Touching base with Rhys Fisher — who is this upcoming adventurer?
Whether you’re a student, employee, business owner, or something else entirely, I believe we can all learn a lot by following the right people.
Rhys Fisher is definitely one of those you should follow.
He recently broke waves into the professional adventuring scene by successful crowdfunding the first part of his paragliding expedition, that’ll have him attempt to hike and fly 1000 km, powered only by the elements. He has given himself 2-years to build the skills and endurance required to pull off such a feat.
I feel fortunate to have met Rhys a few years back. He has since become a good friend, role model, and has never stopped inspiring me to get outside of my comfort zone. I’m particularly impressed by the way he sees the bigger picture in life.
I’ve been wanting to ask him a few questions, lately, in the hope of getting a glimpse into what allows him to do what he does.
He was happy to answer and proposed that we turn our conversation into an interview style post so that others could benefit from the exchange.
Hope you like the interview.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, to be honest. Although my Twitter bio says I'm an adventurer, writer, and lifestyle experimentalist, it’s that last title that really captures my core. Basically, I become whatever I need to become in order to achieve my goals. At the moment,that’s to be a world class cross-country paragliding pilot, and I’ve challenged myself with a BIG unassisted hike and fly expedition that I’m planning to attempt in 2017. This will require that I excel in several skill areas that I would have wanted to excel in if money were not an issue. So over the next few years, as I prepare to tackle some inspiring mountain ranges, I’ll be in the mountains quite a lot! And then when I’m nearer an internet connection, I’ll write about my adventures, publishing them to my blog, Agile Existence.
What drives you?
I wasn’t born into riches. My dad came from the poorest family in his area, and after working hard to give my sister and me a better start, we unfortunately were hit hard in 2008… like really hard. You did not want to have your assets tied up in a construction business and property in Southern Spain back then. During that time, I dropped out of high school to find work and have been hustling ever since. I guess what really excites me is the thought that if I can “make it”–despite such humble beginnings–then I might be able to inspire others to pursue seemingly impossible dreams, even if they don’t yet have all the answers or resources.
How do you organise your life?
I’ve invested into owning a computer (laughs). Well, I just got back into using Evernote to store things I find on the web, but for a long time I’ve just been using the native Notes application to store ideas, links, and anything I think I might later need. I use Google cal and sync to my phone to keep organised if my schedule gets very busy with external agendas, otherwise, I don’t use a calendar and simply focus on working on the one or two tasks a day that are really important to what I’m working on. I use social media as an “incentive tool” for behavior change because I’ve found that there’s nothing that motivates me quite like the social pressures involved with claiming I’ll do something on social media. But most importantly, I try to keep a healthy balance between being organised and being flexible. The world is an uncertain place and being able to change with the times is a skill I’ve always found to be liberating.
How do you organise your day?
I’m going through a stage in life where this question is hard to answer. What I can tell you, though, is that over the coming weeks I’m going to try and write a few pages every evening, and I would like to start making my mornings as scripted as I can get them. For the rest, I’ll just be riding the waves as they come if you know what I mean.
Who are your role models?
Without a doubt, Tim Ferriss, US-based entrepreneur, author, and investor has had a big impact on my thinking, and although I don’t follow him as closely as I used too, he still continues to inspire me to question untested assumptions and to share my learnings. Another role model would be Stan Radzikowski, professional XC paragliding coach. I’m fortunate to have built a relationship with such an awesome dude, despite almost crashing into him during a paragliding competition (nervous laughs). He has so many epic stories to tell, that during our calls, I’ll often catch myself thinking, “I wanna be like him when I grow up”.
When people look back on you, what do you want to be known as?
Someone who lived, loved, and never stopped learning.
What do you most dislike about yourself?
My feet, I'm joking (laughs). Erm, good question. I guess I’d have to say my shortcomings when it comes to learning something if I can’t apply it quickly. I just lose interest and from there it becomes a huge struggle. And I’m terrible at math, for example, and this has always bothered me for some reason.
What would you like to change about yourself?
Recently, I’ve been having this terrible feeling that I lack depth. So I’d like to focus on acquiring more wisdom/depth over the coming years. I still don’t know why, but my gut tells me to start by reading more fiction.
What’s been the biggest obstacle in your life?
For far too long, I let a general fear of making mistakes or being seen as stupid stop me from pursuing ideas and really giving them a go. I’ve since learned that even the brightest of people make tons of mistakes while on their journey. Analysis can only take you so far, after all. Real world experience and practice is key. I know it’s cliche to say, but making mistakes is just part of the game. So long as you are always learning and improving your craft, you can afford the occasional f***ups.
Any final comments?
Life is too short to be chasing money under the belief that buying more comforts will make you happy. Quit your job. Go traveling. Care for amazing people you meet on your journey. And never look back. And if you’re crazy enough to follow that advice, come subscribe to my blog or follow me on Facebook, because I’m sure we’d get along well.