Archives for May 2011

Persistence And Determination

Barcelona the Champions

Barcelona the Champions

My blog this week was inspired not just by the disappointment of seeing the soccer team I support losing the final of a major tournament, but by seeing the reactions of the Coach and the players to it.

Love them or hate them, and this club seems to polarise those reactions, our lads were played off the park by undoubtedly the most successful team of the last three years.

To lose in any final of any sport is always a very bitter pill to swallow, because history tends to overlook those who came merely second place, despite the tremendous effort that it took to reach the final in the first place.

The emotion displayed during such a competition is the most important things that compel us to watch sport – to capture the essence of humanity, the highs and lows of victory and defeat.

Every final shows the agony on the faces of the vanquished and the joyful excitement of the victorious. The faces of the fans on the terraces emulate those of their heroes in the arena.

During that two hour period, or however long your chosen event lasts, you are uplifted and crushed, sometimes within seconds, as a goal is scored or conceded, and for that brief period of escapism, all of our daily challenges are put aside.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from sport, which is why it’s so great for children to be involved in it at an early age and to be encouraged for their efforts, regardless of whether they succeed or falter.

defeat is a bitter pill

Defeat is a bitter pill

In this instance my team all acknowledged that they had been beaten by a better side. There were no complaints about referee’s decisions, what if’s or if only’s.

They simply said, “We did our best, but they were better, and congratulations to them for it.”

That kind of reaction is a breath of fresh air, compared with a lot of the excuses we have become accustomed to hearing.

When the coach of the vanquished was interviewed after the match, he said, ”There was good evidence we are a consistently good European team but we were beaten by the best team in Europe and there is no shame in that. Sometimes you come up against a far better team and tonight was one of those nights.”

The team who won so convincingly are also a young team. Their most gifted star and arguably the best player in the world, is Lionel Messi, who is only 23.

No-one could therefore blame the defeated coach, who has already passed the usual retirement age, for deciding that he may as well call it a day and retire to rest on his laurels of having just completed a record-establishing 19th English title win.

Yet this man, who like is team, is either loved or hated, dismissed the notion of settling for that easy retreat.

determined to bounce back

Determined to bounce back

Sir Alex Ferguson responded as you would expect from a man who is probably one of the most driven leaders on the planet.

When it was suggested United can never match Barca, 69-year-old Fergie said:

“You shouldn’t be afraid of a challenge. It’s no consolation being the second-best team. I don’t enjoy being second-best. Next season we must improve even more.”

Whether he succeeds or fails is immaterial. The point is that he embodies and advocates the spirit of persistence and determination.

One of my favourite quotes is from 26th US President, Theodore Roosevelt, who said,

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Tony Inman


Tony’s Viewpoint: “Dream big, be brave and try hard to be kind and generous.

Set yourself challenging goals and be determined and persistent in their achievement. Never accept the obstacles as impossible hurdles.

Don’t be despondent if you don’t quite make it, the real joy is in realising the person you become in the attempt.”

It Shall Be Done


The blue vase

No, this is not a biblical quote.

It’s an extract from a quote, taken from a book written back in 1921 about values that should still be held dear today…

“It shall be done.” ‘Nothing can better summarise the determination, the endurance, the loyalty, the passion, and the personal responsibility of a go-getter. Kindle it in yourself and all shall be done.’

Peter B. Kyne (From ‘The Go-Getter’)

Why a blue vase you ask? Perhaps you’ve heard of the expression, ‘The blue vase award’?

Well, you should really read the book – it’s only a short one, so it doesn’t take you long, but I’ll give you a clue…

In The Go-Getter, Bill Peck, a war veteran, persuades Cappy Ricks, the influential founder of the Rick’s Logging & Lumbering Company, to let him prove himself by selling skunk wood in odd lengths-a job that everyone knows can only lead to failure. When Peck goes on to beat his quota, Rick hands Peck the ultimate opportunity and the ultimate test: the quest for an elusive blue vase. Drawing on such classic values as honesty, determination, passion, and responsibility, Peck overcomes nearly insurmountable obstacles to find the vase and launch hia career as a successful manager. In a time when jobs are tight and managers are too busy for mentoring, how can you maintain positive energy, take control of your career, and prepare yourself to ace the tests that come your way? By applying the timeless lessons in this compulsively readable parable, employees at all levels can learn to rekindle the go-getter in themselves.

Tony’s Viewpoint: ‘Whenever I come up against an obstacle that stands in the way of achieving my goal, I remind myself of the reason why the goal is important to me. That somehow seems to refocus the creative part of my brain to think outside the box and find another way to succeed.

Once you have that mindset, that “It shall be done”, it’s amazing what ideas are borne and what resilience can be found within.

Sea Shepherd To Focus on Shark Conservation

Shark Aware

Paddling To Prove A Point

As a keen scuba diver and marine conservationist, two news items warmed my heart recently.

The first was the picture and story on page 5 of of the West Australian newspaper on April 6th.

The article that supported this amzing photograph, taken by HGM-Press read as follows:

Paddling to prove point on passing predators

South African shark expert Chris Fallows hopped on a surfboard and paddled alongside a great white to show that the feared predator does not pose a threat to humans. The photographer and tourism operator believes sharks do not regard people as normal food items.

Sea Shepherd try to save whales

Trying to stop whaling

The second news item came to my attention when I attended a talk held at the Hillarys Yacht Club in Perth, also on the topic of sharks. The exciting news is that the Marine Conservation organisation, Sea Shepherd, have been so successful with this years campaign to minimise whale slaughter by the Japanese whaling fleets, that the Japs packed up and sailed home.

This has now provided the opportunity for these champions of nature to focus attention on a campaign to raise public awareness of the horror of the shark finning industry, in which many species have been hunted to near extinction to satisfy peoples’ craving for shark fins.

Shark numbers have diminished terribly in the last couple of decades and they continue to decline faster than they can reproduce.

The simple fact is that sharks are in our oceans for a reason. They are a vital part of a food chain. If humans stuff that up, there will be a huge impact on marine eco-systems.

For more information, see the following link to the Sea Shepherd site.

Shark slaughter

Shark slaughter

Sharks are not the monsters that Hollywood tries to convince you that they are. Humans kill 100 million sharks a year. They kill 5 humans worldwide – usually mistaking them for seals or turtles.

You have more chance of being killed by a defective toaster than by a shark – and for those who are so scared, they won’t go in the water, you have far more chance of being in a car accident on the way to the beach than you have of being attacked.

Please read about this and tell other people – if we don’t start taking action to change human behaviour, sharks will be erased permanently from the planet and our marine eco systems will be damaged irreparably.

Education is vital – if people don’t know about this, it will soon be too late.

Sea Shepherd Save Lives

Sea Shepherd Save Lives


Sea Shepherd Volunteers

I urge you to support the great work being undertaken by Sea Shepherd to save whales, seals and sharks.

It is run by volunteers, so please make a small donation, buy a tee-shirt or a bumper sticker.

You may only be one person, but it starts with you – you can make a difference!