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Making the World A Better Place with Josh Robson

By August 24, 2023Event, Schools

At yLead we believe that simple positive actions, have great impact. Across the Altitude Day roadshow our world-class guest speakers shared their stories, messages, and actions they take to make the world around them a better place. Their captivating messages equally inspired and influenced Year 9 students Australia-wide to also commit to positive actions in their worlds.

Altitude Day Hobart was joined by triathlete, civil construction worker, testicular cancer survivor and newly come keynote speaker, Josh Robson. Josh has a story of great strength and resilience that he tells with such wisdom and has now begun his own business venture of Turn Up.

These are the actions Josh committed to in order to make his world a better place: 

So Josh, tell us! The world would be a better place if…

There were more dogs or more cats?
Dogs. I’ve got two dogs, a Stumpy Tailed Cattle Dog and a German Short Head Pointer. They’re my pride and joy behind my wife. 

You got to spend holidays in the snow or holidays at the beach?
The beach so I can swim!

You could read a book at home or summit a mountain?
Summit a mountain. I do like reading books, but summiting a mountain would be the one I would choose. When I do read books they are most often biographies and just recently I read Kostya Tszyu’s biography and that was amazing to hear how he built his resilience how he came through the ranks of the Olympics and then coming to Australia.

You sleep in or wake up at sunrise?
Definitely wake up at sunrise. I find that you have to attack the day from as early as you can.

You could fly or go invisible?
I would choose to fly. There would just be some incredible views when flying and I don’t see a reason to be invisible.

Tell us how you are currently making the world a better place…. [talk about your initiative/work]
Well, it all began when I had an unfortunate event happen to me when I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. I know that we all have adversities and challenges in our lives, and things that just don’t go our way… that is exactly what happened to me. Through my challenge I wanted to show other people that no matter who you are, you can delve deep into yourself and inspire others. I did this through training during my chemotherapy because I am a triathlete. So no matter how tough times got, I always tried to show a positive attitude. People eventually began to ask me to share my ways and how I did things; so, I finally decided to share my story with the world of not just how I did it, but that anyone can do it too!

If you could talk to your 14-year-old self… what are some actions you would inspire yourself to take?
So I’m from Bacchus Marsh in country Victoria where I lived on a 25 acre farm with horses. Whilst I was growing up there I played country rules football and polo cross, which is lacrosse on horseback. To be honest I didn’t really like school too much, loved football, hanging with my friends, staying fit and healthy and polo cross was my number one endeavour there.

So some actions that I would stir my fourteen year old self to take would firstly be to stay in school so that you can train yourself to be as smart as you can which will then keep all your options open. Stay academic, stay at school, and stay fit and healthy. Secondly, listen to your elders because you will begin to realise that they are most often right. So just hear them out, listen and respect what they have to say. Thirdly, follow your heart! No matter what that looks like for you. You will have a time where you will think twice about the future and where you look at all the options in front and in that time, chase whatever your heart is telling you.

As someone that does great work and has discovered their own unique way to make the world a better place, what do you believe holds people back from doing the same?
I always say that the biggest killer of all dreams is self-doubt and that’s what I think holds people back. It’s something we all have. We all don’t believe in ourselves to some extent. An example from my life is that I spend up to 30 hours a week training for the long distance triathlon, Iron Man. When I got to the event and was at the start line, I began questioning myself and asked myself, “…can I even do this?” The truth of the matter is that you know that you can do it. All you have to do is to turn up and and get it done! Sometimes you’ll fail, but the important part is that you’ll learn from it and you’ll become better from that experience. So just give everything a go!

Sometimes life doesn’t go to plan. It’s how we deal with the things that don’t go to plan which define who we are.

As a leader trying to have a positive impact, what kind of challenges have you faced? What tips can you give to overcome this?
As someone who works in civil construction and is an active triathlete that races pretty consistently, it was a bombshell to be told that my body was growing something abnormal. When I was told that I had that lump I ignored it because I thought I was big and tough and that it’ll just go away… it didn’t. It even got to the point where it hurt to walk, and I was just in pain all the time. I was then told that it was cancer and that really put a hold to everything. Following that, I had surgery and underwent chemotherapy, and during that time I lost all my strength and fitness. I tried to maintain it but it was a big challenge for me to just turn up and see that my hard work over the past 5 years had gone into nothing. I realised that I just had to hold onto any bit of hope that I could, and remind myself that this was going to end well and I could start building and regaining what I had lost to return to the best version of myself.

It’s simple… Don’t give up. For example, I’ve never been a public speaker, I work in construction. But I got asked at a run club to share my story mainly to motivate them through an event and through that I saw the way that people were impacted by what I was saying and I had this feeling of, “…this is amazing!”. I know it’s hard to network and share your story, but opportunities come once you do this and sometimes you can get so excited because it feels like a rollercoaster. Keep knocking on that door and opportunities will come running. I relate it to the concept of making your own luck. Not giving up and finding these opportunities can be relentless and it has its ups and downs, but if you keep turning up you will notice that things will eventually go your way.

If everyone committed to making the world a better place, tell us what you believe that would look/feel like?
Everyone can commit to making the world a better place just by sharing their stories. For instance, my wife went through a miscarriage and then all these other women began sharing their stories of when they had a miscarriage. So, when you share your challenges and the ways that you grew through them, other people not only have someone that they can relate to but they also have been prepared of what it is going to look like and what they can do to overcome this. It’s all about learning from other people’s challenges.

So generally, we all need to commit to helping people without wanting anything in return. We can help people in so many ways, and the way that I am doing it is by sharing my story.

What can we do to support you?
If there’s anyone out there that wants to hear my story, please feel free to get in touch. Ultimately, I’d just love to share my story as much as I can so I can continue having an impact on people.

Have a look at some of the amazing things Josh has been up to by following him on Instagram and his Website!

Listen to ‘Making the World a Better Place – Episode 4 – ft. Josh Robson’ on Spotify & Apple Podcasts