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Change how you see yourself

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

In the sweltering Californian heat of the summer of 1973, renegade psychology researcher, Philip Zimbardo, and his colleagues set up what has since become a notorious project, the Standford Prison Experiment.

They created a mock prison in the basement of Standford University with assigned roles of prisoners and prison guards.

The prisoners were essentially stripped of their identity, all being given the same clothes, having all personal belongings removed, and referred to by their ID number only.

Much has been written about the ethics around this experiment and today it is the subject of numerous books and even a TV documentary.

But the short synopsis of the experiment is that the people who were put into particular social situations assumed their position in society without question and simply accepted that as the status quo.

In real life this experiment plays out all the time.

We all know the overweight person who is always happy and makes self-deprecating fun of themselves in social situations, the macho gym goer who can’t show any sign of weakness, and the person who “could have made county” and continues to live in their past glories.

The thing about all these people is; they are playing roles, assumed roles in society that are simple constructs, absolutely made-up.

What Zimbardo proved with his experiment is that if you take people outside of the constructs that they have manufactured around themselves and that their peers, friends and family have helped build around them, they become different people.

So how does this relate to your health, fitness, performance, body fat levels, self-perception?

Absolutely everything.

 

CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

Firstly, you have to recognise that the persona you have is largely assumed and constructed by none other than yourself. If you want to change something in your life, that character you have created for yourself needs a change of narrative, possible change of scenery and the other characters in the story have to start seeing other dimensions to you, to start seeing you in a different light, and to understand that you are changing how you see yourself.

Let’s say you are living an unhealthy life right now, carrying around some excess body fat, not just the visible kind, but the less obvious one that surrounds your organs and can cause chronic illness down the track.

You have assumed the role of a person who lives this way. But what if you don’t want to be at the mercy of chronic illness in the future, you don’t want to carry excess body weight? What if you want to feel more confident in your skin and have a healthier, stronger body and mind?

Your assumed character then needs a change. You need to start living like the person you want to become. Does the fit and healthy character in your story go to bed late after binging Netflix with crisps? Probably not, that’s a different persona who has a different storyline and a very different ending. The person you want to become is probably planning and prioritising sleep and cutting down on less healthy foods.

If you start playing that part, eventually that’s the character you will be cast as.

Much like the bizarre scientific experiment in Standford University, we are a product of the environment we build around ourselves but also very much a product of the role that we assume in society, and that is very much down to ourselves, we do not need to accept where we are and who we see ourselves as.

If you’re ready to start writing a different story for yourself, we can help. Visit www.activate.ie for further information.

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Musician Liam O’Connor back and busier than ever

By Sean Moriarty Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions. On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions.

On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig in London.

Liam and his family played at the Kerry County Council organised ‘ANSEO’ concert in North Kerry that was run to coincide with the Listowel Harvest Festival last weekend.

It was his first live show since he played at St Brendan’s College, Killarney when he shared the stage with special guest, former Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt. That event took place on March 11, 2020, the night before the country entered its first COVID-19 lockdown.

The ‘ANSEO’ series of concerts signalled the return of live music in Kerry and the O’Connor family shared the stage with other local musicians like Tim O’Shea and his Afro Trad Ireland group.

“People were delighted, they were mad for it, they were obviously missing it,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they are not letting go just yet, they are still a bit hesitant.”

This Sunday Liam heads to London were he will help Dan Tim O’Sullivan steer sheep over Southwark Bridge (see page 36 for more on this story).

To cap an exceptionally busy period for the local accordion player, he has joined forces with Moya Brennan of Clannad fame. Brennan and O’Connor will release a new single – ‘Strong in Numbers’ on Friday next, October 1.

They previously performed together at a concert in the Friary in 2017.

“It was such a positive experience for all of us we just had to repeat it,” he added. “So not only have we done this recording of ‘Strong in Numbers’ but we are planning to do the Friary again later this year. After that, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Meanwhile, the ‘ANSEO’ series visits Killarney on Sunday night.

The Fair Hill car park will host two shows featuring: The Gleneagle Concert Band; Pauline Scanlon with Mick Galvin; The Small Hours; The Rising; Cathal Flaherty and Truly Diverse.

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Coach operators plead for Government aid in budget

By Sean Moriarty   A Killarney tour operator has called for the Government to provide further financial aid for the industry in light of an uncertain 2022 season. He described to an Oireachtas Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media on Wednesday how a coach with just two American tourists and two staff […]

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By Sean Moriarty
 

A Killarney tour operator has called for the Government to provide further financial aid for the industry in light of an uncertain 2022 season.

He described to an Oireachtas Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media on Wednesday how a coach with just two American tourists and two staff is currently touring Ireland.

Representatives from the Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC) including Mike Buckley of Kerry Coaches, were invited to outline the detrimental impact COVID-19 has had on the coach tour industry.

Mr Buckley said he and his industry colleagues were desperate to highlight that Ireland was open for business and that the empty coach was an attempt by tour operators to prove how far they are willing to go to get this message out there.

“There is a reticence by people who travel in large numbers, people are not buying,” he told the meeting.

“There is anecdotal evidence that one coach operator is touring Ireland with two passengers, a driver and a tour guide.”

Mr Buckley said he was grateful for the previous support the industry had received but that funding stems back to the summer of 2020 and they were not included in the July 2021 round of funding.

That money was put towards existing loans on buses and coaches and has now dried up.

“It was like putting a bandage over a major bleed or haemorrhage,” he added.

The CTTC said that the coach industry contributed €215 million to the economy in 2019, the last year full figures are available for.

“Shops, cafes, hotels, attractions are hugely dependent on coach tours,” he added.

Kerry Coaches, in peak times, employ up to 114 drivers and tour guides.

“We are down to a skeleton staff,” he added.

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