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Edition 19 – Inspiration

I had a conversation with a good, long standing client the other week about one of their employees that I wanted to share with you. The story that my client told me simply blew me away.

My client was looking for some casual labour to cover the April School Holidays. They were introduced to some teenagers who were prepared to muck in whilst there was some extra work available.

One of the teenagers had a younger brother that lived elsewhere. Long story short, the brothers were separated due to living in Foster Care. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be placed in the same foster home. The younger brother was also keen to for some casual work and the chance to earn a few dollars.

The first week went by. The 3 teenagers turned up to work every day. Start time was 5.30am. They beat it by 15 minutes — every day.

They worked hard. They put in a big effort. They were polite young gentlemen to work with. Instructions were issued and they followed them to the letter.

These 3 young gentlemen were proving to be, very quickly, model employees of the business. My client couldn’t be happier.

Then the story surfaced about the dedication of the younger brother and his determination to make a go of things.

His living arrangements were not great. He was given little money to pay for his essentials.

He needed to travel from the North West of Sydney to the South West for work. That’s at least 2 trains and more than an hour’s journey. He was refused money by his carers to top up his Opal Card. Without it, he was worried that he would be picked up by the Transit Police for Fare Evasion.

So he caught the last train at night, when the Transit Police aren’t around — arrived hours earlier than he needed to and slept in a local park. Then, at the set time, he headed off with his older brother for work.

Once the day was done, the younger brother returned home. Sometimes later than the evening meal. The rule was you’re home for dinner at a set time, or you miss out. He missed out.

As my client told me this story, I couldn’t help but be moved by it. Here was a young man whose life had been a challenge. However, he was determined to make things better for himself. He and his brother were trying to save some money so they could live with each other, independently.

Often there are times when things seem downright hard.

It might be we don’t know how to do something and become frustrated.

We might have difficulties with the people around us and don’t know how to handle it.

A couple of things might go against us and we start to think there’s a trend, not just one or two unfortunate events.

We express unhappiness about our situation in life and want for something better.

Meanwhile, there are people in the world who see obstacles and adversity as an opportunity to create something better. They work with whatever resources they have at hand and simply make it work. They have a dream and aim towards it.

In anyone’s books, that is inspiration.

This Week’s Tip

Out of adversity comes opportunity. What obstacles have presented themselves to you that were, or are, on reflection, opportunities?