Last week at the age of 64, Diana Nyad completed her lifelong dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida. After four failed attempts – her first attempt was 36 years earlier when she was only 28 years old – and 53 hours in the water she walked ashore in Key West and into the record books. When interviewed she made several interesting comments I think are worth repeating:
1) “Never Ever Give Up.” As she was struggling, she used her new mantra of “find a way” to keep her going. When she wanted to give up she looked deep inside and found her resolve. This was a goal that was important to her and she found a way to make it happen. It wasn’t about the record books; it was about her chasing her dreams. People give up way too easily. If a goal or dream is worth making in the first place, it’s worth fighting for. Find your resolve, dig deep and find a way to make it happen. And if it doesn’t happen you can look back and say, “I have no regrets. I tried my hardest.”
2) Never discount the mental aspects. This hits on one of my personal mantras: Your mind is your most powerful tool. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re probably right.” Diana said: [have] “confidence so deep that it conquers.” Any world-class athlete will tell you about the power of concentration and perseverance. All of these are mental aspects that can and will overcome any other obstacle placed in your path. So if you want great success, learn to harness your mind and turn off negative or self-limiting talk (the subject of a future blog).
3) Perspective is important in achieving your goals. In today’s world of instant gratification, it’s sometimes necessary to step back to gain perspective. What’s really important? What do you want to achieve and what are you willing to give up? Is delayed gratification in the short-term worth the long-term rewards? Is working hard today to lay the foundation for future better than coasting today and having to work hard your entire life? These are questions only you can answer for yourself, but for Diana, she clearly stated that the wisdom and perspective she has today helped her tremendously to push through when the going got tough.
What fabulous life lessons. Think about how powerful you could be if you could harness these lessons and use them to drive your life and your achievements. This week I challenge you to pick one and focus on how it affects your life. And if you’re not happy with the results…. change it. Prove to yourself that you can do it. I dare you.