Actual Achievement Part 1

Sport is an excellent medium in which to explore the mechanics of achievement. My own background is in Whitewater Canoe Slalom, which requires power and technique in a constantly changing environment. How is this for a fitting metaphor for today's business environment and life altogether? You need resources (power), like money, people or things and use them in skillful ways (technique) to adapt, grow and thrive in an ever changing and unfolding environment.

You may know exactly what you want (e.g.: Gold Medal), even have a detailed and well researched plan or process to get there and you will still encounter those factors that are not under your control, factors you haven't accounted for.

Even if we were to collect all the experiences ever made in pursuit of this particular goal and were able to devise a plan taking all these experiences into account, we would still not be able to devise a fail proof plan.

No plan, no map can ever be 100% indicative of what actually happens! So how do we account for that which can't be accounted for? Why am I actually stressing this fact? Isn't it that 'we win some and loose some'? It certainly can be, if you are OK with that?

When I went to the Olympics I had just won the World Championships the year before and I certainly went there to win, as did a number of other competitors in my discipline. I wasn't going to leave it to chance. Since I was 8 years old I was competing in my sport and from about age 16 the Olympics was my declared goal and passion. Now I am here and NOW everything has to fall into place, or does it?!

So, what is the answer? Not to make a plan at all? Or to leave particular things open and unanswered, or to have a number of plans (A, B, C, ?), or to 'do your best and don't worry about the outcome'?

Before I give my take on this, I want to stress the important fact that at this point I was prepared to 'peak'. I went through many troths to get to this peak and these 'down times', or 'basic training periods' are what provided the foundation for the peak. When you truly take in the inevitability of this principle you can use it to evaluate what benefits could be had by periodising the activities of your company or by taking account for times of action and replenishment in your life.

There is also an important qualitative differentiation. What you actually 'do' at your peak, the actual way (technique) you use your resources may be very different to how you operate at other times. This may have to necessarily be so, because of the sustainability of the effort, due to physical or mental strain. Again, taking this into account will give you more energy when you really want it, when you need it to make the difference to your competitors. When you always run on what you consider 'high', where will you get the energy to go to 'highest', or 'smartest', or 'most dynamic', what ever the key quality is that you or your team need to excel.

Also know that there is no growth without recovery. It's in times of recovery and replenishment that our bodies and minds grow and adapt. Understanding this and putting it to work effectively, is a huge area of gain for athletes and others wanting to grow and develop.

In summary for now, Actual Achieving doesn't come from nowhere, resources need to be build and techniques need to be acquired. Peaking all the time is not possible and much can be gained from positively understanding and working with this. This much for honoring the process! More in part 2.

by Oliver Fix

About The Author
Oliver Fix, Olympic Gold Medallist in 1996 and Olympic Medal Winning Coach in 2004, offers coach / consultant services that can propel you and your company into this outstanding level of success.

Find out more on his website: and contact him at:

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