Why Struggle Matters

I attended an Elton John concert a few days ago in Sydney. It was amazing and, being a songwriter myself, I have always thought of him as one of the great songwriters of our time.

One specific observation shined out to me about this concert. It was not only the genius of his music and piano ability that I was seeing. It wasn’t even how brilliant his band played. They were superb!

It was the genuine absolute joy that Elton and the whole band exuded from every pore of their being during the performance. This was no weary group of musicians who had played about a hundred gigs already in this grand final tour. This was an exuberant troop of young men in older bodies, loving every minute of playing and singing for us.

I have not really ever experienced anything quite like it in all my years of concert-going. After seeing the movie about Elton’s life and his struggles and final surrender, the authenticity my wife Rhonda and I felt made it feel like we really met the man himself and loved him.

As I write my life story into a published book, I realise the blessing of struggle and of never ‘making it’. The struggle really matters. I greatly appreciate my genuine faith, friends and family, and the real feeling of accomplishment I have in having pushed through to this point.

Many years ago, a small group of us had the pleasure of sitting around and chatting with Barry McGuire, a famous singer in the 1960s. He claimed fame for knocking the Beatles off the No. 1 spot in the American charts with his song ‘Age of Destruction’ from the Musical ‘Hair’.

He described the early non-famous years when he and a friend, Robert Zimmerman (later to be known as Bob Dylan), sat under kitchen tables at parties and jammed for anyone who would listen.

Barry talked about how hard it was back then to get a record deal and how he and many of his friends had almost starved for their art, lived in low-rent places, and driven each other to the hospital when they had taken too much of anything.

The point I am making is that he stated in no uncertain terms that this was a good thing. It weeded out those who did not have a genuine passion for their art and the commitment to do the work to get to the top.

He believed and observed that the journey matured the artist through the struggle. This struggle quickly wiped out the delusions of grandeur that often accompany starry-eyed youngsters seeking heights.

The great thing about the digital age is that anyone can make an album. The terrible thing about the digital age is that anyone can make an album!

Dave Brebner

In this age of the internet and digital science, it is great that many voices, with genuine messages that were not heard before, are now being heard.

But with this blessing comes the fact that there is so much noise and mud in the water that genuine talent is getting missed. Many are gaining notoriety without a journey of struggle and character development that tends to edit your soul and develop them into great human beings and artists.

It appears that many of the great achievers started with the desired outcome in mind and broke the tasks down into ‘bite-size chunks that they could chew’ and worked towards the goal.

Reflect for yourself on where your considered actions and responses have brought peace and more beneficial outcomes.

So many of you have shared your stories with me, and I find it genuinely inspiring to hear how you have overcome or climbed over insurmountable walls and can now guide others in their struggles.

We all see people wanting a quick, easy way to the goal, but we must dig deeper. What really works is a sort of ‘compounding interest’ combined with wisdom over time. This applies not only to money but also to human character. There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

Remember that being different is our biggest asset and we don’t have to be like everyone else. If you need a keynote speaker or presenter on neurodiversity, private message me today to book your next presentation.

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

Dave Brebner.

Dave Brebner – Keynote Speaker, Organisational Neurodiversity Educator and Storyteller.

As a neurodiverse public speaker and presenter, Dave Brebner specialises in using educational neuroscience to explore pathways for professionals and engage in inclusive discussions for diverse audiences. Living with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ADHD, and Anxiety Disorders since an early age, he is married with six children and one grandchild. He recently added a Master of Educational Neuroscience to his qualifications to further deepen his understanding of the neurodiverse mind, adding to his qualifications in Trades & Training, Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training, and a Master of Education degree in Career Development. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia, and you can learn more about Dave’s work at www.davebrebner.com.

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