Stories from an Easily Distracted, Dyslexic Creative … Keeping Your Dreams Alive. June 24, 2015
More and more often these days, people are asking me for advice (God help them – why do they ask me!) on this thing called ‘life balance and happiness’. Ok, so lets start here. When someone says “how do you find your balance??”, my answer is, “what does this thing you call balance mean … or more importantly, what does balance really look like??”
Here is my question back at you … “What does balance and happiness mean to you?” Most people cannot answer the balance one, but the happiness factor is the thing that people are mostly aiming for.
What I find fascinating is, many years ago when I thought I ‘had it all’ … four well known, successful and awarded restaurants, feeding approximately 15,000 people per week – I was incredibly overweight, mentally exhausted – but just didn’t know it. I used to get asked for lots of things – as opposed to advice … I was asked for a reservation or a good table … to write a book … recommendation for a great restaurant … what makes your restaurants so great blah blah blah.
I don’t believe in ‘balance’ and I’m not aiming for happiness : and here’s my thoughts on why.
I replace the word Balance with Good Rhythm in life, for the most part.
I have daily key triggers that stimulate me to live an extraordinary existence at every possible chance. You can write your own.
I am always travelling … and I still aim for Good Rhythm at all times.
Trying to eat well is super important. Eating the wrong food will trigger all kinds of the wrong thoughts and emotions. But eating well at airports, and on planes, trains and automobiles, is not an easy task and can almost feel like a full time job. It’s not ‘breaking news’ to hear that whatever we put in our body, is directly responsible for how our body performs and how it functions. Food is a major contributor to our chemical makeup … certain foods can make you feel a certain way. We KNOW sugar is bad for you. We KNOW saturated fats are bad for you – and yet we still bombard our bodies with them – most of the time without even knowing. We have to start taking responsibility for eating well … eating raw … eating organic … and eating planet friendly. But that’s a whole other paper on the right way to eat – as we are all still learning, and it seems to change daily and can become super confusing.
Another ‘given’ is that the importance of exercise is everything – it creates motivation. … get up, get out and work out! Exercise, fresh air and sunshine is fundamental to your mental and physical well being. Every successful entrepreneur believes in it … Sir Richard Branson’s number one ‘secret’ to greater productivity is to keep fit and exercise. Exercise increases energy levels, helps you to sleep better and improves your focus and concentration. Richard actually often gets up early for a run, which isn’t bad for someone just over 60 years old!
I exercise every chance I can. At airports, I don’t take the escalators or travelators. I walk around – don’t sit in the lounge – there is plenty of time for sitting when you are flying from one side of this planet to the other. Work whilst exercising – use that time to think, plan, create. At airports like Singapore Changi – you will have walked 2 miles in no time! It’s a huge airport and my favourite to ‘work-xercise’ … just don’t get distracted by shiny things and shop for crap you don’t need!
Saying this – you need to find an exercise that motivates YOU! Just because your friend goes for a run or to cross-fit every day – doesn’t mean you have to run or do cross-fit. You don’t have to follow the pack … do what makes YOU feel motivated.
I replace this with my idea of Being Content. So why don’t I aim for happiness??
The world runs 24/7 with both good and bad news cycles constantly bombarding us. I am super in-tune and sensitive to what’s happening around me, my friends and what’s going on in the world I live in.
I’m a passenger for some part of this ride, and semi in control of other parts. I certainly am not arrogant enough to assume my life is all in my own hands 100% – not be confused with fate. Luck, good genetics and being born in the right country play a huge roll in everyone’s lives, mine included … but I chose to add the extra work I did through sheer determination, and a positive outlook. So I aim for being content for what I have, and being grateful for what was, let’s be clear, given to me.
The POT : What’s in your secret sauce mix??
I believe in chemical balance … and imbalance. Things like depression and other mental illnesses are generally caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and many other factors many out of our control – and this is something we don’t get to have a say in. We can’t miraculously cure this chemical imbalance. We need help, guidance and good, understanding people around us, along with regular, informed, and educated advice.
Don’t get me wrong – I can still have average days or average for an hour or two … but it’s all a matter of re-setting your key triggers and finding your rhythm, and being content with your situation. I believe in what I want … and I’m pretty persistent and constantly reminding myself of what that is.
I have talked about ‘energy vampires’ before. We need to be aware of ‘Energy Vampires’ – people/things that drain energy from us – and invest our energy in people and situations we want to grow and tend to.
How do we identify these ‘energy vampires’? After you spend time with someone, ask yourself, “do I feel uplifted – or do I feel drained?” You will know straight away. Avoid them – you don’t need them in your life. If you are working hard on yourself to be a better person – why allow someone to come in and destroy that? There is no reason to feel guilty about it either – even if they are a friend or family member. You need to protect yourself and your energy. Understand that it is your duty to uplift the people around you – and uplift yourself as well.
If you are a ‘creative type’, you will know that the typical 9-5 routine just doesn’t work for you. Creativity isn’t something that can be switched on and off. It is important to recognise this and learn when to utilise your ‘creative time’ … and when to have your ‘down time’. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘being on’ all the time … it’s exhausting, your work will suffer, as will your health … and it’s just not smart!
And being ‘creative’ doesn’t necessarily mean being a designer, or artist, or musician … ‘creativity’ comes in all shapes and sizes … and industries … and positions. We all ‘create’ in our day to day lives.
It is so important to focus on the positives – even if you don’t realise it’s a positive. Just recently, it was the anniversary of my Dad passing away … but instead of being sad, I cooked up a huge Italian breakfast feast (the same he used to cook for us) for some friends, and I and dedicated the meal to him.
You have to keep a sense of humour – but take what you do very seriously. Don’t mix those two up though … don’t take yourself too seriously!! Life isn’t about perfection … it’s about practice. And the more you practice … the better rhythm and more content you will be!
I have a bunch of quotes that I love to keep handy to remind me, on a regular basis, on what will help me keep my dreams alive … feel free to reference back to these ones – or find others that resonate with you …
“When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But when you listen, you may learn something new.” – Dalai Lama
“Listen, smile, agree: and then do whaever the fuck you were gonna do anyway.” – Robert Downey Jr.
“What if the purpose of each new generation is to question… To identify where there are injustices and right them. We would inevitably leave this world a kinder place for those who followed us.” – Lyn White – Animals Australia
DON’T ALWAYS FOLLOW THE PACK … GAME CHANGERS SHAPE THE WORLD!
Robert Marchetti – Founder and CEO