No regrets. Phil Keoghan doesn't simply follow the philosophy that proves elusive to so many, he's built a career around it. "My goal is to motivate people to live their best life,¨ he explains, in a New Zealand accent softened by 15-plus years of stateside living. Without missing a beat, business partner and wife Louise Keoghan finishes his thought: ¨We want to help people ditch the excuses.¨
Perhaps best known as the globetrotting host of the wildly popular TV show Amazing Race, Phil is also the mastermind behind the Discovery Channel reality series called No Opportunity Wasted, or NOW, which takes its name from the best-selling self-help book he penned in 2004. Contestants have 72 hours and $3,000 to rise to personal challenges and conquer their innermost fears.
Phil has been chasing down his own fears ever since he almost drowned while scuba diving when he was 19 years old. The accident prompted him to write down all the things he wanted to do before he died—get a reindeer license in Finland and hand-feed sharks are just a few items that he has since ticked off the list. Now, at age 41 and with six Emmys to his name, his ambitions tend to center less on his own desires and career and more on helping others realize their dreams. This fall, Phil and Louise have teamed up to encourage people to knock down what Louise calls the "walls of no¨ and create their own life lists through a series of two-day workshops.
"These courses will teach people how to be very clear about their goals and then help them get there,¨ says Phil, adding that in this fragile economy, people are all the more likely to fixate on what they can't do as opposed to what they can do. "The NOW philosophy is about focusing on the things that really drive your life, like connecting with family or starting your own business. I ask people, if you were to take your last breath tomorrow, what would you regret not having done?" Fueled by an almost child-like imagination that inspired him to putt a single golf ball 107 miles across Scotland last year, Phil naturally gravitated toward a mate who has definite opinions about the meaning of adventure. "It is anything that makes me get out of my comfort zone,¨ says Louise, who last year entered a grueling 124-mile bike race across her native New Zealand (terrified she wouldn't finish, the 44-year-old ended up winning her age group). How do these two free spirits balance their far-flung escapades with family life, which includes raising their teenage daughter? "We don¨Ìt stop each other," says Louise, pointing out that part of her initial attraction to Phil was that he never said ¨no." "If he said: 'I'm going to the moon,' I'd say, "OK, how do we get that done?"
For now, the dynamic duo will continue their work on earth. Next up on their life lists are to expand the NOW brand globally and write and produce a feature-length film project together. As for his secret to living life to the fullest, Phil matter-of-factly explains: "I make sure that every day I am striving toward the things that are most important to me. I would like to think that I will take my last breath without a single regret."