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Align your vision

October 22, 2018


Standing on the beach in the early morning of the Iron Man World Championships 2014, now 4 years ago, it felt almost unreal that we were really living this moment. As I was watching Walter enter the water together with all other qualified athletes, the sun slowly made her way above the water of the bay area of Kona, Big Island, Hawaii. Next to me our kids were amazed by the sight of this spectacle and the huge waves that rolled against the shores, while the crowd was growing more and more wild as the starting time of this world championship came closer. This was a vision about to happen. This was a moment never to forget. This was the end of an intense four year journey, in which we used our proven TAG-concept to deliver on an audacious vision: qualify for the Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii in order to become world champion in 2014, in the age-group 50-54. Audacious goals you will NEVER achieve alone. Walter had only completed one full triathlon in his career as an triathlete when he set this goal for himself, so audacious this dream was. Thats is why we, as a family and as partners in life and business, had to perform as one high performance team in order to succeed. We sat down and broke down the vision into achievable one year missions, during which improvement had to be made by Walter in the different battles: swimming, cycling and running. But also our business goals were part of the plan and our family life not to forget, for how successful would it be for Walter to stand on the podium but ending up with a divorce due to all the training hours and family sacrifices involved? We built our "Hawaii Mission Map". A mission map gives a simple format that enables people, teams and organisations to keep focus on their Must Win Battles: the most crucial parts of the plan in order to succeed. This means that you will have to think it through before you start, in order to gain commitment on every level and aspect of what it takes. Always have a plan, and be prepared to do the work. Always ask yourself: what goes well and where can I improve? Failure is your biggest investment in order to be able to do so. By honest reflection you build resilience. Reinforce  the question: 'why are we doing this?' In the end, a plan means nothing, and planning is everything!  It requires dedication, commitment and discipline to deliver an audacious vision. It requires the support of a team. Ask yourself: who is in my team? who do I need to be in it? There will be hard times. Remember in those moments that anyone can be miserable, but what will make the difference for you? We had many hard times on the road to Hawaii, we had to regroup, refocus, replan and reinforce to get to that beach. Always remember: I chose this. And standing on that beach, at the start of the Iron Man World Championships 2014, i did not know that the hardest part for Walt had yet to come. Thinking back it almost feels like a fairy tale, when the prins gets blocked by yet another challenge before he can safe the princess and win the war. Choosing in line with the values that were the fundament of our Hawaii Mission Map, to always find a positive silver lining, Walt decides in that moment to adjust his game-plan right then and there. Having a clear and simple mission enabled him to do so. Having that kind of clarity prevented the circumstances and all the emotions of that specific moment to get the better part of him and to stick to the race, even though the race directors strongly advised him to do otherwise. In that moment of truth, the clarity of the mission gave him the resilience to stick to the facts and adjust his game-plan within minutes. Watch the movie above to find out how this all turned out....


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