“Life is all about the journey” according to professional sailor turned motivational sales speaker Paul Adamson, who himself had quite the journey to get to where he is today. From being a professional sailor, to becoming a motivational speaker for sales performance teams, to travelling around the world with ex-Formula One team boss Eddie Jordan, it has been quite the rollercoaster ride for Paul.

If you asked Paul a decade ago what he would be doing with his life, he definitely would not have predicted this. However, a blown off race in Dun Laoghaire around ten years ago would suddenly change Paul’s career, as close friend Pat Rigney asked Paul to come along to his sales team and deliver a motivational talk to try to boost his team’s morale. Paul decided to go for it and not only would that speech lead him to support the team for a year, he actually helped grow the business in a recession-hit Ireland at the time.

Just when things could not get even more crazy for Paul, Eddie Jordan rings him up asking him to drop everything and come sail around the world in his yacht for three years. It was a tough decision to make as Paul describes that every business takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but he soon realised it was an offer he could not refuse. It was a trip he describes as “incredible on all levels,” including lying on a remote island where the elders taught him that the secret to life is to focus on being happy.

If you think his background is incredible, the wealth of advice Paul offers in his fascinating podcast is so inspiring that I had to split it into two episodes. He passionately speaks on how your beliefs are the key to success, why it is important to visualise your goals, finding the right balance in your life, getting the right team of people around you and so much more.

You can download both parts of Paul’s podcast on iTunes or you can also listen to them at the following links: Part 1 | Part 2.

There is so much advice I could talk about from this two-part episode, but here are five key learns to take away from Paul’s remarkable podcast:

1. Be a “YES” man. When good friend Pat Rigney asked Paul to come and speak to his sales performance team, Paul said “yes” even though he had no previous experience in the area. However, after giving his first talk something just clicked for him and it created a huge shift in his career. From being a professional sailor, this one opportunity opened up a whole new career for Paul in delivering speeches to help sales performance teams achieve better results.  It just goes to show you should not turn down any opportunity that comes your way. As Richard Branson says “Say yes and worry about it later.” It could turn out to be the best decision you ever make.

2. Visualise your Goals. It is important to have your goals in life, but they are worth nothing if you don’t take action. One way to help you take the next step from writing out your goals and then putting them into action is to visualise them. The brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what is vividly imagined, so run the race before in your head and envisage the end result. It is important to know where you want to go and have a vision that excites you. However, don’t focus on how you will get there though, but rather ask yourself the question “who do I need to become to get there?” You are the master of your own destiny and once you realise this, nothing will stop you achieving success.

3. Get the Right People around you. Paul describes himself as lucky to have so many incredible around him to help him achieve his goals in life. He describes Eddie Jordan a huge mentor in his life and continues to stay in touch with him today when he needs advice or constructive feedback on his ideas. There is no such thing as a self-made millionaire; it is all about getting the right team of people around you to help you on your journey. Leave the negative people who drag you down behind and reach out and surround yourself with those who will encourage and motivate you to reach your goals.

4. The tough times make you stronger. Life was tough for Paul at 17-years-old because he just lost his Dad and struggled with a stammer. However, he realises now that life happens for us and believes that you should just live in the moment, take every opportunity with both hands and just go with where life takes you. Despite his challenges then, Paul said he would not change a thing because it is those adverse times that make you a much stronger person. If he didn’t go through the pain when he was younger, he believes he would not be where he is today. Stop worrying about the things that did not go right in the past and start focusing on what you can control in your life.

5. Take the mask off. Paul believes that people need to stop trying to pretend to someone else and advises them to come home, take the mask off and just be yourself. Be honest with yourself and sit down, take a look at your life and ask yourself what areas do you want to change. To help you do this, create a life balance sheet. Write out positive things about yourself and then write out the negatives, which will become the things you want to change about yourself. When you write it down, it will put things into perspective and then you can work towards the life that you want. It will help you gain the clarity and focus on what you need to do to get to where you want to go.

Do you agree with my takeaways from Paul’s podcast? Was there anything else you learned from Paul’s inspiring story? I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.

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