Nick Hounsfield – 5 Things I’ve Learned

Nick Hounsfield, September 2020. Picture: Hamish Duncan.

“To give you some context, I suffered a series of strokes in February this year, and am still recovering. I lost my speech completely. I couldn’t communicate. I was very, very scared. The whole experience has rocked my world like never before. I’ve realised I’m not immortal. I’ve realised I don’t have time to waste. I’ve realised that family comes first and that is non-negotiable. 

It has also given me a new perspective. When I look at the events of this year, such as Covid lockdown and the major uprisings taking place in protest at the systemic racism, I believe that a changing tide is upon us”. 

1. Kindness is a strength

Photo: Hamish Duncan

“There is a weird concept that being kind to people is some kind of a weakness. It feels wishy-washy to some, who seem to believe that to get ahead in the world you need to have no compassion for people and not care about others. That crap is going to catch up and haunt you. Being kind is a huge strength and it’s FREE to give. I’ve been burned so many times that it is easy to get disillusioned and think that to get ahead in the world you need to do what others are doing.

But now I think differently. Compassion, humility and kindness. Make those the new currency”.

 2. Vote

Photo: Nick

“It’s complex, but simple at the same time. If we want to the system to change, we have to engage with it to move the dial. No excuses, vote. Even if you have to vote for the people who suck the least!”

3. Speak out

Nick Hounsfield, Bristol, September 2019. Photo: Hamish Duncan

“It’s something that through fear, lack of self-confidence, lack of education that cause so many problems in the world. When I had a stroke, I lost my speech completely. I literally thought I was going mad. So educate yourself, listen to others, and make sure you speak out”. 

4. Your strength is your strength

Photo: Global Shots

“Don’t waste too much time on your weaknesses. Unless you are literally at the top of your game in life or in sport… why waste time worrying about the margins of life? Find your strength in what you do, how you want to be and be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul of fire”.

5. Be happy

Photo: Matt Porteous

“Surf, play music loud, get into nature, swim, laugh, be daring – every day do something that makes you feel alive and happy. It’s a cliché, but it’s a bloody good one”.