#614 – Tomorrow Man’s Tom Harkin On Reinventing Masculinity/
- February 20, 2020
Tom Harkin – Facilitator and founder of Tomorrow Architects and Tomorrow Man.
Tom is a facilitator and the founder of Tomorrow Architects, a consultancy focused on leadership, emotional agility and helping reinvent people development.
Tom also co-founded Tomorrow Man, which is a social enterprise aimed at starting the conversation among boys and men, to reinvent masculinity by disrupting stereotypes and training the emotional muscle.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show, we discuss:
– The ‘Man Up’ documentary
– Nature and nurture
– Employee support, training and supervision
– Direct communication
– Asking questions
– Balancing business and family
– Prioritising time
Tom Harkin: http://www.tomharkin.com.au/
Tomorrow Architects: https://www.tomorrowarchitects.com/
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Daily Talk Show is an Australian talk show and daily podcast by Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen. Tommy and Josh chat about life, creativity, business, and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and gronks! If you watch the show or listen to the podcast, you’re part of the Gronk Squad.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY. Find out more at https://bigmediacompany.com/
It's the daily Talk Show Episode 614 and we got tom harkin in the building welcome Tommy Boy.
Tommy as well.
Yeah, sometimes Mohawks Yeah, Tommy?
Yeah. Is it Tom on your birth certificate? Not Thomas without
Thomas Yeah. Thomas or tomorrow? Tomorrow, tomorrow. I love it. Because it's one of those. It's one of those things. People somehow some fun a time to call me Tom. I'm
just like somebody's name, but surely you're gonna grow out of Tommy. Yeah, I like it.
It's beautiful. It's friendly.
Does your tummy
anyway welcome I it's
You before we go, Dave with this almost didn't happen.
Yeah, this chocolate has dollar fund, ready to roll.
So if your phone goes off And you do run out of shot. It's because your wife is giving birth. Yeah, this is very excited the next generation of men. It is a boy. Yeah, it's exciting. Yeah. You've already got one child, which is similar age to Bodie. Actually, yeah, I think I remember the I think I saw you at a friend a mutual friend's birthday, and I think Paige might have been pregnant. Mm hmm. And I think I almost bought my 14 or something out of that that time when now I was right. And I do you have a big Christmas? Oh, no, no, not that.
It's not much you know.
That I do put my foot in my mouth a lot. Yeah. And so anyway, flexible like that.
So what was the foot that you
know, I just must I nearly said something.
What So you knew and other people I
know. I don't think you'd mentioned it. Okay, I saw you when I said something. No, but I
wrote, I knew what was going on. It's happened
so You've got an organisation called tomorrow, man.
How does it start?
On the there's a short story and a long story, start with the short one.
Go from the short one to the long one. If we just wanted to
jump we Yeah, we might be able to jump
shortly we'll be having some progress. It's like doing some industry credit. So whatever we can go into second year,
that the long story was more so just my passion for working with blogs, which was an unorthodox pathway. The short stories we did a documentary with Gus worland and I can't remember when I must have been about five years ago now feels like maybe four years no actually over it was like 10 weeks when it aired so almost four years ago gas went on a journey around Australia to work out what was going on for the Australian mile and and he got I was involved in that. ran a workshop for a group of young blokes and a group of CEOs and particularly the session with the young guys. You know, rowdy you know 16 year old blokes at our secondary houses Keith Yeah, exactly. Just coming in for shits and giggles and having a bit of fun, great banter. And then, you know, obviously the 20 minutes part of the episode shows the boys going from that to incredible honesty that they had never heard out of each other's mouths and a fair bit of emotion. And you know, after that, things just pull up. Yeah, so I think the night before the doc, the, I think now It wasn't a not for would have been about a week before. Jen, one of the producers was in town having breakfast to celebrate. And she said so what have you done with you, you got a website, you know, and I should be shut down like your social soon. I make them Private or anything? I don't know how to do that. And she said, You better work it out. Because in Waco two things are just going to get,
you know, crazy. And that was under the presumption that it would be a big hit, which it was a
great hit that DACA Yeah. And also under the presumption that you got something to hide on the fact that you have
Yeah, I don't think that was not that was one wild kind of nod and ally that I had taken like 50 shots of me that look like I was in a brawl. I wasn't actually but you
just look. Yeah, I was just leery
gas. works on Triple Aim up in Sydney.
Yes, yeah. He's just moved to a different show. The dead set windows or something. But he Yeah, he was on this kind of he was on his journey. He's made it die. So he's taking his life and he was trying to Yeah, so he's best mate took his life a mentor of his and the guy had a perfect life, as far as gas was concerned, had the cash had a beautiful Wife and Kids and charismatic guy like just everything like all ticked all the boxes and, and then one day, you know, walked upstairs, which he never did up to where the boys, you know rooms were in a little lounge room up there. And now we're playing video games and he went up and sat down with him for a moment said you guys are rotten. And then he left the house and never came back. And Gus, kind of in the zone was just like, I like Angry didn't get it. Why did he leave them? Like, this isn't the guy that he knew. And so then this this opportunity came up around this doctor and so he's like, yeah, I want to find out what's happening.
I think that Darko came out of the time where the conversation hadn't even sort of he's it's not peak, but heat. It's high around masculinity. Yeah, like it was perfect time. For anything crazy. What does that conversation look like today because you see, things go through sort of phases in culture where they've got more attention to them. Where's the conversation around men and masculinity at the moment?
Yeah, it's a great, great question. I think. And I'll give you my take on that. You're on the ground. I think everybody else will have different ideas. But for us, I mean, at that time, we were running a few workshops. We're now running 500 workshops a year and Australia, about 30,000 men from you know, year 10 and upwards. What we've seen in that time is our three major funders all began about that same time, all because they had lost somebody significant and they wanted to do something about it. And we've grown up with those funders and others that support us. But around the same time, like people coming out of woodwork all over the place like guys up on the on the East Coast, you know, Sunday Frosties with the boys come and have a cappuccino and have a walk and talk about what it means to be a dad. You know, if you've been through, you know, having a child you know, they make sure that the moms hooked in with all the local moms having babies At the same time, but there's no equivalent for the blokes. And so I think there's been this like over those, you know, the last four years, I feel like there's just been this like, amazing explosion of all of these everyday blokes going we need solutions for all the gaps, you know, in in the normalised way a bloke grows up in this country, I think whereas that now is, at the time of man up, when we were doing all the media on the back end, they were saying all, you know, what do you think about man up and I was saying, I think man, that's great because it was all about awareness. But where are the aspirational normalised training grounds for a year, every day I was he blocked actually learn the capabilities that are going to change the stats, not just become aware that there's a problem and there's a gap but actually, you know, not so much clinical, all that clinical help is really needed. You know, but, but where the, you know, you grew up in automail grew up in frankston. And the Cricket Club was my kind of church of man. You know what I mean? Like, that's where I learned it was the Cricket Club, you know, in some of the footy club in winter. And I wanted to be like the blokes that hung out of that place. But where's the equivalent of that, that actually teaches you how to have a conversation with another guy, particularly about the stuff that you most need to talk about. Now, nobody at that club ever taught me how to do that, you know, they taught me how to play ball, had my first drink up there, all that kind of stuff. They taught me about chicks, and they taught me you know how to play sport. But there was nowhere as a teenager that I was like, I want to tell my mates that I'm, I'm heading to this, you know, to learn these skills. For me, I was lucky enough to find the right foundation. And by that time, Sammy, mutual friend of ours, he was like that one of those people for me, I was like, that guy's a legend. He's not much older than me. I want to be like him. He's charismatic. He's cool. I'd love to meet him and I want to learn off him.
I have died here at that point. Like did he have the he had my whole my whole? Yeah, he did.
Never Never seen it. We should get a fighter have eyebrows and eyebrow piercing. Or maybe the story that
he brought the ease the inside he's Yeah.
And what do you call it? The I mean, he's a superhero kind of person. Disco peak is yeah that was gonna
alter ego. Yeah this is DJ
personality. Yeah, exactly. He's alter ego.
We're talking about Sam Kevin, who's been on the show as well.
Yeah. When I was growing up, I didn't have many male friends. Yeah. Is that being something that is part of the conversation or like it so I'm Tommy has had a very good close friend, a close group of bloke so I was never really into drinking. Yeah, I wasn't really into sport. Yeah. And so I ended up like, it's been like I'm turning 30 this year and it was almost like this recalibration because I got into my 20s You're just friends with all like on female friends. Yeah. I've been with my girlfriend for 12 years and sort of like changed like the relationship that you have with girls when you've got a long term partner. Yeah, changes. Yes. Well, what have you learned through speaking to men in regards to friendship?
Yeah, I mean, the main thing is that for blokes friendship is about action, and sharing experiences more often than not, you just got bucket maths, like blogs will say, yeah, I've got my nights and yeah, now what's going on for them? But then they, you know, they're in a workshop and I realise Geez, I didn't I actually didn't know what was going on for you. And then they find themselves gone. I thought I was a really good night and I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm not such a good man. I should know that. Which is also ironic because often their mates are saying the same thing. They are well you haven't told me what's going on for you either. So I think that for for, for guys like I mean, one of the things We're out running a blog Senado something we say to people or whatever blogs usually flyways when they grow up, you know and they'll say you know, their tackle their dick or whatever and then we'll say get past that it's like yeah, trucks and you know, guns and all that kind of stuff. And what it girls is bucket mass usually play out with it, you know, play with as a kid and I usually say things like dolls and house and, you know, relational base toys. And it kind of continues that way. You know, you go around a coed school yard and you generally see most of the guys scattered or sitting in lines or, you know, throwing stuff at something or each other. And, and the girls are generally in clusters, and they're facing towards each other and they're talking about, how's life for you? Or did you realise this happen, you know, what's going on around a social network kind of thing. And that kind of continues. So the the interesting thing for guys in Australia is this realisation that most of our friendships actually exist drench structured activities. And for the first part of our life, we don't even decide on the structure to put together Put together through organised sport, maybe organised music or whatever it might be. And then we know from the stats and from the guys that were out there talking to Cliff drop around about the kind of 3030 to 35 Mark, where you get the significant relationship and you dedicate yourself to a lot of that you're out of the shed house, you're too old to be playing the organised sport. And so there's nobody giving you an excuse to come together. And so you stop coming together and guys start to rely all their emotional support on their significant partner. And that's where a lot of the kind of scary steps leave you know, in terms of when life's getting its hardest, why to you know, only one in three miles 30 to 65 in this country say that they've got relationships that are significant they can rely on and the other two thirds are other thing but don't have the quality of relationships or have no relationships at all with with friends.
And so is that a natural thing or is that culture? I think its culture.
I think its culture. I think, you know, was interesting. So workshop yesterday and kind of got him was saying, you know but we're born this way our you know we're born this way and I said
right Lady Gaga
song It's hard to say you know it's hard to say where the nature nurture thing intersects but I saw this great thing on SBS yesterday I was flicking channels and it is Australia sexist. It was the name of the show and it was just one click and it was you know kids around the 18 month mark we can't really see gender you know in a physicality or anything like that. And it was an X social experiment without room filmed and people were coming in and playing with the kid on a mat with all these toys that kind of a different gender toys or whatever. And so people come in, they're playing with the kid the kids are the dress pink or blue. And then at the end interviewing them, how did you find it with the kid you know? Sure enough, they would the kid in blue, we're playing with the trucks and stuff and saying, you know, they love that's what they wanted to play without going for the trucks and now gone through that's a really loading up around the trucks in and assignment that goes on really loading up around the doll was you know they really loved that and then they told you know so they go dressed in pink was actually a boy did you know that you know how do you feel about that? Just a shock and then kind of got one night really
here ah and it's starting to realise
did the kid pick the toy
or did I actually pick the toy and then decide that the kid was loving it where the kid would have loved any toy you know domain but but I'm so kind of conditions by all the norms around me that that's the way that are all with it so I think sure there's there's some nature stuff But like I say if you just look at the way that we grow up and what people encourage into us what River at the moment three and a half gone and daycare where we've got this like daily battle in the car with roof trying to make page you know, the the Green or the blue Power Ranger, you know, not a mom can't be that you know my mom needs to be pink mama needs to be pink Dad You can be blue or you can make a mom has to be pink and it's like Why? You know cuz she's a girl girls pink, you know and you know he's in our household we're pretty aka mind and all that kind of stuff but he's dead set. Okay so fierce about it. He's like, no, you're like you guys have got it wrong. Like you're not getting this. He's since left that daycare.
No, I mean, it's it's interesting because my experience with bardy like he was he gravitated to wheels before. And I've always been like, I'll give him whenever he wants to play with rocky shit. Yeah, you know, and sort of and he's a he's a madman, he like he gets he loves to jump off stuff and he does gravitate to the tracks and stuff and so that I thought more about the nature nurture thing. Yeah. And this is definitely some part of it there. Yeah, I just, I just obsessed over
and so on. He's
just one example. He goes to my brother's house jazz house. And Gemma, he's my brother's daughter is four. He somehow finds the one truck. Yeah, that house show. I didn't even know where it was, but he's got under the couch. Yeah. And that was on the two days ago. Yeah. And I just thought that was like my, yeah, put the Elsa dress on if you want.
Yeah, it's all
like, how soon? Is all of that starting to walk? Like be wide in? Do you think? Yeah, by the age of three. Yeah. The programming is it all, you know, set up from a cultural point of view? What are we watching from like a, like a consumption point of view as
well. He's taken off watching Power Rangers, not even from daycare, or like I think he wanted Power Rangers because the kids at daycare and then we put it on TV. And he just sees you know, every time that chicks in pink and on a man which is changing now like it like pretty much every movie You go and watch it, the cinema now has a female hero, you know. And so that's great because they're going to be exposed to different stuff but I agree with you on it like riff was just engines, you know any sound of an engine needs to be like yes yeah he's obsessed with motorbikes has been, he just will not let go but at the same time we're in grace at the airport and he wanted to go to the toys toy store and he was loving frozen at the time. And we went into the toy store and we're looking through it I was like, he can get something so he's like looking at everything and say picks the the Elsa question, you know, and and I found myself actually going up or down you want you want these you know? And and then and then I actually managed to convince him to get something else so you didn't really want and we were about to leave the store before it dawned on me like this is bullshit. I guess actually may already don't want to walk around. With the Elsa question and and the doll and so so I went back and when you want that don't and he's like yeah I do you know so he got that but then really interesting watching all the airport stuff I still remember walking on the tarmac and people going like what would the kid done you know with the Elsa doll and nails the question like what is going on? And then realising like I run all this stuff and I'm trying to unwind my bosses all the time, but I'd be lying if I was like, yeah, rocket like whereas
What about the people that would say that parents have been trying to project that which is like in the kid wants to track what he keeps giving him a Barbie. He doesn't want a Barbie liat raging placid like
you saying that movie night. It begins with his Z of Ben Folds or something the actor it's an Australian movie It begins with black is black and you can hear the sounds of a school and now I go on placid go on. Like you'll be fine and and then it comes to the screen and it's this little poor little kid walking in with a dress on into school because he's parents want to challenge the norms. And the poor kid I think somebody walks up and just clocks him straight away and they're like it's kind of a fun
places. And so you're when you're at sports clubs in your own on the ground in communities, and you're saying the what the programming your masculinity and what it means to be a man and done to men. Where do you fit? What do you think that the balance is for how we bring up kids?
Yeah, well, that's the interesting thing, because I like I'm like, I'm, I'm all about masculinity, like I love like, I love a lot of those masculine traits and, and identify with a lot of them. And I think it's about a balance. I think the rip off at the moment for blokes is that if they grow up and they're not brought into environments where they get to question the norms that they're kind of growing up with, they end up with half a toolkit. Half the talk it only really works in certain situations and so when they can't cry, you know and just hold it he is with their mates and I'm struggling like this is really hard at the moment for me or they can't you know, cry their wedding or you know, even cry dream. Oh, they can't rock a dance floor probably, you know, that wasn't a frankston thing to do in the burbs. You don't need the dance floor. If you're a buck, you know, you toe tap on the outside. And so why should you miss out on all that shit? You know, like, we got one last one, that that's where I sit with it. It's not, hey, let's all you know, jumping dresses and really kind of try and push the opposite. It's more so saying I think every blog should should have the capacity in themselves, to assert themselves and to be strong at the right moment and all those things to be stoic to take away their emotion and self regulate and get the job done on the really hard day. I think everybody should have that ability. But if that's your only ability, then we just know that's not sustainable. Eventually it's just going to snap and there's going to be a huge implosion and a lot of people around you, including yourself are probably going to get hurt. So have range is is kind of our message like guys, like, like have it all. How much have you changed since starting? really digging deep into this?
It's a great question.
I think I've become
probably more upset and more passionate and angry, you know, in some ways.
Yeah, like I think
I think I was lucky growing up, I had a strong matriarch of a mom and so I she would talk me through what was going on for me emotionally and what I was struggling with and all that kind of stuff. And then always around my mates and I grab gravitated towards the big guys because I was so small and I didn't feel like I was a man or wanting to be around them. And luckily, I was mates with them in primary school. And then I saw around 17 like the rulebook start to smash back on them and start to, you know, yeah, lead to some outcomes. I wasn't happy, you know, like I wasn't happy with for them, school, didn't know how to handle them and all sorts of stuff. And so that's where it began for me is I didn't go out to work with blocks, I had never had that interest, it was more so like, Well, I know my mates and I wouldn't rock up to pretty much everything that's on offer for them to do the talking. And so we need a better alternative for that for that book. Now, I think the thing that makes me a bit emotional is, you know, when you go out and you work with a group of, you know, 50 year old blogs in a country town, they look terrifying, you know, sitting around with them, and they're all you know, looking at you like, fucking you and what are you gonna share with me it's kind of really intimidating. space to Bain. And on the other side of that, within about 10 minutes, if you provide the right environment, you're not attacking them or condescending and they actually all just start to open up. And you end up with this beautiful group of blokes going. I don't have the tools I need for a good life and I don't want to see another mate die. And I don't want to live this way. I don't like I don't want another broken marriage. And I don't want these things. But I don't know how to change it. Like, give me give me a solution. And I started finishing all my workshops by saying, gents, the cavalry's not coming like that the the edge, the way that we educate our young men isn't going to fundamentally change we're not going to suddenly have all these inspiring environments that guys want to go to as much as they want to go to the football club or the Cricket Club or to play in a band with their mates. We need to do is the everyday man needs to do it not wait for the government not wait for the education system. It really is like if you see a solution for your mates. We need to bring the boys together. We need to learn to talk. You can get on the internet now and learn how to talk pretty much you know what I mean? Like so much resource that you can self educate. But yeah, I think the thing that's changed me as I've been out there I remember seeing that movie. What's the movie with Brad? Brad Cooper recently?
star wars going on. I went and saw that movie crinkle cinemas and good cinema. Yeah. Okay, yeah. You
definitely know. I think isn't hoyts like just go class in general. These are apply so I've got the whole
thinking. Central, they've got beanbags potentially but not.
Yeah. Anyway, so you're incurring coming here and go watching that movie? Got a date night looks like a sacred time. Why from the little Bob? And we decided to go and say the most depressing movie you can possibly watch. And I broke I just brought I did not see it coming. I didn't I hadn't seen the original I didn't know the storyline. And I it took me about 20 minutes ago the cinema and head down wasn't
the bang bang,
bang bang it was in extreme emotion. Yeah. And I think the lights come on. Yeah.
Pretty much so if that's something that you should go toward the unexpected emotional response because on a Friday night, Bray will say all let's watch this movie on my it's too fucking big. I need some funny I want something. I think we both said
let's never do that again.
Well, like Yeah, but the thing that hit me about it was that it would spoke to a lot of the experiences that we've been hearing about it. And I had just been like not, you know, like, not really maybe processing it completely and it just won't crush you know, I straight through the middle.
So is there something within changed as an organisation that you have to do? Because when you're going out there, and you're speaking, you've got facilitators within yours. What sort of emotional support? Do you need to provide them?
Yeah, exactly. I mean, the the peer group, the other guys that are out there facilitating provide a lot of support. And then we've got, you know, I could cancel will have a supervision session where another counsellor will be, you know, let them just talk about how all your sessions going, what is there anything that's keeping you up at night, and all that kind of stuff, and we have supervision available for our guys. And then we do trainings, you know, like off site trainings, where we just yeah, train them in the skills of facilitation, but also how to deal with what, what they're experiencing,
what have you learned about communicating to men that is transferable to women, so they will start a partner of a man. So there's, you know, it's about my wife looking at me and one of the great things she said was, I think when you go into law, you're actually trying to work it out. And then you come back when you have simple solution. It's exactly what I fucking do. reason that cut through to me, I think it's because it's someone very close to doing that. But if you What would you say is somebody who wants a strategy to open up dialogue with a male who might be sort of closed off?
Yeah, it's a funny one because it's like a band aid solution for now, like, and when I say that, like the advice is actually not to not to go face to face. Like, don't get in there.
Physically up in
Yeah, don't get in that girl. Don't be direct, you know, be side by side, be laid back and don't jump if they give you a breadcrumb of honesty. Whereas a lot of time the person particularly the woman's case, so much, so I want to know what's going on for you. And a breadcrumb comes out and it's like, oh, what do you what do you think that's the thing and like, you know, It's like, Here's 10 questions on that breadcrumb he gave me and the guy just goes, ah, but too much like, I don't know. Whoa, I don't have
like a female. Like, cuz I think that's the thing with Tommy says You liar. You don't say so much anymore but it was always like Eli hearing is I'd be like this thing he affects this this this and also this thing that happened six months ago Oh yeah, but it's interesting you talk about not communicating direct but being side by side Yeah, like it's a common thing is direct communication is saying is like the pinnacle right because direct communication is the most transparent, honest thing that you can do. Yep. Do you think that there is a better way than direct? Not?
So that is it. That's why I think it's it
is that's why I think it's a band because I think that it's scary that that is the solution most of the time, just don't get in a grill
and so what you're saying is To get in the crew,
i would i would i would love would be for our education to set young blogs up tonight how to sit face to face and have a deeper conversation without awkwardness or the need to dance around each other. What about not as well as banter
about like, what about like timing around a conversation? Yeah. when is the right time to have that difficult conversation? Yeah. And is are there mechanisms around? Okay, like, this is how you set it up?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think you got you. Like, you've got to understand the person that you're talking john, what they might be needing to protect themselves on. Like, if you're around or like either 10 blocks are there and you're bantering about something happened on the weekend. Probably not the time to go Hey, and Tommy, what's, how are you really going mate? You know, if that's the first time and then 10 bucks to go? Watch, you know, it's it's gonna be re buff. Whereas if you have time, if you're In the car and you're driving somewhere and you've got the time to have a bit of a chat or
Yeah, the car seems like a good one. That's great. But it's a time to
stop. I saw
Yeah. Yeah. does have that drive? Is that speeding? Because they
definitely Tesla would be good for that you should do it. It's not great. The the conversation that you're having with a 50 year old this 50 years of programming can't teach an old dog new tricks. Yeah, that's what they say. Yeah. is what's your experience with getting people at the earlier side, the lighter end of life? And is it disheartening to like, do you walk away being like, I don't know if I'm necessarily leaving creating the change? No, definitely not. Probably the opposite to be honest. Because I think those guys by that point, most of the stats have hit them and if it hasn't hit them and hit all the blocks around them, and so they're actually pretty Desperate in terms of like all want to do, like we got to change stuff turns it normally a specific thing are you working with groups where it's like there's been a suicide in the command or that no it's it's more like you know it's for anybody it's a box night or anybody that wants to rock up and have a laid back conversation about what it means to be an Australian blog today a blog in Australia
and today you find that like, you know, councils are like our you know, like our local governments like we're having this seeing an influx of something and then getting you guys is there some way that you can do it early or you think
interesting is never councils? Okay. So as always, somebody some Joe Blow are usually actually a woman in town, who's like, something's got to change. I've seen these great guys, we got to get them to town, and so they contact and they're like, can you please come to our town? I'll get people there. I'll knock doors down at the local footy club and I'll get people in. councils never get in touch. So it and usually yes or that local person is going we've got some issues in town and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. And so I want to I want to do something we need this for our blocks.
What's the most challenging question you've been asked by one of the blogs in a, you know, where where you're sort of giving them a direction? Yeah, I've come back to you
with something. Yeah, I mean,
probably one of them. We had a I think we had like 150 blokes up in the up on the Northern Beaches. And no, it had been an amazing session like great stuff. And then the sky right in the middle stood up. And he said, My I've got something for you just to close out. What are we doing now? What are we doing now? Hmm. This has been great. All good and everything. What's next? You guys gonna piss off and never come back?
don't really have an answer for that. You know, like it kind of caught me off guard and it's the first time that I actually said that the cavalry's not coming. I said, Listen, like, that's actually a choice for you to make. But it really caught me off guard and all group went, Whoa, yeah, how you gonna answer that? Like, good good to stop something? And really my answer to it was pretty incredible to have a couple of, you know, over 100 blogs rock up in a local community, you obviously want to change things. This is your community now, or this is what you guys actually need to decide. You want us back if you want other things to happen, you've got to drive it, you know, that's why we're here. Get somebody from the community drove this. So the everyday Black has to do something, not just complain that the government isn't the council's not calling you or there's no services or there's no, they're probably not going to. So you need to actually say what do we need? Like just you know, what do we need, you know, for our mates and our sons and our dads you know, and how do we pull our resources and try and make change happen.
I know that I'm sure you personally have been. I've seen some of your team speaking in jails recently. Yeah. I could imagine jail or school. There's people that put being sort of pushed into these sessions. I don't want to be there whatsoever. Yeah, they're just doing what they're being told. Yeah. How do you as a facilitator deal with people who are in a room with I don't want to be there?
trying not to buy into it and shoot yourself. Because because they're pretty good at letting you know, like often they don't want to be there. And by not because I think when you get scared then then I know my reaction if I really get intimidated to try and look like I'm much stronger than I am. And go, Yeah, well, I'm here cuz you know, and I get defensive, or that's the worst thing. It's More so just to go with them. I'm not here to waste your time. If you think it's shit, then there is a door there you can leave. This is what we're doing. And if you're up for it, stay on board and then to get into it and most of the times like we have, you know, I remember running one for one of the waterboard companies and it was like all the older guys in high Viz, and they looked really pissed off about being there. One of the guys finish the word very
safe. We thought
he was like, What did he say? He said, Well, when I walked in here and saw you, hipsters, I thought, what the fuck am I doing here? Is it bullshit? I gotta sit here and listen to these young weinke is for a bit like pretty much exactly word for word like that. He said, and I walk off set here the whole buddy session has been fucking alright or this is probably
there's a test. Yeah, exactly.
It's been a bit ever had here when a more this shit
is that they were like going to like that was the first one at that place. And it was almost like that guy was in every workshop, like a guy like that kind of said pretty much that at the end of each workshop, I thought you were a decade and, and it wasn't obvious and but has been not bad. Like that's, that that's kind of the gap that we're looking to fill we're looking to, to because, you know, there are so many great initiatives out there silent research has been done. There's a lot of solutions. Unfortunately, you know, you guys know everything about that in terms of brand and all that kind of stuff. The best thing in the world people won't consume if they don't identify with the packaging, and they don't aspire to identify with the packaging. And so we put a lot of effort into the packaging, the language that we put around the solutions that we're putting on the table. They have to be relatable to that bloke, if he thinks he's gonna lose his mates and not going to want to drink a beer with him anymore, then I'd rather not be healthy. Thanks very much, because I don't wanna be rejected by the people that that are my tribe.
If you could only have one tool in the toolkit to be able to make progress in this area, what do you think the tool is? For a bloke? Yeah,
Is it is there a daily practice or something that sort of that, you know, to the to the point of going in making positive change? Yeah. What's the small thing that people normally do after that, that sees positive results?
I'm asking the second and third question. And and yeah, that would be the number one thing I think a lot of blokes like that's what they take. They go, I'm going to use that. And we have guys rocking up at the next workshop saying that made a difference. second, and third question is just a lot of the time ask the first question, you know, how you doing? Gemini goes, Yeah, bad night. And I think to the family, you get it. And then yeah, yeah, yeah, good. It has the 40 and I say the game on the way And now the first question and then on to another first question now the first question rather than going yeah, I don't get it. Yeah. Families intense what's going on with yours at the moment? Which is a second question. All you know, you know, the missus is cracking ATMEGA I'm trying to get this. You're trying to get the better job at work and it's just taken more from now on I had, you know, you're like, hey, like, What? What's it doing to her? Like, why is she on Professor balance making life hard for her?
To make? What the fuck What's
with all the questions?
Is that is that a bit of feedback? Because I we've had Michael bungay stanier, who wrote the coaching habit. Oh, yeah. And he's got a book coming out this month called the advice trap. Yeah, it's very much around asking questions. It's almost bit addictive. Yes. And quite like so much fun and asking questions so well, not.
There's a lot of people that wouldn't say that. Yeah, there's a lot of people that definitely wouldn't say that. It's easy for you to ask questions. A lot of blogs are in Australia
would say is it because they worried about the answer?
Yeah, they gotta hold something. I don't want to seem like they're prying they don't want to seem like they've been too intense I don't know same nosy.
You think people like being asked the question?
Definitely. Yeah. If it's asked in the right way. And and it like, you can say ask the second or third question, but it does have a lot to do with how you ask it. Because you got to give somebody space to breathe and you got you they've got to know that you genuinely was just curious. I just want to know, like, we've got a might cook Doctor Who, you know, is the brainchild behind you can ask that the show. And before that, who's doing that thing with Denton out on the street box popping people like When's the last time you cried, you know, what, you know, big questions, you know, and yeah, I remember talking to him and him saying, you know, it's just crazy what people are willing to tell you like they people want to tell you stuff, but they need it to be asked in the right way and and is asking the right way. People will tell you almost anything.
Have you found any portion of your life where you're really good at this and you're doing everything but there's this like other circle where you just haven't for whatever reason tapped into the second and third question
for me personally Yeah, yeah, the last three and a half years, four years. It's the the irony behind setting something up, that's helping a lot of people and and helping my family as well you know, and, and then realising I'm losing my ability to be present to my own family and actually be what I'm out there trying to help guys do. So I think it's a perpetual kind of like trying to balance i right now. I'm making a very intentional choice to move back towards my family. I made them the promise will set this up. It'll be a busy few years. I'm not going to be here. As much there emotionally as I'd like to be, but then I'm coming back and this is not going to be our life. And so you know, we're about to take three months when this Bob comes. And both of us step out of the businesses and and that feels like the beginning of getting back to that other circle that I've been missing.
How tough is that on? What How is that playing on your mind now stepping away for three months like what does that make you feel?
Yeah, well, it's been relief log. It's been like actually account whites because it's been really hard. The last three and a half years it's been a lot of mornings are of work. And I'm just going again, like samata on this week like this is it's heavy running a business has been really brutal at times, and really rewarding and amazing and all those things but so it's been really fun. I can't wait for that time. And then actually the last couple of weeks is because I'm starting to make that move. We lockout pain. I've actually been pretty depressed last couple of weeks. Yeah, but just kind of zero energy feeling really sad or something. And I think a part of that is I'm slowing down. It's scary to slow down sometimes because then you realise what you haven't what you've been neglecting. You realise the small circle
or busy is a frequency, right? And when you're living in that state of busyness or running businesses, million things you could be doing. Yeah, on top of the million things you're currently doing, you know, yeah. And so it's dialling that switching that to another frequency. Yeah. Yeah, I can imagine.
And it's easy to get used to get used to it like yeah, just like chatting away. And then I'm doing this I'm like, Jesus, my muscles doing this that have atrophied, like, I don't really know who I am or how to do this. So I really locked this. And I do I know that but there's a transition point. That's been actually kind of quite challenging,
is there? Not I mean, guilts pretty strong words. There. guilty feeling those feelings when you are doing something that is actually making a lot of impact? Yeah. Do you like it? Why, you know, I'm depressed that doesn't matter. You know? Like it's silly for me to feel like that when I've been when I'm doing something that is about other people so
yeah, no, no, no, not so much. Yeah, I haven't really felt that
that's good. Yeah, you have no I Well, I think I'm the opposite for me. I just laid into something so I can tell you guys about
actually did that I projected in Thompson, Iraq back volley that back I was like, I
shouldn't feel like what I was thinking is like, I could imagine myself feeling I shouldn't feel shit when I when there's other people who were in tougher situations or you know, outside of my shore. But I think for me around the kids stuff and busy and running a business. I feel this. It's just in my head about guilt around the kid and not being there and yeah, and as much as I'm there in the morning and night. Sure, but I just somehow feel this sense of the feeling of guilt around that. Yeah. And then it's like, it might be based on where I would love to be, which is giving this kid as much time as he wants as I can give, you know, versus the opposite, which is, I've got to do this. I've got to build something. Otherwise, what's the opposite? what's the alternative?
Yeah, I've definitely felt that.
The first one I haven't, because I do believe that everything's relative. So what's going on for another person yet for on and sometimes you do need a bit of perspective but perspective shouldn't. It shouldn't. Doesn't discredit your situation. Exactly. Yeah. It shouldn't belittle your own emotional experience. It's just somebody else's experience. And it might give perspective, but you're feeling what you're feeling. The other side of it, the guilt thing, if I may, it's been about a minute availability. So if I'm running 15 workshops and I've got 58 miles packed up and everybody needs a piece of me and then I drive an hour and a half home and I get in the door, I've definitely had times where Riv is just this beautiful little kid and he just want all he wants to do is play with me like that's all he wants a daddy, daddy daddy. And I'm like ghost man, kind of like I'm looking like I'm looking through a glass window at you saying this and I've had nothing left to actually take part you know, and definitely have moments walk that run like this is brutal. Okay, I should be available to you like as a priority, but I just have nothing left. I don't know how to get on the ground with you and play and make this something.
You think there's something in men that does it like a driving force to be the carer and I've got to be out there in the world and being a man of the world trying to build something you know? I think that's, you see how many men have been distant from their families off doing work? Sure. building something for their family. You know, that's the sort of old thinking, well, what's your relationship with ambition?
Mine? Yeah, yeah. I mean, I, we paid, you know, I went through a lot of couples counselling over the first, like, couple of years of the business, because I felt like that, like, I felt I checked myself when when roof was coming along, and I thought, I've been kicking around doing a job I love, it's paid me nothing. I don't have money, I don't have a home. We don't have those things. And I was like, I gotta get moving or seriously get moving. And so that's why we set off with the businesses initially. And then Docker came very soon after, and I saw an opening. I was like, This is my chance to provide you know, all these opportunities coming in and I'm gonna set my family up and that's what I'm gonna do. And and she was like, Well stuff you because the family's right here, and I'm the only one that's looking after FM. I feel like I'm a single parent and all that kind of stuff. And we went through all sorts of stuff with that, but I was like, in the end, I was like he got he gotta Forgive me for that time. Because I genuinely feel that I was doing my, my, my dead thing. And it may not have been that I was able to do both dead things. But I really feel like I've done us a solid and we're in a position now where there's a lot of things that make us able to provide a life for river quality loss and their own presence now in more empowered ways, like our time and our energy. And we have the home and we have those things as I've been like, you gotta like that was my way that was my thing, you know, and it might have been not exactly what you wanted me to do and the version of dad that you thought I'd be but that was that was that felt right for me. So ambitions and interesting one Lock in that. Yeah, I'm in vicious to a point. I just want to live a great life. And that sometimes means work because it's like, cool. It's a great opportunity. And it's a great opportunity. But not money for money's sake or don't want a big house don't want to end up with a lot of regrets.
You think there's something appealing about that feeling like a ghost at the end of the day?
Yeah, for sure. Definitely, I think. I think, yeah, I think Mark can only talk on behalf of myself. But I think, you know, the badge of honour of knowing that you wasted yourself, you know, like, I really did a good job today. Really? Yeah, smashed it out. And I managed to achieve and I got that done. Like, to a point. Yeah, there's a feeling of coming home. going like, Yeah, I did a job today. Not like I said, Not that it's like you then you're there and you're like, I wish I had more. I wish I had more to give now that I'm on but I do think it can be difficult to to look after yourself in a way that you will have that energy at home which basically means I'm going to have less ambition for the occupation.
What what recharges your batteries emotional emotionally?
healthy ha lava flows float tank. Yeah, haven't had one. Oh, nice amazing recommend it and it's good places around the corner
it's a could give them a plug but I can't remember the name. I'm
just in the background. He selling Novak Djokovic dressed. Yeah, that's the one yeah, beyond rest. Yeah, beautiful place. But I'm an introvert. So during the really hard times, I was watching down. So the footy. I just watching a game of footy awake. It was like nobody's messing with my two hours. Just gonna sit there and watch the 40 and it's that guy. guy in tezi
yeah the big beat and that's what I was thinking so nice different guy Scott
fat pig farming runs this guy started his own Hobby Farm and he's been making a series about but it's like 25 minutes and it's just like nothing like a show basically just goes and find something in the garden something is so slow so they want to tell you things during the busiest I'm nobody mess with that sacred time. Yeah. And then yeah the fight I just call world blacked out. And just just an hour where it's like nothing recharges management nothing. Nothing puts me back in my body as much as that like not a meditation or massage or anything like I started doing them on Friday night so that I finished awake and do one is a place nearby, our place in in on the morning to miniature and I would just give me a Sunday feeling on Friday afternoon. I'd be like, great. I'm at least present from a weekend.
I love that. I love it. You know, they say with chefs and offices true, but like they don't really cook good shit at home because they've been cooking all day. As someone who's playing in sort of that mental health, yeah, space, do you feel like sometimes there's a bit of hypocrisy or like a misalignment in regards to what you're communicating versus your personal situation?
Yeah, yeah. I mean, like I was saying before, I think I was literally just talking to my wife about it the other day, I when I'm when I'm not busy, and I've got space. I'm incredibly thoughtful with her and with my friends, and I do things
like uh, you know what you do for Valentine's Day? Because you've been you're winding them.
Yeah, nothing. Still.
Not even a card. Yeah.
fetlife Um, yeah, like I remember you know, doing a thing for Paige I was away for for two weeks or something. And I did, you know, 15 days of awesome and made these little envelopes. And it was a little, you know, like treasure hunt around the house to get something every day.
So was it all or nothing with the big
guy, big old guy,
infinitely or nothing. And so when I'm putting all that creative energy and presence and the thought into building the businesses at times, I'm not putting it into my friends and my family, if I'm thinking of a friend, and I'm thinking, I've been saying this person, I love doing this with them and that often, like if I've got space, I'll text it to him. I just thinking I just love having you in my life. And how is this time we got to do more of that and I haven't done much that last three years because I've been putting all that energy out elsewhere, which you which is an irony, you know, but at the same time I'm pragmatic and realistic in the You can't, I don't believe that I could have started what I have started with my wife and and with all of our amazing team, I just couldn't have granted that into existence without some trade off. And I've got a when I get home at night and you know, at the end of these three years, I've got a, you know, go to bed at night, comfortable with my decision and comfortable that I did trade off over that time, but hopefully it won't cost me in the long run. And I'll look back and say, that was a good trade off because I got I got 10 times back. You know, what I sacrificed?
Because some people I guess, get on the treadmill. And I say in three years, we're going to go on the family holiday and yeah, yeah. Okay, in three years time, and then before you know it, it's been 20 years. Yeah, exactly. And then deaths happen. Yeah, yeah. Life changes and they never get to celebrate. What do you think about retirement?
Yeah, I don't think I'll ever retire because I love my job. I just love it. I love facilitation I love the human condition I love being in a room with people that are talking real and and making discoveries and God's love it I'm never gonna give it up I only be better i think you know in the US where I should be retiring but I'll work list for sure. And you know to that point around the year some people say three years and in 20 years down the track the forgotten how to do anything other than that, like I worry about like when we were setting off I was saying a good friends like they were because they were worried about me like maybe changing you know, I like young pretty hard like how long can you keep this up for an outside and I feel like I'm doing a deal with the devil a bit. Look, I'm gonna go hard this part of me is going to drive the car for a little while and I really hope that I'll be able to make good on a promise that I'm gonna shift gears and do it differently from there on and jury's out on I don't know what do you have a defined because obviously if you think about like, you're right all the guys Setting books. It's like you need to be have a definition of done. You need to have something in the future where you say that where we've arrived yet. Do you have a have a sense of what that looks like? Well, yeah, we've arrived. Yeah. Because it wasn't about like big names and things that like I said, we don't want a massive house and all that kind of stuff. But I had a point and I believed it was about the three three year mark, and we'll get to there and things will all have been able to extricate myself and make make the business a bit independent of me and stuff like that. And at that point, we're going to take some serious time back and want returned to that same pace again. So
you're about to enter into that transitional point of Is there a sense that you need to unlearn go
on Yeah, I think that's why I've been pretty, you know, rubbish the last couple of weeks, because I'm starting to come to terms with unlearning, and it's like feeling brutal. It feels a bit like you know, like, like detoxing,
you've got, you've got really Strong in one area.
Yeah, exactly. I'm part
that's driving the car. They got really strong. Yeah. So it's bad pairing up the other muscle, which feels we just feels a bit
abnormal, you know, because I've kind of gotten used to it a bit. So yeah, definitely there's this is transitional shit. Yeah, man.
Well, I think that the way not to get stuck in the 20 years goes by and you realise you fucked it all is to be thinking about and talking about what you do for a living. And it's what you're doing right now talking about the situation that you're entering into. So you're actually in it. Yeah. So there's real power to that. And you might you've done something amazing. The thing you've built is really important to men of our era.
Is it getting better? Do you think it's Australia as a whole when you're having conversations? Do you think that we're on the right path at the moment?
Definitely. Yeah, we're definitely on the right path. For sure. I think that the stats aren't getting better at the moment. But there's a lot of Factors towards those stats. I think life is becoming more complex. We're more connected but more isolated through these devices you know, there are pressures that we're all facing and dealing with so that's one thing but I do think that there's a significant shift in you know, like I said, all these organisations popping up and a generation of guys going we're not waiting we're doing something about it. Start this thing started group stuff started walking group, the boys, we can change it, we can do it differently.
We ready for it. We, we actually, as a whole as society, it feels like as we start to talk about big things, you know, climate change, and like it starts to become this situation where once we're like it's always been had these things always been happening. We're only just fucking talking about it now. And it feels like talking about it makes it real. Yeah. Which then starts to easily spiral into everything. Fact, yeah. What's your perspective on how we can have these conversations and be better on the other side rather than getting into that spiral?
Yeah, I think it's about agency and realising that you know that things can happen around you. So like when when, you know, workshop finishes or something like that, and you saying the cavalry's not coming often tell them that five stories of blogs who did these things that seem amazing on the outside, but this is how it all happened like that, you know, it's an amazing guy and Sydney runs a thing called head above water. And he was telling me, I was like, how did you get into this huge event, the media is coming down and all these people rocking up to swim nonstop for, you know, 24 hours and always kind of stuff. And he said, Oh, I, my wife got diagnosed with terminal cancer. And I thought I just did the main things that I was sorting it out. She went into remission, and I actually fell off a cliff emotionally because I'd been repressing at all and didn't know hold on anymore and ended up in a institution, you know, and he said, my mates would come by, and I'd pick me up every day and they'd bring me to this pool. And I could only like swim half a lap most mornings, because I was so emotionally depleted, but they just kept getting me and kept bringing me here. So you know, I'm going to swim five K's in the pool today. And they've helped me do that. And he said, then I he rocked up at that event, that event where the guy stood up in the middle of the room. And he was like, always in there. And here I am thinking, I know, some box, I could do something like we could do something. So he's like, I left that event, and I called my mates and I said, let's do this head above water thing. And here we are, you know, they're about to run out again. You know, a little bit later this month, so it's kind of like when a guy He's, uh, you know, I that's what he's mates did, and that caused a chain reaction. Then he picked his phone up and said, Hey, should we do an event down the pool? A lot of guys got our that's the recipe might be awkward to something like that, you know, and so I think it's about agency. It's about going in There's a big issue out there but what can I do on my own backyard and who's done a backyard thing that's ended up
actually being big. I love it Tommy thanks for coming in buddy
and would like to get you on in like three months time once you're on the other end of the range would be getting that perspective. Yeah. When you're at time to actually chill the fuck out.
Yeah, me. Yeah, that'd be no easy love to
might finish it off.
will. Yeah, I'm having three months off. They're like three months old.
newborn Yeah. Good way to
rattle the system
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