7 October 2014

I’ve long been fascinated by sportspeople who have succeeded at reaching the top of their game, competing at the highest level and inspiring thousands. In my experience, hearing these types of people describe their journey to the top is invaluable, especially if you want to perform at a similar level in your own line of work. Whether you’re an Olympic swimmer or a tree surgeon, the key ingredients for maintaining and improving performance are the same.

dmsfWe’re fortunate at UKFast to have been given the opportunity to work with Diane Modahl, whose charity DMSF (Diane Modahl Sports Foundation) helps support and inspire disadvantaged young athletes and Olympic hopefuls. These are young people who have the ambition and the commitment to achieve, but simply haven’t been given the opportunity to shine, so what Diane and her husband Vicente do is absolutely essential.

Diane actually joined us yesterday for our weekly Monday morning meeting, sharing the journey that took her to top of the podium – a gold medal around her neck – having won the 800 metres at the Commonwealth Games. What’s interesting is the way she described her regime and her mindset, asking herself what it would take to win gold and committing to those things, focussing only on the things she could influence. Not her rivals and their training schedules or nutritional plans, but her own. Despite losing to one of these rivals in a race just ten days before, she kept her eyes on the horizon – on her ultimate goal – and she won.

The lesson here is simple: don’t waste time and energy worrying about the things you cannot change. You need all of your focus and determination for the things you can influence. Once you have set a goal and figured out the necessary steps needed to achieve it, don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Diane put it best when she said: “Not achieving a goal is not failure. Look at where you have got to in the process of trying to achieve that goal. The only thing failure can’t compete with is persistence.”

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