Never Give Up, Never Surrender


It’s amazing what we can achieve when we put our minds to it, are determined, and prepared to keep going until we are successful.

Earlier this week Diana Nyad became the first person to swim the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida, without a shark cage.

Just writing that makes me shudder, the thought of trying to swim 110 miles alone would be enough to put 99.9% of the people off of doing it, but then to add that she did this without a shark cage is just the icing on the cake which you would think that nobody would be crazy enough to try this.

This effort took a staggering 55 hours to complete, of which I would have spent 54 hrs and  59 minutes worrying about sharks!

But not only did Diana do it, she did it at the age of 64, after having started training again as a long distance swimmer at the age of 60, after she decided that she needed to do something with her life, to achieve a big bold dream that she had set for herself.

However, what impresses me most, is not the fact that she did it, but that she did it at her 5th attempt.

How many people would have kept going back again to try one more time to achieve such a challenging goal. I know myself, that had I failed the first time to run a Marathon I might have given it another couple of goes to succeed, but 5 I’m not so sure.

But Diana was determined to succeed, she wasn’t prepared to give up, she wanted success so badly she kept continuing until she had finally achieved it, and this is a monumental goal. I am a truly staggered and inspired.

Especially when you consider her first failure was back in 1978, when she was 31 and when she was in, what most people would call, her prime.

On competing her outstanding achievement she had three key messages to share.

  1. Never give up
  2. You’re never too old
  3. Although it looks like it’s a solos sport, really its a team effort.

I’ve included here a presnetation¬†from Diana, its not of her talking about her success, it’s about her talking about he last failure. You can see and feel her passion, but you can also hear how life threatening this challenge was, but she was not prepared to give up on her dream. Failure was not an option. Her mantra throughout was ‘find a way’.


Gordon Tredgold

Leadership Principles.