The magazine for Western Washington University

The quest for success

Five tips to take you to the top

Story by Claire Sykes ('81)

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In her book, “Become an Ironman: An Amateur’s Guide to Participating in the World’s Toughest Endurance Event,” (Meyer & Meyer Sport, 2008), Cherie Gruenfeld discusses the “Critical Success Factors” athletes need to make it through a 140.6-mile triathlon.

“I believe that the Critical Success Factors are basically the same in all aspects of life,” says Gruenfeld. “What served me well in my days as a teacher and in business are the same principles that help me be successful as an athlete.” She advises:

Always have goals. Be passionate about them and stay focused on them. And continually track your progress against your objectives.

Believe in yourself. Let no one tell you something is impossible. Have faith in your dreams and your ability to accomplish them.

Don’t be afraid to fail. The only failure is not trying. Let your mistakes and mishaps serve as teaching tools, and go at it again.

Be willing to work hard. Nothing worth having comes without some effort. Put your head down and do the work.

Never, ever give up. It may not work the first time, but keep going. If it’s important enough to you, you need to stick with it, no matter what.