The Blog

Are you in the right place to achieve your dream?

13 September 2012
By: Lewis Pugh
Category: Inspiration
Comments: 3
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Your Comments:

  1. perer
    September 14, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Great question. Applies geographically. Externally and In your head( internally ). aas erll

  2. Michael Surmon
    September 14, 2012 at 10:44 am

    1st Berg at 15 yo. last at 22. it’s taken me about 18 years to get back here : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=442275892500073&set=a.150720438322288.30507.137766572951008&type=3&theater

    every morning, for the last 4 months…… now I am starting to come 5th and 4th in races….. now I want medals….. now I am in the water before sunrise (yes, in the Highlands of Scotland) …. thanks for the inspiration Lewis Pugh and the Mockes……

  3. Kieron McRae
    December 31, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Great point! And putting yourself in the right place doesn’t happen by chance or luck either. Only those who envy what has been achieved claim that!
    Malcolm Gladwell makes a similar point in his book Outliers, where he talks about the 10 000 hour theory.

Leave a Comment

South African Olympian Ryk Neethling likes to say it takes about 15 years to become an overnight success.

That’s so true. We saw real excellence at the London Olympics. But in the world of sport nothing happens immediately. It takes years and years of hard training to reach a point of true excellence.

It takes a lot of other things too.

At certain times, certain places in the world attract and foster excellence. Right now Britain has the very best cyclists in the world. The best Greco-Roman wrestlers are coming from Iran. The best table tennis players come from China.

Look at Fish Hoek. At least 5 of the world’s top ten ocean paddlers come from Fish Hoek, which is (with respect) a totally nondescript little town at the bottom of Africa.

Why? It’s certainly not genetics – some of them are of English descent, some Afrikaans, some from other nationalities. But here’s one thing they all share: sunrise. At six o’clock, when the sun comes up, those guys are out training on the water. It’s not easy to get up in the dark, summer and winter, and get out in the cold sea. It takes self-discipline. And they work hard.

These are some of the hardest conditions you can imagine – you’ve either got a pumping North West wind, or a howling South Easter. In the past few years two swimmers have been eaten by sharks in the bay. One other person lost a foot to a shark. And a paddler had the back of his kayak bitten off. When a paddler goes to work in the morning in Fish Hoek they’re not sure they’re going to come back again. But they go anyway.

There’s fierce competition out there too. The very best in the world come here to train. They know they have to be on the right field if they’re serious about competing.

It’s the same in other endeavours in life. If you’re an IT whiz you set your sights on Silicon Valley. Talent is only part of it. Dedication is only part of it. Hard work, sometimes in phenomenally tough conditions, is only part of it. Here’s the key point – it starts with where you are.

So my question to you is: wherever you want to be in life, are you in the right place to make it happen?