The Rising Depression Epidemic in Teenagers

The World Health Organization tells us that diagnosed cases of depression in adults have increased by 33% in the last 5 years.

The bigger problem is that these figures jump to 63% in teenagers, and it is a devastating tsunami that is rolling in fast, which I believe is a greater apocalyptic scenario than the issues of climate change.

In fact, it is leading to the other modern cultural apocalyptic scenario created by pharmaceutically created zombies. It is time we started talking about this before it is too late.

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Andrew Hackett: Diagnosed depression cases have risen by 33% in adults in the last five years. Diagnosed depression in teenagers in the last five years has risen by 63%. The big question then arises, what's the difference, what's the main catalyst between the teenagers and the adults? I believe that there is one key thing that we may be overlooking, that I think if we start to look at, that we may in fact be able to solve the problem. And what I believe that is is I believe it's the whole leadership issue. Adults as a collective have lost their way.

G'day, and welcome to Illimitable Living. I'm Andrew Hackett, and I'm here to talk about living a life free from fear's restrictive boundaries, so that you can not only live a limitless life, but so that you can become truly illimitable. I'm here in sunny Australia talking with my remarkable co-host, Patricia Morris, as we take you on a journey delving deep into the mysteries of the universe and how we live within it. Join me on a journey towards living a truly limitless life on the Illimitable Living Podcast.

G'day everyone. You're listening to the Illimitable Living Podcast, where we try and have these type of discussions that we really think the world needs to be undertaking and chatting about amongst ourselves. I'm here with the fabulous Patricia Morris. G'day, Patricia. How are you doing this week?

Patricia Morris: I am fantastic. Thank you, Andrew. I'm so excited and happy and honored to be here again this week, doing the podcast with you and with our listeners.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, the honor is definitely ours, Patricia, so thank you so much. What did you want to chat about this week?

Patricia Morris: Well, I've noticed a trend lately that among teenagers especially, even adults as well, but mostly among teenagers, that it seems like... I don't have children here. I mean, I'm not raising children, I should say. But I've noticed in a lot of my friends' children and my own nieces and nephews, most of them seem to be struggling with some form of depression or anxiety. And I knew this was prevalent when I was a child, but it just seems like it has gotten worse in the last maybe 20 or 30 years, more so probably 20 years. And I read somewhere, too, that the statistics are 25% of the world suffers from some kind of an anxiety disorder.

And so it got me thinking, with this rise of anxiety and depression and all these mental health-type issues that are out there now, I'm wondering why you think that is, Andrew. Do you think it's just because now we as a society are more connected, meaning through social media, through our devices, all these things, where it just is... There's more of an awareness around it, where maybe before it wasn't? I don't know, there are so many thoughts that are running through my head, and I thought, "Well, I'm going to ask Andrew." Maybe this is something our listeners would resonate with as well, on why you think that might be.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, look, that's a really awesome question, and what a great topic as well, because it is... You know, it is such a contemporary topic for everybody, I think, whether you're raising children or not. As adults, we still have, in my opinion, a responsibility and stuff to shape the world, you know, provide opportunity for the next generation to step up. This is a really interesting thing, and I've got three teenage boys, and they... It took me a number of years to figure out, and they were in their... You know, they were maybe eight, nine, ten, and it started to occur to me that they're watching every single move that I make. They're watching every choice that I make, whether it's drinking, drinking alcohol, whether it's the way I drive, whether it's the way I treat people, all that sort of stuff. I suddenly started to look at that and think, "Wow, is that, one, the way I want to represent myself, but two, is that the example I want to lead as well?"

So, I started to look into it further, and it drove a real passion of mine to try and understand this. You know, anxiety-related disorders are becoming a real issue. I believe it is the side effect or the symptom associated with what I refer to as the Search for Meaning Crisis, where the majority of the people in the world are lost. Figures range somewhere between 80% to 96% of the people in the world are lost, not knowing really who they are, not knowing, certainly, why they're here, and certainly, if they do know those first two things, not knowing how to turn who they are and their life purpose into something that's a self-sustaining lifestyle.

The problem with that, though, is when left unchecked, it starts to create depression and starts to create a range of different anxiety-related disorders. They then flow on and create further impacts and toxicity within the body that then creates actual physical illness, which then leads us to other types of neurological and autoimmune diseases. So it's a big flow-on effect. This is also the main reason why I try and do all of the work at the core unconscious level, because if we can bring consciousness to the unconsciousness, so if we can bring consciousness to the unconsciousness, that is the starting point where we can fix everything, in my opinion.

But the figures are not working in our favor. So, yes, you're right, 25% of the people around the world are suffering from an anxiety-related disorder. The real figures of absolute concern to me are depression. Diagnosed depression cases have risen by 33% in adults in the last five years. These are World Health Organization figures. But diagnosed depression in teenagers in the last five years has risen by 63%. And to me, honestly, that terrifies me for a number of different reasons. One, look, when adults... And I'll get to the reasons why in a minute, but you know, as adults, we're really not doing a good job for ourselves. Even if we just forget everybody else in the world, we need to start looking after ourselves better, paying more attention, being more present with ourselves, finding ourselves, loving ourselves, taking care of ourselves. That, to me, is the absolute priority, because everything positive flows on from there.

And more to the point, if we fail to do that, if we fail to take heed on that advice, everything negative actually then flow on from that. And I think this a major, major issue. I personally think, you know, why are we seeing those stats rising? Okay, so they could be contributed to by a number of facts. One, diagnosis of depression is becoming more commonplace, so obviously, the incidence of diagnosed depression cases is naturally going to rise, okay? The other aspect is people are becoming more aware of depression, so they're more likely to go to their doctor and have a discussion about depression, which then leads to a diagnosis, which then obviously further impacts the figures further rising.

However, the big question then arises, what's the difference, what's the main catalyst between the teenagers and the adults? You know, why are adults' depression cases rising at 33% over the last five years, whereas teenagers are at 63%, almost double? I believe that there is one key thing that we may be overlooking, that I think if we start to look at, that we may in fact be able to solve the problem. And what I believe that is is I believe it's the whole leadership issue. I believe that adults as a collective have lost their way. I believe we are losing our way not only in ourselves, but in the way that we are representing ourselves to the outside world. I believe with the teenagers that are watching us as adults very, very closely, because the teenagers are trying to figure out... They're starting to get into this age where they're starting to look at, you know, what is it like to be an adult? How do you enact as an adult? What does it mean to be a man, what does it mean to be a woman?

And if we were to look at modern cultural representations through modern culture, like music and the arts and all that sort of stuff, I think it'd be a bit of a downward cycle of women disrespecting themselves and allowing men to disrespect themselves, because that's what a lot of our music culture, for instance, is leading us down the path of. I hear all the time people talking about the fact that young men, for instance, just don't know how to respect women. I'm so unbelievably appalled by that, and look, that's my old-world values. I was brought up with chivalry and respect and looking after women, and all that sort of stuff. I don't mean to do it in any way that is putting them down or making them feel weak or inferior. You know, a man doesn't look after his woman because she needs his protection, because she's weak; he looks after her because she's important.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: And that is a fundamental core of everything that I believe, and absolutely everything that I teach my sons in every possible way. I mean, they're still their own men, they're still going to make their own decisions, but when I started to realize and notice when they were a lot younger, it was five, six, maybe ten years ago, that they're really watching everything that I do so carefully and so closely, that I suddenly started to realize my outward representation, which I knew by that stage I wasn't happy with, that I needed to really do something about that. Because if I don't sort myself out when I chose to, and start to lead by the example that I seek for them to see, and in the same way, put myself up there as the solution to humanity's problems, not in a complete sense, but just in some individual cases, ultimately speaking, how can I possibly expect them to turn out the way that I think they deserve to turn out?

You know, this isn't about control. This is about allowing them to be who they want to be, but giving them example that you will always treat a woman with respect, that loving people is a strength, not a weakness, that showing compassion and everything like that is the right way to go, rather than judgment. You know, all of these beautiful, simple, incredibly simple messages that have been for thousands of years, but in my opinion, are actually starting to lose their way, really requires a discussion around all of this.

And I think the statistics are telling us that there is a tsunami coming, and that if we don't step up as adults in a collective sense, and start to do the work on ourselves, because our kids deserve to see us doing the work ourselves, because... You know, if the kids... If we're always connected to our technology, if we're always using alcohol, wine or scotch, in my case, for many years, as a way to disconnect from our day, if we don't start looking after ourselves better, exercising more, eating better, if we don't stop using pharmaceuticals to mask the pain and suffering that we're going through, how can we possibly expect our children to do the same?

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: You know, seriously. I mean, if we are not leading the example, I see it all the time, everywhere I go, and it just makes me want to cry, to be quite honest with you. Parents all the time leading with the "Do as I say, not as I do" sort of attitude.

Patricia Morris: Oh boy, that drives me crazy too.

Andrew Hackett: I mean, seriously, guys. I mean, we kind of... I'm sorry, I'm really passionate about that, and you can probably feel the passion in my voice. It's one of my pet hates that I get really frustrated with, because it's such a simple thing to fix. I mean, it is so simple to fix. The problem is, we've become both individually and collectively lazy, that we don't want to do the work that is required to fix the problem.

Patricia Morris: Yes, yes.

Andrew Hackett: The solution's simple; it's the implementation of it that's difficult.

Patricia Morris: It is, and I'm glad you raised that, because the question, the objective question I was having in my mind is, I'm sure there are probably people out there who were raised by parents who maybe never taught them any of this. And so, the issue might be, they might be thinking in their mind, "Well, I wasn't raised that way, so I don't really even know how to be that kind of parent." But you answered the question, and I was kind of thinking objectively that way.

Andrew Hackett: Yes.

Patricia Morris: You've got to just do the work on yourself. Even if you weren't raised that way and you don't know how to be that kind of parent, seek the professional help that will help you become that way. And I think the fact that you can just reach out for professional help sends that strong message to your children as well, that, "Hey, Mom and Dad are trying to better themselves," and that's an example that they would follow in their own life of, hey, they recognize that something isn't quite right in their life, and they want to fix it. And I think that sends a powerful message too. Would you agree with that, Andrew?

Andrew Hackett: Oh, absolutely, yes, a millionfold, absolutely. You know, it's too many times I've had parents come to me and go, "Oh, my child," or "my son or my daughter has come to me, and they want to go and see a therapist," or "they want to go and see a shrink," or blah blah blah. And I say, "Well, sorry, what are you talking to me for? Go and book them in and see a therapist. Go and book them in to see the doctor. What's wrong with you?" You know? And I shouldn't be judgmental in that sense, because of course, some parents see it as a sign of weakness, and I say no, it's not a weakness at all. You know, having the courage and the bravery to stand up and say, "You know what, something's not quite right, and I want to talk to someone about it," that's a strength, that is. And that's a strength that needs to be celebrated and shouted from the mountaintops. We've got to stop seeing reaching out as a sign of weakness.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: It takes extraordinary courage to do that. You know where the weakness is, is sitting around being complacent, sitting around with indifference towards others, sitting around with indifference towards ourselves.

Patricia Morris: Right.

Andrew Hackett: We spend all of our time with our heads in our phones, trying to keep ourselves entertained and busy all of the time, that we forget that the true entertainment is through connection. It's through playing a board game with our kids, it's through smiling, making love to our lover. It's through a meal with family, a barbecue with friends, you know? It's all of these wonderful things. That's where the good stuff is, that's where the sweet spot is. Yet you see all of these parents saying, "Oh, I can't connect with my kids. My kids don't want to connect to me and don't want to talk with me," and I sit there and watch their behavior, and they spend... The parents are all spending all of their time on the phone, or on the iPad, or staring at the TV.

Patricia Morris: Or the kids are, and they don't have the courage to take the phone away from the kids so that they can connect.

Andrew Hackett: Two things. Well, do you know why the kids are... Okay, let's talk about this issue of technological addiction and so forth in teenagers. The issue is not the teenagers being addicted; that's the symptom.

Patricia Morris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew Hackett: The teenagers become addicted because they want to spend their time on the phone. Why do they want to spend their time on the phone? We need to get to the real construct of this. They want to spend their time on the phone because the parents are not present.

Patricia Morris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew Hackett: Because the parents do not want to spend time with them.

Patricia Morris: Oh, wow.

Andrew Hackett: Because the parents are so living in their own headspace, with their ego gone completely crazy, ruling and running the show, that they spend all of their time focusing on their career, not on their children. They spend all of their time when they get home, they reach for the glass of wine to disconnect from their day, but what they're in fact doing is disconnecting from the only moment the child has to connect with them. You cannot connect with people through alcohol; trust me, I tried for 25 years. It has been proven over and over and over again. And I'm sorry, people that see alcohol as a social thing, and I know in a lot of cultures it is, however, it doesn't connect people, it disconnects people.

Patricia Morris: Yes, very, very true.

Andrew Hackett: And there's enough evidence, there's enough documented studies and everything like that to show the damage that alcohol does in families. Okay, so then the parents come home after the long commute, and they're tired because they've been in an office, they know they've got to organize dinner, so sometimes they get take-out. Not a problem there. But then they dish it out rather than sit down and consume it as a family, or they put the television off while they're consuming dinner as a family, and they watch the television and stuff thinking, "Oh, this is great together time," but there's no conversation. There's no connection.

Patricia Morris: Yup.

Andrew Hackett: You know, I know it's easy for me to say, and trust me, I'm an adult too, I also struggle with it. I am not perfect in this regard. I never, ever say that I am perfect in anything. You know, I am human too, and I have to suffer this thing called the human condition as well. However, you can make productive choices. Switch the television off. We started... Oh, I know it was a while ago now. My partner, Michelle, she's remarkable, and you all know how I feel about her, but she's got this thing about small, little card games. So they're just little boxes, maybe about the size of a tarot box or something like that, with tarot cards in it, you know. And there's hundreds of them out there, like there's hundreds of these different type of simple card games, and usually they're quick to play.

And we started sitting there at dinnertime, while we're eating and stuff like that, and we say, "Put your phones away, everybody. We're not interested in our phones at the dinner table." And they all go on the chargers on the bench so they can all be sane, including my own, and we sit there and we play these card games together.

Patricia Morris: How fun.

Andrew Hackett: Oh, they're silly card games, things like-

Patricia Morris: Oh, but they're fun.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, Unstable Unicorns, Exploding Kitties, Cards Against Humanity. Probably make sure you get the age-appropriate version of that one, although my teenage sons think it's all hilarious. But they're interactive games where you talk and you communicate and stuff like that, and they're remarkable. I mean, even if it's poker or, you know, cheat was a game that I thought was very good to teach them how to keep their poker face going on, and all that sort of stuff. But they're just fun games, and you end up by laughing until you've got... You know, until you're choking on your peas from the dinner, or you've got your drink of water spurting out your nose, or something like that, you know? It's really good quality times, and I personally think we need to find more time for that sort of stuff, because that's what brings people together.

And you know what has started to happen as a result of just some simple changes like that? My kids have started talking to me again. They've started opening up to me, telling me about their problems, you know, blah blah blah, "Hey Dad..." One of my sons, my oldest son, came the other day and said, "Dad, there's this really cool stock market game." He's learning commerce at school, you know, all about economics and all this sort of stuff, and the Australian stock market has a game where they give you $50,000 worth of digital money, and you... It's all fake money, and you use the real stock market, so to speak, in a virtual sense, and you buy shares and you sell them, and it teaches kids about how to buy and sell shares on the stock market.

Patricia Morris: Wow.

Andrew Hackett: It's a pretty [inaudible 00:19:52] sort of fun. And he came up to me the other day and said, "Dad, I want to do this. Do you want to do this with me?" And I said, "Yeah, too right I do." And, you know, it runs for 30 days, and whoever makes the most money from the $50,000 wins $500 or something of real money. If I wasn't spending time with them, if I wasn't present with them, making time for them and stuff like that... And look, you all know I'm busy, you know I publish... Publishing books, getting content out there, holding events, traveling, filming, and all the rest of it. But I book time out in my calendar for when my children are with me, to make sure that I'm with them.

Patricia Morris: Yes, and it's that ripple effect of what you were saying earlier, Andrew, that if you're making that connection with them, it's probably reducing their anxiety and depression load because of those connections. I think you made an excellent point earlier when you said that is a symptom of... Being addicted to their devices is a symptom of being disconnected from their parents. And I think that was an excellent point that you just made, of your children probably get to the point where they would rather do those fun things with you than be on their devices. Would you say that's true?

Andrew Hackett: Oh, 500%, every single time, without fail. You know, they might get to a point where they can't verbalize that fact, but of course they do. All children want to do is spend time with their parents. You know, even daggy old dad like me, my kids love hanging out with us, and we love going away on holidays together, and we love just surfing together. My son's talking about the fact that when he turns 15, he wants to go and get his skydiving license so he can jump with me.

Patricia Morris: Oh, how fun.

Andrew Hackett: Absolutely. I mean, really, how extraordinary is that? And I can tell you right now, I decided before they all turned 10 that if I didn't do everything within my power to make sure that I got it right, is the term I use, in being the father that they deserve to have and that I want to be, between the ages of 10 and 20, I would regret that. And to me, that is about leading by example. That is about doing the work on myself. You know, my kids are already talking about personal development, because they just see that I'm constantly doing it, constantly moving forward, constantly changing.

You know, working in the industry as well really helps, of course, but they're seeing the... You know, my sons are going, "Oh, Dad, there's this really cool camp, and Tony Robbins has got this youth camp that he does every year." And blah blah blah, "What about this, and what about that? I want to go to these things." I've got sons that are involved in the local council for the entire shire and stuff like that, and they work with school groups and stuff, and do... They contribute their time and all this sort of stuff. Why? Because they see me doing all of that sort of stuff.

Patricia Morris: And I bet you're doing a happy dance in your mind when they come to you and want to do those things, right? You're like, "Yes, I'm doing this right." I bet those are moments-

Andrew Hackett: I'm telling you, there is nothing that warms your heart more. Yeah.

Patricia Morris: Yes, I bet those are the best moments as a parent to experience something like that, just... It's like a reward for all of the other things that happen as a parent.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, it's beautiful.

Patricia Morris: You know, because it's not always roses when you're raising children, as you know. Yeah.

Andrew Hackett: And look, as you know, as I've said earlier, I don't get it right all of the time, and there's no manual with this.

Patricia Morris: No.

Andrew Hackett: We don't get an instruction manual when we have children. Every single parent on the planet is figuring it out as they go. If you're a parent and you're having a tough time of it, let me just sit you down quietly and just make myself really, really clear here. It's okay. It's okay for you to have a tough time of it. It's okay for you to be not getting stuff right. Just don't give up, don't give in. Find time, go for walks, hang out. You know, I was... I don't know, what was I, 42 when I took up surfing, and I took up surfing despite being a slightly balding, overweight, middle-aged man because I wanted to do something with my sons. I wanted to show my sons that I want to do new things. It's also one of the major reason why I took up skydiving, because I wanted my sons to see that at the age of 45, life doesn't end.

Now, I know for all of the people out there listening who are 55 and 60, they're probably laughing, they're thinking I'm some sort of spring chicken still. And look, you're probably right, but the point being is, to a 15-year-old, I'm not. To a 15-year-old, I'm a daggy old dad.

Patricia Morris: Yeah.

Andrew Hackett: In fact, my son-

Patricia Morris: We're ancient compared to them.

Andrew Hackett: That's right.

Patricia Morris: That's how they see it, anyway.

Andrew Hackett: I recently went into my son's room, like I do most mornings to wake him up, or wake them up, and I sing my terribly off-tune version of Morning Has Broken. And one morning, he was on the phone with some of his friends, and I didn't realize, so I just burst into his room, "Time to get up," you know, (singing), and trying to be as terrible as I possibly can, as I rise the blinds ceremoniously just to blind him by the sunlight, because he thinks he's a bit of a vampire, and he's got to live in, like a mushroom in the dark.

Anyway, it wasn't until 10 minutes later, when I'd been jumping on his bed, and tickling him, and fart-arsing around, and singing terrible songs, and being a complete fool, that I realized that he was on the phone to three of his friends.

Patricia Morris: They probably thought, "I want a dad like that."

Andrew Hackett: Well, see, that's the interesting thing. So, what happened then, I quickly apologized, but not really meaning it, and walked out, yelling at them as I'm walking out the door. And of course, they then started inquiring, "Who's your dad?" And Jamie's going, "Oh, he's this spiritual teacher guru guy, whatever," you know, he likes to make up all of these fabulous names, as he rolls his eyes in derision. And they're going, "Oh, has he got a website?" And he's going, "Oh, yeah," and he sent them the link to my website and all that sort of stuff.

Anyway, I noticed that his energy had really changed a little bit later, and I was like, "What's going on with you?" And he's got a smirk on his face, this whole "Dammit, Dad, you were right" type of smirk on his face. And I said to him, "What's going on?" And he goes, "Oh, my friends were on the phone earlier and stuff like that, and they started asking, so I sent them your website, and they think you're really cool." And I went, "Yeah, right." I said, "You hear that, mate?" I said, "Hold on a second, can you say that again? Let me just get the recorder out. I want to record you saying that." Anyway, it was just... It was funny, because he suddenly started to realize that daggy old dad actually is not really all that daggy.

And the reason why I think he thought I was daggy was because I actually am kind of daggy, I've got to admit it. But it's more to the point that he... You know, this whole spirituality thing, this personal development thing, all that sort of stuff, everything that I do for people and helping people, and the fact that I just want to hang out with him and stuff, he knows it's kind of cool, but he was worried that his friends would think it would be uncool because he wants to hang out with his dad.

Patricia Morris: Yeah.

Andrew Hackett: And you know what? Bring it on, I say. You know, I could think of nothing more I would rather do with every moment in my day than hang out with my kids, whether it's beating each other with these foam swords [inaudible 00:27:06] this thing called LARPing, where they're these realistic swords made out of silicone, and we run around the house chasing each other. Or Nerf gun fights, running around shooting each other with Nerf gun bullets.

Patricia Morris: Oh, fun.

Andrew Hackett: Playing computer games, playing card games, you know, surfing, going to the beach. I don't care what it is, I'd be doing that 24 by 7 and stuff like that if I didn't wear them out so much. I can just... If anybody wants any help with this sort of stuff, send me an email to andrew@andrewhackett.com.au. This stuff actually isn't really all that difficult, it just takes a bit of guidance, and a bit of connection, and a bit of presence, and a hell of a lot of patience. And I promise you that over time, things will change.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: It can definitely happen. You know, look, Patricia, I know you don't have kids in the house, but it's no different to you going away with your husband all the time. I know you do like to do a lot of the camping and all this stuff, and I really admire you for that. The time and attention and the presence you give to each other as part of that relationship, I think is a long-lost art of love that is really setting an example as well, and I think you should really celebrate that in your relationship. You know, I spend an enormous amount of time with Michelle, and I still can't get enough of that beautiful woman. And I love to travel with Michelle, and I love to do everything that I can with Michelle, because I just revel in her beautiful energy. But even for any of the listeners out there that are listening and you don't have children, give that attention to your relationship, and I promise you that it will change for the better.

Patricia Morris: I had my own powerful lesson in what you were just talking about, because of all the camping we do. So, for instance, the kind of camping we do is the kind where you have no cell signal, no mobile device, anything. You just don't get service. It's very remote, it's... So you have no choice than to connect with each other. And it wasn't really on purpose that we did it that way, it's just that where we like to go, that's just the way it is.

So we've gotten used to that style of camping, but however, we just got back from vacation, or on holiday, as you say there, and where we were, there was actually a cell signal, and I have to say that I'm not perfect, and I found myself connected more to my device, and that vacation, I had to finally just summon the willpower and say, "No phone. No phone," because I noticed a couple things were happening that don't happen usually when we go camping without service.

Number one, I wasn't connecting nearly as much with my husband. We weren't having those fun, intimate moments that you would share if you're connected to your device. Number two, my anxiety levels were actually rising, instead of actually decreasing. Being out on vacation and being out in nature is normally something that helps with all of that. And I just felt horribly disconnected, and I thought, "This is not normal. I never feel this way when I'm camping," and I had to really dig deep and say, "What is causing this?" And then that darn phone in my hand, I just thought, "Well, this is exactly what it is. This phone is calling all of this." So I had to literally put my phone down and say, "No more. We're not getting on the phone."

And it's funny, because the cell phone carrier that my husband has is different than mine, and he couldn't get service where we were, only I did, and so he was feeling a little neglected because I was on my phone. It was just very interesting that way, how we all tend to do this without realizing it, and we just have to summon that self-control and say, "No, I can go on the phone for a little while, but then I have to put it down." And here's why: because I'm missing out on connections. I'm missing out on the intimacy that I would normally have with my partner. I'm missing out on providing the healing that I would normally get from being out in nature and on vacation and things like that. Yeah, it was very interesting that you tapped into that, Andrew, because that's exactly what happened this last time when we were on vacation. A very powerful lesson, very powerful lesson.

Andrew Hackett: Look, thank you for sharing that too, Patricia. Look, I really agree. The phones are no different to alcohol.

Patricia Morris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew Hackett: This is why I keep talking about... Oh, I've told my story before about when I was drinking and stuff like that, my... Michelle and I are so beautifully connected that she could tell, she could physically pinpoint the precise time when I disconnect from her when I drink. And the tragedy of that, that would... Then she would say, "I kind of want to go and have a drink now too, because I want to be disconnected as well." And the interesting thing is, and a lot of people don't know this, she can even tell when I'm drinking in another country.

Patricia Morris: Oh, wow.

Andrew Hackett: She can pinpoint the time, literally down to the point of within ten minutes of exactly when I've had a drink, because it physically disconnects me from her. Now, phones do the same thing.

Patricia Morris: Yes, they do.

Andrew Hackett: So, your phone, you drinking, you using your phone while you're on that particular vacation, and your husband not being able to, he will feel you disconnect from him.

Patricia Morris: Oh, he did, too. He absolutely did.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah.

Patricia Morris: Yeah.

Andrew Hackett: Yeah, and so then he'll want to go and do it himself, but of course, he can't, because he doesn't have the mobile phone service. So, it's just... We need to pay attention to this stuff, guys. We really do, because it's really, really important, because it is what is creating the problem.

Patricia Morris: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yup, it is.

Andrew Hackett: If there is a problem happening on earth, the problem can only occur through disconnection. And if we were all connected, and we were all loving each other, and we were all spending time together and laughing and having a great old, fat old time, I'm telling you right now, wars can't exist in that space, hate can't exist in that space, racism, bigotry, sexism, discrimination, none of that. They're all fear-driven, by the fear-driven ego. The ego just wants to connect us so that it can maintain control of [inaudible 00:33:39]. It's the honest truth there.

Patricia Morris: The world as we know it would totally change. We would get there so much faster, and we would learn how to reconnect with each other.

Andrew Hackett: Oh my God, wouldn't we.

Patricia Morris: Yup.

Andrew Hackett: Correct, I completely agree. This is part of the core bit behind my message to the world, and what I'm trying to do, and what I'm so grateful to you helping me do as well, Patricia, because I know you have the same message, and you have the same desire to just help anybody and everyone. You know, everybody, look, I really appreciate you coming and listening today. I really appreciate you connecting with everything that we're talking about. Please, if you want to connect with me, please do. I love getting your messages, I love getting your emails and everything like that. I certainly love hearing about the progress that you're making and everything like that through the choices that are coming to you and that you're taking. And I really honor that within all of you.

You know, if you're in a situation where you're anxious or depressed, there are people you can talk to. You can come and talk to me, I'm happy to provide that service, or you can go and find yourself a therapist or a psychologist or a counselor. I don't care what label you use. Find a good friend. Just go and talk to someone, please. There are solutions out there, and if you need help with those solutions, again, I'm happy to help, but there are millions of other people out there that can also help you with those solutions.

Now, I say all the time, it doesn't matter if you work with me or if you work with someone else. All that matters is that you make a choice to do something about what is not working for you in your life. And I would always be there to honor you for that and your journey, because you need to find someone that you connect with, that you trust, and that you love, to hold your hand when you go through your most... darkest moments, your most traumatic events, and you slowly deprogram yourself from them and start reprogramming yourself towards a path of love. Because that, that's where the good stuff in life really starts to come, and I honestly hope that all of you have the courage to be able to do that for yourself, if only, if not for the others around you.

Patricia Morris: Yes, there's one final thought, if that's okay, that I would like to make, if that-

Andrew Hackett: Of course.

Patricia Morris: The thought was coming to my mind, I'm sure that there were some people listening who are single parents, who think, "Oh, that's all well and good, Andrew's not a single parent, he has time to spend with his children, and he can be the kind of parent that he wants to be because of that." And one thing that I would like to say is, even though I'm not raising children, I think, Andrew, you gave some fine examples of how you're raising your own children, so I'd like to encourage any of the listeners out there who may find themselves in that place of being a single parent, where they're working maybe two jobs just to put food on the table, and they don't feel like they have the time to spend with their children that they would like, to reach out to Andrew, because he's also a very busy man too.

You kind of mentioned that a little bit, I can't remember if it was this podcast or another one, Andrew, that you're writing books, you're going to different countries, spreading your message, and you are a very busy man as well, so I think you could have some valuable insight for anybody who might be in that situation in life, who feels like they can't be the parent they want to be because they're a single parent. So, even though he may not be single, he knows what it's like to be busy, just like you.

Andrew Hackett: Look, thank you for saying that, Patricia. One further recommendation as well, but look, guys, I need to remind you all, I was single for a period of time.

Patricia Morris: Oh, were you? You were a single parent for a while?

Andrew Hackett: You know, I was, absolutely.

Patricia Morris: Oh.

Andrew Hackett: And look, let me clarify that. When my ex and I split up, that was, wow, I don't know, eight years ago, seven years ago, something like that, I was raising my kids on my own, although 50/50 care arrangement, so when they were with me, they were with me; when they were with her, they were with her. So it's not a full-time arrangement like a lot of single parents, and I don't want to ever diminish that enormous amount of work that goes into a single parent managing raising kids full-time.

Patricia Morris: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andrew Hackett: But what I want to say is that it was in fact, actually, that precise moment that got me to wake up to what was going on, because I'd realized that when I had a partner, my wife at the time, that I was just leaving her to manage the kids while I got on with projects and all this other sort of stuff, about moving us forward, and it wasn't until I was, what I class in my version of it, being a single father. And look, I was raising my kids in my own time, by myself, for a number of years. Even though I met Michelle 10, I don't know, 11, 12 months after I'd separated from my wife at the time, I didn't actually introduce Michelle to my boys for a couple of years, because... A couple of years well and truly after the separation, because I didn't want to confuse the matter, I wanted to make sure that... And that was a choice that Michelle and I made together. We didn't want to create an extra layer of complexity in there while the boys were just trying to deal with everything associated with the separation.

I wasn't in a rush in a relationship anyway, but the relationship just happened kind of around me, I suppose you could say, because... You know, I say all the time I didn't have much of a choice in the relationship I had with Michelle, it just happened because it was so beautiful. But, you know, I realized at that point that when my kids were with me, they were with me, and when they're not with me, I can go off and do everything that I need to get done. And I still have moments of weakness, because I am very, very busy, I'm trying to run a business. I've got a team roughly of about 10 now worldwide doing stuff, but my team is in the US, in Australia, across Europe, into the UK, and so obviously, different time zones, different meeting times, all that sort of stuff. It gets a little crazy sometimes.

But I guard my family time really, really carefully, and I'm always present for every single dinner, because that is ultimately what is important. I do clearly remember how difficult it is being a single parent. There are some techniques that I can help you with as well, that can help you with that too, because again, it's not about how much time you spend with your children, it's about the quality of time you spend with your children that's actually important. You know, I've got a lot of parents that are with their children a lot, but all of them are lonely. Not just the children, I mean the parents themselves.

Patricia Morris: Yeah, because they're disconnected.

Andrew Hackett: They're disconnected constantly, correct, that's right.

Patricia Morris: Yeah, right. Yeah.

Andrew Hackett: So, anyway, if anybody wants to reach out to me, you can reach out to me through Facebook on Messenger, you can send me an email to andrew@andrewhackett.com.au. And look, in all honesty with you, if you're a woman and you want someone to chat with as well, I'm absolutely certain Patricia would be willing to reach out and chat to you too.

Patricia Morris: Absolutely, absolutely.

Andrew Hackett: You know, Patricia has got a lot of experience in this stuff too. She has her own beautiful way in stuff which I highly admire, and I love talking to Patricia when I need to as well. She's a good egg. So thank you, Patricia, as well.

Patricia Morris: Good egg, I love it. You're so welcome.

Andrew Hackett: Oh, it's the whole Charlie and the Chocolate analogy, the good egg, bad egg thing. Yeah.

Patricia Morris: Oh. Oh, I see. Well, that makes sense, because I've never seen that movie, so I thought it was just an Australian thing.

Andrew Hackett: Oh, okay, all right. No, no, it's a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory thing. There's this troublesome, demanding daughter who's really obnoxious, and she wants a golden goose. And eventually, she sings a song, runs around the stage and stuff like that, and then eventually, she ends up and sits on the mechanism that weighs whether a golden goose egg is a good egg or a bad egg, and if it's a good egg, it goes off into the good egg space, and if it's a bad egg, it goes down the chute into the rubbish.

Patricia Morris: Oh, I see.

Andrew Hackett: Anyway, the analogy was she was a bad egg, so she ended up by going down into the rubbish and stuff like that.

Patricia Morris: Oh, okay.

Andrew Hackett: So a good egg is the ultimate compliment in my book.

Patricia Morris: Oh, that's good to know. I learned something today. I love it.

Andrew Hackett: Well, thank you very much, everybody, for joining us today. It's been such an extraordinary week to chat with you, and thank you, Patricia, as well. You know, I really love having you around.

Patricia Morris: Yes, thank you, Andrew. I really enjoy this with you every week that we record. It always makes my day, and it's the highlight of my week.

Andrew Hackett: Fabulous, yeah, highlight of my week too. Thank you again, everybody. Look forward to speaking to you next week. Take care.

Patricia Morris: Take care, goodbye.

Andrew Hackett: Thank you for listening to Illimitable Living today. If you want to find out more about living a truly limitless life, then go to andrewhackett.com.au. If you want to connect with me, search for Andrew Hackett Australia on Facebook and like my page, or search for @andrewshackett on Instagram and follow me for daily inspirations. I look forward to connecting with you so that we can start you on your own journey towards illimitable living.