Personally for me, I would classify myself as self-motivated but do take on challenges from friends. If my mates are reading this do you agree? My life is enjoying challenge after challenge. The challenges are all so different, some silly some adventurous but as long as it personally motivates me I will continue. I will share a few examples of what I mean by challenges I have done that have kept me motivated. • Running with the bulls in Pamplona (Spain). I still want to ride a bull in Texas (Just waiting for my life and disability insurance to kick in). • Bungee jump in Gouritz River, Bloukrans, South Africa, Vic Falls, Zimbabwe, Hong Kong and New Zealand (Won't repeat Vic Falls as there was a case where a lady bungeed down but never came back up. Eish!!) • White river rafting in the mighty Zambezi many times. • In cycling, completing most events including Cape Epic. • Catch over a 600-pound marlin and over a 200-pound yellowfin tuna. (Still want the 1000 pound bluefin) • I am not going to discuss my thirst for speed. I will get into trouble. Personally, I feel fulfilled and highly motivated achieving something I have never done before. In business, I aimed to break every record possible in marketing and management which I did during my time. Yes, I wanted to retire financially at 30 years of age and did. I have honestly hundreds of examples of good, stupid and hair-raising goals I have set and achieved. Some cost no money and others have. Crikey, once we were watching guys doing break-dancing at a show, and the challenge ended up being my mate saying I will eat my hat if you can spin on your back. I ended up going to the guys at backstage and said I need you to teach me how to spin on my back. They came to my house and we practised for months on my squash court at my home, until I could spin on my back. I admit it was never like them, but enough for my mate to have to accept he has to eat his hat. Yes, I taste the fear in some challenges, but often that’s when you truly feel you're alive in certain challenges you take on. Don’t you agree? When I have been in life and death situations (unplanned) I don’t have fear, only focus on solutions, but the one example where there was no time to consider focus was at Bloukrans (235 metres jump) it was my 5th bungee jump and I said can I do something different, he said sure what you have in mind, I said how about a running jump as opposed to you guys hopping me to the end and then giving me a countdown. They said cool. So off I went and carrying a part of the bungee cord I jumped off, while on the way down my memory suddenly kicked in and said hey you supposed to be tied by your feet and you’re not. Now I am thinking is the rope tied to my chest just a backup and works the same way? So yes I did have a taste of serious fear and realised only when I reach the bottom to stretch back up with the stretch in the rope will I know. Trust me I tasted fear that day!! My mind could not go into solution as when you dropping 200km an hour there is no solution except praying the rope will hold. Have any of you done a 250m bungee before? Hey next time I challenge you to try it with your feet not attached, I guarantee your heart rate will increase. Don’t you agree you have to mix up life a little to stay motivated? I would find it very hard to stay motivated in life living the same routine in and out daily. I have set many goals to enjoy best of the best. This may include spending time with a Tour de France cycling team in France to attending World Cup Soccer in Brazil, World Cup Rugby in France and UK etc, etc. Don’t you agree we sometimes get in a rut? Same routine day in, day out. Come on, life is worth living, let's mix it up!!! To ensure I achieve my goals depending on which one, I simply plan my work and work my plan. • I choose when to start and when I wish to achieve my goal. • I write it down and break it up. “Inch by inch life is a cinch, yard by yard, life is hard” • If I need to I will get a coach depending on what I am doing. • I will write my progress down daily and tick if when I have done for the day when I need to do it (that truly helps on remaining motivated). • If I need a partner I always choose someone better than me. • I never allow doubt to enter my mind, failure is not an option. • If I fail temporarily, which I have, I just get back up and continue until I succeed. The nickname I have been given over time is Hurricane. I am never quite sure of the true reason but the different versions I have been told is: When I go out to certain places most often when I leave the place or been told to leave, there is usually a story to tell. Or Where most people fit in two events in a day, I most often do more than three in a day. Let's just say I like to keep busy!!! Others may call it ADHD. For those of you who know me, you decide!! I challenge all of you to better the quality life than what you already have. Ask yourself, “Could my life be better?” Everyone is different in their plan of action to be highly motivated, I can’t tell you what works best for you but I have shared in my examples and own experience. Let's talk about you. Firstly you need to choose something you wish to accomplish. Set a date for when you wish to start and achieve your goal by. Depending on the goal, hire a coach and tell everyone. The reason for this is so that when you have remorse, you have to face all those people again. There are two types of people usually, one who will encourage you and others that can’t wait to secretly see you fail. You then need to plan your programme. Next, the programme must be broken down. The main reason for that is you need to see little results for motivation while tweaking your programme where necessary. You may alter your course but never alter your goal I will share with you one last example of my personal goals I set and achieved. But I will detail it in full so you can draw the parallels for the goal you are going to set for your next challenge. I had just come out of a bad motorbike accident and I decided to challenge myself to do the toughest mountain bike race in the world, ‘The Cape Epic’. I had never tried doing proper mountain biking before. The Epic is over eight days back to back riding. You have to ride 739km with 16 000 metres of climbing. Now my planning was as follows. Like most activities one takes on you need a coach. I chose Erica Green the best you will ever find. (Two times Olympia candidate for road and Mtb cycling. I asked her if I was to enjoy a comfortable race over the 8 days how many months of training would I need. Erica told me that most people need around 12 months. I told her I had six months and asked if it was possible. She said to me, “Mike I know you very mentally strong and determined so yes you can.” I said, “Great, now what?” She told me to go to the Sports Science Institute to test my capabilities and based on the results she would write a cycling programme for me. Next, I had to find an Epic partner, this was a challenge as you need a good cyclist but also someone who is compatible with your personality. Many people offered to ride with me, but I wanted the best choice. I was very blessed to have chosen Darron Metcalf as my partner. The best partner anybody could have hoped for. An exceptional cyclist, Darron is an ‘A’ rider. I would have been furious choosing a partner, who bonks during the epic because he did not train enough. So I wanted someone far stronger than me even though poor Darron probably fell asleep few times following me in the epic. I stuck my programme on the wall in my bedroom. Every day I completed what was required and once I was done I would tick it off my programme. If it was a training day of 120km, I would even break that down in my head while riding and count down from 120km to 110km, 100 km until I got to last 10km. Trust me your mind likes to play negative games if you let it. Never leave it in neutral, keep it in gear with positive thoughts. I used to sing a lot while riding and never ever got many compliments. I was hated when riding up steep hills singing and others could hardly breathe. Erica kept tabs on me and would not be shy to tell me off when she needed to. Not used to being scolded at when your 50 years old. Only my mum still does that when she gives me the much needed occasional slap on the arm. I had to have a goal weight too. So I went to a nutritionist who said my perfect weight is 78kg. Crumbs I was currently weighing in at 98 kg. In conclusion, the programme was followed to the tee, weight wise I dropped 20kg. From 98kg, and dropped to 78kg when I rode the epic. A new wardrobe cost me a fortune. I didn’t let work suffer, but my family I must admit took a back seat as many hours were needed for training. For example: Over the December period I cycled over 70 hours for training. Rain, wind, cold, heat, no matter what, I trained. In my mind, the Epic race can give you all that type of weather in 8 days, and you need to be ready for it. The Epic race was completed. Yes, I crashed more than five times, but I had a great ride and it was enjoyable. Thanks to my family support, my riding partner and coach. Now my next personal goal is kite surfing. I now know what a body slam is. It's not pretty, like an enema through your nose. (latest update, I am leaving now for X-rays as tore my muscle on hip from that 5-metre body slam with the kite). So if you see me flying over your roofs, just know the programme is not going too well. I hope you will be pleased to know I will be adding to this topic on a regular basis. I will also elaborate more on specific areas. Future champions, choose your challenge, set your goals and let's do it. “Some succeed because they are destined to, most succeed because they are determined too” The fact you have read this far, I strongly believe you are encouraged to embark on a challenge. Don’t prove me wrong, now you just continue to believe in yourself for whatever it is you wish to achieve You would be considered 80 % successful as long as you show up!! PMA Finishing line at cape epic