Be your own hero with Graeme Walker
Graeme 'The Forge' Walker's true passion is undertaking adventures and enjoying new experiences in hope to inspire others to make positive changes in their lives and realise that you don’t need to be an extraordinary person, to live an extraordinary life.
Website - www.theforgeblog.co.uk
Instagram - @_the_forge
Facebook - theforgeblog
Twitter - @gromgrom2011
What does being free and truly living mean to you?
Being free is something most of us overlook. We spend so much time engaged in online activities. Email, social media, YouTube, online this and that, we tend to forget that the great outdoors is waiting for us to visit. I spend a lot of my time in a professional capacity, facing two screens and that’s what I see day to day, but I try to get away from that as much as possible. My true passion is the outdoors and the benefits that brings. Working in the Oil & Gas industry affords me the ability to be able to go on adventures, all over the world and be able to take in new zones and cultures. Truly living to me is being able to live in the moment and appreciate that literally in a blink of an eye, it could all be over. Take the time to soak in your surroundings and don’t wish it away too soon.
What’s the biggest challenge you have ever had to overcome in life?
Great question and I don’t think there’s just one that stands out on it’s own merit, but from a professional perspective, gaining my business degree while working 60 hours a week and travelling with work was pretty stressful. I did that for 4 years, but I learned a heck of a lot during that endeavour from a personal and mental perspective. A challenge from a personal perspective, I would have to say the National 3 Peaks Challenge. We were to summit, Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon within 24 hours. We did it to raise money for a best friend's daughter and at the time I had shingles, so it added a little bit of a health ailment to the equation, but glad I stuck it out to finish the 3 peaks with my friends.
How did you overcome this?
Most of the time we end up talking ourselves out of a lot of things. Being in the industry I am in has taught me to deal with pressure from a very young age. Working for a global company carries a certain level of expectations and pressures. This has (I think) enabled me to systematically deal with things. I also think you need to have constant positive self-talk with yourself. Sometimes we get bogged down and carried away with the negatives and things that are acting against us but taking a breath and understanding yourself is actually more beneficial in the long run when you self-critique.
In addition, we seem to do ourselves a bit of an injustice, we take on new goals and objectives, and for some reason we think this is the first obstacle we have ever met. Sure, it’s likely different to the last one, but if you look back at everything else you have overcome, the chances are you will be able to nail this as well.
Be your own hero and show others what you can do. My guess is, you’ll do just fine.
How do you prepare for life, do you have your own personal quiver of skills that you use?
I have tried to minimise procrastination over the years. When I was at Uni, you were given a piece of work and told that it was to be completed in 4 weeks. So, most of us will literally do nothing for the first 3 weeks and then work like mad the last week to cram it all in. However, you could have been given the exact same piece of work and told to do that in 2 weeks. The work would likely still have been completed. Why? Work tends to fill the time allowed. So, over the years I’ve tried to get stuck into the work from the get-go as there’s always issues and hiccups along the way and if you are short on time, its going to get compounded with the re-work and snags. Other than that, a positive attitude and a smile will do wonders for you.
How do you deal with adversity?
I enjoy working under pressure. I have targets daily and most of them actually come from myself as I want to be in a good position for finishing things that I start. I also don’t really like the thought of being the weakest link, and I will often overshoot as opposed to underachieving. Again that relates back to a professional capacity and has ended up being in my pocket for adventures and anything else I take up on a personal level. I also actively seek out adversity and constantly try new things and endeavours, largely because I get bored of things pretty quick. I think to be well rounded; you need to be quite worldly and have had different experiences on which to call upon.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by everyday things. The world is a massive playground and should be explored responsibly. We have a duty of care when out exploring and try to leave it a little bit better than we found it. The inspiration comes in the form of knowing what I don’t want to be like, and thus I try to engage with as many people as I can, from all walks of life in order to learn about them and how they overcame certain struggles and hardships.
What would you say to others wanting to step into the unknown to take on their own personal adventures?
Do it and never look back. People look at adventures in assuming that it’s only something the 1 percenter’s do. The top-level adventures that are synonymous with the word. Adventures don’t need to be trekking through the amazon rain forest or hiking the Appalachian trail.
An adventure can be camping out in your garden with your kids and cooking your dinner over a firepit. An adventure to me has excitement and a little bit of fear of the unknown.
Start small and work your way up to grand things. Confidence comes from competence. Be bad ass at something, even if it’s a little thing.
Do you have a favourite quote you could please share that keeps you going through the tough times?
“You can't outwit fate by trying to stand on the sidelines and place little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything to play the game, or you don't play at all. And if you don't play, you can't win.” – Judith McNaught
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, is there any last words of wisdom you would like to share with the Nomadic Paddler community?
Follow your heart in all the things that light you up as a person. We tend to look at others and accept that the things we want to try are done by them. If other people can do it, you can do it. Be bold in your moves and don’t play afraid. There are many things out with our control, don’t let your passions be one