Do it or Die Trying with Richard Bowles
Are you struggling with something, either mentally or physically in your life? Our guest today shares his experience on how he embraced the hardships and found rewards in overcoming them.
For today’s chat, David is joined by Richard Bowles, a world-record-holding adventurer and the first person to have run the Australia’s Bicentennial National Trail, a total of 5,330 km over the course of five months that he followed up with New Zealand’s Te Araroa Trail run just three weeks later.
Growing up, interestingly, running wasn’t anywhere near his interests. For a period of time, he was interested in joining the Armed Forces, and even tried studying acting back in the UK, but eventually landed in a corporate sales career.
Eventually he left the corporate world to become a full-fledged long distance runner. As his day job today, he works with psychology experts around the world in exploring human motivation, and why do people do what they do, and by sharing his approach, he helps companies and teams all around the world commit to and tackle long term objectives.
The answer to the “Why?” sometimes in our lives is simply - “Just because.” David and Richard further discuss Kaihogyo: Japan’s 1,000-day Buddhist marathon, and the attitude to life that such a journey entails. “It has to be something so deep inside of you -something that you can’t explain, if you can’t explain it, you got something, and that’s when magical things happen.”
Next, Richard shares his experience running on Israel’s National Trail, a 1,009 km run of mainly desert, with missiles flying overhead and a severe foot infection that could have left him an amputee.
In today’s culture, especially the Western world, people seem to be too soft - which means that they always have a way out, no matter what difficulties or challenges they encounter, while third world cultures are backed into the corner with no choice.
“When things are life or death to you - you have a different person about you. You become a person oozing with inspiration, you become this person where people go: ‘Wow, I want to be around that person, I want to buy into that person.’ You have tremendous influence when you’re in that state.”
This is something that Richard is passionate about not only experiencing, but living, and his whole approach to life is about not giving himself a way out other than doing what he came to do.
He also shares his experience in indigenous communities, people who don’t have the material wealth like the rest of the world, and whose life is always a struggle, but yet, they’re always smiling.
Richard’s challenge for YOU over the coming week: “Tackle something that’s gonna be hard and a struggle, be it physical or just mental; but that it’s not in the direction that you’re currently moving in. So just move away from the current direction you’re in. Go explore something, but it has to be uncomfortable and a struggle. Just do it anyway and see where it leads.”