Swim across the ocean


By Patrick Achitabwino:

The first person to swim across the Atlantic Ocean, Ben Lacomte, shows how best we can move forward in the pursuit of our dreams.

Lacomte said: “It is physical, it is mental, but you have to have the right mindset. I never jump into the water thinking about the entire ocean. I just cut it into small pieces. When I am in the middle of the ocean, I think about being in a pool and the pool moves with me. What you want to do is to have a schedule for your mind.”


A big dream looks daunting but it is achievable. A dream is not achieved overnight. Cherish the fact that you will be working on it in piece meals. The greatest thing is never to give up.

There will be many challenges along the way just as Lacomte had to face sharks. Life will have many sharks standing in your way. They could be lack of support. They could be change in market tastes. They could be negative perceptions from family and friends who you initially expected support from. Keep on swimming.

When facing the sharks, Lacomte had the right mindset which we all need to embody. He clarifies: “I had one shark follow me for five days. We have different ways to keep sharks at bay, but what is very important is the opportunity to tell a story. We have only about ten percent of the big fish that are left in the ocean right now, and that happened within the last one hundred years, so we have been overfishing the ocean.”


Essentially, all it means is that the challenges you are facing are just a minor impediment along the way. They may take time derailing you but with a proper forward focused mind, you will overcome them.

On the other hand, visualise your life after you have achieved the dream. It will be the shark troubles you encountered in life that will excite people.

Successful people are achievers because they conquered the challenges of life. People will call you to speak at conferences because you have stories of perseverance. It is the never-give-up attitude that teaches people that success is never easy.

You have a dream; start working on it. It might be something that has never happened before. Because it has never happened; it does not mean that it can happen.

Lacomte became the first person to swim across the ocean. It seemed crazy. It seemed impossible. People called him mad. He went on and in the end he made a story. He set the pace; then other people followed. Eventually it was realised that a person can swim across the ocean.

What is the ocean of your dreams? Is it advancing your education? Is it starting a business? Is it becoming a great personality in the sporting world? Is it being a movie star the world has never had? Is it becoming the musician of all time? Is it making yourself the first heavyweight boxing champion from Africa?

Whatever ocean it is, take note that swimming across it is possible. You just need the right mindset – taking the journey step by step, focusing on the joy at the end of the journey in the midst of challenges being encountered. Remember this, the tougher the battle, the sweater the victory.

Of course, it is never easy to remain transfixed on a dream when the going seems to be getting tough; when you seem to be achieving nothing.

Frankly speaking, even if you are being seen to be achieving nothing, there is something you have achieved. You are not at the starting point with those that have not started working on their dreams.

You are way ahead. You have come across challenges and have dealt with them. You are well prepared to deal with other upcoming future challenges. Remember when you started the journey and carry on with the same zeal.

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