Inspiration to Keep Pushing

Tony Hawk is a skateboarding legend. He started skating professionally at the age of 14, and has since become probably the most famous skater of all-time, particularly after featuring in a series of video games.

In 1999, he made history by landing the first ever ‘900’ at the X Games in San Francisco, which involves spinning around two-and-a-half times before landing successfully.

And having repeated it in 2011 at the age of 43, he’s now released a video of what may be the final time he ever completes the trick at the age of 48.

And this weekend, I’m going to show my son the video to share the most important lesson from it.

The video has obviously been edited down, but even so, I counted 7 falls before Tony Hawk successfully completes the trick.

That’s a 48-year-old, wealthy, legend throwing himself down a vert ramp. And doing it again, and again.

He’s not doing it as part of a promotion, or for a competition. And the seven failed attempts aren’t hidden from public view.

He’s overcoming the challenge despite failing several times because he wants to achieve something. And that’s the lesson. Sometimes we all need inspiration to keep pushing. Despite previous failures. Because we need to achieve something for ourselves.


Some inspiration for the mid-30s and late bloomers

I’ve been clearing out old bookmarks from my browser as part of an attempt to improve my IT habits (More on that tomorrow), and stumbled across an article I saved back in 2012.

It’s by Dave McClure, who founded the 500 Startups seed accelerator and investment fund and has become a pretty well known and respected VC.

Reading it again, it’s not surprising I saved it. I experienced a similar trajectory, where I seemed to be fairly smart and destined to do well until a lack of motivation and hard work combined with distractions meant that I ended up with qualifications below what I could have achieved.

I was lucky to achieve a dream job with Bauer Media (then Emap) working on the world’s biggest motorcycle website, and followed that up with roles introducing social media across the business, and a move to follow another passion of mine, music, at Absolute Radio.

Forest Pic by Dustin Scarpitti, used under Creative Commons license.

Forest Pic by Dustin Scarpitti, used under Creative Commons license.

But as I get closer to 40, I can identify with the idea that you can still feel like an unfocused underachiever, especially when the media is full of the teen and 20-something bright young things creating multi-million startups, apps and Youtube channels.

It’s a strange feeling considering I’ve managed to build a business by bootstrapping it from nothing to survive 4 years, including some tough economic times, and work with some great, and sometimes massive companies. And at the same time, the websites I’ve started reach hundreds of thousands of people each year.

I suspect I’m not the only person who’ll identify with ‘late bloomer, not a lose.(I hope)‘.

It’s something to remember, along with the belief that you don’t have to end every day with a massive success – just do a bit better every day and suck a little less and things will happen. At the same time, I also saved this post by James Altucher on simple things to do every day to be luckier. Exercise, Prioritise, Mental exercise, Meditation. Time to make sure I improve on each one every day…