I learnt a looooong time ago that success comes from effort you put in + talent + luck. What I didn’t learn until a couple of years ago is that whilst I thought I was putting in the max, actually I wasn’t. This is a truth that applies to most all of us, we spend sometimes hours just doing meaningless and pointless tasks.
I admit facing the reality was a difficulty, after all I’m perfect aint I? Well, NO actually.
The possibility that I could make better and quicker decisions just hadn’t occurred to me and when it did it was like being hit by a juggernaut. The reality just hit me right between the eyes, suddenly it was obvious what I had to do, I had to measure my activity and the waste would become self evident. I adopted a method I have to use every couple of years and I kept a diary for a couple of weeks. When I was a child I was in hospital for a very long time and at the time had pioneering surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. Anyway since turning 40 years of age (and that seems like a life-time ago now) I go for a check every couple of years to make sure I still have a functioning heart and nobody’s replaced it with a lump of rock. Before the appointment where I’m prodded, pressed, listened to and covered in wires I have to keep a diary of diet and activity. Thankfully over the last 8 years I’ve actually improved my health! Yes, I’m fitter now than I was 10 years ago!
Anyhow, the lesson is there. Measure stuff and stuff gets done. So I applied the logic to activity, especially activity that brought me closer to my dreams. And you’ll never guess what? I found I waste time.
I waste time day-dreaming (not necessarily a total waste of time but too much dreaming and not enough doing, well need I say more?).
I waste time flicking though pages of magazines looking at cars and phones and computers that I will never consider buying.
I sleep more than I thought I did.
I watch a lot more TV than I thought I did.
I spend hours, yes honestly hours on-line looking at and not buying cycling gear (yes its a fantasy, I am a MAMIL; a middle aged man in lycra)
The truth is that I measured what I did and hey presto I became more productive. Its no miracle just facing up to the truth and then doing something about what I didn’t like about my life.
Louison Bobet – a Breton who first became a Tour de France winner, then a Tour Great, the a Tour Legend!
Louis “Louison” Bobet – French
b. 12 Mar. 1925 Saint-Méen-le-Grand
d. 13 Aug. 1983
Tour de France – 10 Participations, 3 Victories, 11 Stage Wins.
1947; Didn’t finish
1948; 2 stage wins, stage 6 Bordeaux – Biarritz & stage 12 San Remo – Cannes
1949; didn’t finish
1950; King of the Mountains, 1 stage win, stage 18 Gap – Briancon
1951; 20th overall, 1 stage win, stage 17 Montpellier – Avignon
1953; Winner, 2 stage wins, stage 18 Gap – Briancon, & stage 20 Lyon – Saint-Etienne (time trial)
1954; Winner, 3 stage wins, stage 2 Beveren – Lille, stage 18 Grenoble – Briancon, & stage 21 part 2 Epinal – Nancy (time trial)
1955; Winner, 2 stage wins, stage 3 Roubaix – Namur, & stage 11 Marseille – Avignon
1958; 7th overall
1959; Didn’t finish
Jacques Anquetil said of Bobet “in Bobet’s eyes, there were no little races or unimportant victories. Every race mattered and he wanted to give his all to his public. Bobet knew only one way to race, whatever the sacrifices.”