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Hello, this is happy place I continue to be focusing, and this is a special bonus episode to finish the year because, well, you deserve it, quite frankly. So for Episode 101, episode 101, we have for you Robbie Williams, the fallacy is that if we just had this, this and this and this, everything, the bureau well, I got hold of this, this, this and this and this.
And I felt worse than I did when I was a 16 year old who didn't have any of that is a wonderful wide ranging chat and lots of really interesting things that probably has not yet shared anywhere else. So it's really nice. I think you can really enjoy listening to it.
Now, before you do, I'd like to say a big thank you to the mighty stripe and who are supported this podcast almost entirely through pants their knickers.
As I've said before, time and time again are so incredibly comfortable and that's not by accident. They're sustainably sourced from Beechwood trees and are proven to be at least two times softer than cotton. There's also no VPE, thank God, due to their special flat lock stitching. We do not need Vipul on top of the other stresses of life, and I say almost entirely supported by Pant's because they also make very classy loungewear. Last night I was lounging around in a leopard print, no leopard print, very, very soft jogger's with a very, very soft hoodie affairs with no bra on because that's how I roll so soft, so gorgeous.
And I know that it's become almost a tradition now that I tell you what, parent, because I'm wearing for each episode, I've gone all out for the bonus episode. I'm wearing a tie dye fluorescent pair with a lace trim.
I'll have you know, so go to stripe and stair dotcom and use the code. Happy twenty at the checkout for twenty percent of all purchases. That's happy. Twenty eight stripe instead dotcom. And now a man who has had more than a few knickers thrown in his direction. Here's Robbie.
So I saw you about this time last year, actually, when we were allowed to stand in a room with lots of other people because you were performing a radio to concert that we had, which again, was very festively themed and wonderful.
How are you doing without that part of your career in place, getting to stand on a stage and do your thing and have people scream at you?
Well, I have been happily agoraphobic since about 1996 or 97. And I would say and in 2006, I took three years off erroneously thinking that I had retired. So and I didn't leave the house much.
So I've got this I'm sort of like an Olympian, this this lockdown stuff. This is sort of like my normal life anyway.
I get to spend so much time with the kids, which is incredible. But the thing that I miss seeing the most, we were talking briefly before the podcast started. I've got so many ideas that I want to implement and they're sort of like a backlog of things that I want to do that I know will give me purpose that I'm very, very excited about. And and that bothers me. You know, it bothers me.
And I sort of probably think about it once or twice a day, the sort of biting at the bit to get go in and then realize that I can't I know an awful lot of people out there are having had a horrendous lockdown and a horrendous covid period.
I understand that. And I get it, you know, so I haven't seen my dad since February. I haven't seen my mom since January. My mother in law has got cancer. She's coming through that. She's going to be OK. Praise the Lord touchwood. So we're dealing with our own stuff. But personally, for me, I'm loving the time with the kids.
I just can't wait to be to be able to get back to work and start the process of implementing these dreams that I have.
Do you worry at all because I'm very similar to you and the fact that I, I love being at home. I'm most definitely a hermit. I always have been naturally inclined that way, but pushed myself to be otherwise. So this lockdown, again, I, I don't mind that element of not socializing, of not going out because I don't really like doing that anyway.
But I'm I started to get worried last week. What if this is making that worse? What if after all of this, I don't ever want to go anywhere and I don't and I, I think is a fine line, isn't it, to get that balance, to feel okay, that you're not completely retreating from life and hiding vs. doing what feels intuitively right?
Well, I think that if you eat right, get enough sleep and do enough exercise and you're surrounded by people you love and you have a job now that suits you and your sensibilities, why would you want to go back out into the world while true?
What's the point? We've been there and we've seen it. I know that. And I know that sounds kind of sort of like counter intuitive, especially for people who are inclined to isolate, which isn't the best for their mental health. Yeah, but like I say, if you eat while sleeping, while exercising, surrounded by people you love, what else do you need? Yeah, maybe I get too worried about outside influence, everyone else seems to be just fine going out and socializing and I worry that there's something wrong with me that I don't.
I think you're right. You know, it's about keeping it simple. And if this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that, you know, we just keep it simple and, you know, hopefully that will stand you in good stead to deal with what's going on, I think.
So let me just chip in. I think that something that you were talking about earlier on, which is interesting, we have extrovert jobs, but little did we know that we were introverts. So and you can only find that out with experience. And it's a round round peg square hole because you spend these three, four, five years in the entertainment industry doing the job that we have, not understanding why I'm expecting myself to be this kind of gregarious introvert, but it's it's not happening.
And if you are sort of unconscious and not aware of your own abilities or you judge your own disabilities, as it would seem, it can be very frustrating and a very confusing time.
It's so interesting because I think many make the assumption that anybody doing a job in, you know, in your arena or what I do is instantly going to be an extrovert. And I I think that was probably a later down the line discovery for me, that I'm absolutely an introvert. I love communicating. I absolutely love it, but I don't love being in big crowds. I don't do well at parties, that sort of thing. And I think, you know, you do discover that down the line.
What part of you, when you are on a stage with loads of people, scream your name, sing your song lyrics back.
What is that part of you? What do you need out of that transaction? What do you get out of that transaction?
I'm still trying to figure out how to retain my energy in those circumstances. Yeah. And I'm forty six. I'm middle aged. I'm just about to be 47 and I still don't know how to do it. I don't know how to keep my energy for me and not release everything because you know, we are transmitters we receive and then we have an output and and that's from your relationship with your lover or your children or a stranger or in my case, sometimes 80000 people.
And when it's eighty thousand people and then you have to do it the next night and then you have to do the night after that and you have to repeat what you've just done and given and expect of yourself, then it is debilitates in which quite often is why either end up in hospital or rehab after a tour, because I useless at retaining my energy. For me, I'm exactly the same.
I think that's how you decipher whether you are an introvert or an extrovert is by going by extroverts usually feel they gather energy, momentum being in big crowds, whereas introverts feel absolutely drained. Like after our first Happy Place festival a couple of summers ago, I was talking to all these beautiful people, shaking hands and hugging and all that stuff we could do before covid.
And I ended up sort of after two days of that, just staring at a wall going, oh my God, I don't know what to do.
I'm just absolutely empty. Like I had nothing to give. I think that is usually the time when you can discover, you know, which side of the coin you are, so to speak, with that one. Have you ever this is something that I've asked myself a lot.
You know, I I've done loads of therapy over the years. I still love connecting with different healers and practitioners and whatnot.
And I often try to route back to I wonder why I've ended up in the public eye.
And sometimes I've landed on the conclusion, you know, maybe I do still foolishly seek outside approval, validation, whatever, and then maybe later down the line.
I've also thought, well, maybe I had to go for all that to be where I'm at now, to be able to talk about subjects that I deem seriously interesting and important to lots of people to hopefully help in some small way. Have you asked yourself that question and have you stumbled upon any answers?
No, I haven't asked myself that question. I just know that from when ever I could remember remembering that that was going to be my path in life. My father was on a TV show. He won his heat on a show called New Faces in 1974. And I. Backstage, and if my father had been a policeman, I would have been a policeman, so there has been no left or right or thought about any other path in life. And I got extremely lucky.
The school doors closed. I auditioned for that and I got in and then I was given Willy Wonka's golden ticket, basically. And I understand the privilege of the position that I'm in and I understand these incredible cards that I've been given in the game of life. And I'm just trying to play them the best way that I can. So I've never actually thought why, why I am where I am. I constantly think about why it makes me feel the way it makes me feel.
But I just know that for this go around on the planet, I'm supposed to be doing this.
And how does it make you feel? You know, is there one answer to that? Well, I didn't realize that when you sort of. You know, I spent so many years fighting against normality being taken away from me, and I spent so many years fighting against privacy being taken away from me, and it would have served me better straight away understanding, OK, this is my lot. And you have to make do and work with it, because as much as you push against it, the unhappier you will be.
So it's weird. I've read Simon Cowell just said one line once and it sort of changed my frame of how I think about things. And he just said, embrace the madness. You know, that sort of I come from Stoke. I love my hometown not being able to go there or go out straight away. You know, like when I was 17, people wanted to beat me up.
Everywhere that I went, there was a contract out on me to kill me at one point guard, which I've I've never talked about. And instantly my life was viewed through one filter. And then within a matter of five, six, seven months, I've been catapulted to Mars on a spaceship. And I was expected to understand how to man that spaceship and make it land properly and take care of myself and be safe. And I just wasn't I wanted to return to normality.
I wanted my cake and eat it while still being able to fulfill what I what I presumed was going to be my destiny. And I didn't know that fighting against it was futile.
Yeah. I mean, we've talked about this a lot on the podcast about just the notion of resistance to anything and that being unhappiness, you know, rather than, like you say, Simon Cowell's words, embracing the madness, because beating your head against there isn't going to bring you any inner peace.
How have you done that? How have you embraced the madness? What was that required?
Well, it does help that I'm in a beautiful relationship with a wonderful person, you know, so I have this anchor and safe place. You know, I have my happy place to build from when it was just me being a manchild, going around the world and behaving the way that a man child behaves. I didn't have the tools or the safety net to build a better life for myself. But once I got that sort of it was funny because I was I got in a relationship with Ida and then the press already had it written out.
And then Ida feels comes and saves Robbie Williams life. And I was like, well, I'll go along with this. I'm not happy about that. I've done a lot of work on myself. Thank you very much. But if that's the sort of script that's being, I'll go with it. But now if I look back at it, it's true.
You know, and I was thinking about it before the podcast, you sort of you don't realise that something's wrong until it's too late.
Uh, and basically for me, what happened was a brick wall was started to being built mentally. And then you only realise that you're underneath this brick wall when this factory is built and built on top of you.
By the time you realised that that's happened, it's like having to run a marathon with a broken leg, you know, because you were so far down that you cannot pull yourself out because you have no capability to do that, because you've you've built this factory on top of yourself. You've allowed it to happen through maybe no fault of your own, but that's what you have to deal with. And when you are underneath this factory, this analogy that I'm using right now, what you need to do is pass health care.
But when you don't care about yourself, it's impossible to do better self care because you're so far away from being the person that you need to be that will nurture yourself and give yourself nutrients that it seems like an impossible task. And indeed, it kind of was it's an impossible task to sort out within weeks. It's an impossible task to sort out within months. And most of the time it's an impossible task to sort it out within years.
I think self-loathing has a lot to do with. All of our problems, you know, and you just touched on it there by talking about self care and perhaps your own personal reluctance to to to do that and to have that as part of your daily thinking or just to be the foundations of where you're at in life. And it's something that I personally do a lot of work on have been recently really looking at that element. That part of me that I believe isn't enough, isn't good enough, has made too many mistakes, et cetera, and how that can really just make everything around me crumble.
And, you know, like you say, if if you don't if you're not doing the self care where everything else goes to share.
And I've I realized that again, I always end up in this place. I'm like, why am I here again? Why do I feel like shit again? Why have I stopped looking after myself? And it's always due to this sort of omnipresent hum of self-loathing where you are at the moment with self-loathing versus self appreciation, self acceptance, whatever you want to call it.
I can remember right in this lyric, and it would probably be in two thousand and 11 2012. And the lyric was walking through the horizon. I find myself back here somehow because when you're 23, 24, 25, you think that when you're 34, 35, 36, 37, all of this depression, all of this self-loathing and all of this feeling uncomfortable in the world will disappear and you will have had it sorted out. And then all of a sudden I find myself actually walking through the horizon and realizing I didn't fix me.
And then that's terrifying. Yeah, you know, that's that's sort of like, well, I've done a bit of time on the planet now and I have been mentally in pain for most of the second half of my life. What what is this? As good as it gets? You know, is this how it's going to be for the whole of my life? Am I going to be in turmoil? Am I going to feel this pain for the rest of my life?
And I heard somebody say, once you spend the second 20 years of your life sorting out the first 20 years of your life. And I'm now forty six and I would say. For the last two years, life's been really good. It's been really, really just good. And you know what the miracle is and the miracle is that. You just have a leveled playing surface and that's it. Yeah, there's no sort of like for me those incredible MDMA highs or that incredible cocaine high or the steroid high or the thousand people high.
You know, the the thing that you feel is that you have to be the most wittiest, the most charming, the most handsome man in the room. The quickest, the fastest, the strongest. You know, the secret is being content. Yeah. Yes. That's that's that's the secret. And then I've noticed the last couple of years I'm content and. It's just it's just a wonderful feeling to have, and I would I would say that most people aren't normal, but I would say them a lot of people start out feeling like this just OK.
Yeah, just just OK is the miracle.
But the modern world doesn't necessarily promote that because what we see more of today than we ever have, but is, you know, it's been around for as long as people have been revered or famous or respected or whatever, is that we should see in other ways by buying stuff, by acquiring a level of success status, by having outwardly what looks like the perfect life for you.
It might have been previously to get a bigger fan base, to have a bigger audience, more people. And we all get tricked with that one today, probably due to social media that's accentuated at all that we can actually visualise a number on something this many people liked this this many people follow you and we give that subconsciously this importance that it means something. And like you say, rather than striving for those big highs or the outside adulation to just feel okay is is the aim rather than to always have these huge expectations and then essentially to feel let down.
At what point did you realize that reaching for that outside validation wasn't going to work anymore?
Well, I thought it was gifted with the opportunity to reach the top of the mountain. Yeah. You know, at one point in my career, I sold the most tickets that anybody had sold in the history of music. I'd got the biggest record contract that anybody had had in the history of music and. I wanted to kill myself. You know, so I had reached the top of the mountain and I think the fallacy. As human beings is that if we just had this, this and this and this, everything, the bureau well, I got I got all of those.
I got all of this, this, this and this and this. And I felt worse than I did when I was a 16 year old who didn't have any of that.
But it's so funny because so much of what we see today in society still revolves around that that false promise that we're going to feel different when we reach a certain milestone or certain things happen.
But then, like you just say, you reach the top of your game. And we've seen countless beautifully talented people in all areas of work who have been renowned take their own life. So so we know that it's not true.
But we still place so much pressure on ourselves to do that, to try and feel better rather than to, I guess, do the bit that's way harder, which is to do the inner work, to do the real tough, like inside stuff that takes time. It's not pretty, it's not sexy, it's not fun, but it is the bit that will get you to to feeling OK is funny because also, you know, we all know that you've had this level of success and that you've you've had these accolades and awards and audiences, et cetera.
Yet often when I hear you in interviews or I read about you, part of your sort of banter is to be quite self-deprecating still. And I was listening recently to your Adam Boxton episode, which was brilliant. Thank you. A I'm a fan of Adam's. It's a great podcast.
And but it's so interesting that you still feel there's a bit of you that has to prove yourself to others. And I so resonated with that side of you. And I was listening because I often still try to do that to people that Edem a cooler than me, a more sophisticated or whatever. I believe I'm lacking and I have this thing. I desperately don't want people to still think I'm this flourescent kids TV presenter as I approach 40, I don't I want that sort of park somewhat.
So I desperately try and convince other people to think, well, I know that you're true, that you're a grown up right up.
I'm a sophisticated grown up. I am.
I don't always act like yes, I am. And it's and it's so funny how I think we all do this in life. We try to prove to others who might not see the truth in us, you know, who we really are. And, you know, with someone like Adam who is you know, he's a cool guy.
He's always been a cool guy. I will often in those situations hand over my power so easily, like have it all or be so self-deprecating.
You know, I'll say all the bad stuff about me before he does or whoever.
And it's is interesting that we do that. Do you recognize that in yourself? Do you know what bit of you is still looking for that acceptance or inner peace for you? S.. It's not that I'm looking for. Any sort of grandiose ways to fill my narcissism and my ego, but if I am sniffed at or if I'm smarted or if I made to feel less than I want to kill somebody and and and I actually will go out of my way like somebody with a vendetta to redeem myself in the person's eyes, that has made me feel that way.
Yeah. I mean, you did it in an absolute, you know, most literal sense without him. He's someone, the four of you in the 90s and then by the end of the podcast, your mates.
But I do think it's sometimes a shame that, well, why why is it OK that Adam has that judgment of you? I like him a lot. I don't know him, but I'm a fan of him. But it's funny how people the power and we go, oh, yeah, your judgment means more than my own perception of me because I know that feeling.
I hate it when people are awful about me and I don't feel it's true. But sometimes we we put so much effort into disproving what their beliefs are.
Well, we bless them all. Parents that we spent the first 17, 18, 19, 20 years with did an absolute incredible job. But they also filled the computer with some broken stuff, too. Yeah. So our very essence is manyways. There is the reason why I'm so successful is because of my mother. The reason that I am so successful is because my father, the reason that I am so broken is because of my mother and my father.
And I've got four kids.
I'm just about to do the same thing to them. Yeah.
Oh, God, it's not Hedgcock. When you start thinking about that, this one kills me when I think about what bad habits and like negative shit and my passing on to them. Hello, and and we are children raising children, that's what struck me when Theodore arrived, was like, oh my God, I'm a child. Oh my God, so was my mom. Oh, my God. So was my dad. And they just made it up that just making it up on a day to day basis.
And I am making it up on a day to day basis, too. And you have more empathy. And when there are no children involved and you sort of raise in a shitty fist, will you shut off? And then I didn't and because of their side, didn't get the feeling that I needed. And you are a bad person for doing that. And then you realize, oh, I'm I'm that that's that's what I am. But your parents are the government and your parents are God and your parents are the headmaster and they are all of these people.
But we are fundamentally flawed because we're humans and humans are fundamentally flawed. I just hope that my children get to an understanding of that quicker than I did.
I think they will because I think we're probably more communicative than our parents. And I'm not dissing that generation whatsoever because we all just do the best that we can. But I think culturally we are probably encouraged slightly more to have conversations and and sort of look at these situations with a torch rather than ignore things and shove them under a rug.
Do you look back at any areas of your life with any regrets still, or do you feel you've made peace with your past, you've made peace with you are all the different ages.
This, again, is a question that derives from personal experience, because more recently I've been doing some therapy where I look back specifically in my 20s, where I've at times at this age thought, God, I was foolish, I was naive, I was stupid in this situation, without any empathy, without any compassion. And that's not helpful to me today at all. So I'm trying to go back to that era of my life to have compassion, to tell that version of myself is OK, etc.
. And I wonder how you feel about the very extreme situations you had at a young age.
And if you've made peace with who you were then.
I kind of have made peace, but I think the way that I see it is I imagine Teddy being 24 or I imagine Charlie being 18 or I imagine Beau and Cocoa being 27 even. And I know how much compassion and empathy that I will have for them. Yeah. I've also you know, I've got a young man working for me and with me now for the last couple of years. His name's Leo and he's my videographer and I've known him since he was 22.
He's now 25. And I look at him and I go, what was I expected of myself?
I hope he doesn't mind me saying this, but like somebody's finished with a few years ago, called him a manchild. And I was like, Yeah, but you are, you know, and so was I, you know. So I was I was 21 years old and I was in the Groucho with all the great and good, you know, I was 19 and I was at Glastonbury backstage with the great and good. And this whole intense spotlight was foisted upon me when I didn't have the tools to be able to deal with that stuff.
And the truth of the matter is, nobody has the tools to deal with that stuff at any point during their life, especially your formative years. There were too many fingers pressing too many buttons on my computer and it broke. And that has to be OK. And that is completely understandable. And if we are going to give compassion to ourselves at that age, think about your children and how compassionate you will be towards them.
Yeah, I think that must contribute to your state of mind today greatly to give you that sort of contentment because you've done it. It's not easy. I don't think that's an easy thing for anybody to go back. And, you know, how your your life sort of turned out in your formative years. I think it's it takes a lot of work and a lot of compassion to go back and do it. And it's probably exactly why you feel so content today, which is a very beautiful thing.
So let's talk about anxiety, because you've been beautifully honest in the past talking about anxiety and how it affected you. And moment ago, you touched on that area of your life in 2006 where you did kind of hide away and you had a hiatus. You took that time out for yourself. What how did that anxiety manifest? What was cognitively going on for you or physically as well, I guess, because it's such a physical experience as well.
I think I was born kind of raw, I was born without the Elastoplast on in the world, kept prodding this sort of gaping wound. I it felt like I was the most sensitive person in the world. That's what it felt like. And I don't say that with any sort of pride at the time. It was just embarrassing that I was overwhelmed by before I became famous, that person looking at me in a bad way or that person shouting at me or me not fitting into certain social circles and feeling like a geek or feeling uncool, it felt as though I had nothing to combat that stuff.
And I guess that was the early signs of depression and anxiety, you know, that I would feel tremendously less than and things would make me cry and I would feel embarrassed about it, you know, sort of I'd play football with some of the lads and one of them would shout at me and I'd have to leave the pitch. And then I burst into tears walking home by myself in this world of like, why am I so soft? Why, why?
Why am I crying? Why, why is this affecting me so much? And then instantly being catapulted into a world where everybody will will will mirror back to your deepest, darkest fears about yourself and in black and white or on the TV or on the radio or on the Internet and everything that you think is bad about you as a person is actually then concrete because somebody spotted it. So that mixed with the toxicity of fame and what that actually does to somebody that's not comfortable meeting strangers anyway is being forced to meet strangers 20 to 30 times a day.
Those strangers want to talk to you and they want to take something from you, too. And basically, you feel embarrassed that you can't handle that. You feel sad that you can't give everybody what they want all of the time. And then you feel sad because if you don't, people judge you badly. So you're in a no win situation where you're kind of please, please don't hate me, just, you know, a lyric. Please be gentle.
I'm still learning is that please don't hate me. It's just that I've got I've got I've got really, really bad anxiety. And you're a stranger. And the thing that triggers my anxiety is having to be social with strangers.
Yeah. You know, and to this day that is still like a bone of contention for me until I sort of gave in and just. You know, no, Malusi was taken away, and it's it's one of those things to, you know, celebrities moaning. This is just how this affected me mentally is I can't cope with it, so I'm not going to go out. Yeah. And that's basically what happened in 2006. The paparazzi, the press people, you know, it's kind of that that level of fame that I once had was the equivalent of having a drone follow you 24 hours a day that was reporting everything to the world.
And I went away for three years. And the spotlight, the intense spotlight that shone on me moved away. And when I came out of my cave and tried to recreate what I had before, at least with performance, it was very, very difficult to do. It didn't feel natural anymore. And in fact, it took me a good five years to find my place on stage again. But that's understandable that if your computer is being overloaded, something's got to give.
And there's something that's got to give will be if you're slightly anxious, you're going to be incredibly anxious. If you're slightly prone to depression, you're going to be incredibly depressed. It's it's just a simple maths.
And so how are you where are you out with the anxiety today? Like, how does it take shape? You know, I mean, does it ever go into panic?
I get panic attacks.
It's something I'm still working on at the moment.
I've talked about it on the podcast, but there's something that usually arrive at nights which is really fun. Does it tap into that or are you able to manage it? Have you got tools and things that you keep in place to so you can sort of live alongside it?
Well well, first of all, I really well, I sleep really, really well. And I do exercise and I don't touch drugs and I don't drink. So that's vital for me to cope as a human being. Just I have to do that.
And that's enough to manage it. It is enough to manage it. Plus I take anxiety medication. So right now, you know, and and the the anxiety medication works. I have no plans coming off it. You know, I think people sometimes feel shameful that they have to take medicine or they don't like the fact that there might be some sort of poison in their system.
There's no wrong or right. I think you have to do what you absolutely have to.
And it's up to the individual right.
Without a doubt. I I was on anti-depressants for a short while, maybe six months at one point.
And I it was integral that I had that I think of it as sort of mental time out to then get my shit together to think, well, what else can I put in place?
Now I've got a little bit more energy and unclarity to look at what will work long term. But if I use medication again, that is fine. I think no one should judge anyone on any of that. I don't think there should be any judgment around anyone's personal choice with how you cope.
I think the judgement on that is incredibly dangerous, terribly saying it's awful.
The because I know there was judgement from certain quarters when I was considering taking antidepressants or anti anxiety tablets. And we are not doctors and I'm not suggesting anybody should take them or shouldn't. But I suggest people have that outlook to because the thing is about for you going on antidepressants for those six months, it's putting the the sleeping policeman erm outside the school before the kids run over. Yeah. Not after the kids run over. Do you know what I mean, the speed bump is like, let's put the speed bump in now before the kid gets knocked over, you've got to do what you've what feels right to you in that moment.
And that is only down to the individual to decide. And they just shouldn't be any judgment around at all. Where are you, where were you? Well, what are your thoughts on spirituality? Is that part of your your sort of infrastructure to keep you feeling content, to keep you feeling wow. I know that you've obviously got a real open mind when it comes to the supernatural. And you've talked prolifically about all sorts of really interesting things, whether it be UFOs or energies or whatever.
What are your beliefs around? That's quite a personal question. Maybe, but I just wondered.
Before the podcast, there was talk I was thinking about, you know, going back to my school and giving a chat about what what is what is possible in life and especially where I'm from. You know, we don't exist. We're caught in between two TV companies, there's the Birmingham TV company, the Manchester TV Company, and we sort of fall down the sofa and so we're not represented.
So we have this psychology's we don't exist and we can't achieve big things and big things happen to other people. And I had this whole thing in my head that I'd go and tell them about this and how important it is to dream big and go out there and fulfill these desires and have purpose and go in. And then I thought was simply or simply, you can just go within and be content. That's that's the truth of the matter. I'm still not there.
I'm still I know the meditation is the key. I know that mantras and chanting and it's an inside job. And still everything that I long for and want to achieve is outside of myself.
Yeah, it's a paradox I think, that we all deal with on a daily basis.
If we're willing to do a bit of self inventory and and look within, you know, we get I certainly feel like I oscillate between, you know, I'll speak to some brilliant mind who's a healer or a thought leader or whatever and get so much from it and feel so buzzed for a couple of hours. And then all of a sudden, you know, I'm late for the school round or something else goes down and it all goes to shit.
And I think I definitely want to feel more and more grounded in the cool stuff I'm learning and and the endless possibilities of of.
Well, that's that's because human nature is human nature to take yourself away from the place that you need to be. It's kind of like that when you go and do stuff for UNICEF or when you go into Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Mexico, Russia, you go and do these things and you go, I'm changed forever. And oh my God, I am so lucky. And I how can I possibly be so selfish? And then you get on the plane and why are the films working?
The films working on the web. I was I was going to watch The Fast and the Furious six and now I can't watch the fucking Fast and the Furious six. I figure, what is this kind of service? And but does that sort of I think that's why people go to AA every day, because every day is a blank slate where you wake up and you go, right. Which Wolf am I going to feed? Yes. And people people need that sort of spiritual inventory and that sort of.
Petrol station that they go into every day because every day we're a brand new person and it is so easy to be dictated to by materialism and Western ways of thinking, because that's how we have been created. We are children of that system. So, of course, that we're going to have a gravitational pull to everything that is outside of ourselves. And it can be as simple as, you know, talking. I did a podcast the other day with the wife and with talking to a nurse, and these people are angels and they do this service.
That's absolutely unbelievable. And it was another one of those occasions where I was like, I'm going to do this and I'm going to do that. And and I have selfish with the writing of the songs and the need and the acclaim and then the podcast finished. And I had one of those Fast and Furious moments where I instantly forgot who I was five minutes ago.
And what is your preferred way to get back to that way of thinking, why you do go within where you do find that stillness, that quiet, you do lose the attachment to outside stuff. Do you have one particular thing you'd like to do?
No, I'm very fortunate because with my management, I've now had for over 25 years, I've always been with somebody that's an addict, somebody that's right next to me has been through what I've been through. So I there's no sort of like confusion about my isms at any given time. My wife's had so much therapy that she understands my nature. So I've got somewhere safe to go to. Um, I was just answer the question.
Yeah, but I can be anything. It it's talking to another human, it's going for a walk, it's meditate. I think it's whatever gets you back to that place of just feeling all right and not looking for the outside answers or the outside, you know, peace. It's, you know, whatever gets you to look in rather than keep looking out here all the time can be anything.
I think the thing that I the one thing I wake up and the addict wakes up before me. Right. And it is a it's like being in Xman, right.
You wake up and you have this beam coming out of your chest and you have this beam that wants to seek and destroy, overcome, devour, take in, consume and. When I'm not drinking, taking pills, taking powder, doing all of that stuff, if I shine this beam correctly, I can achieve anything. You know, and so I I've been doing art and lock down the first month of lockdown, I did 33 pieces, eight hours a day.
So, you know, I wrote a dance album that's going to come out next year. I came up with two TV show ideas. I've written those three TV show ideas that I want to do.
So if you can harness the power of your own destructive nature and shine it in the the right way, it's so powerful.
Oh, I love that.
I think it is about why isn't it harnessing whatever that energy is, whatever you deem it to be, negative or positive and just putting it in the right place.
How are you therefore with rest? I'm awful, resting, awful and relaxing. I always want to be achieving, even if it's a tiny thing like cleaning out a room or whatever.
I'm so bad at stepping away from that and doing nothing, which is so important that I don't idleness. How are you with that?
I was about to put a negative word. On what I'm like and that negative word would be Southcliffe selfish. But I also think that that could be self care, too. It's like I know where I've been. I know how overpowered I felt. I know the hellish days and nights that consumed my soul. I know I don't want return back there. And I will do everything possible in my means to. Be able to play on this level playing surface.
So, in short, I'm really good at resting and taking what I need and it doesn't take much to put me off kilter. You know, like sort of doing a promo where I have to go do a breakfast show and I have to be up at five o'clock and I'm on the breakfast show at seven o'clock, the rest of the day might as well be 1995. And I'm in complete and utter depression. So I know how brittle this is.
I know what I need to do to give myself the nutrients to not revert back to the person that I was who's there waiting for me outside this door right now.
Yeah, I don't think it's selfish at all because you're doing yourself and everyone in your lovely inner sanctum a favor by staying on form and staying content and staying balanced.
I think it's a really important lesson to learn. Set those boundaries and and to do what works for you.
A man, a man, well, Robbie, it's been so lovely catching up with you. So nice to talk to you. I'm so glad that you're in such a good space and you've had all this creativity during lockdown. It's so wonderful to hear. And thank you for coming on a happy place.
Absolute pleasure. And I'm I'm thrilled about the success of your happy place and the fact that you get to do a festival and the fact that you get to do it of your own back and you don't need to be beholden to anybody. I feel joyous for you that you're achieving that. And without all of those hideous insecurities that we have, neither of us would be in the places that we are. So God bless our insecurities.
Yes. A big, fat, juicy silver lining that you've got to always feel grateful for. It's a good thing.
Thank you, Rob. All right. Love to love Don and bewail shares on you. Oh, thank you, Rob. So lovely to have you on Happy Place. And what a way for us to end the year. If you liked that chat. I'm reckoning that you're also going to like the Gary Barlow chat. You can find it when you subscribe to Happy Place for Free on your podcast Up of Choice, where an Apple podcast, Spotify, Amazon podcast and of course, Google.
We're going to be back in January with more amazing guests for series nine. I'm so looking forward to that. We're going to take a tiny break for Christmas. Thank you so much for making us one of your favorite podcasts. Please do go and leave this Rava because it really helps others find us. Or better yet, tell your friends and family we'll take anyone with an open mind looking for some positivity, quite frankly.
Thanks again to Robin, to our sponsors, Stripe and Stare.
Don't forget there's an offer code for you in the show notes. A big thank you to the producer, Matt Heller. Rethink audio. Aren't you lovely? I love ya. Have a great Christmas. I'll see you in the New Year.