Good morning Tash Appreciators,
Team Sky was founded in 2009 with the specific aim of winning the Tour de France within 5 years. Everything they have done since then had that aim in mind and, after a flawless display in the mountains this week, it looks like they might manage it a couple of years early.
Today also marks the anniversary of the culmination of a couple of other well-known plans. One was called Valkyrie and the other was Apollo 11 – you may have heard of them. If you haven’t, maybe a couple of pictures will jog your memory:
Valkyrie (sans eye patch):
The results of these efforts are not what I’m interested in today (although attempting to assassinate Hitler and being the first people to walk on the moon are solid efforts). It’s the plan and execution of them that I’m bothered about.
Although the scale of each is not comparable, all of these plans had three things in common:
- They all set a timescale within which they wanted to achieve their goal;
- They all involved a large group of people but ultimately came down to 1 or 2 individuals; and
- Within their respective fields, the chances of success were seen as improbable at best.
As I see it, the morale here is that It doesn’t really matter whether it’s Dave Brailsford working his magic on British road cycling; Von Stauffenberg deciding that action had to be taken to save Germany; or JFK challenging a nation to do what seemed impossible; it’s all about having ambition and the determination to see it through.
It’s maybe easier to work towards a clear goal (it doesn’t get much clearer than looking out your window at night, looking at the moon and saying “I will go there”) and it’s possibly hard for us to sit down and think what we want to do in the next 5 or 10 years.
I don’t have a plan. Not even a vague one. In a way, that’s good as my “options are open” but is it not easier to achieve a goal if you know what it is?
After looking at messers Wiggins, Von Stauffenberg and Armstrong, it’s clear that whatever goal I want to achieve, I’ll need to have a plan to match it. I’ll also need to find some like-minded folk to have a bash at it with me. After all, as John Donne said back in the sixteenth century, “no man [or woman] is an island”. Naturally, being a man of intelligence, Mr Donne had a Tash:
Anyway, if anyone has a grand, improbable/impossible plan to do something interesting in the next 5-10 years, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend folks!