In this issue, new Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.
different direction or a
different direction or a lesson that I’m being asked to learn. It has helped me immensely in life to understand that, just because I fail, it doesn’t make me a failure.” In the aftermath of her relationship trauma came the inspiration for How To Fail. “I wasn’t listening to songs because they make me too depressed when heartbroken,” says Day. “So, I was listening to a lot of inspirational podcasts.” She was in LA at the time, and I was with her, making ourselves busy during the day and spending evenings in the Hollywood Hills, always talking and trying to make sense of it all. “The universe is chaotic, and that’s a very scary thing,” she adds. “That’s why we have such a fear of failure. It’s the chink in the armour of our own illusions about what we can control.” Day talks animatedly about connecting with life in a realistic way – not taking responsibility for things that are out of your control, as relationships often are. While we all experience things going wrong to one degree or another, letting go of the expectations we place upon ourselves, or those that society places on us, can set us free. “When I was in LA, I had all these conversations with women who were living different kinds of lives,” says Day. “There are a lot of women my age who don’t have children because they’ve chosen not to. It’s liberating because there’s a lot less judgement.” Having reframed her expectations of herself, Day began to develop her philosophy of failure as transformative. “For me, failure is when something doesn’t go according to plan,” she enthuses. “But that implies that you have control over your plan and that you’ve set the plan yourself. When really you drill down, that plan is often formulated by social conditioning. My plan was to get married and have children, and that was formulated by lots of 1980s romantic comedies. When that didn’t go according to expectations I was faced with a blank canvas. That was terrifying – but also liberating.” Gaining a new perspective through talking and opening up inspired her to share the experience to help other people. “What if I could have a conversation on a podcast about what I’ve learned from things going wrong, and open it up to a wider audience?” she asked herself. At the time, I agreed a podcast would be a good idea, but I totally underestimated how many other people would think it was too. “I honestly didn’t mind if one person listened to it,” says Day. “It was “Failure is the chink in the armour of our own illusions about what we can control” overwhelming to me that the podcast had thousands of downloads overnight. By the end of the season there were tens of thousands. Now we’re past five million.” I ask her about the different approaches to the topic of failure that she’s noticed between her male and female guests. She explains: “For the first season all the men I approached, apart from one, said, ‘I’m not sure I’m right for this podcast as I don’t think I have failed.’ Whereas all the women said, ‘I’ve failed so many times I can’t whittle it down to three!’ The men weren’t being arrogant – they gave open interviews – it was more that they didn’t see it as failure. They were more optimistic about life.” Having made it to Season 7 of the podcast, people now come on willing to be more vulnerable. She says the guest she found genuinely life changing was Mo Gawdat, former Chief Business Officer of Google X, who has developed an algorithm for happiness. Day recalls: “He said to me, ‘You exist separately from your anxious brain. Your brain produces thoughts as organic matter in the same way that your heart pumps blood around your body. You wouldn’t think you were defined by your blood, so why would you think you’re defined by your thoughts? You can choose how you see things.’” Tragically, Gawdat’s son Ali died at 21 during a routine operation. In the aftermath of that unimaginable trauma, Mo would wake up every morning and his first thought would be: ‘Ali died’. Day says: “After a while he decided to think, ‘He died but he also lived’. It was the same thought, but flipped.” The podcast has inspired live shows, and Day’s book, also called How To Fail, which has gone on to be a bestseller. Day is working on a new novel and also a new book on failure called Failosophy. “It’s a practical guide to how to deal with failure, according to my ‘Failure Principles’,” she explains. “It will be a combination of inspirational quotes and straightforward advice.” The live shows have been one of the high points of her career. She kicked off each one with a 20-minute monologue, without notes: “It was really scary but I wanted to be stripped back and speak from the heart.” That authenticity and fearless vulnerability is what endears Day to her audience. She’s prepared to let the barriers down and admit that she stumbles – a refreshing attitude in an age where we too often fall into the trap of projecting shiny, perfect lives to the world. For imperfection is a fact of life. It’s part of the journey. 54
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.