Beyond Comfort:

Notes from a Psychologist on sabbatical.

From passion to action: Going beyond comfort

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 19:24 -- Thibault

Well, it’s been a year since the last article, and what can I say other than we got sidetracked for the better part of the past year. For myself, I got to the point where I kept saying yes to working on interesting projects, only to realize later on, that I had to prioritize or become a full time workaholic. I like what I did on my off time but I was not completely passionate about it, something was missing.


I am always interested in how people do things well. If you want to learn how to do something well, you just need to go and ask the experts. For example, if you want to learn how to be passionately active, then you need to ask highly passionate and successful people. If you’re inquisitive enough, they will tell you their strategies.

Several months ago, I got a chance to meet Ricardo Larrivée. I didn’t really know him prior to meeting him but it was clear from the little that I knew, that he is very passionate about promoting the importance of cooking in every-day life. For those in Quebec, Canada, he is a well-known chef, author, and TV producer. He is also has a successful line of kitchen utensils and just recently started importing his own wine. The guy is highly successful and seems, on first impression, an all around nice guy.

The one question I got to ask him was how he manages it all. To put this question in context, Ricardo was in the middle of shooting a new TV show while juggling everything else he had going on. It is incredible to me how someone can manage so much, and not crumble under the pressure or become somewhat above it all, especially in a media centered environment.  At face value, Ricardo seemed to be very well adjusted and dealing quite well with juggling multiple projects and the stress involved. 

His reply was fascinating on many different levels. He told me in so many words:

I know what kind of stressors make me a bad person to be around and generally irritable, so I try to focus on what I am passionate about and leave the rest to others. I know that when I enter into stress, there has to be an end to it. For example, after this production, I have a month and a half off where I will be taking care of my garden and spending time with my family. My routine is very important: I go to sleep at the same time and know how many hours I need to feel rested; I also eat at a specific time with my family.

What he told me can be summarized in these following points:

  • He knows himself enough to know what he is passionate about and will not take on projects just because they are interesting.
  • Good stress has a finish line.
  • One needs to create time to relax and do leisurely activities.
  • Connect with those you love.
  • Routine is a form of containment. Knowing when to stop to eat and sleep is vitally important.

Over this last year, I got lost in extracurricular activities, but I am finding my way out by realizing how i want to spend some of my free time doing creative work. Getting lost is normal, how to find oneself back is truely the art of living.  It clear to me now that I am really passionate about developing this idea of going beyond comfort and how it can be a doorway to freedom for Generation Me.  Coming to grip with this realization, I e-mailed Timo about getting back together, he thankfully agreed, and here we are. 

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