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Radio Interview with Klaus White

Debbie McMahon: & you’re very welcome back to Lifeline, now I should be joined on the line by Klaus White. Good morning to you Klaus…

Klaus: Good morning Debbie. How are you?

Debbie: Great, now Klaus you’re going to talk a little about a journal that you’ve written The Way of the Tortoise. Tell us a little about this and what inspired you to write this book.

Klaus: The idea originally came from a diary and the importance and the benefits of keeping a diary and how it can really help your well-being. It helps you to structure your thoughts and keep you in a positive mindset. The reason it came up is that I had some major life changes, and then I found myself a single Dad with a beautiful four-year-old little girl. Luckily I had some very close friends around, and I started being very interested in practical tools about how to think better, and how to live better, and be better, & so, constructed a journal which I used myself, focussing on creating positive habits like being grateful, contribution (thinking of others instead of just thinking about yourself), mindfulness, meditation. If I could focus on those a little bit every day by the end of the day, I found that I’d filled my day with positive things.

Debbie: The title of it, ‘The Way of the Tortoise’, is that based on the story about the Tortoise & the Hare?

Klaus: Yeah, that’s it. Really important is that it’s about tiny incremental changes. I sort of looked at my patterns in my life, and I thought, well all of these positive habits fit into the ethos of the Aesop’s Fable The Tortoise and the Hare. So that’s the philosophy that runs through the whole journal to keep you going, to keep you supported. More motivational for me to think well actually I can help others, and that’s what spurred to make this a real thing and to go into production.

Debbie: …& for people listening today who feel just overwhelmed I think it’s a really, really great journal (and book) to buy because as you said, you write down your thoughts so this kind of gives you a step by step, how to start off; as you said, ‘one thing a day’ even. So, for people listening saying “how’s this gonna make a difference to my life?”

Klaus: We’ve got around sixty pages at the beginning of the book which explain the science of happiness and how it all works, and it’s done in a very supportive and friendly way. What I tried to do was take the recognised information from neuroscience and psychology and make it really accessible. We talk about the importance of building positive habits and then you’re able to apply that information when you get to the journal pages. Every day you would spend five minutes in the morning just answering some very simple questions, almost bullet points. So it’s very carefully structured using all the information which you read about in the first section of the book, & it will help you build a positive mental attitude. But I think more important than anything at all is that its incremental steps. This is about every day, realising that the tiny steps that you’re making; the sentence that you write; the way that you change your mindset to focus your mind on being grateful for what you already have.

Debbie: I think it’s a really great idea to be writing stuff down every day because as I said, you can look back on how far you’ve come.

Klaus: Yeah, that’s it. Very importantly, it keeps you on a positive mindset instead of thinking about all the things that are wrong. So that you’re always focussing on the things that are good that you have in your life already. And also the lovely thing we’ve found as well is we have a Facebook group so all the people who journal, or who have a journal can join the Facebook group…

Debbie: Oh that’s good.

Klaus: …they can post questions up there...

Debbie: Brilliant.

Klaus: …and it’s just beautiful seeing the community now which is growing.

Debbie: What’s the facebook page?

Klaus: Well, if you just look for The Way of the Tortoise. We’ve got a Facebook page, and we’ve also got a Facebook Group.

Debbie: Ok Klaus, so how can people get their hands on this journal?

Klaus: So if you go to www.thewayofthetortoise.com then you’ll find it there, and there’s blogs and articles so you can read also information about the philosophy of it.

Debbie: Well, I’m going start doing the diary myself because I’m a bit of a hare myself. I’m always running around trying to do everything and getting really nothing done. So, to take that step back, little by little and appreciate the small things in life. It was a pleasure talking to you this morning and thanks a million for talking to us.