Optimist Performance

After what seems like an eternity waiting, we leave to take on the LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby Challenge on Saturday. There have been a few ups and downs getting to this point, but that’s inevitable with 30 very different human beings. This is all about keeping a positive attitude and mindset, even when it gets tough.

All of these people have invested a great deal of time, energy and also money into being on this trip. They’ve also pledged to each raise at least £10,000 for children’s charity Wooden Spoon so it’s an incredible commitment.

How will everyone respond to the challenge of Everest? The nerves, the pain, the altitude, the emotional expenditure. How will I react? In going through things in my own mind, here are the top five things I’ll be reminding myself and those around me.

1. Accentuate the positives

In everyday life but also up Mount Everest, let’s remind ourselves that it’s never as bad as it seems. It’s a cliche but focus on the positives. Negativity only breeds negativity. We are creatures of habit and contagious behaviour needs to reinforce a positive attitude all the time.

2. You’re never on your own

Never try and solve everything on your own. Every team or group is greater than the sum of its parts. There will always be a piece of wisdom there from someone else, so be alive to that.

3. Listen

People will have different opinions and perspectives, but we need to listen to each other. It’s a very tough skill for lots of people, particularly when the chips are down. Hit pause, listen to people around you and be a sounding board for reason.

4. Focus on the fix

If things go wrong, take the time to recognise what went wrong. Don’t rush. Then be relentless in fixing the issue with a solution.

5. Trust

I remember this from the Clipper Round the World Race. When the chips are down, it’s your ability to trust in the people around you that matters. Trusting systems, trusting training, trusting people. That helps you to adapt, stay positive and believe that, even if things go wrong, together you can still achieve your goal.