© 2013 Kebba Buckley Button. World Rights Reserved.
Diana Nyad not only chased her dream, she caught it. On Monday, September 2, 2013, Nyad, age 64, walked up on the beach of Key West, Florida, smiling and pumping her fists in the air, victoriously greeting a delighted crowd gathered there to welcome her. For Nyad, the fifth time was the charm. She had tried to swim from Cuba to Florida previously, but currents, jellyfish, and weather forced her to give up, four times.
This time, Nyad fulfilled her dream. She swam for 53 hours, covering 110 miles, from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, Florida without a shark cage. A shark cage would not only have kept away the sharks, but would also have created drag that would have made Nyad’s swim easier. Now she holds the historic record of being the first to swim this route without a shark cage.
And how did this one woman, Diana Nyad, get to this culmination and this triumph? There are 4 key elements to her success.
- Passion. She got in touch with her passion for endurance swimming decades ago.
- Goals. She set increasingly high goals and worked to meet each in turn. For example, an intermediate goal to this week’s achievement was to swim around Manhattan Island, at age 26–and that’s 28 miles. She worked for it, organized it, achieved it.
- Effort. She kept identifying what it would take to get to each goal, pulled together the elements, stayed fit enough to excel in endurance swimming. She put in the effort.
- Support. She developed the right circle of support people and resources to help lift her to her goals. This week, a team attended her departure from Havana. A flotilla accompanied her along the swim, keeping her on the correct alignment, watching for sharks, assuring she took nourishment, and otherwise looking out for her safety. PR people got the word out of her try for the historic record, resulting in media coverage and many non-swimmer supporters showing up in Key West, to cheer her victory.
Are you thinking about your own dreams, now? And where you are on the timeline and achievement line? How would you score yourself in passion, goals, effort, and support? What would you need to shift to actually realize your dreams?
As she walked up on the beach at Key West, Nyad offered 2 key messages to all of us. These are so timeless that we should all post them on our office walls: “Never, ever give up!” and “You’re never too old to chase your dreams!” Now ask yourself: where will you be with your dreams, when you are 64?
Start fresh in chasing yours. Start again, today.
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