We went to Rottnest recently for a day trip and it reminded me of countless hours spent on the island in my childhood. It was the place where I learnt to ride a bike, make phone calls to the mainland on pay-phones, buy the paper for Dad in the morning, purchase clothes at the surf shop, make lunch, dinners and breakfast, swim, surf, snorkel, be resilient, experiment, try (and fail), be scared and survive, get cold get hot, get tired and push on. I learnt to dig deep, have very sore quads after long bike rides around the island and to conquer fears. In many ways, it set me up very well for life as an adult.
I think these hours spent experiencing things with my brother built the foundations for the courage I now have in life, and the beginning of the ‘can-do’ attitude.
Talking to Roland recently he said that courage is the product of having a few key aspects in life under control. It’s sort of the pinnacle. He spent some time teaching children who were struggling in traditional schools because of dysfunctional family situations and they developed some interesting strategies. The formula for building resilience in these children began with finding which area they were strongest in and building from there.