Several years ago, despite being a loving husband, a wonderfully dedicated father to two boys and holding down a stressful and senior position within a fortune 500 company, my brother decided to complete his studies in order to attain his MBA (Master of Business Administration) with the Australian Institute of Business.
I can honestly say I (and probably the rest of the family), saw the toll first hand that this challenging and enormous undertaking was having on his life. For almost three years, I didn't see him not nearly as much as usual. When I did, he was, understandably exhausted and drained. When I spoke to him on the phone, he was a different person. He sounded tired and depleted. Working a full time (and then some) hours, followed by tens of dozens of virtually sleepless nights over the years, it was quite clearly one of the biggest tests of his life.
I can only begin to imagine how much it tested his personal life, quality time with his wife, quality time with his children and quality time with us, his family. Being a proud husband and father, he's always felt it was his duty to be the provider, so dropping to part-time hours at his work was a luxury that he was not able to do, for the ramifications of doing that would naturally have been felt throughout his family unit, so this was not even an option. Let alone what roadblocks it may have thrown up in his almost 20-year long journey within the organisation he works for. All bets were off. He had to be all in. He had to not only study for his Masters of Business Administration, but firstly had to prepare himself to be a master multi-talker, something that historically he's openly said he is not.
There's actually no shame in this at all. Modern day society glorifies the multi-taskers of this world yet ignores the truth that multi-tasking is akin to walking a tight-rope between two high-rise buildings. One wrong move and every task which has your attention comes falling down. In fact, there's a great strength, passion, tenacity and dedication required to focus on one task at a time. This method of working I'd imagine would be unsettling for a lot of people who have been raised to believe that completing tasks one at a time is lazy, but in retrospect, it's actually the opposite. Think about a Swiss watchmaker, working quietly, yet diligently with precision detail to hand-craft a beautiful timepiece or a stone-mason carving away a block of marble to create a beautiful work of art. These tasks and the masters who dedicate themselves to this work have no room for the word 'multi-tasking' in their work environments. With all this said and a different perspective offered, now you know my brother, he is a master single-tasker. He is Caesar.
He was now neck deep into a world he didn't feel comfortable with and literally had no choice but to fall or fly. But oh my, did he fly.
So the years passed, his final assessment was submitted. The hundreds and hundreds of hours, time away from home, time without his family, without sleep (and often without food) had come to an end.
As a beautiful and unexpected honour, the assessors responsible for marking his final assessment were so impressed with his work, his methodology, his reasoning and his results that they subsequently reached out to him and asked for his permission to publish and reproduce his work in order for it to be included in their curriculum for future students. Wow! What an absolute honour. He had not only completed it, but he excelled at what he did to the point where it will now be made available for future hopefuls and generations to come.
Milestones in life are not only special because they've been achieved, but also because of the unwavering support and love of those around us who were there no matter what, particularly family. This said, it was our complete honour to be present to not only show our love and support, but also to honour all of the incredibly hard work and very real sacrifice that he made out of his life to achieve his goals.
They always say a family that plays together, stays together, so when we found out that his graduation ceremony was being held in Adelaide, South Australia, there was no question at all as to whether we would be there to support him or not during this special occasion. So six of us made the journey with him, interstate and decided to make a weekend of it.
What an absolute privilege and inspiration it was for his young children, my beautiful nephews to see their dad up on stage, looking so distinguished, intelligent and publicly recognised. I can only begin to imagine how proud of their father they are and the memory that has been left in them for life, as well as the rest of us, being his wife, his parents and me as his brother.
Throughout the duration of completing his MBA, my brother managed to achieve something else as well. He was successfully able to become a master multi-tasker, by expertly managing all aspects and facets of his life including work, studies, friends and above all, family. The huge and noticeable weight he was carrying around has been lifted, it's evident just by talking to him and we all couldn't be prouder of what he's achieved.
Though he's only just completed his Masters, he's always been a Master to us, be it a master husband, master son, master brother or master father. Congratulations Caesar, we love you!