Philip’s remarkable story includes episodes of teenage homelessness, family conflict, cancer and, tragically, the recent deaths of much-loved relatives and staff members – but it’s his response to these challenges that sets him apart. His attitude to life, and how he impacts others, is nothing short of extraordinary.
There’s a Kevin Costner movie about an ageing baseballer who pitches the perfect game: ‘For The Love Of The Game’. At one point his career, the lead character hits an all-time low when he cuts his throwing hand with a power saw. As he deals with the likelihood of a premature end to his career, his girlfriend tries to motivate him by suggesting he look at his situation from a different perspective.
“Like when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” he yells in response. Costner’s character wasn’t interested in playing the mind game – his focus was totally on his injury, his career, his life. He’d plummeted into the deepest depths of self-pity.
Philip Iacovou loves movies, and even thought of a career in cinematography at one stage. There have also been several periods in his life when he’s related to Costner’s character. But after being dealt many lemons, he finally learnt how to make lemonade and his life has never been the same since.
“You always have to see the positive in everything,” says Philip. “You have to look for the solutions. Being solution-oriented has changed my life.”
Getting to that point, however, was a long and difficult road for Philip. Lemons were being thrown at him almost from the day he was born.
“I had a difficult upbringing due to my father’s early life. He was just nine years old when his father was killed in the war in Cyprus against the Turks. He grew up tough, and he saw every situation through gritted teeth, which made him angry and aggressive; he thought it made him manly.”