It All Starts With The First Step


It all started on a weekend way back in 1972. I was 15 years old and dad had already had the "what do you want to do for a living conversation?" It was a warm summer’s day in England, a rare occurrence indeed in those days and there was a foul smell coming from the kitchen sink area.

Dad had tried fixing the plumbing himself but the foul smell still hung in the air until finally dad surrendered and called for the plumber.

Soon the house was invaded by 2 massive blokes in blue plumber’s outfits together with a huge bag of clunking tools.

It all happened so fast. Ten minutes later they were gone and they seemed to have taken the foul smell with them too. WOW! I was impressed and my immediate reaction was 'Hey Dad that was cool... i wanna be a plumber!"

Dad didn't seem to be that impressed and he kind of steered me in the direction of becoming an Engineer instead. Actually to be honest i was very excited about that. Finally a name to what i wanted to be.

My dad was a technical draftsman and mechanical engineer and he gave me a list of all the types of engineering that i could choose from. I found out that a plumber was also considered an engineer but i didn't mention that to dad.

Anyway the one i really became excited about was CIVIL ENGINEERING. I noticed that as a civil engineer you would cover so many topics, a huge variety and that was what i loved.

That was it, my future life suddenly became very clear. I would study Civil Engineering and get a high paid job and live happily ever after.


My sixteenth birthday came around and a decision was needed whether i would continue school to do 'A' levels or leave school and get a job.

I was itching to explore the world, leave school, leave home and get a job. Dad was all for it but mum was not so sure.

Actually the next thing that happened changed my entire life and allowed me to make a decision that became pivotal to the direction i was about to take.

The whole family (my 3 siblings - 2 brothers and 1 sister + Mum + Dad) were seated at the meal table and we were discussing the future of each of us kids starting from the eldest. My brother Trevor was already at university and was studying some kind of science. He was set in his direction.  My sister had signed on for A levels but had not decided what career. When my turn came around i blurted out that i did not want to stay in school for my 'A' levels.


Then came the statement from my dad that has stayed with me all through the rest of my adolescence and adult life and has helped me through all the low periods of my life.
He said... "I am not too worried about Kevin... because whatever he does he will turn out to be okay"

I interpreted this statement as a vote of confidence from dad that i could do ANYTHING... Now, looking back this may have not been exactly what he meant.. but it didn't matter .. that was the meaning that i took and it has certainly helped me succeed in whatever i put my hand to. Alleluia!!

Moral of the story is... always have an encouraging word as you never know how much of an impact it could have on people, especially children.

My creed is : Always find the positive in someone and over look the negative.. and NEVER tell someone off, just point out what has occurred and then ask .. "How do you think this could improve and how may i help?"... believe me they will thank you for it.
Until the next episode...This will be continued..
in the meantime Connect here,  and check me out here


Chapter 1:
A Beating i didn't even know was happening  

Setting Location: village school in England (comprehensive school ages 12 to 18) approx 300 kids.

I was coming up to my 16th birthday.

Somehow i had upset the school bullies who were one class down from me.
They were two well built athletic brothers ... looking back they may have even been twins.

These guys ruled the corridors and playgrounds and they went about snarling at everyone and were eager to get school finished so that they could go out and rampage the world at large. (I think one of them is now part owner of a limo site in Rockingham Australia - so he has done quite well,  mmmph!)

I think i may have upset them, as i was nominated for head boy and i had several meetings with the headmaster plus I was already a head prefect.
These guys really hated anyone in authority and so they started to taunt me. I can't say that i was scared or bothered about it. I was just indifferent to it.

Then an incident happened that escalated the situation. One of their 'underlings' a pathetic admirer got into a argument with a girl. I witnessed this and thought the girl was possibly in danger as the heated argument was becoming abusive and threatening so i reported the situation to a teacher. The teacher intervened and broke up the argument and the boy and the girl were sent separately to the headmaster’s office.

The 2 bullies and underlings discovered i was the so called 'rat' and decided to teach me a lesson and at the same time train their underling in the art of fighting.. haha.

The motivation Fight?

Little did i know, one day, they were stalking me waiting for the right time to pounce which they did at a time when i was visiting the WC.
The access to the toilet was through a cloak room, a room with rows and rows of coat hooks.
They pounced on me as i exited the toilet and walking through the cloakroom.

They shoved me in a corner and presented their underling to me as a challenge to fight.

They alliterated that mr. underling was going to beat the 'Cra!.." out of me so 'get ready for a hammering'.

This guy was 1 year younger than me AND slightly shorter... BUT he was highly motivated to impress his idol bully bro's.

Even then i was very indifferent and had no motivation at all to fight... not even to defend myself since i didn't really consider myself in any danger.
By now there was a small crowd gathering to see 'a fight'..

They were going to be disappointed.

Mr. pathetic lunged at me and i pushed him away. He lunged again with fists flying and caught me just below the eye since i was not defending myself. I didn't actually feel anything. So i was still very indifferent... not even angry. Mr pathetic was just annoying like a persistent fly buzzing around my face.

He then lunged again, got me in a neck hold with one arm and started pummeling my face with the fist of his other hand.

Again... i really did not feel anything and was kind of laughing as it was happening unaware of the damage being done to my young good looks.

I saw out of my left eye that the two bully bro's were jumping up and down with delight at the performance of their victorious underling... and all i was doing was .. nothing.. until i decided to get rid of the annoying fly. I forced myself out from his hold and pushed him away.

The Result?

The three amigos walked away with hands in the air celebrating their victory.
I walked into the bathroom hardly phased, combed my hair and went on with the day.

By the end of the day i had two large black eyes looking 10 times worse than it actually felt.

There are several lessons to be learned here...

1. GET MOTIVATED: Someone less talented but motivated can outperform those who are smarter but unmotivated

2. THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM: Results on the surface may not always be representative of the actual outcome.

see next chapter:  Leaving Mum's nest