Ant Middleton Opens Up About His Personal Demons, Being "Cancelled" & His Spirituality | E74 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Ant Middleton Opens Up About His Personal Demons, Being "Cancelled" & His Spirituality | E74".
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One of the things that I say is the most courageous thing you can do above all bravery is this is the personal life I've really keep to myself. Now, I've spoken a lot about it today, which I've never spoken about before. Ant Middleton. Ant is an adventurer, a military vet, a television host, an author, an entrepreneur, and one that's become highly, highly respected as an authority when it comes to things like survival and endurance and leadership techniques. And due to his experiences as an elite special force member, he can talk about these things in a way that nobody, nobody else can. Ant has very, very recently been at the center of a huge media storm where he was quote unquote canceled, with his biggest show today, S. A. S. Houdeis wins being axed by Channel four after five years. And the broadcaster came out and said that Ant's views and values weren't aligned to theirs. This is his first in depth conversation that he's recorded since he was quote unquote canceled. I've watched countless amounts of interviews that Ant Middleton has done. But the side of Ant that you're going to hear today is one that even he admits himself that he has never fully shared before. I'm going to say it, this podcast lifted a ton of weight off my shoulders and answered maybe the most important question about life that we all must ask ourselves if we are going to be happy and if we're going to be successful and if we're going to be free. Ant, thank you for your honesty. Without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett and this is the Diaries CEO. I hope nobody's listening. But if you are, then please keep this to yourself. Ant, one of the when I was reading your book, First Man In, there was, there's this quote at the end of one of the chapters.
Personal Growth And Life Challenges
Exorcising my demons (01:55)
And I thought it was a good place to start this conversation today because I tend to think that it's probably one of the more foundational pieces of information. Well, it might lead to one of the most foundational pieces of information to describe who you became in your life and what you've got on to achieve. And this is what you wrote at the end of the chapter. It says, it's called making friends with your demons, having dark forces living within us as part of being human. The result of inevitable damage of life, each one of us has a choice, make these demons work for us or turn them loose against us. And slightly linked to that in the same on the same page you wrote, most of most of us have horror stories we can tell you about from our childhoods. It's not the horror that defines you. It's how well you fought it. What did that mean? I think that's just a generic message to everyone to say that it's okay to have, you know, bad thoughts. It's okay to have these demons inside you. They exist in all of us, you know, but the important message is to exercise them. Because the moment you lock them away, the moment you lock these thoughts away, the moment you lock these demons away, the moment you lock any negativity away, all it's going to do is take over like a mold and it's going to completely engulf you. And it's going to go into control you as an individual. And it's only because I've been there and I've done it, whether that's what I've done in combat, losing my father at a young age, losing my mother, seeing bodies blown up around me, seeing dead people around me, seeing the effect it has on families, seeing what my decision, pulling that trigger or not, has on a certain person or has on a certain family or has on a certain situation. And it's ultimately being okay with who you are. That's the whole thing about it. It's being acknowledging that, listen, we're not perfect, we're human. Okay, we have weaknesses, we have insecurities, we have these horrendous thoughts sometimes. Now, you'd be a liar to say that you don't sit there sometimes and the things that go through your head, if you actually voice them, then that becomes a problem. That's you not exercising your demons, that's them exercising you. And it's just about acknowledging that. And I acknowledge that from such a young age. I acknowledge that from a young age when my father passed away and I couldn't really understand what was going on. Can you tell me about that? Yeah, my father passed away when I was five years old and within a few months, a new man came into our life, my stepfather. And then within two years, we moved to France. So we lived in Portsmouth, we up the move completely to France, a new situation, a new environment, a new man in our life. And I can just remember thinking, I remember going into a bush in the fields where we lived in France, after a couple of months, we were there and I sat in this bush and the magnitude of the situation was so overwhelming. I can just remember looking at the road and thinking to myself, what am I doing here? Why am I here? What's the purpose? I couldn't grasp anything at that young age. And it was during that moment when I let everything go. And I can just remember thinking to myself, don't try and understand what's going on. Don't understand who this man is and where he's come from. Don't try and understand why you're in a different school speaking, a different language, because you can't. Don't try and understand all of a sudden you're living in caravans. We moved. We were living in a couple of caravans. We were a big, big family from houses. And I can just remember dropping everything and thinking to myself, understand what you can and can understand. And at that young age, what I could understand was what I was feeling. You know, I could understand myself. So when I look back on the death of my father and as I flip everything into a positive, even though years and years and years down the line, I've done this. You know, the death of my father actually made me self-reflect from the age of six or seven. So I've been self-reflecting, you know, understanding my emotions, understanding how I feel, understanding my demons, understanding, you know, the good parts of me, the bad parts of me, the weak parts of me, the strong parts of me, the positive side of me, the negative side of me. And I've been really breaking it down from such a young age. And that's given me an advantage in life. I generally believe that that's given me my sort of bulletproof mindset on how to tackle anyone or any situation today. So even though it's a traumatic part of my life and it affected me all the way up to my mid-20s in a bad way where I'd go out and try and understand who my father was, try and understand, you know, I never went to his funeral. I never went to his grave. You know, my parents, my, I say my parents, my stepdad, because he became in my life so young, I called him my dad. They never told me where he was buried. He was just completely cut out of our life. Because of the situation beforehand, you know, for him to come into our lives a couple of months after, it was pretty obvious that my mum was obviously having an affair or there's something going on. And again, I'm not judging anyone or the situation. But, you know, so when he came into our life, it was like, right, you call him dad. My name changed from Aaron to Middleton. Not a lot of people know that. Really? Yeah. And this whole new life was just forced upon me, forced upon me. So I was either forced to act or force not to act. You know, sitting in that bush, me forcing not to act was probably jumping in the road, you know, thinking, "Dite, listen, enough is enough." To that question mind. It was a big road. It was a big road. And it never got to that stage where I thought, "Right, I'm going to take my life." It was like, you know, there's an easy option out of here. You know what I mean? It's like, there is an easy option out of here. But it never crossed my mind to do it. But I can just remember thinking of that road, thinking, "The car's moved faster." I mean, if you wanted to, it's more like, if you wanted to, that could be... So it crosses your mind. Yeah, it crosses your mind, but it doesn't register if that makes sense. And it's only, you know, throughout these few years when you start to reflect back on who you are and what you've been through, you start to go bloody hell. And actually, maybe I was thinking like that at an age. So, but then again, you know, who I am, I'm honest with myself, I'm honest with my demons, I'm honest with who I am. And ultimately, I'm honest with knowing that we're not perfect. You know, a lot of people, and you've described it there, they never make... They never admit their demons to themselves. And what ends up happening is those demons run the show, but from the back room. Absolutely. And you know, I guess you see that a lot with people that have come back from war as well, because they don't get the support they need. I see it join war. Yeah. I see people level headed, intelligent soldiers lose their head on the battlefield, come running past you, doing things that you think, wow, where the hell did that come from? You look into their eyes and there's fucking nothing there, nothing there. And then boom, they flip out and you're like, do you realize what you just done? Like, you know, it's... You know, those demons are fucking strong. They're there. How do you address them? You have to exercise them. That's what I do. And you know, the way I exercise my demons is by getting like-minded, similar people in the same room, in a safe environment. And I might drink myself into a Bolivian till 3, 4 in the morning, you know, chatting about what we've done, chatting about old times, chatting about who we are. And then boom, I'm done for six months. You know, I've released those demons. When you, you know, intoxicate yourself with alcohol, you know, it allows you to talk. And I'm not saying go out there and do that, but that's just my way of coming from a drinking culture, i.e. the military, drinking and a fighting culture. That's the way that we deal with things. And for now, it might be a blowout where, you know, I go out and, you know, I'll have a nice meal and, you know, we'll have a few glasses of wine, you know, we're in a private room and we're, we shoot this shit and, you know, just talk about whatever we need to talk about, whatever's on your mind. But also physically, I exercise my demons physically. You know, I put myself in horrendous situations in order to fight against myself. Everest is a prime example of that. I was going to say. You know, I didn't have to go up during the storms. You know, if I was the normal sensible person, I would have went up after that storm went. So just for context, you, you decided to climb Mount Everest with a buddy who was probably the worst possible time and you got into a little bit of a predicament up there. Yeah, exactly that. To say the least, yeah. But it's one of those where I didn't just want to walk up on a nice sunny day, you know, and, and gain nothing from that experience. What, why, though? Like, why are you voluntarily putting yourself through chaos and what anyone else would perceive to be agony? Why are you choosing that? That's me exercising my demons. Really? That's me, you know, pushing myself to that limit. That's me having tasted that drug of living on that line of life and death. And a lot of people think that drugs are adrenaline, but it's not. I don't feel pumped. I don't feel I feel ultimate peace. So people find this bizarre, but when I walk that line of life and death, which I've done multiple times, it's a pure feeling of euphoria. It's not what you think where you feel pumped in your, your eyes are red and you've got this aggression going through you and you have to get through this moment. It's like life is so uncomplicated, Steve. So uncomplicated. You're either going to live or you're going to die. All the bullshit, all the complications of life that is implemented on you, whether that's through government, whether that's through work, whether that's through family, all of that goes and you are left with the most pureest form of life. And it's so uncomplicated that it's so euphoric. It's so peaceful. And when you hear of World War I and World War II poets, that writing poems in trenches, people are like, how the hell are they writing poems in trenches? I understand that feeling because life is so uncomplicated, it's so pure, it's so peaceful that they're writing with no stresses, no complications, no bullshit. It's just it's coming from the pureest form of life of I'm either going to live or I'm going to die. And it's that feeling that I chase, I chase that feeling well to want that moment of peace, of pure and utter peace for 10, 15 minutes, that drug I chase and that's crossing those boundaries, crossing those lines, crossing any limitations to the edge of life. You take that step, you're gone. You go over that edge, you're going to feel it, you're going to feel alive, you're going to feel everything that you need out of life. But for me that's exercising my demons. So whether I do it psychologically, whether I'm putting myself in situations that I'm saying stuff that I believe in, that I value, that as a message, and it's being contradicted or whether I'm pushing myself to a physical limit or putting myself in a physical situation which is uncomfortable to the everyday man or woman. But it's because I've tasted it, I've had the misfortune, I've had the burden of tasting that drug. And will it be the end of me? I can't say that for sure, I can't say that it won't. I can't say that, you know, I've never put myself in these situations again because I find myself constantly doing it. But for me, that is exercising my demons. And everyone is a demon, everyone's situation is different, everyone's emotions are different, everyone's DNA is different. But that's me exercising my demons. Quick one, starting from the minute the lockdown is lifted, we're going to start bringing in some of our subscribers to watch how this podcast is produced behind the scenes means you get to meet the guests, meet myself and see how we put all of this together. If you want that to be you, all you've got to do, hit the subscribe button. What are the other, if any, moments from your early years that went into shaping the man you became?
What shaped you to who you are today? (15:01)
Was there anything else? Because I hear you in your books and in your writing and your interviews continue to cite that sort of trauma with your father and your stepfather then coming in and being the way that he was. But was there anything up leading until, you know, your 20s that you cite is being pivotal in who you became? Yeah, when I joined the British military, I joined the army at the ages 16. I'm just going on to 17. And I came from a background of French culture. You know, I'd go out and drink coffee when I was 14, play bowling when I was 15. You know, and all of a sudden I get thrown into a male dominant organization. The culture, drinking, fighting, you fit in or you fuck off, just as simple as that. So what do you do? You try and fit in. But when you try and put a round peg into a square hole, you know, you're going to get stuck and you either stay stuck. Okay, you go around pleasing everyone else or you pull yourself out of that situation. And that's ultimately what I've done with the army. I spent four years in the army then left because of that situation. It wasn't me, it wasn't this aggressive young lad that loved drinking. I'd never used to drink. I was always polite, always respectful. I'd walk past someone, I'd tip my hat, you know, in France, you just have a little chat. You do that in England. When I was 16, 17 walking past someone, I'm a nod and they're like, what the fuck are you looking at? No, it used to shock me. And I used to think, I only say in high mate, what, you know, and that was a pivotal four years in my life where I fought to myself. Can I ever fit in to this UK culture? Or I can pull myself out of it. And for the first four years, I found myself fitting in and I found myself being good at drinking, I found myself being good at fighting. I found myself being good at being a fucking dickhead, you know, because that's what I needed to be to fit in. So again, those were demons that I discovered along the way that I found that I was good at. So would I let anyone take the piss out of me anymore? You bet it, no, because you're going to get a good hiding, you know, when I go out and drink and fit in, yeah, of course, of course, I would, you know, it's one of the lads, I want to fit in. So I mean, I'm so, I'm so far detached from all of that. But if I'm this young, polite, respectful, sort of multicultural individual, then that's going to be a more of a hindrance moving forward in what I need to do, especially in the military than it is a benefit. So you find yourself turning into this person, I can just remember I was about 21 and I went to Macedonia and I worked with the French foreign legion out there because I speak fluent French and I worked with the French foreign legion a bit and I saw how they were, they're very mature, very sort of, you know, going back to that French culture, you know, their family orientated very, I thought to myself, wow, this is who I am. And when I got back off that tour, I can just remember going to the squadron bar, I was in nine parishes, squadron wall engineers going to the squadron bar, we've just done a six month tour, I'm going to the squadron bar and I remember walking in there, I remember seeing someone, um, a staff sergeant, probably about 35, 36, you know, I'm a young 2021 year old, drinking from a boot, from an old desert boot, right, and he's drinking a piss, being drinking piss from my boot and I can just remember looking at him thinking, if I continue the way that I'm going, that's going to be me in 15 years time. And it scared the hell out of me. I could remember just thinking, I've got to get the hell out of it. I walked out of that bar and the next day I put my notice in, I was like that, this is not who I am, this is not, you know, I've gained more demons from this four years than I have any friends, any benefits from it. And that was a pivotal point, that was a pivotal point in my life where I thought to myself, wow, you know, I can either go, I can have a change in such a way and just be stuck in this square hole where I can pull myself out, rebuild on the foundations that I have of knowing that I'm a good person. And from there, you handed in your notice, and what happened next? From there, I handed in my notice and I left and I found that in Sivi Street, I was acting the person that I never wanted to be in the military, but I'd found that that had followed me, that had taken charge of me. Give me a B-specific moment. So those demons that, those demons that had sort of identified themselves within that four years were running the show. So when I got out, I joined the Metropolitan Police and I was acting like a proper squadie, you know, going out drinking every night, you know, cheating on my exams, drink driving, you know, I got all the way through training a couple of weeks ago, a couple of weeks to go, passed all the tests, I got caught drink driving, boom, kicked out the, kicked out the Met, out of the training in Hendon. But it didn't bother me. I was like, yeah, you know, once a soldier, always a soldier. And I was living in the past and being someone who completely wasn't me, but who had control of me. And then getting into the street life, now I've got into the street life where, you know, biting, not gangs, not gangs, but that, that social circle where, you know, you have to uphold a reputation where you, and the one thing that I would, you know, the, well, I say the one thing, but the thing that I was good at that fitted me is that was a good scraper. I knew I know how to scrap, I know how to drink, I know how to fight. But you find yourself reverting back to the person who never wanted to be. And I suppose that was the defense mechanism. I knew that that worked in the UK. I'd never child and tested anything else. As soon as I came over to the UK, straight into the military again. Now I spent 10, 12 years in France before that, then boom, straight over into into the British culture. And I thought that's how you acted. I never knew what Silly Street was about because I never, I was never in it. So it took me a good couple of years again, to realize what pulled you out of the job. There's one moment that saved me. I refused to sign on. I refused to take any, any help from the government. Same. And I can remember my auntie, I was living in my auntie at the time, she said, and you've got, you know, you've got no money. What are you going to do? I said, well, I'm going to go down to the job center. She said, well, why don't you just sign on until you find a job? I'm like, no. So I was proud. I was like, no, I've never taken a penny off the government. I thought, no, I'm going to go to the job center. I remember walking into the job center, walking up the stairs, walking into the job center, and I had my red book and the red book when you leave the military, it's got all your qualifications, military qualifications, all these good dentures. And I walked into the job center and the guy obviously recognized the book. So they'd probably have hundreds of people going there, you know, a year. And he said, oh, mate, you wrecked military on you. I said, yeah, he said, come to the desk. He sat down with me and he opened up my book, and he started reading my book. And he looked up at me and he said, why did you leave the military? And before I could answer, I was going to say something back. And he said, well, I have hundreds of these come across my desk. And he said, this is one of the best reports I've ever read. He said, so my advice to you as he slammed the book shot, he went, went, go back into that space. And I can remember just sitting there, I was 22 sitting there and I think in Mikey, he's gone off me a job now. And he just handed me the book and called over the next person. And I was just like, I'm going to pick up the book. He told myself, oh, God, he just told me, I've got, you know, but obviously there's, there's an all military qualifications. There's nothing from me out there, apart from empty bins or whatever it may be. And I remember taking the book, and as I walked down the steps of the job center, I sat down halfway down on the steps. And I had a train ticket in my pocket and probably about a couple of quid loose change. That was my life. This was at the ages 22, 23, maybe. And I can just remember thinking to myself, right, why the hell are you sat? Skin, nothing in your life, apart from what the clothes that you wear in and what's in your pockets. Jobless. And then a moment of clarity just hit me. It's almost as if I had an out of body experience and I was looking back at the boy sitting on the step. And I can just remember thinking to myself, I'll tell you why. It's because you're pretending to be someone else. You lie into yourself, therefore you're living a lie. You know, you think you're better than everyone else. You've got this reputation that you want to uphold that's not you. You're just a shadow of who you really are. You're not, you know, who the hell do you think you are? Because the person that I'm looking at, you know, almost looking in the mirror, the person that I'm looking at is exactly where you should be. Sat on a fucking step, jobless with nothing. Because this isn't you. And if you want to live in the shadow, if you want to stay stuck in that hole in that square hole, then keep lying to yourself and keep living a lie. And that moment, I'll always go back to that moment whenever I get a bit above myself, or a bit too big for my boots, I always go back to that moment where I rip myself apart. Because it freed me as an individual. And I promise you this and it's not cliche. This isn't some kind of fucking bullshit story that I'm telling you. It freed me as an individual. Because I can remember standing up on them steps, feeling like a new man, because I just identified who I was. This isn't you. Get that out of your life. Get that out of your life. Be you. And I had those foundations to fall back on. Because I knew who I was ultimately, but it was just covered in an ego covered with so much bullshit covered with so much complications that I'd implemented on myself. And when I got rid of it all, I was like that, you know what? I was good at the military. I've got best recruit best PT when I was in the army. So what I'm going to do, I love that lifestyle, but it's just around the wrong people. I was in the wrong regiment. You know, I'm going to rejoin the military, but I'm going to be a team player. I'm going to be myself. I'm going to be this respectful, gentleman, hard worker that I know that I am. Do you mean I'm not going to go out boozing? I'm not going to go out fighting. I'm not going to try and fit in. You know, if they don't accept me for who I am, then so be it. The military obviously isn't for me. I joined the war marines. I went straight down the careers office, straight down the careers office and joined the war marines. And within a couple of months because of my previous military history, I got in very quick. And within a couple of months, I found myself going for a war marine training. And when I passed out of war marine training, I got awarded with Best Recruit, which is the Kings badge. And I can just remember thinking to myself, right? And you've been here before. You know, you've got Best Recruit, Best PT. You know, you rest on your levels, went to your unit, didn't really fit in. You're in the same position now. You can either use this as a positive and push forward and, you know, go on to achieve great things. Or you can try and fit in booze, fight, be a camp hero, you know, pub soldier, and just be back to square one where you was five, six, seven years ago. There's something, and I want to carry on from that story, but just going back to that, I find it super fascinating that you're sat on those stairs. And at a moment when your ego kind of dissolves because of the circumstances, you find yourself in, you're actually able then to go and pursue your true self. And I find, you know, I had someone sat in this chair previously, and he's the biggest investor in the world in psychedelics. And one of the things that he talks about with psychedelics is it what it does is it strips back the bullshit, your ego, the identity you've been living to please society. And what's left is like who you actually are. And it's so funny that so many of the guests I speak to and so many of the psychologists I've spoken to talk about in order to like find your happiness and pursue your true self, you have to get rid of that bullshit. And what I'm what I was hearing when you were saying that is, you know, you'd, you'd create this reputation and identity for yourself, which actually was leading you astray, but it was helping you survive in those circles. And there's a tough, tough decision to say, you know, I'm going to break out that circle, leave that identity behind, throw myself into an uncertain moment and go in pursuit of like who I actually am. And everybody faces that in their life. You know, as a kid growing up in Devon in a school of 1500 white kids, pretending that I liked indie music and pretending I was to fit in and survive. And I left the city because I deep down in my heart, I didn't resonate with anybody. But I was in that small town city surrounded by 1500 white kids that liked the cooks. And then 18 hours that I'm out of here, I'm going to go be Steve, move to Manchester. You know, and I dropped out and I started to, and I think everybody in their life, regardless of what walk of like you, you face that decision and either you've realized that you're living an identity or a life and treat yourself. And you've gone on the journey to go find yourself. Or right now as you listening to this, you are, and you'll know it. Yeah, because the word that you've described there will ring true. You're completely, I completely understand that and that makes complete sense to me. And one of the things that I say is the most courageous thing you can do above all bravery is to be honest with yourself. Why is that so hard these days? They had one day last week, it was actually Sunday where I didn't have my fuel and I had a little bit of junk food. And I don't know what it is, but I think my body has got used to eating clean food. Because for the next three days, I felt, and I still kind of feel what day we are now Tuesday, I still kind of feel crap from the junk food that I had just had one junk meal, I had this junk meal, right? I still feel crap now. I don't know what it is. I think my body has genuinely got used to eating good food. So the minute now that I put in something that is bad for me, my body goes Steve, what are you doing? And I felt bad for the last two days and I returned to you and I feel good again. This is just an anecdotal story, but I said this to my PA last night. I said for some reason, having now transitioned to a really good diet on fuel, any sort of dabble with the stuff that I used to eat is more sort of alarming to my body. And I noticed it way more than I ever had. So yeah, you know, it's one thing having a podcast sponsor that pays you money, but it's another thing having a podcast sponsor who you genuinely believe can help people change their lives for the better. One of the things that I say is the most courageous thing you can do above all bravery is to be honest with yourself.
Why is being honest with yourself so hard these days? (30:40)
Why is that so hard these days? You know, people say to me, and you know, what's the bravest thing you've ever done? And I always talk about the story of the job center steps because that took courage, that took balls that took that's bravery right there. Now I've been in rooms where bullets are flying over my head of kickdoors down and you know, I've taken I've saved life. It's like, that's not being brave. That's just me being extremely good at my job and loving what I do. You know, there's not there's nothing to do with bravery. You know, bravery is almost forced upon you. But when you decide to step into the arena, when you decide to step into that and go, right, I'm going to face this and put that mirror on yourself, ultimately facing yourself. That is the hardest but most liberating thing I've ever done. And people shy away from that and they live in the void. They live this life where they'd live in the void. I call it, they say you're on autopilot because you're lying to yourself and it's pretty simple. Therefore, you're going to live a lie. I don't care. It's I'm not the Archbishop of Canterbury. You know, I'm like, I'm not a rocket scientist. It's just simple if you lie to yourself, well, guess what? You're going to live a lie. I'm standing in a mirror, standing in the mirror and ripping yourself apart does take away all the bullshit and all the complications. And it frees you as an individual. But it's you have to do it on a regular basis. You can't just go, I've done it once. So here we go. I found myself. This is who I am because hopefully you're constantly changing. You're constantly evolving. You're constantly adapting your mindset. That's what evolution is about. The world is designed to, you know, evolutionizes and we are designed to do exactly the same. And the moment that you're not honest with yourself, this game over for you. It's like, you just want to be just that person. A lot of people say to me, and I remember me from the military, I'm like, yeah, yeah, yeah, I go, no, you've changed a lot. You've changed. I'm like that. I haven't seen you for 10 years. I hope I've changed. And I say to him, you haven't. That's why you're still just that guy. That's why I'm at Middleton. And you're still just that guy is because of course I've changed. I like to think in another 10 years time when you see me that I've changed again. Because if I haven't, I'm doing something wrong. And that doing something wrong is not being honest with myself. And it all goes back to you as an individual. No one can do that for you. No one can do that for you. And I say to everyone, everything starts with you. And it's so true. If you don't want to change, nothing will change around you. Now, if you don't want to be honest with yourself, well, guess what? You're lying to yourself. It's complete opposite. Therefore, you live in the light. It's like you have to do this on a weekly or a monthly basis. Any time an obstacle was thrown in front of you, you can fall back on, right, to be honest with yourself. Be honest with who you are. Be honest with you with how you tackle things and don't like yourself. The cost of being yourself and being honest with yourself is seemingly increasing in this day and age. I think that's a really valid point, one that I hadn't, I don't think expressed properly, which is you had that reflective moment when you sat on those stairs where you say, fuck it, we're going to start being honest with ourselves. But then especially as you get more successful in your media career and everything else, the forces at play trying to get you to not be honest with yourself, get greater and greater. And this is this crazy paradox, whatever we see in society at the moment, which is you being honest with yourself is the reason you're sat here. It's the reason you're at Middleton. And that's what's made you explode, right? But then the higher you get, it's like, I don't know, the resistance for you not to be yourself becomes greater because now you've got, now you're more of a target, right? Hard fucking, hard fucking life to live. Do you know what? I've been witness of it. You know, the council culture, the, don't say that. And because you will lose this book deal, you will lose that media career, you will lose that production and witness of it right now. You know, I hear it probably on a weekly basis. But then that's that square peg round hole. It's like, no, I don't, you know, it's, every time I think about that. And I always have two principles with everything that I do is don't go out to offend. So I don't say say things to offend people. Therefore, they choose to be offended. I don't say things to offend people. I just say things. What I think is right, was I've served me good in my experiences and my career and my mindset. And the second thing is, you know, don't don't do things maliciously. So first of all, don't go out to it's verbal. And also actions. No, don't don't do things maliciously because then, ultimately, yeah, you're going to have a backlash. You're going to have a reaction to, to, to what you've done. So that's exactly what I do. I don't go out to offend, but I go out to tell the truth. But I also go out to seek the truth, you know, and I go out to seek in the truth. Again, everything starts with you and with who I am. Stageness. And it's, it's, it's, it's in social media. It's dangerous. It is dangerous. But hopefully you get past that, that stage of people realizing that actually this is, and he's not been any different. He's not, you know, voiced anything different. He's not trying to fit into a media agenda. He's not trying to try to, to flag anyone. He's not being fake. This is who at Middleton is, and he will always be like that. Regardless of what right. Yeah, regardless. But then there's that platform of not reaching that level quite yet. And then everything descending upon you. And I, and unfortunately, there's a lot of people out there that are scared to say what they truly feel. I'm scared to voice their opinions, scared to, you know, voice their values. Because ultimately it takes food off the table. It's a career stopper. When your career stops, guess what suffers after that? Your family. And then when that, when that suffers, guess what? There's not much out there for you. You have to rebuild again. Well, although it's 10, 15, 20 years career that you've, that you've built all for that one moment, is it worth it? No. So what do you do? Keep quiet. What do you do? Don't do anything. Just say what they want you to say and do what they want you to do. That doesn't fucking rub with me. That's a sore point with me. You know, you try and you try and make me someone that I'm not like I've been made someone that I'm not. You're probably going to get even you're going to get the worst out of me even more so because everything comes back around to who you truly are. I'm trying to control you. Yeah, it's a controlling measure. And it's like, you're listening, I've, I've let people control my life. I've let situations control my life. And it's, I've ended up psychologically, not physically, psychologically on that brink of questioning who the fuck am I? Who am I? That's what I question. And the moment I start questioning who am I? Then I know that project isn't for me. I know that that that sponsor isn't for me. I know that that TV channel or that TV production isn't for me. Because the moment that comes into question, then it's like, you don't probably don't get who I am. You probably don't understand who I am. You probably haven't done your homework with who I am. Do I fit into your agenda? And it's like, if you don't fit into one agenda, you get bounced, boom, straight across to the opposite side. Right? It's like, I don't belong on that side. It's because I don't believe in this, this side. It doesn't mean I belong on that side. I'm, I belong in the middle. And you on the left, you're like, I'm like, I'm not on the left or right. I'm in the middle. I'm in the middle, but there is no middle because the moment that you go, you say slightly something that goes against this agenda. Then again, you just get bounced straight to the other side and they don't recognise you. The left won't recognise you. So there's who you're, you're enemy of both. Yeah but it's it's an, it's a dangerous place to live in. It's it's it's it's it's it's a sad state of affairs, real sad sad, sad, sad state of affairs. And you know, just because your values and your views are different doesn't mean my message isn't isn't the same. You know, my message, everything that I do is about positivity is about mindset, is about bringing people together. You look at SaaS, who Des wins, what does it do? Makes people realise what they're capable of, makes them find themselves. It brings people together, brings families together. You know, mutiny teamwork brings people together, escape, you know, straight talking, being honest and open and and and it makes you feel good. It brings you together. It unites people because they can be open and honest with themselves and therefore they know what the capable of self-belief starts to kick in when they feel good about it's bringing people together. Right. And that is you be inhumane really to not think like that, to not want to help people out, to not want to. So the message is is is always the same, but it's this bit in the middle, right? Then you'll ever get pushed to one side, you can't have this sort of in the middle opinion of, well, actually, my values are the same as yours. You know, I want all about positive change. Yeah. Okay. So what way say my values don't fit with yours? Because I want my positive change. Look at my message for the last five, six years since I've been in the media. It's positive change. Unity. Look at what I do. Everything I do, whether it's my books, my tours, my TV programs, everything is about bringing people together, bringing the best out of people. So just because this in between bit, I might have used a different and minor probably truthful, which people don't want to hear the truth. It's like, right, bounce off to one side. And then you start to get canceled.
Cancel culture (40:59)
But what's the answer though? Like, so I, you know, I hear we've had peers Morgan talk a lot about this as well. And other people talk about how, you know, if you don't perfectly fit the views or the perfect hashtag of the, of the left or whatever, then you're basically being canceled in culture. And I genuinely, this is a fucking, probably the most genuine question I've ever asked on this podcast, because it's one that I'm thinking about all the time, is I also see this happening. My views don't always fit the left or the right. And sometimes, like in the Black Lives Matter moment, I posted on my Instagram saying it was actually my best performing post of all time. I said, because there was this whole narrative around like, Silence is violence. And if you're not saying anything, then you're racist. I did a post saying, like, that's obviously bullshit. Yeah, as I said, it's unpopular black opinion. If someone doesn't post a black square on their Instagram, doesn't make them a racist, people process things in completely different. In fact, the most unnatural reaction to trauma is to take to social media. So like, and that absolutely it was, it didn't fit the like, Silence is violence narrative. And, and my ability, and I like, of course, that's fucking true. Like, you know what I mean? It doesn't, it doesn't fit. I understand, right? But it's no one, not one individual in the millions and millions of views that that post did could tell me there was one slide in that nine that was, they disagreed with, but it was the feeling that I wasn't wearing the football kit of the left that made some people go, you're an awful person, Steve. And then I'd go, why? They'd go, Yeah, exactly. You see, they're my ticket in a ticket. You're like, and I can tell me what's wrong with the post. They go, you know what's right. And I, and I, I think, well, I'm, I know I'm not going to change. So when I look into my future, I go, what some point I'm going to get canceled, because my brand is building. I've got some stuff coming up on in the media, and I'm thinking, I know I'm not going to change. So what's the answer here? Like, I'm always going to, and I know that it's getting more. What is the answer? I came to this is why you're here. Yeah, I know. It's like, it's like, it's like, what the answer is to be true to who you are. And just take the intent. And it's like, it's, you know, that's the one thing I've always fall back on, is just knowing, you know, if you're an idiot, you know, if you're irritating people, you know, if you're not a good person. And then ultimately, you know, you're going to get what's coming to you, and you probably deserve it. But I know that I'm a good person. I know my foundations on polite and respectful, you know, I don't go out to offend, ever go out to offend. I hate confrontation because of the way that I know that I can deal with confrontation, it frightens me to get into that situation because I know what I'm capable of. Okay, so I don't ever, I'm over polite, I'm over respectful, because I think people should be treated like that. Now I like to be treated like that. I wasn't treated like that when I started off in my army career, and I know what it feels like. Okay, and I never would never want anyone to experience that. So I'm over polite and I'm over respectful. And I've always fought back on that. I always look at myself in the mirror and I go, and you know, I know I'm a good person. And that are the foundations that I've built. That's my foundations. That's who I am. Okay, so you can knock my bricks down. I will, but guess what? I will keep building and building and building. And you can knock it, even if you knock them down to the foundations, I can fall back on being true to myself. And there's no more liberating Steve, liberating feeling than that of being true to who you are going. Do you know what? I'm not going to fit into that agenda. I'm not going to fit into that box. I'm not going to squeeze myself in there to make myself feel uncomfortable for your agenda, because that's not who I am. Would you rather lose it all? Yeah, 100%. Because I've got my foundations. I've got my foundations. I will always build Steve, always build. And this part of the building is so high now that can you counsel me, crack on, because I guarantee you I just keep building this side, this side, this side, this side, because the people that know me know who I am. And someone said this to me with all the stuff that's been going on lately. You know, I've had some sponsors that I've counseled. I've had some TV programs that I can crack on. But the people that buy my side, the sponsors and the channels and the production companies that buy my side, that have worked for me saying, and we have the privilege of knowing you. And that run accord to me though. I'm like, they have the privilege of knowing me. I think to myself, wow, you've got the privilege of knowing, I've got the privilege of knowing myself, because I know who I am. And I'm glad I gave you that privilege. And it's not being big headed, I'm glad I gave you that privilege of knowing me, because you know that this is just a storm of words. You know that this is just media hype. You know this is just fake news. You know this isn't real. You know, yeah, I've maybe got a little bit of a fiery side to me, but you know, you're getting that with me. You know, I'm rough around the edges. So yeah, I'm happy to, you know, to cut a few of those edges are still going to be there. Do you know what I mean? So when they said that to me, and it's something that will stick with me forever, and it's from a very, very good sponsor, you know, very, I have to do with my books. And I can just, and I remember sitting back and just taking that breath and going, keep doing what you're doing, and you're doing the right thing. And then this last week, you know, so many doors have opened, production companies calling me channels calling me. You know, you hear about it, you hear about, oh, you know, you get canceled then that's your career done. And but then you've got your peers Morgan's you've got your your Jeremy Clarkson's and now you've got your Aunt Middletons. Okay. And it just goes to show that I'm doing the right thing. And that actually, yeah, I'm not going to fit. I'm not going to be comfortable with with everyone. And I'm not going to be their cup of tea. Well, that's fine. Because guess what? I don't want to work with you. If I get questioned one little bit about my who I am, like I said before, if I get questioned one little bit about who I am by any brands, any sponsors, any channels, then I will not work with them. I will say, listen, thank you very much. It's obviously, you know, not the right match. You go on and do your thing and I'll go on and do my thing because I will always go on and do my thing. And that building can completely drop to the foundations. But when you're honest with yourself and you know who you are, those foundations are solid. You will always have something to build from. But when you're not honest with yourself and everything comes crumbling down and you have no foundations to fall on, you're fucked. That's when you're in trouble. That's when you start to go, well, I won't say that. I won't act like this. I won't do this and I won't do that. And that's when you become someone else. That's when you become fake to who you are. And guess what? Desperate times then. You're like a wounded animal. And guess what? You're probably going to be right at the back of the pack for the rest of your life. The psychological impact of living a life that isn't true to yourself. And I mean, this is why people have these like midlife crises when they've even in the professional world where they've, their mum and dad have told them to go and be a whatever, a banker or a lawyer. They don't want to be there. They want to be a fucking dancer or whatever. And then they get midlife crises. And you look throughout psychology, I talk about this a little bit my book. If you look at certain communities like the LGBTQ community, their suicide rates are so high amongst those groups, because a lot of them have been oppressed in a way where they can't live their true life. They can't be their identity. So they've had to live a life that's live a fake life. And then you see suicide rates go up because that is a form of torture. And this is what I asked you the question about, you know, would you rather lose at all? One would actually maybe even if I question myself, say, well, what are you losing? If you're losing TV shows and you're losing things that aren't true to yourself, is it a loss? You know? It's not a loss because you will always find something that fits you. Do you know what I mean? If you have the passion and the drive and the ambition and the positivity of knowing who you are, then ultimately the world is your oyster. It's like, you know, people have this impression of me that I'm this hard faced, drill sergeant, non-accepting person. I am the complete opposite. Go and be the fuck you want to be. That's my message. If you don't let anyone force you into saying anything, doing anything or being anyone else, be yourself. But this is a side that people don't see of you. But this is my personal side, Steve. I tell people see what they want to see. The media will write what they want to write. They will make you out to be who they want you to be. But you can't put all of that into a hashtag. You've got to characterize yourself in 10 letters. Yeah, absolutely. And this is a problem with issues that are complex and nuanced and there's different layers. And if it doesn't fit into a hashtag, then this is the football team analogy as well. Quick interjection before we get back to the podcast. Just want to say that, as you know, because I've talked about it a few times on this podcast, I'm probably one of the biggest users in the world of a website called Fiverr.com, F-I-V-E-R-R.com. I use it for everything, whether it's my podcast or whether it's my personal brand content, whether it's my business or other projects that I'm doing. And this week, I've used it again. I've used it to make a website called Katana, which is my investment company. People don't know this. My old company was called Social Chain and Katana or Katana is the Italian word for chain. That's the inspiration. Keep that yourself. But it's just another example of how you can use Fiverr to help you expand your capabilities as an entrepreneur, as a content creator. And I've managed to get a website up for my investment company, Katana, in the space of two and a half days. And it cost me 400 quid. Typically, that would cost tens of thousands of pounds. And typically, it would take months. That's the power of Fiverr, allowing you to quickly and affordably extend the capabilities of your team, of your personal brand, and achieve things that you might not have been able to otherwise. I want to talk, though, going back to your, you know, when you started in the military. But one thing I find really interesting is the guy that was running around drinking booze and getting in trouble, for him then to go into the military and pass with flying colors, is like a massive contradiction in my mind.
Cutting myself off emotionally (50:58)
I'm like, one appears to be a guy that's kind of out of control, the other one, and seemingly lacking the appreciation of authority. And then the other guy is one that's able to do what he's told and follow orders. And how did you achieve such high? That's what they want. That's what they need. They need the animal on the battlefield. They need the aggression. They need the violence. Because ultimately on the battlefield, you counter violence with extreme violence. Now, there's zero tolerance to violence in Cebi Street. In society nowadays, you show any form of violence. You're going to end up behind bars, been there. But in the military, you, you counter violence with extreme violence. You, you count to anger with extreme anger. And you're, that's needed. I needed to be that person on the battlefield. I needed to, to have, to cut myself off from any emotional sort of feelings, any emotional, you know, sort of discrepancies. Because they were the missions that I went on. Now I was hunting down Taliban commanders. Now I was getting into fucking shit storms, the firefights every week, every cup, you know, two, three times a week. I needed to put, to call on those demons, to come to the forefront of who I was, to get the job done. And then switch it. You're expected to switch it because one moment you're kicking the door down, you know, taking out any new combatants. So next, next door you're kicking the door down, there's women and children in there. So you, you live on that side or you live on that side. And then when you get the two confused, you know, you might be an Afghanistan, best man, put me on camp, you know, well, you can't be doing that. And well, what, who the fuck do you want? Do you mean you can't be doing that? You can't be, you know, getting into fights downtown. You can't be, you know, getting, you know, I just get into a hell of a lot of fights, you know, it's, you know, ruin my military career. Because, you know, but then putting three tours of Afghanistan, I've done almost back to back, perfect out there. And it put bum, bum, bum, bum. So what, what animal do you want, you know, and it's okay to be able to flip from one to the other when, when you're here, but when you live on the complete opposite sides of the spectrum, you're going to get confused every now and then you're going to be met with a situation in society where you're met with aggression, you're met with violence, and this demon takes over, you know, it's, and all it is, is a moment of madness. It's just a confusion, confliction between the two, you know, and it's between the two two people. And sometimes it goes whack. Yeah. And before you know that, crossover is too much. They're both like, trained to survive in different environments. Completely different environments. And sometimes those environments, you know, you're forced to act and those environments get switched. Yeah. And it's literally like a flash in front of your eyes is like bang, bang. Shit. I used the wrong person there or used the wrong environment. It's, it's, and that's, that's the world that I live in. That's the world that I lived in. That was my life. That was, you know, I just to come back from, from Afghanistan and, you know, I've got four, four, four children at home, my fifth one from a previous relationship, who's 19, but, um, it's to come home. I remember coming back from Afghanistan and my daughter was born. She's 13 now. My daughter was born, 10 days before I left for a six month tour in Afghanistan. So she was born. So I didn't know her. And I came back six months later and she was like nearly seven months. And then I went straight on special forces selection. So for another six months, I came back after like a year really of not really being at home to a, to a one year old daughter who barely recognized me. You know, she would push me away. She would, you know, and I'd interact and I'd be playing dolls on the floor, Barbies. And my wife came in one day and I was playing with these Barbies and she thought I'd lost the plot. She's like, she's like, you know, got these Barbies together, trying to make her laugh, trying to make her smile. Because for the last year, she's just seen this pent up war machine, you know, and I've come back and I'm not, I'm not very easy to deal with, you know, during those transitions, you know, I need a bit of time. What do you mean by that? You're not very easy to deal with in those transitions. Well, you come back from, you can't just take a head, even though I can do it, I can take a head off, put a different head on. But that transition of kicking doors down to being back with a family, I need, even now when I come back off of filming, when I come back up, I need, before we actually start getting on again, you know, for a start settling back into the family. It takes about two weeks. And again, me and my partner are the best, most compatible partners in the world. The teamwork that we have is absolutely amazing, you know, hence why I've been with her for 16 years, been married for 14. But it still takes that two week period of me breaking her routine, of me coming in, you know, taking over everything, you know, with the kids, taking the kids to school, taking, ruining her life that she's built, I come in like a storm, and it takes two weeks before that storm normally calms down and we go, oh, right, you know, they can't argue into this, but you know, just disagreements, just control issues, you know, it's like too well to colliding, right? And then after the two weeks, everything settles, I'm away again. I might be on tour, I might be like, in Australia for two months now, it's like, so it's that constant communication or that constant, you know, crossing over of worlds that you need to really sort of mold together. And as my life is getting more and more and I'm not in these high obtained situations, I'm not in these life or death situations, it's becoming easier and easier. You talk, you know, I had actually a military commando sat in the seat as well, who talked about his experiences. And when he came back from war, he was talking to me about the PTSD he suffered. And just being around the house and, you know, seeing the tin can stacked on the shelf at home and like, you know, barking at his wife because they weren't straight and things like that and feeling that, you know, feeling some of the disciplines of all coming home with him. You, I've seen you talk on this topic. So I know that, you know, you've handled that in a different way. But what are some of the things that have come back with you from war that you don't like, or that you think aren't helping you in your, in your personal life?
Whats the worst thing that you brought back from war? (57:51)
Um, they're two different worlds. Now you deal with dark humor, dark banter to get you through certain situations. And that dark humor and dark banter and dark way of talking is a norm to you because you live and breathe that. And sometimes that comes out you know, and only when I'm doing a military style show, you know, you come out and you might say something, which is a, for me, probably a throwaway comment or a bit of banter that you realize there's 100 odd crew members listening. Now there's nothing, you know, it just might be, I might say something about someone or might never direct, you know, it's always an indirect conversation that we have. Um, it's that military banter that I fucking hate. Sometimes I hear myself talking like a military man and I hate it. I might say military words, hooffing, honking, waz, you know, there's loads of them out there. Um, and I think to myself, why are you talking like that? But it's just come, it just comes out because I might find myself in, in a high-octane situation, in a stressful situation, in a, in an aggressive situation, in a violent situation, which, which I revert back to what I know works, which is this, ultimately this military person. But then I think, fucking hell, I'm not in the military environment. I'm not in, in, in a, I'm in society, you know, I've got, you know, and it's controlling that, that I find really difficult. Um, but knowing also acknowledging that it needs to be controlled, you know, I'm not in the military anymore, you know, I always hate this once a Marine, always a Marine, you know, you get people go, Hey, once a Marine, always a Marine, I'm like, I was a Marine 12 years ago, 10 years ago, you know, now I'm a, I'm a media, um, TV presenter. I'm now an, an, an extinguished author. I'm now, you know, I like to say, like, you know, about mindset, my mindset, I grew up going around, do my tours, you know, I'm in a completely different space, but I have to pull upon this young soldier every now and then in order to get the job done, because I know that that works, you know, I know that if I do that, but I just need to fine tune it, I need to buffer it around the edges, which again is a work in progress. You know, I put my hands up when I go, fucking hell, you know what I mean? Yeah, shouldn't have said that, shouldn't have done that. You know, and I'm the first one to admit it, but people have to realize that, listen, it's, it's, it's a work in progress. It's, it's not something that I can change overnight. You need to understand me. You need to understand who I am, um, in order to, to acknowledge that, okay, well, fucking hell. Yeah, that was a bit uncomfortable to see. Now, some of the things that we do with the recruits, you know, they're like, fucking, oh, I'm just like, he's on his knees and you're, you're literally, you know, staying to him, you stay there, you know, if you think you're not worthy, you know, if you piece of shit, blah, blah, blah, but it's hard for people to see that and to watch that. But ultimately, there's always a positive motivator behind that. So that's where people will, I think, get, get confused is like, negativity is a great fuel. It's a great source to use to get to where you need to be. But only if there's a positive motivator ahead of it. So you can't use negativity to get through a situation if there's not a positive motivator, because all you'll do is you'll vey off in the negative lane, because there's no positive motivators to aim towards. It's like a plow. Like I say, the plow is, is the positive motivator. And the fuel is the negative with aggression, whether it's revenge, whether it's, you know, prove people wrong, whether it's, you know, these are all things that, that fuel you. But you be sure that there's always a positive motivator. So when I'm talking like that to the recruits, when I'm doing it, believe it or not, to get the best out of them, to make them realize what they're capable of, make them bring their attributes and, and, and, and personality to the forefront, so they can identify who they are. And a lot of people, they, they bring that to the forefront, or I fit that mirror on them, and they look at themselves and they go, oh, no, I don't like what I see. They VW, or they go, or they leave. Yeah. So that's what I was going to say. It's also a filter. It's a filter. And that's what a selection process is. And that's them. But that's how I, it's not only what selection process is, that's how I live my life, Steve. I'm so brutally honest with what I do and situations I find myself in. And the environment that, that I choose to be in is, and it's that brutal honesty, is that brutal, sort of truth. That the motivator is always becoming a bit of version of who you are, of, of learning something, growing from it, and becoming a bit of version of who you were yesterday. And how important is it to take personal responsibility for your outcomes in life?
How important is personal responsibility? (01:02:51)
Because there's a growing culture of blame and victimhood. And I see this as well as someone that, you know, the best thing that probably happened to me is if I was successful, and I had parents that were rich, and I had loads of money, and I got a degree, and I got these great grades, people would immediately go, well, no, Steve can't tell us anything because he got it handed to him. Fortunately, I was the opposite. My black kid born in Africa, kicked out of school, dropped out of university after one lecture, got no degree, parents of bankrupt. So I can talk a little bit more about like personal responsibility, without being discredited. People say, "Oh, well, of course you fucking say that." And like, but I see this growing culture because I was a kid in Moss Side in Manchester, sealing pizzas to feed myself, only, I don't know, seven, eight years ago. And I know that my mindset, and the, the, the behavior that my mindset created is the reason I'm sat here now. Like, of course, there's luck timing. I understand that. But my mindset increased my probability of being sat here now. So I want to preach that to people, especially people that don't want to take personal responsibility, or like, you know, victimhood or blame keeps them nice and safe and comfortable, and it means they don't have to look in the mirror. They go, "Oh, fuck you, fuck you, fuck you guy." But it's hard to attack me. It's hard to attack me because what you're going to say, you know, what privilege I had was moving to this country as a baby. But that's the privilege of, privilege of knowing who you are, Steve. So you can take all that income. Yeah, because they haven't got the privilege of knowing you, right? But you've got the privilege of knowing yourself because guess what? You've been there, you've done it, you've got the t-shirt, you've been on the tree itself, you realize, you know, you realize your mistakes, you realize your areas of your way, you learn from failure, you grow from it, you become a better version of who you are. So that's what, that's why I say that, that statement of we, we have a privilege of knowing you is so powerful because ultimately that's what you fall back on all the time. That's why you can take that and you can, it will bounce off you. It's like, that's your negativity. That's your, it's not nothing to do with me. That's, that's you and it bounces off me like it bounces off you. But the moment you step into that victim mentality, that's when you feel that the world owes you everything. That's when you feel like that, you know, why is he, why is he where he is and I'm not there? Why has he got this and I haven't got this? Why? I'll, why? Well, I could quite happily go back and not be cancelled. Okay, for example, if I went, "Oh, guys, yeah, really, really sorry about that." But I suffer from a bit from PTSD, you know, the death of my father, you know, it's like, fucking hell. It's like, one, I don't suffer from PTSD. How many times have I had that thrown at me, Steve, going, "And if you say yourself from PTSD, who can question that?" No one can question it. Actually, wait, wait, wait, there's one person that can question it. Me, because I haven't got fucking PTSD. Well, no, no, but no, you haven't, but if you say that, then, you know, the papers will do this. The, the courts will do this. People will start to go, "Oh, well, actually, you know, the stuff that he's been through and he's seen these donies witnessed." Yeah. Of course, listen, throw him another bone, give him another chance. I feel sorry for him. Fuck that. Do you know what I mean? It's like, when I went to prison, I left the military, went to prison, got into a violent, violent altercation. Yeah, violence on violence. Of course, put my hand up 100%. I'll do my time. My lawyer said to me, "And do you want to go to prison?" I was like, "Of course, I don't want to go to prison. Who wants to go to prison?" He said, "Well, listen, here's your out." He went, "Say you've got PTSD. If you say you've got PTSD," he said, "I guarantee you." So he said to me, "Ganthe you, you will not go to prison. You'll get suspended, and you'll have to go and do a couple of courses, and then you'll be at home with a family." Now, I had four kids and a wife, actually, at the time, I had two children and a wife at home that relied on me. I couldn't lie to myself. I thought, "Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to lie to you. I thought to myself, do you know what?" That sounds appealing, because who can tell me that I haven't got PTSD? Then the question always goes back to you, because only you hold the answer. Steve, only you have that answer. Only I knew that answer. I could lie to myself, live a lie, and fuck knows where I'll be now. I might be a bloody PTSD, the counselor. I might be, now, but I would have gone down that road for years. I've still got two years to spend a sense. Two years of going down a road that wasn't me. Going down that road of pure lies, every step I took wouldn't be a true one. I always say to people, people will mold you and direct you in life. That's what people are there for, good people anyway. They try and mold. But if that first footstep that you take is not a true one, I said, "Do not take it." The only person that knows that is you. And I always, always, always go back to that. Do I feel comfortable taking this footstep? Yes, I do. The rest of the world doesn't. Well, guess what? I feel comfortable doing it. But yeah, but that, he's going to have something to say about it. She's going to have something to say about. They're going to have something to say about it. I don't care. Is it true to me? Go back to it. Boom, I take it. I deal with whatever comes at me because it can bounce off me. As we spoke about, it's like we know who we are. We know what we're about. We know we're good people. So I'm willing to take that. Bang, bang, bang. And it does. Steve, it does literally bounce off me. But also, when it does get into me, because the moment it starts, when it gets over, it does get into you. Once I sit down and process it, it fuels me. I feel like I'm fan-ost. It's just like, because I'm being true to who I am and all this negative and I'm thinking, right, just, just boom, because guess what? I preach positivity till it comes home. Everything I believe is down to a positive mindset and how you perceive the way that you think and the way we have a default mindset, which is negative. Everything's like, what if this? What if that won't do that because of this? It mines the opposite. Mine's like, my best outcome is this, this, this. If anything comes along, I deal with it. Okay. And it's that mindset that I always, always fall back on. And again, it's one of those that I just find so liberating that I can just think that way. But I put myself in the firing line. I put myself constantly in the firing line to constantly challenge myself, to constantly flip these negatives into positives. Without negativity, you wouldn't have positivity. It wouldn't exist. It doesn't, you know, it's a polar opposite. So people say, so I challenge negativity. I love negativity because I will challenge it and challenge it and challenge it. I love the work ethic and the psychological sort of resilience it takes to challenge negativity. There's a lot of people that got negativity coming, they ignore it on the bat off the wire. But the moment you dig into it and you dig into it and you dig into it and it takes time, it takes time as well, isn't it? It tests you, right? And you dig into it and all of a sudden, you see a little light and you see a little little glimp of positivity. And that's all you're looking for. Is that one little seed? You grab that, boom, bank that, and then you grow that seed until you find the next one. And there's nothing more rewarding in this world than flipping a negative into a positive.
Flipping a negative into a positive (01:10:25)
Because if you're willing, and again, if you're willing to work hard enough and you're willing to take the shit and the fucking and the bullshit and everything that surrounds negativity, if you're willing to dive into the center of it, and you're willing to work in order to flip it into a positive, then I guarantee you, you, you will find a positive in it. And I guarantee you that would be the most rewarding thing you ever do. And it's like failure. It's exactly the same with failure. I look at failure and it's just, it's like a challenge to me. It's like, you can't do that. And you don't know nothing about that. You're going to fail at that. Well, listen, I'll tell you what, I probably will fail at it, but I'm not scared to commit. Because I know that my commit to failure, I take two or three or four steps into failure. And I might go, yeah, I haven't achieved that. But those three or four steps I've taken, that's what I bank. Those moments in the moment, that's what I bank. A lot of people they might take on failure and they might fail their objective. And they think, Oh, I failed that therefore, I'm a failure. And they forget how far they've come. That just is completely automatically written off because they're going, Oh, I failed that. I mean, it's like, yeah, I won't go near that again. That becomes part of your identity. I'm a failure. Yeah. So they anytime failures, they think they're safety bubble, safety bubble, victim, but whatever they won't go anywhere near it. But I love it. When negativity comes along and failure comes along, you know, I'm so intrigued on what I'll get out of it. I'm so intrigued what I learned from it. Because when you learn, you grow, when you grow, you become a better version of who you are. This is just that, that's that knock on effect that it has. And failure is exactly that. Failure isn't going anywhere. I've found up to now in my life, I'm going to fail to the day I die. So are you. So are you so you every single one of you in here is going to fail. Whether you like it or not, it is every day part of life as much as it is breathing. It's surrounded by us. So why do we ignore it? If it's part of who we are and part of part of part of what's what makes the world tick, then why don't we use it to advantage? Because the perceived cost of failure, whatever that might be, you know, Jenny at work is going to think I'm not say whatever. And this person's going to write this about me. The perceived cost, especially in the short term feels greater. It feels and that's the same force of like the PC brigade or that, you know, it's like, it's better just to stay in your lane today and to just like put your head down, be quiet because people think, and this is where it's wrong. People think that's the safest place to be. Reflecting on my own journey when I went to university. And I knew that I, this was a piece of shit and that I needed to quit if I was actually going to become an entrepreneur. Like it's calling my mum and then telling how I'm dropping out and how to speak to her again. Right. That was the resistance. That was the moment where life goes, stay in your fucking lane. Right? Yeah. But when people go, you were so, you were so brave. And then you're like, that you're grabbing out of the wheel. But my brain was so clear. The biggest risk, the biggest failure would have been staying in university and living a life not true to myself. So people say, oh, you're so, you're so much courage. I get courage would have been staying. Yeah. Right. And I think that's the, that's the thing. I've called my mum says, Oh, never speaks me again. And I don't speak to her for two years. But look at the upside of living life. Even if I'd failed, like look at the upside of being myself. And I think that's pretty much what I'm hearing from what you're saying is like, there's this, you know, the, the, the short time resistance where it's like, oh my God, if you fail, you're going to lose it all. So no, you lose it all if you don't try. It's exactly how the thing about it is the way that your mindset thinks, and it's, it's not a complicated way of thinking. It's not. I mean, it's like, it's, it's so simple, really, so simple, stupid, that it's almost incomprehensible. And everything that I do, and you just said it then, it makes, what you just said, then makes complete sense to me. It's every single word you said about that story. I'm like that. Yes. It's like, it's obvious. Like, why wouldn't you do that? Right. But sometimes the most obvious things that, that the hardest to process, that hardest to, to achieve. And with my books and, and my tours, you know, I don't get people coming off my tours, going, and, you know, I've tapped into this part of my brain now. Thank you for this. It's like, they come off my tours or read my books and go, and it was always in there. Yes. You just gave me this kick yourself a moment. Well, I'm just like, how did I not see that? How did I not, you put it in such laymen terms? Because I'm, I'm a simple man. Do you know what I mean? I'm not, I'm not an intellect. I'm not a bookworm. I'm, I'm a, I'm a simpleton. I'm a simple man. I keep things. The way that I get to my answers is good, bad, right, wrong, positive, negative. Yes, no. Do you know what I mean? I keep it. Yeah. It's listening. But it's listening to who I am. And it's, it's the most simplest way of, of, of getting to where you need to be. But we let the constraints and the bullshit and the complications of society and what other people think cloud all of that. I almost see it like two dials, right? One of them is this voice inside, which everyone has in them. They say, go and dance in the hills of Costa Rica. And then there's this other really loud dial, right? The sound dial and it's society and your mom and your whatever. And that one's saying, go be a fucking lawyer and shut up, right? Yeah. And in all of our lives, I think one dial is a little bit higher than the other. And the, the, the challenging thing, but the most important thing you can do if you want to reach your potential, be happy, avoid mental health issues, avoid, be love crises is to like turn up the internal dial and just try and get that, the other dial, which is society's voice right down to, to fucking zero, right? And, and I, and I just, do you know, and I just feel if everyone could just do that in their own lives, which is not easy to do because listening to this internal voice is going to come with real resistance. People are going to cancel you. They're going to, my mom's going to not speak to me for years, right? But that's the short term cost for a long term gain. And as is the way with comfort, I see like comfort and like avoiding with that resistance is a, it looks like a friend. It's a short term friend, but a long term enemy. And if you, you know, if you had, if you're in the moments where you've said you've been like canceled quote unquote, had you caved, short term friend, probably would still have a show or two. Yeah, of course, long term, long term. And I say to people, what you've got to realize is that you are with yourself 24 hours a day for the rest of your life. No one else can even come close to that. No one else will will even come close to that. So you are with yourself your whole life. People, they come and go situations, they come and go. So ultimately you've got to live with yourself first before you try and live with anyone else, before you try and live with any situation before you try and put yourself into any environment. That's what I say to people when they go, well, I'm like, you're with yourself 24 hours a day to the day you die. Nothing comes close to that. No one comes close to being anywhere near that. That's the person you've got it on. That's who you are. Yeah. So that's the person who you've got to want to know. That's the person that you've got to make happy. That's the boss. That's the person that's possible to please that voice and that voice. Right. So like, but please yourself. And ultimately, you know, what comes out, it will, you know, should be war should be authentic, should be true. So and then you'll find your belonging, you'll find your circle, you'll find your like minded people, you'll find it your, you'll, yeah, you'll find your belonging. It's like, you know, you must know as you get more successful, as you, you know, you start thinking, you start changing, start evolving your mindset more and more and more and more, your circle gets smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller. I'm happy with that. You know, I'm, I'm happy with that because not that I'm above anyone or below anyone, you know, we're just on different ends of the spectrum. Okay. Because guess what? I'm going to keep evolving. My mindset's going to keep changing. I'm going to keep getting wise. I'm going to keep getting more knowledgeable and to keep being honest with myself. Now, for me, that's my purpose in life. Nothing out there. You know, it's nice to have the nice cars and nice houses. Don't, don't get me wrong. It's nice to have money. I've had no money. And now I've got money. I know which side I'd rather be on. Okay. That's all, but that's all that comes apart and parcel with, with being true to who you are. And my purpose in life, which is I will never achieve, which is, I find fascinating, is trying to get the best possible version of Aunt Middleton, trying to get to that. Okay. But knowing that I never get to that answer, because I'll be on this constant progression of becoming a bit of version of who I am. But I never become the best version of who I am because that's when you're perfect. That's when you're 100% you. And that's not real. It doesn't exist. But the purpose of getting closer and closer and closer and closer to that answer is such a fascinating journey for me. That is nothing that comes close to it. There's nothing that comes close to it. And whether I have the, the counseling or the shows that keep coming or the TV production companies that call me now and the channels that go, whether I have failures or whatever it may be, all of these, everything that bounces in towards me is something to learn from. And it's a lesson. And it's going to, I'm going to learn from it. And I want to grow from it. And I want to get closer and closer to the answer, closer and closer to, to my objective, closer and closer to my purpose. And that is to try and get as close as I can to being the best version of myself. And I'm fascinated with that. I'm addicted by it. I'm addicted to it. I'm obsessed with it. So like I said, when I get that fanos moment, I'm like, bring all this negativity at me, bring it because I'm just churning away at it. It doesn't mean I'm always happy. I'm not always happy. You know, I don't go around sprinkling positive fairy dust. I'm not that type of preacher, right? But I preach, you know, working on your mind to make it positive, you know, challenging negative situation, thinking what is negative situation. I've got a tackle with a positive mindset. Make a conservative effort to train your mindset, to think positively, to flip the script from this default mindset where everyone, you know, thinks, thinks negatively. And I love working at that. I love working at that. So all of this stuff that you give me, it does. Once I go, because I go quiet, like this last week has been a media storm. And I'll go quiet and I'll be with, with my family, I'll be with my management. And I'm like, you're quiet. And I'm like, I'm quiet because I'm churning away at negativity. I'm not unhappy. Don't get me wrong. Listen, but I need to be left alone for two, three days, maybe a week because there's so much negativity coming in and I'm chipping away at it, trying to find light, no, nothing there. And I find the light trying to find a boom, bang, dududududududud. And then I bank this positivity. And then the next week, I'll be, boom, back to aunt, you know, I mean, back to this positive, naturally positive person because I've trained my mind to think like that. I'm always in a positive headspace. But sometimes I go quiet. It doesn't mean I'm always happy. So don't get, don't get positivity mixed up with happiness. Yeah, yeah, because they're two completely different things. And happiness comes from, yeah, in knowing who you are, you know, it comes from, from being true to you are knowing who you are. And you could be the poorest man in the world. And you could be there, you know, you could have no one or nothing, but you could still be happy, you know, you could be the richest man in the world. And you know, the script. One of them's like an general sense of optimism that I'm positive about the future. And the other one's just like internal contentment. And but our moods change. Yeah, of course, you know, we have a shit days, bad days, whatever, but what optimistic and tight, right? Yeah. One of the questions that I really wanted to ask you because of what's going on in the world for this whole pandemic and COVID is I was thinking as I was like brushing my teeth or whatever this morning, I was thinking there's a ton of if my audience could ask you one thing, probably would be around the fact that the world changed this year.
How to have a mindset like you? (01:22:09)
A lot of people's lives were uprooted. They lost their businesses, their jobs, whatever. And then I thought, you know, ants probably, well, for sure has have been in situations where you felt like, whether it's on the battlefield or whatever, that this was a fight that where the odds were against you. And in those moments, there's winners and losers. And you know, you always talk about mindset. What is the mindset that people need in these moments where the odds don't look like they're or they're very much in their favor that you've seen from the battlefield where you've emerged victorious because you didn't indulge in victimhood or whatever. And you, yeah, does that make sense? Yeah, 100% makes sense. For me, it hasn't, it's about embracing change. You know, the majority of people, they live their life on autopilot, or they live in a void, I call it, where everything around them is changing. You know, the world is constantly changing. Everything around us is constantly changing, whether it's climate control, whether it's, you know, in the way that we think, the way that we're evolving, the way that the world is going, the way that animals are evolving, the way that the sea is encroaching or, you know, decreasing, whatever it may be, everything is changing around us. And we are designed to a change with it. So what we're actually doing is we're actually going against the grain when we become complacent, when we get comfortable, when we get into one sort of situation and we stay in that situation, it's going, we're working in the opposite way that the world should be evolving. We should be constantly changing, we should be constantly evolving, we should be constantly moving forward. You know, look at my career, I've gone from the army to the Marines, to the Special Forces, to the media, to books, to authors, to literacy, to business. It's like, I'm con, I love, love change. I love being put in a situation where I'm literally chucked in the deep end with dive boots on and I have to tread water. I love that because it's so challenging and it's so, so stimulating that you're forced to change, you're forced to think of something different, you're forced to, to do something differently, you're forced to change the way that you, you approach something because you've been put in a situation where it's been forced upon you. But when it's not forced upon you, when it's not forced upon you, which the world does, it forces it upon us. But when it's not forced upon you, when you, when you get comfortable, then you get, you fall into this void, you fall into this complacency, you fall into, to not moving along with the world. But the design, is that those are your demons again? Because I'm thinking the reason why Ant loves to be trapped into the water with his dive boots on is because you relish challenge and this is, comes maybe links to the victim head point and a general problem in culture and society where people like comfort, cotton wool, a lot of people have been brought up now with cotton wool. We're not designed, we're not designed to be comfortable. We're not designed to have cotton wool strapped around us. It's society, it's through the strengths and the shackles of society that is forcing us to be like this. It's not who we are. Look how far we've come. Look at, look at, look at just through history, how far we've come and I feel like that we're actually devolving now. I actually feel that we've got to a point where we're going backwards where, you know, used to be survival of the fittest. Yeah, and you know, you could push a rock in front of your cave, you know, I mean, to survive, you know, used to be at the, you know, the top of the food chain, you know, it's, we're not designed to be comfortable and not designed to be wrapped up in cotton wool. We're not designed to be shackled down. And that's why there's so many problems in the world right now. It's because of these shackles, it's because of these chains, it's because of the strengths that society is putting on us. It's forcing us into, into mental wellness. It's forcing us to, to act in ways that we're not designed to act in. It's forcing us to, to switch off to the most powerful tool that the universe, that's in the universe, your minds, we're forced to just put it on fucking dormant, that would be a, it's, it's, we're going against the grain of what we're supposed to do, of who we're supposed to be on how we're supposed to act and how is it supposed to evolve. So when, when you've got this going around like this, and then this stops, is, is, is, you, you, there's this synchronicity that's not working in, in, in partnership with each other. You know, without us on this planet, this planet wouldn't be as evolved as it was without the planet, then we wouldn't be involved as it was. You know, and what, what's actually happening is, is you've got this, this, this, these two forces that are grinding against each other, rather than working together with each other in synchronicity. I, I, I was reading this crazy thing the other day, and I think I've talked about it maybe once before, but it shows that the life expectancy in the UK and the US fell for two years in a row in everything. It was like last year, the year before, whatever, for the first time ever, and they look at the numbers as to why the life expectancy is falling for the first time ever. And it's because of like the opioid crisis, people who are getting addicted to drugs, and then they say, so why people getting more and more addicted to drugs? And they say, well, because they're lacking meaning in their life. And when people lack meaning, they're the science is showing you where you do it to animals, you take away their meaning. I talked, I think in the last podcast, and I hate to repeat myself, but I also don't care about these rats. And I fucking, because the right about my back, I'm so fascinated by it, they put a rat in a cage and take away everything from it. And they give it the option of drinking her in water and normal water. It becomes a drug addict. They then introduce a partner, some stimulation, some running wheels, some other things, and they give it her in water or normal water. And it doesn't choose the her in water. It doesn't become a drug addict. Just by inserting meaning into its life, it avoids the her in. And then you take, so what's going on in society? You say, well, people are lacking challenge and meaning, because we're trying to create a culture, maybe where challenge and meaning are a bad thing. And that's actually having an adverse effect, because as you say, very eloquently, like that's not who we are. You know what? I love how you just put that Steve, because you've just put my thoughts into a scientific form. Because again, I'm not an intellect, I'm not a bookworm. You know, it's like, I have psychiatrists come up to me and go, where did you study? And I'm like, no, no, this is all every single ounce of me is through life experience. I come from the University of life. And what I've just said is strange that, and that's why I love talking to people like yourself, because I've put that as in how I'm thinking. I haven't read anything from it. And you've just put it into a whole sort of scientific, and I was like, that's exactly that. It's exactly what I've just said. And you've just put it into something that's been proven. And that's the way that I think that's the way that I perceive life. And it's funny, because as you say, you're not, you didn't say it, I'm not an intellectual, but I've sat here with intellectuals. And they've said the exact same thing, like, your Hanahari, you wrote a book on this, nine reasons why people are getting depressed and anxious, best-selling book. He sat here, and he said the exact same thing. So when I hear it twice, or three times, and then I read it in another book, I think these are just fundamental truths. Yeah. And when I get to that point, where you've walked a different walk of life to that intellect, who's wrote a book on it, but you've both arrived at the same place. I'm like, okay, that's going in my fucking, like, in my diary forever. You know, as a tuning. That's super interesting as well. It's like, you know, you, but you can't take away that, you know, you can't, you can't un-write that because it's written within evolution. It's written within the way the world has evolved. It's written in the way that we think is written in, in the organs, the muscles and the body that we have. It's all here. It's all fucking present right now. It's not in a book that we're going to read. It's fucking happening right now. It's here. It's real. This energy source that you are, your fucking energy source, where energy sources is synchronized with the planet, which is one big energy source. It's one big bull. And I don't, I had a moment of clarity on, on, when I was filming, I've always felt a connection with the earth. Now I talk about, you know, we can climb to the highest peak of the apex of the world, Mount Everest. We can climb to that because people said, yeah, but we've had to do this, this, this, and this and all of the get there, you know, working against the mountain. I'm like, no, the way that that mountain is formed is, that's a foothold for you. That's an arm reach for you. That's, you know, that's designed to work with you. So don't look at a mountain and go off. I've got to get up there. It's working against me. No, no, it's that little stone there that you put your foot on. That's helping you up to, to, to stand on, on its apex. It's helping you up to stand on its summit. And I've always felt a connection with the earth always, always, you know, when I put my feet in it, when I put my hands in it, you know, I belong here, you know, and I have this sort of, I have this theory that people think that, you know, that if you put the planet as a, as a, as a, as a tree where they think we're just birds, they come and sit on the tree and I think we're just visitors. And then, and then we go, we're not, we're, we're the leaves.
The tree, yeah. Yeah, we're the leaves of the tree. I mean, and then, and then, you know, we grow in it, we're part of, you know, we're part of this evolution. It's very spiritual. But yeah, yeah, I'm not a spiritual person, but maybe you are, but maybe your definition's wrong because I posted on my Instagram last week. I just said, we've just had, it's funny. My Instagram post literally says, I've never thought of myself as a spiritual person because I don't resonate with like the hippie stigma. Yeah, yeah. Like, I'm not that guy. However, the end, it's one story. The end of it was like, I, if you define spirituality as feeling somewhat connected to the world, which I now do, then I now consider myself to be spiritual. This was just one story. And this was like three days ago. Because a lot of people do ask one spiritual and I always say no, but yeah, maybe I am, but it's that, it's that theory of, of being, there's a connection. One can't live without the other. And when, when that, when, you know, we're the leaves and yeah, we're going to fall off and there's going to be new leaves, you know, but everything was cycles back into itself. Do you know what I mean? We don't just all of a sudden go up into it. No, everything goes back into the earth. Everything we do. Definitely spiritual because I went and googled it definition of spirituality. And the definition I read was like the feeling or belief that we are interconnected with the world. The stigma is the issue. That's what alienates both of us from saying I'm a spiritual, because we're not like hippies. We're not like, you know, but we are. We like, I love that. You know what I mean? So. And I go back, going back to this moment where it just resonates, you know, and the reason why I do all these things is, is I just want to reconfirm that my way of thinking is, is true, is true to me, is why I do this, you know. And that's why I put myself in these awkward situations because it just, it gives a light bulb moment where I go, do you know what, you know, I'm on the right path. I'm getting this right. And I was away, I was away filming. And I felt this, you know, I was in the mountains, in Chile, in the Andes. And I could just feel a real connection, you know, like a, like a real presence, you know, it's, it's a lovely, lovely feeling. And I can just remember, this is an energy connection. It was really strange that it happened. An energy connection. And as a walking buyer's walking on the long side of this mountain, and as a walking alongside, I heard a big massive bang, and I turned towards the mountain. I'm not joking. It was probably about 300 meters away. So it's like, you know, and this bit of rock went, it must have passed. No, no word of a lie within two meters of me, you know, and it was big, because the mountains, it's an energy source. They're fucking bursting. They're literally like that. And the mountain every now and then, and it's the first time I experienced it, I heard about it, but I'd never experienced it. And I went bang. And it nearly took my head off to point where I was like, I can't help. What is the incoming? You know, I was like, I'm on there. And then I realized, I was like, well, just, and you see a little bit of mountain fall off, but boom, boom, and it's where the energy, the energy of that mountain. And you know, unless you get out and about, you see it's like, and I thought to myself, wow, I remember stopping and thinking, I felt that before that even at that specific moment, but I felt the energy. I felt the connection there. And then that was, oh, it's almost as if the mountain was talking to me going, what you feeling is right. Listen, we are, I'm this in, we are powerful. We have a connection without you. There wouldn't be me without me. There wouldn't be you. And just that confirmation just makes me realize, wow, you know, this is, this is, this is powerful stuff. This is how this is how you should be feeling. Much we tune with yourself and then connected to this planet, then there's not much that you feel that you can't do. There's not much that phases you in life. There's not much that you won't try and achieve. There's not much that you won't achieve. And I feel, I feel sorry or because you can, I can talk about being in tune with, with the planet and being, you know, being connected to, to Mother Earth. But unless you, I'm in tune with that, then you just think I'm talking bollocks. You just think, oh, what the hell is the on about some spiritual idiot, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, you know, this is the personal life that I really keep to myself. You know, I've spoken a lot about it today, which I've never spoken about before. But this is, this is who I am. So there's, there's so much more behind what the media put out and what the, what the papers put out and what the, you know, the media agenda is on what they want you to be seen as. And there's this whole life behind me that is that I just, that's the real me. That's who I am. So when any of this other stuff that's made up by other people that comes in from, from not within, it is so easy for me to just to battle off. So easy for me to go bang, bang, bang, bang, but it don't get me wrong. Sometimes I work harder at it to batter off. Sometimes it does sticking, you have to go, all right, watch. But it's such a liberating feeling. And I'll always say to people, and this is, this is my, you know, find out who you are. Go on that journey, not self discovery, because that sounds spiritual, go on that journey of, of finding your purpose or find of becoming the best version of who you are. Because once you start that journey, you will get addicted to it. It is fascinating. And it will, it will only serve you well. It will only serve you well. Because it's a life. I want to live till I'm 150, because it's how I live till I'm 50, 100, 100 years isn't long enough. I still want more. I want to know more. I want to, I want to be on this journey for the, for as long as I can be on this journey. This is what gives me longevity. This is what gives me purpose. I want to be on this journey for as long as I can be. And when I think, the only setback is when I think, you know, I've got another, you know, 50, 60 years of it, it sort of saddens me. So I'm hoping that by that stage, we can, we can live to be a bit, a bit more immortal, a bit more, a bit more, a bit more mortal. Oh, yeah. Well, listen on, I think that's a really powerful place to end. And I think that's, that's something that I'll continue to point out. I wanted to say thank you though, because there are few people that are, have the courage in this day and age to be themselves and to speak their mind and that, and unfortunately it feels like a bit of a dying breed, but you're one of those people and having spent time with you before we started filming and during this conversation, I got to know, I had the privilege of getting to know who you are a little bit as you say. And that's a person that I do respect when that inspires me and reminds me of the importance of following my, my true self. So I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for having this conversation today. And thank you for being yourself. Steve, you're a gentleman. Thank you. Thank you.