Madhappy to me means a lifestyle of positivity. Not an overtly happy disposition, but rather one that is keeping it cool and happy at the same damn time.
What was your first encounter with mental health? Either personal or family / friends?
To me mental health is keeping your mental state healthy. My first time understanding that this needed to happen was in high school. I began competing heavily in freestyle skiing and although having a natural physical skill, my mental state was not built for performance athletics and all the positives and negatives that come with it. It’s very challenging at a younger age to be put in an individual sport where it all relies on you to win or lose. You get beat up mentally very quickly watching others excel around you and when you don’t hit your goals. A lot of times you fall and literally don’t want to get up again. It was super important to learn visualization skills to mentally prepare yourself and get a grasp on turning negatives into positives to help overcome the mental barriers. All-in-all, although being quite tough, it prepared me well for life’s challenges in a way and I focus a lot of mental training for everything I do in my current life.
How do you prioritize your mental health?
I take some time each day to unplug, meditate and exercise. All 3 things equally as important and sit at the top of my list. We all get so wrapped up in our work life that we forget to feed our brain good amounts of quietness, oxygen and peace. Allowing yourself to “reboot” mentally is very effective, for me any way, and makes for much more productive operation of your body.
The role of social media / information overload in this mental health epidemic
Social media and info overload are just overwhelming for any and all things in the world today. You can get lost in a sea of negativity or research that can all lead to false conclusions or opinions about you or others. It’s important to read everything in the news, social media or anywhere with a grain of salt. We live in a time, now more so than ever, where information isn’t regulated and we more often than not believe what we want to hear, or don’t want to hear, rather than making an educated conclusion. Take your time, as you need to with you mentality everyday as well, and form an opinion whole heartedly that makes sense with your beliefs and ideas.
What can we do to create conversation both in our internal community as well as the broader world?
Communication, although on overdrive in general, seems to be less from person to person. It’s easier to talk to groups, but i think it’s super healthy to be talking at a more intimate level with those you trust about how you feel; good or bad. It’s definitely easier and effective to anonymously air your questions/concerns out to groups online, which can be super helpful to get things moving for you, but good to check in openly with those around you, and not create the narrative that you’re “living the perfect life”. We all struggle daily no matter who we are.
Can you give us a day in the life of Brendan?
Not as exciting as you’d think, although people would say differently, but when you’re living your own life, the grass is always greener. I’m blessed to have positive days most of the time because of my mental disposition. Day starts with a lemon water usually to kick up the system, then a matcha or coffee around 11AM. Been intermittent fasting lately so not eating til 1-2PM. I’ll workout around 11-1PM or somewhere in that window. Morning before that is usually meetings or cranking out emails. Then after lunch, usually at my desk, I try and get some content done in the afternoon at some point and hopefully nap. I try to nap daily if I can, it’s kind of my form of meditation. It resets my body and mind and a great way to energize yourself for the rest of the day. All days are different though, sometimes fittings, sometimes gigs at night, dinners with friends, or cooking with my wife. Luckily I have built a life around myself that allows for tons of interesting daily things to happen but I chose long ago that office life wasn’t for me. But with that life comes uncertainty around pay checks and it might look fun but you have to hustle hard for every dollar, but i wouldn’t trade it for the latter.
How do you think about your brand? How do you align with the right people and companies to reflect that?
My brand is tough for me to put into words, for me anyway. I struggle with what it is internally and wonder if I’m going the right way. But that’s because I focus on it daily, and when you’re looking at yourself with a micro lens it’s strenuous. But if you zoom back and look at yourself a year out, you’ve accomplished so much of what you set out to do. So with that said, I’m trying to keep my brand aspirational and gentleman focused. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not “cool” like i used to be, or think I was, but now I’m just more distinguished of sorts I guess. And by way of that, I pick and choose brands/partners/relationships and create content around portraying that, which isn’t as tough as I thought because I realize that it’s just me and how I live, but still weird to look at yourself like that. I struggle with that all the time and not trying to look phony but authentic to who I am at the core.
Where do you see your career heading towards over the next 10 years?
Another great question. I don’t like to look 10 years out, because if you asked me 10 years ago if I’d be doing an interview for some cool kids in LA who have a great initiative because they think I would be a great fit for it, I would have told you that you were crazy. I was a hustling office assistant buying lunch for people and photocopiers. Life is f*cking awesome if you have the right mentality. You can really accomplish anything you set your mind to.