>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

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Inspiring Your Authentic Week

The Limit

Posted: 27 Sep 2010 12:00 AM PDT

I completed my main sporting target for the year yesterday. A local event called Trenca Garrons. It is a cycling event that starts at sea level in Alcudia and then climbs 1500 meters to the top of the highest mountain in Mallorca, Puig Major (pronounced push ma-yawr). You can see the route here – http://beta.mapmyride.com/workout/30668304/ . You can see my pictures on facebook.

The last seven kilometers are timed on a military road, to the clouds, that is normally closed to public access. The last six kilometers are at a completely unrelenting 16%. It is as if the engineers who had to carve this road out of the cliff had to meet a specification of a maximum of 16% gradient and the minimum length, and they delivered.

There is no flattening out, no place to recover. As you climb the views disappear and you are enveloped in cloud. The only sounds come from your own effort and the gentle tick of the bike chain. Occasionally a fitter, lighter and mostly younger rider ticks past, effort etched on their face.

You climb above the eagles circling below. Constantly balancing the knife edge of the limit. Go into the red for too long and there is no place to recover, stay to far in the black and you are not doing your best. Everything is uncomfortable at this level of effort, but you have to stick to the limit. The line is one or two heart beats wide, four or five watts wide, this is the zone you have to inhabit.

You can tell if you are going too hard because you want to get off, you can tell if you are going too slow because you want to stay on.

This is the limit. This is where great things happen, where achievements and creativity exist. This is where humans are at their best, pushing our personal boundaries, finding out what we are truly capable of.

We need this emotional, physical, spiritual, mental discomfort every week to be truly alive. To know that we are living our life to the max. To know that we are not compromising.

As F1 world champion Mario Andretti said: “If everything feels under control, you are not going fast enough.”

We can experience this limit in our work, in our love lives, in our sports and in the choices we make of what we will do with our lives.

Greatness is defined by what we do when we approach this limit. Do we back off for fear of pain, discomfort, the unknown or do we press on, edge closer to the limit and then hold it there, balancing precariously on the edge. Do we know the limit well enough to trust ourselves to be in that space. Or do we panic and flee to safety?

If we never approach our limit, we will never know it well enough to find out. If we approach our limit without due respect we can crash and burn. We also need to respect the limit, we cannot be there all the time, we have to create space to recover, reflect, learn and grow in between our exploits.

If you feel your work or life is a compromise, pushing that boundary is exactly where you need to go. If you don’t like what it is, how much worse could it be to see if you can do something about it?

I am planning an Open Authentic Leadership event in Mallorca in October, with 15 – 20 places available. You can find out a lot more about the course here. If you are interested please let me know so I can gauge numbers for the hotel.

Join us on our Authentic Business Radio show every Thursday at 5pm UK, 6pm Euro or 12.00 EST. This week we will be discussing “The Limit”.

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With love


Neil Crofts
Neil Crofts
authentic business

+34 646391384
Skype – neilcrofts


About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
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