me&my health up

me&my Life Reflections with George Palmer

October 26, 2021 me&my wellness / George Palmer Season 4 Episode 3
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me&my Life Reflections with George Palmer
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This is George Palmer's story from starting out as an immigrant to becoming a Supreme Court Judge and then onto being an Australian Composer. 

George Palmer's bio
George Palmer was born in 1947. He graduated in Arts and Law from Sydney University in 1970 and practised as a solicitor specializing in commercial law. In 1974 he was called to the Bar and in 1986 he became a Queens Counsel. He was a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales from 2001 to 2011.

As a youth, Palmer studied piano with Frank Warbrick and Neta Maughan, both eminent teachers. He has been composing since he was a teenager but never sought to have his music performed. By chance, his music came to the attention of the ABC in 2003, resulting in an episode of Australian Story on ABC TV in 2004, a live broadcast by ABC FM of a concert of his orchestral music and the release by ABC Classics of a CD of his music, Attraction of Opposites.

Since then, he has received many commissions. A Mass, A Child is Born, for choir, soloists and orchestra, was commissioned by Ars Musica Australis in 2005 and was recorded by ABC Classics with Cantillation and Sinfonia Australis, conducted by Dr Paul Stanhope. The CD, Exaltate Dominum, released in 2007, contains Palmer’s other choral works, also performed by Cantillation.

Other works include: Not Going Quietly, premiered by The Sydney Omega Ensemble in 2007; Concerto for Two Clarinets and Chamber Orchestra, performed by Dimitri Ashkenazy, David Rowden and The Sydney Omega Ensemble; The Beancounter, for the West Australian Youth Orchestra; a song cycle for baritone and piano, Letters from a Black Snake, commissioned for the opening of the Sidney Nolan Retrospective at the New South Wales Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Victoria; a piano quartet, The Way It Is, for The Seraphim Trio; a Clarinet Sonata, Black, White and a Little Blue, premiered in The Utzon Room at The Sydney Opera House by David Rowden in 2010. His works have been performed by orchestras and chamber groups in Australia, the United States and Europe and receive frequent airplay on classical music stations.

In July 2007 Palmer was commissioned to write the Papal Mass for World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney. The Mass, Benedictus Qui Venit, for large choir, soloists and orchestra, was performed in the presence of the Pope and an audience of 350,000 with soloists Amelia Farrugia, soprano, and Andrew Goodwin, tenor, directed by Benjamin Bayl.

His most recent work, Cloudstreet, an opera adapted by Palmer from Tim Winton’s classic novel was premiered on 12 May 2016 by State Opera of South Australia with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Timothy Sexton the artistic director of SOSA and directed by Gale Edwards. The opera was hailed as “a resounding triumph” (The Australian) and received standing ovations from capacity audiences

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Anthony Hartcher 0:00
Welcome to another episode of Me&My health up. I'm your host Anthony Hartcher, I'm a clinical nutritionist and lifestyle medicine specialist. This is a particularly exciting episode as it is part of the sub-series called Me&My life reflections and in this particular episode, we're going to be discussing the life of George Palmer and without much further ado, I would love my father, Chris Hartcher to introduce his best mate George Palmer. Here he goes over to you, Chris, thank you.

Chris Hartcher 0:34
After the Second World War, Australia began a massive immigration program under the slogan, populate or perish. There are many success stories from that program and George Palmer and his family are one of those success stories. George was born in Egypt, of a family which had British, Greek, French, and Italian connections, and his parents were multilingual. They came to Australia knowing no one with no assets, but determined to build a better life for themselves and their two children. George and Maureen.

George, I met first met then at Saint Ignatius College back in the 1950s. He was young, he was keen, he didn't really enjoy sports, although he was very physically fit. He was a true intellectual and he had a great love for scholarship, and for music. We share the passion together for the classics for Latin and Greek and we both went on then to university, where we both studied arts and then studied law. George stands out for two reasons.

One is a person, he's compassionate, he's caring. But he's highly intelligent, and highly perceptive, is a person who looks at problems, analyzes them. But more than that, he's a person simply who cares for others and he's shown that throughout his entire life. The second attribute of George is his scholarship, his scholarship in law, he became a fine lawyer, and ended up a Supreme Court Justice in the equity division, where he was highly regarded for many years. The other aspect of his scholarship relates to music. In later life, he became a recognized classical music composer in Australia, so much so that he was honored by both the Queen and the Pope, for his work in classical music. George Palmer represents to me and to all those who know him, a true Australian but more than that, a true man for others.

Anthony Hartcher 2:47
Thank you dad for that incredible introduction of the remarkable George Palmer and now over to you, George Palmer, how are you today?

George Palmer 2:56
I'm doing fine. Anthony. As so it's a real privilege for me to be in your house, in your recording studio.

Chris Hartcher 3:03
Well, it's wonderful to have you here and I mean, speaking to you as my godson It's peculiar that in all this time, you actually haven't been devised studio. So it's great to have you here and to be talking this way, in a way we probably haven't ever talked before. In all the time we have known each other because you'll be asking me questions that certainly you haven't asked me before, and probably very few other people asked me before.

Anthony Hartcher 3:34
Yeah, which excites me in many ways, because, you know, I Googled your name before I, you know, we started doing this podcast together and so much came up, and I thought, wow, I didn't know anything like this, George, but I've been associated with Georgia for so many years, because of my father, Chris and, you know, I used to come over to your place for playdates and play with your children and, and obviously, that the adults would have their conversation and the kids will be doing their little thing and playing together and so for me, it's I'm seeing what's online, obviously, I'd like to bring some truth to see whether yes, half of it is true. So, I'm really keen on the start from the beginning. Yeah. So I you know, I just on Wikipedia of all things, Wikipedia says you're born in a military, British military hospital in Egypt.

George Palmer 4:29
That's right. My parents were both in the British Army and they met in the, during the Italian campaign during the war and they got married after the war, but Dad was posted to Palestine and so that's where I was, I was born in in in Egypt in this great big military hospital called Morasca, which is apparently the central base of the British forces at that time and they had decided that they were going to come to Australia to migrate to Australia. They didn't want to go back to their old world of Europe in which it totally didn't destroy and they chose Australia because that was the place they could come to, without having to wait a long time.

Like if I went to the US or Canada that have to wait a year or two years, they wanted to come right away. So they decided to come to Australia, but Mum had got pregnant and she was told you we can't let you on a ship until the baby is born. So they we were, where they were in British military hospital, and they're there. I was born and it's interesting because there's a father in mom and dad's album of me is a tiny little newborn baby and Mom is nursing me and there's a man standing next to her and it's not dad and I said, Who is that? She said, that is a German prisoner of war. It was like a cab orderly in this hospital. So it must have been a pretty exotic place. Anyway, so I arrived here at the age of three months. In Sydney.

Anthony Hartcher 6:14
Yeah and your parents their nationality like so. Palmer weathers whats.

George Palmer 6:19
Well, my father, my father's father was Greek Cypriot.

Anthony Hartcher 6:25
Okay.

George Palmer 6:25
And his mother was Scottish Irish, which is a curious combination, my grandfather went to study chemistry at Edinburgh University and that's where he met his future wife and brought her back to Cyprus. So my father was bilingual in Greek and English. My mother, my mother's parents were a combination of French and Italian Slovene. So it's a very mixed bag and I would say a sort of Hungarian goulash except I don't think Hungarian Is there anywhere in the genetic mixture, but certainly very varied family background so that you can imagine extended family gatherings here. We're multilingual, very loud, and noisy, and very happy, I can be happy childhood memories of everybody speaking Italian, English, Greek, French, and Slovene at the same time.

Anthony Hartcher 7:22
So did any of the other the rest of the family come over?

George Palmer 7:26
Yes, yes. I always came, some of my father, some of my father's family, and some of my mother's family. Yes.

Anthony Hartcher 7:30
Yeah.

George Palmer 7:31
We had the full mixed bag.

Anthony Hartcher 7:33
And what was your father, like, you know, obviously Greek they have quite boisterous and very family-oriented and yes.

George Palmer 7:39
Yes, he was, look, he was a very outgoing personality, a very intelligent man. He had not had the chance to go to university because war broke out, and his family couldn't afford to send me to university anyway, but war broke out. But he did very well in the army, he reached the rank of Major. He was very engaging, a very generous man, very strong man, physically strong and when he came to Australia, note they didn't have a penny and he had to find a job and with no friends, no connections or anything, and I really admire my parents for that and coming to a strange country. My mother could speak English with one or many languages she spoke, she was a linguist.

But it was totally foreign to them and they had to make a new life for themselves in a country where they didn't have any foothold and that's what they did. Now, my father ended up as a very successfully, he didn't make millions of dollars because he wasn't interested in that but he provided very well for his family. Mother, mom stayed at home was, women did in those days, but provided a very stable and warm and loving house, a household and to bring up the kids and she was a very generous person.

She was very generous-spirited, they both were very generous, spirited. They were not the sort of people that would, you know, say snide things about other people behind their backs, which I found very impressive later on when you have other people saying snide things like behind people's backs or to their faces even. So I admired them very much. They were decent, hard, working, honest, generous, and very loving and I love them intensely, they provided for me and my sister, a very stable, emotionally stable, and loving family life. I think we were very, very fortunate.

Anthony Hartcher 10:03
That's beautiful and I can see those values have really reflected and you know, you exhibit those values of your parents.

George Palmer 10:10
Well, I hope so.

Anthony Hartcher 10:11
Absolutely. Yeah.

George Palmer 10:14
They're an example to follow.

Anthony Hartcher 10:15
Yeah and yeah, I think your parents certainly be very proud of, you know, having passed on all those great values to you and so that's, that's beautiful. So that hard work ethic did that obviously rubbed off on you when you're growing up?

George Palmer 10:30
Absolutely. Absolutely. Both my sister and I were told, look, we'll give you every opportunity, we can, but we can't afford to send you to university and if you don't get a scholarship, and scholarships, then we're available Commonwealth scholarships. If you don't get a scholarship, it means you haven't worked hard enough, and you don't deserve to go anyway. So, fortunately, both my sister and I managed to get Commonwealth scholarships, but they would do everything they could but without spoiling as I mean, that they weren't uncritical in what they gave to us, they, they taught us the value of hard work and enjoying the rewards of that hard work, because it was you would put the effort in.

I think that's was a very important lesson to learn. They, I'm sure like your grandparents, Anthony would have been constantly reminding you of the difficulties of the Depression, and the war experiences which they lived through and which had taught them that it's no good sitting on your bum and complaining. When things are tough, you get up and you try the best you can to help yourself. You get on get on with it and then I think there were extremely valuable lessons to learn.

Anthony Hartcher 11:59
One of the other ones that's really rubbed off on me from that, you know, you know, my grandparents living through the Great Depression is certainly eating everything on your plate, and not leaving any food left on your plate.

George Palmer 12:12
Absolutely right. I'm sure my whole generation was told that endlessly. Remember the starving children in China? Right? I'm not getting any ice cream until that spinach is gone.

Anthony Hartcher 12:26
And it's funny. We never mind I remind my dad of that, because he yeah, when we go out for lunch, he'll leave something on his plate and I said you wouldn't let us do that when we were kids what's going on here?

George Palmer 12:39
Double standard.

Anthony Hartcher 12:42
And it's obviously the green stuff. Yeah, so obviously having to work hard, and then you reap the benefits of working hard through being able to go through good education, you know, get into university and, and that continued throughout your career. You know, when I also looked up, I think I found this on uh probably Wikipedia again, will Google but it was a thing you know, once you finish arts law degree, you went into a law firm that was specializing in oil and gas exploration that was in a boom back then. But within two years of being at the Lord at this law firm, you're a partner.

George Palmer 13:32
Yes, that was a unique time I think in Australia's economic history. The baby boomers were just coming onto the market. The economy was booming, particularly oils and minerals were going through an unprecedented boom in Australia and demand for skilled labor far exceeded supply. I had been very fortunate in doing articles with a firm of solicitors taught me commercial law, commercial law was then very much in demand.

I went to another firm where one of the clients had basically stumbled across an oilfield in South Australia gas in natural gas fields, I should say and because there was nobody else around who had any sort of commercial experience, I was shoved into it just into the deep end, which I absolutely loved and enjoyed. So I and people of my generation, were given opportunities that I don't think any previous generation had had for rapid advancement that is, and probably that those opportunities had dried up within 10, 15 years afterward. So we caught up the crest of a wave which was very fortunate for us. Yeah, so I don't think you can compare those times in fact, the sort of the 70s and 80s to any times previously or since in terms of opportunity.

Anthony Hartcher 15:11
Yeah. So in terms of you did the art law, you studied that. But at school, did you have an interest in what was your interest at school?

George Palmer 15:23
My interest was in literature and languages. Literature.

Anthony Hartcher 15:27
Okay.

George Palmer 15:28
Yeah. So I loved English, Latin, French, in Greek, and ancient history, and I was absolutely, desperately miserable and mathematics. I think I must have failed the final exam, in mathematics, but they led me through on charity that, no, I loved the humanities.

Anthony Hartcher 15:51
And I can, it's all coming together, you know, from what I've read about you and what you're sharing with me now is I think you, your dad said you had a scatterbrain and I think you, I don't know whether you actually heard that from your dad, or, you know, you sort of perceived that.

George Palmer 16:08
I heard a lot of uncomplimentary remarks from my dad, which were I'm sure designed to encourage me to do better, not to depress me, to encourage me to do better but really, that's what parents did then. They didn't, they didn't say great, you're terrific son, you can do anything you want, they said you can always do better, you can always do better, that was a generation, that's fine.

Anthony Hartcher 16:30
Which is different from today's generation, you'd observe that with your children bringing up their children, right? Are you observing that in terms of I certainly noticed that as a father of our children, that it's all about this encouragement and saying you can do whatever you want to do and you get a ribbon for just turning up? You don't really earn anything, you just.

George Palmer 16:52
That is absolutely right, Anthony, I understand the educational philosophy that everybody should be encouraged but it can be taken to an unhelpful extreme, as you say, you get a medal for just turning up. Now I think people need to be safe, they certainly need to be encouraged, having regard to their capacities, in other words, you don't say to a kid, who is not super bright look, you can be anything you want, you know, you can be President of the United States, you can be a rocket scientist or a neurosurgeon. No, you encourage them to have regard to their capacities, but not in a way that tells them you're already good, you're already fantastic. You don't need to do any work.

You know, it's encouraging in the sense of okay, that was good, that was good but you could do a little bit better with that, you can do a little bit better, you can achieve this goal, you can, you can advance further, which requires effort on your part, to get to a realistic goal now too hard, I know, to set realistic goals for other people, you know, that can be limiting, in a way and your perception is not necessarily accurate, that you know, somebody is capable of being a neurosurgeon or not, you know, there are broad parameters that can help you. But I think people need to be encouraged positively, but realistically to work towards what they can achieve.

Anthony Hartcher 18:32
And I agree. You know, I couldn't agree more in that sense, because not all of us are born to be the President of the United States, as you refer to it. It requires some unique characteristics and not everyone aspires to be the President of the United States and so and I agree, there's, there's a fine, there's a balance here between too much encouragement, and not enough and yeah, it's really finding that balance with because I think some of the, you know, the mental health challenges that the youth have today is the lack of resilience, and just because everything has been given to them on a platter.

George Palmer 19:14
Yes yes, you deserve success, you deserve happiness. You know, oh, what a lovely plasticine lump, it looks just like a giraffe and he is a gold star. Look, there's a difference between love, affection, support, and encouraging a sense of undeserved entitlement. You know, yeah, it's all very well to say that I'm very hard to do if you're a parent or teacher, but I think we do have to be that distinction in mind.

Anthony Hartcher 19:47
Yes. And agree. Yes, I'm going to circle back to the scatterbrain. Right, because I really didn't finish where I was going with that, I sort of just left it open. But for me, I interpreted that as a strength in the right brain that you have, which you know, when you referred to as hopeless at mathematics and, you know, neuroscientists will say that's very left brain dominant right, you know, science and maths, that's left brain dominant. When you say, you know, I was great at literature and history and humanities and languages, from the right brain dominance and then, you know, if I look at the latter part of your career very musical, very, you know, that creative talent you have, is very right brain.

So, I see this right brain dominance, you know, throughout your career, but maybe your father mistook that brain dominance is being the scatterbrain because, you know, we can see, females are, you know, men can perceive females as scatterbrains. But they have a great state, I guess, the connection between the left and right brain, and hence, what makes them really good communicator and men, if you were to pigeonhole them, we're probably a bit more left or, you know, don't have as many connections to the right and, and struggle with their communication. Whereas I think that's always been a strength of yours and it was probably it probably came out in your law career.

George Palmer 21:17
Yeah. Yep. It's curious, a curious contradiction in a way that socially, particularly as a teenager, socially, I was extremely awkward and a very poor communicator but if you put me in a situation where I had to address others, on behalf of somebody else, which is, of course, what an advocate does a barista does. I could be very eloquent, eloquent, and communicative. So when it was about myself, I had enormous insecurity, when it was about somebody else, whatever faculties I possessed, I could direct towards communicating on behalf of somebody else.

I think that I have moderated my social awkwardness over the years, you learn to adopt a certain facade, I don't mean, it's totally false. You mean, you're playing that sort of character, which you which is a more sociable character that you grow into with a bit of practice. But it is a conscious, it was a conscious effort on my part, to anyway, so amends to master whatever those communicative faculties were? Not for my own benefit, but professionally.

Anthony Hartcher 23:01
Yeah for your benefit your clients?

George Palmer 23:03
Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 23:03
Representing them.

George Palmer 23:04
Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 23:04
In court.

George Palmer 23:05
Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 23:07
And I'm thinking, you know, reflecting on your dad being sort of outgoing and that extroverted sort of yeah, persona, whether that's was overwhelming as a kid growing up and made you more reserved, I don't know whether there was any.

George Palmer 23:21
Like, I've sometimes wondered that, I have wondered whether I grew up in dad's shadow in that regard, socially. I'm sure he didn't mean to cast himself in that role or me in that role. But when you see your father as a, a dominating figure in the landscape, we're not in a nasty way but just because he was a very present person. Perhaps is a sign you think, Well, I can't compete with that and perhaps the any attempted competition will be humiliating. So you withdraw, perhaps, that was it, I'm speculating?

Anthony Hartcher 24:05
Certainly I've noticed, observed myself in those situations, being around these extroverts that I go quiet, you know, I let them perform, you know and they're very engaging people. They're great storytellers, and great at bringing in a crowd and keeping the crowd engaged and, and I always think, oh, I can't do it as well as this person can you highlight?

George Palmer 24:28
Exactly and will you with your dad, who is that exactly that sort of person and I with my dad, who is that sort of person probably had the same experience, you stand back and let them occupy the center stage and it's only after a while, a long while where you're not in direct competition anymore. The way that you learn how to do your own thing to be your own person in a, with a public persona with a social persona, that it's not in imitation of them and it's no longer their shadow. Yes, different.

Anthony Hartcher 25:02
Now I agree because you know, when I look at my dad in social situations he does he can capture that he gets the people around him, they're all engaged with what he has to say and I just think, oh, who wants to listen to what I have to say it as I go quiet and I think that spoke on my behalf, like you sort of represented, you know, your friends in and your clients over the years and you're articulate exactly how they're feeling and what they wanted to get across through your great communication skills. I most certainly didn't possess your right brain dominance.

George Palmer 25:35
You're probably far more balanced equally than I was. But you because you're scientifically oriented, great.

Anthony Hartcher 25:45
Yeah.

George Palmer 25:47
But then again, the perfect illustration, you are doing now what is, would be regarded as within the area of humanities, social sciences, that sort of field of endeavor. It's not the mechanical, mathematical brain, it's the socially connected part of you which. So it's interesting that at different stages of our lives, I think that probably applies to everybody. We start off using what comes most naturally to us and underutilizing other innate skills that we don't realize we have, later on, we explore the other faculties and facilities that we do have, and bring them into play as well.

Anthony Hartcher 26:34
It's true, because I think, you know, the more I reflect on that, I saw that as a very great speaker, a great public speaker, and I feared away, I was so shy and just couldn't do it and I remember my first time I got up on stage, I had to say a few words, I fell over. Like, so nervous and terrified of the audience, I slipped over and I remember that really embarrassed dad, who was a great public speaker and saw me probably, as you know, complete failure, how can that be by so you know, I don't think you thought like that.

George Palmer 27:03
I'm sure he didn't.

Anthony Hartcher 27:03
No, but I, you know, I still remember that occasion, I thought I could never live up to where dad, you know, was able to weigh which you engage crowds and, but as you said, I'm not doing that.

George Palmer 27:18
I have to say, with great respect, very eloquently and very capably, because you're doing it in your way, you're not trying to imitate your dad, just like I couldn't possibly imitate my dad. But I found a way and you have found a way of doing what we enjoy doing, and which is communicating in a way that's uniquely ours. So, you know, it takes some growing into and some thinking about the reach that stage? I think.

Anthony Hartcher 27:45
It does, it does and it's that reflection back that you can actually see how it all joins up and it's all interconnected to where you are today and I just want to I guess, you know, in terms of what I mentioned that engagement sense in terms of communication, and you've been able to achieve that, you know, certainly read about it again, online, about you know, when you write music and compose music, and now I'm keen to talk about the music side of things as well is because again, you have a very right brain very creative. Is that what you are inspired to do as a music musician is you seek to engage people.

George Palmer 28:25
Absolutely, yeah. Yeah, yeah. To me, music, both in its creation into in terms of its writings, composition, and in terms of its performance, is all about communicating to an audience communicating emotions that we share a story somehow rather in music, a succession of emotions are very famous composer once said, if you don't write repulsive music when you're young, you have no heart, but if you continue to write it when you're older, you have no brain. That's so true.

In music, just as communicating when you're a teenager, what do you want to do? You want to inflame people, you want to stir them up? Do you want to show that you're different? Right? You're not just this pimply adolescent, you are the master of the universe or whatever you are a superhero. Okay, so you want to create a stir, you do something to outrage.

Anthony Hartcher 29:35
Okay.

George Palmer 29:36
You get a bit older, hopefully, you realize it's not about outraging and alienating people. It's about communicating and sharing and so no, younger I say this to younger composers to have to say that, okay, you're going to be writing stuff that you're trying to demonstrate you are the next new thing and you're going to shock and outrage. It's a stage you have to go through but just realize why you're going through this stage and you're eventually going to come out the other end and start thinking a bit more deeply about, communicating and about relationships. So it's an interesting communication.

Anthony Hartcher 30:25
Yeah, and how you reflected back on it in terms of the stages of life we go through, you know, as teenage years, we want to stand out. Yeah, yeah, that tends to be probably making music that stands out.

George Palmer 30:36
Yes, that's right.

Anthony Hartcher 30:37
Yeah.

George Palmer 30:37
Unfortunately, when you try and do that, exactly the opposite. It all sounds the same you know, everybody else is trying to do exactly the same outrageous things and it's unmemorable, put it that way. Whereas if, but if, at a certain stage, you come to appreciate the person that you are, that you have become through all your influences, in balancing the way that you speak to others, you communicate with others and in the way that you create an example, write music.

You are expressing, the individual that you are, and that is when what you say, or what you write musically becomes distinctive, and memorable. Because you're not part of a big noisy crowd or movement or whatever, you're actually expressing more who you are, and you are very different and each of us is very different from everybody else, we will split, we'll have similarities and human traits in common, but the way we express them, is very individual.

So you have to get through that as a composer, as a performer, as a writer, you have to get through this, conquer the world with outrage stage, and run and relate to who you are eventually, and your own peculiar combination of influences, and tastes and express that without pretension, without trying to be somebody else and you find that what you're saying has individual individuality.

Anthony Hartcher 32:32
And that's a really important point your phrase in terms of life and you know, because as a teenager, if you go back to the teenage years, it's all about fitting in, right? You want to fit in. So let's say you're accepted, socially accepted, and there's nothing worse than being an outlier and not fitting into circles and so you want to be more like other people, and you're doing things to fit in that you may be out of character and don't feel right to you.

Because you're just trying to fit in, such as the group's taking drugs or drinking alcohol, you can think, well, I don't really want to do that but I don't want to be this outlier so therefore, I'm going to do that. Whereas, you know, you're saying with such great wisdom now, that that's our strength, is our individualism, that it's how we stand out and what the world engages with us is who we are and when we allow that to shine, we actually connect.

George Palmer 33:31
That's right. You see, it's a hard thing for particularly an adolescent to realize that as a human being as the unique combination of all the influences that have gone into making, making you even as an adult, adult, adolescent, you're actually an interesting person, to engage with one to one, if you allow yourself to engage in that way, rather than presenting, as I am one of this group, or well that group or I'm this, this sort of, oh, no, I'm, I'm, I've got this badge, I'm part of this group.

You know, it takes a lot of maturities for a young person to be comfortable, comfortable doing that and it's not a maturity that comes naturally to an adolescent, I don't think we can expect adolescents to behave like that, people in their 30s, people have gone through that stage. So all of us are gonna have a bit of a rough trot as adult adolescence and visiting why we can avoid that and even when you're looking as a parent or what your teenage kid is going through.

All the helpful advice in the world is not really going to make it that much easier for them and it's probably gonna irritate them and alienate them if anything So you have to, I think, just accept that people have got to find their own way you are there for them to support them, when they need it, when they ask for it, you're there to love them all the time, make sure that they feel that they love to themselves and if they feel love for themselves, then themselves, they can let emerge gradually,

Anthony Hartcher 35:25
I think that that's a really key point, you know, if they feel loved and accepted as who they are, then they that, that self-love within them, and the self-acceptance rose and I see this, you know, particularly a lot in clinical practice is eating disorders, right and it's generally associated with lack of self-love, lack of self-acceptance, because they're looking at images on social media that all as you know, airbrushed and, you know, not real and they're looking at their body and think, Well, I'd like to be more like this, because this is who everyone's attracted to.

And therefore, I'm disgusted with myself and they self loathe and, you know, this lack of self-love and, and that results in them self sabotaging themselves through, you know, their eating, or their, you know, you know, bringing up food or whatever it is that they do, or they take drugs or whatever like that and I think that self-acceptance is, as you said, it's something that matures within us as we get older, and we become more connected with self and our individualism, and we allowed that to shine. I just yeah, wondering how you know, this can be better helped with people going through those younger years to avoid some of these traps that could potentially emerge? I don't know whether there's an answer.

George Palmer 36:46
I, look, I don't think there's one answer that fits all problems, you know, I don't think there is a formula. I think each of us growing up depends very much on what we get from those around us. As a responsible parent, you, as a love, make sure the person feels loved for themselves. As a friend, you know, if you are a caring friend, it doesn't mean that you flatter, you have to flatter to make somebody feel good, oh, you're terrific, you're wonderful, you look brilliant, etc or good. Obviously, you refrain from hurtful criticism. But I think that, again, you want to try and bring across Look, we all have our faults, we have failings are peculiarities but I'm your friend, because of you of who you are. I want to be your friend because of who you are.

As a parent, I love you, because you are who you are. Not just because it's obligatory for parents to love their children, it's because actually, you are a new unique person, and I love you for who you are. That is is a very difficult thing for a lot of people to actually appreciate and understand that. If somebody loves me, it will be a parent, a partner, a friend, if somebody is close to me, they actually see me for who I am not for who I would like to be not for this. A person covered in warts and blemishes because I'm extremely self-critical. I've got notes, and all but there's also something about me that I've taken with everything else this other person likes and wants to be with, whether it be friend, partner, a parent.

You know, it's a hard thing for people who have negative feelings about themselves to accept that yes, I'm actually seen and understood more than I think I am. I'm actually more transparent than I would like to believe that I think I can cover up my flaws and my failings and my peculiarities but actually, if anybody is getting close to me, it doesn't take long for them to see much more than perhaps I'd like them to see but if they still there, if they're still there as my friend it's because they get all that but they still value me as a friend. So I don't have to pretend to be something with that person that they know I'm not.

Anthony Hartcher 39:53
So it's really recognizing them for their unique traits and what connects you to them and letting them know that.

George Palmer 40:01
Yeah, you're not perfect, but I'm your mate, you know, I'm not perfect. Get, your my mate. It's acceptance of ourselves coupled with knowing that others accept us for ourselves.

Anthony Hartcher 40:21
Yeah, I really like it, it's great. So just going back to the music career, hmm. So, at 10 years, 10 years old, you were learning piano, right?

From a great pianist.

George Palmer 40:35
Well, no no no. I can honestly and sincerely claim that I never had self-delusions of becoming a great pianist that, absolutely not, that is a very highly developed, very specialized, and very rare talent that but I loved music, I loved playing the piano. So I did what I could I and I was always mucking around, I wanted to be a composer much more than I wanted to be a performer. That's where I really, I'd spent hours on the piano mucking around and doing stuff on my own as a kid.

So, you know, there came a time, when I left, you know, when I was leaving school, what do you want to do? Do you actually confront for the first time, in reality, the question always asked as a kid, what do you want to do when you grow up? When are you growing up? What was the decision? And, I was very drawn to going to the music faculty in university and studying composition. Mom and dad sat me down, I can remember very clearly set me down in the backyard of home and said, Well, that's all very well, but you know that, as a musician, it'll be very, very tough, particularly as a composer, they have that common sense.

They didn't say, no, you can't, we're not gonna let you do this. They said, think about it, think about what you want to do. You want music as a passion but you're going to have to also provide a roof over your head, bread on the table and if you ever want to have a family, you're going to have a responsibility to them too. Do you want them to struggle because of your passion? You can provide responsibly if you want to, if you want to have that, you, the responsibility comes with it, you can always indulge your passion for music, as well. So in short, that's what I did. That's why I went into law, which I have to say, I don't regret doing for one moment.

I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed my time in the law. But all the time, I was doing music, I was writing, writing music, difficult thing to do when you've got a growing young family. But still whenever I had the chance. But then the time came when kids have grown up and that and I had all this music and stacks of music in the bottom drawer as they say and all I wanted to do was have one or two little pieces played and recorded so the dad could listen to it because he was sick at that stage, he couldn't get up constantly going. So I thought if I can just record one or two little things, because he knows I've been writing music all the time and thinking that it's been wasting his time probably and deluding himself.

So I just wanted to say, Dad, this is something that I've done, you know, you might not be any good, but just have a listen to it, fun. So a friend, a good friend of mine, who's a musician said, look, I'll get a few little new musicians and we'll go into the recordings together, oh, it'll be very cheap and we'll just we can record, it won't cost very much very, very, very small scale, no big deal and the cheapest place we could find actually was the one of the ABC Studios in Ultimo, when in downtime when they weren't using results. Let you know musicians have virtually nothing so this mate had a contact there.

So we went and reported it and the sound engineer who was in session happened to be the chief sound engineer for ABC classics and as he, as I found out later, I went to a couple of other people ABC and said look, this is you've got to hit this bloke, this. So it was him, wonderful man Yasi Gabbay, terrific manner as a human being as well as a musician, as an engineer, who actually started off the emergence of George Palmer composer. So got heard and it escalated the snowball in a way that I had never planned, I didn't think to ever to think to myself, well, now I'm going to start a career as a composer, that didn't work that way, but happened and opportunities came up and more people got interested and it was by accident.

Anthony Hartcher 45:19
Wow and I'm thinking, just reflecting back on what you said earlier about George's being shy, a reserved guy and not wanting to stand out and you chose law the somewhat because, well, I don't think you'll ever see yourself as a judge right? Now, because the judge is standing out in, I can't hire the judge but working in law, you can sort of work behind the scenes a bit.

George Palmer 45:45
Yeah, but you see, also, for somebody who was a very shy teenager, as I was, for example, you're talking at school, you want to be part of a group, you don't want to be an outsider, I was the outside of school and I, I retreated to the outside, because I didn't feel I would be accepted with any within any group. So at some stage, you know, I had to decide, am I going to find the smallest shell I can possibly crawl into and close the door behind me? Or am I going to have a go at something not believing really, that I could do very much but a little bit.

So a little step, we do something, I found that, for example, when I was doing this commercial work in the oil and gas field, I would have to have, I've been meeting with lots of other lawyers working on this big scheme and I could actually when I had something to say, speak up and make my point. Okay. I wasn't speaking on behalf of myself, it wasn't about me, it was about my client and something else. But I felt okay, I could do that I can make a point that that was a step in building confidence, you go into another step and you see yes I can do this, I can do that, so I decided I would go to the bar, which of course is all about public speaking. But I found that if I'm speaking on behalf of somebody else, I can be another sort of character.

I'm not this shy, little adolescent kid at school, who always feels he's not part of the group, I am a character in court speaking on behalf of the client. So step by step, you build confidence in what you find that you can do, you can move on that way. It was like that in music was very much like that in music. When I found that people, actually some people related to this music suddenly said, yeah, that's great. Let's sit and hear more of that. I thought, perhaps I can, perhaps I can do a bit more and so it went from there, you know, again, building confidence, step by step. It's not that you at end of a point, whether it be you know, public speaking in the law or in music, where we think everybody loves me, I'm fantastic.

No, absolutely not. That's fatal and people who feel that usually, as a general rule, are the ones who have the least talent, you know, I think, a lack of self-confidence, a lack of confidence in your own superior talent is a necessary spur, to do to encourage you always to do bit your best, to do best, to do better, to do better, because you're never satisfied that it is the best that anybody could do. You know, you don't want to let anything go out, which is not the best that you can do, then, given your capacities or situation, if that's the best I can do now but it's not the best that anybody could possibly do. So you're always feeling that, I think, healthy lack of self-confidence, but you have enough self-confidence already to encourage you to take that step and just see how much further you can go.

Anthony Hartcher 49:17
And that's what happens in the law career. Right? You went to the bar, you got really good at representing your advisor as a barrister. You got appointed as a queen's counselor, and then eventually the judge of the Supreme Court. Yeah. And that was just incremental over 27 years.

George Palmer 49:33
Yeah, I didn't have a career path. You know, some people tell you, you know, if you have a vision, a goal where you want to end up, you work your way to get there. Well, perhaps that's true for some people. Probably these are true for some people but I never thought that way. I never thought I want to get to the court to the bench. I want to be this step the other, it was step by step by step forward with my focus principally on what are my responsibilities to my family? To provide well for them, one of my professional responsibilities, is how to do the best for my clients?

But basically, that's it, that's step by step, looking just where you're putting your feet one step at a time, I always had this vision of life is like a tightrope walker, on a tightrope stitched across Niagara Falls, okay? If you just watch where you're putting your feet on the tightrope on the road, one foot in front of the other, and that's what you're looking to, you're looking at ahead, you're looking at your feet, one foot in front, now, you don't fall off the rope, or at least you shouldn't.

But if you're constantly looking around on all sides, oh, God, it's getting its high down here, what other people are doing in your career, you constantly what are other people doing? Why didn't I get that brief? I'm better than him. Why didn't, why did I lose this case, the judge must have been, if you are constantly distracted, is what is going on around you, you're not watching where your feet are, and you'll fall off.

Chris Hartcher 51:12
That's true.

George Palmer 51:14
You know, so from what this has worked for me, it may not work for anybody else, or a lot of people, I concede that but for me what work was just putting one foot in front of the other on that tightrope across Niagara Falls.

Anthony Hartcher 51:29
And I think I can relate that to health or someone's health, right? When they focus on wanting to achieve that that person lost 16 kilos on that diet, I want that, right. That's what I need is when they focus on that, it becomes very hard and they think I just, it's just not me that they achieve something that I can't achieve. Whereas if they just focus on incremental improvements on their health, just doing small steps, like turning up to the gym, yeah, you know and then just focusing on, you know, incremental, you know, incremental gains in what you're lifting and things like that, and not getting carried away with that person's lifting 150 kilos. Oh, wow, I'm hopeless. I can't lift that.

George Palmer 52:14
Absolutely.

Anthony Hartcher 52:15
And yes, I can really see how your career is very much the incremental improvements and how that is so important for your health.

George Palmer 52:22
Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 52:24
I'm gonna get back to the music because, yeah, I mean, I really love what you shared them, because I think that's so important, because we can get too carried away with so far ahead. Like, if you had to just focus on I want to be a judge, and then think, taking me forever, and but this person's going up quicker, and therefore I'm a failure, whereas you didn't focus on that other person achieving that status quicker than you, that is up to you, you just focus on what George Palmer can do well, and you probably focused on each brief and just doing your best with each brief,

George Palmer 52:55
That's right? Absolutely.

Anthony Hartcher 52:57
Overtime.

George Palmer 52:58
And you just want if one keeps at it, if one keeps on putting one foot in front of the other carefully, as best as one can, then you get to very surprising places you never thought you'd ever be able to get to and you didn't have this overweening desire to get to, which would have been a distraction. One foot in front of the other doing the best you can.

Anthony Hartcher 53:21
It's true and you can lose that you get very impatient with that massive goal that's so far in front in front of you just think I'm not achieving that you become disillusioned that you can't achieve and was you didn't have that issue.

George Palmer 53:34
Absolutely right.

Anthony Hartcher 53:34
One foot in front of the other. Exactly right. Just going back to the music because I you know, you know, George being this quiet, shy, reserved, not wanting to stand out and I'm thinking that's probably, you know, the pianist can really stand out, you know, like, everyone's focused on hearing the pianist by their piece. Whereas the composer who's written that piece is in the background,

George Palmer 53:55
Absolutely right, that's where I'm comfortable. I'm not comfortable on the stage, somebody else is comfortable on the stage, great, go for it. I'm comfortable sitting in the auditorium there and listening to what they do. That's, that's me, that's me.

Anthony Hartcher 54:09
And I think that's, you know, because your parents said, you know, that's a passion, you're George, you know, you really enjoy piano and writing music and you keep doing that, but, you know, do this, I guess career that's going to feed the family, then you found great, you know, I guess benefit in doing that career in terms of self-growth and self-development and, but you know, you as a pianist, preferred writing the music, but you know, it's not like your parents saying that this is what you're best at just do that, you know.

George Palmer 54:39
No, they didn't, they didn't.

Anthony Hartcher 54:42
It's what George wanted to do.

George Palmer 54:44
Yeah, yeah. They encouraged me to go into law because they saw that my academic record suited that, that area, but they didn't push me. They said, this is something you can do, this is probably something you could do well if you put your mind to it. I've got to do quite frankly, that the reason I made that decision to go into law and do arts law, a combined degree was because your dad did, my you know, who was my very good mate at school? And I thought, well, this Chris doing it, and he's doing it with some confidence. It's something I know that I can do so I can think I can do better.

Anthony Hartcher 55:34
And you stuck with it that went into politics.

George Palmer 55:36
Yeah, exactly and he piped down and I went on with it.

Anthony Hartcher 55:40
And that wasn't George politics certainly wasn't George. You have to stand out in politics.

George Palmer 55:46
Exactly.

Anthony Hartcher 55:47
You can't hide behind the scenes.

George Palmer 55:48
Exactly, exactly, exactly. It's that's a curious twist of fate, isn't it? Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 55:54
Just again, I keep jumping around a bit but again, maybe it's my scattered disinvite? Maybe it's my, you know, I'm in denial that I have this right brain connection, but maybe I do that's why I'm all over the place,

George Palmer 56:09
All your bits are connected. Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 56:13
It's your perception, isn't it really? You're perceiving me differently than what I'm perceiving it.

George Palmer 56:18
Exactly.

Anthony Hartcher 56:19
So yes, you had this music in your head, and you're fulfilling that passion, I think that somewhat helped you through your legal career, because you had an outside interest and beyond law so that brief or you know, you didn't execute that brief quite as well as what you knew, you know, lost the case or whatever didn't win the case. Or, and then you didn't get too disheartened by that because you had this other passion that was fulfilling for you.

Because, you know, for me, it when you're going through the career, you got to have something that's you know, as well as your family and your wife to support you and you had Penny and you know, your kids but it like when it's your sole focus, and you have hardship or an obstacle, it can really knock you back and be a massive setback whereas I can see you have these strong anchors, in your career through music, your family, loving wife, you want to reflect?

George Palmer 57:19
Exactly. Look, the point you've made is a very important one, not only in my life, but in the life of so many people who become so absorbed in their career that they identify themselves solely by reference to that career. Now, you know, my career was in the law, which is, particularly when I was at the bar, it's a very public career, you lose cases, you're inevitably going to lose cases, because a lot of the cases that you do, you take on are losing cases, you don't get to pick and choose cases, as a barrister, you take whatever is within your competence, if you have the time to do it. That's one of the professional obligations of being at the bar.

So even though you lose a case, that is a losing case anyway, and nobody could have won it, you still feel responsible, you still feel bad? Is there something I could have done, it always gets to you and knocks you. Now, if you identify yourself solely as a, as a lawyer, I am a lawyer and a lawyer wins these cases. That's very damaging. That if you can say I'm not just a lawyer, I'm also a family man, I'm also a composer and I'll use myself as an editorial musician, I also have friends, and they don't care whether I win or lose the case, as long as I'm doing my best and they think I'm doing my best.

That all of the combinations of family, friends, passionate interest in music, that is who I am and so I get a mocking a punch in the face in one aspect of it, no, it doesn't destroy me, I can rebound a little bit from that. So I think that is very important for people who are intensely focused on these careers to realize that yes, they may reach the summit of their professional career or their careers or make huge amounts of money there but that doesn't mean they're going to feel satisfied with themselves, it doesn't mean they're going to feel that once I have to retire, for example, they don't know who they are as a person. If I'm not, you know, if I'm not a lawyer, then who am I? If I'm not an engineer, who am I? If I'm not a successful businessman who's head of, you know, CEO of somebody, Google, who am I?

You know, this is something that I've seen a lot of, in my professional colleagues, people who are totally identified in their own minds as lawyers, as I'm a barrister, I'm a judge and when retirement comes as it comes to everybody, they don't know what to do with themselves and if they have a wife, and family, and so on, and sometimes many of them died or have very fractured family relationships, because our relationship hasn't been able to survive the intensity of their career. But if they do have a wife and family, or I should, those people who have moved on, they've had to join up during the whole career, which has been dedicated to no advancement and so they find themselves isolated, without identity.

Anthony Hartcher 1:01:14
And then that can be you know, circling back to what we discussed earlier, just this whole thing around goal setting. I mean, you never set these career goals or career ambitions, you just improve George, every day incrementally did the best that George could do every day, and not get too carried away with I have to be a judge. You know, and, and I think this is probably part of the problem today because you know, children are taught that I've got to set goals, you know, in you've got to have these goals, you've got to know what you're doing you've got to all this as opposed to just in a way plod along in life.

Yeah, yeah.

Just find yourself and that's what the teenage years are for is plotting and trying different things, experimenting and finding yourself, that self-discovery journey. Whereas if you, you know, in those teenage years told that, no, you're good at this, therefore, you got to pursue this and become an Olympian or something like that and you go down that path, as you said, anything can pop up like an injury that could threaten your career of being an athlete and then if you identify yourself as young, on the Olympian, yeah, but hey, I've got an injury now, I can't become, you know,

George Palmer 1:02:20
Yeah, yeah look, let's be honest about Olympians, it would all be people who had those goals, right from the beginning and I have a very good friend who has a very promising young son, who is well on the trajectory towards being Olympian. So I understand how it would it what it takes sort of trivially from fairly close up to get there. But how many people starting out with that ambition had long term actually get there? Actually get there? And how many people disappointed very severely along the way, and think, well, they now all that was wasted, and who am I now, you know, you can realize this and that's not to discourage people from having these ambitions.

As long as we also say, and my friend is like this with his son. But if something happens along the way, it's not the end of the world, you are a person, not an Olympian, you're a kid with loving family and friends, and talents and abilities, which don't depend on you being an Olympian or not, you know. So, you know, I'm not one to discourage people from having a vision, I'd like to be, as long as they are really more focused on putting one foot in, in front of the other and dealing with each challenge that comes rather than all this all the time comparing or trying to work out where they are on the road to being at some distant point, the Olympian that's.

Anthony Hartcher 1:04:18
To have that more balanced.

George Palmer 1:04:19
Yeah, yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 1:04:20
As you said, you had your music had your family and your friends, and you just enjoyed doing that, I guess that that, you know, that balancing or finding the harmony and getting all that working together that you enjoy, so that, you know, kept you happy and kept you fulfilled, regardless of what was happening on, you know, with your cases, and probably helped you through your legal career because I know law. You know, certainly my observation today, particularly in law firms, is that they're there from the start of the sunrise to beyond sunset. They come home, they pretty much go to sleep and they do it all again and You know, their mental health is really struggling because there's no balance.

George Palmer 1:05:04
Yeah, I think that that dreadful trap which you've described, and which certainly has existed for quite some time, is now being seen for what it is as a dreadful trap. I think that in the legal profession, there is a move. I don't know about other professions, I hope it's in the other provisions, professions as well. But in the legal profession, there is a move to focus on work-life balance. It's probably not as widespread yet, as it should be. But people are talking about it and have been talking about it for some years.

I remember very vividly at being when I was at the bar, so this is 20 years ago and we work working very hard on a big case and I had a solicitor, very capable woman, Vicki, she's got to be a partner of the law firm, very shortly, she happened to be in my champion working on particular aspects and, and I just said to her, look, you don't have to keep working, he looked very tired. You want to just go home and have a wrist and she burst into tears and bursters this is a woman who's a strong, capable, professional woman, she burst into tears uncontrollably and she said, what's at home? Nothing. My whole life has been trying to get to partner.

I haven't gotten to haven't had any successful relationship. I'm living on my own. What do I do when I go home? Just fret and worry about all the things that are going on in the office, and all the things that I'm doing wrong, and we're not getting anywhere. This is what I want. If I try and find a relationship, if I try and go out with some fellow, it doesn't take very long before he says he says this, you stood me up to them that just once too often, you know, sorry, you're not as interested in me as you are in your job and then, she was disturbed, she was really distraught and I saw I saw firsthand what this can do to people and I just thought was really terribly tragic. Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 1:07:43
Yes, I was just thinking in terms of that definition of success here, right. So we grow, yeah, we're certainly, we're told, you know, to know, what are powerful, you know, look out for your path, you know, what are you going to do when you get older and an Intermap that path out and have that defined career and you know, people think success is defined as reaching the pinnacle of their career. So what's your definition of success?

George Palmer 1:08:13
You know, I think about what an ancient Greek philosopher said, Never say you've had a happy or successful life until you're on your deathbed because anything can happen anywhere else these days long career. But if you can say on your deathbed, metaphorically. I used my capacities, my abilities, whatever they may be. Not to the fullest extent possible, but I used them as best I could. I engaged with people as best I could, which means in say in engage made the effort to engage not just people to love me, so I'm happy, you know, they don't love you just because you sit there and be met them.

They love you, if they're going to love you because you engage with them, you know, caringly so if I can say, look, I had a good go with my life. I used whatever abilities I had, I didn't slack and neglect, simply because I couldn't be bothered, I used what was given to me and I engage with people and I loved and had we sometimes as ideas I have been loved. That is a success, that is, that is success to use your life what was given to you and what you give to others. Whether you've made a trillion bucks, or nothing, absolutely nothing to do with it, those things I think, identify as, for me as a successful life.

Anthony Hartcher 1:10:28
You've certainly lived that.

George Palmer 1:10:30
Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 1:10:31
There's no doubt about that.

George Palmer 1:10:32
Well look, I'm not dead yet. Give me a break Anthony. But what I'm saying is, if you at a, as if one at a certain stage thinks, that's how I'm going to evaluate my life, then you keep evaluating in that way every day, you know, every day you measuring yourself by that, by that standard by that test and that's what we have to do every day. It's never a set-and-forget type position.

Anthony Hartcher 1:11:05
I'm really keen to touch on your health as well because, you know, if I look at you at your age, and it must be to the envy of a lot of your friends, right? Your physique and I think, you know, somewhat you've probably had that inspiration from your dad who was a strong man and so that sort of helped you but you've obviously invested in your health throughout your career.

George Palmer 1:11:31
Well, look more or more or less at various times, you know, as your dad will tell you I was a lousy sportsman at school. I wasn't good at cricket, or football, I have very poor hand-eye coordination. That's where to catch a ball at classic battle fingers. Okay, so cricket, and football were not my thing. I, so I was not physically very active as a school kid. Later on, I found the things that I could do best I loved cycling, we love bushwalking, Penny and I go bushwalking a lot. But when you're in your 20s, even your 30s life is so busy your career, your family or friends, that it's easy to not focus at all on your health, because you're healthy enough anyway you can get by, you start to get into your 40s and you start feeling a bit creaky and you start putting on a bit of weight if you're not careful.

So it was from then that I started to ensure that I got as much regular exercise as I could bearing in mind demands on my time and the later I got in my life, the more essential I found it was to make time to make, make sure that I did discipline myself sufficiently to get out there and do exercise every day and particularly since I retired from the bench, and I spend most of my working day sitting at the keyboard or working on music. It's so important to get out and do exercise for two reasons. Firstly, physical health because otherwise, you just degenerate into a blobby sludge, which is not very good for your physical well-being.

But even more importantly, to get out and do exercise to break away from what you're mentally focusing on, is vital for refreshing your mental energy I found. So when I'm working on a problem, and this is the case in law, if I'm working on a problem, which seems insoluble, you keep on batting your head against the same wall all the time and it's not going anywhere. The best thing to do is break that circuit and the best way of doing that is to do something rather than prevent you from thinking and rehearsing that tape loop all the time. So I go and do strenuous physical exercise, where all I'm focusing on is getting the bloody weight up, taking my next breath, or doing something or going for a bike ride or for a bushwalk where the physical exertion makes you live in that moment.

Anthony Hartcher 1:14:47
So that's your mindfulness, isn't it?

George Palmer 1:14:49
Exactly, so you are focused in that moment, the, and your mind and your body are united in taking a breath or, you know, pushing the next step or getting the weight up or getting up the next hill, if you're on the bike and having got yourself out of the mental zone where you were before, into a completely different area, you invariably find that when you come back to the work problem, somehow it doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. It's all worked itself, the solution, that 99 times out of 100, the solution is bloody obvious, why didn't I think of that? So, and so that's why I find this very important to get out all the time every day. I try and exercise at least five days a week strenuously and then get up very late and do what walking the dogs or we give them gum a bush or something because it's ultimately with mental energy.

Anthony Hartcher 1:15:57
Yeah, and it really helped, as you said, it helps you solve problems, because you take a break from that, because it you know, as you said, you've got that problem circling over.

George Palmer 1:16:04
Yeah.

Anthony Hartcher 1:16:04
And the solutions not coming because you just circling the same issue over.

George Palmer 1:16:08
That's right.

Anthony Hartcher 1:16:08
It's always when you step outside of that away from that and be the more of the observer of that problem.

George Palmer 1:16:13
Yep.

Anthony Hartcher 1:16:14
Through you know, you're doing you're focusing now on your sport. You're saying, Well, what, how come I didn't see that was the answer to that?

George Palmer 1:16:20
Exactly. It's absolutely right and I've read, and that's virtually everybody's experience. You know, it is not just confined to me, everybody has that experience of breaking the circuit, this breaking, the breaking the tape loop.

Anthony Hartcher 1:16:36
And that could be having a shower, like some people find their ideas come to them while they're in the shower.

George Palmer 1:16:41
Absolutely right.

Anthony Hartcher 1:16:42
When do your ideas come for you around your music? When do you find this music displaying and it just plays beautifully in your minds? Like what sort of spaces are in your life?

George Palmer 1:16:53
When it's 4 am.

Anthony Hartcher 1:16:55
Wow, okay,

George Palmer 1:16:57
Unfortunately, and like one at a time, but I find that after, you know, four or five hours sleep. It's not even every night that often I'll wake up with a terrifically vivid idea and sometimes, I'll get up and make a note of it. Sometimes, I think it's too early, I just want to get back to sleep, by the morning. I know I added to the idea, but before I am, but I can't remember what it was.

Mornings is the best time for me to work, when I'm sort of fresh and energized and in during the middle, that's from about 11 o'clock onwards, 12 o'clock onwards, I'll be looking to do some strenuous exercise, you know and then afternoons maybe feel things that have to do like pick up grandchildren and that sort of stuff and then about 5 pm, 6 pm, I seem to get another burst of mental energy, much to the annoyance of Penny who says dinner time. So yeah, it's mornings, and usually in the evenings that I'm most fertile in imagination.

Anthony Hartcher 1:18:24
And I certainly don't want you to miss your gym session today. So I'm not going to hold you up much longer but I'm just fascinated with this music that plays in your head. It's been playing in your head since you're a teenager. Is it just some talent that God's given you? And it just, it just it's just there? Because I'm amazed at it because I think you know, the music never plays in my head. You know, like and, and you strongly believe that, you know, humans have this instinct, and need to or desire instinctive desire to dance and to sing. You know, for me, I can't relate to that, you know, I don't know whether something I just don't know what it is. But

George Palmer 1:19:07
Don't you? Haven't you ever been to this girl or party or something? Whether you were when you want to just get up and dance to the music?

Anthony Hartcher 1:19:15
I do, I in those situations yes.

George Palmer 1:19:19
That's nothing different. Yeah, you're responding to the innate rhythm that we have inside us you know, whether you're listening to you know, disco music or you're listening to classical sums of classical music. We have a, we are, we have a natural rhythm in us because our heartbeats mostly in accordance with the rhythm. One happens to be exactly actually very rhythmic. I have a very arhythmic heartbeat, which may explain some of my complexities, we all have an innate sense of rhythm. we all respond to attune, and like work chance when the slaves are building the pyramids, I'm sure they build logs along, we are working to some sort of work song. So this, I think, is innate in all of us.

Some have that capacity, I think, a bit stronger than others. But in my case, it became stronger and stronger because I developed it because I was something I found that I could do just the same as if somebody finds they can, they can catch a cricket ball very well, or, or kick a football very well, better than most of the other kids around them. They like practicing and getting better and better and better at it and so they become terrifically talented at it.

So it's a question of discovering something you like doing or enjoy doing and then you get much better at it because you practice it, you like getting better at it and think sure that it happens in my case was music. So that music more and more filled my mind and became more and more natural for me to hear all the time and to be creating.

Anthony Hartcher 1:21:09
Wow, yeah, I am.

George Palmer 1:21:11
If I practice catching a cricket ball a bit more, I could have been a cricketer possibly or not.

Anthony Hartcher 1:21:17
Yeah, well, as you said, you know, we've got these, God-given talents, everyone's different. So maybe you just didn't have that, that talent to catch balls, or you know, their hand on your talent has been this strong right hand brain dominance around languages and the ability to communicate and an ability to create because our creative side is on that side, too. So you know, you have incredible talents around creativity for music, so.

George Palmer 1:21:47
Well, you won't be you find something that you enjoy doing, because you think I can do this alright and then you work at it and enjoy doing it even more. So happens with every learning.

And it's certainly been the case and I really, you know, appreciate your time, George today too.

Great pleasure Anthony, it's been a great pleasure to talk to you. In a way I didn't think we have talked probably in all the years we've known each other from your birth.

Anthony Hartcher 1:22:14
Absolutely.

George Palmer 1:22:15
Exactly.

Anthony Hartcher 1:22:15
Absolutely and I've cherished every moment of this conversation and I've learned a lot actually, through your wisdom and just having this conversation and so I've been able to reflect a lot.

George Palmer 1:22:28
It's very kind of you to say so, you got to make your own way and you really don't borrow anybody elses, look after yourself.

Anthony Hartcher 1:22:33
Absolutely and we'll conclude on that note. So, thank you so much George.

George Palmer 1:22:40
My pleasure.

Anthony Hartcher 1:22:42
Thank you, George Palmer, and yes, thank you listeners for tuning into another insightful episode of Me&My life reflections. Stay tuned for more exciting episodes and in the meantime, if you love the podcast, please share it with others as we'd love to get the word out there and enhance and enlighten more well beings out in the world. So thank you, listeners. Cheerio.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

(Cont.) me&my Life Reflections with George Palmer