GUEST BLOGGER – AMANDA RAY
My friend was about to give a motivational speech to his team and he had no idea what to talk about. So he asked if he could use the story I told him years ago about an inspirational married couple in their late 60’s who changed the course of their life as he felt his team would benefit from the story.
‘Go ahead and let me know how it was received’, I replied. He rang me after the speech and said his team loved it.
I want to share it with you and hope you learn something from it too…when dad was 65 and mum 63 they decided to financially risk everything they had. Dad was an audiologists and he had always wanted to have his own business.
They started their married life together in poverty, living in a housing commission unit in Elizabeth, South Australia. Now, they were financially secure, no debts and living in a 4-bedroom home in Manly, Queensland. Sounds good, so why would anyone want to risk all that?
But, dad’s desire to have his own business kept nagging him. So my parents thought, well if we are going to do it, then it has to be now, before it’s too late. Here they were in their late 60’s, taking out a line of credit against their home.
Mum said to me, ‘we started with nothing so if it doesn’t work out, then we have nothing to lose’
‘What do you mean? You will lose everything and end up living on the government in some crappy housing commission unit’, I replied.
Dad stopped me in my tracks by saying, ‘It’s not about material possessions or money; it’s about not having any regrets when you die’.
Unfortunately, dad’s words become true… within a year of setting up their business my eldest brother, their eldest child was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
A couple of months before Darryl died; he told me ‘that he had so many regrets. He wanted to do so many things with his life but thought there was plenty of time to do them. Always making up excuses, like it’s not the right time or when he had enough money.’
And, now he had no time to do them… he died feeling like a failure because he never tried.
This made my parents more determined to make their business work, not for the financial gain but to know in their hearts and mind, that they gave it all – no regrets.
I am happy to tell you that after 8-years, they sold the business for a profit, to a national company. They will live out their lives in luxury and contentment, knowing they lived their lives to the fullest.
Life really is simple, but we make it complicated…worrying and stressing about things we can’t control. Always thinking one day I’ll do that, when I have more time, more money, when the kids leave home on and on we make excuses.
What I have learned, is that we can overcome most things, if we really want to. It’s the fear of the unknown that holds us back from living our lives to the fullest.
If you knew that your time on earth was limited, would you be happy knowing you tried and gave it all?
My name is Amanda Ray and I am not a motivational speaker or philosopher. I am a person who has learned her lessons from the ‘school of hard knocks.’ I have survived an abusive relationship, financial ruin, made redundant 4 times and survived 2 rounds of cancer. That’s a quick snapshot of my ‘school of hard knocks.’ I am grateful for all these ‘hard knocks’ as I have learned so much about myself, society and life – which has made me a better person.
I can honestly say that I have no regrets and wouldn’t change any of the experiences. Of course, at the time I was going through them, my answer would have been different!
Today, I enjoy helping others to fulfill their potential…My motto is ‘If I can reach one person and make them feel better about themselves then my life journey is complete.’