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Gary Collins – Simplify Your Life For Better Health

Content by: Gary Collins

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Gary Collins to the show. Gary Collins has a very interesting and unique background that includes military intelligence, Special Agent for the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. His background and expert knowledge brings a much-needed perspective to today’s areas of simple living, health, nutrition, entrepreneurship, self-help and being more self-reliant. He holds an AS degree in Exercise Science, BS in Criminal Justice, and MS in Forensic Science.

In this episode, we discuss how finding our life’s purpose and unplugging from the host of modern day distractions could lead us to happier and healthier lives, enjoy.

Audio Version

downloaditunesListen to Stitcher Questions we ask in this episode:

  • In a world of consumerism, what does simple living mean to you?
  • Why do you think we’re often blind-sighted by the allure of material goods?
  • What made you decide to simplify your life?

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:01:47 Brought to you by one 180Nutrition.com.au. Welcome to the Health Sessions Podcast. Each episode, we cut to the chase as we hang out with real people with real results.

00:02:09 This week, I’m excited to welcome Gary Collins. With a background in military intelligence, and many years working for the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Gary now teaches people to simplify their lives and step back from our consumerist society.

00:02:28 In this episode, we discuss how finding our life’s purpose and unplugging from the host of modern day distractions could lead us to happier and healthier lives. Over to Gary.

00:02:42 Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I am delighted to welcome Gary Collins to the podcast. Gary, how are you?

Gary

00:02:51 Great, great. Thanks for making an exception, since I don’t have the bandwidth to do the video side, we could to do this via phone, so I appreciate it.

Stu

00:02:59 No problem. Look, that’s part of the story, and I think that’s why I’m really intrigued to get into a good old rant with you today, living off the grid, all that kind of stuff. First up, for all of our listeners that might not be familiar with you, I’d just love it. If you could just tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.

Gary

00:03:20 Yeah, I’m … A pretty interesting background. I was in military intelligence and I was a … To include the latter part of my career, where I was a Federal Agent for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration, FDA. I have a little different perspective on how things work in the food and drug industry, obviously, in the United States, but I also traveled all over the world in the State Department too, and that kind of opened my eyes to some other things.

00:03:49 Yeah, I have a degree in Criminal Justice, a master’s in Forensic Science, and another degree in Exercise Science. A lifelong athlete, health advocate. I’ve worked with a lot of clients, consulted with a lot of people. Sports programs, high-end athletes over the years. Then, my life evolved after I got out of the government, and just kind of living the life that I want to, basically.

Stu

00:04:16 Yeah, fantastic. Well, I was digging a little bit into your background, and love your perspective on consumerism and simple living, living off the grid, things like that. I figured that if we could just talk a little bit about that to start, and in-particular consumerism, because boy, oh boy, we are, just appear to be the ultimate consumers. It’s just everything from single use, plastic, not giving a sod about the world, the environment. We have all these possessions that make us feel good, when I think we’ve never felt so lonely.

00:04:58 In this crazy world of consumerism, what are your thoughts on that and what does simple living mean to you? Because I think that we’re, most of us are living the complete opposite of simple living.

Gary

00:05:13 Oh, absolutely. It’s consumerism out of control right now. Humans are the most disconnected to each other and the environment that we have ever been. I take a perspective, see for me, I grew up in a very rural place. I grew up poor. I didn’t have anything, the possessions. I was thinking about that the other day of what my most valuable possessions were growing up. It was my bike, because I could pedal for miles and get A to Z, which meant usually to friends’ houses and also to the basketball courts to go shoot baskets and stuff like that.

00:05:53 It was my basketball, baseball mitt, and my football, I mean for the most part, and a Walkman or my stereo to listen … That was it. Then I got a car later on, then it was my car, but I looked at the things that were really important to me, of the type, family, my dogs and stuff like that, and freedom. I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, and the amount of freedom I had as a kid, and the carefree lifestyle. There were no cellphones. We used rotary dial phones, for god’s sakes, and we had a party line where I grew up.

00:06:34 Simple living, to me, basically means getting back to the basics. The things that truly are important to us as humans. I think we’ve disconnected ourselves, and I’ve talked about this a lot too. That today, people fail to realize that we’re animals. I always have the same saying, “We come from the dirt, we’re going to return to the dirt in the end.” That’s where we’re from, that’s where we’re going. It’s a cycle of life. Somehow, we’ve put ourselves above everything in saying, “We’re superior, we know everything.” We don’t. We’re just hairless apes on a planet full of a bunch of other animals trying to get by.

00:07:16 Society has kind of twisted us into something that’s so, so foreign to humans today, that we’re struggling. I mean, I think most people today are really struggling. It shows in the studies and statistics of depression. People are unhappy. It’s almost 70% of people in the United States hate their job. It’s, there has to be a better way. I mean, that’s the way I look at it. Simple living, to me, is basically just getting back to those basics that make you happy.

Stu

00:07:51 Totally, yeah. It’s interesting, because I think I shared a similar childhood to you in that we didn’t have a lot of money. We lived in the country, and my biggest love was my bike because it gave me this door to freedom. I would get on my bike, and meet up with my friends. We’d go on these broad ranging adventures that used to last the entire day. My mum would say, “You come back before it’s dark for your dinner.”

00:08:23 We’d just be gone. We’d have a couple of pounds in our pockets, nothing else. The adventures that we got up to, and were so empowering for us as well. Nowadays, it’s like parents can’t have their kids leave their sight, because of this mass paranoia that social media puts on us that your child’s going to be taken. Where are they? They can’t cross the road on their own. They’re going to get into trouble, all that kind of stuff.

00:08:55 It’s really radically different, I think, from when I was a kid to when my kids are now. I continually tell them, times were very different back then. “Get off these damn devices and start thinking about just enjoying your life.” It seems that many of us now are very tantalized by this allure of material goods like the newest car, the biggest TV, the next generation iPhone that does exactly the same as the one before it, bar it might have a fancy screen or slightly bigger. Yet, we want, want, want, want.

00:09:37 Why do we want all this stuff? Where does it come from? Because it just seems like 30, 40 years ago we kind of didn’t, and we were enjoying the simple life that we’re trying to aspire to get to. Why do we need all these things?

Gary

00:09:54 Well, I think it’s, well, when you think about it too, I mean, 100 years ago, 80% of people, in the U.S. at least, were farmers. We were interconnected with the land and each other. It’s a little different, as time, obviously, World War II created the Industrial Revolution, really. That’s where foods and canned foods, all that came from, was the war, and that was kind of the turning point.

00:10:19 I think the people who are marketed to the most today are kids. It starts very early, and I think it’s this greed and bureaucracies. Me working in numerous bureaucracies, I just saw it firsthand that, “Greed above everything.” It’s, we’re taught that in order to be happy, we must buy these items. Continue to buy, buy, buy. It’s like a direct reflection of our health and our ever-declining health.

00:10:53 Especially in developed countries, obviously, that with decline, I always have this saying too. I go, “There’s no money in healthy people,” so there’s no incentive for our health as far as our health corporations and drug companies to make us healthier. There’s no incentive for that. If anything, it’s quite the opposite because they need us to keep consuming, even in the healthcare field, so everything’s driven by that consumerism.

00:11:24 Me and a friend were having a talk about this just last night. We grew up together. He goes, ” Why are people so greedy? When is enough enough?” I went, “I know.” I went, “Wow. You make that first million, and then you go, ‘I need 10 million.’ Then you make that 10 million, now you need 100 million. Now you need to be a billionaire.” That thought process is so foreign to a simpleton like me. Once I have enough money to where I can enjoy all the freedoms I want, I don’t need anymore. Call it a day.

00:11:58 What it’s done is it’s created these people to continue to chase the bucket. I think social media is a direct correlation of that. Because I write in my new book, I talk about social media and how it’s ruining our society and the detriment it’s done. Because you think of the people who created these social media platforms, and if they were truly interested in human interconnection and benefited humankind, they wouldn’t all be billionaires. They wouldn’t be the richest people in the world. Their whole goal is to collect data and to sell it to marketing firms, sell it to the government and make more money. It has nothing to do with social interaction, nothing.

00:12:39 It’s true irony that social media is called social media. It’s greed media, because that’s all it is. I mean, when you break it down to its fundamental components, and the people who run these, I’ll be blatantly honest, are horrible people. I mean, they’re not good people. I mean they’re total sociopaths. Yeah.

Stu

00:13:01 Look I totally agree. Especially when you look at the impact that social media is having on our lives from a social interaction, interactivity perspective. Because I remember 20 years ago, when I immigrated from England over to Australia, and I remember getting on the bus from the airport, and we were traveling to the beach. I just thought, “Wow, this is so different to how it is in England,” at the time. Everybody on the bus was talking to each other, irrespective of whether they knew each other or not. Even the bus driver was turning around and giving commentary on where we were going. It was just this social hub, this bus.

00:13:48 Fast forward 20 years now, and everybody is like bowed heads in praise to these devices. No one is talking, no one is talking. You go out to restaurants, they’re doing the same thing. That really comes, that really rips at my heart. Because I remember, we were talking about going out in the bikes, having this freedom and now we’ve got this device in our pockets, if we choose to have one, that just interrupts continually and takes us away from that freedom and that downtime and that just beautiful space where we’re actually being humans.

00:14:28 I can see how it is infiltrating the psyche of our children these days as well. It’s really programming their mind, so it’s frightening stuff. I don’t know where it’s going, but I don’t like it. I’m sure it’s going to be like this whole Minority Report scenario, where we’ve just got this clutter, and advertising and marketing, remarketing, wherever we are in the world. Yeah, it’s craziness, craziness.

Gary

00:14:57 Well, we’re already kind of there with now, with the devices in our houses, Alexa and all those, I don’t even know the names. I will never own one, by the way. Have no desire to own one. They’re shocked that Google’s collecting all your information and that these devices are pretty much on all the time, recording everything you say and you go, “No kidding. Really? You didn’t think that was coming.” That was obvious. What I mean is the do-gooder motto behind the scenes, that they’re just crushing humanity. I mean, think about that. That’s the problem I have with it is we’re advertised to enough already, to death. I bring in a great example in that Decluttering book that’s coming.

00:15:47 I talk about growing up, and the access me and my sister had, or advertisers had to us. It was very little. I mean, we had four channels for TV. I remember the Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set our dad got us as kids. That was our information. I mean, if we were bored, our parents would go, “Hey, why don’t you go look through the encyclopedias?” We would. We’d spread them out all on the floor and that was our information.

00:16:14 Now my phone can store what? Thousands of times, if not millions of times of that information in my phone. It’s more information than I can ever go through in my lifetime. Yeah, and it’s a slippery slope where we’re at right now. That’s what I’m trying, through my experiences and the life that I’m on.

00:16:36 This has been a whole life path of my own that I found people were interested in, and that’s why I’m writing about it. I had no intention, I was just living my life. I found people wanted to hear more about it and went, “Oh.” With the Going Off the Grid book, that had been a project I’d been planning for 10 years. When I put it there and did it, yeah, I did a podcast interview and everyone lost their mind. “What are you doing?” I didn’t think it was all that interesting. I just bought some land. “I’m going to build a house remotely and we’ll see how it goes.” That’s where that whole direction started.

Stu

00:17:10 I think that many of us actually just, we have a feeling that something isn’t quite right. “Something isn’t right, and I can’t put my finger on it.” I’m sure it’s connected to this whole anxiety that seems to be imbued by social media and the need to have to check a device, and it’s reprogramming all of our habits and things like that.

00:17:37 In terms of, let’s talk a little bit about your new book that’s coming out, The Guide to Decluttering Your Life, because I’m sure that social will play a part in that as well, because you certainly to declutter from social media. What can we expect from the book?

Gary

00:17:54 There is actually a chapter on social media where I talk about it. For me, decluttering and minimalism is really kind of a hot topic. I didn’t write the book, I mean, I wrote it, I started this thing a while ago before it really hit and got hot on TV. Kind of like the Off the Grid Book. I was a little precursor. I don’t know how I managed to do that. Yeah, it’s more about, like the title, Decluttering Your Life, it’s not about organizing your closets and your kitchen. That’s great, don’t get me wrong. There is a chapter on that, but that’s a small piece of the puzzle.

00:18:28 Our problem is it’s our lives are cluttered. Social, yeah, it’s social media. Then you add all these electronic devices. Then 500 channels on TV, digital radio now. It’s like it’s just information overload all the time. Humans, again, we have to realize our minds are not wired for that. They’re not wired to have that much input without a negative consequence. We’re single-taskers and that multitasking philosophy that’s been around forever, it’s been proven completely untrue through studies.

00:19:06 The more you multitask, the less you get done, plain and simple. Not only that, but it frazzles you, and you start to have anxiety. You start to have these mental breakdowns. Again, because the brain’s just not wired that way, we’re wired … I always look at it as this is a simple task. I go, “Okay. The hunter, gatherer, that’s where we come from.” We’re hunter, gatherers. Yeah, there’s been agriculture for 10, 15, maybe 20,000 years.

00:19:31 We’re still finding out that we’re not quite sure when agriculture kicked in. We know when it kind of fully kind of kicked in, but we’re not sure when it first started, we’re just guessing. As a hunter, gatherer, you wouldn’t be able to go out and go hunting … You’re hunting animals that can easily kill you, on top of it. You’re doing it as a group, so that there has to be cooperation. Humans are geared for being social.

00:19:58 A lot of our mental capabilities and the size of our brain is in order to communicate with each other and socially interact. That’s been proven too, and usually in groups of less than 50. Once you get up past 50, humans have a hard time interacting. It becomes hard to manage. 150 is kind of the peak before you have to put in levels of hierarchy to manage humans. That’s where the bureaucracy of humans comes from. Now you need these levels, but out hunting, think about it. You’re hunting an animal that is essential for your survival. You’re not going to be able to go chat with your girlfriend, your wife, check your phone, send email. Your priority is on one task, and that is to get you some food. There’s no deviation from that. Then you would get it. Then your task would go to skinning that animal, getting all the vital meat organs, taking it back to camp and enjoying it. That’s, I mean, you look at how hunter, gatherers lived, it was very basic, very simple.

00:21:02 People always go, “Well, we’ve evolved.” No, actually we haven’t. The human body is pretty close to what it was two and a half million years ago, not that much different. Even our brains. If anything’s happened, our brains have shrunk 10%. Our jaws are more narrower, our jaws have narrowed too, from not using our jaws like we used to. Because with agriculture and all these processed foods and carbohydrates and sugar and breads and pastas, we’re not even using our jaws correctly.

00:21:33 It’s very strange when you look at [inaudible 00:21:39] way of we’re very simple creatures, but we’re living in a very complicated society today. I mean, cities think of the size of cities today. It’s almost impossible to have any social interaction. It’s all fleeting. You know what I mean? You could engage with thousands of people in a day through your normal activities in a city and all of them are non-social.

Stu

00:22:04 Yes.

Gary

00:22:05 You know what I mean? There’s no connection.

Stu

00:22:06 Yeah, yeah. Totally, totally. I think that the pinnacle of this, as well, I do wonder whether … Many of us don’t have a purpose in life anymore. We’re part of the program and the system and the machine, and we’re just one of those cogs that’s just doing this, doing this thing. Without actually knowing what this purpose is, it’s very hard for us to be truly happy, I think, find true happiness. What are your thoughts on that?

Gary

00:22:41 Well, and it was interesting. That was the chapter I started with in the Decluttering book. Because I sat there and thought about things and every book, I try, I want, the whole goal is to help people. I write books I wish I had 25 years ago. That’s how I look at it. I go, “I wish I had this book 25 years ago. It would’ve helped me a lot,” and I’m not all knowing. I’m not some that life clairvoyant. I just, these are lessons I’ve learned in life and I want to share them and I hope people will learn from them.

00:23:09 I’ve noticed that, and this is with my friends and just kind of, in general, speaking and talking to people, and when I was working one-on-one with clients in health. As you know, you start working with clients in health, you instantly become a psychologist instead of a trainer, dietician, nutritionist. There’s a lot of mental aspects, things that are going wrong. What I found is, most people are free floating. They really don’t know why they’re here, what their purpose is, and I had to find that too. I had to find my purpose after the government because it will change. Your life purpose is something that you should be passionate in, not only to help benefit your life, but to benefit others. That’s how I look at it. It’s for the greater good, not just the individual. Because again, it goes to us as hunter, gatherers, there was no hoarding of items. Everything was shared. Everything was part of the community.

00:24:07 If you were a hoarder or you took a larger portion than was due to you or that you deserved … I shouldn’t say deserved, but you would actually, could get kicked out of the tribe. You could get ostracized. There was no play in that. Plus, when you had to get up and move, you had to fit all that stuff on your back.

Stu

00:24:28 Yeah, exactly.

Gary

00:24:30 There was no … You couldn’t accumulate items just to accumulate them. You had your basic needs, and that was it. I think today, finding our purpose, we’re lost because we think our purpose is to grind ourselves into oblivion, working for the machine. I always look at it, I tell people, “This is a reality that I didn’t create.” I was born into this world, and I had no say so in it. I’m not saying it’s horrible and that the world’s going to hell in a hand basket, but it’s not quite …

00:25:00 A lot of us are questioning it, especially today.

Stu

00:25:02 Yeah.

Gary

00:25:03 But I was born into this reality and I look at it as a perspective of, as long as I’m not harming anyone, why do I have to participate in this hook, line, and sinker? I can live my life. I can find my purpose and support myself and be happy. But that purpose is what is it? You know, some people are into being the best father, best mother they can be, be a teacher, educator. You know, someone like Elon Musk.

Stu

00:25:33 Yes.

Gary

00:25:33 He knows what his purpose is to be one of the most innovative creators that we’re going to know during our lifetime. But we don’t all have to be Elon Musk. It’s the simple things, you know, like me, it’s writing books now. If you would’ve told me 10 years ago, Gary, you’re going to be writing books and that’s going to be your purpose. I would have been, huh? Whatever. Sure. But it found me, I was on a path and it will kind of find you organically. And you know, in society today we’re told, well, you don’t necessarily have to enjoy it. You just need to do it. It’s like, whoa, wait a second here. You know who said that’s a rule? Oh, you said it’s a rule. that’s, you know, that’s not my rules. My rule should be, I should be able to live the longest, as long as I don’t harm others, you know, not as so I’m a detriment upon a society.

00:26:24 So I look at freedom and I talk about freedom and money. You know, today, obviously money rules the world and this [inaudible 00:26:32]. I’m writing another book on financial freedom. And so far the numbers that I’m busting out for the average middle class American, we will waste close to a million dollars during our life and that we get no benefit out. Just wasted, wasted money.

Stu

00:26:54 Yeah.

Gary

00:26:54 I about, you know, yeah money does … you have to deal with money. But more I look at … the more money you have, the more potential freedom you can acquire. The more freedom you have, the less money it takes to maintain that free, you know? Lower torical.

Stu

00:27:09 Yup.

Gary

00:27:09 But when you break it down, that’s how it works. So the more freedom, the simpler you live, the less money it takes to maintain it.

Stu

00:27:18 Yup. Yup.

Gary

00:27:18 Compared to normal society. Well, that was a long winded-

Stu

00:27:22 No, not at all. It made me think then in terms of your purpose and now, now it’s like you’re educating through writing and you’re getting a sense of purpose through that as well. Did it, did that purpose, I mean was that inside of you when you were going through your old life where you were part of the system where you were cog in the machine or did you have to go through a radical transformation of simplifying your life to find that purpose and to really open up true happiness?

Gary

00:27:59 That’s a really good question. I’d say yes and no being like growing up simply I knew what this life was. I knew what it was to have nothing for the most part. So for me, being in the government, what I did, that was truly based upon helping people, right? I was in law enforcement, I was in the military. So you know, in a roundabout way it was helping other people.

Stu

00:28:21 Yeah.

Gary

00:28:22 So the transition out of that and to do some things … you know it got twisted up by you do 20 years in a government agency, things are a little skewed. You kind of walk, what was I doing? Did I make a difference? And you start to self reflect and go, was that my purpose? Did I miss the mark? And you go, well no, without those experiences I wouldn’t be able to make the next transition.

00:28:46 Those experiences built me and developed me and found this purpose. So the purpose that went after that was I truly wanted to do something that would help people and that I enjoyed. Right?

Stu

00:28:58 Yup.

Gary

00:28:58 So for me I went into the health world because I had a lot of inside knowledge. I understood how the health industry works from the inside out, and I knew it was pretty screwed up and that the way we’re looking at health … and that’s what I teach. I still teach even in everything I teach in the license application process. And the simple life is I told everyone you need to get your health in order first.

Stu

00:29:21 Yep.

Gary

00:29:21 That’s step one, if you want to take back all the power, the power is within you, but it starts with your health. And you know, we’ve got some bad genetics, we’ve got some issues now. Through epigenetics, you know, every generation gets worse and worse and worse.

00:29:38 We’re now seeing a decline in lifespan in the US, instead of living longer now we’re starting to live shorter. Now we’re going backward. So but you work within … work within those … within what’s going on. You still can … because I’ve talked to somebody, they go I’ve got this, I’ve got that. I can’t do what you do. And I go, no, no, no, no. You need to work within the limitations you have an optimize your health within those limitations. Look at Stephen Hawking. I mean, look at that guy. Brilliant physicist of our entire history, let alone our lifetime. And that guy had it. I mean, he had serious, serious physical problems, but he did the best with what he had. And that’s how I tell people you know, you’ve got to get your health in order so you can at least do the best you [inaudible 00:30:29] the best life you possibly can.

00:30:31 If you don’t start there, everything else becomes so much more difficult. You know, if you don’t have your health and you don’t have your clarity because it’s obvious. We know we’re in the health world that … bad gut, bad brain. We know that. Pretty obvious. So yeah, it’s … for me so it wasn’t that hard. Like I said, I just, I looked at what I enjoyed, which was sports, athletics, health, and then that transition, like said it was an organic evolution of the things I was doing and enjoyed in life. And people are saying, hey, we want to hear more about that. We like your health stuff, but we really like this journey you’re on. I’m like oh, you know, it was one of those light bulb moments. I went, hey I think I just found my direction.

Stu

00:31:16 And so to simplify and continue expanding on this journey and I guess declutter your own life. Where was it that you started? What was the first thing that you did?

Gary

00:31:34 You know, for me it was realizing, I bought in hook line and sinker into the consumer lifestyle. You know? Consumerism. I was living in a house that was ridiculously expensive. I paid way too much money for in southern California. It was way more space than I ever needed. It was filled with crap that I never used and none of it made me happy. I remember the dining room table, I think I’d eaten at it three times and I remember the guy we got it on top of his SUV and we had to strap that thing down. I remember watching that thing drive away and I said, I’ll never own a table like that ever again. And I spent months shopping for the dumb thing. I remember I had to have a specific table, a certain color. It had to look a certain way, drove myself nuts.

00:32:20 So I started within, you know, of looking at that and going, okay, how much am I spending to maintain this and this lifestyle? And you know, I went and I either let this house take me down or I get rid of this thing. I got rid of it at a fairly big loss. [inaudible 00:32:36] loss. I mean it was big, but I said in my mind I went, okay, either I hold onto this and it drags me down or I just drop my line in the sand, you know, and say enough and pull the bandaid off and go, I need to go in a different direction. I did. I basically sold everything in the house, sold it at a loss and walked away and said, I’m done. I’m not going to live this type of lifestyle anymore. And so I transitioned from that and I mean, I sold most of my items within 48 hours. I think I made over $10,000 selling all this stuff in my house. And I had, I mean I had a fire sale once I made up my mind, I threw everything up on Craig’s list. And I said, first come, first serve, bring a trailer. I’m getting rid of it all. And I couldn’t believe how many people showed up.

Stu

00:33:31 And to many people listened to that as well. When you mentioned that you might’ve lost some on the sale of your home, they would probably be filled with dread and anxiety and oh crikey. But my question to you is, did you feel better? Because I think that it would have been a release. Is that how it felt?

Gary

00:33:53 Well, and here’s the very part of that story. When I made up my mind and the decision to do it, I was very depressed because I felt like almost a failure and I felt like a failure in society because I was using society’s expectations to generate my psyche basically instead of letting me follow my own path. So at first I was saddened and I remember some items leaving and I was all God, you know, what am I doing? Am I making the right decision? And like I said, the moment of that table … because that table was the last big item I sold. It was it, that was one of the last things left. All of a sudden I had this moment of clarity and I went, oh my God, I don’t have to move this crap anymore.

Stu

00:34:43 Yeah

Gary

00:34:43 I don’t own anything big. And I was back to it. Here’s what my items were. Dogs, tools, mountain bike, road, bike and clothes. That’s what I was back to. Oh my goodness, this is good. And from that moment on, I basically never looked back. It took that ripping the bandaid off moment and dealing with, you know, like I said, a little bit of that moment, impossible failure, but realizing, no, no, no, no, no, no. This is a new [inaudible 00:35:14] that fresh start. This is my start. Now I’m going … and I reduced my financial burden by two thirds.

Stu

00:35:24 Crikey, wow that’s huge.

Gary

00:35:26 Yeah, it was massive. I was debt free. I paid off everything, walked away. And that moment on, I’ve been pretty much debt free. I’ve had to finance some stuff here and there that I quickly paid off while building the house and some other things, but I made sure I could afford it, you know? And that was my, you know, if you can’t afford it, don’t do it.

Stu

00:35:47 Yes, absolutely. If you can’t pay cash for that right now then for one, have a long, hard think about do you actually need it? And what is that going to do to your debt because like you said, it’s the backpack on that sits on your shoulders and it continually grows and it starts to grind us down. And such freedom when you’re managed to take that backpack off. So empowering.

Gary

00:36:19 Well in writing this new book on it because it’s … this is going to be the next book in the Simple Life series. The Simple Life series, is going to go about seven, eight deep so far of different things. And the financial book has been really good because I’m using only basic math in it and I, it’s making me self reflect on all the places where I wasted money and then looking at where we’re at in society today, where we’re wasting money because there’s a stat that the richest 1% in the world make $30,000. That’s the cutoff. So you’re, if you make over $30,000 a year, you’re in the 1% of the richest people in the world. And I broke out the not on minimum wage because in US we want to be at 15 US dollars per hour and there are places that are already doing that.

00:37:04 And I did the math, I think it’s $31,400 a year working 40 hours a week making minimum wage, which means you could be a fry cook cooking French fries all day and you are considered one of the richest 1% in the world. It made me sit back after I wrote that and it was like this moment of we have lost our way because people are bitching and complaining that they don’t get paid enough. Their work’s not valued enough. And I go, no, no, no, no. Yeah don’t get me wrong, the system is screwed up, but there’s plenty of money. You know, we’re complaining about nothing. You know, everyone has the potential to be in the 1% in this world? Wow. And we’re complaining about it. And I think that’s part of it, too is we have … during all this and [inaudible 00:37:55] what we’ve done is taking the focus away from, again, our life purpose, doing the things that we need to do to better our lives.

00:38:03 Instead we’re just feeding the beast. That’s all we’re doing. Our goal is to just keep spending, spend, spend, spend, keep spending that money. And what it does, too is it gets you off focus. That’s where I learned once I got rid of that house and became debt free and also your health, you know, the health is the kicker, too. The less time you have to spend with these peripheral things, you know, shopping for stuff and buying these items and you know, people spend more time researching buying a TV, then they will going out to find a doctor.

Stu

00:38:34 Yes.

Gary

00:38:34 You know, our priorities are so out of whack, but once I got rid of all about things that were taking my time, I have realized that I had way more free time to focus on other things that would improve my life. I actually had, I had to read … I think you’ll like this and your listeners are like this. I actually had a different problem. I had a problem of I didn’t know what to do with my free time.

Stu

00:39:03 Yeah.

Gary

00:39:03 Because it was that much more. I had so much free time. I went, oh my God, how do I fill this time now?

Stu

00:39:14 WEll that’s an amazing problem to have because I would liken that nowadays, too, many of us spend a lot of our free time in the never ending posts and feeds of social media where we can literally lose hours and hours and hours. What … so how did you reprogram? Like what did you do? I mean were you exercising more? Were you thinking more, what were you doing?

Gary

00:39:43 Well and there is more of an evolution actually had some serious health problems when I left the government that I had to take care of that took a couple of years, that I didn’t … I knew something was wrong but I didn’t quite know what. It’s a story I’ve never really told yet. That will come out at some point. I just didn’t, I’m not comfortable sharing some of it because, you know there was some pretty dark periods in my life thereafter I left and trying to figure some stuff out. But yeah, for me it was kind of reflecting back on my childhood again. I went, okay, when you aeren’t in the system, you know, and I’ve been working since I was 13. I’ve had a job since I was 13 years old. And I went, what did you fill your time with?

00:40:26 And I’m like, okay. Outdoors, outdoors, all day long. Even when it got dark sometimes we were outdoors, bikes, exercise, hunting, fishing and all that kind of came back. Oh yeah. Okay. And then trying to balance that with starting a new business. As you know, in the beginning when you are an entrepreneur, when you start a new business, you’re going to put it in far more hours than you ever did working for someone. And that was, you know, cruel little trick that I learned. You know because we all have this kind of a pie in the sky thought process of what entrepreneurs do. We think it’s, you know, someone feeding you grapes in your bathrobe all day while you make millions of dollars. And it’s totally untrue. Even my friends, you know, they look at my lifestyle and they don’t get all the hard work that had to go into getting to where I’m at.

00:41:20 And so I kind of filled that void with trying to build a business and put that time and effort into that. I knew the first two or three years were going to be rough. I knew that once I got going, I went okay, you have to suck it up, short term pain for long term benefit. And that’s how I looked at it. And even with working that hard and the hours I put in, I remember going, this doesn’t seem so bad, you know, compared to what I used to do and working for someone else and all the hours I put in in the government, I went, there’s actually less stress working more hours and harder than I had before. It was kind of an eye opening moment and then trying to balance that, you know? And then there’s points I’m sure we all go through this is burnout.

00:42:08 You get so involved, and you’re working so hard to get this business off the ground and do it the right way. You know, I’m a very, I’m a very black and white guy. You know, I’m on either you cross that line and you go over that line and you’re done, and there’s no going back or you’d do it the right way. Get up and you’re going to pay that, you’re going to pay the price. But the reward at the end is better because you don’t have to look over your shoulder, you’re not worrying about other people because you screwed a bunch of people over in your business, which seems to be the way today. Just make a buck. It doesn’t matter how you do it. I’m not doing that. I’m going to do this the right way. I’ll take my lumps.

00:42:47 And so filling that time and then trying to rebalance after awhile, realizing, okay, I’m burning myself out. I need to incorporate, you know that more of a healthy lifestyle taking breaks on the days where I’m burned out, take a day off, you know, the electronic device day off. Not check email, not answer your cell phone. And I’ll tell you what, if it wasn’t for the business, I would probably would not own a phone, a smartphone, or a wireless phone period. I would not own a cell phone, more than likely. But that’s one of the things with the business. But I don’t have, I never had any social media apps on my phone, never downloaded them. Said I’m not doing the social media, as you know, I’m kind of a little bit of a renegade. In April, May of last year, I drew my line in the sand and said, that’s it. I cut off all Facebook for the business. I’ve never really used it personally very much. And I said, that’s it. I’m not pretending. I’m out. And people were all, holy cow. How are you going to run a business? I go, I have a website. You send me an email. I answer all my emails to this day. You got to fill out a form. If it’s a good question or comment, I’ll answer it. If it’s something stupid, you won’t get an answer.

00:44:02 Plain and simple. And believe or not, I did take a little bit of a decline the first couple months, but since then it’s been nothing but positive. Nothing but.

Stu

00:44:15 Perfect.

Gary

00:44:16 I do dabble in social media a little bit, but it’s … Twitter very infrequently and then I like Pinterest because my stuff’s DIY self help. So, you know, I just throw it out there and I don’t have to respond to it. It takes me a couple minutes to throw something up there and I’m done. I don’t have to interact with it again, but it helps people, you know because they can find my project. They can see something that I put together.

Stu

00:44:44 Yeah.

Gary

00:44:45 You know what I mean?

Stu

00:44:46 Oh totally. Completely. And I am … again, almost living in parallel world to you in that I … if I didn’t run a business like this, I would downgrade my smartphone into a dumb phone which essentially takes away the majority of the distractions with the notifications and the social media. And all this stuff that we really just don’t need. And I had a good conversation a couple of months back with a lady called Catherine Price and she wrote a great book called How To Break Up With Your Phone and just the strategies in there that she discussed allows you to pull all of these notifications away and start to reprogram your habits and things like that. So how does tech play a part in your life now? Like compared to the previous way of living, and you’ve spoken about social media, stuff like that. Are you still plugged into like the iPhone and utilize that or are you pulling away from that as well?

Gary

00:46:00 No, and that’s what I mean. I could not. I actually didn’t get a smartphone until I started the business and it … probably a year into it, I fought it for as long as I could, but I had to respond to emails when I was away, you know, if I wasn’t near my desktop or laptop, how was it done? So I went, okay, I need email on my phone. But I was always wary of not getting too involved with it because I, you’re right. I mean there’s a condition now that people are getting the in their neck from staring at their phone too much. It’s an actual diagnosis now I can’t remember … there’s a term for it, medical term for it now, but for me it’s kind of interesting because people go, but Gary, you run your whole business remotely so it’s based on tech. It sure is. But I only use my tech as tool. And that is it. And they go so you’re not playing video games on my lap?

00:46:57 I don’t have any games on my phone. I don’t play any games on a console. I just don’t have time to play video games. I don’t want to live in a, I want to live in reality. I don’t need to live in some virtual reality. My life’s good in the real world. That’s where I want to live it.

00:47:12 So I downsized. So I have a phone and a laptop. And I have my remote Wifi. I run everything off that. That’s the only device. I don’t have a Fitbit, I have an Apple watch. I don’t have a tablet. I don’t have a Kindle ereader. I don’t need that stuff. I don’t because I don’t think it’s necessary. And not only that, but I came … I used to be a little bit of a tech Geek. I worked for a computer company in between college and the government. I worked for them, that’s what I did. And even in the government, and as I got out I realized I was spending so much time researching, buying these new tech products and then I had to learn them. Once I learned how they operated and how it got proficient, by that time, a new one was already out. So it was like this never ending cycle of buying and learning these products and I just said, that’s it. No more. What are the basics that I need to run my business? That’s what I need. That’s what I need to focus on.

Stu

00:48:15 Yeah, and that’s good advice because it’s almost what are the basics I need to run my life? And no doubt outlined beautifully in the books and the guides and all of the knowledge as well. It does come back to that like, do you actually need this tech? Do you need a heart rate monitor? Do you need to know how many calories you’re burning every time you walked down the street, or maybe you just need to stop worrying about that and just go for a walk and just smell the roses. I remember once I was bought into this heart rate monitor thing and I was used to go running on the beach and do a bit of soft sand running. And I thought, oh, I should really improve my fitness and start to dial into some of the data. And so I spent ages looking at heart rate monitors and chest straps and what watches it would do.

00:49:13 And I finally bought one. And this thing was so uncomfortable and so distracting from the very practice that I used to get so much enjoyment from, I just put it on Ebay the next day and sold it and just thought, this is nonsense. And I think that a lot of that kind of stuff is happening in so many other areas of our life that we have, yeah. We’ve lost our way and we are just dialed into this allure blind sighted by the allure of these material goods that really just distract from the enjoyment of life. That’s my round anyway.

Gary

00:49:47 No, you make a good point. I bring this up during my life events when I speak. And it seems like today we’re more interested in chasing shiny objects and listening to false, I call them false prophets.

00:50:00 I give this example, I go … because people ask me. I go this is an example of people following the wrong people to get advice to better their life. Oprah Winfrey for weight loss, I’m sure she’s a nice person, I met her one time, she seems very nice. She is the last person I would go to for weight loss advice. They look at me and they go, he makes a good point. You’re going to get weight loss advice from someone who A, is heavily, financially invested in companies that are geared towards weight loss, and she’s never been able to control her weight her entire life and she can afford the most expensive personal trainers and nutritionists in the world.

Stu

00:50:45 Yeah.

Gary

00:50:45 That’s not the person you want to get your weight … but people look at it as instead of going to the person with the knowledge, and who can fix them, they go I’ll get the app. I’m going to get the Fitbit. I’m going to monitor my steps. I love when people tell me how many steps they’ve walked. I go who cares.

Stu

00:51:04 Exactly, yeah.

Gary

00:51:06 Who cares? Just walk. I preach, I go just walk. I walk miles every single day. Every day. It’s part of my routine, and people are pretty shocked by my simplicity of workouts and my health. Most people spend so much time buying the new, greatest pair of running shoes which they’ll never run in for the most part.

Stu

00:51:29 Yeah.

Gary

00:51:29 This is the typical example, people go to their New Years resolution, they go I’m going to get healthy. So they go out and buy five hundred thousand bucks worth of shirts that are wicking shirts. Sweat wicking shirts and this and that. I laugh and I go do you know what my workout clothes are? They’re my mountain biking clothes, they’re my road biking clothes, they’re my hanging out clothes, and I recycle my clothes. If a T-shirt gets raggedy, it becomes a workout shirt and then it becomes a rag.

Stu

00:51:57 Yeah.

Gary

00:51:58 Then it becomes a cleaning rag, and then it gets tossed.

Stu

00:52:01 Yeah, yes.

Gary

00:52:02 I’ll get 10 years out of a shirt. A T-shirt.

Stu

00:52:05 Yeah.

Gary

00:52:06 I think people are so … again the consumerism, instead of focusing on the problem, your health, you’re buying the shiny objects and they you go get the shiny person who doesn’t know anything about fixes your health for the most part. They’re selling you more shiny objects. I’d like to hear your opinion, but I’ve talked to people in my world and the health world and we all go it’s just an easy excuse. If you get your advice from people who really aren’t going to fix the problem, it’s like you’re going it’s not a big deal, I’m going to fail. It’s almost like … instead if you go to someone who’s going to hold you personally accountable or someone who really knows what they’re doing and proven.

Stu

00:52:46 Yeah, yeah.

Gary

00:52:46 If you fail, it’s no you. You’re the failure. It wasn’t the information. It wasn’t the person, it was you.

Stu

00:52:54 Totally. I completely agree. I’m always one for removing barriers to everything as well. Especially where our health and exercise is concerned. I’ll just like to put little systems in place that remove all of the barriers. For instance on my mountain bike I just have a bike bag and the bike bag has got everything that I would ever need. I don’t ever have to think about it. I know that I’m going to go out for an hour on the bike, I just pick up[ the bike bag, everything, keys, it’s got the tools, it’s got the pump. It’s got a couple of dollars in there if I do need to stop and do anything. I’m just gone. There’s no barriers to that. Similarly, with swimming, similarly with my workout gear. Which like you I don’t have any workout gear, I just have my old T-shirts and shorts.

00:53:48 I find that all this fancy new gear like wicking, you mentioned these T-shirts that wick away sweat, they’re just [crosstalk 00:53:55].

Gary

00:53:54 Oh, drive me nuts.

Stu

00:53:54 They’re just tend to stink and they’re really uncomfortable, so I just put my old cotton T-shirts on and it just works for me. For me definitely just removing those barriers and then it’s I don’t have to get in my car to drive to the gym, because that’s a barrier. I know that I can jump on my bike, I can cycle into town. There’s not traffic issues. I can lock up my bike, because the lock’s in my bike bag, and in 10 minutes I’m at the gym. I can be lifting a few weights, there’s no barriers going there at all. Totally agree that simplifying all of these things, taking away, removing barriers, things like that so we can actually have more time, which is super valuable. Hopefully if we’re doing all these things, we’re going to have better health which goes hand in hand with having more time. Because if we haven’t got our health, then ultimately time is useless.

Gary

00:54:50 You got nothing, right?

Stu

00:54:51 Yeah.

Gary

00:54:52 Yeah. It’s funny, because the mountain bike, you know this, I just … my Ironman watch just hit 21 years old. I’ve looked at the new ones, there’s no difference.

Stu

00:55:06 Yeah.

Gary

00:55:06 It’s the same thing.

Stu

00:55:06 Yeah.

Gary

00:55:07 Mine’s been all over the world with me, I love it, it cost me I think 30 bucks, 21 years ago. I have a camo bag that hit 15 years old.

Stu

00:55:16 Yeah.

Gary

00:55:16 It stinks, it’s a little crusty, but it works. It’s beautiful, it’s better than the ones. It’s better quality.

Stu

00:55:26 Yeah.

Gary

00:55:26 Part of that in the biking industry is geared toward selling you new stuff, and I just won’t put up with it. I never have.

Stu

00:55:33 No.

Gary

00:55:34 On average, I buy a new mountain bike about every six years.

Stu

00:55:37 Right.

Gary

00:55:37 Road bike’s 12 years old. I need to get a new road bike, because the technology has changed enough.

Stu

00:55:44 Yeah.

Gary

00:55:45 To where it’s probably time, but I buy them on sale.

Stu

00:55:48 Yeah.

Gary

00:55:48 I buy the old year, off season.

Stu

00:55:51 Yes.

Gary

00:55:52 It’s thinking the process through. It’s funny, I’m sure you’ve seen these guys, the biking world is famous for they gear geeks.

Stu

00:56:00 Yeah.

Gary

00:56:00 All they do is buy gear.

Stu

00:56:02 Yeah.

Gary

00:56:03 Gear, gear. You go in their garage and it’s just loaded. They’ve got four, five mountain bikes. They buy a new one every year. Then I had a neighbor who literally polished his bikes more than he rode them. He would have them on stands out in the garage, they were all shiny. I laughed at him one day, I go you know what? I’ve never cleaned my mountain bike. What do you mean? It’s a mountain bike.

Stu

00:56:27 That’s right.

Gary

00:56:28 Why would I clean it?

Stu

00:56:29 Yeah.

Gary

00:56:30 It’s going to get dirty. And everyone knows the grease around that collects all the dust, well that keeps it out of the bearings and the gears.

Stu

00:56:38 Yeah, exactly.

Gary

00:56:38 You clean it, it just collects in the places you don’t want it to collect.

Stu

00:56:41 Yeah, yeah.

Gary

00:56:44 He looked at me like what a jerk kind of thing. But I just looked and him and went I’d rather ride my bike.

Stu

00:56:50 Well that’s right. You’d rather spend an hour riding it than cleaning it, that’s for sure.

Gary

00:56:57 Yeah, yeah. Just the cost effectiveness of it too. He’ll spend tens of thousands of dollars more than I will.

Stu

00:57:06 Yeah.

Gary

00:57:07 Easily, because mountain bikes aren’t cheap today.

Stu

00:57:09 No, no.

Gary

00:57:10 Plus the technology of mountain bikes … it used to be the companies were varied, I mean you could low end to high end. Most bikes today, in the medium range are all really good.

Stu

00:57:21 Yeah, yeah.

Gary

00:57:22 The playing field has leveled out big time on mountain bikes.

Stu

00:57:26 Yes, yeah, absolutely. I was thinking the other day as well, what would be my most prized possession and where have I got the most value out of any one possession. It would actually be my mountain bike. It’s 12 years old, and I have just got so much enjoyment out of it. I’ve got so much health, and just the convenience of being able to go wherever I want to go on this thing. Zero cost in terms of replace a few chains here and there when they’ve worn out, but that’s about it. Don’t have to put petrol in the thing, don’t need to get a warrant and registration for it every single year. It’s given me so much enjoyment [crosstalk 00:58:12]. No insurance, and it gives me the one thing that is most important to me, which is freedom. That’s just going. I get on that thing and that, it’s that time when the ideas come into my mind and I can process and I can de-stress and just think about the day, and I come back in a better mood. That in life is priceless.

Gary

00:58:35 All my books are written on my bikes. I tell people that.

Stu

00:58:39 Yeah.

Gary

00:58:41 I spend hours and hours on those bikes, and I go through basically the outline of the next book, and go over it, and over it, and over it. I go through the ideas and I think about it. That’s where my books are written is on the bike for the most part. Not only that, but like this, I put tubes in my tires. Everyone knows anything about new mountain bikes, it has been for probably 10 years at least. They’re tubeless.

Stu

00:59:08 Yes.

Gary

00:59:08 There’s not tubes in tires anymore.

Stu

00:59:10 Yeah.

Gary

00:59:10 Well the problem with that is you break a bead, and there’s sealant you put in them, but it’s just a big pain in the ass to be honest with you.

Stu

00:59:19 Yeah, yeah.

Gary

00:59:20 Every bike I get, I go we’re pulling the tires off, we’re putting tubes in.

Stu

00:59:25 Yeah.

Gary

00:59:26 We’re putting tubes with puncture resistant … the guys always look at me and go you know that makes your bike heavier, I go yeah, I’m out to get exercise.

Stu

00:59:33 Exactly right.

Gary

00:59:34 I’m not racing in the pro circuit.

Stu

00:59:36 No.

Gary

00:59:36 I don’t want a flat tire.

Stu

00:59:38 No.

Gary

00:59:39 That’s my thing, I don’t want to have to hump my bike back 10 miles out in the middle of nowhere. Because I got a flat tire and I don’t want to carry another tube.

Stu

00:59:46 Yeah.

Gary

00:59:47 To this day of decades of riding bikes, I have never gotten a flat with a thornless set of tubes system on any bike. Never.

Stu

00:59:56 Perfect, perfect.

Gary

00:59:57 Ever.

Stu

00:59:58 Yeah, that’s amazing. That’s good going. Boy oh boy, I could chew your ear off about bikes and it is my biggest passion, but I’m mindful that we’re coming up on time, so I’ve got a question that I just like to ask every guest.

Gary

01:00:16 Sure.

Stu

01:00:19 We’re talking about everything that you have gleamed with your journey through decluttering and simplifying your life, what three top tips or strategies do you think that you could offer that would make the biggest impact on our overall health and wellbeing? They could be super small or long winded. What do you think they might be?

Gary

01:00:43 The first one like we discussed is getting your health in order.

Stu

01:00:46 Yeah.

Gary

01:00:47 That’s number one.

Stu

01:00:48 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary

01:00:49 That’s the starting point. Everyone likes to skip around that one, and it’s a simple psychological aspect. Health is the hardest one to overcome today for people. We have the most built in excuses for it. It’s not my fault, it’s my genetics, I don’t have time. I don’t have money. Eating healthy is way too expensive. This and that. A lot of those are completely absolutely false. If you start there with that task, as I’ve said, everything else becomes easier.

Stu

01:01:18 Yeah.

Gary

01:01:18 You got to start there. It doesn’t mean you just focus on health only. Obviously you’ve got to bring in some other aspects, you got to start working on your … from their life purpose. What is your purpose.

Stu

01:01:28 Yeah.

Gary

01:01:30 Health will help that clarify as you go. From purpose, it’s figuring out, and I don’t want to oversimplify purpose, because purpose is very difficult. Again, I always say the simplest way to find your purpose is go what would I do if I didn’t have to make money to do it today.

Stu

01:01:51 Right, yeah.

Gary

01:01:52 What would that goal be? Most people will go, and it has to be realistic, you can’t just go I’ll play video games. No, no, no. I know become millionaires off that today, but that’s not a purpose.

Stu

01:02:11 Yeah.

Gary

01:02:12 That’s an excuse. Not to say that you can’t play video games, but you better not be doing that for a purpose would be my advice to people.

Stu

01:02:21 Yeah.

Gary

01:02:21 From that purpose write down your list. Okay, what are things I [inaudible 01:02:28] people about health, would I teach them something? Maybe I’d be a homesteader and I’d run courses. I would raise a family, maybe I would be a home schooler. Maybe I would create these fantastic blankets for people to buy of organic cotton. There’s many ways to go, there’s so many opportunities once you open your mind out to it.

Stu

01:02:52 Yes, yeah.

Gary

01:02:52 But it should always be about a return investment within society and your community. That’s where it should come from. Not about me. How am I going to make me the beneficiary of everything, no it doesn’t work that way.

Stu

01:03:09 Yeah.

Gary

01:03:10 That’s selfishness is what that becomes. That become narcissism.

Stu

01:03:14 Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Gary

01:03:15 You don’t want to go there. That’s where the sociopath, psychopath mind comes from.

Stu

01:03:22 Yeah.

Gary

01:03:22 You start to look at people as objects for your benefit. That’s bad, that’s a politician.

Stu

01:03:28 Yeah.

Gary

01:03:28 That’s what they should define a politician as. Then from that, from the purpose, how to incorporate that purpose so you can survive. I tell people, because in my community as I’m sure you get it too, a lot of people think you don’t need money to do anything. They’re all I can figure this out. No, build my house off the grid, I tell people you need money.

Stu

01:04:01 Yeah.

Gary

01:04:01 If you’re going to go do this and buy land, you don’t have any money, I’ve seen hundreds of people fail at this. The simple thing is they go buy a piece of land and they don’t even buy it, they do it on a land contract because they didn’t have the money up front. Then they’re making payments. Then they have no money to build a structure. Then they start living in a tent. They have no water. Then I go why would you do that? Why? You put the cart before the horse.

Stu

01:04:30 Yeah, no, totally [crosstalk 01:04:31].

Gary

01:04:31 Figure out your financial plan. Realize this is going to take money. How do I create a financial plan to get debt free and incorporate into a business model. There’s nothing wrong with working for someone either. Some people don’t have the entrepreneur spirit in them. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Stu

01:04:52 No.

Gary

01:04:53 You could still work for a place that’s enjoyable. There are good companies out there that people work for. Today with telecommuting and some other things, it’s possible to live off grid, liver remotely and still work for a company. Those are the choices you have to make though. How is that going to fit into your life? Those would be the main three I would focus on. I think they’re pretty basic, but from those, I think everything comes together.
Stu: 01:05:22 Perfect. No, I completely agree. Absolutely, yeah. Health purpose and finance as well. I think all of the … if you’re in line with all three, then ultimately you’re going to have more time because you will be doing more of what you love and when you do more of what you love work doesn’t seem like work anyway. You’ll be enjoying your time, and probably have a smile on your face at the end of the day as well which is what everybody wants. That’s great [crosstalk 01:05:54].

01:05:54 We need to come more productive.

Stu

01:05:58 Yeah, totally.

Gary

01:05:59 You know what I mean? When you enjoy what you’re doing, you actually focus on the task instead of when you work for someone or when your doing a job you don’t like, you spend most of your time trying to figure out how not to work.

Stu

01:06:08 Yeah.

Gary

01:06:09 You know what I mean? How to screw off and waste time.

Stu

01:06:11 Yeah, totally.

Gary

01:06:14 [crosstalk 01:06:14].

Stu

01:06:13 And [crosstalk 01:06:14].

Gary

01:06:14 When it’s your responsibility and your business it’s different.

Stu

01:06:16 Yeah, definitely. And social media will offer us so many opportunities to just screw away that time when we need a reason to do so. Yeah, absolutely.

Gary

01:06:27 It creates a bunch of angst and animosity. I’m not saying all social media is bad, I’m not saying that, but I would say a majority of it is a time suck and a waste of time.

Stu

01:06:37 Yeah.

Gary

01:06:37 It’s a place where people just spout off.

Stu

01:06:40 Yeah.

Gary

01:06:40 Not thinking about things, people just trying to stir the pot. The majority of fake news is on social media and people tend to believe it more on social media than they do off, which is weird. There’s so many negative pieces to it that I think you need to really limit your time on social media. The advice I give is maybe, maybe an hour a week at the most.

Stu

01:07:09 Oh yeah.

Gary

01:07:10 On off, out. Do not get sucked in. It’s a place where people can act. A lot of passive agressives on social media.

Stu

01:07:20 Totally.

Gary

01:07:20 If you act that way face to face, you’re going to get punched in the face more than likely.

Stu

01:07:24 Well …

Gary

01:07:24 You know what I mean?

Stu

01:07:25 I do, I do. I think that’s a really good point to highlight. Gary Collins talking about decluttering your life. Simplifying your life as well and living a true purpose is recommending an hour a week on social media. I would bet there’s a huge proportion of our listeners out there at the moment that perhaps spends an hour on social media before breakfast every day. Irrespective of then what happens at lunchtime and when we’ve got some down time and when we get home. Before bed. Think about that long and hard. An hour a week. I know that a lot of our devices now can track and capture exactly what we’re doing in terms of activity and I bet you it’s more than an hour a week.

01:08:17 It would be a good goal to set yourself as well. Just be accountable and maybe if we start to think of the term social as unsocial media, it might start to sit in our psyches in a little bit of a different way as well, because it’s totally unsociable when you’re on those things and around other people that probably want to talk to you. Yeah, [crosstalk 01:08:43].

Gary

01:08:43 It’s a good point. I’ll leave it with this, there’s five … we have five sense humans interact with. Well social media only allows you two. Sight and hearing, that’s it.

Stu

01:08:50 Yeah.

Gary

01:08:53 That’s very uncommon, that’s how we pick friend or foe.

Stu

01:08:55 Yes.

Gary

01:08:55 Those senses are there for a reason.

Stu

01:08:57 Yep.

Gary

01:08:57 Social media eliminates that, and not only that the stat I saw most recent was between TV and social media, I believe this was America, but the average American spends seven hours a day watching TV and interacting on social media.

Stu

01:09:12 Wow, yeah.

Gary

01:09:13 Wow. Think of that. With that free time what you could accomplish.

Stu

01:09:17 There’s a lot of trails to be ridden in seven hours a day.

Gary

01:09:21 Lot of books to be written, a lot of business ideas.

Stu

01:09:26 Yeah.

Gary

01:09:26 A lot of things. Spending time, I don’t know this crazy thing with your family and friends.

Stu

01:09:29 Yeah, no, can you imagine that? What’s next for Gary Collins? You mentioned the guide to decluttering your life coming out very soon, if not already out when this gets published. What have you got in the pipeline?

Gary

01:09:47 The next book in the simple life series is I’m working on that, but I’m taking a little break. I’m also working on as we’re discussing a thriller series with another author. Which is pretty yeah, it’s interesting. This year is pretty full for me. But all good stuff. I have speaking engagements, I’m speaking with mothers news all over the country this year. I just published a book with them, it’s The Off the Grid Workbook for Living Off the Grid.

Stu

01:10:16 Okay.

Gary

01:10:16 I give you an outline A to Z. I’m really proud of this book. You can map your off the grid project, I give you all the costs, time, how to do it. By the end you fill it all out, you have basically your budget.

Stu

01:10:29 Right.

Gary

01:10:29 You know what you’re looking for, size of land. I give you this A to Z of how to plan an off the grid project.

Stu

01:10:37 Fantastic.

Gary

01:10:37 With costs. There’s a lot going on. Who knows is the way I look at it.

Stu

01:10:45 For everyone and anyone then that wants to dial in and get more about you, find out the links to your books, and listen and consume more of your content, where can we send them? What’s the best address?

Gary

01:10:58 Well the best place is my website which is thesimplelifenow.com.

Stu

01:11:03 Right.

Gary

01:11:04 Remember the now, you may end up in a strange place at the end. Maybe mythical Ritchy and Paris Hilton’s website, I don’t remember. [crosstalk 01:11:16]. That’s where I have all my books listed and also not using social for you to stay in touch, you have to sign up for my newsletter.

Stu

01:11:22 Great.

Gary

01:11:22 That’s where my blog, I update everything. I don’t do it like other people do it. I only email stuff out when I think it’s time.

Stu

01:11:32 Got it.

Gary

01:11:33 There’s no schedule, it’s random. I answer all my questions there and all my books are available on Amazon Worldwide so you can get my books anywhere.

Stu

01:11:44 Fantastic. Well look, we will put all of the links that we’ve spoken about to today in the show notes and share this out with our audience, because I’m super excited about having as many people consume your content as possible. It just makes so much sense. Ultimately will lead to a happier and healthier life. Gary, thank you so much for sharing your time with me today. It was much appreciated.

Gary

01:12:09 Thanks for having me on Stu, I had a blast.

Stu

01:12:11 Fantastic. Thank you mate.

Gary Collins

This podcast features Gary Collins who has a very interesting and unique background that includes military intelligence, Special Agent for the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Collins’ background and expert knowledge brings a much-needed perspective to... Read More
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