Who you are is who you attract!
As the roundhouse kick sailed perilously close to my head, there was no mistaking I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. As I beat a hasty retreat to safety, I wondered what had happened, what had changed with someone who until a few years before I would have called a good friend.
What had gone wrong?
His name was Skeg. We had first met as ten year olds on the Sunshine Coast where we were part of a motley crew of grommets who surfed most days and hung around the beach. School was a necessary distraction for us; otherwise all of our time would have been spent in the water or on the sand.
We played a bit of footy on the weekends; we were a normal group of kids growing up in a beach and surf town. A little bit of mischief, a little bit of fun, but too young to really get into trouble.
I left that beach town after primary school and lost contact with Skeg until two years later when he walked into the high school I was attending. He moved in with his mother in Brisbane. Our friendship was rekindled, we started hanging out and we partnered again on the footy field.
However things were different.
We were a bit older and had more options. More opportunities. Our fun became just a bit more mischievous as we discovered girls and alcohol. And we discovered pot.
Skeg was just a little more receptive to pot than I, and he used to smoke sometimes before a game of footy. He claimed that it settled him down and made him play better. Skeg could play! He didn’t need anything additional. But he did it anyway..
Skeg left school in Grade 10. He was a manual arts student, while I was in the academic classes. I continued on to finish senior, while he left to pursue work. I knew he wanted to join the army, but he had anchors weighing him down. He started mixing with the “wrong crowd”
Which brings me back to the roundhouse kick, sailing so close to my head. I ran into Skeg one night after I had finished high school and was working as a Trainee Manager with a major retailer.
I hadn’t seen in the three years, and I was shocked at what I saw. Skeg was wired. Needless to say me saying gidday wasn’t the best decision I had made in my life. He didn’t recognise me and was that out of it that he chose to go into attack mode. I won’t say I ran, but it was a hasty retreat. Skeg didn’t chase.
I clearly remember as I beat that hasty retreat, that it would definitely be the last time I would ever see Skeg again. I believed that the next time I would hear his name, he would be dead.
I didn’t realise how true this would be.
June 12, 1996 two Blackhawk Helicopters crashed in Townsville while on exercise, flying in formation killing 18 military servicemen, including 15 elite Special Air Servicemen. It was one of Australia’s worst peacetime military accidents.
I was reading the Courier Mail a day or so after, when I noticed a familiar face. The smiling face and eyes filled with life was of one of the Lance Corporals who had perished in the crash. It was Skeg…..
Somehow, he had managed in the preceding ten years, not just to turn his life around, but to have become a member of the elite SAS regiment. His funeral was held in a packed church where stories were told of his bravery and his persistence at meeting the standards set for the SAS. He was given a military funeral of ceremony and I could not have been prouder of what he had achieved.
Whatever caused that obvious change I would never know. I wondered what event had caused him to state enough……… The day he drew that line in the sand, The day he said ENOUGH.
When do we say enough?
It stood out at the time, that while the church was packed…. I recognised no-one except his family. All those friends he hung around with at and after school were nowhere to be seen.
He had removed them from his life. He brushed them. It became clear he had to.
He had re-connected with who he was, and what he deeply wanted. He had always wanted to join the army….he not only achieved but exceeded that by succeeding in becoming SAS.
He realised that if he wanted better, he had to be better, and in turn he the attracted better people.
You see, who you are, is who you attract.
When you compromise who you are, you compromise who you attract. Skeg compromised who he was, he sought out instant gratification. He had chosen not to follow his deepest intention. He sought solace in drugs and alcohol, instead of satisfaction through chasing his goals.
Our parents often warned us about associating with the wrong people, and in all areas of our life this stands true. Be the best you can be to ensure you are attracting the best type of people possible.
So who are you attracting? Ask yourself if you have the qualities you are looking for in others?
We all choose people we want to be near.