How to get over past mistakes and flying in the face of fear

Determine to fulfil your destiny and you will never be destroyed by defeat

My grandad, whom I always knew as Tom, never talked much about his wartime experiences. He served in the RAAF during the Second World War. He trained at Townsville and Evans Head in Queensland to become a rear gunner in one of the big bombers that dealt savage blows against the Japanese army.

How to get over past mistakes and flying in the face of fear

When he returned home from leave there were times when he was struck down with malaria and the children would stand at the end of his bed and watch as his body shook violently from side to side. And then there were the times when he would scream out in his sleep as recurring nightmares would flood back, of the enemy planes closing in on him. There had been times when he couldn’t hold back the enemy fire and his plane crashed. But yet he seemed to have the ability to survive, even though at one time it cost him a broken jaw.

As things became more and more desperate to the north of Australia, both he and his mates from the RAAF were pulled out of the sky and plunged straight into the trenches. He sent a photo home once of himself and his five companions stationed at Milne Bay in Papua New Guinea.

During a spate of further fighting, an incredible thing happened. A Japanese grenade landed in the trench where both Tom and his friends were taking cover. There was no time to react, and before anyone could respond, the grenade exploded. As the smoke cleared, to his utter distress and amazement,Tom soon discovered that he was the only survivor.

My grandad has been gone now for many years, and the only thing that his children ever really knew about that war, were the rings he gave them.

Each ring was cut from the casings of bullet shells with a shape, like a kingly crown, secured onto the top of each of them. They would wear these with pride for many years until, like the memories, they eventually wore out.

The only thing I now have in my possession, from my grandad, is one nine carat gold cuff link in the shape of a shield. The initials T.D.S. are engraved on it. They stand for Thomas David Sinclair and the shield reminds me of the protection that had stood over his life through those torrid years of war.

While others perished, Tom survived.

Although many of us have never faced a bullet or a bayonet, we are living in a time and age where warfare is prevalent in our homes, in our streets and in the very air that we breathe. The very nature of living in a world of constant change causes us to confront many issues that give us the choice to either bow under the pressure, or to take up arms and fight for our success and for the future of our family.

The bullets have been replaced by fear and the bayonets with doubt. Our mission, if we are going to make a positive impact on our world, is that we should at all costs learn to defend our self image, our vision and our dreams. At the end of the day we can say that we are not only survivors, but that we are in fact victors.(1)

Just like my grandfather, I have been in trench warfare, but yet my battlefield has been in the world of daily living. I’ve watched others around me fall under fire, and although I’ve been wounded time and time again I determined in my heart, that like my grandfather, I would be a survivor.

And that’s the charge I want to issue to you. Never lay down your arms in the face of fear or in the face of doubt and of mediocrity. Don’t listen to the ninety-five per cent who settle for less than the best. Rise up from the ranks and be a hero to your family and a champion for your country.


You can’t undo the past. By digging it up all the time you will slow down the forward progress that is required to pursue a brighter future. The quicker you can get over past mistakes, the faster you can maintain the momentum required for any success.

How often have you heard someone recount a once missed opportunity? Or the old line of ‘If only…’ They are both the language of the loser. The winner never dwells on what is missed or past. They speak the language of the future and have the vocabulary of possibility. They are not waiting for an opportunity to arrive on their doorstep. They are always proactive; ever making things happen and creating their own opportunity. They don’t wait to be asked. They’re out there asking.(2)

If you’re going to win in life you will need to, at some point, become super aggressive. Now when I use those words, it doesn’t mean that you have to always come out with all guns blazing. Obviously we all have very different types of personalities. But if you are serious about making a significant contribution to the lives of both your family and to your generation, then you must grit your teeth with determination and pursue your dreams. In this is found your true security.


Close your ears to the critics and stop tuning into the doubt and unbelief radio waves that buzz through your head. Invest time in thinking on positive concepts and studying the ‘can do’ philosophy.

Personally, I’m not frightened of failing, but I am terrified of not trying.

Fortify your mind against those things that would seek to kill your vision and destroy your hope. By arming yourself in this way, you can become a formidable force against a negative world.

Your aim should not be to destroy others, but to destroy everything that says, ‘Impossible!’

Your mouth is one of the greatest weapons for victory. As you continue to fill your mouth with ‘victory words’ and stem the flow of ‘defeat vocabulary’, you will set the path wide open for future battles to be won. And I can assure you that the enemy of your life’s purpose will be defeated convincingly.

Therein lies your security in an insecure world.

Motivational: Determine to fulfil your destiny and you will never be destroyed by defeat.