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Knowledge or Energy – is there a secret

23 June 2010 No Comment

There are a few things triathletes have in common, more than the fact that they all like to swim, bike and run. A great many of them I’ve met have this unsatiable thirst for knowledge. They’re constantly reading articles in magazines, researching on the net, always looking for the secret.

I think one of the factors involved here, is that most of the triathletes I meet are into Ironman events, and Ironman triathletes are usually over-achievers in every part of their life. Most people I’ve trained are at the top of the fields at work, or are in a job which serves a purpose, so that they can excell in some other field.

If there is a secret, I believe it’s passion. Passion and energy are so closely linked, I’m not sure if they’re actually different things. Passionate people find a way to get what they want, they find what the need to get the job done. If I was able to give my kids a gift which would help them make it to the top of whatever field they chose, it would be passion.

Knowledge on the other hand is essential in putting together the detail plans necessary to make a recreation like Ironman triathlon fit around a life. Nutritional knowledge, physiological knowledge, the complex technical knowledge needed to master three sports. I’ve know a lot of athletes who have let themselves down, by becoming obsessed with accumulating knowledge at the cost of just going out there and doing it.

I know a guy who has three university degrees, yet he averages staying in a job for about a year at a time. As soon as it’s time for the company to trim out the “dead wood” they “sadly” let him go. The guy is lazy, between jobs he has worked with me on a renovation project I was doing. He only worked for me once. He has knowledge coming out of his ears, he’s an expert at quite a few things, but he can’t hold a job. I won’t even use him as a laborer.

The wealthiest man I know, started out as a school teacher. He has an energy, a passion which he’s directed into making a fortune. Another mate was a bread vendor, he’s now an international landscape designer and builder of the world’s best resort gardens. Once again he has a passion, an energy which separates him from most other people in his field. Both of these men, use other people’s knowledge, and drive it with their own energy. 

If there’s a secret to success in business, in Ironman triathlon, it’s energy.

It’s the energy to get out there and do it, while the others are researching it, or talking about it. The guys and girls who’ve come through my squad and moved past “technically better”, more gifted athletes, have had one thing in common. An energy, or passion, which has them there when it’s raining, when it’s cold, when the wind’s blowing a gale, always loving what they’re doing, gradually gaining inches on there competitors.

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