“Make the person in front of you feel like the most important person in the world” were his chosen words of inspiration when I had the opportunity to interview Pat Divilly this week. With the perfect setting of inspirational vision boards in the background, that very quote was pretty apt for the conversation that was in it and the interest, courtesy and attentiveness of the interviewee made for a cheerful Wednesday lunchtime Skype chat.
Fitness, healthy living and the beaches of Galway are just some of the characteristics you’ll hear mentioned when Pat Divilly‘s name comes up these days in conversation. A lover of healthy living, a philanthropist and now, seminar host are just some of the ways the young entrepreneur can be described.
Over the past three years, Pat has firmly established himself in the world of young entrepreneurs and it seems, made an impact on people across the nation and beyond with the example he’s set, his unstoppable motivation and his goal-setting strategies and advice. It was therefore a no-brainer that I’d want the opportunity to discuss his triumphs and pick his brain about the newest of new year resolutions and how success is truly made.
Of course that meant taking it right back to the starting point.
Like many in life, Pat started on his journey at a point when, as he put it himself ‘was stuck in a rut’. With a career in Physiotherapy in his sights, it seemed that doing exercise classes on the beach would be a helpful stop-gap to get him moving as he awaited the next step. With an aim of 20 people for his first class, Pat was forced to quickly accept that going ahead with the initial 5 who had signed up would allow him to establish himself. Fast-forward to this day and the target of 20 pales in comparison to the 300 turn-out at his inspirational seminars taking place across the country.
As Pat referred to the vision board in his office, one of a series of them over the years, he spoke of it as one of the resources he’s built to get his goals on track. Financial, personal and charity goals were all there alongside his ‘I am’ statements which are the words that describe who he wants to be ‘day to day’. The vision is key however he stressed that words aren’t what will lead to such achievements – ‘Thoughts, words and action’ are what it’s all about. The momentum has to be there along with the action, “If I’m at a seminar and the host recommends a book, I’ve ordered it on my phone before I’ve even left the event.”
As for the other elements of success, the ever so common fear of failure needed to be addressed. “People have a fear of failure… of failing in front of other people”. It’s inevitable however we put off so much for fear of what other people will think of us. “At the end of the day though, people aren’t even noticing your stuff, they’re too caught up in their own.” Speaking of his own past fear of public-speaking he’s clearly triumphed over, Pat once again highlighted the fact that actually taking action and in this case, doing what you’re afraid of will mean it gets easier.
When I quizzed Pat on his own heros and who he draws inspiration from, I expected it might be the likes of Anthony Robbins whom I know he had been to a seminar of in 2015 and of whose books he started reading at the age of 12. Charmingly, he stated that actually, his biggest hero is his father. ” He’s hardworking, traditional, authentic and has strong values”. As such, Pat’s philosophy in his own life is to have a life that is as full of strong relationships and genuine hard work. Helping others was at the forefront of what he has ultimately learned from his father and he mentioned one of his father’s favorite quotes as one of his also “Regardless of your position in life, you’re in the position to help other people.”
Moreover, highlighting kindness as a tactic to get out of a rut, Pat was so proud to tell me of his work to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland last year. Not surprisingly, he named the raising of 160,000 euro as one of his proudest moments and has spurred him on to do even more for various causes in the very near future.
More specifically, Project Impact was founded by Pat late last year and will kick off with its first project on February 14th in Galway. With an aim of four projects per year, a variety of causes will be helped by bringing groups of passionate people together – “People think they’re too small to make an impact”, Pat wants to show like he has done in the past, there’s power in a group of people wanting to make a difference. The first event will support Foróige: Big brother, big sister mentoring program.
Of course, as someone who is super interested in new year resolutions and being aware that this is the exact time (mid-January) where there’s a higher percentage chance of quitting, I asked Pat for some tips on pushing through the doubts and forming habits. As many of us well know, we often go after similar resolutions to last time – lose weight, cut out sugar, walk more etc. And often what leads to the failure of the new habit forming is the repetition of mistakes made last time. “Don’t ignore where you struggled in the past, have a strategy”. Feel like you’re going to be tempted by those sweet things? Have a friend nearby to stop you. Feeling like you’ll miss the gym? Arrange to go with your partner. Above all else though, don’t try to do it all at once but rather “chunk down your goals”. Introducing changes gradually will lead to greater success.
When faced with the thought of new year’s resolutions for 2017, why wait? As put by Pat “New year is just another day – you want to start? Start now”.