Hey, I’m Grant.
At the age of twelve, I feel like I lost myself. Up until that point in my life, the opinion of others didn’t influence me. Instead, I did what brought me happiness. Unlike today, where much time is spent considering how we’ll be judged by others, I just followed my instinct. Did I care if my hobbies weren’t popular with others? No, I just did them because I thought they were fun.
I distinctly remember two moments at the beginning of secondary school that brought me pain, and still stick with me today. Some teasing words from other kids about my ‘looks’ were enough to destroy my confidence and question my worth. I felt ugly and insignificant.
From that moment on, I took the less risky route of fitting in, frightened to stay true to myself. Living a life that isn’t in alignment with who you really are to please others isn’t sustainable, and resulted in me feeling shit about myself.
Going to University because society says so
At the age of eighteen, still insecure and self-concsious, I set off to University to study Mechanical Engineering. Why? I don’t know. I just followed the crowd (my mates), believing it was the right thing to do. Did I have a passion for Mechanical Engineering? No, I didn’t enjoy physics, and failed maths.
GO TO UNIVERSITY, THEN GET A JOB. That’s the strategy that ‘society’ has made the norm! But, is it right for everyone?
With my average grades (I never enjoyed school .. but I love learning now, because I get choose the subject), I was admitted into the lowest of the three tiers of degree in Engineering, a Bachelors of Science. Hating the content of the coursework, I failed an exam (and the re-sit) in my second year of University. It’s tough to be great when you don’t enjoy the process.
Although I hated what I was doing, and almost dropped out, fear got a hold of me and kept me doing something I didn’t enjoy. I feared people would look down on me because I didn’t have a degree. Again, my insecurity lead to fear, which resulted in me doing something to impress others, at the expense of my own happiness.
However, I wasn’t happy working half-heartedly, so decided to improve my work ethic. My grades subsequently shot up, and fast-forward three years, I graduated with a First Class Master of Engineering Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
The toughest battle of my life – deep depression
After leaving University, I managed to get a job and quickly became accustomed to a nice salary, and a comfortable life. However, it wasn’t long until I realised that the work didn’t inspire or fulfil me. As a new graduate, I was put into a very administrative role that didn’t align with my personality or talents. As such, I found it boring and it sucked the life from me!
Soon after I started working as a professional, at the age of twenty-four, the many years of ‘living in someone else’s shoes’ caught up with me. I now had to fight the toughest battle of my life, falling into deep depression.
When you’re depressed, it feels like there’s no end in sight. Again, my insecurity, and need to ‘front’ meant that I didn’t want to open up to anyone. I thought I’d look weak, and people would question my masculinity. In hindsight, it’s a sign of strength to open up, as it takes enormous courage to do so.
This battle lasted a year, and fortunately I came out the other side. That year was powerful! I had to look deep inside myself and questioned everything. I knew I could no longer ‘front’, and had to let go of much of the baggage I’d carried since my early teens.
Mountains and men
During my battle with depression, I started to do something that I did a lot as a kid. I began exploring the outdoors again, going on long hikes and camping in the wild with friends.
Despite feeling shit when I was in the office or at home, when out in the wild I quickly began to feel much better. The feeling of tension and anxiety was lifted. My busy mind started to feel much clearer, like a fog had been lifted. I went from worrying about the future and the past to being completely present in the moment.
Additionally, my self-confidence started grew as I overcame physically challenging climbs, and spent time alone in the wild.
With these climbs I also felt fitter and stronger.
The mountains literally changed my mind.
Having experienced these benefits first hand, I want others to experience them. It’s not just me that’s experienced these benefits, several studies are now demonstrating the benefits of spending time outdoors.
The first step to making positive changes in our life is to get ourselves mentally fit. Once we’re in a good place mentally, the limits are off and we can truly fulfil our potential.
It’s time to answer your primal instincts and start exploring the wilderness like our hunter gatherer ancestors!
Enter Mountains and Men.
Not only will I help you plan and prepare for your first adventure into the wild, but I’ll also discuss a lot of ‘man stuff’ which you’ll find in Campfire Chat.
Answer your primal instinct now to become mentally unstoppable!