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The Last Mile And Winning Olympic Gold

“The last mile is never crowded and that’s the way it does feel sometimes.

The difference is to be able to hold on in there, to keep it going.”

– Kellie Harrington

Over the weekend, the Olympics came to a close but not before a certain Dubliner, Kellie Harrington won a gold medal in the lightweight division of women’s boxing.

Kellie has worked tirelessly for years, with the singular ambition of getting to the top of her sport – and with scant resources when compared with many of the other athletes at the games.

Indeed I must admit to being turned off some of the better known international athletes when their reactions to not winning gold indicated a sense of entitlement and poor sportsmanship.

A Month Of Experimentation

Over the last 2 weeks a few people who read this weekly post told me they hadn’t realised I have a podcast.

So this note is to let you know I have one… :)…. plus to give you a challenge.

It started as an experiment in February this year and has evolved into a weekly podcast that ranges in time from 8-15 minutes usually. (Details and link to the podcast are below)

So far it’s been an enjoyable learning curve and I really like the format.

The quote above is one I think is important as you get older. The greatest workshop of all is your life. Experimentation is key to ensuring vitality and aliveness, yet it’s so easy to fall into a non-experimentation way of living.

Inspiration From A Genius Comedian

Someone reminded me recently that the celebrated comedian and actor, Robin Williams would have celebrated his 70th birthday last week.

It prompted me to review some of the quotes he is famous for as well as reflect on some of the great movies he gifted the planet with. Movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams, Good Morning Vietnam and my personal favourite Good Will Hunting. (Maybe you’ll be inspired to watch one of these over the coming weeks…)

The Grass Is Greener Here

The grass is greener where you water it the most.” – Wolfgang Puck

I heard the above quote when watching a very interesting documentary on Disney Plus recently about the famous chef (simply titled ‘Wolfgang’).

The now 80 year old makes some very astute observations about his journey to becoming not only a famous chef, but someone who revolutionised many aspects about the way people view food and the food industry today.

The True Question

“The truth will set you free'”

Verse 8:32 of the Gospel of John

“Is this it?”

This is one of the most common answers I hear when I ask experienced leaders what their biggest fear is. (There are 3 or 4 main ones)

It’s not a nice feeling to climb the so called ladder of success only to get to the top of the wall and not like the view…

Acting In The Face Of Fear

“The best heroes in the world are the reluctant ones.Courage isn’t fearlessness.It’s acting in the face of fear.”
– Tess Gerritsen

I used to envy people who I thought didn’t experience fear.
But that was an untrue assumption.

I’ve since discovered that people who have achieved or created remarkable things experience fear in the same way as everyone else – they just choose to take action regardless.

Why Ambition Can Burn You And Others

“Ambition is funny thing. You can completely screw yourself with it, if you’re not careful.”

Simon Le Bon

“It’s because I like to win”.
So said the smart, ambitious CEO to me during a private session. He was replying to something I’d said… something along the lines of:

“Why do you need to win every conversation?”

“Who doesn’t like to win?”, I also said, “But the way you’re behaving, you’re setting yourself up to lose in the long term.”

Why?

Because this CEO wasn’t letting any of his lieutenants ‘win’ when it came to conversations or opinions. As a result, he had created an echo chamber without realising it, where people only agreed with whatever opinion he had because they were afraid of antagonising their leader.

Taking A Very Useful Bathroom Break

Everything is possible. Definitely in my case, I can say that what I’ve been through in my career, in my life, this journey has been terrific so far. I’ve achieved some things that a lot of people thought it would be not possible for me to achieve.”

– Novak Djokovic, after winning the French Tennis Open in June 2021

This time of year is always rich with sporting inspiration and the weekend just gone was full of inspiring and dramatic moments.

But one that really caught my attention was the fantastic come-back by the world number one Novak Djokovic, who fought back from two sets to love down to win a 19th grand slam title, becoming the first man in the Open era to win each of the majors at least twice.

Not Fearing Mistakes

“But what if it’s the wrong decision? What then?”

These words I heard recently from someone, but to be fair, it’s an all too common phrase I’ve heard over the years – including from myself.

Ultimately the person I was chatting with had a an underlying fear of making a mistake. But the real mistake was allowing themselves to be stuck in limbo – and the resulting impact on their energy, mood and focus was very significant.

How To Energise The Human Spirit

“Enjoyment is an incredible energiser
to the human spirit.”
– John C.Maxwell

I remember as a teenager, being berated the manager of my local soccer team for smiling and joking while playing a match against our closest rivals – even though I was playing well.

Until he said it I wasn’t aware that I was smiling but I was aware that I was enjoying the game. That changed though, immediately after his comment and so too did my performance. And I rarely ever allowed myself to smile after that while playing sport!