I will never forget reversing out of my driveway to go to the airport before flying off to the Canary Islands and the start of my unsupported, solo row across the Atlantic. It was a beautiful day, and I looked around at my house and the garden. My heart was beating unusually hard, and two thoughts went through my mind.
The first one I never mentioned to Kim, my wife, but I looked at her and around the house and I wondered if I would ever see it all again; and secondly, I turned to Kim and I said: “The next time I drive into this driveway, there is going to be a story that needs to be told – I wonder what that story is going to be?” It was an incredible feeling, knowing that the story was going to be filled with hardship and pain, both physically and mentally. I knew that I would be pushed way past and beyond my limit and that which is considered normal. I would have to endure loneliness and deprivation, but I would be experiencing triumph and the incredible fortune of being out at sea in one of the most beautiful places of the planet. I knew that it would change my life and that I would never be the same again. I was going to be the writer of the story, and everything in it – success or failure – would be because of me.
We are just beyond halfway through 2011. This time next year, you will have a story that needs to be told – do you not wonder what is going to be in it? It is so exciting to be able to construct your own story. There are many things that we can do to ensure the story is a successful one.
At the end of this year, and before my Capricorn Expedition, I will be travelling to Antarctica as part of a two-man team with good friend and fellow adventurer, Braam Malherbe. We will be taking part in an inter-national expedition race to commemorate the 100th year since Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen’s race to be the first person to reach the South Pole. It is an unsupported, 800-kilometre, human-powered trek that will once again be a huge test of endurance and stamina. I know that by February next year, I will be telling a story of the race – I wonder what I will be saying?
In my next column, I will be talking about the importance of being prepared and doing your homework as a starting point to guaranteeing the success of the story. Until then!
Peter van Kets motivational speaker and adventurer talks though his column in the Leadership Magazine about the importance of owning the story in your life