The power of not taking NO for an answer

I’m the world best Courage Coach.

And, I can prove it.

Allow me to share with you.

“You’re going where? what? (says everyone so far that has heard about my travel plans).

And how are you doing this!?

It’s seat 34D, I’m on a Swiss international Airways flight and we’re just above Tehran. It’s probably warm down there, but it’s minus 51 centigrade outside and cruising at 35,000 feet.

The delicious aroma of my third black coffee permeates the HEPA filtered air around me and provides a brief respite from the confines of a mask mandate. The plane is a huge 747 and I’m one of only fourteen passengers.

We have nine crew looking after us. There is no wait time for anything, toilets are always free and for the first time in my life, I have four seats to extend my body on and sleep away the majority of the twelve hours travel time to Zurich.

The rest of the time I’m writing. It’s cathartic af.

And the plane ride is absolutely surreal.

There are literally hundreds of empty seats surrounding me.

Where are you off to Laban?

Great questions and thank you for asking.

I’m en-route to the Frankfurt International Bookfair.

Regarded as The Paris Fashion week of book fairs, this is probably the most exciting place in the world for a new author to be.  

Some advice from an amazing human being (and now friend), Australian super-Author and Cartoonist, Andrew Matthews, politely suggested that going to the FIBF was of paramount importance to my future success.

Also, I pay attention to Andrew when he speaks about books.

He’s sold eight million books of them, in 70 countries and 47 languages. Many people across the world read his books as the first book they have ever read!

His books Being Happy!, Follow your heart and How life works are simply brilliant if you haven’t read them yet.

Little did Andrew know that when he suggested this, I would pounce on this opportunity immediately, taking massive action and creating many miracles in the process.

For anyone that knows me, taking no for an answer (or being told what to do for that matter) has never really sat right with me.

Yes, it absolutely stemmed from a childhood of extreme discipline dished out by my amazing Mum, who at the time was simply doing the best she could with the tools she had available. She’s relaxed a lot since then and our relationship is the best it’s ever been.

I now have countless examples in my life of the wonderous benefits of not taking NO for an answer.

I fixed an incurable autoimmune disease, lost sixty pounds of body fat, gained thirty of muscle and strengthened my skeletal bone density immensely.

I found my dream career path, purpose, partner and reason for being on this planet by going against what was recommended I do.

Laban, you did all this by doing the opposite of what you were told?


So, flying across the other side of the world during a once-in-a-hundred-year pandemic/ international travel ban was simply another fun hurdle for me to overcome.

Oh, for my non-Australian readers – you’ll be surprised to learn that our government has locked the international borders (in and out) and most interstate borders are shut unless you have an extreme reason to leave or arrive.

It’s literally easier (and cheaper) for me to fly from Melbourne, Australia to Frankfurt, Germany, than to relocate to Brisbane, Australia. I’m not joking.

It took me three attempts to get approved to leave Australia. I spent five hours collating the necessary paperwork to exit the country (including a very forthright letter from my publisher/lawyer basically demanding that I be set free).

I felt like Oliver Twist asking for gruel, except gruel meant exemption in this case. It took all my might and mental power to not lose my sh*& at being rejected for simply trying to do my work.

I create money from the success of this book. It’s not the main reason I wrote it, but without money, I’m not going to archive much am I? This is a trip that has to happen.

The day before leaving Australia was an exciting one also. I was packing up and moving out of our apartment.  Putting everything in storage for when we eventually return to Australia and relocate to sunny Queensland. I say we because my darling Anna is currently stuck in Russia, attending to some urgent family business.  One condition for leaving Australia is that you must agree to be away for at least three months (due to a lack of available quarantine facilities when we come back). It’s basically like Hotel California but in reverse. Oh, and for the record, she and I are both Australian Citizens.

The move took me from 3 am to 9.30 pm to get everything done. Phew.

I have some amazing friends in my life who helped, and without them, I’d still be in Melbourne driving a moving truck in a bewildered daze!

The moving day even included getting my required PCR test done. And that experience was an event on its own.

The first clinic I attended with ample time, made a rare clerical error which delayed my promised 24-hour turnaround result. Leaving me with only 4 hours on flight day, to find another pathology clinic to get an emergency test done.

The net result of missing an already scarcely available flight would have been thousands of dollars in new travel, accommodation and rebooked PCR testing.

I called my GP and spoke to the receptionist.

“Hi welcome to CBD Doctors, this is Angie!”

“Hi, Angie, it’s Laban Ditchburn, a former patient here. How are you doing today?”

“Good, thank you, Mr Ditchburn. How can I help?”

“Angie, I need your help. I have an international trip in four hours, and I need a PCR test done or I’ll miss that flight. What would need to happen for that to become a reality?” I asked.

“I’m so sorry Mr Ditchburn, but what you’re asking is impossible. We need at least eight hours to provide you with what you need”.

Not taking no for an answer, my brain (fuelled on ketones), burst into action.

“Angie, if Queen Elizabeth came into the clinic right now and asked you the same question, could you make that happen for her?”

The phone went quiet for ten seconds, followed by a “Please hold Mr Ditchburn”.

Forty minutes later I had what I needed.

So why is this trip so damned important.

Well, simply put, my book Bet on You is a goddam self-help masterpiece.

Don’t take my word for it, ask anyone that’s had an advance reading.

Motivational Speaking superstar Mr Les Brown has written a foreword so powerful that will make you shiver with excitement.

Some of the world’s most brilliant Authors, Athletes and Business superstars like Mark Victor Hansen, Dr John Gray, Sir Steve Hansen, Shawn Kanungo, Professor Peter Brukner, Professor Alan D Thompson, Evans Putman, Monica Rosenfeld and even P!nk’s drummer Mark Schulman, have all contributed the most generous endorsements that need to be read to be believed!

A surprising by-product of these amazing contributions has been a groundswell of self-belief in what I have put down on paper.  I now know that this book can help a massive number of people, they just need an opportunity to get their hands on it.

Oh and by the way, for every endorsement given, there has been at least one rejection letter.

Seth Godin, Jack Canfield and Brené Brown have all passed up an opportunity to be involved for various reasons. No bad feelings from my end at all!  it’s just not what the universe wanted for me.

I’m so thankful they said no because it taught me the value of being super grateful to the aforementioned names! They want to put their name to my writing! What a huge honour.

So will this trip be the catalyst for fame, impact, recognition and financial fortune?

Who knows?

It doesn’t matter anymore.

The simple act of taking massive action has broken through yet another glass ceiling I had above my head, and it’s the possibilities I have created that is the true blessing of this whole experience.

Plus, I get to see my darling Anna soon. We have barely spent a few hours apart since April 2020 and I’ll be damned if it’s six-plus months between reunions.  

So Laban, what about the world’s best courage coach statement?

Ok, Ask yourself this question.

How would the world’s best courage coach conduct himself in this situation?

What behaviours would the world’s best courage coach exhibit?

What type of commitment to helping people would the worlds best courage coach make?


Don’t take no for an answer.

Don’t do what you’re told without first examining the situation objectively.

Switch off the fear-stream media, switch off negative people, switch off negative self-talk and watch what happens in your life when you truly open up your mind to what is possible.

Published by Laban Ditchburn

New Zealand born, Australian citizen with a fresh perspective on life after conquering addiction in all its forms. Ultra-marathons, self-experimentation and extreme mental challenges are my new jam. Seeing other human-beings push their own mental, physical and spiritual boundaries is one of life's great gifts. Whilst continuing my own quest for self-improvement, I thrive in working with those that are willing to make their own changes for the better. Also, I eat steak like it's going out of fashion.

Leave a Reply