Welcome to this week's episode of The Freedom Fridays podcast where, this week my guest is an entrepreneur, an author, a published author, and one of the world's most prestigious publications. He's a good mate, who I've connected with over the last few years, and he's also a world champion. Good evening, good morning, Richard Oakes.
Hello, Pete, it's very nice to be here. Nice to see you. Thank you for that intro.
You're welcome. So I can't wait to dive into some of the things that we've been chatting about over the years. And just prior to starting the recording, but let's open up with the same question that I asked everyone. Freedom Fridays in the work that you do. And you and I do similar sorts of work maybe other side of the same coin with some big name global clients. With the clients and in the work that you do, what do you observe people are seeking freedom from?
Well, I mean, what are the reasons why I reached out to you to talk about that question is because it just resonated with me, because I think in the last year, particularly, I've noticed a little bit of shift in what people are seeking freedom from. And the answer sounds a bit counterintuitive, but in many ways, they're seeking freedom from being way too busy. Alright, too many, too many things, too many things coming at them. A level of pressure change. Confusion, if I've not said confusion already, about so many multiple stakeholders, so many things coming at them, in some ways, like freedom from that noise, that craziness. Into a little bit of, so what, but not so much from but what I see them then wanting to move to is, is reflection, a bit of quiet, a bit of peace, a bit of time. Right, to be able to just think about stuff, right? To be able to consider to be able to connect with themselves with each other. You know, and if you ask questions, if you ask, you know, the famous five why's, you know, why is that important? Why is that important? Why is that important? You know, it's interesting, what people get down to. You know, because if you ask them those, whys you tend to find them going back to the fundamentals that are the conversation we had, why because, god my family, you know, and I need to spend more time with them or my health, I need to address my health or, you know. The reason I said about the last year because it's sort of it's, it's less about what needs to be free to think about this so I can make more money so I can be more successful, I can grow so I can do this. I can do that, you know. It's tending to be for me, and anyway, the work I've done to go more inwards and go so when you're ask them why, the whys go inwards. Right before the craziness of last few years called, let's just call it that, let's just call it that. There's a lot of that was like it was it was you asked why when it went out. I want to be the competition. I want to grow the business. I want to do this, I want to do that. It's interesting with my clients and you know, sorts of clients I asked for, you know, they are super successful. Yes. Right. By any measure, I don't do any remediation work. But all the clients we've worked for over the years are steeper, successful. You know, some of the best law firms have the best accounting firms, some of the best financial institutions, some of the best brands, you know, they're they're doing amazing things. But in almost every case, actually, now think about this question, the why has gone inwards. And the last thing I'd say in terms of the first answer is I don't know if you found this, but when people go through that why, a lot of people end up asking themselves, why am I working here again? Right, and they almost, they're almost getting to the point where I think I need to find a different, maybe I need to find a different place to work. So I thought really, that last bit only came to me in the back of your question. Yeah. And there's a bit of a theme there in quite a few extremely high performing individuals I coach, or I've worked with them on their boards or whatever. Yeah. But I've got one example of a guy who's decided, yeah, I'm going to, is probably one of my senior people I've ever worked with one of the biggest companies I've ever worked with. They just said, I'm going to take a year off to look at the elderly parents. And care to them.
Wow, it makes me ponder and wonder what sort of society we've created that makes that such a staggering choice to make.
Really a question. I mean. Yeah.
So that, again, as I, as I knew you would, the answer to the questions have given me all sorts of tentacles to explore. Yeah, I might, I might start with this. Someone described this to me. And I think this is reflective of what you've said that during the kind of COVID I was going to call them the COVID years, but I guess it will always be a COVID year, right. When we are facing all these lockdowns, there was a view that whilst our personal circumstances were different, you know, those that were homeschooling, those that weren't those that had a space to work, those that were house, sharing a house was very different. Most of our work experience was the same. We're all on a screen trying to do stuff and get stuff done remotely. Now post, this COVID hangover that were in our personal circumstances are still different. And it feels now that our work experience is very different. And I don't mean, just whether you're on a screen or whether you're working from the office, you know, I certainly some of the organisations, I'm working with at the highest level, it's almost like, right, let's grow fast. So we can make up for the last two years, in some way, shape, or form. And that work experience is really causing people to question, I can't keep doing this. I can't keep going at this pace. Yeah. And I wonder if it's almost as profound as the why questions being asked internally. And at the biggest level, why am I here? And I don't mean, why am I in this office? But why am I here? And oh, work is a big part of my life. So why am I this place?
Yeah. Well, I'd say that again. I mean, it's, I can only talk about my personal experience in coaching or working with leadership teams or working with, you know, people who, you know, they only bring me and you in when they want to change something.
Yeah, that's the irony.
Right? Yeah. It's like, it's not, oh, come in, because we want to keep things as they were, you know, just help us just help us keep things as they were, like, no one says that. And, and then you see this tug of war, which is, I don't know if you've ever heard this phrase, it's like, I want I want, I really, I've got this, this toggle is ball to do something different, and to change and to make a shift of some description. This idea of, I'm, I'm here, and I want to get from here to there. And that what sort of happens at an organisational level, as you know, so. And I think coming back out of the craziness of the last few years, I'm not even sure we're out of anything. Actually. I agree. Yeah, I think we're now in something else. Yeah, we're just getting more and more into something. And it's posing lots of questions to people at that structural organisational level. And, you know, certainly because of the nature of the work I do, right? And you know, for me free for me, freedom in my work environment, is to choose to work with clients, who you like who you think, take this seriously you think really want to change shift go from here to there generally around a more purposeful organisation around bringing more meaning into work by being more human in the way that they deal with each other in their clients and their customer and all that sort stuff. You know, that's where I'm at, you know that working at a deeper human level. And that when an organization's leader or leadership group opts up into organisational meaning and organisational purpose, and what does that mean? So you've got this sort of see, you get this personal tension. Why am I here? What's going on? What does this mean? that bubbles up into an organisation tension? Why am I here? What does it mean? But then you get this and I don't know whether you've found this, but certainly this last year and a bit this all bubbles up and then you get this phrase, right, I'm just too busy. I'm just to busy for it. Like I can't, if only I could have time to this. Like I'm just too busy. And whether it's because of the supply chain build up in the craziness or, or whatever it is. I don't know what it is. I actually honestly don't know what it is. Right. But certainly with my clients, it's got mad, craziness, busyness, busyness, busyness, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy. Like, so I wonder whether there's something. It feels to me like something's got to break before the realisation happens. Like, I don't know where that breaking point is. I mean, it's like at what point is that tension between busyness and purpose and meaning just snap and people either go, I just have to give up on this change, because I'm just too busy. I can't get from here to there because I'm just too busy. Right? And that that's the break. Or the break is that this is like just telling this story is the irony is this you will make me smile. Is that exactly where I have in my situation? Right? I've got exactly the same question which is I've had the busiest, we've had as a business and not me personally, I've had the busiest year workwise I can remember. Thinking over 10 years history for me personally, the busiest ever right? but you know I'm trying to juggle this, as an over 50, older masters athlete, I've got a rest I've got to train and want to try and be a world champion in all this stuff. Then then then you've got the work and advising clients who are extremely demanding, you know, the clients we act for. And and then if I'd get up in my helicopter and go to 50, whatever, however high helicopters go and look down everything as far as you can. Like, what it feels like that this is a metaphor here like this breaking point of stretching stretching the thing to do this business idea. Like I don't know, I mean, do any of your clients go - I've got loads of time, Pete yeah, come on lets spend four days on this?
No, no, they don't. And so very, we could have guessed right, I'm in a very similar position and my wandering my curiosity about my own busyness and I'm making a little bit of progress, is for me, and I'm going to speculate this as the same for some others, the busyness makes me feel worthy. The busyness made me feel significant. The busyness made me feel important. Because my relationship with those things was less than healthy. And so I wonder if, and some very smart people are falling into the trap of using busyness as a bit of a badge of worthiness, or significance or importance or place. Or value or love. And I wonder, I wonder if that's kind of part of the melting pot?
Yeah, I mean, that's a great question. I mean, what I find is if you can get to people, very personally, right, and get them to stop tripping. Right? get off the dance floor
And go to a different balcony.
Yeah, it's all they're seeing. Flashing lights and cause in there, right? And you're in the sweaty, you know, mosh pit of everything. But I think you've hit on something there. Because when you can get them just to step side and sit quietly and say, right, let's just just take a few deep breaths. And let's just be mindful. And let's be reflective, and let's think about your why and what's going on and what matters. And certainly, my experience has been that and you ask great questions. I mean, he's one of the reasons that you know, I admire your work so much. And I've always said that from the first moment I worked with you Nephi, you ask great questions. And if we can give people space by asking really good reflective questions, you can see hope. Like you can see them go, Ah, yeah, okay. You know, what would happen if you weren't so busy? Like, what would it what would actually happen?
People are like, but, but, but... it's like, the goal is break this, this autonomic programme, it's like, that doesn't compute now. Let's make it compute. You're a very smart man, woman whatever, you're a very smart person, put your intellectual brilliance into answering that question, what would actually happen if you stop being busy? You know, and when you when you to track that through if they've like, ah, ah, yeah, okay. Yeah. And they're quite quickly, you know, you realise that, and it's back to what you said, you realise the busyness by and large is self inflicted, but it's not always self inflicted. Yeah, sure. But, you know, no one's got a gun to these people's heads. No one is forcing, or holding them down, you know, saying, right, you know, if you don't do 20 hours a day, you know, you're going to get. So no one's in no one. Certainly. I mean, there are unfortunately, people in the world who are in way more difficult situations. And they have to, they've got to, they literally have to find their way out. But, you know, for people we deal with aren't in that situation. You know, they all know they're very senior, financially, often very already independent. Yeah, they're not doing this because they need to. But when you drill down, no one's doing this because they need to be busier.
Well, so that, that does get me wondering, whilst no one's holding a gun to their head, I wonder what is being held to their head or their heart that's causing them to do the things that they don't need to. Because like you said, no one is doing it to be more busy.
No. I think it's a very personal, I find it's very personal. It's very personal. Like it's deeply personal for the individuals. And most of the time, these folks, and I include myself, stops to ask those questions. Like, why why is being busy really important at this moment in your life? Right? What are the alternatives? What would happen if you weren't so busy? Where would you put the time? What would you do? You know, those made like the great coaching questions, you also got to ask him, outbreak coaches are so good at asking. And I mean, I'll get on to a slightly bigger question for humanity, really. And for people who do our type of work. You know, we've talked about this energy worker, this energy worker concepts, you know, this was the generation of a knowledge worker. And so you know, doing stuff, manual work and the knowledge worker and I think if you're an energy worker, and I would consider us to be energy workers like you we work with human energy. There's what's the thing about that the symbol for crisis is the same as a symbol for opportunity is that in Mediterranean companies you get the idea that the symbol for opportunity is the same as the symbol for crisis. And I think that's interesting invitation for people who do energy work at the moment because it's like, when you step in into these organisations, the extent to which this issue of - Well come in, I think it's really important this is most important work we're going to do in our business this year says the CEO to all his troops. So we're going to spend three days with Richard and Pete to do this. Forget three days, i can't do three days, do you know how busy we are? We can't take three days out. Yeah. So so then you get the call the next day, Richard, do you think we could do it in 4 x 45 minute sessions? Yeah. And this is where this opportunity in crisis, I think comes up and for people in our type of work, it's an interesting, how do we respond to that? Do we respond to say, okay, yeah, all right. Jenny, first CEO, Lady person, let's do that. Or would you say, knowing you might lose the gig. Like, if you're not going to take this seriously, then don't bother. Because it ain't going to work. And I found myself in I've got clients I'm working with at the moment, who is brilliantly successful, fantastic people. Got this great from and to strategy, you know, it's all tick, tick, tick. The client is one of the best change leaders, the head of their strategy and change thing I've ever worked with just they've got all the right ingredients. And yet, you know, you know, our business, we've been very successful over the years great projects, landed some amazing change. You know, with our fairly unique way of doing things, which is very personal, like, there's deep personally. And you've got this sort of disconnect between the CEO who's, mind you that the CEO, it's interesting, the CEO is modelling the struggle for the whole footlight business, you know what I mean? They're oh no, I needed some more time on it, but I can't. I can't give this to someone else. Or I can't say no to that, or I can't... So you know, right from the head of the thing downwards. You know, they're getting in the way the road where they get like, it's like they're getting in their own way. So how can you get them to get out of their own way? Because that's very clumsy. Sort of. Yeah, sort of way. And I'm reminded of that brilliant film with Matt Damon, and Will Smith, where he's the golf caddy. I don't know if you've seen that film. Will Smith is the golf caddy.
The Legend of Bagger Vance.
That's it. Yeah, where he says to him, you know, you've got to be able to see the field. It's like, I can see the field, it's 400 yards long. And there's a flag on the stick at the end. No, no, no, no, there's this, you know, the story, there's that there's a shot waiting to come through as every every one of us. The perfect shot is waiting to come through. You've just got to get out of your own way. Yeah. You've got to get out of your own way. And I think in the last couple of years, people are more in their own way, maybe than they've ever been.
That's an interesting reflection. I think even pre COVID And certainly post COVID, If I'm asked to, you know, summarise, you know, is it can you give us a one liner Pete about how we should be more successful? My answer is almost always the same. And it's that cliched. You know, line have I found the enemy the enemy has us. Yeah, it's the same thing. If we can find a way if we recognise how we're getting in our own way. Yeah. Then how do we get out of that way? And then it comes back to some of the work that you and I would do around the kind of Keegan and Lacey stuff around the immunity to change and when you explain that concept to them, it's it's so simple, and profound, and yet, that's too easy. It can't be that easy.
Or I'm too busy. Yes, and yeah, it can't be that easy. But, but I can't get I'm too busy to get out of my own way. Yeah. Yeah. It is. If I had to sum up like what's the what sort of I won't forget where energy the energy worker who can make such a transformational impact at this time particularly, I get this time right. But I do think that you made a point about what what is it it's what is it what is it that's captured people or drag people into into this? I'm too busy. I'm crazy. I'm busy like You know, I do wonder if there is a bit of panic who, oh my God, look we've just been through and we could have lost this and he could have if I've got to double down on being busy, I've got to double down on everything because I can't I can't risk losing, you know, I wasn't sure I was going to come back. And now I'm back. I've got to double down on being super busy so I can justify. Yeah, you know, what this is, this is I can't I can't lose this, you know, it was a risk in the in the COVID craziness.
Yeah, I've got a pet theory about that. And I'm going to maybe explore it with the kind of parallel universe that you exist in terms of being a world champion of that, let me kind of position this first. There's many, many of us who've been enthralled or a bit intrigued by the work of Simon Sinek, who asked us to find our why, which I agree with. And there's many useful things about that. However, the distinction I would make is, if we find our why, for our current self, we might struggle a little bit or kind of like, feel like we're paddling up the strestreamet. And my counsel to people is, you know, start with who? Who do you want to be in the future? What's the future demanding of who you would like to show up as and who do you want to be all those great questions around identity? And then find the why for that new identity? Yeah. Okay. So in parallel, it may be just a quick 30 seconds on, what sort of world champion are you? And then second question, to get to that position. Yeah. If your trainer, coach said to you, oh Richard, we think, could you become world champion, and rather than doing it in three days, could you do it in four x 45 minutes?
It wouldn't work. I'd be really interested for you to. Yeah. Did you start with who? Did you find your why? And then how did you make the time or find the time to do that on top of everything else? Because it'd be very easy for someone like you to go I'm too busy. So could you start by what sort of world champion you are? And how did that come to be?
I'll show you the jersey this might give it away for anybody who knows anything about cycling. So, so there we are, yeah.
For those not watching, they'll see that world champion rainbow jersey, which is a cycling thing. So yeah, so I'm, I'm a world champion on the on the Velodrome track cycling for the individual pursuit and the four man team pursuit in the Masters category, obviously, because I'm obviously I'm not 25. And the people be amazed to hear for those who can't see me, I don't have much hair and what's left, it's grey. So yeah, cycling is my thing. But also this year, I gave the world road Time Trial championships a crack, which is a Trento in Italy this year. So I've normally been on the track this year, we gave this we talked about what I mean by we gave the road time trial a crack, and I won the road time trial which, which is a bit which is a big thing, you know, 7000 athletes at that, at that, at that championships and across age groups and stuff. Yeah, so that's my that's my that's my sort of backstory on the cycling. Yeah. Yeah. It's quite a complex answer to this question, if you'll bear with me. So cycling for me when I was very young, 8, 9, 10 years old, was absolutely fundamental in me getting some freedom. Right, isn't that ironic?
There you go, right.
Stop all the clocks were done yet.
Because, you know, I didn't come from well, you know, well, our family and we didn't have big holiday, you know, so there was not much going on. Let's put it that way. So my way out of things, both financially interesting, and physically was to ride a bike. So you know, as a 14, 15 year old, national standard cyclist I could go to a bike race and win 10 pounds at the weekend. Right, when my contemporaries pretty rough and ready school I went to would get 25 pence pocket money. Right? Plus, I'd go places I would go out and imagine I was riding the Tour de France or imagine how, you know, I just was totally sketch total free mental physical financial. They cycling has a massive part to play in, in, in the character who I am. Massive. Still does. So yeah, yeah, the who like the who. And that's why you know, and there's another little, there's another little dimension to this, which is so I can go in pop my life, but not sort of elite racing level from about 20 I stopped to build a career, my family sort of stuff. And that's just a choice I make. But But But five years ago, I was still into cycling and running a business and it was fortunately very successful. So I got a bit more time on my hands. My wife got cancer. And I had to stop work to look after her. And anyone who had any anyone who has been a partner to someone who's got serious cancer, I mean, all cancers aren't great, but I'm talking to serious chemo that eight, nine months edge of death type really grim stuff. The person looking after the person looks a bit like the oxygen mask in the aeroplane, you know, put your own oxygen mask on first before attending to someone else what most people don't do when you when you're caring for someone else, you just it's all about them and never about you. But cycling, I went back to cycling because it offered me - again back to that freedom, I could get away, I could reflect I could energise myself, I could be in a better, I put my own oxygen mask on to be in a better place to look after my wife, my son, etc. So cycling is it's a massive part of the identity. But as I was so through the cancer community for the worlds of funny, ironic places, and it through the cancer community, I hooked up with a professional cycling team, in particular, individually run a professional cycling team that was sponsored by a cancer charity. Right. So because my company had been successful, I threw some money into sponsor them. And he asked me a really profound question. He said, he said, you're already good cyclist, like I know you're getting on a bit. But at the time, I was probably 47, 48. He said, wouldn't it be interesting just to see how fast we could get 50 year old cyclist? So I'm a process geek, like I'm a process geek, right? Like I'm a process engineer. And really, it's not, it's not so much about the end goal. Although the end goal is how fast can we get the 50 involved to be? What if we put everything that we were doing in our professional team. By the way, this guy - look him up Dan Bigham (https://www.ineosgrenadiers.com/staff/dan-bigham). Like this guy, the world hour record, is now the the performance advisor to Team INEOS, the Ineos Grenadiers - probably the most sophisticated professional team in the world. This guy is brilliant, right? But then he was just pulling this team and and then he went on a journey. And I was right there. Like I was in it. I was in this journey with him. And basically it was like well, anything he does, can I have one please was basically what I'd say. If you get a faster speed seat, I'll have one. If you get faster helment, I'll have one. And if you get faster wheels, I'll have some. If you get a coach that trains you in a different way, I'll have that. You know, and therefore we went on this journey, this incredible journey.
But always was this. Like why have freedom's so in like, not until I've told this story when I go back to what cycling was to me. Represented such a massive. And then therefore it doesn't become a choice, you don't make a choice do you ride your bicycle. And it's almost like you don't choose to sleep or not. Like it's just an it's just an integral part of my system. Like it's just, there's no choice. There's no choice involved. It just is. And when you commit to something like that it's not like a diet or a fad or it just is like it just is it's who you are. And therefore what you do with it. The goal is a separate thing. So I think you're right, actually, it's a separate thing. And I'm just reading this amazing little book by George Leonard, called Mastery. Right, you've probably go on it on your shelf somewhere, right?
The name has triggered. I think I might have actually.
Yeah. Yeah. And he's got this concept, which is, I'll just explain it because the when you get on the World Championship podium, and he put the jersey on and they give you the gold medal, it lasts about 30 seconds that feeling. Wow. Wow. Right? Let me tell you it would you step up to the podium that's it. Once the national anthem God save the king, long live the King and that it's finished. And Leonard talks about loving the process loving the plateau he calls it. This mastery, you know, when you plateau, you plateau, you plateau, then you pop and you make a little bit of progress. The master is not interested in the gold medal or the Jersey or the 30 seconds on the podium, the master loves the plateau, loves the process, loves it being part of who you are. Right, it's not about us, it's not about the jersey or not about the medal not about. So I think that you know, in some ways, just as ever talking to you always makes me reflect on my own practice and my own work. And maybe there's more I could do to get people to think about that. Because it then doesn't become a battle, you're not giving this up to do that. This is who you are. And out of who you are, then you set a goal with what you want to do.
Right. And it's my sense.
And it's like a pyramid, you know, and the bottom of the pyramid is who you are, and loving the process of who you are. So you're not making choices about what you do. And if you can factor into who you are. Some of these practices like for me, it's I mean, cycling has a huge benefit health. I mean, my co founder, we used to say your biggest gnarly strategic problem with a client for God's sake, Richard go out and your bike. Because he knew what would happen is, after three hours on my bike in the rain, I'd come home and I'd send him a message I've solved that. As I was going through this particular wooden forest and the rain was hammering down, this solution came to me and there it was. So that was a good example why I said. But who the who you are, is that foundation? And then maybe a question I've got for myself in working with my clients is getting them to think a little bit more about that. And not be so obsessed, like Leonard could say, that what, that thing. That thing that metal that is pitch, it shocked me actually when I reflected back on. That 30 seconds is all it lasts. And it's gone. So there's a long winded answer to a very short question.
Well, thank you. That's a fascinating story. And I've made some, again, probably reinforced some of my own, you know, views around start with who. But I'd also be interested if you would explain then. What's it like, it's a big question, when to become world champion, if someone asked you, well, can you just do it in less time than you'd normally? So that kind of client scenario. Hey, Richard, you want to go to this big transformation, but can we do it in half the time? Does that, is that even possible to become a world champion by cutting corners?
The reason I'm pondering is because this last year, as you know I've more work than ever. And yet, I've managed to train in a way that's made me faster. So not only was I the oldest athlete in the age group, when I won the World title, I also set a new world record. So something happened in that process. That where I trained a bit less right, but this is not like going from you need a four day programme to come and do it in 3 x 45 minute segments. That's not what that was like. It was like, you know, I did 20,000 kilometres on my bike last year. Wow. And I've probably done, 13 , 14, 15,000 on it this year. Right? Right. So I've reduced it. But the question is always, if you if you if you if you're clear on who, and you're clear on the target, if you're honest with yourself, this is really important, if you are totally honest with yourself, about what the component parts are of your life that you need to address. And you're honest, and you've got an external person who could hold you to that. So if you may have got really high quality coach, cycling coach. And if the dialogue between the two of you is completely honest, and realistic. So he would say to me, if you want to be world champion, you can't do it on 6000 kilometres a year, it's just not possible. Right? Where's the line? How much can you give it? Honestly, if you cut everything else out. So that that setting up the parameters early is really important, I can probably give it, you know, two thirds of what I did last year, okay, we can work with that. Because of how good you are, at the level of performance you've got, and that would apply to my clients. They're very high performing individuals. So so that and and then you're a own execution, I would say I've been more effective and more efficient in my own execution, because I know those parameters. So if you look back at the training intensity of those 6000 kilometres less the training intensity and the focus and is been probably higher. But you've got to be you said, You've got to be incredibly honest with yourself. And have someone who understands you and it in quite intimate.
Do you think it's partly so given that example of the coach that you have, is it possible to hold yourself accountable like that?
Not for me. Because you asked me that question. You didn't ask it in the generic question. You said, Is it possible for you to hold yourself accountable like that? For me, to me, it's not. And also, when someone's looking in from the outside. And so they can give you feedback and confidence that more intensity and less volume is going to work. And, you know, you need someone who understands that, that that the interplay of of quality versus quantity and where the line is. And I completely trusted it, I completely trusted it. So if he said to me, yeah, Rich, we can do it with less time, and more intensity and more focus and tweaking the physiology of what you're doing. A bit more time in the gym. Because you have got too much. That's not it's time consuming. An extra session that week in the gym is like 45 minutes. It's not like three hours on the bike. So it's knowing those leaps. But it's a Yeah. But I'm seeing parallels in my work, my coaching work and my leadership team development support work out of this conversation as long as haven't seen before, by talking to you.
Thank you. Could you share what some of those insights are?
Well, I think getting getting my clients to look at that who. Right that who foundation layer, and always in the context of that, the finding that who that sort of and taking the choice out of some of that practice. Like I said, cycling to me, it's not a choice. Right. It's just who I am. So if you if you could if you could get through coaching and intervention people to understand this is not this is not something you add on to your day. This is who you are. It's interesting, like it's right. When when when the WHO switch gets flipped. It's massively powerful because it's not oh, what are you doing today? When are you going to the gym or what? My wife never asks me, are you going out your bike today or what time you get out your bike? She just knows it's who Richard is. It's who he is.
And it's fascinating because the the, I guess the little poke that I give some clients when they raise it is I know you're busy. And if any of your family called up and said you know little Johnny's broken his leg is in hospital. and you got the call. I don't think any of you would say, okay, that's, that's good to know. Thanks for letting me know, I'll be there at 530 because I've got a few meetings to attend to first. Exactly. Right. They would the identity, who they are as a father, mother, you know, blah, blah, blah, caregiver would kick in immediately, there would be no choice. There's no choice to make, should I go? Shouldn't I go? You would just, for most people I think, they would just adopt the identity and the behaviour and choose.
Choice is very inefficient. Choice is very inefficient.
That is an insight that I hadn't thought about. Choice is inefficient.
Got to make a decision to go to, you know, if the amount of time people um'd and arh'd about whether to go to the gym or whether to do this or whether to do that. If they added all those seconds in a week. And made it part of who they are in a particular thing. Like it's supremely inefficient, because he there's no. I don't have to um and arh if I'm going to ride my bike. It's just who I am. It's like, I don't have to decide whether I'm going to breathe. Or sleep or, or sleep. Are you going to breathe today Richard? Let me think about whether I should breathe now. Or maybe I should breathe a bit later.
Yeah, I'll breathe when I've got time. Yeah, I'm too busy to breathe. If we could crack that nut.
I've cracked it in my cycling, because at 54 now I'm going faster than I was when I was 20.
Wow. No, I mean, crack the nut of how do we have people fully immerse themselves in a new who?
Yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah. That's the energy work. Right. That's the energy work. And, you know, I watched an interview with Jeff Bezos about decision making. You know, he just said, I tried to make three only try and take three decisions a day. Right. Because, and then he said, and Warren Buffett said I only probably take three decisions a year. Right. Right. And I remember seeing an interview where Bill Gates was talking to Warren Buffett, and they were comparing diaries. Have you ever seen that?
Yeah. And Warren Buffett said I bet his diary is full from morning to night he's a big CEO of Microsoft. And Warren Buffett looked at his diary - he had one thing in the next three weeks.
If you were to look at, you know, mines in yours, as an example, but any of our clients diaries, it would be
packed. Exactly. Yeah, I try not to pack my diary. It's a big thing for me. Well, I can't pack it, because Because part of who I am, is to three hours a day on a bike. It's just who I am. I wouldn't put meeting in at 4am because I'm sleeping. Oh, no no, I'm too busy for that, I'll put a meeting in for 4am. I mean, some people are crazy enough to do that. But, you know, hey, we're dealing with extremes here. Look, I'm conscious about what we as predicted. As predicted, we haven't even scratched. We haven't even scratched the surface on the stuff you and I could talk about Pete but we're already 47 minutes in. Yeah, I know. But I'm happy to go for a bit longer. But you know, I know you've got some wrap up questions and stuff like that.
Maybe we can do it again. Maybe? Oh, I'd love to do a part two in 23. We'll do a part two. And we'll talk about you know, taking the choice out because choice is inefficient. We'll talk about clear on the who and the target. We'll talk about it being part of who you are, and loving the mastery of it.
Yeah. Yeah, totally. Yeah. And getting out of that, because I can tell you, this is a triple world champion. 30 seconds is the max. You get that feeling then it's gone.
That is fascinating. So Richard, how do people get ahold of you? How do we how do we connect with you if people are interested in following you or doing anything?
A LinkedIn is a good place to find me. As well for people. Yeah, if you just put if you put my put my LinkedIn profile in the can connect to me there. [email protected] Yep. If anyone wants to email me, we'd like to hear from me or wants to talk more about this stuff. They're probably the two easiest things I do. I put a few things on Instagram. But nothing really, I'm not a big social media type of person. So LinkedIn, email me. I am writing a book. Yeah, but that's not quite ready yet, but it will be out next year. And then maybe we could talk about that because that's after. Yeah, that's called the mindful cyclist. But it's not. It is about cycling. But as you can tell from this conversation, it also there's a lot in there for general happiness, well being, getting the most out of life. Not being inefficient.
It made me think of. So you might have heard of The Proclaimers. Did you know that there are my cousins? No? Yeah, through marriage. They're my stepdads nephews. So I know Craig and Charlie, relatively well.
Oh, I'd walk 500 miles.
Yeah, well, I was going tp say because one of the songs is called the angry cyclist.
It's quite meant to be that but that's what came to mind. Yeah. So Richard, a couple of closing questions for Yes. Are you more sunrise or sunset?
I would say sunset
Sunset, okay, and you know, hence proving the point that choice is inefficient. Exactly.
Do you prefer to ride in the rain or the wind? Wind.
Tour de France or Giro d'Italia?
Tour de France every time. Okay.
Of the many you could choose from?
Yeah, that's a tough one. I would say. Bernard Hino.
I know like me, you're a reader. Yeah. One of the books that's changed your life.
Oh this one stands out massively The Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hanh. Amazing. Unbelievable as to capture spirituality, energy, mindfulness health, relationships in a way that's so accessible.
You mean like us?
Yeah, that's the one's. Yeah, just incredible, amazing. Amazing human being.
Yeah. Richard as ever, it's been a pleasure and I hope people who were listening along find some of that useful. It's been a joy - before, during and after. This is a lifetime not not just for a season.
Yeah, you bet you my friend.
Thanks again. Have a good day.