Reach­ing your goals

Friday - - Society -

It’s 2005, and Dave Corn­th­waite, an ami­able Brit in his mid 20s, has his life laid out in front of him. He has a well-paid job in graphic de­sign, a girl­friend, his own house in­Wales, and the cat that set­tles on to his lap as he flops down to watch a DVD most evenings helps to com­plete the pic­ture.

Fast-for­ward eight years – to Oc­to­ber 6 this year – and Dave is swim­ming down the Missouri River in the US, some­thing he has been do­ing ev­ery day for the pre­vi­ous two months. He fin­ishes his 1,001-mile swim to a round of ap­plause from his sup­port team, and crosses off another job done on his ‘ad­ven­ture bucket list’.

There’s no time to rest, be­cause tomorrow he’ll start work on a new chal­lenge, or write another book (his third) or per­form a sold-out mo­ti­va­tional talk.

To say that Dave (www.dav­ecorn­th­ has changed his life since wak­ing up to the fact that things were get­ting a lit­tle bor­ing be­fore would be some­thing of an un­der­state­ment. Since be­ing hit by the re­al­i­sa­tion that “sit­ting in an of­fice for 50 hours a week just to get paid was crazy”, he has skate­boarded from Perth to Bris­bane, kayaked the 1,500-mile-long Mur­ray River in Aus­tralia, taken a 1,396-mile bike ride from Van­cou­ver to Ve­gas, sailed more than 3,000 miles from Mex­ico to Hawaii and done a whole lot more be­sides.

“What hap­pened was that I made the de­ci­sion to pri­ori­tise what made me happy and what I had never done be­fore, and it was re­ally lib­er­at­ing,” says Dave. “I en­ter th­ese ex­pe­di­tions with the com­plete be­lief that I can do them, and luck­ily, so far, it’s been a suc­cess.” It goes with­out say­ing that Dave’s adventures have changed his life, but not just be­cause of the un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ences he’s had.

Goals can give a phe­nom­e­nal boost to your self-es­teem and your pas­sion for life – and goget­ters seem to agree that by stay­ing fo­cused and push­ing your­self, what fol­lows is the rather

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