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DID IT ANYWAY - LUKE BONNAR

Baron: Welcome everybody to this episode of my podcast, ‘DID IT ANYWAY’. My name is Baron Grant, and I’m really excited to take you on a journey today with a good friend of mine, Luke Bonnar, and I have Luke here with me today. He’s going to share some of his story, and we’re going to explore some parts of his story where he went through some really challenging times – but not just the challenging times. We’re going to explore what he was thinking during those challenging times, and how he was able to overcome some of those challenges in his life to be in a pretty good situation that he is now in his life. So I’m going to introduce you to Luke. Luke, how are you? 

Luke:   Yeah, good thanks, Baz. Thanks for having me.

Baron:Thanks for being here. I really appreciate it. Why don’t we get started. I met you Luke, probably 10 years ago?

Luke:   It would have probably been a bit longer than that – maybe twelve or thirteen.

Baron:And you had just moved over from New Zealand. That’s right, isn’t it?

Luke:   Yes, I did. That would be right. 

Baron:After Luke moved over from New Zealand, we got to know each other for a little while, and then he got married to Kristy. I think that’s probably a good place to start the story. Is that fair, Luke?

Luke:   Yeah! Sure. 

Baron:Awesome. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and where your story started, because I think this is probably where some of the challenges started. So, I’ll hand over to you, and jump in as we go. 

Luke:   So, obviously, my name’s Luke Bonnar. I’m originally from New Zealand and I suppose I had a bit of a shaky upbringing,  probably like most people, where your parents are pretty hard on you and I was brought up around a lot of violence and gang related incidents and stuff like that in New Zealand. I think for the most part, there was a time in my life where everything was repetitious. I needed something to change in my life. So, off I went on my journey to Australia, and on that journey, I decided that I needed to make some big changes in my life – to refocus myself and to become the person that I always wanted to become. That led me to come down to Melbourne, surrounding myself with some really good people, and one of those people just happened to be you. 

Baron:We got to know each other over the next few years pretty significantly. We lived pretty close to each other and got to know each other pretty well. I guess you made some big changes in your life up to that point, as you just mentioned, but could you tell us a bit more about what you did after you got to Australia, and what some of those changes were that you made. 

Luke:   I think I quickly recognised that it was a bit of a land of opportunity for myself, and I didn’t want to make the same mistakes, or continue to revolve around the same circles that I did back home in New Zealand, so I knew that I needed to make some sort of change, and through various circumstances, I found myself in a situation where I needed to go down to Melbourne.  Things just weren’t working out for me in Sydney at the time, so off I went on my journey to Melbourne. I knew that I had an aunty and an uncle down there, and they were religious. It was nothing that I had really considered too much, or dived in to much, but I figured if there was ever going to be an opportunity for me to make change, I had to involve myself, or wrap myself around, or investigate maybe what they were about and what made them tick. 

So, off I went on my journey and I can still remember it. It was New Years Eve – the last time I ever touched anything – alcohol, cigarettes or whatever it may be. And I went down to Melbourne and I started on this journey of self-discovery, and I have changed. An immense change it was. As a result, I met some really good people. I surrounded myself with really good people and over time that change became more instilled. My values became more instilled within me. 

Baron: After you made those bigger changes, you met someone pretty important, which is Kristy who I mentioned before. Can you tell us a little bit about Kristy?

Luke: Yes, definitely. I can still remember how it all unfolded, even though it was many yers ago. I can still remember that I got a phone call. I was actually unwell and I was on the couch laying down watching a movie. I remember what that movie was about. And I got a voice message. It was from a girl that I had no idea about. She said, hey – I know I don’t know you, but I’d like to invite you to a party. I thought, wow! Ok. So I rang a friend of mine, which is now your brother’s wife, but at the time they weren’t married. So, I rang her up and spoke to her and said, do you know this person? She said, yes – she’s fantastic! She’s great! So I thought I’d go to the party.

 I actually turned up to the party and I went to the first house and I figured there was a bit of noise going on there. I knocked on the door and asked, Does Kristy live here? Ahh, no. No Kristy. So I went to the back, and there was nothing happening there. But I still knocked on the door, and an old couple came to the door. Does Kristy live here? No. 

So I went on my way, and walked down the driveway, and I was just about to jump in my car and leave, and I saw this car and a girl jumped out of the car. So I got out and said, Are you Kristy? She said, yes, and so we walked in to the party together, and we chatted non stop. My back was really sore, and I remember standing in aching pain, but wanting to keep the conversation going. I was mesmerised. When I first saw her I thought she was a really beautiful looking young lady, or woman.  And funnily enough, there was another guy there and he was trying to snatch my lunch, if you know what I mean. But anyway, he had no game that night =)

We chatted for about 2 ½ hours non-stop. I didn’t really pay attention to what ever else was happening, and I didn’t really meet anyone else at the party. We went to walk out, she was getting back to her car, and I knew. Some people talk about that – when you know, you know that you want to be with someone. And I knew in that moment that she was the person I wanted to be with. 

Baron: That’s awesome. And so, fast forward a few months, Luke. You ended up marrying Kristy?

 Luke:   Yep. 

Baron: Tell us a little bit about that, and probably a little bit more about when Kristy started to get sick. 

Luke:   Well, actually, she was already sick when I met her. And that’s why I didn’t mention anything just before, but the movie I was watching at the time she left that message, was about a woman who had cancer, specifically breast cancer. And I thought it was a bit ironic at the time, and I didn’t realise at all. It wasn’t until after the night that we went to the party that I knew this was the person I wanted to be with and I knew that I would marry this person. It may seem strange to some people, but ironically, I did. It did work out for me. 

 My parents were over from New Zealand and, give or take, I had only met her on the Friday and I asked her if she wanted to come to dinner and meet my parents on the Sunday.

Baron:Oh! Ouch!

Luke: Because I knew – now my parents didn’t come over to Australia very often – I knew I wanted them to meet the person I was going to marry. 100% in my mind, I was going to tell them in a period of time that I was going to marry this girl. And I wanted them to meet her. And they loved her! They thought she was such an amazing woman! 

After the Sunday that she met my parents, I met up with her on the Monday, I went around to her house and spent time with her every single day after that. 

Baron: Awesome! And when did you find out that she was sick?

Luke:  I don’t recall.  But I do remember funnily enough, the night she went to the party, she had just gone in to chemotherapy. It was the day before. And it was almost a miracle that she was feeling great, and she could still function. 

 Baron: Now, she had breast cancer?

 Luke:   Yes, correct. 

 Baron: And so she was sick right from the start, when you got to know her. 

 Luke:   Mm-hmmm.

 Baron: And how long later did you get married?

 Luke:  We got married 9 months after I met her. 

 Baron: Now, this is close to my heart, because Kristy and Luke were our best friends at the time, and we would spend a lot of time with them. I remember sitting in a restaurant, and at one point you said, Kristy’s in remission! And I remember that discussion. It was a pretty exciting dinner! But it wasn’t long later that you had to go back to the hospital with her. And she didn’t end up coming out of that experience. Could you tell us a little more about that part? Your relationship had grown over 18 months or so. How did you feel at that moment that she went back in to the hospital?

Luke:   The reason why we went back to the hospital is because she started getting a lot of pain. And we couldn’t figure it out. She went and got a few blood tests. We went to the hospital to get a check up, and I can still remember we went in and we were speaking to the Doctor. She said, your blood tests have come back and your tumour meters are really, really high. I think it’s one of those things where it’s a surreal moment. What? So, what does that mean? What does it mean for my wife? What does it mean for us? I didn’t physically ask these questions, but I was thinking it in my head, because I didn’t want to seem weak. I didn’t want to seem like I was questioning things, and I wanted to feel really strong for my wife at that time. And I can still remember looking over to the Doctor and just realising how cold they can be at times – how easy it can be for them to give people such devastating news. And as much as that’s part of their job, and I completely understand that. But I remember, for whatever reason, that was part of my thought process then. The doctor walked out, for whatever reason – maybe to get more test results, or something like that. And I remember turning to my wife at the time and we both started crying. What’s going to happen? What’s going to go on with this? It was another real big turning point for us. 

 Baron: And how long after you got that news did she pass away?

 Luke:  3 days later. 

 Baron:Yeah. It happened pretty quick. 

Luke:   It happened really, really quickly. She declined, and went downhill really quickly. We were in one hospital, and things got really bad. I can still remember ……

Baron:You’re right, mate. 

 Luke:   I can’t still remember that they didn’t have any rooms. We went to the emergency room, because that was the only place they could really hold her. I wouldn’t leave her bedside. 

 Baron: I remember you set up a mattress next to her bed. 

 Luke:   For the first couple of nights I was sleeping on chairs. It was very uncomfortable, but I knew that I didn’t want to leave her side. And I suppose everything leading up to that point made me feel like that – that she was the most remarkable person. I’ve never met a person who could – not that our relationship was amazing all the time – but I never met a person who made me feel as wonderful and amazing as what she did. To me, she was like the perfect girl for me in every aspect and every format. She made me feel like I could conquer the earth, and constantly made me feel like I was number one. I suppose for a lot of people out there, they can probably relate. Especially men. Men are very much affirmation people. She knew how to give that on a constant, daily basis, without any expectation of return. It’s not until you’re exposed to that, that you realise how wonderful, and how amazing of a gift that can be.

 Baron: So, after Kristy passed away, how did you cope with that situation, and what were some of the feelings that you felt?

 Luke:   Well going off that, I remember that she got moved to an ICU unit, and she was still ok. I can still remember actually, when we got transferred from one hospital to the other, and I was so unsure about what was going to happen. She was getting transported in an ambulance to the hospital, and I was in the car following behind. I cried constantly, all the way there. I just bawled my eyes out, all the way to the hospital because I wanted to get it out of my system. I wanted to be strong for her. I didn’t want her to see that emotion, because I knew what she was like, and I knew the moment she saw emotion in me she would express that emotion as well.  So I was trying really to be strong and trying to hold everything together. And it wasn’t until we got to the hospital, and the nurses and the doctors didn’t want me to stay. I said, ‘Look, at the end of the day you’re not kicking me out. I’m not going anywhere. I don’t care what you say, or what you do, I am sleeping beside my wife’. And I did, for those days. I only left for a couple of hours to go home and have a shower, and her sister sat there with her.

 I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I was sleeping right next to her – sort of under her bed. And I remember getting woken up by a feeling or thought - I call it a prompting – saying, ‘Get up. Get up now’. And I got up and I got to her bedside. It was very early in the morning, and the moment I got up to her – she was sleeping – but the moment I got to her side she started struggling. Then I don’t remember much after that, but all the beeps and sirens were all going off, and they rushed me out. And they started doing CPR on her and I got rushed into another room. I quickly rang her family and said, ‘you guys need to get up here now. It’s not good’. I remember sitting in the room. I don’t remember how long it was for at that particular time, but her sister and her dad made it up. Her sister said that her family were on the way. And it wasn’t too long after that that the doctors came in and said, ‘we’re really sorry, but she hasn’t made it’.

 And ah, I remember thinking, ‘No. This doesn’t happen to me. We had a good life, and things were going well. This happens to other people. This doesn’t happen to me’.

 I remember her sister was crying and her dad was crying and they were hugging. I didn’t want to be next to them. The doctor was trying to comfort me, and I didn’t want to be next to them, and I remember getting up, and I walked over to the window. I just looked out the window, and I could see everyone was still moving, still functioning, like everything’s normal for them. And I remember in that moment thinking nothing, no one stops for you. No matter what the circumstances are no matter if I was to die tomorrow, the world stops for no one. It just keeps moving. It keeps moving. In that moment people were really hurting. There was a lot of heart ache. 

 The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. It was really tough seeing everyone for the first time and saying what had happened. All the focus and everybody’s attention focusses really on you, but you just want to be left alone for a bit. 

 Baron: So the weeks and months following Kristy’s death, how did you keep going. Obviously you were super close and had an amazing relationship with Kristy. How do you then step into that next phase of your life, and what is your mindset like? I’d love to know a little bit more about that. 

 Luke:   I think there are two components to it. There’s a spiritual side and then there was the way I was brought up. Back in New Zealand, being part indigenous with Maori heritage, being brought up around death was probably not an uncommon thing. So, getting used to that side of things, and the understanding, and the process of it, I saw a lot of what my family, my mum and my dad’s side, and my cousins, aunties and uncles, I saw the way they used to deal with these sort of things. And it was very much, life moves on, and you just gotta get on with things. So, add that to my spiritual side, I very much knew that I just had to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I relied very heavily upon a lot of friends around me at that time, and focussed on that. I suppose it’s not until you get on the other end of it, when you’re right out of it, that you truly realise how it impacts you, and how it’s changed you. Because it does. It has such an impact that it does change a part of your life forever. Because, that person can never be replaced, and that person has left such an impact on your life that in some ways you want to live up to that expectation, or those dreams and those goals you had together, you want to continue to live them on, as almost a legacy in their name to a certain point.

 

Baron: Over the subsequent months, you obviously started to heal and go through that process. And it was probably only 18 months, or 2 years later that you got remarried. You don’t need to talk to us too much about the detail, but that didn’t go so well. Could you tell us a little about that?

Luke:  Hindsight’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I think, sometimes we make decisions and choices based on where we are emotionally in life, and I think that was one of them, looking back on it. Not that I was looking for a substitute. Not that I was looking for     someone to fill that void, to that degree, but companionship was really high on my priority list. 

Baron:So, you’d come over from New Zealand. You didn’t really have much family here, and you were now on your own because Kristy has passed away. Was that part of your thinking to get married quickly, because you were lonely? How did you feel?

Luke:   No, not at all. I very much did feel lonely, and that is one of the things that widowers can probably attest to. It is probably the biggest thing that you miss, that companionship. Because, as much as you don’t want to say it, over time, those memories do fade. If you didn’t have photographs, you would somewhat forget how they looked. You never forget how they made you feel, but some of that stuff you do forget. You start socialising slowly, and it was never my intention to move forward that quickly, but it happened, and I was in the circumstance I was in. I thought it was the right thing for me. And I suppose, looking back on it … I’m sure many people, if they could make different decisions and choices, they would, to a certain degree … but it wouldn’t allow me to be where I am now. It wouldn’t allow me to have the experience and the knowledge and the understanding that I have now. So, as much as it was a really horrible experience, and to be honest, the emotion attached to a divorce - because now I have experienced both sides of the coin – was far worse than losing my wife. Because I suppose, with one I didn’t have a choice. And with the other I did, if you know what I mean. So, I think that’s what made it really tough for me.

Baron: So, the feelings of losing Kristy were more loss, but what were the feelings you had when you divorced from your second wife? What were those feelings that you felt personally?            

Luke:   I didn’t realise at the time that there was emotion boiling up that I probably didn’t deal with from Kristy. So a lot of that probably boiled up and boiled over during that process. So it was a very hard thing. A very deep sense of loss. Maybe it’s ‘what could have been, what should have been’. Maybe it’s the fact that sometimes it’s not, for me personally, it wasn’t my choice. It wasn’t my decision. It was a decision made by her. Maybe that’s hard to take as well, when the ball’s not in your court. 

 Baron:Did you feel a sense of failure?

 Luke:   Oh, absolutely. Definitely. A great sense of failure. My parents had a very volatile relationship when we were growing up, and with everything that they went through, they still managed to keep it together. It was no behalf of my father, but it was all to do with my mum. And that was my pillar of strength. It was always my pillar of strength. I figured that if mum could do it, or if they can do it, then absolutely I can do it. 

 Baron:How did you deal with those feelings? So, your first wife has died – how old were you? 30? 31? 

 Luke:   30, yeah. 

 Baron: And now you’ve been divorced at 33, 34. How do you cope with that? How do you deal with those feelings, like you mentioned, feelings of failure? Because you watched your mum and dad deal with that situation better than what you felt you had. How did you switch your mind to just not sit in a heap in a corner, and think that your whole life is over?

 Luke:   Friends. Positive thinking. A number of things. You can’t just pinpoint it down to one thing. And it took a lot of time. It’s not like it happened over night. I was probably a pest to quite a few people, and I’ve seen other friends go through it since. And there’s a pattern with what happens, and it’s repetition. It doesn’t matter how many times … it’s hard to explain … but it doesn’t matter how many times you say it to somebody, you just want to keep saying it. You don’t care who you say it to, you just want to keep saying it. Maybe it’s a sense of you feeling like the more you can talk it out, the less it will hurt. But that’s not the case. 

Baron: So, what did your friends offer in regards to helping you through both the death of Kristy and the breakdown of your second marriage? What did they offer? How did they help?

 Luke:   Food. (laughs) Food was very important. Just support. Just support from a perspective of a listening ear. Sometimes, the last thing you want to hear is what you’ve done wrong in a circumstance where you just can’t change it. And you get that, even through Kristy’s passing away – especially when Kristy passed away - it get’s to a point where you didn’t want to dwell on the … you go to a level where you are unhappy with your emotions and you’re very sad, and it takes time to climb yourself up on certain levels, and to get those levels up slowly where you are really comfortable with yourself. And you stay at that level for a little while, then you climb up another level and your goal is to obviously be happy again, and to be fully functioning and to keep that memory alive, but not dwell on it. 

Baron: I think that’s a really good point. You’re sort of climbing the ladder, one piece at a time. But you almost stop on a spot for a while, get better there, and then move up to the next one. 

 Luke:  Absolutely 

Baron: What was the constant thing in your life that helped you to just make those little steps forward?

 Luke:  A focus. And whatever that is, every body’s different. But you’ve got to have a focus. You’ve got to have a goal. You’ve got to have something to channel your energy into. 

 Baron: So, what was your goal?

 Luke:  Always the same – to have a family. To support my family, to create an environment that I never had growing up. Through no fault of my mother, and even now that I’m older, through no fault of my dad. I don’t blame him for the physical abuse or the way that he was. It was just how he thought was right. And I don’t judge him for his actions, or his behaviour. It was just the way he dealt with things. I don’t accept that it was good behaviour, but I accept that that was part of my life, and I move on. 

 Baron: And the reason I wanted to interview you as one of my first interviews, Luke, is I felt like I watched that pretty close throughout the whole process. And as we discussed the other day, you’ve been through the ringer. It’s probably a good way to describe it. 

 Luke:  That’s one term (laughs).

Baron: But I have been amazed at where you have found yourself, at where you are now. How you’ve been able to take these challenges – and there is one more that I want to discuss – but, to take these challenges and to be at a place where you are now, to me is unbelievable. These things happened in a pretty short period of time. 

Another one is the loss of your brother. And that was not all that long after all this stuff happened. I’m not sure how long it was after your divorce. 

 Luke:   It was a little while. Would have been 5, 6, probably 7 years. 

Baron: Right. But I remember telling the story to friends of mine, going, how much can this bloke take?  I reckon I’ve told the story to half a dozen people and this guys had a rough go.  I’d love to know a bit more, not too much detail about it, but your brother passed away?

Luke:   Yep. 

 Baron: How did he pass away?

 Luke:   He took his own life. So, suicide was obviously the term that they use. But, that was probably the hardest for me to take personally. That’s the one that probably lasted the longest, that I had to deal with. It’s been over 3 years now, and for the first 2 years I deeply struggled with that. I somewhat went into my shell, to a certain degree. I shut off a few friends, not that it was intentional. It affected my work life. It affected my family. Not that I was outwardly expressing it, but I didn’t realise that it was affecting me that much. It affected my spirituality. It deeply affected me. And to the core of why I think it affected me so much is because the rock of my life growing up, who I would turn to a lot, my mum, was just destroyed. And that was the hardest thing to watch. The heart ache and the torture that my mum was going through was really, really hard to observe. It was a really hard thing to do. 

Baron: So, was the process still the same? Did you still lean on friends through that period of time as much?

 Luke:   No, no I didn’t.

 Baron:Did you shut away more, like you said?

 Luke:   Yeah, I did shut away more. Because it was a very different circumstance. There’s always a sense of regret. There was a sense of, ‘I should have done more. I could have done more’. There were opportunities there when I could have reached out to him more. And opportunities for him to take a different journey in life. But, the moment I came to accept it for what it was, and I never judged him for what he did, and I was never in a place – I new of people who had done it in the past, taken their own life. Unfortunately, it’s a growing thing happening in our communities. It’s not until it comes close to you that you realise how it can affect you, and how you almost want to protect their legacy, or protect who they were, to a certain point.

Baron: So, Luke, you had all these things happen one after the other. We’ve spoken about Kristy, and we’ve spoken about Catherine and the divorce, and now we’ve spoken about your brother taking his own life. These are significant events, and like we discussed before, I’ve spoken to some people and said that you have just gone through the ringer. When’s he going to get a chop out? When’s something going to go well for him? I feel like that’s happening, and I’d love for you to tell us a bit about that. Now you’re in a situation where you are married and running your own business. You said to me just before that you have so much work that you are turning work away. 

 Luke:   Definitely. 

Baron: So, that says to me that you’re in a better spot than where you were previously. How did you get there? How did you deal with what happened, and how did you get to where you are?

 Luke:   I think that when you get to the core of it, I think it comes down to acceptance. The moment you can accept whatever is happening in your life, and then take accountability, if there is accountability to be taken, and try and move forward from that with some sort of understanding and take some good from it, then your life starts to be put back on track. 

 So, I think it’s all about perspective. And there are times and places when you’re allowed to – you’re allowed to be in a sad or unhappy state. It’s not being to harsh or hard on yourself, or putting too much pressure on yourself, regardless of what other outside circumstances or external forces are putting those pressures on you. It’s understanding that all, and putting that into perspective. I think at the end of the day, I’m no different to anyone else. I’m sure parts of my story ring a bell with a lot of people out there, I think that, as much as it’s hard and it’s tough, it’s just a part of life. The way you try and deal with, or the way I try and deal with life, is try and be as positive as I can. And that hasn’t come over night. It’s come through various circumstances, reading a lot of material and understanding other people’s different perspectives, and other people’s insights to life, and it’s taking a leaf out of everyone’s book and trying to adapt it to your unique footprint. Because we are all unique and different in our own way. And trying to create my own track in life, and leave my own legacy, and create my own journey. What that looks like can change from day to day, from month to month, but I think for the most part, it’s being positive. Trying to be uplifting. Trying to always put yourself in the other person’s shoes or boots, or just trying to look at a different side of things. The cliché saying is, ‘Things could always be worse’, regardless of where you are, depending on your mindset. My mindset was somewhat that. I know tomorrow the sun will shine again. As much as my circumstances are bad, I’m sure and I have no doubt you could add other elements to it that could make it worse. 

 So, I’m grateful for what I have, and how I’m able to support that, and how I’m able to be in a position where I’m able to cope with that emotionally, physically, financially or whatever it is. So, being grateful and seeing through the mist in the darkness, to see the light. Because there is light. There’s always good things in any circumstance. It takes experience and it takes sometimes a lot of digging to really find the gold. 

 Baron: So if you were to – I’m going to put you on the spot here just a little bit – if you were to think about those three main times in your life that were really challenging over the last little while. I’m sure there were other times as well, but you said there’s light in every situation. What is something when you can look at each of those situations. So if you look at Kristy’s death. What was the good part of that that you can look and say, I’m glad that this part happened.  Amongst all that horrible stuff, this is what I learnt out of that experience. And so too with the other two experiences. Can you think of something, that perspective that you gained. One thing potentially for each of those experiences. 

 Luke:   Yes, I think it’s kind of ironic, because you wish in some way you could encapsulate and hold and bottle up the emotion attached to it, because it’s all about perspective. And it doesn’t matter what the circumstance, your perspective on life, and your priorities change remarkably for a time. They don’t always stay like that, and you wish they would because the way you look at life, the way you approach things is completely different for that time. And you are kinder. You are more gentle. You take a bit more time to do things than you normally would. You look at things a little differently than you normally would, rather than seeing things superficially. You can sometimes look deeper into it, because you are taking time. It’s not about rushing the process. It’s taking that time because you realise how precious time is. There are times, I suppose, when it rises back up and someone passes away, or there are other circumstances in your life, and it brings back that perspective again. Wow! I got caught up in life again! Once again I got caught up in the riff raff, and the rat race, and trying to chase this, and trying to chase that. As much as it’s about trying to create this lifestyle, and trying to create this thing for your family, you do get caught up in it, if you allow it. Which I do. I get caught up in it. 

Baron: Don’t we all. 

Luke:  So, I wish there was a way where you could put it in a jar and just remind yourself. Get a drink of it, or get a wiff of it. 

Baron: Maybe we need to write it down. Maybe we need to be better at that. 

Luke:   Yeah, maybe you’re right. Yeah absolutely. Maybe I need to document some of these things a bit better, and go back on it. But once again, it’s reminding yourself to do these things. 

Baron: I think there’s a lot to be said about writing those experiences down. There’s been a couple of things that I’ve taken out of our discussion today, Luke. And you might want to add to these if you think there’s more that I could have put down, but one thing that really stood out to me, is acceptance of whatever is happening and taking accountability.

 Luke: Mm-hmm. 

Baron: We all have challenges that we face in our life, and I feel like you have faced more than your fair share from my perspective, outside looking in as a friend. I have felt like you have really gone through the ringer. And for you to say that we just got to take acceptance and take accountability and just move forward, was really encouraging to me. 

 You mentioned about friends, and how important they were. Not only just providing you food, but just a listening ear. So I took out of that, that maybe as friends we could just listen. If we could just listen a little bit more, and maybe not always give our judgements, or our opinions so readily on somebody else’s situation, I think that might be helpful as well. 

 Were there any other parting comments that you wanted to mention now?

 Luke:   I think everything, our journeys in life, everything that we do, everything that we try to achieve, as long as it’s for something, as long as it means something, then hopefully when you achieve it, it means what you expected to achieve. For the most part, I don’t think it does. I’ve been reading into, and looking at a lot of things and I love a saying of Jim Carey. He says, ‘I hope everyone becomes rich and famous, only to find that that’s not the answer’. 

 Baron: Yeah, I like it. 

 Luke:   And I love that, because we are so consumed – so obsessed with achieving something that sometimes we may never achieve, or we may never get to that level, that we miss all the good parts in our life. The things that God has given us, just on a readily basis, just right at our feet all day, everyday. The sun. The earth. The trees. The birds. Family. Children. Relationships. All those things that encompass who we’re here to be and who we’re here to try to become. And we lose that perspective so quickly because our focus changes so quickly. How you rectify that, and how you turn that around, well, that’s an individual thing. But for me personally, I’m still on that journey. As much as things happen to people, I’m still chasing that. And I’m essentially trying to create a better life for my family and things are going well. Things are going good for me. I think it’s all a result of everything that I’ve been through, and all the circumstances that I’ve had, and the bad experiences have created more good than I could have ever imagined. 

 I suppose for people out there trying to focus, or trying to get rid of that bad, well the good that’s happened in your life will create more good than you will ever dream of. It’s cut you and now you’ve got a scar. You will never forget that scar. So, you’ll be a little bit more hesitant, you’ll be a little bit more wary of going down that track, which is a good thing.

 Baron: We haven’t mentioned your wife now, Olivia, and her son, Lachy as well. I know myself and my wife Davina, we were really excited when you got re-married. Happily married with Lachy as well now, and now a successful business. So from my side looking in, it looks fantastic. We never know any challenges that people are experiencing, but we’re really excited that you’re in the situation you are in now, compared to some of the other situations you’ve been in. So, I guess from my perspective, that’s real success. 

And we sometimes, like you said, chase the stuff that’s not the most important. And if we can focus a little more on relationships, and a little more on people, as opposed to things, I think we are well served by doing that. 

 I’m really grateful for you coming on and sharing your story with us today Luke. 

 Luke:   It’s great to be here. 

 Baron: I know it’s challenging to express some of those emotions, and re-live some of that past. It can be quite painful. But I think there will be people listening now who will be experiencing similar things like that. We don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives. I really hope there were some little things that could be taken away from this discussion that you guys will be able to take and apply to your own lives that might be helpful, from what we discussed today. 

 Luke:   I think, just if there are people out there struggling in any way, take time for just yourself. It’s not a selfish behaviour. Take time for yourself. Sometimes solitude can be such a great insight into what we’re missing or what you’re not doing, or what we need to do to rectify things in our life. Don’t think of it as a selfish thing. Think of it as growth, and allow that time to refocus and put ourselves back on track. Because sometimes that’s all we need – Just a little bit of time to ourselves to get back on the right frequency. 

 Baron:I love it. 

 Well, thanks so much for being in attendance on the podcast and having a listen today. Please jump on and subscribe to my podcast. I’d love to have more of you listening. And also send us some people who might want to tell their story. 

 Thanks so much guys. Have a great one. 

DID IT ANYWAY - INTRODUCTION

Well, hello everybody! My name is Baron Grant, and I want to say a huge welcome to all of you listening to my new podcast series. This podcast is titled, ‘DID IT ANYWAY’. And the reason that it’s titled, ‘DID IT ANYWAY’, is because recently I published a book called, ‘DO IT ANYWAY’. This opportunity to write my very own book was not only challenging, but exciting at the same time. As I went through the experience of writing my story out and re-living those experiences, I realised that some of the things that I experienced, or took part in, were quite remarkable. And I realised that other people don’t have the same opportunity to tell their story.

We are so bombarded in the media by celebrities or sports stars doing amazing things, and sometimes we don’t feel like we can live up to these people, or even relate to the experiences that they are having. So, their experiences become almost unattainable. This podcast series is all about bringing real people’s experiences to life.

Some of the most courageous people I have met in my life are not Australian of the year. They’re not celebrities and they are not sports stars. They are regular people. Regular people who have gone through unbelievable challenges. But they have acted in spite of the very challenges they are faced with, to go after the dreams that they have. To me, that is inspiring. 

In this podcast series, I am going to interview these people, and find out what really makes them tick. What was the driving force behind them going after what they wanted? Discounting all the challenges that they have to just go out and get it. As you listen to their stories, I am so confident that you will find little nuggets that you can take away and apply to your own lives on a day to day basis. 

Now, make sure you hit that ‘subscribe’ button, and in addition to that, if you know somebody that has overcome some amazing challenges in their life, and their story just hasn’t been told yet, please shoot me a message. You can find my contact details at barongrant.com.au.

 Enjoy the podcast, guys! Talk to you soon.