Live A Life of No Regrets with Ant Williams
Risk and fear are intrinsically linked and as such, they are an integral part of modern life.
But have you ever wondered about the missed opportunities because you were too afraid to take the plunge? Our guest today will show the biggest risk actually is - not taking any at all!
In today’s episode, David is joined by Ant Williams - an elite athlete, world record holder, motivational speaker and a professional risk-taker.
Together they explore what it takes to achieve peak performance in whatever work you’re doing as well as how to reap the rewards in taking calculated risks and truly capitalize on the learning and growing opportunities from it.
Growing up, he followed his mother’s advice, to focus on the stuff he was good at and the rest would take care of itself. With a degree in Physical Education from the University of Otago, he spent 8 years working in the field of sports psychology before transitioning to the corporate world and joining the Human Capital Team at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he’s teaching leadership and salesforce transformation skills to future leaders of developing organizations.
He was always fascinated with performance from a sporting perspective and how it transfers to human behavior in corporate organization settings. “It’s all mindset-based and can be overcome with teaching and coaching.”
Ant further shares the origins of his love for freediving as well as the moment of epiphany and the profound advice that his conversation with the famous Laird Hamilton left him with: “The only way to innovate in a sport is to actually go out to the fringes of that sport and play around at those fringes… That’s where innovation should come from.”
Being at an extreme edge of an extreme sport - Ant also talks about the gruelling preparations that led to the world record freedive in the Arctic Circle. “When you've drilled a hole in the ice, and you look into that water, it looks like you're staring into an oil slick. You see nothing. There's no radiated light. You stick your head into that water, it's like someone's jabbing needles all into your face and forehead.”
Being able to stay really calm under significant pressure is one of the greatest lessons freediving taught him, and he’s been able to translate that into professional performance as well. In organizations, when you’ve really got to step up and make a change to stay ahead of the curve, it helps to have poised people around you who think rationally and can lead the way.
We should always strive to learn from the experience, the successes, but especially the failures. And in terms of family, Ant underlines the importance of imparting those lessons and teachings onto your children. “Growing up, kids have no idea what their parents do. Often only in sport they can see you try something and fail, there’s great potential in that.”
Ant’s challenge for YOU over the coming week: “Think of something that you've done recently that made you anxious, relive it, then capture those things, top three or four things that your mind said to you and then, for everything that your mind said to you - come up with a super positive response. Reframe that experience in a positive light.”