How to drive forward… and leave the past behind us.

I read a book recently. Regular readers of my blog know I am an avid reader, I even write book reviews!

This one though, it really got to me.

It is called Forward by Dr David Jeremiah. In his book, Dr Jeremiah makes an excellent analogy of driving a car to direct our lives.

I’ll let you know upfront, Forward, is a faith-based book. What I really liked about it is that he makes some brilliant observations that we can all learn from, regardless of our spiritual beliefs.

Continue reading “How to drive forward… and leave the past behind us.”

Nurture Your Mind Today

I think we all know that it is important in times like these to ‘guard our hearts and our minds’. Today I watched the news and let’s say it did me no good.

I questioned, do we need to stay ‘informed to the minute’ about that for which we have no real control?

Today I want to encourage you to stay focused on the good things. Many of the people we all regard as heroes did not rise in times of ease or great prosperity; in fact, we wouldn’t probably call them heroes if they had!

Continue reading “Nurture Your Mind Today”

Find the Hero in You

With the present situation in the world, we must decide, more than usual, how we will strengthen our own foundations.

Who are you right now? Who do you want to be? What strengths can you share to help your family, community and country right now?

The time is right to pause now. Reflect and choose a path to do your best each day. Also, we can cut everyone some slack, including ourselves.

Continue reading “Find the Hero in You”

Writing My Life Story with Tourettes

I have recently been encouraged to write out my own life story. The encouragement is coming from mentors, colleagues and friends who believe that the place where I was and where I have come to now along with my Tourettes diagnosis is notable.

They feel that my story would be of great encouragement to others who are stuck in the feeling that their disabilities are a barrier. That it could be read as a motivating success story for people who feel, or have been told, they lack the talent or ability to reach their goals.

And so, with those thoughts in mind, I begin to write my own life story. To share, to inspire and to provide support for those just beginning their journey with Tourettes.

Continue reading “Writing My Life Story with Tourettes”

Thank you and see you in 2020!

In a mood of review, I am writing to thank you for reading my posts this year. I hope that you are finishing up 2019 well and can look back with happy affection to the year that has almost passed.

In reflection, I am reminded of the good things, especially those things that I take for granted as if they will always be there. It easy to fall into a sense of comfort that these joys will always be there. Don’t we all do that a little? Yet at this time, I am reminded of how much I do not truly show gratitude for them.

I want to thank my family for being there and particularly my beautiful wife Rhonda. She quietly works behind the scenes without fuss and is a model of consistency and hard work. She is truly what I call a ‘saint of the mundane’ whose work and cleverness makes the household function and whose kind, honest and unassuming nature makes its members shine brightly in the world.

At this time, I am reminded of how much we need to cherish ones such as her, our children and the many friends we have who, in many small ways, make life as sweet as it is.

Continue reading “Thank you and see you in 2020!”

Reflecting on Life

How often have you found yourself metaphorically lighting the lamp in the dark and hoping it’s a candle and not a stick of dynamite?

As a year nine drop out with Tourette’s syndrome, I was forced into a position of choosing life as a victim or a victor. I thank God every day because those circumstances have formed me and made me take risks that have enabled me to push beyond the potential I thought I had.

I have tried some really, really dumb things. But I have also succeeded beyond what people thought I could.

I have neurological disorders handed down from both sides of the family line; however, I have learned to avoid the destructive actions and indulgence in those things that would lead to the continuance of those symptoms in my own life.

As a person with Tourette’s syndrome, I can be ‘grasshopper minded’ as my Father used to describe me, flittering from one obsessive idea to the next.

Continue reading “Reflecting on Life”

Digging Deeper

In careers counselling, we often have to dig deeper than just helping someone find a job.

In fact, the more people insist that they will do ‘anything’, the more inclined they are to fail when they gain the position they have applied for.

The realities are that our deepest career desires are actually the children of far deeper emotions than the surface concerns like remuneration and position.

Neurologically and psychologically we need to fulfil a destiny and ‘inner calling’ to be people of consequence and to live a life of meaning.

We ultimately want to do something that matters.

Continue reading “Digging Deeper”

Where is your Focus?

Focus is an important skill. Focus and persistence can get you through the darkest days until you can find the light again.

Through the persistence of my parents who never gave up, a few lifelong friends who saw past my Tourette’s and a large church youth group who fed my soul with a great social life, I came to life.

I was able to respond to challenges in my thinking that allowed me to reach towards my potential.

I love the story that Dan Miller writes in his blog about himself and a 10-year-old friend, Bob. They were out in the neighbouring farms and his friend got bitten by a snake.

As his friend was incapacitated Dan’s first instinct was to go after the snake and give it the retribution it deserved for biting his friend. Bob, however, did not pursue the snake but settled down to dealing with the wound by lancing the bite and sucking and spitting out the poison.

Continue reading “Where is your Focus?”

Rest and Awareness

We know how important persistence is in our successful career lives.

The only common denominator in the many success stories I have read about is summed up in that one word: Persistence. Alter your dreams and know when something is not the right path and let it go.

We must take time, however, to put the brakes on and examine our awareness regularly.

In his book ‘High Trust Selling’, Todd Duncan talks about the inner world of a person being exceptionally important when it comes to establishing trust in a client’s mind.

He talks about his ‘Law of the Iceberg’ where he says that like an iceberg that conceals 90% of its mass below the water line, we need to practice integrity, trustworthiness and good healthy relationships in our secret lives.

He infers that all too often the lack of maintenance of the hidden non-public life ends up boiling over into our public lives and destroying credibility and authenticity that we need to display as a person selling a product or service.

Have you ever been approached by someone who uses all the right words but something in your gut just screams ‘yuck’!

Continue reading “Rest and Awareness”

Winning by Volume

Have you heard of the phrase ‘winning by volume’ in your worldly travels? It works like this. Study consistently and continuously to gain your knowledge so that when you need an answer, it is not the first time you have heard of this subject or concept.

The only common denominator in the many success stories I have read about is summed up in one word: Persistence. Alter your dreams and know when something is not the right path and let it go.

However, it is still important that you make sure you do find another path to the top of the mountain!

Continue reading “Winning by Volume”

Limitless Skies

There is an ancient biblical story concerning the patriarch, Abraham, who was described as a friend of God.

Having no children and therefore no descendants, God is said to have promised Abraham that he would be the Father of many nations.

In the story, God tells Abraham that his wife Sarah will conceive a child, despite being the ripe old age of 99 years old. This was met with some obvious doubt and questions. He then tells Abraham to step outside his tent and observe the night sky. Continue reading “Limitless Skies”

Small Acts of Generosity

Speaking in my presentation about the power of small deeds every day in our lives, I heard this powerful story from an audience member on a quiet afternoon.

It is an example of how a small courageous deed from a suffering person can have an immense effect on the lives of people they will probably never meet.

At a date long ago in 1943, the air war over Europe was being fought in which a quarter of a million young people would die. Allied bombers were strategically hitting German targets to weaken their industries, before the coming invasion the following year. Continue reading “Small Acts of Generosity”

Collaborating for Success

Often people who are in service industries or speaking positions are advised to keep their best materials and secrets for their special clients and avoid sharing with others in their industry.

I am very fortunate that I am in an organisation here in Australia called the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA). Their intent is to be “a vibrant and diverse national community who share a collective interest in career development; and a desire to promote its ability to effect positive change and growth in the lives of all Australians”. They are very generous with their expertise and have the viewpoint that not only is there enough of the pie to go around but that in sharing the pie actually gets bigger which benefits everyone.  Continue reading “Collaborating for Success”

Survive, Belong and Become

In the many diagrams of human needs, it appears that the different points are all condensed down to three basic important things.

These include our basic physical needs for food, shelter and sleep.

We all need these to survive.

Then, we have the need to belong. This involves our desire for recognition, acknowledgement and support within a group or community. We get our self-image from how we grow as people when we interact with those of our group. Continue reading “Survive, Belong and Become”

Small Steps

Many years ago in a business studies class, the teacher told all of the students to begin everything with the end in mind.

The teacher even gave us the seemingly morbid assignment of writing our own eulogy and vividly imagining what people would be saying at our funerals. He said that we should really visualise and imagine the detailed conversation about us and all the good things we would like people to say.

The next step was to work backwards to the present day to make it happen. He asked, “Now how are you going to make those things come true?” Continue reading “Small Steps”

Equality of Opportunity

The Brebner’s were never known for our desire to just sit and talk about the weather and each of us has a voice capable of talking to a crowd to action – without a microphone.

Yes, our family is a lively bunch and many times over the Christmas lunch table, Mum would make failed attempts to settle down the high levels of debate. The voices rose louder between in-laws and out-laws furiously talking over each other with a passion more expected at a football match than a family gathering.

One of the many battles that ensued over the years has been the question of equality for people and what that means in a practical outworking. Continue reading “Equality of Opportunity”

Reading the Waves

I was talking to a minister friend of mine a while ago.

He shared with me that the seminary he was located at was set by the ocean and he often would wander along the sand and contemplate his life in his time off.

He told me that he would see the surfers out the back of the swell sitting up on their boards, watching for the wave they would choose to ride. It fascinated him so much at how they made their choices, that he would watch them for quite a while.

In his curiosity, he noticed they would sit up on their boards and observe carefully for a time. Then they would relax back down again, choosing to pass on waves which my friend had thought looked like impressive surf waves to ride in on. Continue reading “Reading the Waves”

Security v Risk

One of the big needs of humanity is security. We see and hear people selling us security in so many ways.

They do this all while we sit on a thin veneer of 30-mile thick soil on the surface of a rock which is actually a giant super-heated nuclear reactor. We literally are flying through space at a ridiculous speed, trying to avoid every other rock going faster and in different directions. Where is our security here?

My point is that security is never a sure thing and playing for safe is in the end, just an illusion. Continue reading “Security v Risk”

My Story

A person with Tourette’s Syndrome and its related behaviours was not going to fit the mould of standard high school education without difficulty. That difficulty has turned out to be a gift as I achieved far more by not fitting into the standard plan.

I am Dave Brebner. I am a successful teacher, career coach, husband, father of six, son, brother and friend. This is my story and I want to share it with you.

Continue reading “My Story”

People of Influence

A short time ago, I ran into an old friend who was very angry. He ranted about other cultures and was even happy to cut me off from his circle of relationships because I would not join him in his worldview of certain situations.

It is not the first time I have encountered this lately and am concerned at what I know is the mis-information out there and the fact that people are riled up over things they have no control over with often no first hand evidence of any of it. Continue reading “People of Influence”

Your Ideal Employee

People with Tourette’s syndrome often have a challenge in finding work, particularly in the public eye.

While many of us have very subtle symptoms, commonly known as ‘tics’, there is a perception among the general public that all sufferers use foul language, scream or yell spontaneously, have profound body movements, and that the condition is completely outside of our control. Continue reading “Your Ideal Employee”

Your Biggest Asset

I recently read a letter Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Empire, wrote to his 16-year-old self.

It really touched me as he, like many of us, struggled in school. He had Dyslexia, which made him fall behind in class and find school rather irrelevant.

As a teen with Tourette’s, I had my fair share of unwanted attention from schoolmates and was occasionally an embarrassment to others who did not understand. Continue reading “Your Biggest Asset”

Supportive Culture

“The future is coming!” I heard someone claim in a talk to an amused audience several years ago. At a glance, it appeared to be a very strange thing to say, and a rather obvious statement.

However, since then it astounds me how many people I run into, both socially and professionally, who would claim that it is a stupid comment, yet behave as if the statement is not true at all. Continue reading “Supportive Culture”

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