Have you noticed that sometimes you pick up a newspaper or magazine, start to read a story and get inspired by the courage and sheer determination of the subject matter.
I certainly was when I read a story about Dean Stoneman last night. Let me give you a little background….
Dean is a superb racing driver, winning race after race in every class of racing he entered, culminating in winning the F2 series in 2010. He was hailed as the next Ayrton Senna and got the chance to ‘test’ in a Williams F1 car. In his mind, he would ‘ace’ the test and go on to win a seat in the F1 team.
Well he certainly ‘aced’ his test and was on schedule to achieve his major goal – to become a F1 driver before the age of 21.
Two months later, Dean was dying!
He had been diagnosed with a rare and very severe cancer and he was littered with secondary cancers throughout his body. His outlook wasn’t good. He made a decision when entering the hospital that would define his future…
When he entered hospital, he asked the doctors whether he would live or die. The answer would determine his mental attitude – if the answer was that they expected him to die, he had resigned himself to enjoying his last days with gusto. If however, the doctors gave him any chance, he ‘would just get on with it and not let any thought of dying enter my head’
His treatment was gruelling and he had many set-backs. However, Dean never lost that belief that one day, he would be a winner again. His story is inspirational and I’d really encourage you all to look him up and read some more.
18 months on, Dean was back on the grid winning, this time the P1 Superstock Powerboat title and he is on track to win further titles in car racing as he has entered the Porsche Carrera Cup class. DTM or Indycar beckon.
What a story and what a guy.
The lesson though is key – the strength of our internal thoughts and self talk can literally be the difference between life and death!