Paul McGee

Have you heard of the Sumo Guy?

Paul McGee, is the proud creator and author of SUMO. Thus, he’s called The Sumo Guy. He’s a motivational speaker, a performance coach, and a conference facilitator who educates companies on how to survive and thrive in challenging times—dealing with change, developing relationships in the workplace, performing under pressure, and inspiring others as a leader. His SUMO book became one of Capstone’s best-selling books.

Paul’s work has been recognized and endorsed by the Elite Performance Director of the British Olympic Association, and Sir Clive Woodward.

Paul’s provocatively titled book SUMO (Shut Up, Move On) became an instant bestseller, and his book on Self Confidence reached number one in the WH Smith Business Book chart and remained there for 24 weeks. He has also written further books including How to Speak to People Really Listen, covering public speaking, and How Not to Worry.

Connect with Paul here:

Website: https://www.thesumoguy.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thesumoguy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paul.mcgee.5245

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulm5/

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Professor & Best Selling Author, Paul McGee Shares His Unique Journey The SUMO Way

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog. I have an incredible guest here with me today. Paul, how are you?

Paul McGee
I am Great. Thank you, Pamela. I’m doing great. I’m just a little bit bad.

Pamela Bardhi
It is truly an otter dev you here today, Paul, you are incredible. You have done remarkable things in your life. And you’ve got more and more coming, which is so exciting. And I’m so excited to talk about it. But the first question that I always start with is what inspired you on your journey to where you are today? a loaded question. I know

Paul McGee
What inspired me. When I was at school, I wasn’t thinking I’ll be a motivational speaker performance coach and write books. I wanted to be an actor or a journalist. So I guess what inspired me on my journey was, I was very unpretty self-aware. And one of the things I’m very aware of is I just wasn’t good at a lot of things. But give me an opportunity to speak, give me an opportunity to be the center of attention. And all of a sudden Maggie comes alive. Put me on a soccer pitch a basketball court, anything else and I’ll tell you why I raise other people’s self-esteem. Because I make everyone else look good when they’re against me. But when it came to acting, when it came to public speaking, I suddenly thought I found my sweet spot. I’ve had a very varied background.

And when I was a student during the summer holidays used to clean toilets in the city center in Manchester. I worked as a bank clerk, worked in a well in a hamburger factory managing 30 women making cheap hamburgers. That was an interesting experience. Still got the emotional scars. I’ve been a probation officer, I’ve worked with criminals, or been some of the top security prisoners in the UK. I’ve lost my job through ill health with chronic fatigue syndrome, you call it in the US CFS. It’s been an interesting journey. I ran away from home at the age of 10. I’d had four different schools and four different father figures by the time I was nine. So it’s been colorful, to say the least. But I’ve been married 34 years. And someone said what to the same woman I want.

Not to several different women. She has been a rock in my life. My life is full of roller coasters. Both work and personally. But it’s still exciting. And you know, Pamela, is still a privilege to be on this planet around me every day. 100 billion homosapiens have walked this planet, this close to 8 billion alive at the moment. So 92 billion people have walked before us on this planet. And those of us alive today have never had so many opportunities, despite the pandemic, despite all the things we hear about. Life is amazing. It’s an adventure. It’s an absolute privilege. I want to make the most of my time here.

Pamela Bardhi
You are incredible. It is a privilege to have you here, Paul, I love your insight. And I love your story. And I can’t wait to dig into it a little bit. Now the first question is you mentioned you wanted to be an actor when you grew up. We asked you when you were a kid, what did you want to be?

Paul McGee
I’ve only had an insight about this recently, I wanted to be famous. And the only thing that could I thought could make me famous was acting. And so it wasn’t so much what kind of actor, I just thought, hey, I’d like to be famous. That was when I was six, seven, or eight. But what I realize now as someone who’s 56 years old, it wasn’t that I wanted to be famous. I wanted to be loved, I wanted some kind of recognition, not on a stage. I just wanted recognition of who I am. To feel loved and feel a sense of I belong.

I still look for opportunities not to become famous. But I do still want to influence people, I think I’ve got a few things to say I’ve written 13 books. One of those books became a Sunday Times bestseller, which is the equivalent of a New York Times bestseller. And I’ve worked with some amazing people. I just feel in these 56 years, I’ve stumbled on some stuff that’s good. I’ve searched for stuff that’s helpful. And you kind of think we’ll watch your gift, Paul. The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of your life is to give your gift away. And that’s kind of what I’m working out. Really.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. Thank you so much for sharing all of that, I definitely want to get into your books, because you’re just incredible. 13 That’s amazing and then a Sunday bestseller. That’s even more incredible that it got to that level. Now you had talked about your childhood a little bit. And the only reason I bring this up is that I’m sure there’s people listening that can relate. Or somebody who can relate that maybe they going through a similar situation. If you could talk about your experience a little bit, growing up, because you had mentioned four father figures, by the time you were nine.

Paul McGee
Yeah. And, you know, is still not a pleasant avenue to explore, if I’m really honest with you. I think there was a combination of violence. There was psychological abuse from one of my father’s and from the real father is harmless, but just general indifference, and lack of engagement. And of those four father figures when my father is still alive, we have a relationship still. But I lost contact with one who passed away last year. It was a combination of different things really. Suppose at the time, when you’re growing up, you don’t know anything different. But I’d use this metaphor, at times, life is a game of snakes and ladders. You play that game in the US, sometimes you land on a snake.

And I guess one of the things I’ve heard says you don’t quit the game. You keep looking for the ladders. Essentially take another role, which sometimes means rolling up your sleeves, whether it’s in work or in your personal life. I was also fortunate because, despite so highly abusive father figures, I had two grandmothers who were amazing. My dad’s mom and my mom’s mom were fantastic. My mom did the best she could, as well as believed in me. But she was going through some big challenges. And I did have one male role model, if you can call him that an uncle, it was pretty good. But I was devoid of a lot of male positive male inputs.

We talked about it without trying to get into gender identity here. We talk about it with all whatever our gender is, or however, we identify that we can have a masculine side and a feminine side. I got very, okay with my feminine side, being able to talk about feelings. And some of the stuff that we sometimes attribute without generalizing certain feminine traits. That I kind of embrace those and a lot of the work that I’ve done. Like when I was doing my degree, and there were about 25 people on my course, and 20 of them were women.

And I do a lot of work in the HR world. Again, it’s very heavy-laden in the UK with a lot of women. I do work in education and the National Health Service. I don’t know, I just really, as a guy felt comfortable and just trying to understand and explore my feelings. And then look for just hopefully creative and engaging ways to communicate the ideas and insights that I’ve been learning.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. I really appreciate it. Yes. It’s just as positive and as incredible as you are, I would have never thought that you’ve been through something like that in your past. How it shaped you and how you pull forward. But it explains that you had these beautiful feminine figures who came in and helped you sort of navigating out of that. Which is absolutely incredible. And kind of redefining the standard of masculinity, which I think our society as toxic masculinity is everywhere, the macho man and all of these things. And you touched on a little bit when sharing your story that you had different career paths, which seemed the very polar opposite. Walk me through your career a little bit and what was like your first job.

Paul McGee
I was the first kid to even do what we call a level so between the age of 16 and 18. In the UK, you can go on to do these advanced qualifications, they call them A levels, no one in mind. My family never got any kind of qualification. So I managed to get some and I wanted to become an actor. Want to go to drama school but my stepfather at the time, basically convinced my mom, it was a bad idea. He was homophobic. He said that it’s so funny. And it was just toxicity at that kind of extreme level. So my mom was very much influenced and manipulated by him. And she said I’ve always dreamed that you’d work in a bank. I feel so proud to tell people my son works in a bank.

I have suddenly pushed down this line of trying to become a bank clerk. And the thing is I think that people have interviewed people in the past. One of the things I’m skilled at, which is not always positive, is I can convince myself I want to do something even when I don’t. I was good at being interviewed. I’ve always dreamed that I become a bank clerk. But now, well, I want to be an actor. So I just went well and signed up in a bank club. This is no exaggeration on week two of my job. In my long shower, I’m phoning up organizations to try and arrange job interviews. It was horrendous, no offense, people who work in a bank.

But it’s clear that Paul McGee was not put on this planet to work in a bank or to university. Or do a degree that incorporates behavioral, and social psychology. And basically, social sciences by training and as part of my degree, are trained to work with criminals. We call the job in the UK, a probation officer. And that’s where I’d go and visit prisons. I also worked in a hospice with terminally ill cancer patients just a few weeks, again, as experience. But during my summer holidays, and in a variety of different jobs, one of my roles was cleaning the toilets in the YMCA, in Manchester.

Getting my degree decided I want to be a probation officer and I don’t want to be a toilet cleaner, no offense to toilet cleaners. And I got a job working for a big multinational called Birdseye, a frozen food manufacturer. I work in HR and part of what they do is manage 30 women who make the cheap hamburgers. And then within a year of that job, I became ill with this virus with this chronic fatigue syndrome. But in the UK, a lot of skepticism around it, people thought wasn’t a genuine illness. My own doctor sent me to see a psychiatrist.

And that was not an easy experience. Because I knew I could not walk 20 yards without collapsing at times. I was so weak at one stage, my wife would wash me. Sometimes she’d say, Do you want tea or coffee? And I’d kind of go, I just can’t process that question. But I’d have good days and have bad days. And the reason people go, Oh, well, I’ve never had your courage to become an entrepreneur business person. But the reason I became Randstad to run my own business was after three years of being ill. I got to the point where thinking I’m improving. I’m not fully recovered, but I’m improving.

So I wanted to get a lot of part-time jobs. Maybe two hours a day doing something very basic and menial. But it would just give me a sense of purpose and dignity. No one would hire me because I couldn’t pass a medical. So in 1991, I hired myself. I was amazing at the interview, I was a standout candidate, and I even passed my own medical. And that was 30 years ago. And here we are now I’m still standing, as Elton John would say.

Pamela Bardhi
Well, you’re unreal. Thank you,

Paul McGee
I’ll take that as a compliment.

Pamela Bardhi
Like, I just love the diversification of everything that you’ve gone through. It’s just so different and unique. And the journey is just beautiful. And then I’m glad that you invested in yourself.

Paul McGee
Yeah. And in fact, one of the things that went so interesting, just using that phrase invested in yourself. Because when I became self-employed, I literally trying to then sell training to business to companies. And it’s like your toilet cleaner stuff that’s not going to give you a lot of credibilities less than a year working with a big multinational. It works as a bank clerk and you’d failed at that. I didn’t have a lot to play with. But to which I’m always thankful for my American friends, people like Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn.

And start to listen to Zig Ziglar said that your car is a university on wheels. Just as unlike age, myself here, cassette tapes, I just had them. I was consuming them everywhere. I drove and listened to cassette tapes, Jim Rohn said work hard on your job work harder on yourself. And I took that so seriously. I thought I don’t have an amazing backstory in terms of going to be a motivational speaker. I’ve not being a successful entrepreneur, like you are, your listeners in their first year of business, I turned over less than $3,000. But I’d been on invalidity benefit when I was ill. That’s an interesting term in itself, isn’t it? Invalidity, I was labeled an invalid.

Think about that word invalid. I had all that. So when I just turned over $3,000, and my accountant sacked me and said, You’re wasting my time. But in some respects, and I’d kind of been three years without any money anyway. Apart from this invalidity benefit I got from the UK government, I just hung on in there. And there’s a quote I came across in one of those many audio cassettes to listen to and it said this, this is a paraphrase. Within every adversity is a seed of equal or greater opportunity. And this little phrase, words can change worlds.

Words can change worlds. And those words resonated with me. I thought I’m going through some real adversity here. But it’s the receipt of opportunity. Unlike anything that grows it didn’t grow overnight. Yeah, I’ve sold over a quarter million books, 13 countries. I’ve worked with Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. An opportunity to speak at a conference with him in Australia back in 2008. These lots of good things have happened.

But can I just make it clear? I’ve been in business for 30 years now. 1991, when I signed off in Villa DC benefit and turned over $3,000, the equivalent in the first year, and it’s a seed. And the thing is the seeds growing, but you don’t always see it, because it’s beneath the soil. But it’s growing. And things were happening. I guess my passion for personal development was, in a sense, the sunshine and the water for the seed. And now maybe somebody will say, create a bit of a nice garden there, Paul, but it didn’t happen overnight. That’s for sure.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. And I adore that. You mentioned that. Because we live in this world of social media, where everything’s so glamorized and everything seems to happen overnight. Oh, seven figures in six months, like all this guru craziness. And really it takes time.

Paul McGee
I always say behind everyone’s glory, there’s always a story. But you don’t always see the journey to get there. You don’t see the sleepless nights. And sometimes the failed relationships because left behind in the wake of people’s pursuit of success. And the other thing to think about, which is something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently, is people think that when I’m successful, then I’ll be happy.

That isn’t always the case. That was a narrative I bought into for a long time. I wrote the book, The happiness advantage. It talks about the fact that actually when you’re happy, then you’ll be successful. Yet was sometimes told you got to achieve, achieve, and then you’ll be happy. And I might think the pursuit of happiness is like what? So this is something you find, well, maybe it’s not a place to get to. Maybe it’s something to experience right here, right now. And you don’t have to achieve anything or go anywhere. You can just wake up and recognize, wow, I’m alive. I’ve got eyes to see ears to hear. Breathe in from the above ground. There’s challenges but it’s okay.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen. Paul, seriously, amen. Because a lot of the time it’s like, oh, when I get here, I’ll be happy and once I make this amount of money. What people don’t realize is that you get to a certain level. And then you want more, and then you want more. There is never, never a space of like, full gratitude and that what you just said was very important. Stay in the now, be grateful now. That is the game that is.

Paul McGee
And it is interesting because I read a lot about neuroscience. And now our visiting professor at the University of Chester in the northwest of England. When I say I’m a visiting professor, I always like to clarify two things. Number one, I don’t visit very often. And number two, someone said to me recently, well, your professor in common sense. Thanks for your feedback, that’s much appreciated. But I do have a continual talk about that university of wheels and audio cassettes in the early 90s I am still consuming. I want to sharpen the saw as Covey would say, I am listening to podcasts, I am reading, I am listening.

I’m tapping into ancient wisdom from Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, stoicism, I’m like, Whoa, I love the way. So there we go all the way. Well, you’re into that kind of stuff, or your science has proven. I go well, what sometimes neuroscience particularly has proven. It’s confirmed the wisdom of the ancients. They were spot on. That’s what it confirms. It’s just given us a new language and scientific evidence. But I go to the old and I consume the new. I’m constantly trying to just think, Okay, how do I feed myself? Because in a sense, I’m trying to nourish your mind, I’m trying to nourish your heart and your soul. And you do that metaphorically, with the food that you give people, but you’ve got to have something to give.

So I very much want to Invest in me and feed me so that I’m in a position to feel this. But to use them as a story from one of the Gospels, I still do feel that at times. I’m like, the little boy goes, Okay, I’ve got a few fish and a little bit of bread. That’s all I’ve got. And it’s like, the divine, the universe, God, whatever language you want to use goes, Yeah, okay, that’s good. We’ll do something with that. We’ll multiply it. It’s just like, you just show up with your loaves and fishes. And you think this is not a lot. Now, okay, but offer it up anyway, give your gift away, whatever that gift is. However small or ordinary, it might seem, give it away.

And you never know something beyond those a transcendent track that transcends us and our minds. They breathe a bit alive into that and give it a power of its own and a momentum that you could never have achieved by yourself. It’s not easy to quantify, but I just don’t believe that we’re just molecules and atoms and protons, etc. I think there’s a bit more to it than that.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. And also to you mentioned Sumo a little bit, I definitely want to get into your brand, your books. And then talk about what’s coming next for you. Because I know within those, there’s so much spirit of you in there and your experiences. So I’d love to hear about that.

Paul McGee
Yeah, I mean, Sumo is an acronym. So my business evolved from being like a trainer or a coach. To some people say, could you speak at a conference, and let’s just be very, very clear about this. I could do a two-day training course for a company. And then they might want me to then speak at a conference for an hour. But it will have more people in the room, and they’re paying you more to speak for an hour to do a training course for the two days. And I realized lots of people can run workshops and can facilitate. There’s some amazing people out there.

But the ability to hold an audience in the palm of your hand, make them laugh, make them think, and inspire them is not something that’s made as many people who are able to do that. There’s something about the American mindset, and maybe your education system, but the British can be a bit reserved, and a bit very self-deprecating. And I just saw that, okay, I’m now getting an opportunity to speak at some large events. But I go back to what I alluded to earlier on, I have an interesting backstory. It’s a varied backstory.

But at the end of the day, what we love in Britain is we love celebrities. Show me your gold medals, show me your TV series, show me the picture of you, on top of Everest. Show me with you going work, walking on aidid to the North Pole. And I’ve got none of that. So I guess one of the things that I did take as a strategic decision was, well, what could I do? I could start to write and write books. Because the words author wrote, just those two words can give me some credibility. I mean, this professor title, I’ve only had it for 18 months.

So the majority of my business career, I’ve had no real title, no amazing backstory, no celebrity status. But if you’re a celebrity, and we talk about the UK here, you can be an average speaker. In fact, you can be a below-par speaker, but you’ve got your gold medal. You’ve got that video to show you something. And the audience tolerate the fact that you weren’t a great speaker. Because you got this amazing story and you’re well known and the composer photos with the end. But Paul McGee, I have not got the safety net of celebrity to fall back on. So I’ve had to work massively hard at developing material and developing a way to communicate it in an inspiring and engaging way.

And I’m actually glad on one level that I have not been a celebrity, because it made me work harder. I think I’m a better communicator, hopefully, a better person because I know everything I’ve achieved. No one’s handed it to me on a plate. I’ve had to go out and make it happen and compete in a world where doors are open for celebrities. Some of the podcasts in the UK are of celebrities interviewing other celebrities. And I’m just like, fine, you give me a door, you’re not going to open it. I’m going to push the thing. I’m going to keep pushing and I’m pushing because I feel passionate about what I’ve got to say.

And the books have opened doors for me. My Sumo book, Sumo is an acronym. It stands for shuts up, move on. Not as aggressive, it was more shut off, take time out, stop, think reflect, shut up. Those ways of thinking that are holding you back and move on to different ways of thinking. It can also stand for stop, understand, move on. Which some people just find a little bit easier. But that’s the book that really set the ball rolling for me. So in Australia, I’ve read your book, I reckon the audience would love your material. Would you like to come over and speak? You’ll be actually speaking on the same day as Stephen Covey.

In fact, not just on the same day, but literally heels open the conference, he’ll walk offstage. You’ll follow him on. And they were telling me all this because I’m basically saying we spend virtually all our budget on him. So we can hardly pay you anything. But we’ll fly you out of Australia. We’ll give you five days free accommodation, and you will be in the program next to him. And I’m like, I’ll take it. I got about 10 15 minutes one on one time with Stephen Covey as part of that experience, and why did that happen? Because I wrote a book and I didn’t have time. So do you know what I do? I write my books longhand with a pen and with paper and they get my pa to type them up.

And there was 2004, on a kitchen table, and I’m writing this book, and it comes out in oh five, it does pretty well. It opens a few doors. And in 2008. I speak at the same conference as Steven Covey. Again, it’s the seed you don’t see, you don’t see the flowers immediately. But I’m doing stuff behind the scenes and working on persevering and working out. This isn’t happening. I’ve got to quit certain things. Sometimes it’s an interesting thing, isn’t it? Have the courage to quit sometimes. And there’s certain times you need to quit. But then there’s other things you go, no, this is important. I’ll persevere on this one. This is not for quitting some things. It’s good to quit.

Others, it’s important to persevere. So the books, they’ve helped people from all around the world. I love getting emails from people from Russia, from Saudi Arabia, from Iran, literally from all around the world. And people and I love it because when young people contact me read the book. It is incredibly humbling, CST was a bit of a business strategy. But now I’m just blessed beyond belief when some stranger is no longer a stranger. Because they went, I’m just wanting to know, I read your book, and it’s really helped me now. Is everyone a fan of my books now? Do I still get the odd Amazon review with a one-star course? But at the end of the day, if you want to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

And that is a guaranteed way to avoid criticism while I am buying into that narrative. Therefore you always open yourself up to be criticized when you go for it. And that’s what’s happened sometimes. But fortunately, lots of people have loved this stuff as well.

Pamela Bardhi
Adorable. That’s awesome. And you’ve continued to write on 12 more?

Paul McGee
Yeah. Well, I’d written a few actually, in the 90s Sumo was pivotal. It was the game-changer. Since then I’ve written several other books as well. And one of them actually, that came out last October was aimed at young people called Yes. The sumo secrets to be in a positive, confident teenager. And thrilled with that, because that’s something out of my comfort zone. I’ve never written books aimed at young people before I hired a brilliant Illustrator.

And she did a fantastic job. We’re not saying you know, JK Rowling can sit and relax. She’s not going to be threatened with his sales figures, suddenly 10,000 copies in seven months in the UK. But that’s 10,000 kids or maybe getting access to some ideas and inspiration that maybe would not have had otherwise. And we’re getting schools to buy in it by the hundreds. And it’s got some longevity about it, that book. So it’s good. It’s good, and I’m just offering those loaves and fishes and seeing what can become of them.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. So you change the style. And basically, you were speaking to teenagers and that one.

Paul McGee
Yeah. And you know what I did. I think, a really important trait for everyone. I would say, stay humble, stay hungry. There I am, this Sunday Times bestseller, like I said, equals a New York Times bestseller. But I’m writing a book aimed at young people. So do you know what to do? I get myself almost like an advisory board. So on that advisory board, our headteachers, principals, obviously talking to parents and obviously drawing my own experience. I basically got 10 children, 10 young people aged between 10 and 18, to read the first draft. And to give me their opinion, and one of them was was a sort of a friend of mine. He said, Paul, it was really funny because he knows you.

He knows you’ve seen your books when we’re on a holiday. We’ve seen your books at the airport. And he says, and I say to him, Max, you know, Paul McGee, my friend. Yeah, we see his books in airports. But he writes another book, Max. All right. Oh, great. He wants you to read it. And to tell him what you think of it. Max is like, blown away. But if he’s going to be my intended reader, because the books are probably relevant from children aged nine onwards.

I just thought, well, I need not just guy know how to do this. Now. I need to ask kids what they think of it. And then some of the stuff they said was, yeah, that’s really good. That’s funny. Keep it in. Then there’s another better guy, and you’ve got to take that one out. That is such a dad joke. It has to go. And so stay humble. Stay hungry. I find it’s a pretty good strategy for life.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. Fine. You have a new book coming out?

Paul McGee
Indeed, yeah, it’s my 13th. I’d say I don’t get out many shows or do we speak at events and podcasts. I remember I write longhand is set up exactly ages. But this one’s been a slightly easier one to do in some ways. As well as more difficult because how can it be easier and difficult. Because I’ve coauthored the book with someone else. A mate of mine, who actually was inspired by my Sumo book, it really had a big impact on him. He’d written children’s books, he did like things the other way around to me. But he’s now a doctor and got a Ph.D.

He studied human flourishing and happiness. And so we’ve got and Dr. Andy and Professor Paul McGee of come join forces to write a book called The happiness revolution, A manifesto for living your best life. And Andy’s probably looked at the academic stuff more than I would, but we’ve combined forces. And I think this is my best book because I wrote it with someone else. Possibly. Well, see what the readers think of it anyway. I’m really excited about that one. It’s been good to collaborate with someone else rather than have to take on all the burden and the pressure yourself.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. Will look forward to that one coming out. I’m sure it’s going to be another Sunday bestseller

Paul McGee
Who knows? Anyway, I just hope, whether it becomes a best seller or not, I guess you’ve caught your ego would like that. But in some ways, it became a best seller. All that is really an indication. A lot of people have hopefully bought it and read it. And if they bought it and read it, hopefully, it helped them. Can feel a bit of joy when you see yourself in the best sellers list. Of course, that’s good. But the numbers aren’t really there for my ego. The numbers are going wow, look how many people are starting to read this and hopefully helped.

Because there’s a lot of books and happiness, a lot of great books and happiness. But Andy and I are taking both a scientific and also a very gritty and grounded perspective on happiness. Were quite controversial in parts about it, but I just think people will find it a very authentic real book. The same as our goal is to be happy all the time. Actually, it’s not if you are happy all the time. You’d be flipping weirdly. Let me tell you

What Would Paul Older Self Tell His Younger Self

Pamela Bardhi
Agreed. So excited for that one to come out. And with your wisdom with your experience and everything I wanted to ask you. Because this is like the number one question that I always ask. What would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now?

Paul McGee
I think I would go back to what I said before, an analogy of snakes and ladders. There’s going to be some snakes and you’re going to be okay. And actually, if you’re going to win the game, you will come across some snakes or setbacks. Not the end of the story. I think I’d also say to my younger self, and it’s a cliche, enjoy the journey. Do enjoy the journey, enjoy it. Not everyone gets to speak at the Sydney Convention Centre in Australia with Steven Covey.

Everyone gets to be called a visiting professor. Now everyone gets to speak in 41 countries. So it’s not a checklist of achievements. It’s an experience that you are privileged to have and allow yourself to enjoy it. Because Pamela, I have fallen into that trap of I’ll be happy when dot dot dot, and I’d lean into my younger self. And I would say it sometimes Snakes and Ladders. You’ll land on some snakes, but you’re going to be okay, allow yourself to be happier. And enjoy the journey.

Third one, you’re okay. Part of what has fueled your desire to do what you’ve done is maybe to find external validation. And to overcome some of the stuff that you’ve faced as a child. But if you’re just okay anyway, not because of what you achieved, but just for being here on this planet, you’re okay. And so be kind to yourself on this journey. Practice compassion with yourself, and with others. So those would be the three things I think I’d say to my younger self, and whether my younger self would make any sense of that. I don’t know. But other than a third one’s really important. I think we can, we don’t speak to our friends as we speak to ourselves.

And I think we can be constructive in our unchallenging still in our kindness. It’s not about giving ourselves an easy ride. But I am learning to just berate myself less and just to be challenged. Do it from a kind, compassionate place rather than a self-hatred, hatred place, which is where I have been previously.

Pamela Bardhi
Yes, Well, I can completely relate. I’ll be happy when all these differences happen to us. It happens to the best of us too. It’s just like, you get caught in that trap. You have to remember to be present. And I appreciate all your wisdom and all your awesomeness. Now you’ve got to let everyone know where to find you and your amazing self.

Paul McGee
That’s really cool. If you go to my website, thesumoguy.com. You can access a lot including on there, there’s a link to my YouTube channel. So if you’d like some of what I’ve said today, then you can always access some short videos. If you haven’t liked what I’ve said today, you can still access the videos. And then sell them to other people as a form of punishment. You can find me on Twitter, and Instagram. And it’s the same name, which @thesumoguy on Twitter,@sumoguy on Insta and I connect with people quite a lot that way. So links in Insta and Twitter and you might find me if you just put Paul McGee. And look for some weird-looking bloke, you might find me on Facebook as well.

Pamela Bardhi
You’re incredible. Thank you so much, Paul, I appreciate you and am just so excited for you.

Paul McGee
Thank you. Well, I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you. It is really a pleasure.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. Paul, thank you so much. It’s been an honor.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Paul McGee.