Years ago I left the comfort of a secure, well-paying government job in the National Capital, Canberra. I took my young family interstate to Adelaide to take up a lower-paid position of Recreation Planner. Recreation development work, as a profession, was very much in its infancy in Australia.  Reactions from friends and colleagues in Canberra ranged from “Peter you are mad”, to “I wish I had the guts to do what you are doing”.

I could have felt all the common fears. Fear of losing what I had gained, moving out of my comfort zone, fear of being seen as different / standing out from the crowd. Or the deeper entrenched fear of upsetting people who have in my past heavily influenced the direction of my life. (a good question in that case is: “are they still part of your life, perhaps even no longer alive?”)

My decision wasn’t based on “what a good idea!”. Four years earlier I had mused, “35 more years of this and then retire?”). I was working without any purpose beyond earning money to pay the bills. My mind, heart and soul were searching for a purpose, a challenge. To fulfill my passion to enjoy being my true self. 

The answer came in the form of a one-day seminar “Will leisure be the major social issue of the 1980’s?” I had been enjoying purpose in my leisure through sports administration. The seminar answered many deep-seated questions in my mind – going back as far as my teen years. I devoured the required Grad Dip in Recreation Planning with distinction. Working professionally as a Recreation Planner became my passion for the rest of my employed life.

My fear had been that my search for challenge might never be answered. That I might never find my true purpose or be able to fully develop my natural gifts. That fear vanished at some point during the fateful seminar. If courage came into the equation, it wasn’t the absence of fear. The courage came in deciding and acting on the steps I needed to take to secure my new future.

Perhaps courage is really about having the courage to know you do have a place in the sun. All you might need is the courage to search for and act on that fact. Once you know what it is that gives you true enjoyment in life, you think and work with the courage and confidence that the future is yours to create.

There is indeed a unique being within you, whom the world has been waiting to appreciate as a person of worth.

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