Guest: Peter Nicholls
Guest Bio: Peter Nicholls also known as Australia’s People Gardener, in his early 60s Peter establish his own lifestyle mentoring business.
Peter is here to talk to us about the modern role of Leisure.
Health Professional Radio
Katherine Lodge: Thank you for listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m Katherine and today our guest is Peter Nicholls, also known as Australia’s People Gardener. In his early 60s, Peter established his own lifestyle mentoring business and he’s here to talk to us about The Modern Role of Leisure. Welcome to our show Peter.
Peter Nicholls: Thank you very much Katherine. Good to be with you.
K: Leisure, the luxury of time, for those of that have it. For a lot of people between work, family life, the day to day living such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, and running their lives. I don’t know if some people, especially some people listening can’t remember the last time they had leisure time. Maybe some of the people listening don’t even know what date is today. So leisure, what is it and how do we get more of it?
P: Well, I see. I just tool little note on that firstly, I remember one particular occasion of a grandmother who tell her daughter, who was a mother of small children “Look I’ll look out for the kids. You go out and enjoy yourself a half a day.” And she went there and the daughter when out the front of the house and she burst into tears because she said “I have not done anything like this in years and I don’t know what to do.” Many have this serious problem can be today, but in fact it is time of you’re just running from period of task all day long and the thought of leisure is so amaze for some of us to that sort of lifestyle is the impression. Look, it’s a difficult one in many ways because one of the issue is that your leisure is, the whole concept of leisure is now different. The concept which is still very common in the community now and as you portray it in your opening there, is one of ‘stop and do nothing for a while’ rather than be busy. But in fact leisure today now is assuming a role of nature stress manager, it’s changing. The concept of leisure actually hasn’t changed in centuries but what the people are seeing is leisure today is very much changing because of the very large part of you just out on before, but in fact we now start to see leisure, well let’s just stand out looking to find ways of actually reenergize you. Because we’re burning-out, there’s a very serious issue of burnout which is a case of simply burning-out energy all day long in a way you outlined and not leaving any opportunity to generate your energy. And just like driving your car, if you constantly drive the car it eventually runs out of fuel and if you don’t look after the car, it breaks down on the side of the road. Which is exactly what happens to us in life is we need to find ways of generating your energy. Now the answer lies not in time management because we don’t manage it. You can’t give us a budget time because you can only do so many things in 24/7 and we try to fit more and more into those 24 hours. What we’ve got to think about is where we’re allocating our energy priorities, where we burning out our energy and where are we giving ourselves an opportunity to generate new energy. Because energy can deficit budget energy, you can actually decide that energy is something you can find ways of spending 10 minutes just singing or going out doing a bit of gardening, just meeting a friend for coffee and having a chat, all these things there are different ways of generating your energy and this what leisure is all about today.
K: Right, right. And something that I wanted to talk to you about is how, not only leisure changed but how people view retirement because I think when you’re young, you think “Oh when I retire, I’ll have time to go on cruises and do some gardening” and things like that. But now more and more people not only are they working longer when they want to retire but for whatever reason, they have to working longer. Can you make some comments on how retirement has changed?
P: Yes certainly and you’re quite right again. That has changed for much for some reasons, the baby boomers revolutionized the society from birth onwards and they’re revolutionizing retirement. And people don’t want to simply stop the world, the very word ‘retire’ as stated in the dictionary ‘stop, withdraw, retreat, go back’ all those negative sort of terms. People are saying “I want to keep living but I want to live life on my terms” which may mean some work that not always working all the time. But I think this is where the notion of leisure comes in because the idea simply stopping and doing nothing is certainly got no appeal to the person who’s not gonna be working longer. The term leisure now has a different definition, and the definition I would use for leisure today is “active, creatively expressing your natural talents for the sheer enjoyment of doing so.” A passionate interest which really brings you out of yourself. I have an expression which I use frequently “when you lose yourself in an interest you love, you find yourself. When you lose yourself in something that which totally absorbs your mind and your energy and your enjoyment, you come alive as a person and it starts to affect things like self-esteem, self-confidence, self-belief, resilience, energy – a mental energy.” It’s a mental energy thing, because everything we do is finally a mental activity, even the physical activities. And so by actually finding interest which give you that feeling both during your working life and after and in retirement that’s what growth and personal growth is all about. It’s this thing and that’s where I use terms as a people gather so they could talk. That’s where you flourish and blossom when you’re involved in those sort of interest. In retirement, you can now concentrate on that fully about wanting to find ways of creatively expressing your natural talents and passions. And it makes retirement a time of – enjoyment, of growth and really achieving success in life in the way that you’ve always wanted to do but often in life something gets in the way for quite often in your working days and so retirement really ought to be seen as positive time of coming out of yourself and being the person you always wanted to be.
P: And of course maybe in that’s stage, that’s what I’m enjoying doing now. And hopefully it’s coming across in some of the stuff I’m telling you today too.
K: Yeah, it certainly does. And like you said, that in the next 5-10 years a lot of the baby boomers will be retiring. And things will change again because statistically speaking 1 in 3 children born today are going to leave till a hundred years old. And I think the concept of retirement in your 60’s maybe people didn’t live to a 100 years old maybe 40, 50 years ago, when all of this you know the age, and I just think of…
P: And we got a seminar coming up shortly which is the title is “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” Aiming at people around at 50 to 60 years old, people who are starting to say, “Well I don’t really see myself working for the next 30 years. What am I gonna do with myself?” And actually, those sorts of things are always just to alerting earlier, start to become getting on people’s mind about … because we are expecting to live longer even baby boomers can well look at being active into their 80’s and 90’s. So we have to really plan with that in mind.
K: Exactly and like you said a lot of the people in their 50’s and 60’s not only is work stopping but a lot of their kids are growing up. And they don’t have to be so hands on and a lot of people their identity as a parent or their identity at work is a huge part of their life. And when they kind a lose that a little bit, they are a bit of a loss as to not only what to do with time, but also identity as well and a role.
P: And there’s two points to that. One is there are those parents who have drifted away from their children and don’t find a need and that really looking at to the grand kids. The other one is the people are saying that, “This is actually the enriching part of my life and now I can really focus on the family in ways that I haven’t had the time to do. I’ve had to spend my time making the money and then getting the position to make their life more comfortable. Now I can really start to enjoy some family time with my children, with my grandchildren and watch them grow etc.” and that become incredibly enriching time of life. So it’s in working various ways and of course then the one eye often has to think about is the person who’s alone, who doesn’t have a family nearby, who really if once they live work, struggle. I can give you one example of a university professor who said to me in the retirement planning thing, “You know I am at home while I’m at the university. Each night I go home to a house to sleep and next morning I come home, and that’s gonna be taken away from me.” Now honestly, actually I sort of even I had my chin dropping at that one. I thought “Wow, that is really a worry.” And I had to work with that person at what is it that he is passionate about that was unrelated to the university, it’s a struggle. But it can be for a person that live by themselves a major issue, networks and personal and social connections become a hugely important factor in life there.
K: Right. And for those of you that are listening that would like to know more, we’ll be putting links to Peter’s website. And if you’re interested in the seminars, there will be details on the website. Thank you so much for your time today, Peter.
P: My absolute pleasure Katherine, nice to talk with you. Thank you.