10 August 2014

It all started during a conversation around the dinner table.

“If you had to travel back in time to a specific era, which one would it be?”

It’s an interesting question and one that certainly causes a lot of concentrated faces and furrowed brows. Who was alive during the century of your choosing, and what might happen if you could turn back the pages and track them down?

If you asked Richard Branson his opinion on this – and funnily enough, we’ve actually had a similar discussion – he’d always say that if he could go back in time he’d be Walter Raleigh and be an explorer. The interesting thing about Richard is that he doesn’t seem to draw inspiration from businesspeople. But then, this is someone who grew up seeing extremely inspirational figures in his own era, people like Douglas Bader, the RAF pilot who fought during the war despite having lost both his legs in an accident!

How could you fail to be inspired by someone like that? Imagine growing up with someone like him as an influencer!

I suppose that’s where the desire to be an explorer comes from. You could even say that Branson is a modern day explorer, playing with the idea of travelling to space. Or maybe the modern day explorer is the innovator. When there are fewer places to discover, they look into their minds and create new things. Uncharted ideas yet to be explored.

As for me, I feel blessed that I was born in this lifetime. The only sad bit is that whilst we seem to have harnessed the power of so much technology and so many other great things, are we actually using it enough to help people?

If I had to be reborn into another lifetime, I’d love to come back as more of a philanthropist. As you get older, you realise you have less time to make a difference. When you can’t make a difference to your lifestyle by making any more money, you start to think about how you can use it to make a positive difference to the world you live in.

It’s just a shame that people in our government don’t seem to have reached that enlightenment stage of their lives. And in fact, I think that sadly many people don’t realise this until it’s too late.

I was lucky that, at thirty, I had a terrifying ordeal that I now realise was an essential part of my growth, and it completely changed my priorities and perspective. You realise that the big things in life are people and the emotions and experiences you share with them. So whilst I’m still very playful, and in many ways I’m as daft as my kids, I now focus on getting the most out of every moment and being the best I can – in this lifetime!

 

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