When I was asked to be on Sam Thomas’ Podcast: ‘Everyone has a story to tell’, I thought I’d just chat about the Atlantic Row and throw in a few business anecdotes. Since I came back, I’ve been easing back into my business life and I’ve been interested in the parallels between training for the row and how it mirrored a lot of what I recommend for the businesses I advise.
I expected to focus on this aspect, which I think is very important and could certainly fill a podcast or two. But what happened was entirely different. Sam was thoroughly prepared and he is a skilled interviewer. He knew exactly what to ask to make me touch on feelings, thoughts and observations I never thought I’d be talking about in public.
I want to share with you something that came up that is important to me: leading a simpler life. I think it’s crucial in life and in business helping us to make better decisions. I had plenty of space to think on the row. I wasn’t being bombarded by social media, my phone ringing, questions, the important, the urgent and the downright nonsense that fills every 24 hours. I was determined to hang onto the peace that came with less intrusion, deciding what was important to me.
My goal is to make my life less complicated. I want it to be more enjoyable, not just for me, but for my wife, my daughter and my son. They had given so much to support me during the three years training for the row and the final preparation and the actual row, when I was absent from our family home for three months. I realise now how selfish I’d been in my constant pursuit of achievement.
These are some of the simple things I have done to uncomplicate my life and work to be the best version of myself:
1. Declutter my stuff, get rid of things I don’t need
2. Give a lot of my clothes to the charity shop, who I am matters, not what I wear
3. Choose the people I want to spend time with
4. Understand what’s important to me and what’s important to my family and make better decisions on how to spend my time and spend more of it with them
5. Keep working to be a good person every day
I want to be comfortable in my own skin and not need external validation. I want to be at peace with myself, knowing that I have been able to taste, touch, smell, see and hear as much as I can in life without causing pain to others.
At the end of the podcast, Sam asked what success means to me and that was easy, it doesn’t mean being rich, it does mean giving more than I take and being the best version of me that I can be.