Our Story on Seven Sharp

Hi my name is Philip James and I travel full time with my wife and two children in our bus exploring this beautiful country – www.thebus.nz

Since a child I have been a bit of a day dreamer and had big goals for my life. I used to get called BTD when I was a kid, Big Time Dreamer. Several years later and I came to realise I haven’t even began to scratch the surface on pursuing my dreams and aspirations I had for my life. I was working the 8 to 5 to support my family in a job I was immensely dissatisfied with but knew I had a responsibility as a father and husband. I was living the script, the life everyone else seemed happy that I was living. I had a great career earning really good money. I worked with great people, I even had a great boss. But something wasn’t adding up.

I was having panic attacks at least three times a day. I was grumpy a lot of the time and I would often ask myself if this is all there was to life. I felt the pressure of having to have a nice house and a half decent car. To make sure the kids were in a good school and were excelling in their education.

Then two ambulance rides later I was getting the hard word from the Doctor. I was being threatened with all kinds of medication to keep my blood pressure down, my sugar levels balanced, my heart rate slower, and so the list went on. I was now in counselling for anxiety, stress and depression.

Something had to give. I remember finding one of my best friends after he had taken his life due to the pressures of life catching up with him and deciding he had no other way to cope. That screwed with my head for some time and made me realise how sometimes life can sneak up on you.

Since that time I have spent a lot of time researching why people get to that point or not even maybe that far but just stressed by life and their current circumstances. I am not saying we are all unhappy, but the number of conversations I have had with people about these topics is astounding.

I see people who have become what society would consider very successful, yet after conversations with these people, most of the time, it has come at a very high price.

Our society is in more debt than ever before, more of our kids are prescribed anti-depressants than ever before, youth suicide is at an all time high. What has happened to our society? Well a lot actually.

I have had the privilege of speaking at youth events and I am amazed at how so many of the younger generation have given up on their dreams by the age of 15 and 16 saying what’s the point?

I am happy to say I now live a life where I wake each day with choice. Choice of what to do with my day, choice of when and where I work, choice of spending more time with my kids, choice of the view I would like to have for the day. I have studied and learnt a lot of useful stuff that has lead me to a life I would call free. Un-restrained by the social norms and expectations. My last visit to the Doctors was met with the comment, “well whatever you are doing keep doing it as it seems to be working”. It is now my goal to encourage as many people as possible to begin to pursue their dreams and begin to live the life they dream about.