“If you really want more shout it out louder” – Usher.
As I danced, drank and poured beers in the land down under a few years back, I didn’t quite realise the sentimental effect these types of jobs have on your life. I’m referring to one job and one pub in today’s dose of Sunday’s Inspiration. I cast my mind back to 2009 – early 2011. I worked in the quite amazing PJ Gallagher’s Irish Pub in Parramatta, Australia. On Wednesday gone by I wrote a tribute to the people I worked with there and an overview of my time. I want to get people thinking above where they are. Think high, aim high and WANT more.
“There’s no limits” – 2 Unlimited
Life was on a down for me in 2009. Really, really, really. I was finished. Stories of loneliness, suicide (told my story recently click here) and a need for belonging had me at an all time low but curiously dreaming of bigger things as I worked tirelessly on the Poole to St.Malo (England to France) ferries. I loved that job too, but change was around the corner when I headed to Taiwan to backpack round the island. I needed a new job, a new home and new friends. Luck (or fate) swung a positive blow my way in October 2009 when I somehow ended up in the Australian suburb of Parramatta. Within a week of living in the land down under, I had a cool new flat (I shared a room with two travel mates), a new city to explore and the most inspiring thing of all: a decent job in a great place with great people. I believe it was all about fate and how the management gave me the job that day. I really really just wanted the job. I turned up in jeans and a sweater (dirty backpacking attire) but I had PASSION and desire and they give me the job.
“Reach for the stars”- S Club 7
Never underestimate the power a job can have over your life or how it can change things for the better forever. Just over 4 years ago, I was a regular barman. Yes I loved the job and I loved the people and I loved the place I worked in and I was good at saving my cash. But deep down, something was missing. Something slightly “bigger”. I knew I wouldn’t be a barman all my life. And while there is nothing wrong with that ambition, I always had my mind on something more prominent and based more on what I love – writing, travel, inspiring, passion, keeping people happy.
“These days, the stars ain’t out of reach” – Jon Bon Jovi
The people I worked with in that job – I think we all shared something pretty cool in common and I’ll try and describe it here the best way I can. We all loved working in that bar, we were happy, we had fun, we were good at our job. But we were all personality driven, high energy people. We were never going to sit in the corner and just wait for life to happen. Chatting to the staff from that job on Facebook this week and I realised we mostly saw PJs as a stepping stone, a period of fun in our lives, which would be hard to ever replicate but we all had to move onto different things, dare I say it “more ambitious things”. (Not that there was any lack of ambition working in PJs – it’s put me where I am today). Plus the need to be noticed. I want to be noticed. I don’t like anonymity.
“Don’t be someone who they forget” – Melanie Chisholm
But how do you make the decision to move on and change? For me, things happened naturally but I always push myself to the limit, as Usher suggests in that song (the title of this article and Usher song “More”). I’m striving to be the best. I want to be the best traveller in the world. I want to be the best travel blogger in the world. I wanted to be the best barman. I may never get there, but by striving for it and believing in it gives me confidence to believe in myself and be at least at the disillusionment that I am the best. Why not? It’s more confidence and self belief than arrogance.
“You’re simply the best, better than all the rest” – Tina Turner
How do you be the best? How do you strive to be better? I think it’s all about making the right decision when an option comes your way. I made the right decision to move to Australia, I made an even more right decision to not waste money when I was there, I made an even better decision to backpack round South America and Antarctica. When the time was right for me, to leave PJs behind, I did. Yes it was emotional, it was sad. But something had ended for me there. I didn’t really want to move up the ranks and manage the bar. It would have lost its appeal. I just wanted to be the best barman, not the best bar manager, not the best person ever to work there. Ironically the manager Paul actually let me manage the bar for one afternoon just before I left for Hong Kong and I enjoyed it, but probably because I knew I had deserved that extra bit of pressure and the glamour of it. Me – a backpacker given keys to run a bar in Australia? Again, you’re only King for a day and maybe it was the wrong “King” for me. I moved on. I wanted something new.
“Pull the trigger now she’s dead” – Queen
I buzzed off the people I worked with in PJs but yet we never talked about ambitions in life. Ever. Nobody ever said to me “what do you want to be Jonny?”. I’m pretty glad nobody asked me that. It was almost like they knew – everything is good enough for me if I’m happy. I don’t have “to be” anything. I want to be Jonny Blair. I’d like to be myself and be happy. All this bullshit you hear about people needing to get the best qualifications, have a “dream job” and a load of money are not what I wanted to aspire to. Bollocks to that. I’ll clean toilets if that’s what makes me happy (for the record, toilet cleaning won’t make me happy – don’t take your irony hat off please) Yet my answer to that question would probably have been “I’d like to be the guy who backpacks his way to every country in the world, remembers as much as he can, has time for his friends and family and is happy and healthy.” That’s what I’d like to be. Fast forward a few years, and arguably that’s what I am.
“In a rare bite of pressure, I’m forfeiting love for fame” – Jonny Blair
If I make a bit of money being a professional travel blogger, writer, expert and enthusiast along the way I’ll be even happier. And I want MORE. If you read my ambitions for the next year, you’ll know I’m aiming high. I want to visit 100 countries by the age of 35 and I want to earn a load of cash so that I can live my travel dreams, see my family and friends more and be more health conscious and happy.
“Lord I’m doing all I can to be a better man” – Robbie Williams
Life’s been good for me since leaving PJs. I’ve had about 5-6 other jobs since, I’ve backpacked through about 25 more countries, I’ve seen my family 3 times, I’ve met up with my best mates a couple of times and I’ve spent a lot of time with my girlfriend. Life has been good. But I wanted it. You have to want it. Remember this post?
So folks – If you want more, go out and get it. Make it happen. Or just listen to Usher. It’s pretty true folks…dig this sort of shit, be positive and you’ll go far:
“I’m a beast, I’m an animal, I’m that monster in the mirror,
The headliner, finisher, I’m the closer, the winner.
Best when under pressure with second’s left I show up.
…If you really want more, scream it out louder”