experiment with a whole heap of different remote working jobs. Got herself a job with a fully remote company, flew to live in Scotland and she’s been working remotely ever since. Fully understanding that remote working was possible allowed Steph to question the other narratives in her life. If I can work remotely what else is possible?Steph avoids pigeon-holing herself. She is very clear that what she does for work today may not be what she does for work tomorrow. She avoids using her job title because she knows other people will use that to define her.Steph’s nature is now one where she questions the status quo but If you think that Steph is happy taking risks you’d be wrong. Steph explores different ways of living life but she does it carefully, cautiously. She does it in small steps but importantly for Steph, she’s constantly checking that a missed step won’t result in falling too far.If the life done differently that Steph seeks is on another metaphorical island. Steph does a heap of research before she sets off and then she rows, then she checks the boat is in perfect working order, then she rows, then she checks the boat, then she rows and so on.Other people might get in and row like hell but Steph isn’t interested in getting there quickly, she’s just interested in getting there.
Rosie Sherry - Reckless Mother
Apr 14 2022
Rosie Sherry - Reckless Mother
Hi All - in this episode we talk to Rosie Sherry. Rosie is a self-declared introvert and community builder extraordinaire. She is best known for the Ministry of Testing, Indie Hackers, Rosie.land and RecklessMother.com Rosie builds communities and has done so for more than 15 years. It includes the Sherry community of Rosie, Graham and their 5 kids aged 17 to 3 - none of whom go to school. It’s not that Rosie is looking to rebel. It's just that she seems to be clear about how she wants to spend her time and a conventional path would not allow her to live life, her way. So she designs her own made to measure life with little or no reference to the way most people live theirs. Rosie’s approach is one where she just does stuff. If she enjoys doing it, she’ll spend more time doing it and then, because she’s spending the time she works out how to get paid to do it. Rosie is half Columbian, half Irish, sounds Scottish, was born in London, grew up in London, Indonesia and  Columbia, moved back to London with no qualifications because she avoided school and now as a reaction to her unsettled childhood, has settled near Brighton on the South Coast of the UK. She had an entrepreneurial and spiritual mother and a father whose life was changed by an accident. It resulted in financial insecurity but the upside was that along with her brother, Rosie was forced to be independent. It seems her kids are pretty independent too. Their unschooling, as Rosie calls it, requires them to self-direct their own learning, with a little nudge from Mum or Dad here and there. The set-up means their kids teach each other but it’s still a time-consuming endeavour.Rosie’s clear that successful communities are places where there’s trust, a common goal or set of interests and a way to simplify things. She’s also a big believer that communities can solve most problems.Rosie works on herself. Like all of us, she doubts she can achieve things but doubt does not prevent her from taking steps forward. She tries to remain positive. She believes things can change.        Financial security is important, it’s a reaction to the financial insecurity of childhood. And because it’s important and she has the ability to change herself, and although she is by no means rich, she does now have enough security to do what she wants to do, what she’s passionate about. She is not afraid to lose her job or quit a job if it means doing what she wants to do.Easier said than done. It took her 4 years to leave her own company, the £1m + revenue - Ministry of TestingThis conversation got me thinking. What can we do when we realise a job has reached the end of its natural life?Option 1 - We can hand in our notice and have faith that something will turn up. All well and good if you’ve squirrelled away a war chest that allows you time to find the next positive step but the fear of not being able to pay your rent or mortgage can force us to leap from the frying pan into the fire of another unsuitable job.Option 2 - We can stay where we are and save. This is a real option. If you know why you’re doing a job (to save money or acquire skills for example) it helps us to get out of bed in the morning. I imagine prisoners of war planning their escape have better mental health than those who are resigned to their fate.Option 3 - We can be open-minded about where we live and the lifestyle we live. There are always less expensive ways to live. Kids and other relationships don’t always make this easy but accommodation is much more flexible these days, if you are. We’ve had conversations with quite a few nomads who work as they travel. In many senses it’s about working out what we’re prepared to let go of in order to grow. If I’m not prepared to make any sacrifices in return for a better working life or a better life in general then I’ll struggle to change. But letting go of this and that, might not be as painful as I imagine. In fact, my experience is that letting go of one story and replacing it with a better story, a story about what’s important and what’s not, is an uncomfortable process but not as uncomfortable as continuing to value stories or ways of behaving that fail to serve me. This process is me surfing the edge of my comfort zone. Resmaa Menakem, author of ‘my grandmothers hands’ talks about the uncomfortableness of change as clean pain and the uncomfortableness of avoiding change as dirty pain.  The problem with avoiding change is that it becomes a rut, that becomes deeper and deeper, more and more difficult to get out of. Confronting your rut early is helpful and flirting with what you could do differently is often enough to climb out.I love Rosie’s approach. She experiments. She does what she wants to do and then she finds a way to make it work financially. She started her newsletter Rosie.land and got frustrated with her ability to build a writing habit, so she turned it into a paid newsletter which left her no choice but to write on a regular basis. Making yourself accountable to someone or an audience is a good way of encouraging change. She is so aware. The choices she and her family make are not necessarily the ones you or I would make but every decision she makes seems to be done with care, and because she is unafraid of the path less travelled, there are plenty of options..It’s not easy. She is not prepared to play the games many of us play and as a consequence has to invent her own which means her spare time is extremely limited. She does what she can to combine things. Childcare and running for example. You might see it as hard work but Rosie is coherent, she does what she thinks is important to do.    Enjoy Rosie Sherry - Reckless Mother
Mills - Finding Myself
Mar 30 2021
Mills - Finding Myself
Mills founded ustwo with Sinx, his mate from school. Ustwo has become a digital product studio, a games company and an investment business. They have always worked with the biggest brands in the world. In part, Neil & I enjoyed this because Mills is from a world we understand pretty well. It’s a world that’s exploded in the last 25 years or so. A world where creativity meets technology, a world where innovation is valued, where work and play, and an excess of both, is baked-in to most successful start-ups because it’s a world full of young people. And then there comes a point a few years later, where the founders of these successful businesses, have to make a decision. They have to move from the playful, hard-working, youthful chaos of the start-up to the order, discipline and structure required to keep this beast of an organisation stable.The last thing anyone wants is for people to lose their jobs because the company isn’t being run properly. This process is the process of organisational change but unlike organisational change in large companies where ‘change’ is swapping one flavour of order for another. This is swapping chaos for order. This is a massive challenge because many of the people that have made it successful are the creatives, the right-brain thinkers who are not huge fans of left-brain thinking aka order. These ways of thinking or lenses through which we look at things are ostensibly the same: left-brain logical and right-brain creative, chaos and order, certainty and uncertainty, rational and emotional - the list goes on.These ways of thinking are as old as stories themselves. Jordan Peterson has been a big part of the reason that the idea of chaos and order has come to the fore most recently and whilst I think these terms are appropriate for Mills’ story I’m unconvinced they’re the best language to use when thinking about moving towards a life done differently because order sounds positive and chaos does not.We prefer to use the lens of the known and the unknown where chaos is the unacceptable end of the unknown and a rut is the unacceptable end of the known.  It will become fairly obvious fairly on in this conversation that Mills has a preference, he thrives in the unknown and can cope in what most people would call chaos. I get the impression Sinx is the yang to Mills’ yin or he’s certainly had to find a way to play that role which is how ultimately made is through to the point where they have grown up companies that operate without the day to day involvement of Mills, who like many of us has come out the other side wondering what his purpose is. Mills calls it three years of introspection trying to find happy again, working hard to let go of his ego. His Investor Deck is a brilliant example of how Mills does things his own way. He cares what people think but being his truer self is more important. His journey is a good old-fashioned quest to find himself.His personality, he says, is one of never being satisfied with what I’ve achieved. Finding himself is the ultimate challenge and given Mills’ ability to get comfortable with the uncomfortable I’m sure he’ll get there, at least, in part.  Mills went more extreme with ustwo because he thought that would make him happy - he told himself the story that his devotion to building a successful company was for his family but his wife isn’t so sure and as of now, nor is he. I don’t think you’ll listen to someone who is more honest and open with their thinking and where they’re at with their life.In terms of moving towards a life done differently, Neil and I believe very strongly that this openness with oneself and others is step one, being bold and brave is step two and with this, you have a good chance of becoming or finding yourself.Enjoy ‘Mills - Finding Myself’  https://www.ustwo.com/https://www.monumentvalleygame.com/mv2https://www.barneythehorse.com
Emile Bennett - Letting Go
Mar 3 2021
Emile Bennett - Letting Go
Hi all - welcome to our conversation with Emile Bennett, Emile is a 37-year-old knife-maker and bladesmith but it’s taken him a while to feel comfortable with those descriptions. Previously his world was software, apps, websites and to begin with studio engineering. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Chamonix in the French Alps.Emile has spent most of his working life with the distinct feeling that he wasn’t doing what he was meant to do. This is Emile’s very frank story of his struggles with anxiety and his search for meaning. Emile’s willingness and determination to paint the real authentic picture of his life is what I appreciated most about our conversation. He does anything but suggest he has life nailed, but it is the hero’s journey, albeit he’s not returned home yet - he’s had that rock-bottom moment which arrived a few years ago after a sleepless night and a 90-minute hill climb with friends. His conclusion, at the top of that hill was that he had to change what he was doing, and he had to do it that day, because, to use Emile’s words “If I don’t commit to something else now, regardless of whether it’s going to make me any money or not, I’m going to end up in a mental institute, I’m going to have a breakdown.” It was the culmination of 10 years of “Melancholy March”, Emile’s annual existential crisis of meaning. He describes the feeling as:“You know you need to do something different, but it’s so incredibly hard to do when all you know is the thing that you’ve always done”He was trying really hard to find the thing he loved but he didn’t know what he loved. All he knew was what he was doing made him unhappy and anxious and wasn’t making the most of his life.He talks about great ideas revealing themselves, that they don’t appear when you actively seek them. “When you’re sitting there stressed out, upset, telling yourself you’ve got to do something else. That thing isn’t going to come because you’re pushing too hard for it.I’m mildly obsessed with Alan Watts at the moment and Emile’s experience sounds very much like his ‘backwards law’ - whatever it is you want; money, love, security, happiness or something else - it’s the idea that the more you want something, the more effort you make trying to acquire it, the more you’re amplifying the feeling that you lack it in the first place and  How many people have you heard say “As soon as I’d stopped looking for a partner . . . it happened”The flipside of this also seems to work. Stop fighting the negative experience and it becomes a positive experience. It’s a longer conversation for another day but this it seems, is what Emile was talking about when he says living in a simpler place with less stuff means it’s harder to escape your daemons, you don’t have the toys, bars, restaurants, clubs, cinemas and other distractions that do the job of numbing the negative feelings - anxiety, pain, suffering, whatever you call them. It seems that Emile subconsciously put himself in a position where he could no longer avoid his daemons, his shadow, his negativity, the suffering. I’d suggest that ‘no longer avoiding’ was the turning point on top of the hill, when he decided to take action, when he embraced his shadow and this is what flipped his anxiety from negative to positive because he’d now come to terms with himself and as a result could now move towards something, rather than away from something.   This positive anxiety is anticipation or excitement. It’s the nervousness we all feel when we take on a challenge. The impact is very different from the negativity of fear but it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference, particularly in the early stages. Emile did notice the difference and has created a bit of momentum.He’s not there yet but he will get there. Emile’s message is “Can’t find what you’re looking for? Let go and give it space to reveal itself.Enjoy, Emile Bennett - Letting Go https://www.lubelknives.com/ https://www.getpennies.com/https://www.mindjournals.com/
Charles Wookey - Reinvent Yourself
Jan 28 2021
Charles Wookey - Reinvent Yourself
Hi everyone. I hope you're doing okay given the circumstances. Welcome to our conversation with Charles Wookey. Charles is the CEO of A Blueprint for Better Business, a charity that helps organisations consider their social and environmental impact alongside their financial goals. This is how I know Charles. His organisation does some great work but how Charles' ended up with Blueprint is the interesting bit.Boarding school from the age of six is a mixed blessing. It's certainly not what he wanted for his children put it that way. Philosophy and Physics at Oxford followed school and then into KPMG to become an Accountant and that's when he started to make up his own mind. The obvious path was to fit in and work his nuts off for the next ten to fifteen years and become a partner.  Two weeks after qualifying, at the moment his salary would have doubled, he left because he could see the future and it meant becoming someone he didn't want to become.What followed has been a career of curiosity. A few years at the House of Commons before leaving to spend three months on a silent retreat in North Wales which alerted him to the fact he's got one crack at life. The dark bit was confronting himself and his conclusion that "there are things that are real and there are things that are illusory and I wanted to live in a way that makes sense of what's real. I do not want to have regrets." Charles' comments remind me of Bronnie Ware's work. Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care. Her patients we those who had gone home to die. She was with them in their last three to twelve weeks of their life. Conversations in those final weeks were highly emotional. When asked about any regrets or what they would have done differently, common themes surfaced again and again. The most common regret was "I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."Charles has that courage. The confidence to know when it's time to move on. The confidence to overcome imposter syndrome. The confidence to step into the unknown.After his retreat, Charles, worked for Institute of Fiscal Studies where he was the guy who knew nothing about economics and then having met a nun, he ended up in the God business, working for Cardinal Basil Hume. This role and his affection for Hume satisfied his curiosity for eleven years at which point he stepped into the unknown again. This time it was business. More specifically a Blueprint for Better Business which he's been leading since 2011.In Spring 2022 Charles steps down as CEO to go on another, as yet undecided adventure. Don't be surprised if you see him on The Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury sometime soon 😉https://bronnieware.com/blog/regrets-of-the-dying/https://www.blueprintforbusiness.org/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Beuno%27s_Jesuit_Spirituality_Centre
Matt & Lucia Long - I'm actually an opera singer
Oct 5 2020
Matt & Lucia Long - I'm actually an opera singer
Hi everyone. Hope you're all okay, coping, surviving, learning, growing - it's hard to know what to say these days - we're all experiencing the same thing and whilst the experience is so shared sometimes . . .  the more I talk to people the more I understand, at times, how very differently we're all experiencing it. This conversation is a good example. It's a conversation with Matt & Lucia, husband and wife, both professional singers, parents to Persephone, neighbours of my friends Caramel & Roger and most recently the creative and operational geniuses behind mini music makers which are fun, energetic, educational music classes for pre-school kids.   Back in March, both Matt's & Lucia's incomes dried up overnight. This is the story of what the business world calls a pivot but it's so much more than that.It's really a lesson in both fighting and rolling with the punches.  Matt and Lucia are very different. Matt was born with huge talent, Lucia worked hard to develop hers. Matt, the teenager, rebelled. Lucia didn't need to. Lucia's parents encouraged her to follow her dreams. Matt's parents less so. Matt is lazy, Lucia wants to be.  These differences, together with a shared vision are probably why they're such a good team. Matt has achieved more in music than most people even dream of but he doesn't like to say he's a professional musician . . . because he's been this since he was 9 years of age. He really wants to do something different but money and more have been barriers. He says "I feel guilty that I've found music so easy . . . I could always just do it . . . but I didn't make the decision to be a singer . . . it just happened"Lucia seems unafraid to change her story. She spent her childhood dreaming of becoming a professional opera singer and as soon as the box was ticked, moved on to become a music educator.  Matt's teenage motto of "there must be more to life than this" is still there. He seems to have nailed curiosity but hasn't quite yet converted it into the life done differently he's looking for . . . . . but a huge nudge from Covid and an old story or two swapped for new ones, continued support from Lucia . . . and they'll be in a Costa Rican jungle dressed as Shady the Racoon.The lesson I've learned from Matt and Lucia is that to get where you want to go you have to decide when it's time to fight and when it's time to roll with the punches. It seems to me you have to fight when you have a plan and energy . . . . and you need to roll with the punches and see what happens when you don't. It works for Covid too. Embrace the chaos rather than fight it. When change happens you can hang on to what was if you want . . . . but you're better off saying to yourself. It's changed I've got to change.When am I going to be able to go back to the way it was before? is not a healthy response . . . because there's no knowing when or if that will ever happen.Enjoy Matt & Lucia Long - I'm actually an opera singerhttps://minimusicmakers.co.uk/https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=mini%20music%20makershttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMArwTF8UQ8amxrP8NAkdRwhttp://matthew-long.co.uk/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turn_of_the_Screw
Ben Ivey - When did you feel most loved?
Oct 2 2020
Ben Ivey - When did you feel most loved?
Hi All - welcome to our conversation with Ben Ivey. Ben is a coach to Entrepreneurs but what makes Ben interesting is that he's interested in the Entrepreneur as a person, the whole person not just as a business person. He's as happy talking about love as he is margins. He wants you to live the best life you can, one where regrets are minimised and magic moments are maximised. Ben's awareness of business was there from an early age.  Both his Grandad and Dad were property entrepreneurs and this feeling that he needed to take personal responsibility or control of his life seemed to be a reaction to his parent's separation.   He was good at numbers and so business or banking seemed a natural option but he realised early on that he didn't want to go down the corporate consultancy route and so, like many of us do, he followed a friend - in Ben's case on to the start-up bus where he started his own entrepreneurial journey in the form of One Pink Elephant which took him to China and then Los Angeles.Ben was telling himself the 'Let's make loads of money' story and then at 21, Ben lost his 53-year-old father to suicide. Ben had spoken to his father the previous day and it was a shock like no other. Ben had always seen his father as a man full of fun, charm and character and seems to have been the moment Ben realised that what you see is nothing like the full story.Ben describes his feeling of being utterly lost, having no idea how to deal with it himself and so he spent time being there for other people. Then he spoke to counsellors, then he started to understand the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance) During this Ben went to China. He'd always wanted to go there because he'd studied Mandarin at school and what Ben noticed was that China and the Chinese culture is sooo different. Not better or worse just very very different - the way things are done is different at a fundamental level - it's China's differentness that inspires (check out Episode 5 with Oliver Dall for another example of how China inspires).Ben has a mindset that if someone else can do something, he can do it too. Ben seems to follow through on most of what he says he's going to do because he perseveres. A good example of this is Ben's Ted Talk in Mandarin. He talks about a fulfilled life being one with gratitude, purpose and meaning. He talks about happiness as love. It's hard to imagine listening to Ben's story that his father's suicide wasn't the single biggest moment to date but like many other people we've spoken to on this podcast, Ben has reacted to this rock-bottom moment and created a turning point. Somehow, he's managed to, eventually create something positive out of the chaos.Ben has worked in suicide prevention and has overcome what he describes as his biggest challenge and that's his 'When I have this' addiction. He says "I believed I had to be successful myself before I could help people - if that's the way one thinks you'll never be qualified because there's always something more to be achieved - if that's the attitude you will never get there because there's so much to learn you'll never be qualified" Like me, Ben is inspired by Bronnie Ware's 'Five Regrets of the Dying'. What is it that really matters in life?He talks about the benefits of noticing what's actually happening and the need to balance a 'gratitude for what you have' with 'the wonder of what could be'. We talk about Goals as Direction - he says "don't become too attached to the result you're looking for because the result you have in mind is there to provide you direction and rarely something to be achieved". He's spot on. If any of you have achieved those goals you set out to achieve you'll know that the moment of achievement is there only briefly - before you know it gone, replaced by another mountain to climb.The bit I personally found most enlightening was Ben's take on relationships. He talks about the six expressions of love being; food, gifts, positive words, acts of service, physical touch and quality time. This insight that we all value different things is gold-dust and as awkward as it may feel, regularly asking the questions.What can I do this week to make you feel loved? & When did you feel most loved?This something I'm going to try.At one point Ben says "Doing something different enables me to notice what's happening. It slows life down so I can enjoy it".Enjoy Ben Ivey - when did you feel most loved?https://www.ben-ivey.com/https://www.tonyrobbins.com/stories/unleash-the-power/discover-your-peak-state/https://bronnieware.com/blog/regrets-of-the-dying/https://www.kylebenson.net/make-a-relationship-last/https://www.netflix.com/gb/title/80102204?source=35
Tom Libelt - The Reluctant Adventurer
Sep 25 2020
Tom Libelt - The Reluctant Adventurer
This episode is a conversation with Tom Libelt, salesman, musician and DJ, coffee shop owner, publisher and most recently digital nomad.Thank you to Tom for a thoroughly enjoyable conversation. As you've probably noticed, our title for Tom is 'The Reluctant Adventurer'.For Tom, adventure is a reaction to boredom, not the primary motivation. It seems clear that Tom's parents and his wealth of experiences as a child played a role in shaping him. I loved hearing about the VCR and blueberry hustles. I loved the way he dealt so nonchalantly with the move from Poland to the US, gunshots in his hallway, rarely seeing his parents and customer service punch-ups at school. I get it, it was simply the way things were. For me, the inspiring bit is when he starts to get dissatisfied with his trajectory when he starts to make his own path. I wish I'd been smart enough to hack the school software system and pass my exams in two months rather than the usual four years - it would have saved me and my teachers a lot of pain! I see Tom's unwillingness to go with the flow as taking personal responsibility for his own life. Tom's realisation that he was trying to live other peoples stories and not his own seems to be such an important one. There are so many of us who simply go with the flow and end up being a part of someone else's else story, always feeling something's not quite right.It's interesting to hear about Tom's unwillingness to be a part of the crowd, to be unique or as he describes 'finding the third door'. I'm in no doubt it's what's delivered entrepreneurial success and I think the way he compares himself today with himself yesterday is infinitely better than comparing yourself to someone else.As Oscar Wilde says "Be yourself, everyone else is taken." Tom's life now seems quite different from his life a few years ago. It sounds like he's starting to reap the dividends of all that investment in learning, in failure, in different jobs, in meeting different people from different cultures and different industries. It sounds like he's taken the best of what he learned and experienced and transformed it into a series of healthy habits and routines that, with discipline, deliver the consistent results he's looking for.In our terms, his early years were spent voraciously exploring the unknown, albeit reluctantly! Now, he seems to have found more of a balance between the known and the unknown. I can see Tom will always be curious to some extent or another but it's so interesting to hear him describe the way he stops himself from getting distracted. For people like Tom who feel comfortable in the unknown, this is a big challenge. New ideas can often feel so much more interesting than maintenance. It all seems to come together in his bus metaphor. Serial entrepreneurs get on a bus and stay on for a few stops before switching to the bus where people look richer and happier. This process continues when you're a hustler, you never stay on any bus for very long, you never stick at anything, you never go deep into anything.Tom's trick has been to notice the dissatisfaction, explore alternative paths, pick the one that works for him and repeat until he feels that twinge of dissatisfaction again. As Tom and Jocko Willink say "Routines free you."To some people, it might sound like Tom's wrestling with, on one hand, the value of routines versus the value of adventure but it isn't like that. Routines and adventure work together as interdependent pairs like inhaling and exhaling. There's no point in mastering inhaling without giving equal attention to exhaling. The way we think about these things is balance.   With balance in mind, I hope Tom works out how to feel a contentment from what he's already achieved and balance it with the desire to move forward. I'm sure his small group of family and friends will help him along the way.Thanks again Tom for all the insights. CheersRay & Neilhttps://smartbrandmarketing.com/  https://smartbrandmarketing.com/tom-libelt/https://www.tonyrobbins.com/https://jockopodcast.com/
Clare Farrell - Rebellion
Jul 10 2020
Clare Farrell - Rebellion
She tried mainstream fashion but didn't fit in. Clare doesn't fit in - in so many ways! Clare's a rebel. She suggests that rebellion became a part of her when she moved schools and studied the same syllabus and sat the same exams two years on the trot. Clare, because she was bright got very bored and that bred rebellion. I'm sure that year shaped Clare but I have very little doubt that Clare was born to rebel. Her childhood was characterised by instability and change. She learned to cope with the unknown. As an adult with her own mind, she is still unafraid of the unknown. She is unafraid of the consequences of her actions because she's experienced the likely consequences before . . . and survived. Being arrested doesn't faze someone whos spent time in the notorious Top Shop Hilton. Clare's childhood doesn't seem good enough to me. I think she deserved better. She's worked hard to understand what happened but what occurs to me is that this not good enough childhood might just be the very thing that's given her the ability to shock, to wake us up, to help us notice. In her work with XR, the job is to wake us up to what's happening to the planet.It seems to me the risk is too great for no action. Hindsight won't be an option. And why not work together to clean things up?  Why not shout about it if that's what you do so well?Enjoy Clare Farrell - RebellionWe talked to Clare about:Claire's estranged relationship with her much older DadHaving the wrong accentThe moment she lost trust in her familyWatching her mum get ill and die Going into a state of numbness when her Mum diedHaving to grow up quicklyHow she justified her thoughts of self-harm Becoming a surrogate Mum to her little brotherLiving in Middlesborough next door to armed robbers, heroin dealers and heroin addicts Being surrounded by people who'd also suffered childhood trauma because they understood each otherFinding out your boyfriend's gayArriving in London in a state of serious traumaMistaking openness for weaknessBailing on the commercial fashion worldThe benefits of desperation if it leads to asking for help (rock-bottom)  Becoming a much better version of herself thanks to a very special therapistLearning to become more compassionate to herselfThe culture of the fashion industryThe plethora of gross bossesBeing told 'sustainable' wasn't something that would work in fashion'Sustainable Fashion' by its very nature being an oxymoron The destructive nature of CapitalismHer Dad's advice to do something she enjoyedThe protest/art project she organised in a Top Shop storeGetting banged up in the Top Shop jailBuy Nothing DaySpace HijackersDisrupting the daily life of peopleShaking people awakeHow Clare's rebelliousness developed How age has mellowed the rebelExtinction RebellionTeaching fashion  MoneyRisksForgivenessSome people walk on by, some people take personal responsibilityHeading toward environmental catastropheWhen comfortable becomes uncomfortableThe impossibleness of maintaining the status quo Clare's relationship with 'hope'The challenges of activismHow our planet is the thing that can bring us togetherExtinction RebellionReverand BillySpace HijackersVigilante-hippie-six-wheeled-riot-tankDavid Wallce-Wells
Damian Keyes - F**k Plan B
Mar 6 2020
Damian Keyes - F**k Plan B
We have a big old natter about:Growing up in SwanseaThe problem of doing what you want on your wedding day - when others want you to go with the flow (one week after this conversation Damian was getting married Vegas) Moving to New YorkThe problem of describing what he does; Musician v Builder of BusinessesThe creativity of building businesses When he gets bored it's time to move onBeing a five-star failerGood drummers = good videographersPlaying Wembley Arena & Hyde Park Meeting your heroesBeing paid to do what you loveFailing all his GCSE'sJoining a bandSigning a record deal and the anticipation of becoming a rock starThe 9 months of anticipation being followed by being dropped by the record label  Getting a job in the local shampoo factoryRealising that he didn't want to get used to a very boring jobWhy everyone should do a very boring jobReacting to rock-bottomBeing more scared of staying at the shampoo factory than he was scared of the unknownUnderstanding that failure isn't fatalFinding his 'lane' which is working very hard to overcome any lack of talent Competing with himself not others Why he doesn't want to look back on his life and wish he'd done something differentWhy life is like a computer game Money is like oxygen - you don't really care about it until it's goneOne holiday in his 20'sWhat are holidays?Having a Dad with no ambition whatsoever and reacting to thatTaking personal responsibility Contentment v AmbitionHis very supportive mumHaving a Stepdad who introduced fun and was a big influence on his lifeSliding doors momentsThe importance of the mentors in his life, particularly Bruce DickinsonWhen 'Why Not?' is the answerThe amazing Princes Trust Going to Rock SchoolThe different lenses through which we look at life and why alternative lenses are essential for growthThe importance of doubting that your stories are the only important stories When snow forced Damian to move from Rock School student to Rock School teacherWhen Damian became the Rock School's Sales & Marketing Manager Following/stalking his mentor Bruce and how they set up their own music college (BIMM)  Damian's focus on giving students the best music education possibleHow in the first 3 years students were involved in 24 Top 40 hits (including the Kooks)The importance of remembering students names (and at the height taking 3 weeks to remember 1,000 students names)How the scale of BIMM became a problemLeaving BIMM How becoming a millionaire was overshadowed by a sense of failureLosing confidenceThe 'what next?' moment  Feeling like Jason OrangeGoing back to the comfort of his bass guitarLearning to sing and having too much workStarting to manage bands and having to employ people to help outHow learning is a confidence builderHis Mum's words 'do it while you can'Unwittingly becoming the social media guyThe irony of being asked to write a book when the last book he'd read was Fantastic Mr FoxWriting 'Fuck Plan B' which became 'The rulebreakers guide to social media' Understanding that both success and failure are fleeting and just part of the game The importance of doubting the stories you tell yourself when the story is that you can't do somethingThe importance of creating meaningful experiences or 'legacy' Damian's next adventure and why it feels like he's burning the ships BIMMSupermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordonhttps://www.youtube.com/user/Damiankeyes
Dave Cornthwaite - Say Yes More
Nov 29 2019
Dave Cornthwaite - Say Yes More
In this episode, we talk to Dave about:the importance of articulating a vision when you're working in a teamthe move from graphic designer to Adventurerthe move from adventurer to community leadernot wanting to wait for the bad thing to happen before making changes to his lifebeing a fortunate kidhaving 18 different addresses by the time he was 18 (because his Dad was in the RAF)not needing to make long-term friends because he was going to move onbeing physically and mentally bullied at schoolwhen football isn't enoughplanning his suicide feeling there was something important inside waiting to get outthe deliberate act of escaping home so he could grow upbeginning to understand the importance of long-term relationshipsunderstanding that nobody else cares what you do, you have to make it happenuniversity life becoming a football entrepreneur becoming a writer, storyteller and maker of small filmsteaching himself graphic design so he didn't have to make the trip across townbeing lost/having no directionfeeling there was something more to lifehis 'crossing the threshold' moment the first step being late for workunderstanding he had a negative approach to live starting to say yes instead of nostarting to explore the town in which he livedthe benefits of a cardboard programmerwanting to impress himselfhis habit of not spending very muchthe skateboard that became the turning pointbreaking Jack Smith's world record for the longest journey by skateboardunderstanding it's not what you earn, it's what you don't spendunderstanding that the feeling of being alive comes with higher highs and lower lows and that it's worth itthe importance of taking small steps / one day at a timethe importance of focusing on what you want to achieve NOT what you want to avoidpost-trip book writing depressionthe joy of being in naturefinding the things that bring him joy in lifeturning pub ideas into realityten years living out of a rucksackcombating post-expedition depression with expedition 1000 - having the next thing to look forward topaddleboarding the Mississippi with alligatorswild camping  Yestival, a festival where people share their stories of adventure.how one step leads to anotherwhy an 'existing life' isn't enough  https://sayyesmore.com/
Kim Slade - Licking the Lid of Life
Nov 18 2019
Kim Slade - Licking the Lid of Life
We talked to Kim aboutStudying the stoner's degree that is music technologyNot feeling he could focus enough to become a professional singer-songwriterSwapping music tours for travellingEnjoying the creative processGoing to the Happy Startup School Summercamp five years previously when first looking to leave employmentOn the travelling bug and finding the places that other people don'tHaving a Mum and Dad who encouraged adventureThe importance of a 'Buddy' (Nicola in Kim's case) when stepping outside a comfort zone Wanting to be a pioneerTravelling to Central America not understanding that no one speaks EnglishAlmost leaving Central America because it was too dauntingOn the words of Warren who becomes Kim's Central American Mentor "don't be soft"The kindness of strangersThe fine line between trusting and being wary of strangers  The adventure of moving from Bognor Regis to BrightonBeing a confident version of himself and getting his first career job in social media Becoming bored and selling everything to go on another adventure when life was perfectly comfortableHis obsession with islandsFinding the edge's of the territory in which he's just arrivedNot wanting to miss out on an experience The moment he realised he wasn't going to get another job againArriving back in the UK with no moneyLiving on a leaky boat with nappies on the ceiling to collect the drips The need for resilience when making a transition (for Kim, from employment to self-employment) Starting the adventure company 'Unknown Epic'The importance of direction / a goal when trying to make decisionsBecoming a coach to friends who struggle to step outside their comfort zoneThe extent to which we all grow is in direct proportion to the uncomfortableness we experienceGetting married one day and losing his father-in-law the following morning Losing confidence, depression and letting his wife down    The importance of noticing rock-bottomThe importance of asking for help, talking and therapyHow Barry the Van became Kim's therapist and allowed him to focus on something other than his depression The benefits of living on a shoestringSetting up Touch Video Academy and learning about businessThe difficulty of balancing adventure and the environmentFounding Unlost  The constant challenge of balancing the need for money with the need for adventure  Derek Sivers Ted Talk covering the Leaders & FollowersUnknown Epic - Forgotten ValleysTouch Video AcademyUnlost