We live in a changing world. We live in a world where we need to be careful about anything and everything that comes out of our mouth as to not offend, disrespect, judge, or marginalise any person or persons. I have lived by the mantra of speak-first-think-later for too many years of my life and consequently spent much of my time apologising. But these days it’s much harder, even with the best intentions in mind. That’s why there are times we just need those people we can banter with and not worry about being offensive. There is wonderful beauty in banter.

I can remember the days as a footballer, yes as you can imagine the conversation was very inappropriate. We would just sit around together and banter. We would laugh at ourselves, at each other and, yes, at times say things that were probably not acceptable by today’s standards. But do you know what? We had fun, we laughed, and in my mind, it was a very healthy and joyful way to spend time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a footballer again, and I don’t want to be having those same conversations, but my point is that there is incredible beauty in banter.

These days my banter is very different, it is more about finding answers, solving problems, laughing at who I was, finding joy in who I am, and planning who I want to become. To find the right people to have healthy banter with is the secret. I found those two amazing men very randomly, but the bond has become strong and even led us to being on the verge of releasing a new podcast focused on the power of banter. I think the key to me attracting these two men into my life came from a personal desire to be more courageous, live a bolder life, and make a bigger difference.

For just a few months I trained at a Crossfit gym where, if am being completely honest, I was very intimidated by the strength and fitness of many of the members. One of those crazy men was Ossie Khan, who I observed with great respect and intimidation. When I got to know him, that respect went to another level as I found out what he did. A skydiver with almost 10,000 jumps under his belt, a teacher, trainer and jump school owner, a videographer, an entrepreneur, and, to be honest, a crazy individual. Inherently, this was a man I wanted to get to know and learn from.

Through my writing and book journey I have met many wonderful authors, publishers, and people in the industry. The one who always stuck out for me was Adam Wallace. An incredible personality, and even more so, a down-to-earth and genuine guy who I was immediately drawn to. Then I found out more about him and his journey. A man who had struggled with 150 rejections to get his first Children’s book published before he decided to self-publish. Now he is a multiple New York Times best-selling author of many more than 100 books and is doing amazing things.

One day over COVID, a couple of years ago, I had a thought that these two guys would get on well, so I arranged a dinner together. The three of us immediately connected and the banter began. We talked, we laughed, we dreamed, and we solved the problems of the world. The conversation was so easy and stimulating, and the topics were deep and profound with a light-humoured theme. We have met a few times since and the same thing happened, and each time I left feeling light and inspired, so I thought, there is a podcast in this. We are now on the verge of launching the Wally, Ossie, & Jobbas Podcast. If you want to hear a sample of our banter listen to my podcast this week called, surprisingly, Wally Ossie & Jobbas.

My point this week, as I know it sounds like a sales pitch for our new upcoming podcast (and of course it is, LOL) is about the benefits of banter. As we are surrounded by bad news coming at us from every angle, fear of what we can and can’t say and how people will respond, and the noise of the voice in our own head, it is great to have a safe place, with people you love, respect and trust where you can talk, laugh and banter without any fear of offense, judgment or saying the wrong thing. It is a powerfully healing, fun, accepting, and healthy thing to do, so find your tribe and begin the banter today.