Jonny Wilkinson: Winning The World Cup Led To My Darkest Days | E131 | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Jonny Wilkinson: Winning The World Cup Led To My Darkest Days | E131".

1970-01-01T20:42:50.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

Could you do me a quick favour if you're listening to this? Please hit the follow or subscribe button. It helps more than you know, and we invite subscribers in every month to watch the show in person. - I had to achieve, I had to be perfect. I guess I'll ultimately take on the suffering. - The flyer of the tournament, Johnny Wilkinson. - A genuine sporting legend. - How much pressure has this man been under this week? - For me it was due or die on the field. So therefore, where other people kind of called it quits and threw in the towel, I didn't have the choice. - Here it is for Johnny. There's all go down in history. - Was your mental health better or worse after that moment? - When I was on the field in the zone, I was operating at a level I couldn't even understand. Waking up the next morning, you know, leaves you in the cold light of day, I thought there was gonna be joy here, I was convinced there isn't. I spent my life being very fit, but not really the healthy. Health is about what fitness can come out of, unless you look after health, it's dangerous. People say, "I wish I'd made more of my life. "I wish I'd enjoyed every moment." That starts with health, working on someone else really doesn't work for anyone, but working on yourself tends to work for everyone. - So without further ado, I'm Stephen Bartlett, and this is the Dyer over CEO.


Personal And Professional Self-Reflection

What shaped you into who you are (01:06)

I hope nobody's listening, but if you are, then please keep this to yourself. - Johnny, you went on to become one of the real greats in rugby. And I remember watching you in my living room as a very, very young kid on the screen in oars, not just in that 2003 moment, but long before then. And when I think about, when I sit here with guests that are athletes or successful entrepreneurs, whatever they might be, they sometimes, but not usually can give me a sort of fairly accurate description of what happened in the earlier phases of life that would mold them to become that champion or that CEO that they later were. You're someone that is incredibly self aware, so I was very much looking forward to asking you the same question, which is, when you reflect on the early stages of your life, what were the defining molding experiences for better or for worse that you would point out and say that's probably why, or at least that led to in part who I became later in life? - I think the best way of answering that would be to say that in my younger days, I'm very young, without any kind of triggering events, certainly not that I can remember or ever sort of come into contact with. I had enormous passion and some kind of adeptness for ball skills. So if I had a ball in my hand, things just made sense. I could work out, I could, in my sort of head, I could have some sort of target, some sort of goal, something to do with that ball, and I could work it out. That was part of the intelligence I had was just, I could bring those things about relatively effortlessly, and I had a real passion for exploring that it still is the case with me. I still find myself playing basketball and often so much of this I'll do on my own, because it's my relationship with that inner capacity I have that interests me, not to show what I can do, but it's that sense of I guess being at home, and it's where a huge amount of the revelations that I have in life come from, from that kind of relationship. However, there was also another relationship, which again, without triggering events, I grew up with an immense sense of doom and fear about everything. So I had this incredible sort of passion and inclination towards expressing myself with balls and skills, and in competition as well, but the competition side was a need. That wasn't a desire, the achievement, all that stuff was obsessive, but from a negative perspective, because I had this sense of doom surrounding everything, that was my disconnective feel. I saw other people handling situations that seemed so simple to them, but for me, insurmountable, and yet when they looked at me with regards to half, with a ball in my hand, what they thought was impossible for me just was relatively straightforward. I think those two sides of my path meant that I had this constant drive to just find myself in a garden with a ball in my hand. That's all hours of the day and night most of the time. It's all I talked about, all I talked about, all I spoke about, all I did. And yet on the other hand, I had this ever-present fear that I built this, if you like, defense mechanism coping strategy, but ultimately identity around how to somehow survive that fear. And that, for me, that mechanism I put in place was, I had to achieve, I had to be perfect, and I had to, I guess, ultimately take on the suffering and live that kind of martyr, saviour, stroke, warrior archetype. And as such, I found myself really, really uncomfortable with when things were seemingly going well. It just, I found that horrendously difficult to handle as a result, I would revert to that defense mechanism of creating problems if there weren't. So I was constantly looking in a state of survival for where the next problem was, 'cause I was convinced with this ever-present sense of fear that there was a threat and it was there. And so, yeah, those two paths, essentially, weaved in and out with each other throughout my entire life, but there was no doubt that my ability on the field at times to be in that zone was where I felt my genius, but at the same time, the other strength I had was that, for me, it was due or die on the field. So therefore, where other people kind of called it quits and threw in the towel, I didn't have the choice. The other fear didn't just drop off and let me just sit down for a bit, so I could go and go and go and go. - When you talked about your childhood there, you said, despite there being a traumatic event that had created this kind of perspective you had about this sort of fear, but also this sense of real peace and homelessness, you described it when you have a ball. - Yeah. - Your dad Phil was a rugby player and a football player. - Cricket, cricket, cricket. - Yeah, rugby and cricket, yeah. - Okay. - Just two things. - Okay. What was his influence on you? Because when I read that he was also a sports player in his own right, that's kind of typically the story you expect to hear. I sat here with Eddie Hern as well. His dad works in the same business. I've sat here with CEOs, their dad works in the same business. And the interesting thing that I connected and I'm not making any assumptions here, this is what I'm asking the question is, in the case of Eddie, in the case of Umar, Khmerni, who was at Buhu, they describe a very similar thing, a real sense of almost innate feeling of pressure to succeed. And they also, at times, couldn't necessarily tell you where it comes from. Did you either of your parents play a role in that perceived sense of pressure to succeed? - No, sort of like I said, I'm heavily into the introspective side of all this and part of that kind of search now for potential is where that's moved. It used to be grabbing the external and trying to expand physically, what more can I have, what more can, how can more people know my name, or everything that could almost expand my reach and presence on a physical level. Now, no really no longer interest me. It's how to allow my presence in that non-physical space. And my sort of journey of looking into that has meant that I've questioned everything. And my upbringing was fantastic in terms of that. I had every opportunity to go and do what I wanted to do. I have my brother there as well, and my parents all sporty. But there was just something in me which had latched on. And this is something I feel maybe it's something that brought with me into this world from a comic positioning whereby I was always going to grab things that way I was susceptible to understanding things a certain way. But for me, I sort of pushed my parents hard. I can't imagine it was easy. My brother too, in the way that I was sort of, I challenged them in ways I didn't give up. And a lot of that, like I said, was all of the irrational stuff came from the need for them it was baffling. But they had their lives and I appreciate that. This is always the case that people are always doing their best. And that's what I remember about our family, the most is that everyone's always doing their best. And I look at everyone now and realise that, people are where they're supposed to be and just giving it their all. And what's been so, so powerful for me is just being able to switch that interest was what giving my best means is more of an unlocking and letting go and shedding than a, what more can I grab and where that path turned around is perhaps where I felt the true understanding of what this journey's been about as opposed to where I was looking to, whether it come from, what happened here, et cetera, et cetera. It's more of a kind of, it was just about that. - You said something there which some people might skip over which is you said it might have been something you inherited comically or, you know, and that reminded me of something I'd heard you say previously about being able to sort of inherit generational messages or whatever that might be. Do you believe in that? Do you believe that we're passing messages from one generation to another within ourselves and that that is shaping our lives? - Yeah, I believe that the role of karma is basically a memory and it's the way we've remembered things. And whilst, for me, for example, when I'm stuck in that really physical identification of this is who I am, as in I'm me, I'm Johnny, and then I do have a start to my story in an end. But as I've been sort of exploring and letting go, a bit more of that kind of physical identity of right now, I just tend to feel that it opens up a different understanding of memory, you know? If we're a process of that evolution, then the cells in our body have a memory that goes back a long, long way. Yeah, and that's impossible to separate, you know, where we come from from parents and where they come from their parents, from their parents, from their parents, you know, everything is all interconnected, but we put a stop and a start on it. And it seems, yeah, one of the things I find so, so interesting when looking at that is that I'm very interested in the science side of it too. And looking at the desire of science to find, you know, what it is that we're made of and yet they keep coming up with, it's nothing. And then they go to, well, what is it we're living in? And they keep finding out that it's unending. And yet, who we are, we seem to manage to say, despite the fact it's made of nothing and it's unending, we found a way of saying, but we're made of this, we start here and we stop there, it just doesn't make sense to me anymore. Whereas before, you know, you live in those boundaries, what you see inherits those boundaries. And I think as I've released those, you start to not so much question, but just allow for different understandings to take hold and one of those is that, you know, I find it fascinating to look at, yeah, I've got a young child and I find it fascinating to look at children enter and they're also different. How are they so different? And then you say, oh, well, yeah, it might be to do with how the parents have behaved during the, during the sort of, you know, the months preceding the birth and yes, but even then, why the parents' behavior in that way goes on and on and it just goes back to the same way that I still believe that we're all doing our best, but there's a part which we bring with us into this, into this space and yeah, I feel like there is, there is nature and there's, there's that nurture side, but that nature, yeah, but that, that nurturing has been going on forever and it's important that we have a bias and a stance because without it, I don't think you can have this physical experience unless there's something holding you in it and I think that's the point is to find out what that is and engage with it, embrace it and enjoy it. - And what is holding you within this physical experience? What is your stance? - It's so, so interesting. That question, you know, at the beginning I'd have said, oh, you know, this is what I'm telling you about my fear and then I'm talking about my need to survive and then unlocking that and going beyond it and you think, oh, I understand it and they get challenged again. Oh, where did that come from? Oh, I think I understand that now and I feel so much but challenged again. Where do these challenges keep going from? And I think that's the part of me understanding what my stance is, is an ongoing process, an ongoing process of just enjoying challenge and embracing it. I think I use the kind of expression when I talk to some of the guys I train with and when they're doing their sort of kicking with the rugby. It's that it's all about sort of finding that absolute peace and in a environment that allows you to go and explore this opportunity you've got ahead of you. And every time you find it, you can't find that state. It's because you're holding on to something. It's never because you don't know something or because you haven't learned something. It's because you're holding on to something you don't need. And you have sessions right at the end of it. People are feeling like, I feel amazing. And you're kind of thinking, you're great. Just wait till tomorrow. Because your side here is tomorrow, I still feel amazing. But then the next day you feel, I don't know, I just feel a bit like this. Why? It's because each of those sessions that we're doing, it's like a light that shines into your garage where you think you've cleared out all the bags in your garage that you don't need anymore. And then you think that's all clear. And then a slightly brighter light comes in the next day and you're like, oh, there's loads of stuff over there. I didn't see that. I'd better go and clear that. Now, the more you clear, the more space you find in there. But to think you're going to get to the end of that, for me, to think I'm going to sort of find out why I'm here. Well, I think I'm going to find out as it's my choice to be here. And that's the beautiful part, is the proactive reason for being here. As we said in the question, it was like, what's holding you here? I think now, probably the way I really see that is, what's my calling, what's my purpose? When that's fulfilled, that'll be an interesting moment. But I don't see that being any time soon. It's really interesting reframing of the situation because you're right, we spend lives looking for some kind of external, given reason for us are in existence, but flipping that and saying, well, yeah, I'm choosing to be here. And I'm choosing to be here because of the purpose that I've decided on. It's a really powerful thing because, yeah, I mean, in my DMs and messages I get from kids, it's this kind of outside external search for this Easter egg that they were born to find called their passion and their purpose. And when they can't find the singular Easter egg somewhere, they fall into such tremendous frustration and feelings of inadequacy. I haven't found my purpose. That means I'm a piece of shit. And that spiraled downwards. One of the things you touched on there was the feeling of peace.


Going in search of your identity (16:24)

And then, and also, just before that, you talked about letting go of something, because we're holding on to something. And that thing often is identity and expectation. Something I've definitely done in my life is held too much onto a sense of identity. And that's really caused me lots of problems. As I read through your story, starting from your very early days in Newcastle to later, it became apparent that you were holding more and more on to this expectation and identity which you'd earned from your accomplishment. And that was having a detrimental impact on your piece. Yeah. So talk to me about identity and the journey you've been on there. I think, for me, perhaps overriding understanding, and it comes from a lot of the way I dealt my sort of immatures of trying to understand that fear and what was going to transcend it, what was going to help me transcend it. And that understanding was, I'll solve it. And when I solve it, this fear machine will suddenly turn into a joy machine. My suffering is going to result in joy. Interestingly enough, by feeding that fear with all the reassurance, whether it be hours and hours and hours upon kicking or training that's telling me, you know, giving me the greatest guarantee I could possibly hope for, which was no guarantee at all, never did anything. But it never sort of fulfilled itself, satisfied itself. But that was the best I could do to try and reassure the fear of that moment and say, look, I can do it. You don't have to worry, I can do it. But of course, as soon as I stop doing it, the fear comes back and says, can you really do it better do another one? And so trying to solve it by feeding reassurance to a fear machine, the fear machine just becomes a bigger fear machine that needs more reassurance to get the same hit. Trying to get that same hit just meant more and more reassurance. So you're building, I was building greater habits and needs to keep suffering so I could keep solving. So you lock yourself into that cycle. And that cycle, when you're locked into it, compared to when you're not, that's the only difference between why you speak about expectation and fear of failure and pressure is just because you're in the cycle. It's not a reality to life, it's the reality to the cycle, certainly to my cycle. And when I'm outside of that, when I'm feeling good, for example, in the middle of the game where you're in the zone, if you could articulate anything in that sort of mind space, what's the pressure like in there? What are you talking about? How can there be a pressure to now? When you're in the now, there's no consequences to the now. Because it's now, there's no then or before or after. So you can't have consequences, you can't have pressure. It's now. And so deeply understanding that versus the cycle, I guess was where I realized what I was trying to do with all this identity was answer something, was answer a problem. The identity was creating the problem and the identity was about solving the problem. I had to keep the problem to keep the identity and I had to keep trying solving it to keep the identity as well. And it was never going to go anywhere. And I think my big issue with all that was I was trying to answer something. I was trying to find, as we said before, in a world made of nothing, a universe made of nothing that's ever ongoing, I was trying to find that answer. And that answer for me was from an identity perspective, was about working stuff out logically. And yet all my peace and my joy came from when my mind was being, I guess, inspired by my heart. I spent most of my time trying to almost, I guess, inform my heart through my head. It was what I was trying to do. I wasn't listening to that one moment where I felt beautiful. And then learning from that, I was learning from the 99% where I was feeling so stressed and suffering and I was using that as my guide. I was using my head as my guide and I think undoubtedly the change in me has been to let go of the need to find an answer, to have that trust in that there is not going to be an answer. There is going to be an ever expanding, beautiful journey, which when you remove the answer, it's no longer a journey because it's not going anywhere, it's an adventure. And then that's what the now feels like to me. I think, yeah, for me, that identity was a massive, relative existence on a social level. How did I measure up? How did I compare all of that to do with trying to answer that problem? Basically, to have this fear, I'm somehow not worthy or deserving of having what I want, how I want it. And therefore, I've got to manipulate it by looking for what's going to get in the way of it and how can I control that to see if I can get some of it anyway. Instead of that feeling when you're in the now, which is, this universe is working for me. And we're friends. We're not trying to enter into some kind of tricky, I don't know, shady deal where we're both trying to con each other. It's like, no, no, we're in this together. So I'm like, zero some game where one of you can win in the other one? Yeah, for me, that was always the guess, where you could never rest easy because something went well, that was the time to be like, oh, this is where life might have lost out because I'm doing well. I'm just not going to, how's life going to come back and get me because I've just tricked life. I've gotten something out of it and it's now like, I was going to want repayment for this. You're going to get injured or something. You're going to get injured or you're going to get injured. And I guess in a way, when you pride yourself on that perfectionism and the achievements and the achievements basically also comes down to how other people see you, feel about you, what they think of you. And when you enter into that kind of space, it's humiliation is perhaps the biggest fall. That's the one when you pride yourself so much on being perfect. The thing that scares the hell out of you, I think, from a physical perspective, it's living and dying on an identity level, it's humiliation. And that was at the basis of a lot of the training was it would be so humiliating for me. And the more well known you become, the greater the opportunity of humiliation. When you're the unknown, it's kind of like, it doesn't matter too much. When you're playing down at the park and you miss one, no one's watching, you're kind of like, I can handle that. But 80,000 people, millions on TV, when everyone knows you and they're all thinking, don't worry, he's got this. Yeah, that's the moment.


Is your mindset now conducive of a world cup champion (23:22)

Your battle with fear perfectionism, whatever you want to call it, ultimately led to an obsession on the training ground, right? And you describe that obsession on the training ground as actually a distraction from the fear that really never worked in terms of filling the void. I sat here, as you were saying that, I said, if Johnny at 16, 17, 18, or before had the mindset you have now, would he ever become? The player he went on to become. Like if a 16 year old who is very similar to Johnny is listening to this right now, and he takes on all the advice that you're giving about being present and removing the fear and living with expectation, et cetera, and living in the now, would that increase or reduce his chances of becoming World Cup champion? Yeah, it's a good one. And in some ways, I would have answered that quite simply by saying it was when I was at my best that I was already doing this. So at 17, 18, when I was on the field in the zone, I was operating at a level I couldn't even understand. And that's because I was having the mindset that I'm talking about now. So I was already having it and it was in those moments that I really shone. So it's not like I never had it. It's just that when I did have it in those years, I knew I was onto something. It's just the relationship I had was that in order to get in the zone, I need to suffer like mad. And the more I sort of like started succeeding and feeling a bit of the zone, the more I said, I better suffer some more, more suffering, the more zone. But of course, you just overload the suffering and you've got no room left for anything now. And I think working with guys now is the best way to answer this is that I'm kind of answering that question by working with people in that younger space. And one thing that's certainly, it's actually very, it's impossible to do anyway, but it's also not the right idea is to remove too much of someone suffering because you remove growth. So when I say suffering, probably challenges is a better word. You know, obviously we don't want anyone to suffer. But if you remove too much of the challenge, you remove the opportunity for growth. So in a way, I was going to have challenge then in whatever form. And I needed challenge. I needed just like saying, if you keep winning all the time, you just see a plateau in your performance. And so I didn't want people to agree with me all the time. I didn't want to be written about in the papers being the best all the time. As much as asked me before the game, I'd have said, please, just let me know everything's perfect. But actually looking back, those challenges, those moments of conflict, it's what asks you to step up and go again. So I needed the challenge. I needed all that suffering. But it's just where it crosses the line and becomes counterintuitive and counterproductive. There needs to be an understanding of how to relate to the challenge so that you don't face the same one over and over again. I think that's what I would have been interested to see was, you know, if you'd have gained some ground on that challenge, then what other challenge would have come? Not that would have been it, but it would have been a different route to see. But it's largely irrelevant. It's not something I ever think about because it's got what I've been through and what I've experienced in that way doesn't make me anything. Yeah, the past doesn't make the now. The now is the now. And I think, yeah, who I am is how I relate to that now. And if I'm carrying around this big idea of how I got here and what I've understood, I'm just separating myself from the now. And that's so big. If I come into the now saying here, I'm bringing a past in, can I get in the door? The now saying, no, no, that key doesn't fit. You can't bring the past in here. You have to choose. You're going to live sort of disconnected from the now and you can have your past. Or if you're going to allow that and have a different relationship with that, then you can have more of me, you can have more of the now. I think that's the same goes with the future. You know, the more you carry your past, the more you're carrying your future at the same time. But that same principle applies. You know, if you really want the now, it's a case of where you've got to align with it and ask the now, you know, what's the now trying to do with nothing? What are you trying to do? Something. Okay. Well, there's the disconnect. And I think that's been huge in those moments on, I always come back to that moment on the field when I'm in the zone. Your identity is gone. You just know it's me doing this. It's me trying to do this. There's just doing as this was happening with the 2003 drop goal. That's the one moment that I can say genuinely it was happening without me involved. I was able to embrace it and enjoy it and experience it, but there was no me trying to do it. It happened whilst I was in it, but it wasn't me doing it. Is that leading to the fact that you were in a flow state in that moment? Yeah, I mean, whatever flow state means to anyone, it's basically that kind of understanding, I guess that there was for me what felt like a very, very immediate relationship between what I was desiring and intending on the inside and the manifestation of it was almost instantaneous as opposed to the way people look at it, which is like, I've got my goals and over time, you know, they're going to come together to form this. It was almost kind of instantaneous in that respect. And that's where that sense of past and future disappeared because it was inside outside where you lost their separation. Was your mental health better or worse after that moment?


Your mental health after the World Cup drop goal (29:40)

I think it was a sort of catalyst for maybe a deepening or intensifying or an acceleration of what was already in place, definitely. But it wasn't a brand new thing. It was just a bit of a deeper, I guess, experience of it. It came. It came for better or worse? For, I mean, guess, depending on how you look at the challenge, it was a, for example, the emptiness was just a bit more severe because winning the World Cup was the main goal. So winning the game and the 60, the grand slam or getting selected for this or that were huge goals and the little parts of emptiness after it was that came were a bit less because one, it wasn't the main goal and two or so because it wasn't the main goal, the main goal was still in place which meant you were therefore still moving towards something. I think because the main goal was so important but also afterwards there wasn't that clarity of where I go next, that was a bit of a deeper drop into that space of what's this all about. And how does that feel in detail that you describe it as a deeper drop? Just a sense of confusion and sort of bewilderment with the idea that there was a promise here. There was a promise, albeit one I've made to myself, but it's such a deep, such a strong one and a world of fine one that said, it's going to happen. I've worked hard for this. I've done all I was asked. I've done all I asked myself to do. Again, I keep sort of, I can't abide by the idea that there is this somehow this external I used to use the blame and the, you know, sort of offset that responsibility and handed over to something on the outside to say, oh, yeah, that's why. I've been in this way, but now, you know, it all comes from the inside. But even so, that promise felt strong. It felt real. It felt and that you feel a bit sort of cheated but also confused because there is no one to blame. There is nothing to grab. There's nothing tangible that says, you know, that stood there saying, you know, well, you know, I got you there tonight. It's like, where now? What now? And then there's also a little bit of that extra confusion is to say, well, what's the point of the next one? The promise was that you'd receive some kind of euphoric joy and fulfillment and definitely, yeah, it is the Hollywood ending. But of course, Hollywood films have that privilege of the credits coming up and leaves you with your imagination and your imagination. It always just, it's not in detail, but you just think, wow, how great for them. But of course, should that camera carry on for even another hour? You get something in there and that's all it took after the World Cup final, you know, we went to a private party and you're sort of thinking, oh, we'll go there and have a chance to chat. It's going to be great. And when you get there, it's, oh, these people, you know, this isn't private. Why they're letting you know, I can't even get here to see there's no space. It's already in. It's going. And but I think, you know, waking up the next morning is a big one that night's sleep, you know, leaves you in the cold light of day when it's all, you know, you're looking sort of at the room and the hotel and it's just as is. And it's not shining, you know, said this before a few times I've spoken there aren't people waiting outside the door willing to hoist you on their shoulders and carry down to breakfast where you've got your own special table. It just, it is so powerfully kind of beautiful in that way and the way that it allows you to at some point understand that there's also really great reason for why you feel that way because it's just, it's a pointer to there's a disconnect here. It's nothing to do with what's going on the outside. It's just there's a misunderstanding here and an opportunity, but that opportunity, as you said, how do you move on to the next one? It involves some vulnerability because you can't walk in the shoes of the same identity but head in that other direction. The identity is the direction you're heading in. You need a new identity, a more spacious one, a more open one, but that's vulnerability. That's, you know, to do that you have to shed those solid lines you've drawn up which have kept you safe and given you your stand outness to others. They can see you because you're drawing yourself in solid lines and you can say, "This is who I am," and you can talk about yourself in that way and it feels like that's purpose and that's kind of meaning and worth. It's asking you to let that go and that's humiliation as we're talking about. It's a humbling journey and it's vulnerability and I wasn't ready for it at that time. Not what also didn't help was the game after that I first played after that for my club was two weeks later and in that game I crossed the line on a neck injury. It'd been building for a long long time over years and in that game it probably went and I spent the next couple of months without being able to move my arm and then surgery and all this talk about you may never come back and of course you've gone from, "This is what I do, this is who I am," to, "I don't really know what's going on anymore," and now I can't even do what I do so I can't even be those solid lines. I can't present anymore and now I'm watching other people do it. It's an amazing coming together of circumstance to really point you and say, "Hey, what do you think? Shall we have a look at something else?" It's like, "Nah." I was on the exercise by the day after my neck operation with a neck race on. My brother came in and saw me. We were living together, saw me and sort of said, "What are you doing?" And it's the need. I've got to get back to where I was. This is such a powerful thought is that we want growth, you want progress, you want to advance and to explore and find new things and yet the way I was going to do that was going back. That's how I was going to find new stuff. I have to get back to who I was and how I was and yet deep inside me what I wanted was and what I began my journey was I want to find out what I'm capable of. What I was actually saying in this moment was, "I want to go back to what I've had, to where I've been." That was a big, big moment. I just wasn't quite ready to listen to it. As soon as you do get back, which I did for a little bit before getting into it again and again and again, which was the stress of all that need and obsession, it's enough because just enough of the old habits and the triggers come in with people around you saying, "Are you doing great? So good to have you back." And it's on back. But of course, it's just enough to hold you off making that step in the other direction. And that came a bit later on. I resonate so much with that. My moment of, I guess, which is analogous to your moment of being injured and trying to be back on the bike was when I resigned from my company. I looked at it and fell into the belief that if I spent the rest of my life living out these labels that I've earned through my accomplishments, social media CEO, or entrepreneur or whatever, I would likely end up abandoning my true self and probably end up in some kind of midlife crisis. So at that point, as I write about my book, my objective became, "If I had no labels, who would I be?" And trying to really live a life free from a confining identity and be free to be the full expression of myself, "Is the journey I find myself in now?" Is that what you mean when you say you were trying to get to the point of understanding all you can be? Is that what you're describing there? I think what comes to mind when you're saying that for me was, and it's also another way of looking at the identity thing I think you're speaking about, is that the more I've released those boundaries of identity, the more creative I've become. And there's nothing more creative than being in that zone as I say. And when those boundaries are gone, you're so creative that you suddenly see things and you join dots together in ways that you can't imagine they could ever have been. And yet it's so easy, it's so effortless. Creativity is an effortless kind of capacity that we have. It's not one that needs trying to be involved. When you're becoming creative, you don't try to be creative. That's the whole point of not being creative, is you allow and you explore. And what comes out is surely more of what's really who we are. And I think the thing for me and that was that as a child I had that creative ability. And what I did was I embraced and I celebrated my creativity. As I got older, what I did was I held onto my creation and that was another way of saying identity. So as I began to attach myself to what it was I was creating instead of exploring the creativity and the process, there I formed the identity because the identity is look at what I create. You can't have an identity as a creator because then it's still look at what I create. I'm a creator. But to have no identity I think in that respect to be nothing on the inside as they say is to be everything on the outside. It allows you to create and therefore such a real interesting moniker or a marker rather for me is how creative do I feel right now? And to set the environmental conditions internally for creativity, effortlessness, relaxation, excitement, passion and ultimately on the spiritual level, worthiness. And I think that when I say about for me that's been where it's changed because you can't be fully creative and insist upon the creation how it's going to turn out and needing that guarantee that's control. I'm going to be so creative as long as it turns out like this. So you're not going to allow it to go anywhere new. You're not creating anything. You've got a blueprint. You're organizing. And I didn't after a while I think I realized I didn't want to organize and manage my talent. I wanted to celebrate it and like you said be all you can be. I want to see where it can go. I want to and all I can be means go beyond identity. The best I can be means within my identity. The best ever is within a very small identity. You want to be the best ever. That's a very small identity. And you went through those three phases right? You read about the first phase was you wanted to be the best ever. And you wanted to be the second one was you. The best I can be. The best you can be. And the third is you want to be which is where you find yourself now all you can do. Yeah. It just determines the strength of the idea or opinion behind it. I want to be the best ever is a very strong idea. This is a some game right? Yeah. Yeah. And that's hugely massive comparison massive competition massive measuring up massive dependence upon other people's views. Yo, how do you know you're the best ever because someone says I do right? I'm going to work on you. I'm not going to work on myself. I'm going to work on your opinion. The second one, the best I can be is an idea still. What's my best? Well, I was good then. So it needs to be that bit a bit more. Okay. It's still a strong idea. You're still limiting yourself. All I can be is looking at the eye. Not looking at the rugby player. Yeah. Because the best I can be is, okay, I'm going to be the best father. I'm going to be the best. And these are all great pursuits, but they still don't match up to what about just this being. So how much can I be in terms of how can I explore my being? The best I can be still shifts over to doing the best ever is all about doing. It's all about physicality. Best I can be, but less all I can be drops of physical. And that's where creativity comes in. Being creative physically means moving stuff around being creative, which is effort, but being really creative means you can sit and just be. And that's what I think all the opportunity. Quick one, as the seasons have begun to change, so has my diet. And right now, I'm just going to be completely honest with you. I'm starting to think a lot about slimming down a little bit because over the last couple of, probably the last four or five months, my diet has been pretty bad. And it started to show a little bit. Really over the last two months, I go to the gym about 80% of the time. So I track it with 10 of my friends in a WhatsApp group and this tracker online that we all use together. We call it fitness blockchain. And I'm currently at 81%. So 81% of the days I've done a workout in the last 150 days. Right? So I'm going to the gym about six times a week. That's been a little bit impacted by the Dora Vaseo Live tour, but I'm trying to stick to it. And so one of the things I'm doing now to reduce my calorie intake and trying to get back to being nutritionally complete and all I eat is I'm having the heel protein shake. Thank you, heel, for making a product that I actually like. The salted camel is my favorite. I've got the banana one here, which is where the one my girlfriend likes. But for me, salted camel is the one. There'll be people listening to this that are, you know, they left university, they went to school and now they're a lawyer and they've been a lawyer for 15 years, or they might be, I don't know, dentists.


How does someone become all they can be (43:29)

Now they've been a dentist for 20 years. And a lot of the time when I speak to these people, there's this other voice inside them that's been suppressed over time, which is probably all they can be. And they've got really consumed in this identity, which they're like parents wanted them to adopt of being a doctor or a lawyer, whatever it might be. When I speak to these people, they are seemingly trapped by something. And that force that's trapping them seems to be so much stronger than the other voice, which is, which they sometimes can even point to as being a more fulfilling life, which is, I guess, all they can be. They want to go and be an artist. They speak to me before my show. They show me their Instagram and the most unbelievable artists I've ever seen in my life. And they, their face lights up when they talk about that thing. But when I ask them what they do, they say, yeah, I work in the city, I work in finance for like KPMG or something. And you can see the dread in their face. How does someone start the journey? And I think you alluded to vulnerability there, but how does someone start the journey of going from that place of, you know, confinement and identity? And I am this thing that I've earned through my achievements to being all I can be. In a practical way, what's, how does that journey begin? I think that voice that inner calling, as you just said, is passion and excitement versus the duty and the need and the fulfilling the roles, if you like, of society. And I think therefore, for me, the way that works is that you, you add to the passion and excitement constantly and allow that to look after your deepest intention, which is always I want to spend, I think, all my time fully present, which means doing what I love doing, being who I feel like I'm meant to be, as much as that will keep evolving and changing. So therefore, it comes down to following your highest passion and excitement in every moment. And people might argue straight away, well, how can I do that? If I've got to be at work at seven in the morning and I've got to do this and I've got to go and traipse across town to get here, you say, yes, but within the boundaries of what you have to do, what's your highest excitement? Follow that. So, you know, I've got to drive across here and it's going to take me two hours. And but then when you're in the car, tune in to what's my highest passion and excitement. I love this podcast. Okay, go. That's it. I really want to listen. I've got that. My hands free. I'm going to phone so and so, because I just thought of them and I really want to chat to them, follow that intuitive, instinctive, impulsive side that comes from what you want. And when that gains momentum, I think the way it works is that the universe responds by providing more and more opportunities to do more and more of what you like so that you're highest and passionate excitement. The environment allows for you to really do more and more of what you really love doing, but you've got to start the ball rolling by saying, right, within this moment right now, how can I watch my highest passion and excitement? How can I bring more of me into this as opposed to allow this to take away more of me? And I think that is a journey that just looks after itself. You know, it's on a physical level. It's the do what you, the little things you can do, set goals and allow them to, you know, focus on what you can do and allow it to expand and grow into the most amazing things. It's the same way of just doing that on an internal level. It's just follow your eyes. It might be physical. It might just be things I love thinking about. It even, if it comes down to being, you know, you're stuck in a lift and you're kind of like, and it's a tiny lift, and you're going to be there for maybe for a while. Okay, but people talk about going to a happy place, but that's what's my highest passion and excitement. Oh, what I love to be doing now, paint it, picture it, think of it, dream it, feel it, all those kinds of things. All these things are amazing things to be doing. And if you're following your highest passion, if you're enjoying and embracing this moment, I spoke to someone recently saying that, you know, to know you're on track for your future manifestations of your dreams, the indicator is often how deeply are you embracing and enjoying this moment now. And once you find yourself loving this moment, it's amazing how much things just fall into place for you. And I think that's the key is to be able to say whatever it is, whatever you can do, do it and bring it to this. And I think that voice that says, Oh, I can't do this. I can't do that. It's not possible. I shouldn't do this. It's not right. There's another way of saying I can't be me. It's so interesting because when you were saying that I was thinking about the former version of myself at 18 living in Manchester, a more side where, you know, I was very, very, I had nothing. And I was stopped lifting me as I've talked about a million times food to feed myself. But in that moment, I was although I was working in call centers at night shifts, I was so unbelievably excited by life because I was also designing my website in my design and my future business in my lunchtime in my breaks of that call center. And I've said this for years and I don't think people believe to me, but I've said I was as happy then as I am now that kid was so optimistic and so happy, even though he was he had no money and he was working night shifts in the call center. And it sounds so privileged and like obviously because of money now, whatever, but it's resonated with so much of you are saying that I think it's because of what you were saying then was I was still pursuing my highest passion, despite the fact that I was working in this call center. I was still occupying all of my time and my thoughts that I could with that future. And that's what I believe manifested me being here because I could have made the decision that this was my destination in my forever. And I'd probably still be there now in my side. Yeah, I definitely agree. The idea about following your highest passion, there is a passion I think deep down is for expressing who you are. And there's no doubt for me that rugby for that period of my life was what I was meant to do. That's how I was supposed to play out. That was what I was supposed to be at that time. But then your passion changes slightly. And to be able to leave the rugby and follow that passion, often I think people say, you know, it's really difficult to find my next passion. But I think having that kind of ability to leave behind what's been is what allows passion for what can be. And I think like we were saying before about wanting to finish your rugby and then you think I'll go straight into coaching because it's close enough and people will still know me. But actually to have that period of not just after an end of a career, but daily to have that quiet period every day where you just sit, not with ideas. I'm going to think about this or I need to plan this or I need to work out my passion as well as just sit and just disconnect from that pull of the external eyes closed and just watch. But of course straight away comes in is, you know, am I doing this right? What should be happening? Should I be feeling something? I haven't had any ideas. It's been two weeks and just do it in the name of moving to your potential because we were so willing to give to our limits. Like how many years we spend suffering and telling ourselves certain things that have come from old ideas that no longer serve us. We're willing to give all our time to those. But people are still like, it's too hard to find 10 minutes to sit on an evening. What am I going to do? When actually, you know, you have that moment where you're sat watching somebody on TV and it's not really interesting you. And you kind of like, that's time there. But once that ball gets rolling, when your passion centers around something and everything comes out of that same passion, so it's all aligned. It's all kind of focused energy. That's going to manifest. There's no doubt. You know, like I'm sure at some level, there's no way you get to where you are now without there being that drive. Now I had that in the rugby and a lot of it was sort of conflict and it stressed the hell out of me, but it was so down strong that it had to win because I wouldn't let it not win. But I didn't do it in a way that was enjoyable. And now I think when you release the conflict, you get even more flow. You get an effortless version of what I've done through efforting. I've efforted heavily. Yeah, I had that word recently. I really like it. I much prefer it than tried or given so much, but I've really made it a sort of an effort version of how to get to the top. And what that means is when I look back, it's like, how was it? I never smelt the roses. That's what most people say. Because there's another way to do it. And maybe that's how this has come out for you versus the first. I don't know, you know, like these projects for me, the next things I'm doing seem to just kind of, oh, there it is. That's interesting. Whereas before it was, I kind of saw it, they'd get out of there. Don't you dare, whatever it is. I think that just comes from at some point just saying, well, okay, this is what I've got, acceptance. And then what do I want to do right now? Ask my next step, responsibility. And you can't get to that passion without the acceptance. And the acceptance is, this is what I've got. This is where I'm meant to be. This is how things are. And once I come to ease with that, then suddenly there is that, well, I can start to feel what it is I want to do next. But while there's that resistance to this, it shouldn't be this way. And should I be doing this or I'm elsewhere, future past, passion, excitement, kind of like, look, whilst you're trying to survive, we're not relevant to you. You know, someone in survival isn't really interested in passion and excitement. And I was in survival most of my career. Hence why I keep saying about my career, you know, the passion and excitement died away. Not because I lost, I fell out of love with rugby at all. Not at all. Just purely that I was in survival mode more and more and more. And the more I went into it, the less relevant creativity, growth, love, connection with teammates, excitement, passion, joy, it's just not relevant. Do that? You nailed it when you described me as well with that when you said, the drive that I had that was really strong was actually upon reflection, just deep insecurity.


Was winning the World Cup really your goal? (54:01)

Yeah. Still a big drive, though. It's still a big drive, though. It's hard to shake. When you think about winning the World Cup and you said that was the goal, was that really your goal? Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting. I think having, like, said that insecurity is often, for me, just comes down to the opposite of trust, it's distrust in yourself or whatever. But when there's a different trust about it, that acceptance I was speaking about is all encompassing. When you accept now, it is a full acceptance of all that's been. Now is, if you accept this, then everything from a physical perspective that's brought to here also is accepted. And therefore, for me, it was my goal because deep down my inner calling was, "I want to be free. I want to be happy." And I want this. And so, according to the energy I was in, these were the cooperative components. Win a World Cup. Why? So you can see that that's not quite where you need to be going. All right. Have some injuries. Why? So you can go through your own learning at the speed that you're choosing. You can't go any faster than you're ready for. You can't go any slower. It is simply as it is. And as you explore, I think as you start to expand, the expansion takes place. I think quicker once you get going, I think more revelations come and it opens up harder or faster. But the point for me being that that trust is just, it may have taken 40 years to get to this point from an experiential level. I don't feel 40 years has gone into this. It's been instantaneous because it's just memory. It's not 40 years. And so, I kind of love the idea of people confusing the past with memory. When it's memory and you start to realize it's memory and then you start to realize that you have a say in the emotional involvement in that memory, you can release it from those memories that you can play with your past. Whereas people have a fixed idea of past and yet they want a different future. It's like a railroad track that has a certain piece that's slightly curved and the train is going along and reaches back from the previous piece and sticks it in front. Because these are my understandings about how life is. This is how it's going to be. And so, you end up just going round and round in circles. Instead of the classic cycle breaker, which is that random different piece and sometimes it's a big shock or a trauma for people the way you kind of get a piece that's like completely different direction. You head off into the unknown and people have those amazing experiences. But sometimes it's just a piece which is slightly less curved. And that's what those moments were for me, that different understanding of like, hold on, I thought there was going to be joy here. I was convinced there isn't. And suddenly that cycle break and you're thinking just enough to change the piece a bit and you head here and you widen your circle. And eventually you start to be in control a little bit more of how you're going to see each event. And then you start to best you can, shape those pieces to send you into the unknown, which is what I didn't want to go before. The unknown was the threat, the unknown was the potential slip up we're talking about was that kind of shady space where you're not in control anymore. Whereas now the unknown is like, well, if you want potential, you want to see what life is, it's unknown. And the more unknown you see yourself, the more you align with life, the less ideas I have, the more unknown I am, the more I align with life. The more that I start to get that, that's I think that more instantaneous response we're talking about instead of it taking 40 years. For me, it's gone over that 40 years, it's been sort of expanding out, but over the last 15, it's been quicker over the last five, much quicker and over the last one, much, much quicker. This, the vulnerability is an interesting word because it assumes it makes you feel a certain way.


What impact has being open and honest had on your life? (58:05)

But this truth and this openness that you speak, which is kind of marks the way you speak now, this kind of, I'm willing to tell you all about myself in terms of how I feel and what I'm thinking. And I'm willing, again, this is an assumption. I don't care as much about what you think of me based on what I'm sharing now, whether it's about your mental health or about how you're feeling, which again, are things that men don't typically do, especially, you know, leaders in sport, right? What impact has stepping into your truth and being open and free from caring too much about what others might think of you because you're so open about your mental health and other things? What impact has that had on your life? I think it's the openness is not a conscious decision. I'm not coming in and saying I'm now going to be so open about it the same way that I might have been unconsciously closed before, you know, still kind of not speaking about stuff, not because I'm sitting there thinking, I'm not talking about this. But because that feeling says, this is where I want to stay within the boundaries of this on the conversation. And now the boundaries are wider, not because it's not a narrow boundary of all I ever talk about is how my suffering is kind of like, but you talk about, I guess, what's relevant to the moment, to the conversation, and it's inspired rather than pre-planned. Like I said to you before, I think it used to be a big one for preparation. So coming into this, you know, I'd read to think what I'd have been like when I was 21, but I'd have been out there with my sort of agent or with my dad or my mum or something and then went to come in and be like, yeah, and then I'd be like, it's going to go find it's going to go find you, but I just make sure you I'm going to talk about that. And I might talk about that story if you ask me about that. It's planned on the basis of I'm trying to achieve an outcome from this. But when it becomes it would again is that whole kind of like, what I create, what I actually create defines who I am. So what I'm going to create from this will define who I am. So I need to make sure it's how I want it to be all based on this idea of who I am. But without the idea, I think I speak according to the situation, not according to my identity. And I listen according to what's maybe more of what's really being meant than what's being said. And again, it's this I guess it's this different, more less solid idea of who you are that just suddenly opens up the understanding of what really listening is and being there is. I mean, being there for someone is such an amazing phrase when you really look at it. To be there for someone, it means fully being. Now, if you people are saying, but what's the best thing to do if someone's struggling is like, we'll just be there for them. Okay. But you mean like just physically stand there and be loving. And but all of this is an effort. It's designed to get an outcome. But if to get an outcome for someone else, you must have to know what's right for them. Now you're deciding and limiting them. But if you want to be all you can be, you can allow others to be all they can be. You can allow a situation to be all it can be. And I think that kind of for me has been, you know, the one of the biggest openings for us. And an example I'd say was I spoke to a young football player a while back, maybe sort of 15, 16 years old. And someone would say, would you mind just having a chat? And I said, yeah, of course I love to, you know, you get that inspirational sort of feel immediately that, yeah, this is one of those cooperative manifested moments of there's something that I've I've called for. And this has been offered. And I think I'm going to explore this, you know, because it feels right that it's in my path. And we had a chat and midway through the chat came to me quite a sort of emotionally sort of, I guess, intense way. I suddenly realized that I wasn't talking to this person as if I was 40, they were 15. As if they were a young soccer player, I was an ex-roby player. I suddenly realized that I was exchanging on a level here where it was energy form to energy form, not age relevant at all, not even defined simply that I was performing a role of serving and being served at the same time. According to allowing and letting it be, whereas before it would have been, okay, right, before the call, you kind of put on your mentor shirt, you know, going to be a mentor now. And, you know, but I talk like this and give it the whole kind of, well, I guess if you're going to play sport, you know, all this kind of stuff. But instead you phone up and suddenly I realized I'd lost that idea of the difference between people and people talk about it from, you know, age, gender, all these kind of things, you know, religion, race, everything. And you sort of think, we're all trying to do that by listening to the right thing to do and what people should say and how you should speak. But it's all the answers are in your own journey to releasing all your sort of self-discrimination and judgements that then it just becomes so easy and obvious, but so joyful and such a true exchange according to what's really being asked for rather than two people playing a game on the surface of playing our roles and seeing what we can get from each other. It's two people sharing what's really being asked for. And I sort of feel like, if you like for me from that perspective, that's the first time I've kind of understood what it is to really care for someone, is to completely let go of your own ideas of them. And in order to do that, you have to let go of yours about you. And I think that's the selfless side of it. It's funny that expression, you know, it's selfless, you remove yourself and you can be selfless. And just being able to sit there and listen and be fascinated by someone has been a really, I think a big moment in that. And that kind of, yeah, it's been a, that's been a nice change. That moment for me was one of a sudden, you realize, you know, that I've been playing a game for so long, according to that identity, what I need from this, how it's going to look, you know, I'm using people. I don't mean necessarily on, on that whole kind of exploitative, you know, I guess in a way it is, but you're kind of using them to get them to feel a certain way about you. You're using them to, to say what you need them to say for you to fill that space. And once that goes, relationships, I think take on a new level. Interesting. And essentially using them to confirm the identity to fill the hole. Yeah. Make me feel like I'm your mentor. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. So I, you know, I need at the end of it, I need you, I need that kind of like, thanks so much for your time. Yeah. I can't believe you're doing this. And I need that backup call that comes when the person introduces, he says, Oh, they're over the moon. They're so chuffy, you've changed the life forever. You need that because that's what I'm, yeah, because without that, am I doing a good job? Once that goes is to be like, what I'm doing, what I was supposed to be doing.


Your mental health journey (01:05:34)

When I, when I look over your story, one of the threads that goes through it, even up until today, because I, I read that you were thinking over in the process of starting a mental foundation is the story of mental health, something that's become a greater discussed topic in our generation is specifically around because there's a lot of men that are arriving at the unfortunate decision that the only way out is to, to end their lives. And it's the now the big, big, biggest single killer of men on the age of 45 in our country. A mental health journey twists and turns, it seems. I remember the vidli reading that you, you, you're in your hotel room and you're playing days looking at the TV and it's basically just lights because your head is overthinking at an unbelievable rate. And it sounds, it sounds somewhat, and I'm not familiar with the, the medical definition of a panic attack or anxiety, but it sounds somewhat like that. Have you ever experienced depression in your life about a period where, and again, I'm, I'm not a doctor, but where you feel a sustained low, that would be clinically described as depression. Yeah, they'll always go together. Admittedly, yeah, because for me, they do, because you have that sense of panic and anxiety, which for me has always been around sort of finding these, these insurmountable issues throughout my life. What seems to be the insurmountable, which is basically saying according to how I've positioned my view of life, this is now insurmountable. According to my belief system, this means this is an issue and we can't pass each other. And the fear then kicks in the lack of control, the panic kicks in, which again, that hysterical nature of it, you know, it tells me that it's, you know, it's not rational to the, to the moment. Yeah, it took about, there's no threat here, but if I'm having that threat, I know it's, it's coming from something deeper, but the fact that it's insurmountable or the fact or it appears so. And the fact that before I wouldn't have seen changing your energy, otherwise, no, just changing your identity, I guess, in a way, or removing your identity, I wouldn't have seen that as an opportunity. So therefore you're stuck in that insurmountable space. And that's where the depression kicks in. What's the point? What's the point? This is me now. I can't live with, I can't live without this. I'm stuck. The needle is right in the middle. And every time I try and move it one way to get some clarity, once it goes that way, I panic because it has to come back, I don't want it to go that way. So I bring it to the middle and I try and work it the other way and it's like I don't want it to go that way. And it's this classic two voices you mentioned, which is this call for happiness and this call for joy and freedom and all that, the stuff which just blossoms out over and over again in ways that be on belief. But another voice that says I don't want that. I want it so much and I don't want it at the same time and I don't want it voices. The idea, this is who I am, I think I am. And I want to save this whilst having that. Those are the two voices. And when you're locked into that, I want to save this. I want that becomes, I can never have it. This is all I've got. And right now, if this is me, what's the point? But understanding for me that those two voices that I'm working with, not external truths, you know, external situations and they're not, this is the way the world is and unfortunately therefore this is where it's, that's the voice that comes from old ideas. And understanding you're working with old ideas and old ideas represent that energy state or shape it that when you start to realise, hold on, on an energy level, if I just trust, I keep working with my energy and I trust as long as it takes, I'm going to work on it. That's it. Without this idea that, you know, this idea of how and when it should sort itself out. Well, you know, I heard that person talking about getting some revelations and I haven't had any yet, but I should have any some after two weeks. It hasn't been, I'm not getting any, I can't even, you know, it's like, no, just leave it open ended. And you know, if people go to the gym, sometimes when they don't really want to, it's kind of like, well, why not just sit quietly for 10 minutes when you don't really want to, but just do it anyway. Just do it and just say, okay, I'll see. It's a bit like the, the, the looking in the mirror when you go into the gym, you know, every day after day, you don't see it. Someone else says, hi, yeah, something in there. You can't, I've been going to the gym. It's like, all right, I haven't really seen it. It's the same as sitting quietly. Feels like nothing's happening, but it is. Quick one. As we all know, energy independence and living a little greener has never been more important for a better future. It's a journey I've been on over the last couple of years that I've shared with you sporadically ever since I sold my Range Rover Sport and bought an electric bicycle. And there's a lot of people out there that listen to this podcast that are looking to make that sustainable switch in the things that run their daily life, whether it's their home, their car, their vehicles, whatever it might be. So when a good friend of mine at a company called My Energy called Jordan told me she was interested in sponsoring this podcast, I jumped at the opportunity. So for those of you that don't know, My Energy are a UK renewable energy brand whose mission is to increase the usage of green energy, helping people like you and I to save time and money when it comes to making sustainable switches in our lives. So if this resonates with you and you're the type of person that's been looking or thinking about going on your own sustainability journey, I highly recommend checking them out at myenergy.com. Patrice Everest, I hear.


Are you happy? (01:11:18)

Manchester Night Football legend, left bank. And he said that one of the questions that really changed his life was one day when his girlfriend turned to him and said, Patrice, are you happy? And when he was asked that question, and I remember when I was asked that question because my girlfriend at the time asked me when I was driving home in my car back to my house after work and she turned to me and said, are you happy? And it made me feel uncomfortable. And Patrice described a similar thing like he kind of snapped back at her. Of course I'm happy. But then she persisted. And this kind of was a really real turning point in his life where he eventually admitted to being molested when he was in school, something he'd never told anybody and had never confronted. And that set him off on the journey of understanding himself and truth and finding a way to not be this tough guy anymore and to be compassionate and loving and to be all he could be, right? Are you happy? It's a, I was just thinking then was you a, I presumed you were going on. Yeah, it took a long way around that. I think, I think happiness when you're asked it that way is a bit of a destination. Yes or no, isn't it? It's like a yes or no. It's kind of like, you know what? I like to see it maybe in terms of, am I grateful to be alive? And I think, you know, my full of gratitude is my way of looking at it. Am I, am I in touch with that, that sense of, of just being? Yeah, so, so pleased that I'm, I'm having this opportunity of life. And yeah, definitely. And I wonder sometimes even in my darkest moments, if you kind of go, you know, this is part of that journey as well. And in a way when I look back, it's more, so much more difficult at the time. I mean, almost impossible. When I look back, am I pleased and grateful for that? It's like, yes, I am, because it always turns out that it's the answer to a deeper connection. And I feel like, yes, am I happy? I'm grateful to be alive. And I don't want to change a thing. And I think that's kind of for me. Would I change anything? I don't want. And I think that's the sign, you know. I feel like as was underneath so much of the, the rugby staff, the achievement staff, the saviour staff, the warrior staff, the martyr stuff, it was always the case of, I'm not enough. So I need to earn it from other people, from outcomes, from life, or whatever. And I think that question is, are you happy? It's like, do you realize, you know, that you're enough? Do you feel that you're worthy and deserving of being here? And I think that's the connection to, to everything. And I think maybe that's the answer, all this energy change stuff we're talking about, or, or old ideas, or it's really comes down to recognizing that, you know, are you, are you aware of just how worthy you are that this whole universe is, is answering to you with these experiences? You know, the, whatever's happened this morning and whatever's happened on my journey here and meeting you, it's all been put in my path for me. The same way it is for everyone. It's like, I mean, I heard another expression a while back saying that we're so important with the, without you, the universe couldn't be all that it could be. It would just be some of what it could be. And therefore it couldn't exist. That's how important we all are. We're here because we're supposed to be here. And what's great is that, you know, that finding out your passion, your joy and your true minis is not something you need to worry about, just something you need to allow out and know that all these events are pointing you, I think, pointing us all towards all we can be if we're willing to listen. But when we answer them, try and stop them, we're basically saying, no, no, I've found who I'm supposed to be. And therefore I don't need this. But when I think we're sort of willing to look up what we've been given and say, well, I must need this. And maybe there's something asking for this deeper that knows way more than I do. So you know, I'll step out the way for a bit and have a good old listen.


Your partner (01:15:55)

Shelley, your wife? Yep. What role has she played and just having a partner through this journey? What role is that played in you discovering and going on the journey of becoming all you can be? I think it must be the same. I don't know for all people I did here. I can't totally say that relationships were the spiritual work for the West. You know, it's for the East, I don't know what the case is now, but maybe it used to be sitting on hillsides. But people sort of think, oh, I can't do that because I've got my responsibilities. But this is the work. Relationships are massive like that. And she's perfect in every way because she's perfect as she is. But also because she's exactly what I need. And that means when I get challenged, I'm kind of like, this is what I need. And it's like I said, it's when someone sort of provides that opportunity for you to sort of be more of you on every level. I think that's kind of gold dust. And therefore, I think, you know, I turn up and I don't expect her or think she should be or any certain way. I need her to be exactly as she wants to be and is because it's right for me. And hopefully I'm being the same for her. But it's funny how we both kind of growing in our own ways and our own directions, I think because of each other. And now, you know, we've got someone else on that journey with us in our little world and exactly the same relationship. I think the best thing is that both of us is neither of us are trying to lead a change in the other. We're both trying to sort of uncover more about ourselves and that's doing everything in the work in the relationship. As I said before, you know, working on someone else really doesn't work for anyone. Working on yourself tends to work for everyone.


Your drink - Number 1 Living (01:18:02)

And I know you have a, it's like a computer style drink, right? What do they call those? They call them? So it's a living drink. A living drink. Yeah, from into it's probiotic. Amazing. What's it called? It's number one living. It's called? Number one living. Yeah. And it's a computer drink. We've got water kefirs, which is more fermented drinks. We've got all kinds of stuff on the market around. Yeah. I was curious about that because I'd seen this shift in your perspective of diet and nutrition throughout your life. And I wondered if there was any advice for me based on the journey you've been on. Again, this is maybe a bit selfish of me to ask, but I know there's other people who would think it because again, when I was a young, I guess I still am a young man, but I was very much just smashing, well, I still am smashing protein shakes to try and build my muscles. And I'm really focusing on trying to have like a really good looking body. Yeah. Whereas what you've said is that health is much more important. And when I read that, that you'd made this distinction between health and fitness, I kind of looked at it and I thought to myself, what does he mean? Because I thought kind of health and fitness was almost a similar thing. Yeah. I think for a start, my brothers are fitness conditioner. We played together professionally up in the north. And then, yeah, his side has always been the fitness conditioning side. So we have a really close relationship on that. And he's exploring loads of this stuff. My wife was trained to become nutritionist. So she was exploring all kinds of things in the natural sort of healing side of nutrition, but also in nutrition as a whole. And I was looking massively into the mental emotional side of it. So we all kind of crossed paths. My wife and I, especially on Kombucha and different cofirs, we started making them at home. We were putting, you know, blackberry pick in and putting them in a real kind of shift compared to being in a change room and unwrapping these kind of foil covered laboratory based bars have been constructed. And I think that was the difference for me is that I spent my life being very fit, but not really the healthy. And fitness is an interesting one. I think everyone kind of realizes this to a degree is that when aspirationally you really push yourself down a specific route physically to adapt to be able to do a certain thing very, very sort of fully, you kind of distance yourself slightly from the hole. If you were a bit like sort of a mountain, as you climb top to the more and more to the mountain, it gets a bit more isolated up there. And I think health is about what fitness can come out of unless you look after health. It's dangerous. It's a dangerous balance, I think, to take. You know, you have to look after health and then explore what your fitness can be rather than go after fitness thinking it's going to lead to health. It doesn't, you know, the work on this, my brother as well. And the stuff we do with regard to the foundation, we speak about stuff. And one of the areas we talk about is life fitness, which is another way of talking about health, which is about that. Effortless flowing capacity to be so graceful in what you need to do every day and not, you know, talking about the aspirational side, you might see, look, I can bench press this and I can lift this, look at the state of me, look, I've got nobody fat in this, but it's kind of like, okay, let's see you getting it out of your car. You're like, okay, now, what we're talking about here is a life fitness, which has some balance in it. Now don't get me wrong, I was one of those guys that was rugby wise, I couldn't bend down. And the idea that I would sort of have to look under the sofa for something, I'd be like, I'm going to have to lie flat, it took me about three minutes to get down and five to get back up. But there's a real grace to that balance. And if, and you know, you talk about strong men and maybe a story of the past, but where strong men were told, if you carry on like this, you know, this effort to become the world's strongest man, your life expectancy is probably not going to be much more than 45. And people are like, okay, I'll take that because of the ambition, the drive behind, what's behind that, which is absolutely up to everyone. But for me, having finished rugby, I think I understood just how far it ventured from health and the living drink side with the number one living stuff we do is around the connected nature of, you know, we're more bacteria than we are cells. And yet, yeah, we also live in a world where there's a great delistirality at the moment. So bacteria kind of disappearing, we're not getting outside so much digging our hands in the dirt. On top of that, antibiotics have found their way into all kinds of different foods. And so, you know, we're finding ourselves short of these things and what they're finding out is that bacteria has a role in connecting the body in ways we don't even know is that incredible. And the need of mostly of it and the balance between all these kind of bacteria and even viruses and all kinds of things that going on is imperative to our intelligence and how we operate. So that's been effort by in that, but also trying to help us shift back towards health so that we have this kind of genius way of living our life so that we can involve ourselves fully in every moment rather than have that kind of, oh, I've got to do that. But it's fine because I'll go into the gym after, but, you know, washing the dishes is a good one. I use as a metaphor, an idea for I once got asked by a triathlete, triathlete about, I was speaking to triathlete and I said, you know, but you love doing a triathlon, but you don't like washing the dishes. But once the deal was when you're washing the dishes, what are you trying to do? Just trying to wash the dishes or what are you trying to do when you're doing triathlon? I've got a goal and I'm working, moving my body to get through that to achieve a certain goal. What are you doing when you're washing the dishes? Well, there's a goal and I'm working my body through it to get to a goal. It's the same thing. But there's an understanding that this I like and this I don't. This I'm willing to do. This I'm unwilling to do. This I'm willing to be joyful about. This therefore I've decided already is not. But to bring that kind of whole engagement to every moment is health. When you have certain things which are great and others which aren't, that involvement and out involvement or lack of involvement is for me is what fitness was. You know, as a rugby player, training brilliant, gym, matches, great, going for walks, you're not bad. Sitting around, sitting quietly, no chance. Getting in and out of the car like I said, terrible. No way. You know, all these kind of things and yet people say, I wish I've made more of my life. Wish I'd enjoyed every moment. That starts with health, health of physical, mental, emotional and exploring that. And that first of all comes with exploring the body and you know, the classic would be, we sit now maybe sometimes for so long that we become very good at sitting aspirationally. We've become great sitters the same way we've become great rugby players or whatever it is. So our bodies have started to shape towards that and they're forgetting everything we knew before. And now you find sometimes the best feeling you can get is by just stretching your arms back going, oh, that feels nice. I've forgotten how nice that was. Like yoga. Yeah, exactly. And the danger is that we end up in a few years where we've lost it and it's to remind yourself that it's health, whereas if you're doing one thing the whole time without reminding yourself of everything you can do, everything, as we speak about identity wise, you become so obsessed with being this kind of person, you forget that you're everything. Yeah, but I'm being this something, but you've got to keep reminding yourself that you're everything. Otherwise, you're going to lose your grounding and you're going to get lost in the small and lose. Yeah, you're going to get lost in the wave and you're going to lose sort of your, your, your homeliness in the deep sea where it's all peace and your, your every wave. But as it is, you know, we're in that individual thing and health and fitness is part of that movement and health is about what you eat, what you drink, how you eat, how you drink, how you breathe, how you move, sleep, recovery, restfulness, peace. It's, it's an endless journey. I think people think that health and what have you is about not being overweight, try not to perish of anything before your time, but you know, and maybe hang on to being able to do some stuff when you're still reasonably young. It's health is an endless journey of just unending discovery. Or if it's related to fitness, it's looking good for others and feeling attractive and, and having to eat stuff that you don't like tastes horrible and wishing you could have this and, you know, in getting to bed, you know, after as long as it's not too late after you finish your Netflix series or whatever. Johnny, a truly remarkable conversation and it really highlights to me.


Being introspective (01:27:15)

I was thinking that this guy should have a podcast and then I reminded myself that you've just launched your podcast, which is called I Am. Yeah. And I also now understand why it's called I Am just from this conversation. Yeah. I, you know, it's funny because I listened to some of your podcast episodes before you sat down and you're interviewing people. I don't know why I'm saying this to you, but when I was listening to it, and I just thought I'd, I don't know why I'd say, but I feel compelled to say this, I was, I wanted you to talk more. Yeah. Because of everything I've discovered from this conversation today and you're someone that's gone on a very introspective journey who has managed to pull up those pieces of the train track and send them in a uncertain direction, which most people haven't. And you're discovering a lot on that journey, which I think is so unbelievably valuable. So when I listened to your podcast, I am, I just wanted more of Johnny, but it was a really, really, brilliant podcast for, I mean, I don't even need to, I don't even need to explain why having listened to this conversation today. But yeah, I just, I've absolutely loved, loved this conversation and you talk about a lot of the things that I as a very kind of introspective person talk about. People think we're weird. Right. Yeah. You get that sometimes? I think the best thing to be seen at the moment with the way that society leans, I think it's quite powerful to be seen as illogical in your responses because everything's leaning towards stress and winning and conquering and achieving and reactivity and our stress has become a marker in workplaces. You know, the more stressed you are, the more important you must be. And it's almost like one is a badge, you know, kind of like, check me out. I'm pushing it. Yeah. I might not be sort of, my future life is uncertain because I'm really willing to sort of give so much to this. Whereas to be seen as illogical and a bit irrational in that area, it's quite a strong place to be right now because of where we are. So, you know, when you're kind of said this before, we used to have games, rugby games, where we'd lose. And I'd be sat there, head down in the change room, you know, trying to run this kind of thoughts through my head of like, oh, how, you know, it was against me. It never works out. And I've got to come back stronger and, you know, what a wasted opportunity. I'll never get this back. And I'm a, you know, what a failure, et cetera, et cetera. What's this going to mean for me? And then you see someone looking in the mirror putting their tie on. It's already had a shower already out there, tie on. And they're sort of like, where are we off to tonight? And of course, society's voice or the changing room's voice or the team's voices, how day you, how day you be thinking about how good life can be, how day you respond according to your dreams and the life you wish to live, come and react according to life that we want you to live, come react according to the life that you should be living. One way you sit here and show how much you care and how disappointed you are. Whereas in fact, now when I look back, I'm kind of like, I wish I'd been looking in that mirror with that guy, you know, I wish I'd been out there earlier saying, yeah, I'm like, yeah, well, you know what? I gave everything. The learning's taking place. I don't need to sit here and torture myself with this. The learning's taking place because I've got some great, great contrast. I wanted this. I got this. It's only refined my view immediately of what I want now, even more. And it's given me some understandings of what's working and what's not. The fact that I'm going to think about them isn't going to change those. I've got them. The question is, as we said, how the marker of whether they're on their way depends on how much I'm enjoying this moment. And what do I want to be doing now? I want to be out with the guys or I want to be at home with my family. But instead I'm going to sit on the chair and I'm going to be last to leave and I'm not even going to go in the shower until the grounds was turning the lights off in the clubhouse. Do you know what I mean? I'm going to be last out to show you guys that I care and I'm hurting the most. And it didn't mean a thing, you know, as far as I'm concerned, you know, like I said, it was part of a lesson I had to learn. But I think being seen as irrational in that way, as long as it's according to life you wish to live and it's not about not caring, totally different things, you know, it's a beautiful space to be in, I think. And you know, what a beautiful place to end. Again, this is why I'm so excited that you'll know a podcast as well. I'm really excited to watch that journey play out and to see where that journey leads you because you never know with podcasting as I didn't know I'd be sat here doing it now. But for many of the reasons you've described about that kind of manifestation and just kind of asking myself to figure out who I could become and all that I am. That's what's led me here today. And this is, you know, there's a real serendipity to the fact that we're having this conversation that's led me to meet you. So thank you so much for your time. Thank you so much for being a very open book in all regards because it's a very healing thing for many people who are yet to go on the journey you've gone on. We do have a tradition on this podcast, which is that the last guest asks the next guest a question.


Closing Question

The last guest question (01:32:15)

Okay. And this is a very interesting one because I've read about your answer to this previously, but I can't say who the guest is, but their question for you. All right. And they actually wrote a book about this. That's what I will tell you. Their question to you is what is your biggest regret? Yeah, good one. I don't, it's, it's, it's a good one. I used to spend all my time on these kinds of things when I was younger. And now I just can't for the life of me. I can't find a place for regret. It's understanding that for a start on a physical level, if I went back to wherever I was, as we've said before about other people and inhabited that energy, I see the world the same straight away. I feel the way I do straight away. I do what I think. What I think I do what I do. I create what I create. I can't do anything different. It's inevitable. The now, which includes everything that's come to the now, it's inevitable. And to resist that is to not accept that is to continue reacting into the future. And I think the continuing of reactivity is what I'd regret now about my future. I don't regret anything that's been, but I think sitting here now, I'd be like, it'd be a real shame if I just kept reacting for the rest of my life. What I say is, but how nice would it be to let inspiration decide my future rather than my regrets or my old ideas? And I think we mentioned about that train track. Regret for me is a classic of reaching back and going. More of the same, please. And just planting your own. And in that respect, I think some people, spiritual people do this. They're looking to people's futures and go, let me just see how you are at the moment. If you have that going on, I can pretty much guarantee what you've got coming. But that's not what I want. I want surprise. And I can't have regrets and surprise. I can't have that kind of looking back. I can't have such an idea about how it should have been and then have freedom in the future. If I want freedom in the future, I'm going to free up the past. And therefore, regret has to take a bit of a sideline on the bench. Amen. Thank you.


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