Meet Bob – author, accomplished gymnast, competitive figure skater, licensed helicopter pilot, professional photographer, electronics engineer, parent, identical twin AND this week’s guest on my blog! Bob’s philosophy is that “the meaning of life is to live a life with meaning” and that is truly apparent as you read his memoir-infused self-help book, “Life’s Essential Primer: Adventures, Choices, and The Success They Can Bring”. I caught up with Bob recently to find out more as well as finding out what lurks in his closet….
Hi! I’m Bob Trautman. Sure, the book says “Robert”, and that is my formal name, but not only is that what my mother used to call me when I’d get into trouble, it’s also so very formal, and I’m far from a formal person.
Congratulations on publishing your book, “Life’s Essential Primer: Adventures, Choices And The Success They Can Bring” – a memoir-infused self-help book outlining the principles and life philosophies you have derived from your own amusing, real life adventures. What inspired you to put pen to paper and write your self-help memoir?
Thank you very much! I’ve enjoyed writing short stories throughout much of my life, but it was really my friends and coworkers who finally provided the impetus needed to pen this book. Everybody shares their little adventures when conversing with friends, or when engaging in idle chitchat with coworkers at the office. My very best friend Michelle, who is also the editor of this book, has gone so far as to tell acquaintances, “Bob is the REAL ‘most interesting man in the world’”. This is a reference to the popular character in the Dos Equis beer ads. Ironically, I don’t like beer at all. People I knew eventually started telling me that I should write down the various stories that I’d frequently relate…so I did.
Your book shares your life experiences – apart from being an author, you are also an accomplished gymnast, competitive figure skater, licensed helicopter pilot, professional photographer, electronics engineer and a parent – and hopes to provide children and young adults a framework to efficiently prepare their educational paths to become successful adults. What do you feel are the main “roadblocks” stopping a person from having a successful life?
There are a number of roadblocks or detours keeping, or delaying many young people from achieving success.
a. They haven’t established practical goals. This could be because their parents haven’t exposed them to a wide variety of activities, or they’ve been over-protective, thereby not allowing them to engage their natural curiosity that would normally happen with free play.
b. They either engage in activities that adversely affect their focus, such as watching television or playing addictive video games , or becoming addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, or they don’t engage in activities that help keep them focused on their goals.
c. They lack discipline to reach their ultimate goals. Young people today appear to want everything NOW, but they don’t want to put any effort into getting it.
If they can set practical goals, stay focused on those goals, establish a plan to achieve the goals, and have the discipline to work towards them, then they can succeed in reaching them. It won’t be NOW, but, with this technique, it’ll be MUCH sooner than any of their peers who don’t use it.
Your book contains many valuable lessons that others can learn from, for example, your mantra that the “Meaning of Life is to live a Life with Meaning”. What, in your own mind, was the most valuable lesson you learnt from your life experiences so far?
Aside from the “setting goals, remaining focused, and having the discipline to finish” technique I’ve described above, the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is this: Be kind to others, and be an optimist.
Although you live in the USA, is your book available to purchase overseas?
My book is available all around the world via online book stores.
Are you looking at writing other books in the future? What topics would you like to cover?
I am currently working on a fiction series. They’ll be action-adventure centered around the small town in which I currently reside. The main character is a young woman whose capabilities and talents substantially reflect my own.
What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors?
My favorite genre of books to read is action-adventure. My most favorite author is Clive Cussler (Raise the Titanic, Sahara, etc.). I enjoy all of his books. Next, would be Dan Brown’s writings (DaVinci Code, Angels & Demons, etc.). Following those, it would be murder mysteries by authors such as Margaret Truman (Murder at the Pentagon, Murder in the Smithsonian, etc.)
You have travelled widely, including spending time in Hawaii and California, among other places. Where was your favourite place to visit and why? What place is at the top of your “Must See” travel bucket list?
Although I may have traveled more than many, I wouldn’t say that I’ve “traveled widely”. Of those places to which I have traveled, I’m particularly enamored by the Hawaiian island of Kauai – the “Garden Island”. For peoples’ bucket-lists, I highly recommend that they hike the Kalalau Trail to Hanakapiai Beach – what I call “the perfect beach”, at least once.
Being a professional photographer, what genre of photography excites you the most? Any photography genre you would like to try that you have little or no experience of, as yet?
My favorite genres of photography would be landscape/scenic photography, and model photography with emphasis on pinup and boudoir. These offer incredible levels of creativity, and often produce some of the most stunning images. There is no type of photography that I want to do that I haven’t already done.
When you’re not writing, what hobbies/ past times do you enjoy nowadays?
I especially enjoy reading to relax, but for a creative outlet I love doing photography on personal projects, and tinkering with fun electronic circuits of my own design.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I’m not exactly what you’d call a “fashionista”. At my studio, you’ll most often find me in jeans, a polo shirt, and sneakers.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
As my wardrobe is pretty basic, I’ll just get my clothes wherever they’re the cheapest. Also, I have never purchased clothing for myself online, so, no; I don’t have any favorite online sites for that.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wishlist?
At this time, clothing and shoes are purely utilitarian to me. As such, until it becomes permanently stained, torn, or otherwise unwearable, I have no list from which to wish.
Boots or Shoes?
Except for a brief period in my early teens when I’d worn Wellington boots because their heels gave me added height that I didn’t otherwise have, the only boots I’ll wear these days are for snow in the winter. Therefore, boots or shoes? I’ll go with shoes.
Links you would like to share:
I’ve listed several links of interest related to my book, below:
Book Website: http://www.essentialprimerbook.com
Book Trailer Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_93J86AcEfc
Book Author Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auYOjEf7kYA
Book Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EssentialFanPage
Thanks Bob for joining me on the blog today – you’ve given us much food for thought. I’m a great believer in free play – as a youngster growing up in the 1970s, it was what we did even though I was brought up in East London. Today, living in a rural area, it gives me great delight to see my sons outdoors playing whatever the weather and they do balance their love of the outdoors with a love for computers too – as 21st century kids seem to do effortlessly! Biking, den building and being an intrepid explorer were my favourite games (Sindy dolls went it rained!) as a young girl – Dear readers, what activities did you enjoy as a youngster? Did you enjoy free play? Do tell!
All photos have been published with kind permission of Bob Trautman.