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Providing mental health tools to prevent veteran suicide - with Simon Moloney CGC of Head-Up Charity

by Shaun Kober
April 18th 2022

The day we recorded this episode, another veteran from Si's regiment had committed suicide.

We have both lost mates to the black dog over the years, and it has become apparent that th... More

what does it mean to live life to the fullest train to your potential and perform at your best, Leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else going to follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that potential and to stay hungry. Training is progress. You know, when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey. That's a mindset and itself man, it's like, it's not just about I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical, but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing our physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships whatever and all of that is a training ground and that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about. You underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do perform at your best money. That's that's sort of what life is all about. You know, I don't have the knowledge and have the fitness, the healthy ambition and drive that no matter what comes along when that next phone call comes, I can just say yes, I don't have to worry, just go and do it, Yo what is up guys?

Welcome back to the live transform podcast? I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me for the second time on the podcast. Mr Simon moloney, how are you brother? Thank you, how are you? Very good mate. Now it's been over a year since we last had our previous conversation. Um and for any new listeners, we discussed, you know, our journeys through the military um through our sniper training, talked a lot about your deployment, about how you know, the circumstances about that unfold in Afghanistan with you getting shot in the throat and then being subsequently awarded with the conspicuous gallantry cross by her majesty, the queen. Um for anyone that is interesting that I'll have that episode linked in the show notes, but I must say made over a year later, that is still one of my favorite conversations that I've had for this podcast and I think I've got about 163 162 odd episodes so far. So yeah, really good conversation and it's one that I go back to um every now and again man just to check in and um you know every time I listen to it, it's like reading a good book right?

Like I take different lessons from it, different in different um when I'm in different mindsets and it's always one of those conversations that I go back to. Yeah, I totally agree. Um you get into a deep conversation like that, you know you used to talk about memories and we went from sort of the beginning of the army, how that translates into life lessons and then operations and like you say every time you listen to it, you pick up a different point. But for me I've never actually written down transferable skills, whether it be you know emotional intelligence or physical skills or just how you think about things and approach problems and that for me was was writing it down. So you know, when when you if I go out on a run and I'll listen, put it back on and listen to it again, you're like, wow. Yeah, and it just gives you that confidence. Like I've never written this down before and that was that was a brilliant conversation and I really enjoyed it and it's the first time I've ever spoken that deeply about certain things and also in that context, you know, you can speak to family members about it, but you know, you've been there, you're a sniper, you've been in operations, you've been in the ship.

It was it was interesting and for me it's a great way to document that. So I really appreciate it. Thank you. Yeah, 100% men. And something you said there is, you know, it comes up for me all the time and that is this is why like I I post the way that I post on social media and why I like having these conversations man because you know what I've realized over the years is when we talk about things when we write things down whether that's journaling or um you know just having fucking young with your mates over a couple of beers or whatever man like this is how you organize your thoughts, right? You have so many thoughts coming into your mind and the more you speak about this stuff, the more you kind of not necessarily refined the story but you you know you remember certain elements of certain things and you know you can choose what parts you're going to remember and what parts you're going to take lessons from and you know you basically get an opportunity to organize your thoughts and put it into a manner that allows you to then you know take lessons from that to be able to to be applied or overlaid onto your present self which is obviously going to affect your future.

Yeah, I totally agree. It's for me it was it was like when you're on a course or you're in a lesson or you know you're studying, I always write down a shipload of notes, am I taking those in at the time? No. And these notes that you know like your thoughts, you know conversation with yourself stimulates a lot more thoughts a lot more thinking and she writes the shiploads of notes down and like you say, listen, listen to it back as you read through your notes, picking up her turning points, you know for every problem, you know or a question on what you've just been writing notes down on, you pick out a different bit and a little different, but is relevant. And I'd say, as you, as I've maybe listen to that podcast at different stages of the year, different moods, different problems going on, or different challenges. You know, you pick out different bits. So, you know, I'm not gonna lie, I probably listen to it again later today, when when I go out for a run, just and I'll pick out a different bit of different bit of resonate with me. Um that's why it's great and, you know, um is that really important? Really important? Yeah, absolutely, man, I've just finished reading a book, man's search for meaning by Viktor frankl who survived 3.5 years, I think in four of the Nazi concentration camps in World War Two.

Um and yeah, man, like, he's documented some of the things that occurred during his time in those camps. But you know, what he really focuses on is, you know, the psychological components of being in those camps and seeing how people um react to different circumstances or react differently to the same circumstances. And, you know, a big thing that he talks about is the people that typically survived, you know, were those that had a meaning, they gave themselves a meaning for their suffering. They were looking they were giving their life meaning. They were giving every decision that they made a meaning and then, you know, that allowed them to then deal with that suffering. And I think it's really important man for, you know, people to have a look at, you know, different things in their life and see if they can take lessons from that and when you've got someone like that who goes through something like a fucking absolutely crazy, um you know, instead of circumstances that just fucked up so many lives and has affected so many millions of people worldwide and probably does continue to do so today.

Like when you have someone go through something like that and then be able to put that into words to give people an understanding of what he went through, but also how different people were processing these same situations and same circumstances in a different manner that either allowed them to stay alive essentially or give up. And something he talks about in the book, man, it's like, you could tell when people had essentially given up and within days they were dead man. Yeah, something that amazes me about anything to do with the holocaust is we know so much about it now, like there's it's well documented in history and we have all these platforms to read, listen or watch things about it, but when you're in that you don't know that this is the holocaust, this is going to end, this is how it ended. Like for you, your world is ending and there's this tyrannical force that's trying to wipe you out, like that's something, you know, just from you telling me about about that, that is incredible how anyone to sort of push through that book, interesting what you say they're about outside observations.

Some people are doing a good thing and it's positive and you can see them buzzing of it and some people that you can see they're making the wrong choices or looking in the wrong way. For me personally, I mean, I don't know if you can resonate with this and I'm not laughing at the holocaust, but when I was on an army course, as long as I wasn't the worst bloke or like we had a rule just don't be the unfinished bloke because you can just look back and you're like uh smith is about to have a heart attack like I'm fine and you just keep going like you feed I'm not some creep, but you feed off people's weakness and you think, well I'm doing okay now and there's a there's a hierarchy thing, there's nothing worse than when you're the only one in trouble or you're the only one in the ship or you're the only one struggling because you're looking around, you think, well he's holding it together, he's fine, he's fine, he's fine, that for me, that was a massive thing in the army, as long as you are the worst off you normally normally. Alright and you kept going, you know? Yeah man, the psychological component of life is so fucking crazy, powerful man. Um now just to kind of tie everything in of what we've just spoken about, you know, when you go back and listen to that first episode, what are some of those big lessons that you have taken away from, you know, those times that you have listened to?

I'm sure it's been different every time, right? Like every time I read there's been a few books that I've read um a number of times and every time I've read that book, like I read Man's Search for meaning last a couple of weekends ago when I went away for a digital detox turned my phone off, you know, 36 48 hours offline man. And I read that book cover to cover and that was the second time I've read it and you know, the first time I read, it was a number of years ago and since then it's been in my top five book recommendations. But reading it again the second time I was in a different mindset was in a different headspace, you know, it was a couple of years later I had grown and developed and I took completely different lessons from it. You know, a lot of the same things resonated, but then there was some other things that really stood out for me has that happened for you listening back to our first conversation for sure. There's been putting in three main points that every time I sort of re checked myself and I'm like, well you thought this last time and then you drifted off track. The first one is, is don't go off other people. So like you know this instagram world and I tell myself this all the time yeah, through the stuff you watch and view on social media or you know, you see these people living, living their best lives or do it being really successful and even though you tell yourself not to sort of judge yourself off them, subconsciously you do take it all in and sometimes you just need a little reevaluation of like, well these are my goals and I'm actually progressing towards them very well and I've hit certain goals and so recheck yourself there, the other one is, is just keep sort of like pedaling.

I know we said like you know, just just just normally when you quit or you break on an arduous military task, the finish was actually just around the corner. Nine times out of 10, you know, you put your hand up and say I failed and actually they're like made, it was 100 m around the corner, we would have, you would have been made that March or whatever um hmm and the third was and this may be shows my cavalier attitude but like it doesn't need to be perfect, like I remember saying like on the snipers course, like you're not gonna you're not gonna go in in perfect time, hit all your checkpoints being great order, you know, and as your instructor sort of said, and this resonates me, like if you're not a bit of a country, you probably shouldn't be on the course by now, like it doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn't have to be perfect, get their, achieve your goal and then you reconvene at the end, you know, how many attacks have you been through? Everyone comes through perfectly dry with a chin strap, right, you know, upright, you're, you're going to get a bit spread out in the fight. You have the moment reconvene, we used to go in the british army condor moment, gather yourself together, work out what you have got what you haven't got work on points and then you move on.

Um you know, just because you're not, you're not green and and muddy and, and I haven't slept for a couple of days doesn't mean you can't have that attitude. Like with normal tasks in life, like sometimes I think, you know, because you're well dressed and you've had a shower today, everything has to be perfect. It doesn't man in whatever you do, like you've achieved your goal just constantly reassess, but don't be too hard on yourselves. I think sometimes we go the other way and you mentioned the pendulum, So like we've gone the pendulum swings one way, you may be drinking too much, you're being undisciplined but if the pendulum goes the other way and you know you're not gonna eat sugar and you're gonna have four hours sleep and do two hours of meditation and 20 kilometer run and then you don't hit that goal then you you beat yourself up again. Like this isn't realistic realistic tar should I say it's not gonna be pretty just achieve your aim, you've got there good. Yeah, 100% man. Progress is much better than perfection if you can you know keep doing those one percenters every day that is going to you know that those one percenters like that adds up man that becomes compounded interest, right?

Like that's where the magic is bro and this is where people go wrong is like they need to have all the fucking answers before they take that first step. Where it's like, you know, you're never going to have the perfect plan or even if you do like you know what is what do you say? Like no, no, no plan survives contact with the enemy, right? So like it's great to have that plan. It's great to have the standard operating procedures, the actions on for certain scenarios. But at the end of the day like those are a set of guidelines to get you moving, give everyone an understanding of what they're working towards and what needs to happen at certain points, but once shit starts fucking happening, like you need to have you need to be flexible, you need to be adaptable and you need to be able to kind of work within those guidelines, but you know, kind of bend the rules a little bit to suit the circumstances. Yeah, I totally agree. What would you say? You will say three points are from, from that podcast, all the issues discussed? Um probably one of the first things that comes to mind is you know what we both spoke about when we were going through the snipers course and we're like funk man, we are not going to pass this course, how can anyone pass this course?

This is so ridiculously hard, right? But then again it's that incremental change, you start learning things and you know, you start implementing those things and those little pieces of the jigsaw puzzle start coming together and you start building and then all of a sudden like, you know, you're putting it all together and and now you're passing and now you're like fuck you know that how two weeks ago I was failing everything and I didn't think anyone was going to pass this course and now all of a sudden, like, you know, you're starting to put those pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and things are starting to work out and the plan starting to fall into place and you know that was a big one for me, another big takeaway right now at this stage is you know, the transition process as well, you know, which is something that I've still got mates going through that process now, getting out of the military, um you know, there's still no um there's no, you know, when you, as we mentioned, man, like when you join the army, you get taught how to become a soldier from a civilian, but then when you get out, you don't get taught how to reintegrate back into civilian society.

And I think that's a big piece of the jigsaw puzzle that's missing as well. And you know, this is this is something that will come up, will come up again as we go through this conversation with what you guys are doing with Head Up charity and that's, you know why I'm aligned with the Swiss Eight boys and what they're doing, because you know, that is a big piece of the puzzle that um once we start putting that stuff into place and we give people this education prior to them getting out or within kind of six months of them getting out, give them some expectations on what they can, you know, what they, what they essentially are going to come up against and situations that they're going to find themselves in. And, you know, these thoughts that are going to come into their mind and some of the the problems that we've had going through the transition process, like once we can start giving these guys these lessons and prepare them ahead of time, you know, I think that's going to it's definitely going to um make that transition process a lot easier and it's going to help people kind of manage their minds a little bit more so that they're not falling into these fucking pits of depression, where the wheels fall off when, you know, they stop doing the things that made them such good soldiers.

Yeah, the key point to what you just said there as well is, you know, my mind was racing as you were saying that there is no set answer, there is no set things that you do. Everyone's different, everyone's gonna go back to different backgrounds. Your family background was very different to mine growing up that's going to have an impact, where do you settle when you leave? But I think this is where swiss aid and head up our are leading in this, and this is where we are going to be the world leaders in this, it's giving you the tools to cope with it. Like we're not going to jump on you and because soldiers don't want that either, I don't want any money cuddled, like I know what to do, tell me how to do it, and I'll do it. I think so, like you said, standing back, giving guys the tools picking them up when they need to be picked up, but giving them this sort of routine that's gonna put them on the best possible course and they're letting them find their own way, I think to many charities or, you know, in the, in the veterans mental health sector, they may be, they're not, they're not on the radar until it's too bad and then then you have to jump on them and it's like sort of critical.

That's Exactly where rather than a proactive model where I think Swiss eight and head up, when will we find a groove are going to be much more beneficial to to your average, your average sort of service leader or or, or serving serving member for when the wheels fall off, it's sort of like giving yourself an mot and keeping on the right track, you know, Mhm Yeah, it's principles driven man. You know, as you said, most soldiers like, they don't necessarily need to be, you know, fucking have their hand held through the process. It's just like, hey, these are, these are the principles, these are the different methods that you can choose to achieve that outcome, pick whatever works for you. But it's just about giving them those principles, making them understand what those principles are, about what the desired outcome is, and then give them the tools to be like, hey, these are the options to achieve that desired outcome, choose the one that's appropriate for you right now, because, you know, you could say, you could say fucking like yin style yoga is a great tool for helping manage your mind drive the parasympathetic nervous system, you know, get into a relaxed state after coming, You know, being in a fucking highly stressed state or on edge for a certain period of time, in a sympathetic state that fight or flight state all the time.

But going into a yin yoga class and sitting there for an hour, stretching, focusing on your breathing, being in your own fucking head. That might not be a good option for some people that might drive them wild man. Mm hmm. Yeah, I totally agree. And as you said, you've got people now leaving and and and and so do I and I could talk about it all day with anyone who comes across sort of WhatsApp or whatever. But like I said, your answer is different for everyone. And you know, I sort of had the answer myself, I'm actually thinking if you ask me now to sort of define what the score is there, I couldn't tell you some people are sort of my opinion or assessment would be like, right, you've got to let them almost let him burn out at the minute. He's not gonna he's not gonna learn, he's not gonna listen to you right now, He needs to blow some steam off. You know, obviously if he's, if he's, if he's doing that and drink and drugs, you need to be around him and have a little word but and try and cheer him off that. But you know, some guys get out and they've got this mega project there straight into that or some guys just go really, which I think actually you need to just get out and try and chill out for a bit and without sounding too to spiritual, you need to find yourself, you need to find who you are, you left as corporal Cobra who had commendations for bravery in Afghanistan, you're a sniper and actually, you know, if you were to meet new people or you know, try and talk to chicks, that would be your talking point, you know, that's that's what you talk about, what you're trying to impress them, that's who you are and you know that's that's that's your identity, that's that's your identity and then you leave and it's sort of like you know, two years after I left that sort of was like yeah, it's going to come up about Afghanistan is gonna come up about you getting shot in the neck is going to come up about you being a sniper, but bro, that's not who you are anymore, like be proud and it's gonna come up of course, you know, what did you do before you did this or you know, but that's not who you are and I think when you start to accept that like Afghanistan is over like shut the door on it um you take life lessons is very important, but but move on, especially guys who had a lot of people who lost a lot of guys in Afghan or Iraq or whatever conflict there in it feels like a betrayal to shut the door on it.

I felt terrible for for my friend jay who passed away, I thought I don't want to move on from Afghanistan, I'm not going to forget him and then you sort of you feel guilty almost, you know, and and that's this, this is just one issue guys are going to face. I don't want to move on from that, that's who I am. You know, I'm not gonna forget him or her, it's tough. Yeah, yeah, that's a great point man. Like it's not like you have to close the door on that and it's like, alright, that chapter is over, I'm never going to think about that again. It's like, you know, all right, I can't go back in time. I can't change any of these circumstances. What I am going to do is accept that that's what happened, but I'm also going to accept that I'm not that person anymore or that person that I was those decisions that I made during that time have shaped the person I have now become and I've also got an opportunity to make decisions right here and right now, that's going to shape the fucking person that I'm going to become in the future and I think that's a big part of it man is, you know, we need to we need to look at yes, we need to look at the past because everything in the past has brought us up to this point and it's made us who we are and it shaped our values and you know, our personality and our character okay.

But then we need to also look at the now, alright, what can we do right now, that's going to influence the person that I want to become in the future? You know, we need to look at all aspects past, future and present, but the majority of the time we need to be living in the present and that's where a lot of guys go wrong man, as their living in the past and they are still that soldier who served in Afghanistan or did three deployments and you know, fucking had their mate die in their arms as they load into onto a helicopter or whatever it might be, man, like, you know, we don't need to we don't need to forget that stuff, but we also need to accept that stuff. Yeah, you do um and it gets to the point as well where it's like you paid your respects but he doesn't want you you're now you're now making this about you, you now now you're you know, you now need to move on, you need to do what's good for him. He hasn't, there's a famous quote I sent to paul in the beginning of Head up, they said um I think that you know, the most important part of a veteran's life is when he starts thinking about those who died and starts living for them instead.

Like you know you've got this great opportunity um they died, you didn't man, you you've got to do them proud because you know, he sat there whoever he is, you know, whatever you believe in and he and he's looking at you like come on man, like you know it was me, it wasn't you like you've got to make the most of this now, make me proud and I mean that I imagine resonates with a lot of soldiers and there's enough to g anyone up to sort of be like yeah okay, I got you. Like it's a brilliant quote. Yeah man, that's a that's a really, really good point. Um I'm recording this on what day is this, monday, the 11th of april So today actually um I recorded an episode where I read off some of my favorite passages from that book man's search for meaning because it has been so impactful for me and something that victor frankel said once he got through the concentration camps and um you know was free and like started rebuilding his life again, he had a doctor come in who was super depressed, being depressed for a couple of years, his wife had died and the doctor come in and it was basically like I need to talk to someone, I need to manage my mind, I need some tools to get me out of this funk that I'm in.

Um and you know, he was super depressed that he had lost his wife and he had been mourning and victor frankel developed this technique called logo therapy. Um and it basically means like find a meaning for life, find the meaning in suffering and he says to this doctor and he goes okay now let's say that the tables were turned and you had died and right now your wife would be mourning you. How would you feel about that? He goes, oh I couldn't have that happen, like and basically when I would prefer to have this suffering then for my wife to have that suffering. Yeah. And he basically just thanked him and walked out man. And when you, when you, when you change your mindset and the way that you think about things that can really impact like your attitude, your mindset and how you process things moving forward. What a simple flip, like imagine £250 or dollars for this session and you walk in and he's like just think this and it's so you know when something just clicks, sometimes you just walk straight out again Um talking on perspective and books, I don't know if you see it on netflix, something called 14 peaks.

Um it's about yes. So I'm reading this book at the minute, it's called beyond possible. So Nimes die to give context to the listeners. Nimes die is a ex gurkha, So british infantry and then he went special Forces and then he's obviously been his first nepalese soldier in the british for sure. Yeah, so he's nepalese had a blinding career there, got into mountaineering, the guy's an absolute like, freak, like he's a walking lung. Like physiologically he's not, he's not human, But like he basically broke, broke the record, I think. So the 14, there's 14 above 8000 m peaks in the world, the last, the guy who did it did in seven years and he smashed them all in seven months and reading this book, man, like he didn't just smash them. Like he was rescuing people on the way down every time they were doing above and beyond all the time. Man. Like his team must have been so lifted him by the end. Like, can we just, just walking around it now, Like, we don't need to run around rescuing people. But he, his main thing is obviously an awesome mindset, has always been against the odds a little bit with, oh yeah, you know, no girl has ever got into the sbs, he did, no, no one's ever done this, he did it, you know, with regards to breaking records on the mountains, but for him it's about perspective or he'll he'll always think of someone sort of worse off, you know?

Well, no, because my mom's sick and you know I'm not gonna let her down, you know whatever you needed to cling onto to give you that punch and two g you up like that was it. Um And it was simple as that he says all through the book and so you may you may be mistaken for thinking he's arrogant but he's not he's there's a there's a very fine line between being arrogant and self confident. Like listen I know what I can achieve that may seem arrogant to you but I've put in the miles I put in the hard yard you know I put in the hours I know what I'm capable of and that seems to forget that when you get a bit beaten up sometimes. Yeah. Yeah. That's great man. That's that's a it's a it's a documentary, right? Yes, it's a documentary on netflix and it's obviously very well made. But the book for me is just a little bit better. It's a bit more personal to him. I think that the netflix documentary is more geared towards trying to promote the Sherpa and yeah and their community which is right because they have been exploited and they're they're not they don't get the recognition they deserve and that's his mission there. But the book is a bit more personal for me and it's really good.

I'd recommend it mate. Yeah absolutely man I'm going to write that down. But yeah I really enjoyed the documentary mate, what I wanna do now is just kind of touch on what's unfolded for you since our last conversation just over a year ago. Um What's happening with you? Talk to me about um Head up what head up charity is, what the mission is for you guys uh and kind of what your role is for the audience. Yes. Sweet. So head up charity was started by a close friend of mine, paul minter um who suffered with his own ptsD the military system didn't work, he was discharged for it, suicidal and just just managed to get off his arts and sort of find out what worked for him. Very lucky guy. You know a lot of people are different situations who don't get that far and he needs help fine. But paul sort of what took his own way and basically by changing his life, living a healthy life, put him on the straight and narrow for a bit and he navigated his way through his own obstacles there and he's very grateful for that.

But his mission now is to share this with everyone. Um So we've just become we've become a charity since since we spoke on the first episode um were a C. I. O. Which is quite hard to sort of get, I won't go into the ins and outs of it, but it basically means where what does that stand for? Community interest organization and it means that we are completely not for profits the way we're governed, there's a lot of, a lot of stigma attached to charities in a minute with regards to where do the profits go? You know, like you actually only need to donate 5% of the money you make or raise to the cause, the 95% can be pretty much to run this, run this or pay people's wages, So, And I get it, people are starting to wise up to it and I think they should. And there's a lot of charities that are like, you're like, well, you raised so many billion and yeah, you made this £120 million pound leisure center for the community, but where's the rest of it gone? You know, it's very gray area, so we sort of fought for that. Um, and I had to go through a lot more sort of hoops to jump and doors in order to get that, but now we're set and we can actually go to people and say, well this is, this is us as opposed to, so what do you want £100,000 for, like, um, that's all paul's doing whose pockets exactly, paul's hellbent on, we will do this properly, we'll do it once and properly.

So fair play to him. Um, and we are now in a two-year fundraising camp sort of stage, because the eventual aim is to build a holistic retreat where you'd come away for seven days initially and we're looking at maybe a 21 day model. Um, and you, similar to swiss actually based around eight pillars of health, we just take people in, put them a like minded people in a relaxed environment. The main thing paul found was when he goes into, when he was going into treatment, you're in a military camp in uniform. All the triggers are there, all the, the environment that he doesn't like, and it's feeling shitting. That's what he goes into. Um, you know, it's like having burns and going into a burning house to go and see the doctor. It's not going to happen, is it? Um, so yeah, that's the aim where we're at right now, is paul, each trustee, there's four of us is doing a sort of big fundraiser over the next two years, Paul is on his Paul has decided to run 5000 miles around the UK coastline in 200 days, so he's averaging 28 miles a day and he's currently 49 or 50 days in Paul, I'm sorry if I'm a day or two off.

Um, and he's doing well. He's, he's in the coast of Scotland at the minute. He's had great support. He runs around with a flag on his back. So he's got the head up, sort of branding head up, but paul paul's whole thing was, he didn't want to be supported. He wants to take be taken in by the local people, which he has, he's had great support and he's been received very well. He likes to sit down and talk to people on an evening um if they've had issues sort of talking through them and and just share positive thinking, share his energy because the guy is buzzing, like, you know, absolutely just pushes it out on everyone. You can't not be happy around him and he just wants to meet people, spread the word and you know, just from that alone mate, we've had so much interest and not saying just money, he's raised, he's raised money is doing really well, but people that just want to help, you know, a lawyer, someone here who's got a link here, he's going to, you know, he's had young kids at school, sort of has given talks at schools on his way around.

He's absolutely killing it and he's making those connections, connections and networking connections and spreading the positive energy. He's a massive, massive, massive advocate for that paul is just, you know, if you're negative, that's what's going to follow you and he doesn't let it consume him and he just absolutely loving it to be honest, it actually makes me feel sick how easy he seems to be finding it, I would be in tatters, you know? He gives a video every morning, He doesn't look tired, he looks fresh, you know, and I'm their morning coffee watching it with like one I still shut, he's absolutely killing it. He's a force of nature. But it makes it very very very proud. I don't know how he's doing it. Yeah. Yeah dude like we're talking about this a little bit offline before. You know you said he's kind of like in war mode where like he and what we mean by that is like he has a fucking purpose every single day that he gets up every night that he goes to bed. He knows exactly what he's doing the next day. He's on a mission man. And when you have a fucking mission and you're single minded about that, like you're not you're not bothered about the distractions, right?

Like you're just focused on what you need to achieve man. And when you have that purpose it gives you so much meaning to everything that you're doing. He doesn't have distractions. This is like you said, this is him. It's very similar to being on operations. As we said, being operations was physically tough. Yes. You had the hardest conditions sometimes. You know, you were tired, people got hurt and it's to a civilian. It's gonna sound weird. It was the easiest time of my life. I didn't have to worry about anything. I worried about my next time in my next meal, my next sleep and potentially you know when when when my weapon was clean but it was clean anyway. Like once you've done that you had done mate, you had nothing else to think about. You just had to look after the brothers. So true man, that is so fucking true man. And again this is something that's come up and this is why you know a lot of guys do live in the past and that you know most of these guys that do live in the past like they are the ones that have these issues but a common theme that comes up is like would you go back again?

Yes. Why? Because that was a very simple time in my life Because as you said, you don't need to worry about anything else that's going on outside man. Like we had our area of operations and it was about roughly 10 km right? We covered that fucking area and there was a base that was you know, one base was 10 km away, one base was six km away. We had no idea what the funk those guys were doing, right? We had no idea what was happening back home in Australia. We had no idea what was going on in the main city or around the world or whatever. The only thing that mattered is as you said like am I drinking enough water? Can I get it? When can I get my head down, get some sleep is my fucking weapon clean. You know and making sure that you had all your stores available for the next mission? The next task. That's it, that's all you focused on bro. And then making sure that the guys either side of you were squared away as well done similarly to when you do your digital detox. I talked, I talked about this a lot to actually to people, it's something I struggled to do in London, you know, with respect.

It's a little bit easier in Thailand. But what we've just said that situation is how, how it was many moons ago. And at the beginning of civilization, you've got your family, you need your next sleep, you need shelter, you need food and all of these these news outlets and social media and your phone all the time. It's just constantly polluting your head with stuff you don't need to be thinking about or to stress you out about. You know, that email from the bank, another tax reminder. You know, all these things just clog clog clog Sometimes you just need to go and we used to call it in the british military like just go feral. Like you know, when times are hard, just go feral man, Just get your head down, just chin everything off next sleep, next food, next meal and shelter. And the only time it's going to add up is is, you know, David has got the ships. So you need to look after another one at the pack. You know, and you may need to carry him a little bit more. But that's something you want to do anyway because it's helped makes you feel better and you know you're doing good.

The digital detox thing you do is something something we will definitely be implementing with head up as when as when the retreat gets going because yeah it's it's brilliant. I'll come on holiday recently and yeah I have my phone and stuff but just reading a book you're minimizing, minimizing loved it, loved it. Yeah. Yeah man I think that's so important for people to do is like just have that time where they do spend time with their own thoughts and you know where we live in this world where we're constantly distracted bro. Like you know you go to any restaurant and there's you know a couple out for dinner and one person gets up and goes to the bathroom and as soon as they're gone like the other person straight on their phone man, like if you just have a look next time you're around a group of people and how many people are fucking just like shoulders rolled forward, chin jutting out, head jutting out like just staring at their phone with poor posture man just scrolling scrolling scrolling. It's like man it's it's fucking crazy, it blows my mind how addictive this technology has become and again this goes back to you know we talked about this before when I was in Afghanistan like I was in Iraq in 2000 and seven East timor 2000 and 8 2000 and nine Afghanistan 10 4011.

So you know things like like I don't even think instagram was around then but you know facebook had just come onto the scene whilst I was in Iraq man and before that it was my space you know I got out of the army 2013 I'm fucking traveling the world bro with a lonely planet you know picking up maps along the way and not relying on google maps and all this type of ship. So technology has become technology is great no doubting it like this is why the world's population has exploded because of the scientific and technological medicinal advancements right? But you know it's also it's also causing issues man. Yeah it is, it is big time. I mean look it's it's facilitating you and I talking now on the other side of the world. Um you know you and I get on very well when we're together but the same with a million other people we talked to but you know we can have conversations now. I haven't seen you for two years. Our friendship has grown hugely. You know add to a point where the organizations were involved in is going to be entwined for the rest of our lives.

This is brilliant. But something that that sort of pertinent point that got brought up when I was discussing this the other day is like you've got to earn or you've got to fight for your stimulus is like run to the top of the hill in the morning to make the sun the sunrise. Yeah, feel them endorphins then unfortunately you don't do you, you follow a lovely page of someone who is traveling the world and you watch that and you go, oh, double tap and you move on and you get a sort of semi semi stimulus, but it's not the same. It doesn't set you up for the day because you just know you can get it so easy. Um, Yeah, yeah, you make a great point again. Like that's, that's, that's, that's part of meaning is, you know, you need to go through some work or a little bit of suffering or adversity to, you know, when you go through that. Like you said, when you, here's the thing man, like I'll give you a perfect example, 2016 um, when traveling around south America did like a five day trip I think to Machu Picchu did what's called the Sultan to track.

Right? So I went up to, I think 4800 m got fucking altitude sickness, which has happened to me a couple of times. Pretty nasty. But anyway, five day five day walk into Machu Pichu and in the morning that we went to Machu pichu, we're up at like four o'clock in the morning. We're down like at the bottom of the stairs waiting for it to open, I think it opened at like 4 30 or five o'clock or whatever And dude like we fucking day five of you know walking through the jungles of Peru and we're walking up these fucking like heaps of steps bro, hundreds and hundreds, maybe even thousands of steps and by the time we get to the top and we're getting our tickets to get in you know all of these fucking busses of chinese tourists have just driven up the road bro and got to the top, here's the thing when we got inside there we stayed there for fucking hours man, we probably spent about five or six hours in there bro just taking it all in like we'd walk around, get to a new location, take some photos, sit down and just observe, just watch, just take it all in Dude, within two hours of all of those busses arriving, they were all gone because they hadn't put the effort in over five days or even that morning to get to that location right, they got up there, they got their photos and they sucked off like that didn't mean anywhere near as much to them as it meant to those people that had put the time, the energy and the effort in to get to that point.

Yeah and I think if from an outside perspective now looking in if you if you translate that to a lesson in life like what made that important for you was the journey and a lot of people, a lot of people do not appreciate like enjoy the journey. You know if it's easy the whole way through and you look back at yourself, what do you know about yourself? You know that you know you've done all right, like okay you're happy but define happiness, what was my goal? You look back? You're like, you know, I've been a rock bottom, I've done this, I was very left, I was very right, I've fucked up here done that. But what have I learned from them and look where I am now? I want that route every single time and it's a good job because we've both sucked up a lot in the past, but like you know these people and we will continue to do so. Yeah and it's not the, not the first time won't be the last, my housemate is a is a is a bodyguard for some very very very very rich people. One of them has not had to do anything in his life.

Um You know, came from money. Dad gave him everything. He's had a great education, hasn't had to work and he's now quite a high up status and does a lot of like talks of conservation and stuff like that and um it's a previous client. Not that you know, probably not going to listen to this, but you know Oliver housemates said he is the most unhappiest man in the world, like he has everything he wants, he does not know what to do, he hasn't had the journey, he's he walked, you know, he can he can go out, he drives his car, then he's sort of like, there's no point reading the book, he can't relate to anything anyway, because no one's been through the challenge and you know, you find yourself in this um in a situation where you're sort of meant to be high up and you're looking down at, like, the people working for you and you're probably jealous of them, they're they're they're fighting for something, they're in the fight there in the arena there, they worked to get there, they're they're going home and it's, you know, it's horrible, and when you put, when you put it like that, we were like, God, I feel so sorry for him, the poor guy, he's never wanted for anything in his life, he's never had to fight for anything, it's terrible, there's no achievement in that, bro, it's like that, and that's again, that's where you know when no matter where you are in your life man, like, I'm not super fucking successful by any means right compared to other people, but in my mind, I'm fucking successful bro, from my upbringing to where I am right now, like everything has been a fucking a journey of growth and development and like, in my mind, I'm fucking successful, like, I could, you know, this sounds, this sounds horrible to say man, but I've literally thought this numerous times and I'm like, if I die in the next yeah, I'm happy with what I've achieved in my life, Like I am fucking content man and you know, some people probably be like, well that's a really fucking morbid thought, but you know when you've written your will three times, by the time you're 25 like, you have to think about death, because if you don't think, if you're not thinking about, you know, death being a constant, a certainty in your life, you know, then what the are you doing man?

Like you've got no context, you've got no reference point to be like, right, I'm, you know, whatever I'm 36 years old now, right? If I live til I'm 90 years old, like I've already passed a third of my life, right? Like how, what else can I fit into the rest of my days? How can I build my life so that I can bring fulfillment and contentment, do things that I enjoy doing on a daily basis, a weekly basis, How can I build a life that I don't need a fucking holiday from? Don't get me wrong, taking a holiday going somewhere and like switching off and having that time, like that's super important man, but I also understand that, you know, I need to be doing things that do bring me contentment and fulfillment and achievement on a daily basis Yeah, that perspective, there is, people will take their whole lives trying to trying to get to the point where you what you have just said and how you view things. Um and for me, like like you said, if I get to 90 I've lived I've lived on 31 3rd of my life and I don't want to get to 90 if I can't watch my own asks, I'll just drive off a cliff, I'm not asked because I am used to going out doing stuff, you know this and this is the life I want to live it personally when you start like clipping your wings and you sort of you don't want to be like that.

I don't get why people Yeah, I sort of got to go for longevity like regards to Yeah, we'll just keep it quiet. You know, a lot of some people in my opinion as well, they're sort of like, yeah, but you know, I want to save my money or or do this so that when I'm older I can do that, I don't want to wait until I'm older, do it now, like you're gonna be very different at at 45 at 50, at 60, you're not going to be running around on quad bikes and doing whatever else. And Some of the best advice I had as a young lad was a very good teacher that I had at school was a bit of a role model and you know, you sort of raised us rather than taught us was like always act your age. Like you're 21 like don't, don't get me wrong, don't be defined by age, but like don't try and act too old too soon. Like you're 21, go out, be a sucking idiot. This is where you get in fights, you get drunk, you get arrested. Um, you know, at your age, Yeah, okay. And then when you're a bit older, yeah, you need to take a different approach. But that will happen normally with most people anyway, if you live a sort of stable life, you sort of grow into these things and have a different perspective and you're like, that doesn't really appeal to me anymore because I've actually been in the gutter, like being kicked and throwing up and you know, um, for example, but yeah, you need to look like you said live a life where you don't need a holiday, I think that's brilliant.

That's really good. Yeah, mm hmm. Um let's go back to the head up thing. Like obviously paul is running around the UK at the moment. You've got a challenge coming up, can you speak about that? You tried to drag me into this? Yeah. Which I was super off the hook yet. We'll do something, do something. Yes. So basically we've got, we've got paul, you've got myself and you've got Adam and George, another two trustees, we all serve together rule in the, in the forces. Adam and George now work together. So paul paul was doing his thing, we're like brilliant. You know, we're here to support him and then all of a sudden about Georgia like, oh, we're rowing the atlantic, just throw that one in there. So now I've looked like the guy, you know, I'm the stores guy now while everyone else is off doing cool things. So I was like, I've got to pull something out of the bag. Um that's feasible as well. That's quite cool but feasible. Um Initially I wanted to do something in the arctic, which I spoke to you about, which I appreciate that in the time zone.

You probably, I think this is like you woke up to this message like, hey bro, just planned this arctic expedition, I assume you're in like, so yeah, my apologies there. I haven't, I did a little bit of research and I was like, this is going to be, especially you need a lot of money. You're living in Thailand and you're going to go from like monkeys to polar bears pretty quick. So we lived, we lived into that and obviously the aim is to raise funds that's going to cost like between 250 to 500 grand pounds. So you know, you need to raise that amount of money before you've raised any money. And to be honest, if my just, just to do it to then yeah. Whereas if my, if my, if my fundraiser around anywhere near the low end of that, I'll be absolutely ecstatic. So on this thing called Summit to City, We're going to climb Mont Blanc, which is in the French Alps, I think it's just above 5000, maybe 5300 m. Get to the bottom of that and then cycle to the coast of France, which is 850 km, Then I'm going to Kayak, the channel, which is 21 nautical miles and then run, I think it's about 70 miles to London, depends on the route.

I'm still planning the route about 70 miles to London. So yes, summit to city um, paul will have finished his challenge by then. He's well on board with helping me out being support um and that's what I'm trying, that's what I'm training for now. Um I've got, when's that likely going to kick off? Sorry. Yeah, my apologies. So summer next year, 2023 anytime between May and august but what it will all hinder on is when I can get up mont blanc. Um so the mountain air inside of things, getting that, I'll be guided like, you know, I'm not, I'm not doing this solo, I'm not experienced enough in that world, I'll be guided, I'll, you know, I'll do that and then after that it's under my own steam. Their cycling, cycling, kayaking and running um I think josh josh is going to do it with me. I think he's a good idea now. We'll be like a married couple bickering about two hours into it up the hill, that's my that's my challenge.

And the main thing for me is I need to get it in before the boys do the atlantic, there's no way I could I could handle paul doing his being, being on national media and and stuff like that. And then the boys doing, there's and then I've got that to go so I can do mine, I've got my little, my little T shirt and then and then we can go and meet the boys in Antigua and have a big party, no pressure. So that's that's the plan mate. Nice, nice. So everything that you guys are doing, what's the what's the, what's it for? What's the vision for Head Up? What's the end state? Yeah, so mad. We've been, I've been I've been emailing and talking to everyone, I can't on social media and the headline or the bottom line for head Up is preventing veteran suicide. We have lost 10 close friends people we know people we served with in the last six months, two suicide. It's getting worse as you know, it's no, it's you've experienced the same with with people you serve with and and you know, and as we get involved in this charity world and Head up, gets out.

We haven't mellowed more people getting in touch with us. Yeah, my brother committed suicide. You know, this, this this and what's weird, you know, you put it when you hear these stories, you put it to a unit and you're like, yeah, man, I was with that unit here in Afghanistan, you know, and it's just it's it's just because another lesson, because it's not in the media doesn't mean it's not happening, But this is huge in the UK. It's massive. So many families affected life changing, isn't it? Life changing, losing someone to suicide within your immediate family. So prevention, prevention, suicide. How are we going to do that? We're going to do it by building a retreat. Um and this retreat, essentially, the vision for it is, you know, no, you're not not trying to be the heroes, but like someone's having a hard time, they're on the ropes and, you know, someone of their friends or someone going, I've heard of a place and and and it's and it's non military and there's there's four guys there that run it that have your back and that's all you need, and then you come in and, you know, yeah, we're gonna have this set course, but whatever you fucking need, like this is a place you can come too if you're on the road, do not commit suicide.

Like even if you're homeless, you got no family, there are four blokes that have your fucking back and we will teach you that actually, there's an army of people that have your back, people do care about you and that is not an option. Like suicide is not an option. There are people here that care and we're going to teach you as long as it takes, you know, better ways of living, you know, it's not just about the course and the positive mindset stuff and the sort of pillars of health, it's it's contacts, it's I know someone and this will just build and build, you know, veterans, you know, you do anything, even if it's not sensible to you, I'll do anything to help a veteran if you're in a situation financially for example, and I couldn't afford it myself, I'd find a way of doing it. So that because it just, that's what you do for your boys and you'd be exactly the same for me. That's what, that's what it's about. But bottom line prevent infection suicide, the UK isn't as big as Australia, right? Like this, this retreat when we build it is going to be in a sense century located in the UK so you can get there, we will get you a train ticket if need be.

But like just get to us and you know, it's this sort of like a beacon of light, but there's somewhere you can go when you really get the ropes. You think there's nowhere else. That's that's the vision, that's the aim, yep. Um I've got a conversation booked in with the Swiss eight boys in the next couple of weeks, but you guys are gonna be tying in with Swiss Aid as well. Um you know, guys will essentially come into, you know, if if if guys are having issues, you know, they basically get sent a link for the Swiss Aid app, they go through the eight pillars of health and wellness, they schedule in, they structure, you know, the most important things that's going to make a difference in their life, that's going to get them moving in the right direction, you know, have a positive impact on their mindset and then, you know, set them up to be able to then come into you guys go to the retreat, learn from you guys. These different, again, these are the principles right? Like if you're, you know, in a highly sympathetic state all the time, you're in this constant fight or flight, we need to give you some tools to drive the parasympathetic nervous system, we can get you to relax, calm the mind down a little bit right, here's your tools for one person, this might be yoga for another person, that might be a float tank for another person, that might be a fucking, you know, um was horse therapy or animal therapy or whatever, it might be like, there's different methods that we can utilize to achieve the desired outcome.

Guys will come and spend that time with you, you'll teach them these lessons, you'll give them these principles, you'll give them the different methods and then they go off and then they start implementing that and they start finding those things that work best for them and hopefully then they can start impacting their friends, they can start telling their friends about the things that are working for them and um you know give them some ideas and you know, build a little bit of a community of people that are going to be like minded and supportive towards each other that are going to share these tips and these principles and different methods that are going to achieve those outcomes. But then you also have access to the Swiss Aid app again to then go all right now I understand these principles on a much deeper level now these different methods, they make a lot more sense to me which one am I going to choose to achieve this outcome. Yeah, definitely. We we highly rate the swiss a app. It's already on our website as like there is a partner and actually for reference but we encourage people to download it and get involved, it's going to be part of our after care, so to speak of just like you know if they need that but I had a conversation with the Swift Hate lads not so long ago and and we said like you know Mix Mix and and they're they're they're funny guys but we were like It takes 10, 20, a lifetime of studying for a doctor or psychiatrist to to actually be able to get inside our heads and help and even then it may not happen, like we're not gonna be able to do that.

What we are going to be able to do is spread a positive ideology, like sort of similar to why ISIS has spread so much because it's an ideology as opposed to like a technique. It's it's you're just spreading an ideology. This is why it's so hard to fight and that's what we're trying to do with with with mental health is yeah, you know, I don't need to go into why you're upset and and stuff. I'm not going to try and dive into that. But these are better ways of living. These are better ways of thinking and like you said, you've gone wrong because you're here, this is how we get you back to here. Like these are the different techniques, these are the tools and this is what soldier wants as well. You don't you don't want to be, I don't know if you've ever sat down and if the therapy or anything like that, I don't want to be told what to do. I want to be left to do it on my own. You know, if we don't want our hands held, as you said at the very beginning here, we need, you know, give give give a guy the tools and let them let them crack on and I think that's where against we're saying it's gonna work. Um because guys don't actually have to pick up the phone and talk to anyone.

You just gotta download an app man. And even if you just flip through on the sofa and you think a ship has some good things here or think these resonate with me or I'm going to give this a crack and before you know it you're helping people you don't even know. It's a brilliant, brilliant context and it's it's using technology as we said to a positive, like, I don't need to know you, I don't need to speak to you mate, like you don't need to tell me your problems, just download the app and we're here for you. Yeah, yeah. And then pick and choose what's going to resonate best with you. Like, like some of the mindfulness stuff might not work for people right now because they're not in the right headspace. Some of the minimalism stuff might not work or whatever it might be. So, you know, some people might gravitate towards the fitness, they go to the fitness side of things and they go, hey, what's the what's the movement that I can do that's going to, you know, help me clear my mind and help put me in a better position, a better mindset, um a better frame of mind so that I can, you know, positively influence the rest of my day. You know, it might you might start with that and you might just follow a training program for two months and then you're like, all right, this is really good.

Like, I'm feeling a little bit better. What's the next thing I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna touch on nutrition alright? What some different um nutritional techniques that I can use or different ways of eating that's going to um you know, leave me feeling better, leave me more energized, give me more energy, um increase my productivity, you know, improve my ability to get to sleep, improve my ability to train and to recover and adapt and all right, what's the next thing? I feel like I've got some benefits from this, hey, maybe this mindfulness stuff. There's something to that. If I can do five minutes per day and set myself and create some intentions and put myself on the front foot first thing in the morning. Now I'm fucking setting an intention for the day. Now I've got a meaning. Now I just put some action steps in to achieve those things throughout the day. Sweet, that's had an impact. All right, What's the next thing? And then you just keep building, you build the foundation and then you layer principle upon principle upon principle. Yeah. And I think the key thing in what you said there as well is small changes when I was bad. I used to think big changes and all that does is as we keep bringing back to this pendulum that you brought in.

It really resonates with me, that just throws it off the other way. The other way you want? Small time, it's like a car, you sort of swerve one way you throw in this huge change, you swerved the other way, what you need is just bring it under control and find the group. But like you said, small changes each day, because then when you don't make a big change, you beat yourself up, don't you? Because you haven't made it, tiny small changes, then you're stimulating yourself through growth as you said progress and you were better than you were yesterday. Simple, it's going to start that, and then in turn, you know, starts releasing the good, the good chemicals in the brain rather than the bad ones and slowly, slowly, you better than you were yesterday. Um I think that's the key, I think that's the key, yep, just stuck in those winds, bro, stuck in those winds, man, like, you know, I've used this with some of my clients before when I've, I've looked at their, you know, they reach out to me to for online coaching and I'll have a look at their training or have a look at their diet or have a look at their hydration, their sleep quality and sleep duration, you know, ask a heap of questions and, you know, sometimes the first thing I'm looking at is like, alright, what's one fucking really simple thing we can do on a daily basis, that's going to move the needle in the right direction, you know?

Yes, you um you really fucking stressed out at work. You don't have much time to train. Um You know, you're eating on the fly all the time or you don't have time to make your own meals blah blah blah. Like all right, I'm identifying something in their lifestyle which might be how you're drinking one liter of water or less than a liter of water a day. I need you to get up to 2.5 liters of water a day. Okay, So for the next week, all I want you to do is drink a liter and a half, and then the next week you can drink two liters and then the next week you can drink 2.5 liters. All right, you've got that, you've won that you've ticked that box, You've gotta fucking tick on your calendar every single day for 21 days. Boom. Alright, now we add the next thing, right? And just by simply doing that one thing, that's a cornerstone habit that then flows onto everything else. Like I just recently signed up one of my good mates wives as an online client and you know, we had a had an initial conversation and I said the same thing, I was like, you know what's a cornerstone habit that you can identify that's going to have a positive flow on effect to everything else that you do.

And I said for me, you know, doing my schedule on a sunday, sitting down, writing out my schedule, creating an intention for the week, right on this day, this is my main focus on this day, this is my main focus, these are things I need to get done, I structure that in and that allows me to create a plan, but then I'm flexible with that plan, but that then has a flow on effect, right? I get up in the morning and I go through my, my meditation, I have my coffee, I sit on the balcony and watch the sunrise and then I have a little bit of a stretch, then I do da da da da da da, you know, so that one thing then has this positive flow on effect and something that she said was, if my house is clean on a sunday, I'm starting the week on the right foot and I was like, cool, that's the one fucking cornerstone habit that you need to do and you need to have a talk to your partner and communicate that in a manner. That's like, hey, this is really important to me. If I do this thing, then I'm going to be in a good mood, I'm going to uh you know, my house is going to be clutter free, which is a reflection of your mind, My mind is going to be clutter free.

Then I'm in a position to then, you know, drink 2.5 liters of water. But your mate is raising with you, he's now like scrubbing every sunday like fucking introduced totally. And like you said, it's stacking the winds for me with the swiss a app. The thing that resonated most to me was something so simple. We just had morning routine and you're like, you know, I've ordered in depth programs, sorry to say Adrian, all the in depth programs for me, it's like the morning routine and when they first started, I don't know if it's still on there now, but it was like a liter of water before you have your coffee, put some lemon in it if you want this bosch bosch bosch and when I'm mega crazy with work, the day is going fucking, you know, going away you all over the place maybe I can't eat. I know I'm not going to eat, you know, sort of as well as I'd like, but I've identified that is get up a little bit earlier, have your water, have your coffee, go and make the bed, take your, your supplements, have a decent breakfast and then it's like, okay, you know, I'm going to go into it now and things might get hectic, but I'm good to go, what I haven't done is woken up five minutes before running around and you just crashed the bang and you're just rolling through it.

like you said, stack the winds and, and build build, build the small, the small victories and go into it, you know, and identify it for me, that's, that's the biggest one. Um yeah, I'm gonna go into it now, but I started off the day fine. Um you know, as simple as making your bed. Yeah, Exactly man, exactly. Once you start stacking those winds, then you look for other things that there's other 1%ers that you can start doing as well and you know, once you can start aligning those things, then it fucking gets you moving in the right, it creates momentum, man creates momentum and it's much easier to maintain momentum than it is to build it. You know, the hard part is to build momentum and this is where a lot of people go wrong is they, you know, they try and make changes and as you said, they fucking try and do everything at once and instead of just choosing one or two things that they can achieve every fucking day, they try and do everything. They try and get, you know, five days of training in an hour of training every day. They need to be eating clean, they need to be going to bed at a certain time.

They need to be getting up at a certain time, they need to blah blah blah blah and it's like, you don't need to do all of those things, you know, work with what you've got right now. If the one thing for you right now is hey, I'm going to um fitness. Is that cornerstone habit getting some form of training in every fucking day? Is that cornerstone habit? I know if I do that one thing, it's probably gonna make me make better choices when it comes to food, it's probably going to leave me feeling more energized. It's probably going to give me a little bit more um creative juices when it comes to my work. It's probably going to leave me a little bit tighter at night. I'm probably going to sleep a little bit better, so on so forth. That's that one fucking thing. You don't go hey, I'm I'm not doing any training right now, I'm going to go and train five hours per week. You go, hey, I'm not doing any training right now. How much can I dedicate? What if I do an hour this week? How you break that up? Whether that's, you know, 4 15 minute sessions over the course of the week, right, that's fucking achievable and once you can do that for two weeks.

Alright, cool, now I'm going to do an hour and a half now, maybe I go ah maybe I'm going to do three days a week, but I'm gonna do 30 minutes, right? And then I go to two hours a week After that. Once I've built into that, might take four weeks, it might take six weeks and I'm going to do two hours a week. All right. Maybe I'm doing 430 minute sessions, whatever it might be, man. Like that's how you fucking stack those winds. And once you start doing that, once you start creating momentum again, that cornerstone habit is going to have a flow on effect to everything else which is going to leave you more energized, it's going to leave you feeling like you're creating these achievements, you're fucking winning, right? And then you go, right, I'm going to challenge that a little bit more. I'm going to challenge that a little bit more, I'm going to challenge that a little bit more. Yeah, for sure. Small steps, small winds um and constantly reassess him. I go into it sometimes and I'm like yeah I'm going to do this now. I have this goal where I'm gonna say Hit two or 3 Crossfit sessions a week and you know, you do that and then sort of three weeks into it. I'm like so I'm not stimulated anymore or something else has cropped up and I'm like, hang on, you need to reassess that this has gone wrong.

So you need to redo this, this this is what life is. You're not gonna have the same routine all the time. You're gonna have to make small changes. Life's gonna throw different challenges, you know the seasons in the U. K. Through different challenges, it's not feasible. You're going to get up at four o'clock every morning and run because it's freaking raining and you know that's not really going to be achievable so okay I have a little reassessment. Yeah okay you're not it's not that you're not disciplined but you're going to do something else training wise or you've got to be realistic with the environment you're in. Again, another thing on instagram 100%. You see you see this guy um you know who's that, who's absolutely there's like this dude called liver king on instagram. He's got like like chest like the chest like Pamela Anderson, you're like run around with a tractor tire throw an ax and then just like by a bear's neck out and you're like sweet, I live in London and the bakers is down the road, it's not gonna happen mate. You know if I did that, I'd get arrested, I think I'm on acid. Um you know I mean that's an extreme example but like just reassess all the time and really Not 1000 mg of testosterone every yeah every week.

Yeah yeah for sure man like that that you need to be realistic right? Like as you said with getting up in the morning and going for a run, You know 4:00 AM you're getting up like you've set that fucking goal right? But then if you wake up and it's cold outside and you know you make that decision to not get up, I'm gonna feel a little bit tired, I'm going to stay in bed right? Like once you make that decision, it makes it easier to then make that decision again the next day and the next day and the next day, you know, so understanding that yeah, there's gonna be times where, you know, like I get out of bed most morning, six o'clock in the morning, but then there's some mornings where like I fucking wake up and I'm like, oh man, I'm still feel a little bit tired, I feel like I need a little bit more sleep, so I'll get up and I'll readjust my alarm and I'll go back to sleep for another 45 minutes. That means that I'm sacrificing, going through my morning routine where I'm watching the sunrise and I'm having my coffee and I'm going through my meditation. I have a bit of a read and a stretch, you know, I know that I'm going to sacrifice some of that stuff, but right there in that moment, that sleep is more important to me.

So then when I do get up right now, I've only got 15 minutes left to go through my morning routine. So all I do is go right, make my coffee, make my bed do my five minutes of meditation. That's the most important things that I'm going to take from that right? The sleep became the number one thing, So I got that in cool, number two thing, like make my coffee, do my meditation, make my bed alright. Sweet win win win. Yeah. That you asked me on the last episode, what what was the most important pillar and mine is sleep. Um I like to do things, I like to achieve the things that I do okay. If I don't, I don't, like I said, it's not always perfect, but if I don't have it, I haven't had enough sleep, I'm not going to enjoy the run and it's going to go like this. Well, I sort of failed at the run, I'm reading it, it's not going in. So I sort of failed at that and then I'm like down what lost, lost, lost, lost. Then you go into the day like that, right, okay, I need some sleep. I'm feeling tired. What I, what I really appreciate as well is that all you use with the heart rate monitor? Is that the elite elite HR V. So you've got the scale, you know, and that is interesting, man, because sometimes I'll wake up and I'm and I'm feeling like I'm up and I'm about, you know, because mentally I'm up and then you put that on and you're like, I'm feeling tired and, you know, it will sort of advise that you just rest and you're like, okay, cool, that is a brilliant tool for, for the person that's like, you know, we're not all David Goggins, we're not going to have two hours sleep and run 40 miles, you know?

And I get that mindset is brilliant for some people, realistically not everyone that's not gonna work for everyone. And the talk, some tools like that, that you use with the elite HIV at brilliant. Like, yeah, I am feeling a little bit sick actually and I, you know, because of other factors and I'm not gonna train today, I'm actually gonna have a bit of a chill and it's a bit of a self self care day, you know? Yeah, absolutely, man. Um, I, I got, got the rona, when was it? Two weeks ago, Wednesday? Like the start of april basically, um started feeling like I trained hard on monday Tuesday. I changed my training programs, got a number of rugby tournaments and games coming up over the next kind of six weeks or so. So I changed my training and you know, doing less mixed martial arts, boxing jiu jitsu so that I can focus on a little bit more rugby specific training. So I changed my training program um, at the start of the month and you know, had to hard training sessions in a row, monday Tuesday plus was like working hard.

Dude, I woke up on Wednesday, took my heart rate variability. I woke up on the Wednesday and it was like A two in the sympathetic side, like in the red and I was like, and my heart rate variability had come down like eight points and my waking heart rate was up like 25 points. And I was like fuck. So I checked the numbers, I checked the data and I was like, oh there must be something wrong here. Maybe you know it was moving during the um during the reading or whatever, it's throwing the numbers out and like it said that the numbers was fine and I was like okay well I've just obviously trained really hard new training program, busy with work, just come off my digital detox weekend etcetera etcetera. I was like all right, well I won't train today and I'll make sure that you know, I get a little bit more rest and you know, I eat a little bit cleaner. I make sure I'm getting lots of vegetables and fruits and vegetables so I can, you know, bump up my micro nutrients, vitamins, minerals etcetera. You know, I'm probably going to get a little bit more sleep tonight. I will turn my phone off a little bit earlier, go to bed, you know, 30 40 minutes early or whatever blah blah blah. So I already made this decision in my mind Fast forward through the rest of the day, worked a number of hours and then I was driving down to rewire like probably 20 minutes away from where I live and I could feel my throat getting a little bit, not scratchy but kind of like a little bit warm.

Um And I was like, you know, I feel like I'm getting a little bit run down or something and then I got to the gym and I started chatting to one of my clients and I was like hey man how's your HIV this morning goes oh yeah heart rate variability is a little bit off this morning blah blah blah. I was like alright cool, we're gonna have to adjust your training. And then I started talking about my HIV and I was like yeah really weird. I woke up this morning my HIV was in the tank and then I was like boom bro, it clicked and I was like fuck maybe I'm getting covid and dude that data told and like and straightaway after that session my client had already had it and he's like dude I don't care whatever like let's do this session. So afterwards I left went home tested straight away negative message my coaches the next that night and I was like hey someone might need to cover for me, I'm feeling a little bit run down blah blah blah, woke up the next day, tested negative, went to work, I work for a couple of hours and then just hit the wall bro and I was like I had to cancel like five of my sessions. Came home tested positive, boom alright and like the day before my daughter told me that I was getting run down, my sympathetic nervous system was fucking was jacked up and my body was trying to recover and that told me that data told me that before I even felt anything.

It's brilliant, wow, that's cool. That's interesting. I don't think I've learned this all from you and from trading that tiger and stuff like that but to see it working in that case so quickly before you even felt anything. That's impressive man. That's that's that's definitely we should maybe right in get some free stuff right to the yeah I should reach out to him and get him. Yeah man. But it's like it's it's tools like that dude that you know have such a big impact on how we're feeling right. Like if you wake up and you're feeling tired you're in a sympathetic state like and you know you've got a busy day at work and you're gonna be fucking stressed out and then you want to go to the gym and like hanging yourself after that. You're just adding stress on top of stress already man. Like your body is already, it's already dealing with stress right? Like you're now just adding stress on top of stress and you know that's just going to drive, it's going to it's going to compromise your immune system, make you more prone to catching something which is exactly what happened to me, Especially when you've got you can engage that then. Well I've got quite a big day anyway, maybe I'll skip out this run or this session and what I'll do is I'll do this here and I'll take the half an hour or 40 minutes I was going to take to sort of take on a bit of extra nutrients and have a decent breakfast and chill out for a bit or do some meditation like you said, constantly adapting.

No, no plan survives first contact. Yeah, 100% man made. This has been a great conversation. I've really enjoyed it as always, man, love getting on and talking ship with you and love our conversations via memes and videos. It's always good if people want to um, you know, support head up charity and what you guys are doing, if they want to donate, if they want to help out, if they want to connect, they want to network. What's the best way to get in contact with you guys and show their support instagram, twitter linkedin, head up charity or the website has had died and had head hyphen up dot org dot UK. But again, codes are sending them to put in the show notes and stuff like that. The website is up and running. It's it's really good. I mean, and you know, we asked really is listen, if you do want to donate, you know something like £55 enough, you know, £5 for think of think of someone, you know who's suicide or or has suicide has suicide has committed suicide is suffering from PTSD or it's just struggling or may need help, You know, £5 to give people that go to place when they're in the ship, no judgment, no sort of medical assessment needed, come in, you're welcome of open arms and you know, given the help you need that, that's our rain and we will get there.

Yeah, for sure man, I'm really honored to be a part of SwiSS and ambassador for them and also to link in with you guys and you know, I love what you guys are doing and love the vision that you have and I'm looking forward to seeing things unfold. And I'm really looking forward to seeing the final product man, and you know, giving that, having that place that we can then push people towards to help them get out of a little bit of a funk and get their lives back on track. Yeah, definitely. Big things to come from both organizations. And I'm personally very excited for what the future holds. Absolutely. I'll have all of those links in the show notes. So I always a pleasure mate, love your workmate much love to you, cheers brother, Thanks for having me on. It's great to catch up. This episode was brought to you by Swiss eight, which is a proactive mental health program designed by veterans initially for veterans, that has been pushed out to the wider community that allows you to structure in and schedule their eight pillars of health and wellness, including nutrition, sleep time management, discipline fitness, personal growth, mindfulness and minimalism. This episode was also brought to you by be spunky, which is a male hormone optimization supplement that I've been taking for about a year and a half and I absolutely rate it is a TJ listed nutraceutical, meaning that it's made from all organic produce to help you manage and optimize your stress levels, which in turn increases your ability to improve testosterone production levels naturally.

User code codes 10 at checkout for your 10% discount. All of those links will be in the show notes. If you've got some benefit from this episode, please make sure you pass it off to your friends and family. I'd appreciate any shares on social media platforms. If you tag me or if you share it to your stories, make sure you tag me so I can share that as well. Any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated, much loved guys. Peace

Providing mental health tools to prevent veteran suicide - with Simon Moloney CGC of Head-Up Charity
Providing mental health tools to prevent veteran suicide - with Simon Moloney CGC of Head-Up Charity
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