“Hi Steve, I’m Gary te Roller. I’m a recovering addict and I now devote my life to help people to live holistically and to nourish their bodies, as a plant-based health coach, helping them to move toward their maximum potential, filled with purpose, health, drive, love and compassion. What’s your story?”.
This was the ‘elevator life purpose’ greeting I was met with in April of this year when I was lucky enough to meet Gary te Roller for the first time in person, when he walked into my podcast studio. To say I was completely taken aback by Gary’s open-ness, his honesty, his vulnerability and his clarity of thought, is a gross understatement. What really shook me out of my comfort zone was I instinctively knew that Gary’s level of open-ness, vulnerability and clarity was not met with my own. I knew I just wasn’t ready with my own story, perhaps even my own honesty and vulnerability. This is the powerful and changing force of Gary te Roller. His mission is to get each of us to dig deep and to accept our own story – the real thing, the whole thing, the good, the bad and the ugly, not just the one we show on instagram – as an empowering story, that we can own and which we are proud of, and then to use that story to make ourselves stronger, living with clear vocation and purpose. As they say in the classics, Gary is never in town just for a ‘haircut’. He’s here to jolt you into making changes to your life, to unlock your full potential, to take back your decision-making power and zest for life. Please read Gary’s interview below. I promise, it will be something you never regret. Thanks for your fire and your truth Gary. Thanks for always asking and answering the hard questions:
My Definition Of Success | Success to me means more than the materialistic ideals of the 21st century or should I say my previous ideals within the 21st century. I am in recovery from drugs and alcohol and I now see every colour of the rainbow whereas before the world was pretty much black and white.
I once equated success with fast cars, beautiful women, heaps of money, brand names and titles. I chased my next hit of drugs, next shot of booze or next moment where I could allow my ego to be flamboyant in a room of strangers by throwing money across roulette tables. This landed me up in only one place. Rehab and depression. I couldn’t understand why. The world told me that it was all normal. That my aspirations of being rich in brands, ego and money was the ultimate destination.
I am grateful for the superficial chase as it allowed me to reveal my true self. My true purpose which ultimately led me to my own success. Success for me is about revealing the true self and not becoming something or someone else. I now find success in waking up with a smile on my face, carving out time for myself to meditate, practice yoga or go for a run. I am successful because I do not work all day and I go out in the middle of the day to do something fun like hike a mountain without feeling guilty.
I feel successful because I use my money wisely and instead of being a prisoner to massive bonds so that I can be flashy, I use that to travel and adventure into new places. When sobering up and leaving the corporate world, I knew two things about myself. That I wanted to help people and I wanted to experience this world. I now do exactly that through empowerment coaching via video calls and living in different cultures. I am successful because I sit here answering these questions with zero distractions. Mindfulness has become my superpower
I Am Driven By | My drive gets generated through a sense of giving and creating space for people to reveal their true self. I understand that for a long time, us humans have been marketed and sold to through corporate’s and politicians, This has essentially removed the power of decision making away from us. The inequality of this world drives me. I am grateful to be in a position as a change maker helping people ask the right empowering questions.
When I started this path, my first ‘client’ was my Dad and I helped him turn his life around, losing 45kg and reversing his 30 year long suffering with diabetes on a plant-based diet. The real pinnacle point for me was one day we were cycling to Christmas lunch together and he turned to me and looked me in the eyes and said thank you son. I said thank you for what dad. He said “At the age of 68 you have given me a new lease on life” I could see my Dad’s body language bursting with gratitude. In that moment I knew what drove me. I promised myself in that moment that no matter what I will make sure I help at least one person a year. Now a couple years down the line and it’s more than that daily. Thank you universe!!
My magic comes from | Listening and understanding. It sounds simple but something that is often forgotten about in today’s world. In the western ways of doing things it is all based on competition, individuality and material wealth. I have lived on both sides of the spectrum so I get to understand both perspectives.
My magic also comes from digging deep into who I am for the last 10 years. Crashing and burning many times. Running away many times. People pleasing. Chasing other peoples desires. Until I couldn’t fall anymore and I had to rip out of my shell called ego. Revealing who I am, underneath the scars and psychological wounds. Setting myself free. Understanding self-compassion is key to living a fulfilled life. I use that magic with other people. I share my own hope, strength and story and allow that to get others to ask their own empowering question. WHO AM I?
The Difference Between good And Great | There is the parable called Acre Of Diamonds:
The story is about a man named Ali Hafed who was very happy with his life. He was a rich man because he had everything he needed: his farm, his beautiful family, and money. Then one day a priest who was visiting Ali told him about diamonds in a far-off land that were worth a lot of money. The priest explained that if he had one of these rare diamonds he could have not just one farm, but many; and be set for generations to come. Intrigued by the diamonds and how much they were worth, Ali went to bed that night a poor man. He had not lost anything, but he was poor because what he had was no longer enough. In a moment, he shifted his focus from all that he felt blessed to have, to all that he didn’t yet possess. So soon after that day, Ali sold his farm, left his family, and traveled the world searching for the rare diamonds. He traveled for years but he couldn’t find them. His health and his wealth declined, and he felt like a failure. His feelings overwhelmed him and he threw himself into the ocean—knowing he could not swim—and drowned. Meanwhile the man who had purchased Ali’s farm saw a sparkling stone in a stream cutting through his land. He picked it up and put it on his mantel, not thinking anything of it. When the priest came by a few days later and asked him where he got this diamond, the man explained that it was just a rock and there were many on the land. It turns out that rock, and all the others on Ali’s old land, were diamonds. In fact, after digging all over the land the two men found acres of diamonds. According to the story, these diamonds were to be the famous diamonds of Golconda, one of the biggest diamond mines in the world.
The difference between the great giants and mini mice is that the ‘greats’ look within for the greatness and accept their own story as an empowering story. They use their story to make themselves stronger and not weaker. They are proud of their own story and understand that we all have everything that we ever need inside of ourselves.
A Key Talent | Self-compassion and self-belief. I had to learn to love myself for who I truly am. Grow a genuine admiration of myself free of ego. Understand that I have a story that needs to be told. Everyone has a story and you get to choose whether you share it or you don’t.
The Characteristics Of Success | Every morning I start my day with going within. I wake up, hug and kiss my fiancé good morning then it is straight onto my meditation pillow. I sit for 10 -30 minutes and get straight into my gratitude journal. I journal 5 gratitude’s I have, 5 things on my ‘To Be’ List which is the opposite of a ‘To Do’ list as it highlights the type of person I would like to be that day. for example to listen more to strangers, smile at someone today, more easy on myself etc. I then end it off with my plan of the day highlighting the important tasks and goals critical to my success. What tasks will add the most momentum to my purpose of creating a brand to help people find their ’brand’. I then slide into a yoga session or a run, mindful plant-based breakfast and only then do I attend to the rest of the world. Pausing during the day and reviewing my intentions – for this I suggest setting you phone alarm to 3 times for the day in the beginning to build a habit. This does two things, brings you back into awareness of your day, not being lost in the busyness of it all and holds you responsible for the important tasks that create the forward momentum for you to live a life of purpose.
Critical Skills I Develop | Continuously reading and practicing what works for me. There is no point reading an article or books and not practicing the techniques on yourself. You might as well watch a movie. Understand what your purpose is, what your goals are and then find someone in the same industry that is very successful in all aspects of their life. Reach out to them. Follow them. Understand their message.
Then secondly I would say meditation. It is something that brings us closer to ourselves. Quietens out the noise which creates space within for us to reveal our true being and to get creative.
Lessons I Have Learnt | That everything in life just is. That there is no wrong or right. There are 7 billion different perspectives and perceptions and understanding that this is okay. We have no control of anything else besides our own attitudes and behaviour. And lastly doing everything with genuine compassion will create a limitless world for you.
Dealing With Doubt | This is one of our greatest weakness and greatest strengths of all time. Self-oppression or negativity has become a norm in our society and this is one of the first steps I take clients through. I personally do this regularly as our character defects change like the seasons. Get a book and get a pen. Write down your character defects and be specific. Eg. I have self-doubt at work because I feel when I stand up in the boardroom everyone is judging me on what I am wearing and how I am verbalising my presentation. Now go further. Ask yourself why. Where does this come from. Was I teased at school during an oral exam. Did my parents tell me I am not good enough. Great. Go further. Why did that person tease me? Why did my parents say that. What personally could have happened to them. Great. Now keep writing. It will start flowing out of you. Then read it to someone you trust as a confidant and get it out of you. This process will make you understand that it is not you. Your insecurity or negativity has flowed from something or someone else. Re-frame it in your head. I am all I ever need. I have a story that I need to tell. I am pure love. I deserve love and compassion.
Performing At My Peak | Enough sleep, enough quiet time, celery juice in the morning (one of the best healing tonics you could ever have), a plant-based diet, journalling, mixing with like-minded people, taking breaks often, getting outdoors, smiling and laughing and not taking life so seriously
Advice On Building Wealth | There is no point in making that your focus as you will never reach it. We suffer from a disease of more. Re-frame wealth in your mind into a happy, content and compassionate life following your own dreams and not someone else’s. Who knows lots of money might be a side effect but if it is not then you will still have the most important strength in life. HAPPINESS and LOVE.
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | That no matter who you are, love and compassion is the answer. I want everyone to step out of ego and show as much vulnerability as possible and lead a life of love to themselves and others