"Do What Makes You Happy”
Dr Anthony Seldon
This is the advice I received from my headmaster of Wellington College, Dr Anthony Seldon, almost 8 years ago when I was feeling lost, having just fully recovered from severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, along with recurrent urinary tract infections, chronic constipation, irritable bowl syndrome and an overactive bladder, using a powerful combination of neuro-linguistic programming, hypnosis and life coaching.
This may sound crazy, but I fully recovered in just 3 days by learning how to re-wire my brain from chronic fatigue and a dis-functioning immune system, gut and bladder, to energy, switching off the flight or fight response for feelings of calm and relaxation and a high performing immune system, bladder and gut.
The more I used these good and useful neuropathways, the stronger they became and the more natural it became for me to be this way.
Read on or listen to the full story below on The Wild Show Season 1 Episode 0
Think about sheep in a field. Yes, I’m talking about sheep!!
The herd of sheep always follow their Chief Sheep and each day, every day they all follow the same pathway in the field.
Over time, this path is worn down, the grass disappears leaving dirt and it becomes deeper and deeper in the field.
Then, one day, the Chief Sheep decides that the field next door has much more luscious, greener and delicious grass than the field they’re in now.
Yes.. you saw it coming…the grass is greener on the other side!
So the Chief Sheep decides to lead his herd to this new, beautiful green field for grazing and instantly, a new pathway is created.
Over time, this wonderful new pathway becomes worn and well travelled. And the old, not so useful pathway is reclaimed by nature until it’s so feint, you can no longer see it.
And this is exactly how our brains work!
The more we use a neuropathway, the more worn and easier to use it becomes.
[To find out more about the magic of our brain read this article: THE NUMBER 1 SECRET THAT HIGH PERFORMERS KNOW]
So having fully recovered, the world was my oyster, but I had no idea what I wanted to do! I wanted the answer to the purpose of life and I received: “Do What Makes You Happy”. I didn’t know what to do with it and for the next 3 years I ignored it. What the hell did it mean?!
Then 3 years later, I was sitting in my shower, the water falling on my back, crying.
I was studying in Vancouver, Canada working towards achieving my Geography degree for the second time, as I had to withdraw the first due to ill health, and I hated it.
I disliked being trapped. I disliked my hard work and time, that I invested into my essays and revision, to be represented by a subjective number. And what was I doing the degree for? So I could work in the City, have fun only at weekends and a couple of weeks holiday a year?
I realised that my passions were adventure, life mastery and helping people. They were and still are the things that I love the most – with Ironman and triathlon training added into the mix! These are the things that make me happy.
[Listen to my podcast episode or read my article on fulfilling a life long dream of mine: adventuring in the Arctic: ADELAIDE GOODEVE ON SVALBARD: AN ICY WILDERNESS ADVENTURE]
With the help of a life coach, I started to explore new pathways and researched all of the people who I admired and looked up to as role models, from Tim Ferris, Anthony Robbins and Rich Roll, to Sophie Radcliffe, Megan Hine and Dave Cornthwaite.
I asked myself a dangerously exciting question, if they could do it then why can’t I?
I finally knew what Dr Seldon meant by “Do What Makes You Happy”.
I was currently doing what made everyone else happy; my parents and my peers. I wanted to do the things that made me happy and I could!
Early one morning, I was Skyping my coach, I felt desperately unhappy and my body was responding by making me feel fatigued again. I didn’t want to go down that route…again. My coach asked me a simple question; What do you want to do? What would make you happy?
I was holding back the tears, feeling racked with guilt and failure as I said, I just don’t want to be here.
I never realised, but up until that point. That moment. I had never been in the driving seat of my life. I had followed the education system like a good girl, no questions asked and followed my parents desire for me, what they thought would be a successful life for me.
But I had never asked:
- What does success look like to me?
- Where do I want to go?
- Can university teach me the things that I want to learn?
Asking and answering these questions for myself was difficult. I felt almost criminal for even thinking these things!
But I knew. I knew I couldn’t go on this route any further. I had to take the steering wheel of my life and drive it by myself.
Withdrawing from university for the second time was terrifying and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder than any mountain I’ve climbed, adventure I’ve been on or Ironman I’ve raced!
The next day I got an email from Escape the City, a company I had never heard of before…to this day I’m not sure how they got my email. But they asked if I wanted to learn how to build a startup….err… hell yes!
To me this was a sign from the universe. So I went on their 3 month course in London and realised that I wanted to create my own personal brand and it took me a little longer to realise that I wanted to become a high performance coach.
My aim is to build a community of ambitious men and women, who want to inspired, motivated and get the tips, tricks, tools, practices, knowledge and tactics they need to become the best they can be and live their best life, a life they love.
When I was growing up, I was heavily influenced by the media. I believed I should be skinny, sexy and pretty, like pink and pretty dressed, and once I had these things I was winning. I never thought of being an adventurer or entrepreneur or becoming a badass at triathlete.
My mission with my podcast, The Wild Show, is to create a place where both women and men can be inspired and realise that the only limit of becoming who they want to be is their imagination.
My podcast goes deep and long form with some of the world’s high performers, those who are exceptionally good at what they do. Revealing to you their habits, routines, tools, tactics, favourite books, time management tips and tricks that you can apply to your own life, to help you achieve awesome results.
It takes time, failures and successes, experimenting and testing. Patience is definitely a virtue in life. And doing what makes you happy is a necessity. It’s all about the journey.
Listen to those little voices of positivity in your head and make them louder, don’t ignore them and drown them out, for they are there to guide you.
If it wasn’t for me sitting in the top balcony of the Royal Geographical Society’s auditorium, listening to the story about the unforgotten hero of Antarctic Exploration: Frank Wild, I would never have heard Wild’s quote and wouldn’t be where I am today…
[Listen to Angie Butler, Frank Wild’s autobiographer, on The Wild Show Season 1 Episode 9 to learn through stories just how extraordinary this man really was.]
This was one of my many ‘aha’ moments. As I thought, oh my god, that’s me! I was studying Geography at the University College of London, having returned from a year of travel and I felt like I was hiding amongst the flesh pots of London with the call of the wild ringing in my year.
I knew I had to get out and it’s taken me 4 years to figure out how.
The Wild Show was created from the inspiration of Frank Wild.
On Saturday 1st September Season 3 will be launched… and oh boy, are you in for a treat! The guests I have coming on will blow your mind – they certainly have mine!
In the meantime… jump into Season 1 and Season 2… there’s something for you, I just know it!