How satisfied are you with your life right now? How happy do you really feel? Are you in ‘the zone’, that ‘sweet spot’ where your life, health and relationships just flow – effortlessly? Well, you can have more of the later—and more–in your life right now. Discover how to, today and why this is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
I’m talking today in this two-part interview with Rohan Healy, an immensely talented blogger I call the “happiness guru” (if you have ever visited his blog, Rohan7Things you would see exactly why that title is so fitting). He hosts an amazing, award-winning blog, and is the author of The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy: And How They Can Do the Same for You.
Okay. Here we go!
Brendaline: Hi Rohan, welcome and thank you for kicking off your blog tour here today. It’s an honor and I am so excited to talk with you!
Rohan: It’s my pleasure Brendaline; it’s really exciting for me to be beginning this tour for the new book, both of which were only ideas taking shape just a few months ago! Ah, and what better place to start.
Brendaline: Haha, thanks Rohan. So tell us where you are hailing from? What’s your background?
Rohan: Today, I’m saying hi from Dublin, Ireland. My family’s Irish, though I was actually born, and have spent just under half my life, in Australia! They both feel like home to me. I grew up all over the place. As a child, my family alternated between Australia and Ireland with stays in France and the Netherlands as well. My dad plays music and so we all went where the music took us.
Brendaline: How fascinating! You must have countless adventure stories growing up Irish in such cultured and scenic places.
Rohan: Haha, yeah there’s plenty to tell, probably another book in there somewhere. The musician’s life is a rocky road. I’ve experienced the highs, the swimming pools, big houses and playing in front of a thousand people. And of course the lows, sleeping in tents, eating beans and playing to empty rooms. It’s not an easy life, but it’s anything but boring!
Brendaline: That’s incredible! So, both your dad and yourself are musicians?! How did that come about?
Rohan: Yup, my dad, David Virgin started playing music in the late ‘70s in the famous Sydney punk scene. He was a founding member of the influential industrial noise group SPK who would inspire much of the techno and rave of the ‘90s. The Prodigy lists SPK as a big influence. He then went on to have five independent number one hits with his band Sekrek Sekret in the ‘80s. After that he raised a family and continued to write, record and perform in various bands and solo as David Virgin. He’s taught me much of what I know about performing and producing music; I’ve been extremely lucky!
Brendaline: That’s some musical legacy you’ve got! And both your musical styles, what are they?
Rohan: We both play a variety of styles, lots of folk, some punk, some funky stuff and rock. Just whatever either one of us is in the mood for. Having a strong production heritage helps with being able to keep things fresh and fun. My dad was taught production by Aussie rock legend Lobby Loyd, who was taught by Paul McCartney, who was of course taught by George Martin, the producer of the Beatles. Those tricks got handed down and it’s what has enabled me to record a solo album each year for the past ten, and why people come to me to have their songs produced.
Brendaline: Incredible lyrical genius material you’ve soaked up! Needless to say, music is a huge part of your life! And what else inspires your travels?
Rohan: Primarily my music. I grew up travelling and when I took up music myself at the age of 14, and started doing so full-time at 16, it’s something that I continued. I’ve been stationary for a number of years now producing music in Dublin, but this year my plan is to get back out on the road. This time however, I’ll also have my blog which should make things even more interesting!
Brendaline: Haha, I guess when music is in your blood you go wherever it takes you, right!
Rohan: That’s exactly right; it sounds cliché but you do have to follow the music, you have to go where you are wanted.
Brendaline: Sounds like you need to consider a tour in the U.S. Folk music, rock – all genres — are celebrated here. Speaking of your blog, it’s chock-full of inspiringly expressive posts. A favorite of mine is your post titled The 7 Things That Make Walking the World’s Best Exercise, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Rohan: Oh yeah, walking is great. I must be very nomadic because I have at least one walk, and usually two per day. All the modern conveniences have all but eliminated the need for walking more than a few feet every now and then, so it’s important to actually put aside time to just walk. Clear your head and get some exercise.
Brendaline: Haha, I agree. It’s very freeing, isn’t it! So Rohan, you’re a creative guy who self-publishes, blogs, produces music, photographs, videos — and you travel! How do you find time to do it all?
Rohan: I don’t do much else, haha! I guess you don’t get far without a little sacrifice, and I sacrifice a lot of what many people would find hard to do without. I’m very self-disciplined; I keep a schedule of eating, exercise and sleep patterns that allows me to get all my writing, music, blogging, photography and gaming done (I like video games, and I have a Youtube channel with my brother dedicated to gaming and games).
Brendaline: Gaming with your brother, that’s cool! I’m sure gaming fans are rejoicing over that! Anything else you do — or not do — to keep focused and motivated?!
Rohan: I don’t go out to pubs or clubs or parties. I prefer to take a walk, or enjoy small gatherings with one or two like-minded people, but my favorite form of socializing is working on creating projects with others.
Brendaline: That’s quite sobering (no pun intended). So, is the take-away key to prioritize the things in life that bring a true, quality return on investment?!
Rohan: Yeah I guess so, it depends what your priorities are. Some goals require much more work than others, but if you want to do anything properly at least some organization and sacrifice is going to be necessary. I don’t mind the odd beer, and I certainly don’t begrudge anyone their enjoyments, it just doesn’t suit me very much.
Brendaline: Solid. You spoke of creative projects with others. Do you mean blogging, self-publishing and the like?!
Rohan: Yes, or working on music together, or a video project. Even painting a room, or doing some home improvement. I just like to be working on something with people rather than socializing for the sake of it. That probably sounds really horrible, haha. But of course I do occasionally like to just sit around and have a chat with a few close friends as well.
Brendaline: Horrible? No, I think everyone can relate. Those sound incredibly fun and are bonding projects. It seems like you’re more so hands-on! Being in the kitchen and baking with my family is one of my all-time favorites; it’s just natural, relaxing and effortless and yes. To each his own!
Brendaline: Focusing now on your e-book, the title’s The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely and Irreversibly Happy: And how they can do the same for you. How did it come about?
Rohan: Just over a year ago, I came out of a long-term relationship and I was determined to live as the most authentic version of myself from that point onward, to avoid the mistakes of the past and live happily and healthily as my genuine self. To that end, I put into practice the best of everything I’d studied and learned over the past nine years in order to achieve my goal. I’ve been so astonished by the results, how happy my days are, how happy I am with myself, and have been for about a year now that I thought I really should share this knowledge with as many people as I could! That was my reason for writing the book, and for starting my blog.
Brendaline: That’s good, I’m glad that you are a stronger and better person after that experience. Relationships can be seriously hard-hitting, so it’s great that your blog posts are reflections of lessons learnt. Thanks for enriching us with that!
Rohan: Yes exactly. I just know that there are people who’ve been though, or are going through, similar things right now, and if my experiences and lessons learned can help someone else out then that’s great!
Brendaline: It sounds like you’ve found the secret to living from a truly happy and freeing place. Tell us what makes you feel the most genuinely and irreversibly…happy!
Rohan: I think the answer to that question would be authenticity. To know that I can be myself, just as I am and that not only will there still be good people and opportunities for me, but that by being totally open and authentic, I actually attract more or the right people and opportunities! We only get one shot at this life; what’s the point of living someone else’s? Authenticity and honesty is definitely a big part of my happiness.J
Brendaline: Being truly authentic and honest with yourself. I couldn’t agree more! So, is that the focal point(s) of your new book, The 7 Things?!
Rohan: One of the main things I wanted to cover in the book was relationships and the critical importance of the five pillars integral to any good relationship: honesty, communication, negotiation, boundaries and trust.
Brendaline: Uh-huh, the five pillars. Go on…
Rohan: In the past, I’d always believed that in order to find love and affection I’d need to conform to some standard other that who I naturally am, and so I’d pander, capitulate and try to please in every situation. I believed that I, just as I am, was not good enough. I decided that this had to change, that even if no one would ever be with me, it’s still better to be genuine and develop strong personal boundaries regarding what I will and won’t do and what I will and won’t put up with in others, than to remain in unhealthy relationships. Ironically, since being totally open and honest in my relationships about who I am, and since developing and exercising strong personal boundaries, my relationships have improved dramatically. I could never go back now, I’m far too happy with the results!
Brendaline: That’s amazing. And where do you find daily inspiration? Where do you draw strength from?
Rohan: Other than my friends, family and fellow bloggers, I’d say I get a lot of my inspiration from the Stoic philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome. Especially the idea that it’s not what occurs to you that is important, but rather it’s your perception of events that determines how you feel emotionally, and how you react! We do not have full control over what occurs to us in our lives, but we do have full control over the opinions and beliefs that we choose to form about the things that happen. We can choose to take a rational, positive attitude and view of things, which brings peace and contentment, no matter how bad things seem at the time. I’ve used Stoicism to take control over my moods and emotional state, and whenever I’m in need of a little motivation or some inspiration I read or remember the Stoic teachings and sayings. It’s great stuff, and that it is one of the “7 Things”.
Brendaline: I take it that the Stoics were an integral thread in your first book, Greeks to Geeks: Practical Stoicism in the 21st Century?!
Rohan: Yup, that book focuses exclusively on Stoic Philosophy and how it can be used to improve your life in the modern age. Stoicism is also one of The 7 Things, and I do my best to pack as much info on Stoicism into the new book as I can, however Greeks To Geeks gives you a much broader explanation, of course.
Brendaline: Point taken! What do you do daily to help you focus your energies and stay motivated?
Rohan: The thing that motivates me most and keeps me focused is my desire to continue to learn, and to experience things. I continue to read and study the works of other writers and ancient wisdoms in order to make my work better, and also just for the enjoyment of it. Life for me is a combination of the consumption of creative works and the output of creative works. I’m half-way through recording my 10th solo album, I’ve written around 200 songs, but in order to keep writing and creating you must also consume and immerse yourself in the works of others. So each day I try to listen to music, watch a film, read some articles and blogs or some philosophy. It keeps my work fresh J
Brendaline: That sounds like a plan! What is it that you enjoy most about the creative writing process?
Rohan: How easy it is, haha! I don’t know, when I sit down to write it just comes really easily, there are plenty of other things in this life that I’m awful at; like everyone, I have strengths and weaknesses. But things like playing music, and writing I find very easy and enjoyable. The trick in life is to spend as much time as possible doing the things you are best at and that you enjoy, a small amount of time doing what you are okay at, and virtually no time doing the things you are really terrible at. Focus on this and you’ll be very happy. You might not be able to do everything you love right away, but you can certainly stop some doing things you are no good at, and ASAP!
Brendaline: The secrets to happiness, boom! Point taken, so then happiness would be a given – effortlessly and naturally! Love that!
That concludes (Part 1 of 2) in the interview with Rohan Healy, author of The 7 Things That Made Me Genuinely & Irreversibly Happy.
To purchase your copy of The 7 Things, visit either Amazon or Smashwords.
Get 20% off from Smashwords.com when you use coupon code: ZE93N.
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To stay connected to Rohan via social media, click on the social media links below: