Brede Paolsen

Sports commentator Oslo

37 years old, ex-professional football player, married with three children. Football has been a big part of my life. I played professional football for 16 years in Norway, Denmark and the English Premier League with Fulham and Crystal Palace, before retiring two years ago. During that time I learned about delivering under pressure, always trying to improve, always giving to the team – and at the same time remaining balanced in a busy and demanding life. Those lessons have remained important in my new role working for Norwegian TV2 doing commentary on football.

What drives you? What does ‘making a difference’ mean to you?

I am constantly trying to improve; in my job and as a husband/father. For me, “making a difference” is not about changing the world, but rather about being a positive influence in the lives of the people you come into contact with.

Tell us a story from your past that has really shaped you. What did you learn?

One of the major lessons from the Premier League is that if you have done everything in preparation for a big match, nobody can expect more. However, being able to say you have done everything is easier said than done. If you apply a process of professionalism and positivity, you can enter the pitch knowing full well that nothing more could be done to prepare you. Once you know this, the pressure to deliver is bearable in any situation.

If you could travel back in time… what piece of advice would to give to yourself ten years ago?

The advice would be to focus attention on things you can control, and to remain in the moment. In any moment, you can improve the situation for yourself and the people around you, but very often we get stuck in thoughts about the past or fears about the future. Most problems are self-inflicted in the sense that we worry about the future or dwell on the past. I would also advice myself to do more yoga!

What does your morning routine look like? How do you maintain balance in your life? What bio or life hack would you like to share with the world?

I try to get up at 6.30 to do some stretching and have time for a coffee before the rest of the family wake up. Every morning is different, especially in how the body feels, and so there is no set routine. A quick “body scan” will reveal what is best to do. I also try and set myself in a positive frame of mind, by being grateful for what is. Staying balanced for me is about focusing on what I can do, and making sure I take enough time training each week.

When are you most happy? Where is your happy place?

Happiness is not a destination or a particular event for me. Happiness very often comes when you slow down and focus attention on the immediate surroundings, switching of the constant mind chatter.

What’s your favorite type of training? Why is training important for you and your career?

Training is absolutely essential to wellbeing. The key for me is to be able to move freely without pain and restriction. And so any functional training will do. Sometimes yoga, sometimes gym, sometimes riding the bike. It`s about getting to know your own body and doing the things that make you feel good. By staying active and healthy you are equipped to deal with anything life throws at you.

What’s next? What are your ambitions for the future?

In my opinion it`s pointless to have long term plans. If you focus your attention too far ahead you will never arrive. I am confident the lessons I have learned and the processes I apply will always work in whatever I do in the future, so the key for me at any given point is to have a good day.