It can’t have been easy for a New Zealand television reporter to get a word with Michael Phelps, the Olympic superstar, but through good luck, good management or sheer grit, she did it. Maybe it was because Phelps had a connection with New Zealand; a place in which he trained some years ago while developing his style. Her question was a good one for local audiences but Phelps’s answer gave it global resonance. “What advice would you give young people at home in New Zealand who are just starting out in the pool?” Now I watched a lot of sport on television and most athletes talk about the hard work involved and the commitment needed. All very true. However, Michael Phelps didn’t reach for train harder, faster, longer or any of the other ‘er’ words. He didn’t even hesitate. He simply looked her in the eye and said, “Dreaming”. That’s right, dreaming. He went on to say, “When I first got into the pool…I dreamt I would be at the Olympics…anything is possible”. As the world saw on television, or if you were really lucky, at poolside, the dream came true. To believe that ‘Nothing is Impossible’ and that dreams come true is one of the most valuable tools to have in both life and in business. Sure your dream has to be backed up by skill and hard work, but without that dream there is nothing to get you through tough times. And believe me, there will be tough times. Michael Phelps is an inspiration to everyone who wants to succeed at anything. Now, follow your dream and go for gold.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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