13 December 2015

I am continually asked what makes people successful. My answer, time.

Successful people cram more into their lives and achieve more in a shorter time period than the average person. The result is they do more and go further. Think about it, if we all lived 1000 years it would be very easy to amass wealth and knowledge. Successful people cram in the experiences and amass wealth by achieving more in a given time.

A friend this week said that he “goes at 70%, always leaving more in the tank if you have to step it up.”

Setting off on an early Sunday walk towards Beddgelert Forest

Setting off on an early Sunday walk towards Beddgelert Forest

I had to disagree and if its humanly possible to give 110%, then this is what you should do.

I believe life is all about time. It’s the only thing that is equal to every living person. How we spend our time determines whether we are successful or not. It’s not about how much money you might have. I meet plenty of wealthy people who overwork that I don’t class as successful, because they are not fulfilled. And I have met some families who have a fraction of the things of others, but they have so much happiness in their lives. These are the busy people!

Since my avalanche accident in 2001, I have always crammed more in to every day than I had previously. Why? Because I realised buried deep below the snow, all alone, desperate for a second chance that, “life is for living.”

It was the experiences I recalled as I ran out of oxygen and slowly passed away. Experiences with people, friends, the good things I had done. And in short, there just weren’t enough of them. I had let myself down and everyone around me.

Waterfall on route to Beddgelert Forest first thing on Sunday morning

Waterfall on route to Beddgelert Forest first thing on Sunday morning

I’d have died that day and not really amounted to anything in my life. No kids, no legacy, no safety net for my then girlfriend. I was essentially existing and going from day to day.

But waking up from such a terrifying ordeal was the trigger point I needed to change my life.

I didn’t consciously say I was going to be more successful, I simply decided to do more and consciously make an effort to help people wherever and whenever I can.

So, what started out as a nightmare, eventually turned out to be a blessing, as pretty soon after changing my strategy and approach to life, good things started to happen. Some people call this Karma, now I just see it as common sense.

If you help someone, you create a friend. If life is a journey which I believe it is, a voyage of discovery, its better to collect friends along the way, than enemies. And whilst you cant stop people disliking you, the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make them your friend.

So ultimately, if this becomes your strategy, you wont go far wrong.

So how do you cram in more to a day?

Its easy, I remember hearing a great entrepreneur and friend say, “If you say yes to everything, you will have a much more interesting life.”

It resonated with me and I still think about that to this day.

Best start to a day possible

Best start to a day possible

There is no doubt you will find yourself getting into far more situations by agreeing to things, but you will also find yourself naturally having to cram more things in to each day and week. Imagine looking back a year from now how much further on you will end up if you said yes to everything?

That being said, an important part of life is about balance. If you are running flat out and trying to help people and do more day in day out, you need to be able to switch off and relax.

I find that I make so many decisions through the week that sometimes its hard to switch off my brain.

After what I can only describe as the busiest 2 weeks of my life which involved trips to Lapland, Verbier Switzerland, London, Manchester, which involved numerous TV, radio and press interviews, presentations, last night I headed down to Wales with a friend knowing there is no better place for me to unwind and disengage than in the mountains.

To some (my wife being one) the idea of getting up at 5am and heading out in the pitch black pouring rain and biting winds of Snowdonia is hardly their idea of unwinding and rest, but for me, I love it. It guarantees I have that necessary time to myself where I don’t have to think of other people’s pressures or my own and I am able to have a few hours appreciating the simple things around me; the fresh air, the light, my racing heart, my breathing. All the things that were taken from me on the day of my avalanche. Things that will eventually be taken from me again one day, so I am determined that I must enjoy and appreciate whilst I am on this planet.

Precarious steps over the waterfall!

Precarious steps over the waterfall with friend and director of UKFast Space Joe Cravagan

I also find a little bit of discomfort also makes you appreciate the most basic things we normally take for granted.

There is nothing more rewarding than having a hot shower and putting on clean dry clothes after being soaked to the skin for a number of hours.

We have hot showers and clean clothes everyday, but we take them for granted. Go climb a mountain and then everything however small feels a million dollars.

So driving back to Manchester writing this blog and walking in seeing my wife and kids after only a night away makes us all appreciate each other too. I am not sure who is the most exhausted me from my brisk walk and breakfast in Beddgelert Forest or Gail who’s decorated the entire house like Santa’s Grotto.

Either way, I have a full day ahead of myself and some energetic kids to wear out before I get ready for another busy week ahead.

So if you have an opportunity to do that extra little bit more, do it and put a smile on other people’s faces and get busy!

Have a great week ahead.

One of my favourite places in the world. I have amazing memories of so many people here

One of my favourite places in the world. I have amazing memories of so many people here.


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