The waters flow with ripples endlessly as if it would lead to the sea. At the height of the podium is an eagle, dressed in black and red with her wings expanded as she then flies and pounds into the water. Next were a pair in blue and they dive easily, turning and twisting in mid-air.
Years of training, hours of endless rehearsals to ensure each manouver is to perfection. The sighting of their few second drop is hours if not years of concentration, muster and determination.
It is with this spirit that I feel so honoured to be able to witness their success. At moment s like this, I see each and every person as a winner – that they have achieved so much to get here – the LEN European Diving Championships. For some of us, it’s the morning job, for others it’s the open ocean swim, for others it’s triatholons and championships are certainly not for the faint hearted. Some are destined for great heights, some aim for gold, some for olympics and others it’s a memory of a life time.
With Tokyo Olympics around the corner, many of the hopefuls here today and setting their standards higher than ever. You see the level of concentration in their eyes, the coach shouting on the top of their lungs, tapping the beats on their knee, getting the rhythm, feeling that moment – a touch point of what sweet success smells like.
Some may be recovering from an injury, some may even be suffering one, but somehow, they manage to trick their minds to overcome whatever that was, whatever that has been blocking them at arm’s length to focus on today. Some dives, make them feel disappointed, some turns did not turn out as well, yet, they are driven no doubt, time after time, turn after turn. They have set a lot of expectations on themselves and likewise others on them.
Does this sound familiar? What has this got to do with entrepreneurship and NewSpace? A lot.
When I meet entrepreneurs and I hear their stories and their journeys it makes me wonder how many sit back and reflect on their successes and failures, with a sense of gratitude, achievement and wider hopes. Pushed by the tidal waves of expectations, some expand, others shrink, others grow, and some like the turtle in the tale of turtle and the hare perhaps even take a rest.
Do more achieve less. Do less achieve more. A few years ago, I discovered one could actually achieve more by doing less. Half the battle is won in preparation – like a champion, in nurturing our minds, our bodies and souls.
The disagreements of our other lives could be a simmering reflection of what is happening inside. As the chemistry between in and out interacts, it could either create fireworks or a fire.
The divers here have mastered their minds, bodies, timing and how their body interacts with the water. As if the oceans open up to to them. They sync in with their environment and are at total stillness before their start. How often do entrepreneurs give themselves moments to breathe? Reflect? Meditate? How many businesses do that?
If being an entrepreneur is like a dress rehearsal, then perhaps it’s not the final performance, but rather the journey in which they all started. From the day they dipped their toe in the water, to the tireless morning practices, to the final countdown.
The LEN European Diving Championships has brought over teams to come over compete in women, men and mixed diving categories. No doubt the coaches on the sidelines have been there at every turn, moment and second of their diver as they guide them through their training. Advisors, investors, mentors, friends and fellow entrepreneurs play a similar role for the current and aspiring entrepreneur. It takes a team to succeed and this championship is no different.
We can learn so much from other walks of life. When we place ourselves in the shoes of others, we see a whole new world – neither good or bad, just different. From that angle we get an understanding of what challenges one may needed to have to overcome, our strengths, weaknesses, our joys and pleasures in life.
The school of life is often less about the success stories and more about the failures. What if there were no championships? Then, they would all still be champions.