Always a Way—Will Travis on Lessons Learned

Will Travis essays

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Obstacles are the one given we will always face in life.

They come at us from all angles and at any time of the day. To be honest they are totally deflating.

I sat in the car with my stepfather at the age of 18, blankly looking down at my hands that held the exam results highlighting that I had failed every single course I had taken to get into university. Right then I was given the gift of a life lesson.

You see, my stepfather was a headmaster and having his only son fail so completely must have been soul destroying to him, yet instead of lecturing, frowning or reprimanding me, this saint of a man slowly and calmly put his hand on my slumped shoulder and said “Son, we now face a wall and be assured we will face many, many more walls, big and small throughout the rest of our lives. What we have to remember is this: there is ALWAYS a way over them, around them or under them. Always. What is key is we stand far enough back so that we can see this and have the belief and determination to get to where we want to go.”

The poor man had been coping with the death of my mother three months prior and so keeping his mind level with this emotional roller coaster experience was incredible. 

My stepfather was a gentle man, hardly ever raising his voice even when I pushed every button as a teen. But his reaction to my failing in all my studies came as a surprise and one I respected. It fueled my determination to make him proud in reward. Now that he is sadly no longer with us I am so happy I delivered on that reward.

Now I am a father. I have been successful in life but was seen as a failure in school. I aim to be so supportive when my four kids do well and less judgemental when they do not. There is always a reason when children fail at something and 99% of the time it is because they are not given the right mental support of confidence in class. When I did poorly in French at school, I was made to stand in the corner of the room, to be ridiculed by the class. How in the hell would that drive confidence in any young teen??? All of my kids, Amelia, Beatrice, Michael and Izabella are blissfully happy at school and are doing well. Thank god, if they were ever to ask me to help with some of the mathematical, science or art questions they would be greeted by my blank face.

Losing my business in a market crash, losing my parents to cancer, surviving an expedition in Antarctica and getting through a divorce…my list of obstacles goes on and on, as I am sure does yours. But I know there is a way past. I realize these walls are there just to help you gain perspective on life. I embrace them and hold other people's hands to help them see forward to live the life they really want to live.


About the Author

Will Travis

Will holds a Master Degree in Business Admin., sits on the board of , , Eskuche and and continues to lecture and ignite the passions of creative globally. He is a proud father of four and resides with his partner Zhanna between their homes in New York and Indonesia.

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