It was at a recent conference that I had the previlige of hearing Corporal Mark Donaldson VC speak on the challenges he has faced in life and how he has overcome them.
To sit and listen about what he went through to earn the Victoria Cross (the first Australian in 40 years to do so) makes my life seem so trivial. He doesn't boast or embellish the events, simply tells them how he saw it happen. He not only put his body out there to serve as a target to protect his convoy but then dragged an injured Afghan interpreter to safety while under constant fire from AK47s.
This is all very impressive and I am not dismissing it slightly, however, it was the story he didn't delve in to on the day that intrigues me most...
His father, a Vietnam Vet, died from a heart attack when he was 16 and his mother was presumed murder 2 years later. He was an alcoholic.
So how does a man go from a jail cell to 12 years later a Young Australian of the Year??
He saw a picture of what he wanted and seized it. For Mark is was a picture of a soldier jumping out of a plane. He signed up and the rest is history.
Mark asked the audience, how hard were they prepared to work to achieve their goals? How many sacrifices had they made, or were they willing to make to gain success? Were they willing to get "uncomfortable" to achieve them?
So I began to ask myself what am I passionate about? What do I want more than anything? While my dreams might be small compared to a SAS soldiers, they are mine. I guess it will all come down to whether or not I am brave enough to go out there and seize them.
Are you brave enough to run after your dreams?