Welcome to the Freedom Fridays Project podcast. I'm Pete Clark, your host, the Whispers Guy. It appears that work expands to the time that we give it and I started to explore how I was investing my time and effort, particularly on Fridays. It's evolved to an exploration and experiment with time, energy, attention and identity. And a mindset shift from I have to, to I choose to. So if you're interested in exploring some changes to the way that you invest your time and energy, if you'd like some tips on the way as you make some changes, perhaps to your identity. If you would like the freedom of I choose to, away from I have to, then this is the podcast for you. So welcome to the Freedom Fridays Project podcast. So welcome to this week's podcast episode, Freedom Fridays, where we're speaking to ordinary people doing extraordinary things. I've got a very special guest on this week, someone that I've reconnected with, because of the pandemic. And we've been in touch pretty regularly, probably over the last year, and he's got some fascinating interests and insights and a fascinating background that we might or might not get into. But please welcome to this week's podcast. Mr. Michael Tipper.
Hey, thank you so much for inviting me. It's a real pleasure to be here.
You're welcome sir. Mike, as I usually do I start the podcast in discussion with the same question. So Freedom Friday is about this metaphor of adding more life to your years moving from something that you feel you have to do to something that you might choose to do. And, you know, some ordinary people are doing some extraordinary things and making big changes in their life. Can you share with the listeners, what the big changes that you're going to talk about?
It's really interesting question, when when you first suggested that we talk about this, I had to really sit down and think because I, in doing the work I'm doing is I'm shifting from what I was doing to what I was doing now, I hadn't realised I was making a big change. And so if I look back on my life, I've made some significant changes, of doing things that I have to do to doing things I choose to do. So I spent 16 years in the Royal Navy. And there came a point when I felt I was having to stay there. And actually I needed to choose to do something different, and made a completely different choice. And if I look back on that choice, the characteristics of making that choice have been there for all the other choices I've made. So the first thing that struck me at the time, as I reflect back on that is that I was unhappy. Or maybe unhappy is a bit of a strong word. I was unsettled, it didn't fit. And I think you get this in a sense that there's a change that's necessary. Because there is a disquiet, there's a discomfort, there's something not quite right, you can't quite put your finger on it. And it's often because as I reflect on my own life anyway, it's often because I wasn't really being true to myself. And so the naval thing is I spent 16 years the Navy, I did quite well, I did the job well, I really enjoyed it. But what I discovered is that who I was, and who I needed to be, was different. So and early on in my career, it was easy to bridge that gap. I didn't realise it was there. And I was just accommodating and meeting the needs, having to conform if you like to the military standards of the Navy. And I was able to do that. And then as I got more senior the gulf between who I was, and who I needed to be to be effective, was getting bigger and bigger and bigger. And I was intelligent enough to spot what was necessary. I was committed enough to make the efforts to bridge that gap. But what I didn't realise it was at the cost of who I really was. And because I wasn't really being authentic and because I wasn't really being true, I started to get to the point where had I stayed in the Navy, I probably would have started to, my career wouldn't have gone as well as it could have done because I wasn't being who I was. And the strain on me for doing that was absolutely huge. I only realised that once I'd left the service. And so I was a weapons engineer, a systems engineer. I was a chartered engineer. I was running the team that looked after the combat system on a nuclear powered warship. Couple of year later I'm standing in front of primary school kids teaching them how to learn. And so what I mean, I didn't know, it was a huge contrast. Now, I didn't know that I would end up there. But it was, but it felt so right being in the right place. And I was listening to a podcast this morning. And it was by Tom Bilyeu who does the Impact Theory, and he was quoting Einstein, who said something along the lines of, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, than the fish will always think it's stupid. And I think what I found is that I'd found myself in a career that seemed to be the right choice at the time, because I was technical I had a father who was in the Navy, it opened up the opportunity for me to go to university, which I wouldn't otherwise have had. They seem to be the right choices. But later on, it wasn't me. And when I realigned myself to something that aligned with who I really was, I started to flourish, I'd thrive, I think it was around that time that we actually met. [JGB FINISHED HERE 16/8 15MINS]
Like, there's so many strings to that. And I would love to hear the thing you're doing now and how the characteristics of choice have shown up again, but I want to pick up on a couple of things, these questions that you're asking, or that you asked of yourself, you know, who am I? Who's the me, you know, who I needed to be? There, easy questions, but potentially really difficult answers. What was the provocation? What was the prompt that even caused you to look into those questions?
Well, I think I always knew that there was something wrong. I was very self reflected. And I always wondered trying to work out what it was. But I was, I don't know if stubborn, or stupid or lazy is the way you define me. But I would stay in the mess longer than was necessary. So I wasn't someone who are this is right, this is wrong. I'm going to deal with it. I'm going to deal with it. Now. It's a case of Oh, this is and it's like the there's an old saying is the wise is a dog sitting on nail. Why doesn't he get off because he's moaning where it doesn't hurt enough. And I think it didn't hurt enough for me or I was scared. I'm not sure what the what the what the reason was, but I was staying in a situation that I was, it wasn't right for me. But because I didn't know any better. It was almost like I was familiar with the discomfort therefore I'd rather enjoy that then go into the unfamiliarity of the unknown. And so that's what happened and what the catalyst for me was my mum passing away suddenly. Okay. And it was it was a life shock. And I suddenly realized, I mean, it happened within seven weeks of her going into hospital, the really bad headache. seven weeks later, she passed away because of a brain tumor that no one knew she had. So it was this massive life shock. And it was a case of who that hurt. Right? There are more important things in life, let me reassess. And so I, I left, I put my notes in and then left a year later. So you do hear
that you do hear that a lot, certainly in the world, that you and I exist in people having life events, causing them to pivot, you know, almost 360. And, you know, I, I've shared examples of when that's happened to me, what counsel do you have for someone that's not in that space? That, you know, obviously, we're not advising wait for the life event to happen for you do something? Yeah. It often happens as a consequence that we do something when it happens. You have any counsel for people who aren't waiting till their mom is on their deathbed aren't waiting for the heart attack before they make the change? Is there anything they can do to bring it closer so they can make the change they can think they want?
Yeah, that's a really good question. It's very easy for us to adapt to our environments, even ones that are unhappy. So you hear people who are in relationships that are abusive, for example, you don't know why, why didn't just leave them. And it's because they settled and become comfortable with that discomfort. It's the familiarity become addicted to those emotions. So that's what that's the danger that we've got. And it's not, it's like the dog lying on the nail, it's not hurting enough to move. So and that's why a lot of people stay where they are. So if someone really wants to make a change, and then they sort of know that actually, they should make a change. So it's from a shoot to a must. It's that switch. Most people know there are things they should do. And it's when it becomes a must that they take the different that day to take that step. So if intellectually listening to our conversation now you can probably say, Well, yeah, I know if I'm In this place, it's okay. And I could be in a place that is good, then maybe I should move to the good. If you want to make that a must. There's, I mean, we've both done work with Tony Robbins and Tony Robbins has a great thing called the dekins pattern. And what he does, he bases it on the, on the Christmas carols story about how Scrooge is visited by the three ghosts. And one of the ghosts that brings, they go on a journey where they see the worst that could possibly happen in their life. And this is what happens if you don't change. And he and he gets you to create the Okay, well, if this doesn't happen, and it's and you extrapolate from there, and then you really engage their emotions and become and feel what it would be like if you just carried on and it got really, really bad. And what that does, that creates a sense of, Oh, I don't want to go there. Because the brain likes to avoid pain. And then the other side of that is okay, well, there is the, okay, well, let's look go into the future. And what could happen, if you made the shift? And everything went according to plan? How would you feel what would you experience and those two polarities, one pushing you away from things you don't want and one pulling away from things you do want, is a really powerful exercise to do. And if you if you get someone to facilitate it for you, and they really push you, it can be very, very powerful. So that's, there's so there's a strategy, there's a tip to do it. The other thing is, is is is I can guilt you into it. Okay, all right. Okay, so you're, you're okay, now, really, is that is that as much as you're able to do? Or you're gonna stay here? Okay. Okay, take a rest from the last climb that you've got to where you are. But you're gonna plateau. Because you can do more, you know, you can do more? Why not? do more for your kids want to do more for your family? Want to do more for your community want to do more for your church? What? Why don't you just do more for the world? So be so bloody selfish? I mean, I mean that there are all sorts of ways I think, making a change, in hindsight, was the best thing that you could do. The trouble is, before you get to that point, you're faced with so many things that seem to either indicate it's too difficult, you can't do it, or some of the things that are holding you back, say No, you shouldn't.
One of the things you said earlier, Mike, was this discrepancy between who you were and who you needed to be? That sounds a little bit like there was a competing set of voices, a competing set of things going on? How did you come to the conclusion about who you needed to be? Where did that come from?
Well, I think this is where societal norms and expectations so if, for example, the society that you live in has a certain adherence to certain things that you do on certain days, or have a view on certain things you should wear, or certain things you should say or not say, then there is an expectation within that, that you conform to those standards. So if you're a free spirit, or so if you grow up in that environment, the chances are, you're going to become accustomed to that because you know, no different and it becomes part of that. And then you support that, now that I'm not making any judgments either right or wrong here, which we're not sort of pulling up any specific examples. But if you have a look at the different cultures around the world, the different religions around the world, the different and cultures, not only national base cultures, but I'm also cultures in this group of people in this organization here will be different from that group of people in that organization. There there is an expectation of how things are. And in the military, there are certain things that were expected in terms of your standard your bearing the clothes you wore. So as a naval officers I joined, I joined the ranks. And then within three and a half years, I was commissioned and then effectively joined the Navy again and started from scratch. I discovered a whole new world. I grew up on a council estate, in a family that the single parent family for a long time and mothers on income support. And I used to have second hand clothes to go to the grammar school. And so that's the environment I grew up. All of a sudden, I found myself in a situation where some of the people I was with their parents owned half of counties. And they spoke with very posh accents, and they were dropped off by the person who worked for the parents and their experience of the world where they used to holiday. I didn't even holiday as a kid. We possibly went to Burma for a weekend once. And so all of a sudden a different expectations. And within that. So a naval officer Back then, I mean, it's been a while since I've been in that there were certain things that you worn certain times, not just uniform, I'm talking about civilian clothes. They had names The different types of clothes that you would wear, whether you wore a suit or whether you wore a jacket and tie with your sports blazer. And God forbid if you tried to wear white socks with your shoes. And so you there are these norms and expectations. Now on the military side, you wear certain uniforms at certain times for certain reasons. You do certain drills or certain times for certain reasons. When you're taking charge of things, you say certain things in certain ways. So there's that expectation, but also there's certain expectations about behaviors. And so, because I came from a different environment, I was found myself constantly recalibrating, and re adjusting so that I would fit in. And I think it was a case of because I felt so alien. As I said, I mean, I have to have patches on the elbows of my blazer at school to wear secondhand shoes and stuff and and then they these people who were driving fast sports cars that were new, they weren't like handed down from the granddad, which my favorite strada was rusting, like next to the Porsches and stuff that were driven. And so
somebody's making a change. And I'm going to come to ask you what you're doing now, the big change that you do now, but I want to explore those a bit if you wouldn't mind. If somebody knows they want to make a change, and they've got some insight about what could be, who are who they need to be depending on where they're at. And yet, there's a strong pool to stay fitted in. There's a strong pool of the tribe. How do you counter that?
Yeah, it's a real difficult one. It's a brave step to stand out and be who you are. So although I said in the service, I conformed, I conform to what's expected to me professionally. But personally, I very much stayed who I was. So for example, I was teetotal, and I was vegetarian. And at the time, I looked like Joe 90 glasses on. And so I remember I joined the the the toughest hardest drinking submarine in the northern flotilla, as a teetotal as a vegetarian, looking like Joe 90, full of these is a Scottish submarine. So I say a Scottish submarine, we had two submarine bases, one based unemployment, one base up in Scotland, those very heavy Scottish contingent in the service and they there were some errors they would want to be serving on the submarine. So the the the 70s in the north tended to be a lot of people from the north and sort of Scottish, I was from the south. And so there was those sort of differences. So when you join a submarine for the first time, now I was a left hander want to draw my first submarine, and you're treated like a piece of dirt because you're not a qualified submarine, you have to go through the whole process. So already you're a disadvantage when you join a submarine regardless of your background, regardless for discussion, not regardless of your rank when you're getting your dolphins because that's what you have to earn. And so you're already at the bottom of the pile. add on to that, that I look like Joe 90 that I was teetotal and I was vegetarian created a created a degree of hostility, should we say? Yeah, from those who were ignorant of who I was as a person.
And so so so what said your bravery, because it'd be, you know, brave to take the step by even braver to remain. In that step.
I don't know the answer to that question. I think there's a bit of a rebel in me. And I can think back to a story from my childhood. So I was 1314. And I had a girlfriend who went round to her house, and she had a brother who was about three or four years older. And this was 1977. This was when punk was at its, I mean, the Sex Pistols and everything. And he had people wandering around in bondage trousers and spiky Mohicans, and all that sort of stuff and sort of looking like Sid Vicious and sort of talking like that, and just being aggressive. And I was into that sort of music. And I remember going down to her house, and her brother was there with a friend. They're all dressing and I was meek and mild looking, because my mum wouldn't let me dress in bondage traces. And I couldn't have safety pins. So I just admit jeans and T shirt on. And they were getting a bit aggressive. And they were saying, well, What music do you like? I remember saying to them, Beethoven. And I don't know why. I just had to be different. And I think that I think it's just a quirk of personality that I just take a slightly altered view just a little bit different. And I think that's what it was. And I mean, just I struggled. I mean, I did struggle I think what happened is an early part of my naval career I was racially abused for two years okay to give you some background I mean if you if you look at me I look like white Caucasian full on British but I'm quarter Kashmiri. My mother's father was from Pakistan and I have a line in my family that our, our our Kashmiri there you from the Yeah, the full on Kashmiri. I've got cousins. And I discovered I had an uncle Abdullah. Now I was 16 years old the time I met him for the first time because my mother reconnect with that family that part of the family at that time. And I thought, hey, I've got an uncle Abdul I met him. He was really cool. I thought fantastic. I've got this. I've got this eclectic family didn't know I had this a richer experience in my life. I went back from Lima. Hey, guys, I've got an uncle Abdullah. Oh, my God, I shouldn't have said that. Right? Well, I had, I was called the N word, the P word. And for two years, and it was quite quite a difficult time. And the only way I survived was by developing a, I couldn't fight it because I look like Joe 90. I didn't drink as vegetarian. Although Actually, I wasn't back then. But I was at that time. It's my first joint. And so I had to survive. My survival instinct was through using humor. self deprecating humor was how I survived. So I built up this resistance and resilience to and recognize I was in a hostile environment. I recognize that some people wouldn't. wouldn't appreciate who I was until they knew me. Because as a person, I'm okay I mixed well with people on the surface. If you just look at these attributes, and you're coming from this environment where you're in the Navy and you're tough and drinking you got chasing women, you've got tattoos and stuff. If you look at me, you think dad are bully him or or not my type, but when you get to know me, you realize, okay, why? Because a classic conversation with me later on in my life is that when I wasn't when I was out with the lads, I still went out with them. Even though I didn't drink. End of the conversation would go like this. Hey, Mark, like you. You know what? I, you know, you're right. I love you first because you do drink your stuff. But you know what? You're right. Although you're right. I said, Well, thank you. I appreciate your endorsement is I'm pleased about that. Yeah. And so that was that was typical. So so I don't know where the resilience comes from, other than maybe my personality, maybe recognize I need to survive. Seeing the lighter side and not. Um, I was I was a people pleaser, which is problems from the past. And so I wanted to please I want to do but I didn't do it at the expense of who I was. I was true to who I was, and just accepted that Excuse My French this ship that came that we will because if I was recognizing that's probably out of ignorance, once people got to know me, it was fine. So coming back to my submarine story, when I joined that hard to qualify submarine typically took six months to get your dolphins
going through you had to go through every compartment trace every system know what every valve did that and you've taken on a walk round, back half by the marine engine officer followed by the first attendant say, what's that? What happened if this happened? Was that valve or What's this, and it takes six to eight hours to do each one of those walk rounds. took me eight weeks. Because the only way I could I could justify my presence. And my existence was by being bloody good at what I did. And even though I didn't feel I had to, or even though I shouldn't have I should just go on and being part of that. But my compensation was my professionalism and the acceptance actually, okay might be looked like giannotti Tito vegetarian, but actually is good at his job. And that was my compensation. Interesting.
So catapulting to today. Well, this time we're in now, with the change that you've made, maybe take a second to describe that. But how have the characteristics of choice that you mentioned right at the start showing up in this change?
Well, I think it's all about sometimes you don't necessarily have a choice. You have to. And I think this is what this is. And it sounds like a paradox from what you're saying. You're going from half due to making a choice. I'm saying I had no choice I have to do so I have to move on. So it sort of switches it around a little bit. So for me, the I had I shifted so career wise, I mean, left the Navy, I got into helping kids for 10 years doing that build a company that that did that. Then moved into going, doing more work corporately, started doing some of that then the 2008 2009 crisis hit and then that was a forcing a change. Because when when training and everything, so dropped off my business just sort of like crashed out the crash through the floor. So I had to go and find an alternative. And I was forced to get into doing contract work in large companies. And I found myself developing leadership programs. And I found myself in an environment where I was back in training. And I relished because it was project management, he was putting things together, I was working with people. And because I was forced to open up a new career path for me. And so the force forced into doing that meant, I was finding myself doing something. I mean, when you and I met, I was someone who taught my mapping and memory. NET now, I can say, hand on heart with the expense of God, I can specialize in leadership development, particularly in highly regulated environments, because I was forced to do it. So there was that and then I did that for five or six years. And then again, I, I seem to like to go do my own work independent a separate from the organization so that Well, let me go and start doing some of this independently, started doing lat working with some of the colleagues I met during my time doing the leadership stuff, and then and that was going quite well. And then we had this thing called a pandemic. So once again, it's suddenly wiped away what I was doing. And I found myself, right. Okay, let me try and do what I was doing before. But let me try and do it virtually. And I shifted to creating a creating a studio, and I've broadcast all over the world that broadcast Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, America, India, Pakistan, the Middle East, from Cheltenham Can I did that, but it was the same sort of material. And again, I knew I realized I wanted to work move away from where I was going, where the work I was doing, because what I found in corporate space, with the leadership stuff, they need the stuff that I was helping promulgate through the business, but they didn't want it. Yes. Come across. Like, this is the problem, the management of the structures, right, we can see these people need this development, you go in there, Hi, I'm going to help you are, you know, well, we don't want your help, we will sit here and we'll play the game that we have to. And we'll come and turn up the lessons. And we'll maybe write in our books every so often. But we ain't going to use it. Because we're happy where we are. I mean, and that effective is corporate training. And I could see that and it was so frustrating. And then every so often you get someone who would run with it. And it was like, I got a new spend time with them. You can support them. And you can see this is what's possible. And I realized that it was it was soul destroying knowing that you had all this stuff that could help the business. It could help the people could turn around all sorts of things, but they just weren't doing it because they were staying where they were because they were comfortable with because it didn't hurt as much, particularly interviews I was working where they were paid very, very well. And they were very well protected. And it was almost like a game for them. So I realized that's why I moved away. And again, I started sort of do what I was doing, but I knew it wasn't the right material. And then
it almost came to a point where I had to change because of the pandemic and started looking somewhere else. Unfortunately, I actually it's your fault that I made the change. Because you got me on your on your podcast last year when we reconnected, yeah. Someone saw that. And I'd mentioned that work. I was working with students and done some work with students. And I was actually working with students. Then they got to my website saw that I had worked with students contact me says, could you work with my daughter? So I said yes, because I had all the resources. And I serve that has come my new focus because I was working one on one with someone who wanted it needed it and worked and benefited from it. And the joy to see that person run and the benefits. It was like this is this is this I found I've refined it, which is what I did when I left the Navy 20 years ago. And I sort of got sidetracked because of necessity. But actually, I don't know whether I needed to go on that detail. On better for the detail. I don't know whether maybe I should have done this 20 years ago and followed it through. But here I am now having been having been forced to make a change that I'm now choosing to
Yeah, you've you're creating a little bit of cognitive dissonance in me might because the whole my premise around freedom Frey was making a choice. You know, having to work on Friday because I felt I needed to choosing not to or choosing to or choosing to, you know, walk on the beach, play golf, do nothing read whatever it was. And over the last two or three weeks, the people that I've spoken to, it's almost turned it on its head in that choosing to is really hard, it's really difficult, but having two is easier?
Well, it's choosing hard. I don't think choosing is hard because you now can make a choice about whether you suddenly start taking up the guitar or not. You can make it it's a very easy choice. The hard part is the follow through. That's the hard part. Okay. And
because there's a has to in place for the follow through, the follow through becomes easier.
That Well, it's almost like the follow through is the only thing you can do. Right? So that's where the half two comes in. And so I don't necessarily think you need a life shock. to, to make a choice. I didn't necessarily livestock to make the change. Okay. I think if you so I made the changes, not out of courage. I made the changes out of fear. Yep. That's the difference. I think what you're talking about with the changes you're making, is that it's having people make the change out of courage. And I think that's a harder decision. I think someone who sits there in a comfortable, relatively comfortable situation, and says, You know what, I'm going to learn to play double bass and become a jazz musician. But you're 60 Oh, no, I'm going to do that. Alright. That is a choice of courage. And I have more admiration for people like that, who have taken life by the horns, keeping family friendly. Take your life by the horns, wrestler, Daddy says life, you're gonna give me what I want. I don't care what you throw at me. I'm taking it rather than someone like me, who rather coward leaves me sort of hiding in the background till someone kicks him out the backside says, right, you better get out there. And life did that for me. And I'm happy that it did. I'm better for it. Because it was, but there's a part of me thinking I should have done that earlier. I should have done that earlier. And there's a pain of regret. Because Looking back, I had control to take I had the the option to take control of my life, but chose not to, out of fear. And I think someone listening to this who says, right, there's some changes, I want to make Jose to go and do it. Go and do it. Because I will respect you. Not the my respected Not that I you need my respect. But I will respect you for making that choice when you don't have to, to create something better. That to me is courage.
That's a really interesting distinction, Mike, I hadn't considered even the difference between making a choice out of fear versus making a choice out of courage. And serendipitously, the my last guest was talking about in making the change and an interesting, she was forced to make the change through neither fear nor courage, she had no choice. But in making that change, what she sought was some things you could count on some things you could rely on, if it all went wrong. And she had that in terms of some relationships with family. And so if if we can make a choice, out of courage, what else do you think needs to be in place for us to do that?
Well, I think having something that you can rely on as your comfort blanket as your security, whatever, however you like to use it, I think is really useful. And I'm just thinking about this now, and I'm not talking about this from experience. But I would say that the more you can create that security blanket is being internal to you, the more likely you are to see it through because if you put it on the support network, you've got people can walk away. Yeah, people can leave you people can let you down. If you put it on the the fact you live in a nice house, you can lose that house, if you put the fact that you've got a little bit of money in the bank, that can be taken away from you very, very quickly. For so the more you can create a security within yourself a certainty, a commitment, a dedication. I think that is that's where your strength comes from. And I think one of the things that I've discovered in myself is I have resources I didn't know I had because I've got to the point where I thought I'd come to the end of them, and then found another level I didn't know was there. That's quite a painful experience. I don't like going there. But I'd rather I'd rather be able to do things or unable to do things where I am now I don't really want to go through the pain but it's but the resources that we've got. I mean, if you look at what the human race is capable athletically I mean, I read a lot about the special forces who have complete admiration for having seen very brief content within my own in my own career. And when you read the accounts of how they go through their training, in order to be able to tap into deeper and deeper, deeper levels of reserves, which we all have, we just don't all have the courage or the discipline or the guts to go there, whereas they do. And that's why they are elite forces. And if you look at anyone who is operating an elite level at whatever it is, they have broken through their own version of that. And so I think that's key. But coming back to your original question about what needs to be in place, if you're making the decision, if you're making the change by choice, then I would say is you make small, tiny changes, small and daily changes and build up and build up and build up and build up. And what you see is a gradual change. So a personal example from recent. So last year with the pandemic, I got into doing yoga every day, and I was doing press ups as well. And I got to the point where I was doing 160 Press ups a day, I started off not being able to do any more than 10. Now, not that not 160, were all in one go but doing a sort of imbalance of 30 and 40, I was playing I think most presidents It was like 5561 point from not being able to do 10. Now, it's a very small, trivial example, but I built up over time, starting off with doing one and two, and then do three and four and then maybe do that for three or four days and then slowly building up and then building up and building up. And all of a sudden, I'm there pushing these things out completely different where it was 345 months before. Same with, I have a cold shower routine that I'm inspired by Wim Hof. First time I went under, there is no way you're getting under a cold shower, no way, then I realized the benefits and I saw how it could be done. I started off with a big toe, then the foot, and then my, my shin and then my calf and then the money. And then and slowly build it up and I built up and I adjusted to the change. The thing about the human The human being is that it's I think it's called homeostasis, which is just the the level playing field. So your your core body temperature is fixed at whatever temperature that is. If you're cold, you start to shiver to warm up, okay, if you're hot, you start to sweat to cool down, that temperature stays the same. And when you're This is why doctors when they check your temperature, if it's not, if it's different from the core temperature, they know there's something going on. That's that's why they check it. So we like to keep things the same. Now, if you try and make a massive change. So all sudden, you haven't been exercising for years, right, I'm gonna go to the gym or go to the gym in the morning or gym in the afternoon and go for a long walk, I'm going to press an event, you might sustain that for about a day or two days, then it comes too much. But if you say right, I was gonna go for a walk for 10 minutes today. So I'm going to do it made me I'm just going to put my trainers on a walk to the gate. And tomorrow you go through the gate and go to the next next doors gate, and the day after. And they have to and slowly in. If you do that every day for six months, you could be walking 20,000 steps every single day. It's the same with anything else. Just make little changes, little changes. I've just completed the first draft of my book. Yay, I and I wrote, I was hoping to write a chapter a day. But then I realized, actually, I can't do justice to a chapter. So I just did a couple of hours every day. And sometimes I might write 567 100 words, but they were good quality. And then over the space of six, eight weeks, I've got the book written through,
can I pick up on one of the groups that I've been working with, in making a shift? It's partly down to how they see themselves. And so in writing a book and doing two hours a day, did you have to see yourself as a writer first? Or did you do the two hours a day and you became a writer?
It's a really good question. I think it's the latter one first is that you sit down you start writing and you write one sentence. You're a writer now you are a writer you are an author may not be a published author yet, but you're an author, you've written something. And I think for me, probably the my biggest thing has held me back. And I'm big now into the growth and fixed mindset is the realization that I had a fixed mindset for many, many years. Even though I was in the people developed business even though all the books on my shelves are about getting better and being better and learning I realized that a fixed mindset and when it manifested is that I sort of had an expectation that I should be able to do something easily Do it well straightaway. And if I couldn't, then I couldn't find something else I could do easy and well straightaway. So those whole litany of things I've tried what I've done, got to an easy level, but then as soon as it gets tough, I, and I didn't necessarily do it consciously. I sort of, Okay, well, I'm not making progress here. Let me go and make progress somewhere else I'll try. I think that was my mindset. So reflect back now, at a fixed mindset. And write in the book as we did, were there times when there were chapters that I just couldn't get out. And it just wouldn't work. And so I initially thought, I'll just leave it. But then one day, I thought, No, I clear the day, I think it was a Saturday or Sunday, I got up to do my morning, normal morning routine, sat down on my laptop, and the draft had already created so fast as right, you're gonna write this chapter. And you're not getting up until you've done it. And I had to force myself and I think, I look back on my past, and I've never really forced myself enough. Because I reflect on what could have been with where I know what I'm capable of, and how much I could have taken it. And my life could have been so much different had, I realized that I've got to go through this feeling of discomfort of not making not being tough or being hard. Because through that, on the other side of that pain, actually, stuff can come out. And that particular chapter that I did, when I ended up finishing is like, I pushed through push, and all the sudden it's like I broke through, you know, when you're in the plane, and he and you take off and you go to the cloud with his bright sunlight, the other side, it felt like that. And all of a sudden, it just flowed because I had to push through that resistance. I don't know what that resistance was, because I just didn't know what to write with that resistance was part of me going, we're not going to let you write because otherwise you might fail. I don't know. But push through that bugger.
Again, I'm coming back to the original premise that I started this whole conversation with, you know, moving from I have to to I choose to, and you're one hearing again, is in some way, shape or form you were able to force yourself to convince yourself, I have to do this today. I have to I'm not choosing to I have to finish this chapter today. And that's what got you through.
I'm just gonna add a subtle twist on that. I chose to do it, but haven't chose chosen to do it. I had to follow through.
Yeah, that's a great distinction, actually. So you still got the choice in the initiation? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, have to is what creates the momentum and the follow up?
I think we all would like to we all can make easy choices about making some difference about making some improvements. We can all make those choices. Yep. I mean, New Year's resolutions are that are the prime example of that. Yeah, the half two is, I going to have to make myself do it. And breaking through that discomfort, whether it's the pain of of the physical stuff, you're going to be pushed, pulling weight pushing weights, or running an entire yourself out, or whether that's the discomfort of trying to do something when you're tired. That's where the half do comes into, because you've made the choice. So before you might have had to be in a situation, you make the choice to change that situation. Now you have to follow through on it.
Yeah, I've just written down here. Mike, I choose to start I have to follow through. Yeah. Can you offer the listeners any counsel then if each, so the choosing seems to be a choice, a relatively easy affair, I can choose to learn the guitar, I can choose to finish the chapter. As you said, the finishing is the hardest part. Any tips or tools to convince yourself you have to follow through once you've chosen?
Well, I think there is the public declaration, I'm going to do this if you fail them and tell it to someone who you know is going to give yourself a hard time. Right? I know Tim Ferriss who is the author of a number of great books four hour workweek one tribe of mentors, be another he's he does this thing where he will comment the name of the website, his website where you can commit funds, or to a particular cause. And give someone else control of that. And you save them if I don't, then you press the button that goes that course. And you choose a cause that is the antithesis of anything you might believe. So if you're so let's say in America, if you're a Republican, you won't give it to the Democratic National Congress. If you're a Democrat, and I give it to the GOP, okay, it's, it's that bad and so you've got that right. But, so that that's one one way of doing so that accountability is one way. The other way I suppose is is choose to take baby steps and Because then you don't have to do it is a paradox here. So I can choose to do one, press up. Now I'm up to back up to 20, press ups now, but I chose to do one, press up, then the following. I can do that. Yeah, I'm here. Now, let me just push it a little bit. And you can nudge yourself along, just like I did with the book, my online program, example 150 videos, I did those one video a day, and sorted that out. And just, and when I first started shooting, I've got quite a huge program. But in hindsight, it was quite easy because I just chipped away at it. And I think having the expectation, I want it, I want it now things got changed now. Because the society we live in the instant gratification, the short term attention span. There's a great book by Cal Newport called Deep work, where he talks about if you want to create something of value, you've really got to focus on it. And I think perhaps the one thing that just come to mind now is where I've made my most significant changes is where I've chosen to one thing, and chosen to ignore everything else. So this year, as you know, I've committed to getting my, my unfair student advantage up and running. So that's the online program. That's the book that supports it, the support mechanism for that, and the marketing for that. Just the one thing, and I've been focused just on that other opportunities have come as other things I could have. Well, let me just try and develop this. And we'll try and develop that in parallel. I thought, No, I'm going to focus on one thing. And there's something quite interesting when that happened is that once you're committed, and again, I'll quote, don't normally talk about decision, the Latin root of the term, I think it's this year. I may be wrong, but it's to cut off all other possibilities. And so having made that commitment, I have made much more progress with it. Because I've been focused on that. And it's created a, it's like coalesce all the miscellaneous identities and beliefs, I added myself into one, and I become more powerful in the work I'm doing. Because I've committed to this one thing, because I've chosen to ignore everything else, and chosen to focus on this, I have to get this done, because I'm committed now. I'm committed. And it's almost like, Do or die. And then I think this comes back to making this choice is that sometimes it has to be that because we can all say, Well, I'm gonna do this, I'm going to start that I'm going to go along to this. But when you make it, right, this is it. It's this robust, fully committed.
That's, that resonates with while almost the antithesis of high up how I operate. Sometimes I can be a little bit of a butterfly with books and ideas and concepts. And you know, always Kunis cantering over the top. With lots and lots of things going on. Maybe my final question for you is, if that's the case, how would you counsel me to just do one thing, when I'm so interested in everything else, I can add so much value? So I think everything else? How would you counsel me to go Pete, just one thing?
Well, first of all, I need to explain to you what I think is going on, as a little bit of neuroscience here. So dopamine is the most addictive drug on the planet. And dopamine is the drug of reward. It's also the drug of anticipation. And so an eye fat, and I can see this in myself once I discovered this. So what happens is that when you read a book that's got some great stuff in, you feel good about the expectation of what would happen if you applied that. And so that becomes addictive. Just like checking your smartphone is addictive with dopamine, just like all the other things about drugs and or gambling or sex or food. There's an element of dopamine in that. Yeah. So when you understand that what you've got is an addiction to dopamine because the anticipation of good stuff that you could do. And the only wise you're a junkie for dopamine. Okay, that might put a little bit of a different perspective on what you're actually doing. Yeah. The only thing I can say, is dopamine. The only thing I can say is, is that the main thing is to get the main thing the main thing that's the main thing that's a very famous Stephen quote, COVID quote, making that choice the one thing which is a great book by Gary Keller and Jay papasan Jay papasan. This is what it's all talking about is pick the one thing apply deep work, that's what Cal newports book was all about. And focus on that and just get that done. Now that will hurt because you've got to suffer. The noise and the interference from all the things that you've got to put to one side. That might be friends you may be you may have gone out for drink with more often than you should have done. It might be other things that need to get done because the nagging there you Got to deal with that. But when you get focus and get something done and make that progress, you get momentum, you get a satisfaction, you feel a sense of purpose, you feel a sense of mission, you start seeing progress and start feeling good about that. And it just rolls and it rolls and it rolls. And then it's very easy. No, I'm not going to do that. Because the world isn't perfect, and we're going to create something big is focused on it. And that's going to be at the cost of other stuff. And it's being it's being able to deal with that.
That's going to be the perfect way to finish mine. Because that then comes back to the what strikes me is, I could choose to start something often, but it's this having to follow through on one thing that seems to make some in the changes that you've been talking about some big, big shifts. Mike, I normally finished with a few quickfire questions, if you will, in partaking in this. See what comes out of your mouth here. What's your favorite English word? Oh,
if I were to say to the word that came to my mind was crucible, I've no idea why.
Okay, all right. What's your least favorite English word? ignorance. Okay, what's the rule? So I guess more of the the concept rather than itself. Okay, cool. What's the real you live your life by? Oh, if it is to be, it's up to me. Okay, what's a rule that you like to break? You shouldn't do that. And then what's a book that's changed your life?
I have to go back to the first book that I ever first person developed book I ever read, which was the magic of thinking big by David Schwartz. It opened my eyes to the fact that I have control over more than I think that I'm responsible for my successes. And the one thing I can remember from the book was, instead of sitting at the back, to start sitting at the front and be closer to the action.
That that's, that's a great way to finish because what you've described and what you're doing now with your focus seems to me very much like you've come from the back of the class and you're sitting at the front. Thank you. It's been a pleasure chatting to you, Mike, thank you for those insights. Thank you for sharing some of your historic lessons and some of your current lessons. I'm sure those that listen, we'll get many, many insights from it. Thanks, Mike. Thanks. My pleasure.