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!
“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.”Benjamin Disraeli
It is interesting that many fortunes and breakthroughs in Humanity were made during the times of great depression and hardship over the centuries.
Almost without exception they often talked about and practiced keeping their minds on the possible good, a sense of inalterable destiny and a belief in the justice of their cause. If you know a little about Viktor Frankl, you will understand that your mind outlook and focus can make a tremendous difference in your life.
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”Viktor Frankl: Holocaust survivor
I am not some great positive thinker who is in denial of the facts, nor am I a very courageous person. In fact, I may be a bit of a wimp. 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.
Finally, brothers and Sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.Philippians 4:8 New International Version
I have been thinking why I have risen far beyond expectations and I have come to believe it is because of several things.
- Faith: I have a faith that believes we are all significant to the maker of all things and that we were born for this time and each of us has a purpose. Added to this, I had praying parents who never gave up in the search for an answer for me and my undiagnosed condition which has kept me getting back up after my many stupid mistakes and foolish quests.
- Guidance: I have also somehow had the good sense to ‘sit at the feet’ of the ‘elders and guides’ in many areas of life and often listened to those who have turned up in my journey. I have read and listened to the lives and stories of great people which is encouraging when I hear about their weaknesses and fears and yet they achieved great things.
- Love and Family: I have been blessed with lifelong companions who have walked with me and encouraged, corrected and balanced me out. I have my wife and friend who has seen my best and my very worst, has been a tremendous stabilising, listening ear. She has always been able to ask the right questions even when I didn’t like it, as well as show me times of my lack of integrity to myself and what I really believe.
- Growth: Growing up in a large family, and now with my own adult children, I am always challenged to improve. I am often, not so gently, called on my accountably in the times when I lean towards any form of pretentiousness.
Failing doesn’t feel good but it teaches us so much. As I continue to write my own life story, I see where the pieces fit together. The struggle really matters. I greatly appreciate the genuine faith, guidance, friends and family I have and the real feeling of growth and accomplishment I have in having pushed through to this point.
Success doesn’t happen randomly. Career development and education are all things that require a lot of work and commitment at the start but give a great return as time goes on.
Thanks for reading! I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comment space below!
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age, you can read his story online. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online through his website – www.davebrebner.com.