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Episode 45 Fitness Behavior - An interview with me

This month I share and interview that I had with Radio New Zealand's Kathryn Ryan about my book. Hopefully you enjoy it. I also answer some questions from listeners.


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How do you find your passion? 

One question I get asked a lot is ‘how do you find your passion?’. I’m lucky that I managed to find my passions early on in my life so I assume that people think that I have some wisdom to share about how they can find theirs.

Thinking back on answers to this question I have given over the years I’m not sure if I have been much help at all, I’ve given the ‘think back to when you were a kid and think about what you loved doing then’ answer and the ‘who do you admire and what do you admire about them?’ way of thinking. While these types of self reflective questions may help people look deeper into what the could enjoy doing, recently I’ve had a different perspective on how people can find their passions in life.  

The thing is, I think a lot of people actually know what their passions are, or at least what they enjoy doing and if they were to be honest with themselves they would easily identify what they would do if they had the freedom to live their lives filled with passion. With this in mind I’ve been wondering if the real question people are asking me is ‘how do you create a life where you can spend as much of your time as possible doing the things you love?’. This is a completely different question and it leads to a different way of thinking and another level of questions which can be quite confronting.

One of the questions to think about is ‘what would you be willing to give up and change about your current life to allow time for you to work on your passions?’. Would you be willing to drive a crappy car and reduce your standard of living if it meant that you could lead a life where you were able to follow your passions every day? I’m sure that if we were to answer these questions in public many of us would say that we aren’t that materialistic and we would be willing to do this, but would you really be willing to give up your current standard of living? Could you handle a downgrade on the social ladder? Could you handle the uncertainty of not having the security that your current life gives you and the comfort that comes with it?  

These are all hard questions to think about. Deciding to move towards a passion-filled life doesn’t always mean that you will experience a drop in lifestyle but if you are willing to explore these questions you can start to really see what is holding you back from a life where you are doing things you love all the time. 

The exploration of the limiters that restrict you from developing yourself helps you to clearly see the work that needs to be done to move away from these. When I started moving towards a life where I lived my passions every day I realised that I had way too much debt which was holding me back from the choices I wanted to make. With this knowledge I spent a year living very frugally and worked hard to reduce debt from my life and once I had got to a place where I had hardly any debt it was easier for me to have the freedom to spend time pursuing my passions, I was able to devote more of my life to them and evolve with them and not worry about where money for the next bill would come from.  

Occasionally you’ll meet a person who has made a total shift in their life, they go from a life that is stuck on the treadmill of the day to day grind to one where they have this new found energy because they have filled their life with activities that they care most about. Often the first thing these people do is remove their limiters and then make the choice to fill their time developing their passions. 

If you feel you don’t have a passion in your life and look at people around you who do and desire what they have, it could be time to delve into what you need to give up to start leading such a life. This is not an easy process and it may require that you made some tough decisions around letting go of safety and certainty your current life has but if you can do this and then devote time and energy into developing your passions you may find that one day someone will be asking you the question ‘how do you find your passion?’.

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What's your high cost day?

Do you have a day of the week that is traditionally your bad day? For me it tends to be Friday. I’m very lucky that I have a lot of freedom in my life and one of the keys to having this freedom is that I have to be good at managing my time. When you don’t have anyone telling you what to do or setting deadlines for you, the danger is that you end up wasting time. Over the years I have learnt how to be productive but Friday is the one day of the week where I have traditionally struggled partly because I often have less scheduled time which inevitably means I have a bit more spare time. I find that I check Facebook too much, watch pointless YouTube clips, have too many snacks on unhealthy food and then I stay up too late because it is the eve of the weekend! I often find myself getting to the end of Friday wondering what I have done with my time and feeling slightly dissatisfied with my day. 

I read some research a few weeks ago which identified that most people put on weight over the weekend and while I had never really thought about this, it is kind of obvious why this is the case. I started thinking about my bad day of my week and came up with the concept of your ‘high cost day’.  

Your high cost day is the one where the costs from your actions or behaviours are a too high; you may have too many snacks, you may stay up too late which means you are tired for the following days, you skip that walk or run you had planned on doing earlier in the week and emotionally you may be dissatisfied or disappointed in yourself. It’s the day where there is nothing to show for it, it may even be the day where you regret your behaviours on a larger scale. 

A lot of damage can be done in a high cost day but at the same time life could be dull if we never let our hair down and moved towards temptation a bit. To go out for dinner and then have a boogie with friends may mean we eat and drink a bit too much but it can also be a valued experience with friends. The way we want to look at a high cost day is to identify and understand what our limits are and stay within them by creating some habits around them. 

Going back to my high cost day, I identified this was the day I needed to be aware of a few years ago. I got sick of being dissatisfied with it so I developed some plans around how to get to the end of my day feeling that there had been value in it. Although if I am honest Friday is still the weakest day of my week but I’m now ok with the level I have. 

When you think of your week can you identify a ‘high cost day’? If you do what are the costs that come with it? Are these costs acceptable to you or ideally would you like to reduce them? By thinking about these questions you may determine that you are happy with the level of cost on this day and so you can maintain your current behaviours, but if you aren’t happy it’s time to do some work. 

If you are in the latter group, the first step is to determine what the healthier level is and then develop ways to stay within this level. It may take a bit of trial and error to get it right but if you work on it you can get to a place that you are happy with.   

By identifying the time of the week where you are vulnerable to a day where the costs are high, you can then start to develop healthier behaviours and you will be doing less damage to yourself and perhaps those around you. This is definitely worth thinking about and working on, ultimately it leads to a healthier you. 

If you enjoy my pieces you can get them emailed to you when I put them on the internet. This way you won't have to come back to my website to check when a new piece is out. Don't worry I won't spam you. If you want to join up just put your details in here: