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6 things a world record holder taught us about pushing our limits

Last month, Limeade welcomed Erden Eruc for an inspirational talk on one of our favorite values – anything is possible.

Erden is a living example that anything is possible. He’s the world’s leading ocean rower, one of Men’s Journal’s 50 Most Adventurous Men and holds seven Guinness World Records – including the first solo circumnavigation of the globe using human power. And he’s part of the Limeade family: his wife is our very own strategic account director, Nancy Board.

Erden Boat 300x191 - 6 things a world record holder taught us about pushing our limitsWhat started as a simple idea in 1997 quickly became Erden’s obsession: to human-power circumnavigate the world. It took 5 years and 11 days start to finish, and included rowing, kayaking, hiking and cycling. Eight hundred and seventy six days at sea and 29,000 nautical miles later, Erden reached his goal in 2012.

Here’s what we learned from Erden

1. Recognize critical junction points

Decision moments define our lives. Recognizing these critical junctions help us make the right choices. Erden says when you look in the mirror, you see the total sum of all the decisions you’ve made in your past. The things we didn’t do shape our identities just as much as the things we did.

2. Be mindful about your thoughts

In middle school, Erden watched a video of astronauts walking on the moon and thought to himself: All astronauts are Americans. I’m Turkish, so I can’t be an astronaut. The decisions we make about what we can and can’t do are based on our thoughts. So be mindful about what goes through your head.

3. The right audience will challenge you

When Erden shared his vision, he quickly realized the importance of his audience. Many people doubted his decision and tried to lead him astray. But the right people will challenge you and push you to be better – so constantly seek out positive peer pressure.

4. Take on a new perspective

When you look at things from a different perspective, you generate new ideas and ways of thinking. In 1997, Erden saw a map of the world with the Americas on the right and the Pacific Ocean in the middle. This reverse display of the world allowed him to see things differently and helped form his dream.

5. Have faith in the process

Your journey won’t always be easy. You’ll stumble into problems along the way, but carry on and stay true to your mission. While in Australia, Erden got stuck and needed a kayak to continue. He soon met a man who offered him one. By having faith, Erden knew he could show up at the next port and find what he needed.

6. Set big goals and be unstoppable

The key is just to start: the only way to get over your fears is to simply start your journey. Don’t shortchange yourself. Small steps lead to big results. Erden rowed 29,000 nautical miles – that’s 26,100,000 strokes. But he started small with 1,800 strokes per mile. Success is not accidental: learn and apply, re-learn and apply again. Correct yourself, one stroke at a time.

What dreams do you have? Just remember: Anything is possible.