Suzanne Waldron

A photo of Suzanne Waldron holding her book - A Flourishing mind
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There are some people, more than others, who make me smile. Suzanne Waldron fits into the category of those who do. She has an energy and authenticity that is infectious. What comes across in this interview is that Suzanne knows this about herself and has worked out how she can use her ability to get on with people to help them live better lives. Suzanne specialises in the field of human behavioural change and holds a master’s degree in applied coaching and neuro linguistics. Suzanne works with individuals and organisations across Australia and internationally. She is a motivational speaker, coach and facilitator who influences long lasting positive change starting with self.

People don’t come to me saying they’re really happy, can you help me stay there. They come because they’re transitioning, they’re moving from one place to another

In 2015 Suzanne published her book “A Flourishing Mind”, which I really should have read before I went and interviewed her. It’s a personal book reflecting on her own life experiences and explores how they have shaped her. But it is more than just an autobiography – it explores the meaning in life events and Suzanne expands from her own story to what the reader may also be able to learn and reflect upon. It’s a great read. But in a way I’m glad that I came to the interview without prior expectations from the book, to be able to listen to and hear Suzanne talk about her experiences of trauma, homelessness, and family breakdown. And also, to witness how she has used her experiences in ways that have forged a deep and clear life purpose. Suzanne stated her purpose as:

I don’t want anyone to get to the end of their life and look back on it and think that that’s not who I wanted to be. Who, not what.

Suzanne has built her life now around being joyful, connected to people, and helping others to be the same. I get a sense that a lot of what she does with people is to help them be connected to themselves and their purpose, and to flourish.

Resources Mentioned

Suzanne’s website

TED Radio Hour podcast

TED talk – Alain de Botton

Transcript of Podcast Episode

Francis Lynch: In this interview with Suzanne Waldron, you’ll meet a woman who has made many major transitions in her life and who now helps other people to do the same. Suzanne specialises in the field of human behavioural change and holds a masters degree in applied coaching and neurolinguistics. She works as a coach, a motivational speaker and as a group facilitator. As you hear, she’s also great Fun, makes people laugh and smile, and has worked out pretty clearly what her purpose in life is all about. Please join me as I have a conversation with Suzanne. Thank you, Suzanne, for coming along and being part of the podcast this morning. I’ve given a an introduction to you already, but how would you describe yourself in your own words?

Suzanne Waldron: My first thought came just then and that was crazy. That was my first first Word that came to My head?

Francis Lynch: Well, that definitely wasn’t in my introduction.

Suzanne Waldron: No, that’s OK. You can keep that out. So how would I describe myself I. Just you know. OK, so the second thing that comes to me is. Around feeling that there is possibility for people in the world, and so my life is about helping people to see possibility and so describing myself as that. I feel very open to connection with other humans and and. I when I really decided on something like I want I go and get it, but I do it in my way. I don’t like to necessarily conform. To the way of the world. And and you know, just find my own sense of uniqueness and be fully. So that’s why crazy for already came from my head first. But yeah, so just grab myself is very much. About, you know. Being joyful connects to other people going for what I want and helping others do the same.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, that’s. In terms of your, I mean that’s that’s a description I I think in terms of the way that you’re talking about it, a description of who you are and and where you’re at. But maybe can you give us a?A little bit.Of a perspective in terms of you know, where you’ve come from, what’s your journey been in terms of getting? To hear what what’s Francis Lynch: been. Something that’s or, you know, one of the things that have really made a difference to to make you. Who you are now

Suzanne Waldron:  So very early on in my life. Well, I was. 8 years old and I had a nervous breakdown. So. To to go all the way. Back to the beginning from England. Originally my parents were truck drivers, so we drove around Europe in a truck together, so my whole very early.

Francis Lynch: So they were both truck drivers.

Suzanne Waldron: Both truck drivers and my mum was a truck driver as well were called Lady lorry drivers in England. She was one of very few 5 ft 1 time. Me and just really. You know, like a dog. Quite a. Tomboy you know woman. And so she would drive one, and my dad would drive another, and I would be one with one of them at any given time. If I wasn’t at school. So when I was very, very young, around about the age of five, my dad actually. Had an affair with a 15 year old. So he was about 46. Without having to go into all of the details, you can imagine that that cause you know issues and I found them together and then told.My mum. So you. Know it was a big bit part of the the the break up in. Some ways. And by the time I was eight, I was actually in. Foster care. So I went to a Dutch family. My dad had moved in with the 15 year old they actually became. Married and were together for a very long time and my mum went off into a different direction and and had different partners. And because of the breakup. And the obvious, you know, legalities of the break up and the fact that my mum was actually quite unwell person mentally, I ended up in foster care and that’s when I had a. A nervous breakdown. So all of that Lead then into homelessness. By the time I was 15, so we can we can. Go into any of this. As much as you want. I’m just giving you the the high Stuff to start with.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, I mean it’s it’s interesting because. I think it. It’s, I mean, these are things that obviously have had a major impact in terms of where you’ve come. From and, and maybe paint a picture as to how you’ve become.

Suzanne Waldron:  And so so by the time I was 15, I was homeless. In England living. In fields and cars rather than streets. It was in the country and and by the time I was seventeen, I’ve met my now husband, so we’ve been together 20 years next year.Well I don’t feel like I’m old enough to say. That I am just. I’m just old enough to say that and and then I moved to Australia and and had some really difficult years. And but now I work in human behavioural change. I’ve done a little study and work in and and how humans operate. Picture like an angle for the brain and I work with people really deeply on what happens with inside of them that doesn’t serve them. So that’s my quick snap snapshot.

Francis Lynch: Yeah. So, so when you say you, you. Work with people to to. Help them unlock. Or or to work with what doesn’t serve them, and obviously that’s that’s really as you say, quite deep work and and. Is there is there? Anything there really? Not drive you, but but sort of pointed you in that direction of of really trying to work out how how you ended up in that work.

Suzanne Waldron: Yes. Yeah. When I was really young, I was really able to build rapport very quickly. And I think that comes in hindsight down to creating safety.

Francis Lynch: I suppose.

Suzanne Waldron: So the quicker I could get people on my side, the quicker they all the more likely they weren’t going to be able to hurt me or want to hurt. Me because I was hurt a lot. From the very. Early ages, you know people, one of my mum’s partners directing me along the the the street when I was very small, 6 or whatever to my feet bled because we were late for school. So although. Lots of things. So. I think very early on. I learned to build rapport and so my relationships with people were quite deep and and also very transparent. So finding myself all the way through my. Life thinking about what I wanted to. Do I didn’t think like that. I was in survival mode for a long time. And all I did know. That I was really good at at serving people. I was really good at connecting and communicating with people and then once I put a bit of study to that a little bit later on, so I was in leadership roles in corporate world and things. Like that. And as I started to solve and release a lot of my old hurt and and help forgiveness happen, I became a lot cleaner. If you like of my old, well, you know the old world that I was. Living in and then was able to see it outside of myself and beyond myself, and that’s when I started to realise that I had the capacity. To to learn about humans and then help them. So I had to do my. Own work first.

Francis Lynch: So is that a self Lead journey though? But when you say you’re. Doing your own work it. Was it was personal reflection and and reading and and whatever.

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah, I did. I did my Masters degree in coaching and. Over a several period, several years of the period we we basically had to use ourselves as subjects as well. So if you can imagine, you know, basically five years of work and and understanding the methods and tools and theories based on yourself cause the people have to practice on you then they you had to practice on them

Francis Lynch: I know its scary

Suzanne Waldron: You get five years of just constant, you know, figuring it out. And also I had had some mental health help before that as well with counsellors and I also worked for Lifeline as a crisis counsellor, so there’s lots of my, you know, just iterative moments that help me to understand more about. What the world was about from that perspective, and then how I was. To to move through it and maybe on the get the other end, get out the other end.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, so with the particular people that really influenced how you sort of move through those,those parts of your life.

Suzanne Waldron: There are several people that stand out. There’s two people in England. When I was 15, who I couldn’t get a job because I didn’t have. An address. and i couldn’t get an address Because I couldn’t  get a job. So basically I was in a pub with a a fellow and he was my boyfriend at the time and he was trying to help me with places to stay and and things. And the women actually just let me use her telephone number and her address so that I could actually apply. For jobs. And then you know, within moments, I would literally been about 48 hours. I had a job and then I was in working and. Then I could afford a place to live. And another woman. She was the first person I rented a room from when I was 15, and I had a £50 note. That’s all I had and. That’s how much it cost. Per week to have a room and  she just welcomed me with open arms. Gave Me 2. Weeks instead of 1 included food. So those people are strangers to me. I don’t even remember their names. I’m not even entirely sure I knew the lady that I stayed with the rent lady. I don’t. Even know if I knew her name? By using example as examples now as well about people going beyond themselves and doing the smallest thing that can change their life on the pathway of a person that you’re connected with. So let they’re strangers. Let them know the people that I’ve met throughout my life, who have really been committed to. Connecting with me and keeping connected. So there’s a lady in Melbourne. When I I first lived in Melbourne and I’m I’m we’ve known each other now for 18 years and she was the first person I met. In Melbourne and she sort of stuck through all of my emotional baggage that I had as a friend. She’s she’s older than me. In her 60s, so she sort of became my surrogate mother, really in Australia. And my husband, you know, he’s a another person. Who? Is people often say, well, you’re nothing like your parents. I think well knows because. I’m like Phil. And maybe when I was 17 and he really helped me to, to, to grow up really and live some of his family’s values rather than mine, I could go on, I can tell you there are some really significant. People who’ve helped shaped my integrity and my values.

Francis Lynch: So it’s really been a journey of of. Of living with people. And and really growing and learning.

Suzanne Waldron: And seeing them as role models, you know that they could take a stranger into their family, so to speak, and and not turn away and not walk away even when things are difficult. And even when I was being strange cause I was strange in Melbourne in terms of my. Mental health was a little bit shaky and so I would do strange things. And Robin never turned.  And yeah, I’ll be for forever. Gratefulness. People in England as well, from a very early age that looked after me, that in in the street that I lived in when my parents went missing and. Things around and. So and I jump around in the. Timeline a bit but. There are just so many different people. Who? Who have? Shaped help shaped who I am and. And where I want. To be.

Francis Lynch: I I think yeah and look. I I really. Resonate with that. I think that they’re, I can remember times in my life where you know the kindness of strangers in a sense and and someone really being prepared to trust somebody. Trust me. Yeah. In my life where you know. It was every reason not to trust me, you know. You know, when I was a a younger person and and so yeah, that’s it’s it’s a really they those things stick with you obviously so.

Suzanne Waldron: And I think it’s because I had such a shaky upbringing and people weren’t necessarily they didn’t have my back. My parents did not. Have my back. And so those. People did and it took a long time for it. It took a. Long time to prove that they. Would be there, you know. Because we’re 20 years on now and so that’s helped me to feel secure and safe now. Now I’d like to be able to give that to other people as well.

Francis Lynch: So yeah. And so that sounds as though that’s part of what your your your work is now is is to actually work with people to to bring them to that space of of. I mean how would you describe it? how would you Resourcefulness

Francis Lynch: resourcefulness?

Suzanne Waldron: In their resourcefulness because. People don’t come to me. Say I’m really happy. Can you help? Me. Stay there. They come because they’re transitioning, whether it’s relationships or work career, a project that they’re working on, some kind of life transition, but they’re moving from one place to another. And so very quickly I can work with people to help work through any of the inner psyche. Or the inner. Resource on this that they’re not. They’re not feeling well. They don’t. They don’t have abundance of. So generally I work around self-belief and. And helping people to feel that there’s a possibility cause often people come to me in the sense of feeling trapped and trapped obviously indicates no choice and there’s always choice, even if all of the choices are poor, they can still be a choice.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, but there may be a different choice,

Suzanne Waldron:  That’s right. And yeah, so working with people at that level. Whether I really love. Working with go. Getters like people. Who want something for themselves or for the world, for their organisation, whatever it is, they know what it is that they want to a degree, they might be old stuff, putting them back in their mind.

Francis Lynch: So there’s yeah. Pulling them down all these barriers that they can’t move through.

Suzanne Waldron: Just stopping them from being able to, like, fully immerse themselves into the idea or project or relationship. So. So I really love being able to clear the cobwebs, so to speak, and help people get rid of anything that’s just masking them.

Francis Lynch: Yeah. One of the things in these these interviews or these discussions that I’m really interested in is, is the concept of purpose and in a sense, what I hear you Francis Lynch: talking about just there is is obviously a a sort of drive in you or a purpose in you. But if I do ask the direct question and say. Do you? Do you have a? A way of describing what your purpose is,

Suzanne Waldron: Yes.There’s two ways in which I go about that. The first one is generally when people say to me, you know, so. What do you? Do or. Who are you at the end of the day, I don’t want other people to get to the. End of their life. Or me to as well. I don’t want anyone. To get to the end of their. Life and look back. Upon it. And think oh. That’s not who I wanted to be. Not necessarily. That’s not what I wanted to do more about. That’s not who I. Wanted to be. Because I believe.

Francis Lynch: So you can do the same. Thing

Suzanne Waldron:  yes

Francis Lynch: but you can actually be different like. Way of manifesting you.

Suzanne Waldron: And we might choose. The what and the what might not have worked out.But who were You during the working out or not working. Out part. How did you act? And I truly and. Truly believe. That I don’t. Care what standards people have for their life as long as they have some. So I don’t mean people need to have the goal to change the world. They may want to have a really healthy family and. There could be. All sorts of different standards of which they. Place in their life. I do care that. I have some. So there’s three keys to my purpose that I’ve broken down that. I I strongly. Believe in and that’s increasing self belief and understanding the standards that you have around that. Self belief as well. Also, knowing that you have choice, so we touched on that before. So people that we all have. Choice and that and that. That we just need to be able to see it and also exercise in kindness. Whether it’s to self or to other people. So I believe that they’re the keys to help us increase our inner resourcefulness on this ultimately so that we don’t get to the. End and think that we’ve wasted something of ourselves. So my purpose is to encourage that in myself and. Everybody else.

Francis Lynch: And is that something that? For you. Has has been a a sort of a path to get to that understanding of of and. Is that like if you were to say now like how long has that sort of been a a sort of crystallisation?

Suzanne Waldron: How oh how. Long has it been crystallisation? Properly One or two. Years. Yeah, it’s taken me that long to be able to say those sentences 36 years. That’s how old I am to. Find out that that’s. What it is, and it continues to grow, it’s an iterative process. I get asked this question a bit. Did you just know was there a turning point? No, it’s. An accumulation of events happen over a period of time that allow you to eliminate what you don’t want, bringing what you do want, and I know fully that will continue to happen. So we want to sit here again in five years and another five years another 5. Years and we have different words to. Describe those. Things I think ultimately I believe my purpose will be the same, but it might sound different. As I crystallise.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, well, I’m really interested in that. Because that is one of the things I’m really asking people as I go and and have these conversations. This is so obviously there is this sense. For you that. Maybe how you would have described purpose, say 5 or 10 or 15 years ago may have been different, but it also sounds for you that that sort of 10, 15 twenty years ago, the purpose may have actually been. Not understood or wouldn’t have been able to be sort of described it,

Suzanne Waldron: That’s right, because if you think about it, you know, my early purpose was survival. Then it was trying to build relationships and then it was earning money. Then it would be. Partying. It would be connecting with people at a sexual level cause I went through a massive phase of using sex as false sense of security and I was homeless around that age and and then it was about, you know, trying to find a place in the world and what what? How do I want to be and. A lot of a lot of. Time my purpose would have been manipulation because I had manipulated a lot of  people in my relationships in my early 20s because I didn’t trust people and I didn’t feel that

Francis Lynch: Yeah, but you were trying to get your needs, mate.

Suzanne Waldron: that’s exactly right, yeah. So all you know, this purpose is all the way through that and now I sort of come out the other end and sort of to really focus on outside of myself.

Francis Lynch: But the purpose that you describe now is very conscious and is very, you know, has has a a set of values that are really clearly articulated. For you and and So what you were also saying was, is that that sort of five, 10, 20 year into the future? You were saying that you might describe it differently, but the actual underlying purpose may be the same.

Suzanne Waldron: I believe that. So but I’ve done. So much work on what I want for the world, for my, you know, in my life. What’s my life? About like why what in print would I’ve made or what impact would have happened because I existed. Sometimes you can be a little bit egotistical thinking about things in that way as well because you know my importance in the world. But at the same time. We we need ego to drive. Our messages and our missions. So, but then again, I never say never because you know, five years ago, I may have. Had a political. Opinion about something and now I’ve got new information. My opinion has changed so I could only tell you what I think I know.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, and and it.Sort of does. I mean, you know, there’s arguments as to where the value. You know, constant and and are changing or whether they change as you change. As your experiences change, yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: I believe that they change. Yeah. In my experience with working with people and seeing that I believe. That values and virtues will change.

Francis Lynch: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So. So you’re still unfolding work.

Suzanne Waldron: Absolutely, as we all are and happy to. To continue to evolve because you know, if you think about even the fact we’re sitting here with microphones and whatnot and they’re able to then broadcast this to people that we don’t know, I don’t know what’s gonna happen in five years from a technological perspective. So how I go about my purpose probably change.

Francis Lynch: Undoubtedly

Suzanne Waldron: Dramatically. I don’t know. I don’t. I can’t see. I don’t know how. yeah. Well, certainly over 20 or 30 years, Absolutely

Francis Lynch: I can’t imagine it.

Suzanne Waldron: I think you know the. Work that I’ve done to really cement. What I believe my life is about will have a lot of similarity, even though I might have new information that changes as I get more knowledge or the world changes around me.

Francis Lynch: So what gives you? The energy to do what you do, I’ve. Known you for a couple of years through the uniting for homelessness and and you always seem to have. Energy. So.

Suzanne Waldron: I think I’m clean of negativity for the most part, not so. I don’t feel negative. Sometimes I do. But I put a time limit on it. I bring negative that I try to reduce impact and negativity negativity very quickly. I’m also very clear on what I’m doing. Why I want it and I think with that clarity comes simple application. So I’m not constantly wondering what I’m doing and how I feel about it and all those sorts of things. I’m very clear about that and. I have a good skill  Set that goes along with the. Vision as well. Competent in what I do, as well as feeling, you know that I know what it is that I. Want to do and I believe all of those. Things together allow you to to be in flow. Allows you to. Be at your best from a motivational perspective. And that just makes you very excited. So I bounce around just wanting to do more.

Francis Lynch: Bounce is a good word. But are there particular sort of? Strategies that you use to on a daily basis. Is there even a you know way that you set up your day?

Suzanne Waldron: Have to have a lot of variety, so I I cannot be in a room for 8 hours. You know I cannot be. A trainer? I’m. Really good at training and it has to be two or three hours maximum. If I’m going to do. Anything during the daytime. I just need to have lots of variety, different locations with different people. And I also get lots of sleep and I don’t wake up with an alarm.

Francis Lynch: ohh that’s such a good thing

Suzanne Waldron: Yes

Francis Lynch:  I would like to be able to do that I was talking with people on the weekend. It was like it’s almost like a. Vision. I would love to be able to be. In that position, I’m not yet, but yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: Well, I actually use a technique if. You want me to share it?

Francis Lynch: Ohh yeah go for it

Suzanne Waldron: I’m sure lots of people will benefit from. So I use triggers before I go to sleep to be able to empty my subconscious filing cabinet. That’s. What I call it? Yeah. And basically I lay on my back with a light on and most people have a bedside table lamp that lay back on my back with the. Light on for about 5 to 10 minutes and it’s called thinking time, not reading. Not looking at the television, not phones and nothing. Just completely allowing your subconscious to finish what it’s been doing because quite often we don’t sleep because we’re doing stuff in our self-conscious that we haven’t yet finished off. They might think think the most random things and I just allow them to be thought. Just go with it, get carried with it. And then after it feels it’s around about 10 minutes, it feels like I feel OK. I’m ready to switch off now. I lay on my side and I turn the light off and that’s a physical trigger for your body to understand. That this is now sleep time and ever since then I have had very good sleep and also if I do wake in them and live the night so I have eaten too much sugar or too much food or something before I go to sleep and then I wake up and then. I start thinking about. Something I think cause I’m excited or worried or whatever it might be. I say to myself your. Brain Suzanne is an absolute machine and it is a special effects department and it’s the best effects department in the world. And at the moment you are hallucinating. You are in illusion. Because right now what you need. To do is sleep. To just allow. That to go. So I actually have a little conversation with myself. So this is not what I need to be doing. Right now and. Then I go back to sleep. So that’s been. Working really well. For good five years now.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, I must. Admit I I sleep very well, but. And it’s interesting because I think there are sometimes when I go to bed and I know that I have to get up at a particular time and I just do and. I don’t have. To have an alarm, but there are. Other times when I just yeah. Yes, need that that prompt to actually get up.

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah. So do try not to. Set an alarm I. Let my body wake up when it needs. To and that can be really varying, I’ve notice. As well, between 5:30 and 7:30 well I mean even 8 sometimes. So I don’t. I don’t have meetings there early in the morning. I tend to make meetings from only 10:00 o’clock onwards. Yeah. So that I can have an ease. Into the day. Sometimes I’m working from 7:00 o’clock, but essentially I don’t have to be anywhere.

Francis Lynch: Yes. So you’re not setting up 7:30 breakfast meetings

Suzanne Waldron: Well, actually I do do that, but I like breakfast meetings  because I like like. Bacon and. Eggs. So there’s a good motivation as well.

Francis Lynch: Is there anything that you know? Do you? Do you use meditation practices or things Like that or?

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah. And I do it really quickly. So I teach you meditation and I do meditation classes and. I’ve I’ve got to the point where I can change my state very quickly so it can be 30 seconds to two minutes where I just close my eyes and get very focused on my intentions and my attention,  So yeah, I use or perhaps is what I’d like to increase doing. Actually more of is transitioning between places. So spending 30 seconds or so in the practice of breathing and setting intentions, transitioning between activities. Or spaces that you’re in.

Francis Lynch: So it’s been very intentional. You know, noting the transition that, yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: Yes. And whilst I think I’m. Quite good, I’d. Like to be a little bit more conscious of it and a little bit more intentional around that, so. That’s something I’m working on.

Francis Lynch: Can I? I know this is really. In effect, a lot of. What your work is about, but if if somebody you know whether it’s. Through your work or. Or through other ways you know saying to you, I’m really not sure what my purpose is or you know, how do I go about actually. Understanding why I’m here or what I’m about, I know. It’s a huge question. But you know what? What’s what’s? Important to you? When when someone’s actually? Sort of not sure about. What their purpose? Is and how do you actually assist someone?

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah. Well, the first thing that I always do is help people to get into. Of resourcefulness, so quite often when people come to me with that question, they don’t believe they’re worth a purpose or they don’t think that they, you know, they should have one or that they deserve one. So I actually get people into a state of resource on this. So they think that there is a possibility and that they’re now willing to explore. So then when we get to that stage, I actually start to get people to look at the end of their life. I take them to the very end of their life in their imagination and look at all the sweet and Suzanne Waldron:  beautiful neurolinguistic neurolinguistic. Techniques that I use to help people to search inside of their subconscious about some rules that they set up the standards of their life, and so we look at the very early ages of their life and the very end of their life and and today’s part of their life. And look at all the similarities and trends of what’s important to them. And as we start to look at that, we start to get a really clear picture of the core of who they are and what’s the most important thing for them in. The world for themselves. Then I go outside themselves, so strategically and practically, and from a work role perspective or from a personal perspective or a family perspective. But what imprint would you be left in your life? And so we start to then explore those importances and they will then be able to formulate their own purpose no matter what or. Standards, whatever that is. From there. So it’s a real sort of process of starting with resourcefulness and then looking at. What’s important in their life?

Francis Lynch: And is that? A purpose or a a process rather where? Yeah, there’s there’s variety. Do you do? You really see variety in the way. That people can. Can go through that process in terms of. How quickly or how deeply people can? Access those states.

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah, I I’m very fortunate. I think one of my unique advantages is that I can build a report very quickly and create a place where people can go very deeply very quickly. So with me, it’s three sessions. That’s it. They you. Know they get to a point where they go right. I have some forward momentum in which they can become self-sufficient in the question as. Well, they don’t need me.

Francis Lynch: Yeah, yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: From a process perspective, or I think people tend to to go through the same process because it’s a natural question to ask and they go through the same sort of questioning. Ideals within themselves, so I do see trends in. The way people go about. Processing that question.

Francis Lynch: So when when you’ve been? Doing that work with people, do you? Do you get? The sense sometimes that people are surprised about where they end up.

Suzanne Waldron: Yes, yes, I think. A lot of people don’t. Believe they can even get there to start with the next well, that’s why I would start with. That because otherwise you just. Trying to. I wanted to say. Flog a dead horse, but that is. So not the right saying. You know what I mean? I don’t like. That saying that came to my head.

Francis Lynch: I’m not sure what the alternative is.

Suzanne Waldron: I know Exactly so I. Thought I’d just say it so everyone knows why I paused, but yes, I I think you would do get surprised because they they underestimate their own ability. And so very quickly. We can get to the point where people realise that they’re actually good and they’re worthwhile and they have something to say.And that surprises them. I love that surprise too.

Francis Lynch: Some people, I mean in a sense. Is part of that that some people feel? Actually I’m not really very deep, like I don’t have any. Deep meaning of thought.

Suzanne Waldron: They do. And also again, though, that’s whatever standards work for you, my very best friend, Suzanne said name and I will never forget the time when I had travelled across the villa or here in Australia, which is a desert here 3hr. Sorry three day drive. I’ve never been in a desert. I put my hand up in front of my face and I couldn’t see it at. All in the desert night. And I ran her up and I said, oh, I’ve had the most, you know, exceptional experience. And I described it all to her. And she replied. But you’ll never guess what happened to. Me. I brought the best wrapping paper for my mum’s Christmas present and I thought how different. Could we be that she is completely incongruently? That is, that is her life. Yeah. She has two kids. She cleans a couple of houses. She goes to Greece on holiday or wherever it is. And that is the life that she wants to have. And she is completely happy and I am completely different and completely happy. And it’s just a great illustration of what standards. Yeah, cause people to feel, you know, exceptionally motivated.

Francis Lynch: And yet you can also do this for free.

Suzanne Waldron: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So it was really that was really interesting.

Francis Lynch: So if if if I was to ask you, you know, their particular suggestions that you would make to people you know, in terms of books or blogs or podcasts that actually are important to you or you find sort of interesting.

Suzanne Waldron: I really like listening to. NPR. So it’s N for Nellie. P for Peter, R for Roger.

Francis Lynch:

So it’s the American station. Well, yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah, American station. And it’s a the compilation of the Ted talks.

Francis Lynch: OK, alright. Yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: So they spend 50 minutes. Basically, say the the purpose the purpose of this topic was purpose. Yeah, they would get different Ted talks clips of those Ted talks and then interview the talker. So basically they would have. You’d have a. You listen to a little bit of the Ted talk and then the person. Talking about that part.

Francis Lynch: Ohh wow I. Haven’t actually seen that one, so I’ll I’ll find it and I’ll put it in the show notes so that people can see it.

Suzanne Waldron: Because you can listen to it. In the car.

Francis Lynch: I love podcasts. Yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: Well, obviously because you’re.Doing good.

Francis Lynch: That’s right.

Suzanne Waldron: So NPR is really good. I love it. For trips that are, you know, 30 minutes in the car or on the train, wherever you might be. That’s really good. What else do I I spend most of my time doing rather than listening and reading. I have to say not too much of a reader though.I have a lot of. Books and I have learned that you don’t actually have to read the whole book. You can skim through it and get inspiration from a chapter and things like I always think I have to read the whole thing, you know, in order and very deeply.

Francis Lynch: yeah. It was a revelation to me, actually, when I was. At uni that. Reading the intro and the conclusion of that journal article was actually as much. As he needed to do a lot of the time.

Suzanne Waldron: I remember doing my Masters just recently and I cried, thinking I Ican not read that entire because I would actually have to. That you don’t have to read the. Whole thing you just need to take the. What? So that’s what I start to realise. So do you like reading things? That I am reading a book or this would. Be a good. One for everyone, and the emotional life. Of your brain. By Doctor Richard Davidson. So that.

Francis Lynch: Oo okay so is that a recent book.

Suzanne Waldron: Recent and it’s got new neuroscience research in it that talks about genes. So it’s the whole nature and nurture discussion.

Francis Lynch: Oh, so what’s coming out of that for you?

Suzanne Waldron: What I’m really happy to read is that. There’s a lot of nurture in our lives, but what he’s found, which is new, is that, yes, we bring our family systemics through our genes. So when we’re born, we are born. Somewhat a blank. Slate in terms of our ability to process emotions we don’t have, we don’t think about our hair or. Whether we’re stressed or how should we? Take an umbrella. Or how is that person judging me? We don’t have all that. Remember when we’re just literally in survival mode?

Francis Lynch: Yeah, yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: But what’s interesting is that he’s. Researched over the last 30 years. Is that genes, whilst we have pre sufficient predispositions to be a certain way through our genetics, we actually have the ability to either turn those genes on or not and so subconsciously, whilst we might have the Suzanne Waldron: predisposition to be joyful or a smoker or. Or very negative or whatever it might be. Just because we have that doesn’t mean that we can. We need to exercise those genes, so subconsciously we. Have the ability to. To turn them on and turn them. Off which means. Just because our parents or the people before us in our family life and have been a certain. Way doesn’t mean. We have. To be. And I think that’s very important for people to understand because a lot of people are spending their lives thinking that their their genes control them or the environment or society controls them. And there’s so just so much research to say. That’s not true.

Francis Lynch: It’s a real sense for some people that personal choice is actually not real Yes and that’s that’s one of the things I’d really like to help people understand. So once there. Are some predispositions we have the ability to shape them, change them, exercise new ways? Yeah. Yeah, and shape our future of our family so that they have new predispositions.

Francis Lynch: So you can interrupt that cycle of of family.

Suzanne Waldron:  but it’s violence or excessive happiness, which we would like to promote. Whatever. Whatever works.

Francis Lynch: Is there anything you’re involved in at the moment that you’d like to sort of talk about? I mean, the thing with podcasts is that somebody has been listening to this three or four years down the track, but is there something that really is is important to you right at the moment?

Suzanne Waldron: I’m an ambassador for Are You OK? And I don’t think that’ll ever change. So hopefully even. If you listen to this 20 years down. The track we’ll still be. Going Suzanne Waldron:  with it, so many of you would have. Heard of are you OK day or are you OK, particularly in Australia? And being an ambassador for that organisation is incredibly heartwarming. Because it’s really. About promoting and and helping people to understand that when they ask the question. Of other people, whether they be work. Colleagues, strangers, family members, how to receive the answer and how to support that person through to an action if they’re not. OK, so really simple campaign you know and and. And I think the more we can genuinely take interest in other people by asking that question, not just the superficial, you know, are. OK. And I don’t really care about what the answer is. I actually mean you know, are you OK and how can I support? You if you’re not. That campaign will change the rate of suicide in our country and in the world.

Francis Lynch: Yeah. And I know that you’ve as an ambassador. You’ve spoken a number of times and and different types of groups. I mean, what sort of response have? You had when you.

Suzanne Waldron: Oh, it’s incredible. I spoke to a large distribution centre here in Perth. It’s one kilometre long but it’s a big warehouse.

Francis Lynch: Like a big shopping centre. Oh, I don’t know. Like a.

Suzanne Waldron: It is like a packing, packing place. Yeah, for an organisation that we all know, but I don’t.Think I have permission to say so. I’ll just take distribution centre. And so they had hundreds of staff and they basically had the whole it was on. Are you OK Day And they had activities throughout the whole day. So I spoke to all 15 minutes and then the next group would come in and the next group and they had a sausage sizzle they had. This competition with that kick a ball through a goal and things like that, and every time they got it, the organisation would do a dollar donation and things like that. So they were kicking it really fast. And really getting. Good results as well. So I think they would have. Even donated quite a lot, but the people. In the room. There were so many different types of people and. Lot of. Guys and there’s an organisation that support them, which is the young guns, which I will say because young guns is an organisation that gets young people who want to be physically fit or need to be physically fit and still work at the same time. So I I. There was a rugby team there. My third group was a rugby team and they work there because they move. They, instead of getting forklifts and things like that, they physically move all the stuff off the containers into the into the packing. Area or unpacking area.

Francis Lynch: Yeah. So it’s like a physical activity.

Suzanne Waldron: Yeah, so they keep fit and raise money at the same time. And it’s also for people who are in need of an entry level manual job as. Well, so when I was I was talking to this group and I noticed these big. Rugby dudes, basically. Listening to me talk about my homelessness and you know, and then talking them through all the principles of are you OK is all pretty touchy, clearly. And I just remember this one really big Mario looking guy just nudged his supervisor his the next to me kind of looked at him and nodded and pointed. At me. As if to go. She’s. Yeah. What she’s saying is good. And afterwards they were. Questions that hands are up. They were talking to each other. There was no snide comments, you know, like I was really impressed with the seriousness that people Suzanne Waldron: take this. And I found that everywhere that I’ve spoken.

Francis Lynch It’s really good. Yeah. Yeah. And I think it really has changed over the last, you know, whatever it is 10, 20 years, yeah. OK, sort of coming towards the end of the the interview, but is there anything that you wanted to sort of add I may not have asked the right question. So is there something that’s on your mind?

Suzanne Waldron: Should we go into a coaching session and and see show everybody what it’s like? To coach. Oh yes, yes, thank you. I just needed a little bit of a pause then to let my sub conscious, do its little message and it came. I as you’ve probably worked out, I trust my subconscious because it has a lot of. Information in it. And so I give myself space to not always consciously know. And then I just use my instincts so that that’s

Suzanne Waldron: something I’d love for people. To do more of.But what I.Would really like to mention to people, especially in this day and. Age is that. I think there’s a lot of people. Trying to inspire others. Which is lovely. But they’re not painting a true picture of polarity of life. And what I mean is. There’s a lot of those kind of glasses and. The rah rah rah and everything’s. Great. And you always. Have choice all the time and. You can do anything you want. And whilst I think a lot of that ring is true, I think there are other dimensions to that that need to be taken into consideration, because there’s also then other things in life that come our way that we don’t necessarily have control over. And I believe a lot of people are trying to take personal responsibility for things that are actually outside of their control and that’s causing them to doubt themselves. So Alain Botain is another person who just came to me. If you can go if you can find the TEDx talk and put this in your link as well, it’s the kinder, gentler version of success, or something like that. That’s the title and he talks about the fact that thousands and thousands of years of history, we’ve always worshipped something greater than ourselves. A God or. A spirit. Or something like that. And in the last 20 years or so, have we actually turned inward and started to worship ourselves as a human being. And with that, he says, and I I kind, I really do agree with him is that we whilst we take our successes very personally and it it boosts our self-esteem and who we are, we also take our. Failures very personally, yeah. And so you can imagine that roller coaster of being successful, failing, and being successful, failing. And then linking that to the. Identity of who you are, that’s. A really big roller coaster. And he says in his talk that there are so many factors that are outside of our control, economics, we might trip over there might we might be born with certain predispositions. That just means that I won’t be able to sing like Pavarotti until I’m 50. I will be able to do it. But I need I need longer. Than he did, or whatever it is that we’re doing. There are so many factors to it that we, the universe, provides that we can’t actually see them or we don’t know which way we’re going. So I would like to leave people with a message of understanding that we have a lot of choice and there we have a lot of possibility and there is a lot of ways that we can train our neurology to be able to be a certain way and and drive and get the things that we want and to be gentle on ourselves and realise that there’s also another side of that wherever. There’s light, there’s shadow. Where there’s dark, there’s. Day and night and. It’s just about understanding. There’s more that sides. To the coin than one. And that we, I believe as humans need to increase our skill in being able to detach ourselves from labels and the good and the bad, and be able to move through life emotionally, holding ourselves through all of the ups and downs of life. And that whilst there’s a lot of things in our control. Focus on those. Do not focus on the things that are out of control, because once we start believing that those are our responsibility, we actually setting ourselves up. So that’s what I would like to say as my final thoughts.

Francis Lynch: Well thank you.You that was. I’m very glad I asked that. Last question.

Suzanne Waldron: yes

Francis Lynch: Look, thank you, Suzanne. It’s been an amazing time listening to you and and talking with you. You’ve been incredibly generous and openness

Suzanne Waldron: It’s my pleasure.

Francis Lynch: And yeah, I’m. I’m still very impressed by your energy. That’s always something that I’ve noticed with you. And I hopefully all the people who listen to this can really get a sense of that as well. So thank you again and yeah.

Suzanne Waldron: My pleasure and thank you for having me and I hope that your listeners enjoy all of your podcasts and all that you bring to them so. Thank you very much too speaking.

Francis Lynch: No worries. Thank you.