How To Overcome Adversity With James Short

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today we have James Short. James, welcome.

Thank you, Thomas. Great to be here. Looking forward to it.

Great to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do?

Love to. James Short from sunny New South Wales here in Australia. Actually, you may know up near Byron Bay, Northern Rivers here in Australia. There’s been many, many, many, many shows and a neighbour is Chris Hemsworth – Thor – only joking, a little bit up the road. But yeah, we’ve been up here for a little while now. Husband, father of three amazing kids, run a couple of different businesses, ultra-endurance athlete and a whole bunch of stuff in between. So looking forward to sharing some of those stories today and it’s really an honour and a privilege to be here with you today. Thank you for having me.

Well, thank you for the introduction. The topic of conversation we were going to talk about was mindset and overcoming adversity. So would you like to start with what that means to you and what your general principles are on that topic?

I’ll share a little story and I think just to give you some context around it might turn adversity. It’s happened over some time back. My past life was in the health and fitness industry and a couple of fitness centres and I sold them back in 2008. And throughout that time I had a good friend of mine said – my mates call me Shorty and friends call me Shorty – Shorty, you know we’ve got this little run, it’s a city, two surf. It’s 14 kilometers from the city, Sydney city to Bondi Beach, are you interested? And I said, Dave mate, I’ve got a swimmer’s body. I grew up surfing and swimming and so forth. And I’ve got flat feet and pretty stocky from rugby and so forth. So anyway, we set a goal. We did the work and we achieved it in a few weeks after that. He said, Shorty, there’s a little thing called a half marathon. I said, what’s a half marathon? Because it’s 21km. Yeah, Because you want to run? I said, well why would you want to run around 21km? Anyway, said I’d go, did the activity and next minute he said, Shorty, there’s a little thing called a marathon. I said, what’s a marathon? He goes 42km. Right, I said, well, why would you want to run 42km. Anyway, set a goal, did their activity and we achieved it. And that led to a number of marathons and so forth and so forth. And he goes, I know you can swim, you can sort of run, can you ride a bike? And he goes, I was thinking, I said, yeah, sure enough. And I said, why? He goes, well, there’s a little thing in up north quarter, half Iron Man. I said, what’s a half Iron Man? He said, it’s a 1.8km swim, it’s a 90km bike ride and a 21km run. I said, oh, let’s go. And so anyway, that led to a number of half Iron Mans and he said, well, I think you’re ready. Ready for what? And I mean, I said, what’s an Iron Man? He goes, it’s a 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and 42km run. I said, well, how many days do we get to do that? He goes, one day. I said, oh my gosh! Anyway, set a goal to the activity and we achieved it. And that led obviously to a number of Iron Man events and I got a little bit of a bug from it. And I said, well, what else is out there? And I came across a run in Sydney called North Face back in the day, it’s called UTA now, which is 100km through trail. There’s ups, downs, all over. And I remember training up for my first 100km and all these other people around me had done multiple ultra-marathon events and so forth. And I was thinking, how am I going to do this? You know, my biggest one was 42km in a marathon, like all the questions, all the internal dialogue. But what I realised hanging around these people was the conversation became the norm of running these events. People had just come back from Europe and you know, went to the Alps and people have done that like 45 ultras and it was only halfway through the year. And so that became the dialogue and when I came back and talked to people who’d done the biggest one was Five Corners, which was amazing.

It starts to shift my paradigm and starts to shift their paradigm as well. And I soon realised like if this was then the power of your environment, how else could it be impacted on other areas of life, your relationships, your business, your finances, and all aspects. And it got me thinking anyway a couple of 100km races later on, I ran on a search for what’s next. And I came across this race in Australia called the Big Red Run and it’s a 250km run through the Simpson desert. Now the Simpson desert is the world’s largest sand dune parallel desert. So if you think about you down the beach and you see the waves coming through, set after set, well, when you’re in the desert like this or you’re at the top of the sand dune, all you see is sand dune after sand dune after sand dune after sand dune, and for five days you’re up and down up and down these dunes. And I soon realised around doing that empowered the importance of breaking a bigger goal down into small bite size pieces. And then that led me into the latest challenge that we’re training up for at the moment.

Come this September in 2021 is a run that me and a good buddy of mine are doing, It’s from Sydney to Melbourne, it’s 1300km, about 800 miles. We’re going to be averaging around about 50, collect 50km a day for 25 days. And so when we think about mindset, when you think about overcoming adversity, there’s a bunch of different adversity that everyone’s faced over the last 18 months through what’s happening out there in the world, but it’s the ability to look at that face on and to look at it right, we have choices. We can choose what we’re going to focus on. We’re going to get down the rabbit hole, are we going to blame or justify or deny or we’re actually going to take accountability, responsibility and ownership and focus on a different view path. And so that’s where it sort of starts to unpack. And so there’s many different tensions. We can go on around that around mindset adversity. I just want to frame that in relation to, you don’t necessarily have to go out and run an ultra-marathon or do a crazy event to have a strong mindset or overcome adversity. We’ve all faced it.

It was a great story. Thank you for sharing that. You mentioned the inner dialogue. I mean, I think the micro goals is a great principle. So instead of looking at the, as you say, the ultra-marathon, you’re looking at, you know, breaking it down. But you also said that the inner dialogue will happen, in my opinion, regardless of how good you are from a strategy perspective. So if your coping mechanisms or an approach to dealing with that in a dialogue which maybe says, should I be here? Can I do it?

Totally. And I think with the inner dialogue there’s many different aspects of that and it’s the ability to have that self-awareness and actually finding out where’s this, where’s your self-talk coming from? What usually happens is that self-talk is your ego trying to protect yourself? It’s like no, just it’s all right. You know, don’t do that, don’t do that, you’ll be right, play it safe, particularly business. So don’t take that risk, you know, or don’t do that. And it’s a protection mechanism and it can be a an inhibitor as well to actually move yourself or take that opportunity or overcome that opportunity or work through that challenge. And so some strategies on actually how to deal with that inner voice is to actually have a conversation back to it because usually what that inner voice wants is usually security and protection and knowing that and talking back to that inner voice and knowing that it’s okay. How else if you’re actually getting it all out and having almost two conversations having that, I’ll say there’s two expect I call it having a bitch voice or having a boss voice. And sometimes when you have the bitch voice that can be really debilitating and can be really like it’s just too hard. I can’t do it, I’m going to give up. But when we have the boss voices like I’ve got this, this is happening, come on, let’s go, let’s make it happen. And it’s having a conversation with both voices to really rise above and you know what, you’re staying there, we’re going here, and literally having that self-dialogue to yourself.

Once you tell me what you think about this now once kind of came up with the concept I didn’t do anything with it but it’s sort of like having a conversation with your emotions. So like you’ve got this round table of emotions and depending on which voice appears. So it might be you know fear, for example. Yeah you can kind of attribute that particular conversation to a particular like a safe here. So if you come across like a thought which says I don’t think I can do this, I’m getting too tired you can say I am, well who am I talking to right now? I must be talking to fear. Whereas if you’re talking to if you get a thought which is like no, I can do this. Or you know, I must be talking to positivity and I’ll listen to that one. Do you think of that? 1,000%. And usually what happens with that? There’s usually a certain age around that. So what I mean by that, is that okay? Cool? Who am I talking to? Fear. Where is that coming from? How old I am. Once when I felt that fear. Well, I was, you know, because we have 90% of our beliefs and behaviours are formed up to the age of seven.

So when you think about that, just like, oh there is a certain belief that I think I can’t or where is it actually coming from and it says that a negative emotion, anger, sadness, fear, hurt guilt is coming up through whatever decision you need to ask yourself where’s that actually coming from? That’s right. And people go, oh I can’t remember. Well you can because all your memories are on a timeline back to the day dot. So if you just ask yourself, well, when did I first experience that negative emotion, for example, that fear. Oh that’s right. Yeah, I remember that event so well yeah, and that will come up and display itself, and once again having a conversation to what we call, you know, in a child work, have a conversation to the inner child and reassuring them, making them feel safe, making them feel loved. Well, actually start to release those beliefs, those negative emotions. So you can work on your boss voice and really take charge and move things forward in the right direction. I like the boss voice because you can say all right.

In this instance, if I was talking to the boss, what would the boss say? And the bosses for me, the boss would be like kind of like a drill sergeant. Yeah, that’s right, come on, let’s make it happen. See, the thing is you talked about having the different emotions that have come up. There’s a great process that I usually do when I’m stuck or need to make a decision and I go into a bit of a meditative state and I think about all my mental states past, present and future. I may not have meant them and or any people have influenced past, present or future. And I think about them sitting around a round table, bit like knights of the round table, and I throw the question out onto the table and I go around one by one, getting everyone’s advice around the table. Now some people are happy to share, some people aren’t, and obviously you’re using your active imagination around it. But what happens is that it actually gets that and now you can journal it afterwards and get it all out for some valuable bits of information to help you make the decision right.

Once again, it’s active imagination, whoever you want around the table. But what it allows you to do is to have that confirmation of the decision, so you can keep on moving things forward.

Is there anyone generally known that would be known by the audience that you consult with?

Yeah, totally. Richard Branson is always around the around the table. There’s also screw it, let’s do it. Yeah, he’s like you got this like it’s the whole backing and that’s the thing is like sometimes we need other people to give us the backing when we really got the backing inside ourselves. It’s the re confirmation. It’s you’ve got this, it’s the ability to go come on, you’ve got to make the decision. So it’s not, I’ve got to make the decision. You’ve got the support of the people around the table and coming back to your story just for a minute.

Correct me if I’m wrong, the person who introduced you, first of all to the 14km run and then, you know, as it increased, are you still running with that person or are you doing that event with that person?

50km a day. I’m still no, he tapped out when I started trial running, but we’re good mates. He’s godfather to my son. He’s had some huge success in his businesses that he runs. He’s got 13 real estate agencies here in New South Wales in Australia, over 100 staff. And so he’s gone into some huge success. Still trains. He actually does some amateur fighting boxing and kickboxing now. So he’s gone down that path. They get me into the ring. I’d much rather sing a song or try to sing a song than get in the ring and attempt any boxing or any martial arts like that.

Well, the way the story was going, I kind of wanted to say, you know, get this partner of yours to introduce them some really tough things to you because you’re just, you know, you’re knocking them down every time you introduce something.

Yeah. Well that’s why when I met Scott who I’m running with in September this year, very similar story of different ultra-races and events and he goes sure you’ve got an idea for you and I’ve been thinking about it and even before he said what it was, he said, I’m in he goes, you don’t even know what it’s about. I said, I know, but I trust you, Let’s make it happen. And sure enough, six months later, where you know, we’re planning on a big adventure.

Well it’s great. You know, I’d love to know how you get on as well. So I think I said this to you before you do let me know how you’re getting on or how it goes. The messages before we arrange the conversation, I noticed that one of your areas of focus, if you like, is communication and self-awareness. I would imagine that would be extremely important in what you’re gonna approach with your events. But what are your thoughts on those topics and what would you like to share with them?

Yeah. One of the things is, and, you know what I’ve been working with, I work with a lot of, you know, small to medium sized businesses, around mindset, around leadership and around strategy, and particularly through, you know, we’re going through at the moment lockdowns in Sydney and in Melbourne. So it’s pretty crazy times over here and once again, that can take you into different rabbit holes that can take you, you know, into a spiral of consumption of just news 24/7, and it’s all fear based.

And so there’s a real principle that I like to share with the listeners for today, and that’s all around self-leadership. And there’s three key areas around self-leadership going through, and this helps to get through adversity as well, coming back to adversity and that’s the 33 things is the three Cs. It’s having confidence within self of how do we increase that confidence, knowing that where we’ve got this knowing we’ve got the clarity in moving forward. So having that rule, yep, I’ve got this second aspect is communication and there’s two elements of communication, it’s communication to self, like we talked about before that little voice, that self-talk and then communication to others, being effective, communicated to others. So your message is clear and you know, where the vision is going and you’re taking people on that journey. And the third aspect which is super important going through these times is connection. We see time and time again the connection is growing wider and wider, or the lack of connection is growing wider and wider, and its ability to reconnect and connect on more of a frequent basis.

You know, family and friends, it’s super important. But clients also your team and also supplies, just check in starting that conversation and having that conversation of like, hey, how you going? Is there anything I can do? How’s everything going? And so when we look at confidence, when we look at communication and when we look at connection that has a format of really solidifying your self-leadership. Now on the outside of that, there’s three things that form that to really improve on those confidence, communication and connections and that equates to behaviours, equates to rituals and equates to habits. Now they’re all very, very similar. But what we need to do and I would suggest focus on is what are those habits, behaviours and rituals that we can do on a daily basis? And it comes back to what we said about having an activity focus and breaking down those goals into getting so attached to the bigger goal? What are the mini goals of? What’s the mini activity that we need to focus on? And a great author, J. Fogg wrote the book Tiny Habits. And when he talked about tiny habit of creating this new behaviour change, there’s three things that we need to focus on. Do we have the motivation for this new behaviour of this new habit? Or this new ritual? What do we have? The ability? Can we actually do it? Do we have the skills and the resource to do this new behavioural habit or ritual? And, thirdly, do we have a prompt? What’s the reminder? What’s the notification that helps us to actually fulfil this behaviour? This ritual, all this is habit so we can move things forward. And when all those three, motivation, ability and prompt, it’s all succinctly together. It’s beautiful. So, for example, if you want to eat more fruit and vegetables, let’s say fruit, you want to eat more apples, motivation. I want to be healthy ability. Yeah, I can eat an apple but prompt by keeping your apples in the fridge there out of sight out of mind. But if you keep your apples on the kitchen table when you walk past them every single day, ah that’s a prompt. It’s a quick reminder. So you can take this into your health and fitness, you can take this into your business, you can take this in your relationships in all aspects.

It allows you to motivate, ability and prompt to help you with your behaviours, your routines and your habits.

It’s a good point because I think that when people do want to change, they think most people have the capability to do a lot of things and when they do want to change, they have the motivation to do it at that time. But I think people, I think generally speaking, it’s fair to say that people don’t strategize in that way. So I think the prompt is a really good thing to apply there.

And the best way to do that is think about what are your rituals that you’re doing already? What are the behaviours that you’re already taking on? And this, for example, brushing your teeth? Well, what could you put onto? The best way to start a new behaviour is to add it onto a current behaviour either before or after. So if you do brush your teeth every night, what could you do before you brush your teeth was directly after you brush your teeth. That’s going to allow this new behaviour habit or ritual to actually stick. We get so many ping reminders on our phone.

Sometimes they become white noise. But when we have, what are our morning rituals or nighttime rituals that we can add into further behaviours or habits that we can add on time and time again. It’s super, super important. And this will help you to overcome any adversity that you may be going through because basically you’re changing your focus, you’re changing your focus to maybe a challenge or a robot that you’re going through to a positive focus that you’re going to build what we call that internal muscle to help you to overcome any adversity at the moment.

Do you have any examples of let’s say – because I know how tough those races are. No, I haven’t done perhaps as much mileage as you have, but I know that there comes a point typically, especially if you’re increasing the mileage for your races where you’re like, you know, it starts to get difficult essentially is what I’m trying to say. What’s your favourite example of adversity where you’ve overcome it and you know, what’s the story there? What’s the process that you went through?

I remember one race, it’s quite interesting, right? It was in the middle of the night. It was through the Blue Mountains in New South Wales and it was dark, it was about one o’clock in the morning and I was around about 60km in 2100km run. And I was in a world of pain. You know, people here, you’ve hit the run as well. I think this is about my third wall in and I was in a world of pain and you could hear noises on the side in the bush and you’ve got your head lap on and I turned my head lamp to see what it was. But when you turn your head lamp to see what it was, it actually goes off your path and through the path, ribbons tied into the tree. So you can see the reflectors along. So you know where you’re going. So you’re just running along. I’m just running along and hearing these things bouncing. Obviously they’re kangaroos bouncing off. You’re just going, please don’t eat me, kangaroos won’t eat you.

But like that’s what’s going through the mind. And I was in a world of pain. And I remember distinctly this next bit, I called and told my wife I said no babe, honey, I’m in a world of pain. Please help me. Nothing caught up on my sister’s three System assists. Please help, my brother is really hurting here. This is all in my head, all talking out to myself, nothing. And then I called my daughter, I said Lilly it’s dad, I’m hurting. Please give me some energy. Next minute I just felt this wave of energy come through me like I just been hit by a lightning bolt. My walk started to become a jog. My jog started to become a run. I was crying, I was bawling, I was yelling but I had this energy come through me. I still get quite emotional now talking about it and what I realised was that we don’t have to do this alone. We don’t have to walk through adversity alone. They could be in person with you or just ask for the help but by asking for help will allow you to get through any adversity, particularly guys for listening to this show. Today, life is not about trying to fix it yourself. It’s not about trying to solve all the problems. Sometimes we need to put our hand up and ask for help because help is there. You just need to communicate it. You just need to ask for. And that’s what I realised through life. We go through all the ups and downs and challenges and what I realised that night, this ability to ask when I’m going and doing it tough, could be out in a run. Hi, I just need a deep breath. I’m hurting on my own through a race. But they could be with you. They could be not. But by asking for help will actually get you through your adversity.

It’s a great answer I should have asked at the end though because I’m not sure how we’re gonna top that now, thank you for that. So how do you feel about a change of pace?

First business at the age of 19, we’ll talk about that. Yeah, so it’s funny, I remember when you are at school, I think it must have been about 14 – 13, 14. And in business studies, the teacher at the time said, okay, we’re doing business studies and I want you to draw back in the day, draw your business. And I said, Okay, great. Now I was right into my fitness and training back then and you know, rugby and water polo and surfing and all that cool stuff. I thought, wow, what kind of business if I was to have a business, what would it be like? And so I drew this building and on top of it said Shorty’s Gym, it’s like cool, the teacher said that’s pretty cool. And at the age of 17 I was one of the youngest people to get my fitness instructor’s license or registration. And I was in, I was doing my training at a gene that was over 18. You know, I had a nice smile and the guys allowed me in and the girls allowed me and it was a really great experience. And I remember through that young time of actually learning the skills and surrounding myself with other professionals, allow me to start my first fitness training business at the age of 19. So I had a number of staff age of 19. And then when I moved into 25 a dozen staff working for me, I was running a personal training business all throughout Sydney. And then at the age of 21, I bought my first gymnasium with my business partner back in the day. And so that allowed us to grow into a number of fitness centres. We won numerous business awards, nationally. Best fitness centre on local business awards, but also within the industry. And I was fortunate enough back then to be Australia’s best personal trainer two years in a row. And so what that allowed me to do is to really hone my craft in once again communication, the ability to ask quality questions.

And so that yearning of thirst for business and knowledge will allow me to, I guess we’re wearing today that’s seeking what else, what else and asking those questions, helping people obviously get super fit and healthy. But then how can we look at that and grow the business and ask questions? How can we allow us with some great success over the times. I love the story also how you’re at the age of 13, 14 doing like visualization exercises that most people don’t do when they’re adults like that.

You know, it’s super cool every year. What we do as a family, we sit down and we do our vision boards for the year. So, you know, that period between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s usually pretty quiet. We all sit down around the table and we use our laptops, we Google images and put on a power point sheet and we print out laminate and we’ve all got them in our showers. So all the kids and I and my wife, we’ve all got our vision boards, so we’re actually seeing it every day.

It’s a great little strategy if you’ve got kids as well, but if you’ve got partners, to really bring everyone together and great talking point as well. That’s a good one. Underrated, I think that what’s your thoughts on your vision board at the moment, So what’s on my vision board is, I’ve actually ticked a fair few of them off. We recently moved up to Paradise from Sydney up, as I said to Byron Bay. So that was on vision board building a granny flat in one of our other properties that’s on the vision boards were taking that off. One of the things is my Indian scout motorcycle,  that’s on the vision board. And also, we’ve got another business called the Parents Nest that were growing that at the moment. That’s really exciting. And obviously this run that we’re doing in September that’s on the board as well.

Nice. Are you still in um, the gym business or the fitness business or did you exit that?

So interesting story around that. In 2008 we sat down with our business coach at the time and initially my business partner and I had some grand plans of expansion and you know, franchise and licensing and really let’s go through. And in 2008 we sat down with our business coaches of playing for the year and I was super excited. We had the managers, we had the sales staff, we had the trainers all ready to go. I was on a lot of fitness boards, committees and doing a lot of presenting and my business partner was training and also doing in February presenting and really excited to plan out for the year. And he goes, yeah, I don’t really want to expand anymore. Oh okay, I’m pretty much happy where I am, I’m pretty chill, you know, good income coming through, good lifestyle, that wasn’t the original plan and so back and forth, back and forth. And he said, well what would it be like if I brought you out? Right, let’s entertain that. And within four hours we came up with the heads of agreement. I was selling my share and coach at the time said, you know, wow, in my 15 years of coaching businesses, I’ve never seen that happen so quickly. And I said to him, well if you’re not aligned then what’s the point?

I could still go down this path, but it will be butting heads and that was the best, best decision, best gift. And I came home, I said, babe, some other gyms, so, okay, no worries. And so from there it was a bit of a reinvention for so many years. I was being Mr Fitness and so I ran, you know, I love the coaching side of things, I love helping people and what I realised is like cool, let’s utilise some of these tools that have helped grow my businesses in the past and helping people and leading people. And I came up with a, a group coaching model and so for four months I ran a pilot program and people achieve more in that four months and they did the whole previous year. And I remember one guy in particular, he was an interior designer and uh, halfway through the program or one of his original goals was to be Australia’s most recognised interior designer, great big hairy, audacious goal, love it. And halfway through the program, the four months an opportunity came across this table to be on one of the reality TV shows of interior designers.

Now you think about back in 2009 when this is all the reality shows – sort of there’s some good ones and some not so good ones was kicking off. It was really but as the group got around him and backed him said go for it and so he did, he went on the show and he came second and his name was Darren Palmer, is Darren Palmer, and now Darren Palmer for the international audience is now Australia’s most recognised interior designer. He’s on all the other reality shows as a guest judge for and he’s all got sponsorships on tv and radio and so forth and so forth. And I saw him not long ago, a couple of months ago, and he said, sure I remember that first time when we set that goal, look at where we are now. I said fantastic. So yeah, that was. And that then led me onto obviously further coaching and training and presenting.

A great example of having a clear outcome because if you have a clear idea of what you want that helps you make those kind of decisions, right?

Yeah, very, very true. And that’s the combination of the vision board, the goal and also the why behind it. What’s the driving force? Why do you want to achieve that goal? And I think when all those three are reliant, then you focus on the activity magic happens. So you’ve sold your share with the business. I mean what you’re doing day one of not being involved in it anymore. He was, it was a bit of a, right where to, what’s next? And you know, it’s been navel gazing and for a little while and a bit of an identity crisis and I went on to do some further studies around neuro linguistic programming, but a timeline therapy and hypnosis just to really further my skills in communication and really have a look at that aspect of those modalities that really interests me at that time. And so that then led me on the quest and the thirst for more information and more courses. And then that led me into putting the group coaching program together.

Yes. Would you like to maybe mention Living Your Dream?

Definitely. So yes, I wrote a book many, many years ago called Living Your Dream. And, and I think the concept around that is looking at what that big picture looks like, taking yourself 5, 10, 15 years and using their creative imagination of what that actually looks like for you because what happens, what I see so often time and time again is we just get caught in the trenches of the rat race and going round and round and round, we don’t stop to take a breath and go, you know, if money wasn’t an issue, if time wasn’t an issue, what would you do, where would you be? Who would you be with? What would you be? Who would you be? And so, by having those thought provoking questions, that allows you to start to think and get into the creative space to really go, wow, that could be a reality, that could be a possibility.

And then from there we can start to then reverse engineer that back. So if it’s a ten year plan or a five year plan, what would that reverse engineered back look like four years, three years, two years, one year, you know, three months, what would tomorrow look like? And then that starts to create that journey of, right, this is where I want to go. Can it change? Yeah, again, you have to be stuck into that same path, right? But allows you to have that direction, and I had that vision to really live your dream.

What do you say to someone who doesn’t really have a good answer to those questions?

One of the phrases I got from our communication is that you help coach people on becoming a better version of themselves. I find that a common response to those kind of questions like how do you want to spend your time is I don’t really know. So how do you help people in finding out what that is for them now? This is a really controversial answer because I believe the answer I don’t know is bit of BS.

I believe that the answer I don’t know is a lazy response. Give me two minutes and I’ll find out the answer because if you didn’t know, what would it be if you did know, what could it be? What happens is that when the answer of I don’t know, that’s an instant reaction is a knee jerk reaction. People don’t actually sit with it and breathe it in to actually feel it, see it here and utilise all the different senses to go, but if I could, if I would, hell, what would that look like? What could it be looked like? And asking the what more and more and more rather than I don’t know, would you say that it’s actually self-imposed limitations then? So what you’re saying is if there were no reasonable limits, you know what would it be and people are boxing themselves in a bit. You say? That’s fair. I think it’s I think people don’t ask better quality questions. So what my belief is ask quality questions, get quality results, get quality life by the questions that we asked time and time again is, you know, what type of questions are you asking yourself? Are you asking those bigger picture questions or are you asking what’s on TV tonight?

Right. What are some of the questions that you are asking yourself? And if you didn’t know if you could think about, you know what would life be like? Where would you like to travel, What car would you like to drive? Who is your partner that you would like to be with? Would you like kids? Where would you like to live? And by utilising the creative spaces and emerging yourself into education around looking at your beliefs and looking at behaviours and go, right, there’s a limitation. Okay, where’s that actually coming from? I don’t know. But if you did know where could it come from? Okay, so let me think now you’re saying, you don’t know. But if you didn’t know around a certain age, what was it? And so therefore we’re asking different types of questions to get to the focal point of where that resistance is and when we identify where that resistance is, we can start to let things go easily and effortlessly. And so that’s coming back to asking better questions to self-great points.

So scenario, on the topic of adversity, let’s say family, friend, someone you care about, it’s a scenario where you’ll run into them, you’ve got a few minutes with them and they’re like I’m having such a hard time at the moment, I’m really going through some stuff. You’ve got a few minutes and they’re like what are your thoughts on that? Can you help me? What do you say? What’s coming up for you right now? What is it, where is it coming from? Talk to me. I think the biggest thing is the ability to have conversation. And it’s the ability sometimes even is what people need having someone just to use to listen rather than talk. And what I find so often is particularly by blokes by having created a safe space to let them share, let them just get things off their chest and just to hold space for them, they feel nurtured, they feel safe and they feel right okay, now I can move forward because I’ve got it all out.

And so, for example, here would be cool. What’s coming out for you asking questions? Cool. There’s been a lot. Has this been for everything or just a part time thing? Okay, great. And so if you were to have one thing that could help you to move forward – not 50 things, because we’ve all got 50 things that we could do – but if you could have one thing they could just help you to move in the right direction, what do you think that one thing could be? Yeah, I think I know, great. One of the biggest things I find when people go through adversity is they don’t move enough. I was talking to a buddy today, for example, and he was running and just went I feel tired of it. And I said cool, go for a run. Is what I said different. They called me after. He went for a 20 minute run. He called me back. Thank you, Shorty. I feel amazing. Yeah. I said because you’re not moving. I said when you exercise, when you release that energy, your endorphins, your good hormones are flowing. You’re moving your muscles, you’re getting the blood pumping, you get the oxygen in, allows you to think clearly to respond to.

I’ve done my best problem solving on a nice long run. I conquered the world’s problems on a run, right? It’s the ability to think and see and react completely different. So if you’re feeling stuck, when was your last good exercise session? Get out there and move, get out there and breathe. The idea of the question is like, what would you say in that first few minutes with someone? And when you respond with the question, I was like, do I have to create a character right now? Do I have to actually kind of – what’s my scenario?

It’s a good answer, but I must admit, I thought I was going to have to do some acting for a second then, and that’s a thing, right? People don’t necessarily like being told what to do in general, but if we can ask – coming back to questions – I see it with my clients all the time. Like I won’t tell them what to do, but I’ll ask the questions for them to own the answer for them to do what they need to do. Because over 20 years of coaching people in all different areas in all different industries, 90% of people have 95% of the answers within them. They know what to do. They just need to air it. They need to vent it or they need a little bit of guidance to ask questions in order for them to take that action to move them forward. Well, you touched upon the fact that it’s just about making them feel better. If they feel better, they have those answers, right? So totally go for a run is to go maybe, yep or anything, you know, like what? Just move, if it’s a walk, if it’s a swim, if it’s hitting the weights, if it’s hitting a boxing bag or whatever it is, yoga, just get out there and move the body. That’s so important.

Is there anything that you feel that would be a value on the topic of adversity that I haven’t asked you about today?

I think just on a couple of different areas is about self-care. You know, we’ve heard so much over the last 18 months, but the ability to really have important rituals around your self-care, when I work out what we call ideal weeks with clients and map out their time management. The biggest thing that we firstly put in is your big rocks, How are you looking after you? Because you can’t look after anyone else, your clients, your team or your suppliers or your family, your friends, unless you are fit and healthy. So when you’ve got your exercise, when have you got your breathing or meditating or whatever type of relaxation that you do, yoga, stretching, where you have that quiet time. Do you read? Do you fill your mind up? Do you listen to warrior books? Do you journal? Do you get your thoughts out? Do you have gratitude? What are you feeding yourself? Good nutrition? You have enough hydration and water. All these little things are the 1% that have a massive impact to your thinking and to your reacting to allow you to achieve, set And achieve and exceed your goals time in time about. It’s looking after self first.

Okay. Thanks for that. You touched on your vision board and the fact that you wanted to grow your parenting business. Have you got anything specific around the business skills there?

Yeah, I’ve got a few actually. So I’ve run a dad’s program called the R.E.A.L. Dads Programme. So we’re looking to get that into all the hospitals throughout New South Wales. My wife runs a program called Calm Birth. We’re looking to take that further and expanding that as well. And we’ve got a number of the courses that we’re launching over the next few months as well. So it’s all systems go there and we’re excited to grow that business as well.

Well, a lot of good value in this one, so thank you very much for all the information. I think if people run with it and apply that, I think you’ll be highly beneficial. Would you mind sharing, Shorty – if I’m allowed to call you that of course – where the best place for people to find you is?

Yeah, definitely. So all my socials are either at coachjamesshort or

Thank you very much.

Wonderful. Thank you for having me.