It’s all mental

It’s all mental

I posted a blog this morning, and took it down after a couple of hours…

My little brother-in-law, Romain called me and pointed out that he prefers I only talk about the greatness in man, instead of focusing on something negative…. and how the blog entry wasn’t in line with my theme.

He’s right – so I took it down (although I personally loved the blog “TEAM CHINA.”)


As discussed many many times in this blog …. I never lived up to my talent as a swimmer.

I am one of those “should have been/could have been, but wasn’t” ….

The world is full of people who should have been, and could have been, but aren’t.

I am obsessed with the idea of “wasted talent” and “wasted opportunity” …

I challenge everyone around me to make their lives happen.

Recently, I got an email from someone who asked me how I started my english channel swim – he was referring to the time I first got in the water at 3:30am on the day of my swim.

I told him how I sat in the cold water up to my neck for 5 – 7 minutes until my body was numb so to be acclimatized to the cold … then once I was acclimatized to the cold, I got completely out of the water and stood on the Dover beach, held my arms up, the horn sounded and then I got back in and started my swim across the English channel.

He emailed —  “do you really think that is the best way??  Why not swim around a little bit before you started because it must have lowered your core temperature a lot??”

I replied with a grin on my face: “I am not sure it was the right way …. however, I was the only solo who succeeded on a day when 7 other solo attempts failed…. and I became the 853rd person (according to my certificate) to swim the english channel.”

I trained for 2 months to swim the English channel … many of the marathon swimmers I met along the way told me that it wasn’t enough and I would fail, esp. since I did only one training in cold water.


Mentally – I was focused, and I never once thought I would fail.

My earlier life had been a series of should of have been and could have been, but wasn’t …. and my past mediocrity plays a big role in what drives me today.

Many of those times I almost succeeded, but didn’t … had to do with mental weakness.

It sounds phony … but sincerely, I believe “it’s all mental…”

My friend and I summited Mt Kilimanjaro with nearly no training …
I remember the climb (vividly) – I never once thought we wouldn’t summit.

Failure wasn’t even considered.

The day we summited,  20+ people in other groups around us had to turn back because of a snow storm.

Marathon des Sables .. the famous 7 day race across the Sahara desert …. I was not in shape at all and shouldn’t have entered the race.

(for the ultramarathon/ironman readers of my blog – MDS was before I had any clue of what ultramarathon/ironman and adventure challenges are all about – please forgive my ignorance.)

I finished MDS because I sincerely never thought that I wouldn’t.

I am not boasting.

I am just using the above examples of how the power of the mind can carry us to great achievement, but we have to have the mental strength and focus to make it happen.

How many readers are thinking about doing something, but haven’t made the commitment to do it because you might fail?

I am not talking about running or climbing mountains ….
I am talking about everything in life.

When I was a salesman at my previous company…

I always thought the person I was trying to sell to was going to buy.

He has to be interested.

I am sure many of the big deals I sold were done because I never thought about the potentail client not buying from me — always expected to sell.

I bet most people in sales think a lot about why the client might say no before they ever step up to try and sell them.

Mental weakness prevents many good talents from achieving great things.

I use sales as the example – because life is one big sale …

but seriously…

consider your own role – no matter what you do.

Do you think about the negative of something before you think about the positive?

Is there something you are thinking about doing, but you are somewhat scared of making the commitment to try and do it … because you might fail?

make your life happen.

please note: I am not suggesting that mental power can achieve all things.
I am a firm believer of making sure one is in the best shape possible to achieve — whether that achievement is something in the office or a physical challenge.
Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from making sure you are in the best shape to achieve.