I left high school in the 1980s.  My small claim to fame at school was that I could run a bit (400m was my event) and was a reasonable rugby player. I was also a “stirrer” always keen to see how far I could push a teacher’s buttons. I was good at it too. The problem was that I always got caught.

As a result I spent all of year 12 studying Modern History from the library – I wasn’t allowed to attend class and was given no hope of passing the HSC exam. Despite being self-taught I not only passed this subject but I received a score higher than many of the other students. Looking back I realised that what had motivated me was that someone had written me off. I deserved the punishment and I didn’t mind working from the library – what annoyed me was that someone had expected me to fail. Even as a 17 year old this was unacceptable to me.

This situation was a cataclysmic motivator for me. In hindsight I realised that I had subconsciously decided that I didn’t want to conform to someone else’s view of me if I didn’t agree with it. When I was younger this would manifest itself in larrikin-type behaviour. As I grew older it evolved into a gritty determination to push through painful situations and to work harder than most people. Ultimately I was seeking out ways to do things differently and in the process to carve out a path that was distinctly my own. It’s still a work in progress and I’ve succeeded and failed in equal measures along the way but each day I get up happy, committed, motivated and ready to go again.

What keeps me motivated are two things. Firstly it’s the naysayers, the critics, and the sceptics who are keen to point out what is wrong but are unable to offer up a better way. I get annoyed by people throwing up problems but no solutions. I think we all have a greater responsibility than that. It’s easy to come up with a million seemingly sensible reasons why something might not work. The skill is in finding the ONE reason why it might and that’s what I stay focused on.

Secondly, I’m fascinated by the possibilities the future holds. I have no idea what the world will be like in 2030 or 2050 but I know it is our collective responsibility to contribute positively to developing it and we must start now. We can only do that through kindness, innovation, ethical business, a focus on learning and a willingness to smash through barriers that are currently thought impossible. What that means is unclear but the possibilities are enormous. I’m not sure whether I can contribute anything worthwhile but I’ll do my best to find out in the coming years…


So what motivates you?


Article By The Bull 

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