John O’Sullivan, 48 and from Sligo in Ireland, has been general manager for the Four Seasons resorts in Bali for the past seven years. A father of three girls and one boy, he’s also a poet, an artist and does extreme trekking. He shared his day with Carla Albertí de la Rosa.
I wake up at 6am and the first thing I think of is what the energy is going to be like outside and what canvas nature is going to paint. I live behind the resort (in Jimbaran), so I have the same view as The Four Seasons.
I have three daughters and I go and give them big hugs and I try sometimes to have breakfast with them. But most mornings I have breakfast at the Four Seasons, at 7 in the morning. It takes me less than five minutes walking and I always have the same thing. I have Irish oatmeal made with 50 percent apple juice and 50 percent water with four to five crushed cashew nuts from the Munti Gunung project started by Daniel Elber. I have Tamarind juice and one cup of coffee, with skimmed milk and half spoon of Demerara brown sugar.
From 7 to 8 I have my first meeting. I try and support other people, which includes teaching people how to dream; people have forgotten how to. One of the reasons why Bali is the Island of the Gods is because Bali allows the Balinese people to recognise, celebrate and articulate their inner child.
I try to teach people to recognise and reconcile each part together and help people to dream. I do it at the same table at the restaurant every morning to help people. It’s just different people that hear about me and I never charge. The only charge is that they have to be in a situation that after they feel that they’ve started to make a change in their own life, they have to do the same to another human being within six months of feeling that process starting.
At 8 I spend the next hour and a half to two hours walking around the restaurant talking with guests and finding out what’s going on, feeling the vibe and scanning the resort.
At 10:30 we have a morning meeting with all the senior managers and we discuss what’s going on in the resort, what guests are arriving, what the feel is, what guest experiences we’ve had… so that all of us are in the same flow of knowledge of what’s going on. I also look after spa and wellness of the Four Seasons in Asia. I’m a bit of a spa junkie: I either do spa treatments or I work out six days a week. I will do it either before lunchtime or in the afternoon. I cycle for 60 minutes; I get my heart rate between 152 to 157 bpm and keep it there for 60 minutes and then do a small amount of body work.
I do a lot of healing. I do three wellness sessions a week. I try everything. I’m very open to see what’s out there. So there are different healers that come to Bali and I try to book time with them.
I normally have lunch in the staff restaurant or I have lunch with different managers to go through different things.
I’m incredible focused, intense and direct. I don’t ever lose it. I’ve been a GM since the age of 25 so I’m very intense and know what I want to do.
I’ll have either fish and wok-fried vegetables or a Cobb salad. I drink three bottles of aqua at room temperatures and then have different meetings until around 7pm, when I leave and go home.
Then I do my other life. I love poetry and painting. Art and poetry are my way of growing, my way of self-nurturing. Your business card doesn’t actually define your life; it defines what you do for a job.
I also try to read bedtime stories to my daughters. When I have time I love travelling and doing different things. I do extreme trekking and I write about it for magazines in London.
I’ve been to 57 countries and lived in seven of them and what I love about Bali is the latent accessible spirituality. You don’t have to be member of any club to be able to access spirituality. In so many places you have to be member of a religion which tells you what the membership rules are. The beautiful thing about Hinduism in Bali is that it’s all-inclusive as opposed to excluding.
I don’t normally have dinner, just some fruit, and I go to bed at 10 with the feeling of gratitude to the universe that my life is as rich and abundant in opportunities as it is.