A simple lesson from the world’s fastest man

One of the most insightful lessons behind Usain Bolt’s world record time (“Bolt of World’s Fastest – by a Mile” by Lynn Zinser, New York Times, 16 August 2008).

Just year ago Mr. Bolt’s event was the 200 meter dash. After begging his coach Bolt put some time into the 100 meters and look where he is today. Bolt was considered an “expert” at 200 meter but he decided to step beyond that constraint and apply his talents at a higher broader level. In addition, in order to do that Bolt had to convince his coach (i.e., obviously also an “expert”) to let him try. But shouldn’t it had been the other way around?

The lesson… To get unpredicted world class results very often requires not being constrained by the opinions of “experts” who are too over-focused, risk adverse, and typically are more concerned about their reputation than they are about reaching new heights. Kudos to Bolt for having the chutzpah to cast aside the cliches, step beyond the norm and have the passion to become a world champion.

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