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.

Another way of describing this problem is that I sometimes have too many tunes playing at once. The dance is mixed up and indiscernible to myself and this is what I had to work my way through.

I can gratefully say that I have grown through the flightiness and with a few doses of harsh reality, I reached new levels of maturity where I could help support others battling this problem.

I see now that we all approach success in many ways. One strategy is to have big dreams but only a little discipline. It could be seen as having an average work ethic with champagne tastes for achievement. Another strategy is in trying to win the lottery of life and ending up poorer for it. Others take pot-shots at difficult glorious ambitions and now and again it has worked out for them.

“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel, stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself.”

— Sara Henderson

That is all character building and it takes real courage to let a failed dream go. How tough is it to accept the loss of money and pride on a project that did not work out? Ouch.

I have had to do this many times, but because I am crazy enough to try things out, I also succeed at lots more things than most other people.

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.

We continue to break each point into small steps and this strategy has paid off many times for me and my clients in changing their career goals and outcomes.

Then when you do reach your goal, there are new challenges to face! We learn that sometimes people do not want you to get too successful as it pricks sharply at their own limitations and guilt.

Your success can be a stark reminder that they have settled for their own level of mediocrity. They laugh out loud as they sense the difference. They choose not to leave the shelter of their safe harbour and head out into the risky deep water, pointing at you as you go.

So, in short, I just want to say this today. Try new things, stretch your capabilities and get ready to be laughed at (a lot)!

Remember also to laugh at yourself! If nothing else you will end up with some great stories to tell…..unlike those who played it safe!

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”

George Cardin

Remember that being different is your biggest asset and you don’t have to be like everyone else. If you need a career coach, drop me an email or private message today to get you on the right track.

Thanks for reading! I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comment space below!

Dave Brebner.

Dave Brebner – Career Coach

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 –

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