Ross is a 26 year old English Teacher, Aspiring Author and Proud Dog Dad currently living in Barcelona, Spain. In the last four years he has lived in many countries, travelled lots, modeled for a few Vietnamese adverts and companies, and lived a pretty envy inducing life! He is currently launching his own online English Teaching Community ‘English, English’.
What makes Ross extraordinary? I wanted to interview Ross because he has such an infectious joy for life. He has experienced so much thanks to his almost fearless attitude to living his best life, and is always working on a new inspiring project. Ross is a talented photographer, brilliant teacher and also makes me laugh every single time I talk to him. Since I have known him he has been that guy who is just annoyingly naturally cool. From spearfishing to trekking across a Malaysian Jungle, Ross’ adventures and hobbies are never ordinary.
If I am ever hesitating about doing something a little scary, such as moving abroad, I just think of how Ross did it and made it look so easy and it hugely helps.
So, here’s Ross’ answers to my core twelve questions. I hope you learn a lot!
What makes you happy?
Having a purpose, and also making sure my life is stress-free. Most of the time people are unhappy due to unnecessary stress but it consumes you. Making sure you have something that you can work towards in the future but remaining stress free is really important to me.
Also, it’s really important to not worry about what other people think unless they’re important to you. The day you stop worrying about people’s opinions, you become so much happier and stress-free.
Which book had the biggest impact on your life?
The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.
I think the way Douglas Adams writes is so eloquent; his comedic value can be put towards anything. He brilliantly captures how the stereotypical British person has the ability to make anything terrible and complain.
That book, and how much nonsense is in there, is a good reflection on life, and we should always look at it in that way. I try to find the funny in everything and jokes that could be there. It’s pretty much what I was saying in the first question and relates to what makes me happy.
What quote, or saying, do you live by?
I was actually going to get a tattoo of this quote. It is somewhat serious, and kind of makes sense.
The quote is from the Watchman, said by the comedian:
‘It’s all a joke, it’s all a fucking joke’
To me it means to look at things from a different perspective. If we look at everything with the most cynical viewpoint, it can ruin your day. Missing the bus can be so frustrating and if you get worked up about it, it can ruin your day. However if you take a second to think, it’s just a bus, and yes I may be a little late but it doesn’t need to ruin my day, it is so much better.
I have been doing that for the last three or four years now, and thanks to it I am so much happier.
How do you remain, or regain, your focus?
As a Weir, we are naturally extremely easily distracted, I find we have energetic spikes where we take on extra and feel that we can do everything, and then when the energy runs out we lose focus.
Recently I have been trying to help myself to focus more. My Girlfriend (Tuline), You (Lyndsay) and Mum are all really focused and I find that quite inspiring. I want to get to that point myself.
There are two ways I am trying:
Way One – Look at what I would get from success. For example, if I want to learn a language, the success is meeting new friends, watching more movies and discovering new books. You fail so often when first trying, and it’s embarrassing if you get it wrong, but the end goal is worth it.
Way Two – I write a daily list of things to do. I then work solidly for three hours, and it is so satisfying when it’s done. The house is clean, I have walked the dog. Instant gratification is great.
What inspires you?
Day to day, everyone in my family. We are all doing different things and yet we are all doing well at it. We are all progressing in different ways and doing what we want to do and it’s nice.
Striving for success. Got to be one of the most inspiring things for anyone. If I can see a goal I could reach on the horizon, I am inspired to achieve it as it’s so close and it will feel great when I do.
What are your top three priorities?
- Having fun – If you don’t enjoy life, what’s the point?
- To succeed – success is so important for everyone, it gives you something to be proud of at the end of your life.
- Make my family proud
What is the biggest misconception that people have of you?
My head isn’t that big. No just kidding, people often think I am quite reserved but it’s not because I am shy, it’s because I like to suss a situation out before I try and converse with people.
You’ve got to be careful with what you say to people these days, especially when I was living in Vietnam, it’s such a mix-bag of people there’s people you can talk to for five hours and then there’s the people you really just don’t click with.
What two purchases have you made this year that you really value or have had the most impact?
- Plane ticket to Barcelona, moving my whole life from Vietnam to Spain
- Trip to Japan – it’s always been a dream of mine and it was incredible. If you want to visit somewhere different but where you feel really comfortable, it’s the best place to go.
(Ross asked for another) Okay you can have three:
- Nescafé Dolce Gusto Capsules – (I didn’t pay him for this). I have become so addicted to them.
Top tips for someone who wants to do what you do for a living or work in your field?
Ross is an English Teacher
- You need to have a degree and a TEFL certification. It’s important because without them it makes your life so much harder. Teaches you the communication skills you need to deliver effectively in front of people.
- So important that you make sure you’re in a situation where you are happy. In Vietnam I was in two jobs. An agency where role I taught 60 children at a time and the kids were so friendly even though they messed about. You can’t come at it as a teachers angle and see them as naughty, they are just excited and want to talk to you. At the English Centre I loved the job so so much, it was so much fun, my colleagues were great, and my boss was great. Basically, as an English teacher you have the ppportunity to work in so many places, you get to pick and choose, so choose the right place. You have the chance to make it so enjoyable.
What are you most proud of that you’ve achieved?
Travelled lots and lived abroad
Having travelled to so many places. I think travel broadens the mind, and with my family, we have all travelled a lot which makes us open-minded people and helps in so many ways with the way we think and the perspective we have on life.
Living in Vietnam was amazing, and gives you a whole different perspective on life. Even with Spain I have been here for a month and it’s so similar to the UK but so different, which makes it great.
An unusual habit of yours?
I have a pretty big collection of notepads and journals and I love to look through them as it contains all my thoughts. Website ideas, language learning snippets. So much stuff in them, it’s good to look back on.
What do you do every single day?
- Walk my dog, really important, good for her and helps me clear my mind
- Drink coffee, I am addicted
- Relax, which goes back to what I think is important, you need to take a second to reflect on everything and realise how unimportant things are. Problems are often not worth worrying about.
- I try to play video games most days, for escapism.
- Take pictures every day, mostly of my dog, but it’s good to have something to look back on. I can look back on hundreds of photos and it gives you little memories. I know people say we shouldn’t live on our phones but it’s nice to have the memories. You just remember really small details such as smells and taste.
- Do something without my phone too, which actually was inspired by you Lynds. You wrote something about it on your blog, so when I walk Hiro I usually take my other phone without internet so I can take in the sights and explore a little bit. Go to parks, watch her play. It’s really incredible and nice to escape for a little while.
Thanks Ross, that was a really amazing chat, and I know that I personally am going to try and take life a little less seriously and try and worry less and experience more following Ross’ advice!
His key advice:
- Enjoy life
- Don’t take things too seriously
- Travel and experience other cultures often
- Family is really important