Inspirational thoughts from a man who is going to row across the Atlantic Ocean

As a part of our study, I did a pre-interview with Milan about his trip and I will share with you some parts of this interview as an inspiration. You can read about his trip here.

When you hear about a journey as this one, it certainly pops up in your head: Why would anyone like to suffer for 4 months and risk their life? This is insane! However, Milan has a couple of noble reasons to do that and drive that can inspire all of us.

Pavla: “Why are you doing this trip?”

Milan: Good question. I have always wanted to do something extraordinary. First, I want to challenge myself personally, with that a lot of things come in. I want to learn a little bit more about myself. It’s such an extreme thing, therefore, I will be able to examine myself across the journey. I will be completely alone without any direct contact with anybody. It’s an opportunity to get into my head and get to know myself better. And second, I would be the first one in history to actually achieve this, row from New York to England, which is an attractive thing to do.

Pavla: “What is your goal?”

Milan: My goal is to make it there. As a byproduct, I want people to follow me and hopefully they can learn something from me. I hope people can use it as a guideline for themselves because it is such a unique thing and definitely hard. I would like to inspire people and it would make me very happy, if I can.

Further, I would like to gather all the information from the journey to make a document and write a book based on the knowledge I will have and my notes.

As a consequence of the journey, I am trying to help one foundation, challenged athlete foundation. This organization helps handicapped athletes, children and adults, everybody who wants to do sports, but they are handicapped. Hopefully by getting reputation and more people noticing me, I can get a bit more light on their foundation.

Pavla: What is your motivation? What will push you during the journey?

STRONG WILL and recalling difficult times in my life when I succeeded

Milan: It’s the desire of me finishing. Everything is going to motivate me. I believe I will find the motivation across the journey in basically anything. Whether it is me recalling some difficult times in my life that I succeeded and passed, I have already lived through. It will motivate me. I will be looking for things that will keep me going. Another thing is definitely my strong will, I have always had that. Then it’s my family and my friends, anybody who is looking up to me. Knowing that there are people, who are watching me. And it’s the desire to be the first and to make it across. There are great things about me. I will feel very privileged that I can do something I love.  I have a great family and wonderful parents and just knowing they are there waiting for me will give me a lot of strength. However, I am not planning on having much communication with them.

Pavla: How did you prepare yourself mentally?

PREPARATION brings confidence

Milan: I don’t think it’s possible to prepare for anything like this. My mental preparation came from planning the journey. As I was planning and making it real for me, I think I was also getting mentally prepared that way. The fact that I am ready from standpoint of material, gear, boat, logistic and training as well it gets the confidence up. The mental preparation comes with the confidence how much you trust or believe in yourself. If you do the preparation well and do your research, check all the marks that you have for yourself, the mental part comes hand with it. I was always ready to take on this challenge but unless I knew I have everything set up and ready to go, the confidence wouldn’t probably be there. I know how my mind works. Subconsciously, I have been dreaming about it and I have been putting myself out there in my mind I have been imagining a little bit how it can be, I have been mentally stressing myself a little bit. I have no idea how it will actually be but I think that anticipation is very strong. I think it prepared me for the start. What happens after, I will just deal with it when it comes.

Pavla: How will you motivate yourself to keep going when it’s hard?

Milan: I will be talking to myself really harshly, curse, say something bad. I have to keep going. Reminding myself why I am doing this, nobody asked me to do this, it’s something I want to do, and this is my main motivation why you are doing this and why you are out there and how much afford it took me to be actually be out there. Anybody can be down, sad, discouraged, tired, these things happen. What kind of thoughts to use to fight it? I have a lot of good fighting thoughts to fight these negative emotions. always reminding myself why I am out there.

Pavla: What will you tell yourself at that difficult moment?

Milan: Fragments of memory of the hard times I had when I was preparing. Screaming at myself. Shut up and keep going, that’s what I am here for to do… flashbacks from how I was getting ready, how much time I spend on rowing machine, how much I was sweating and training, how much stress I had to get a loan to buy this boat. These aren’t happy thoughts, but they will remind me why I am there. I spent all this money, that’s why I am here there is no excuse for me not to row.

I follow some other people with good experience, achievements, some hard cord guys really and I will remember them. What would this guy do in my situation or what would this guy do? This guy is my role model. Shut up and do it! That’s what they do.  Hard men. There isn’t much talking, I just need to remember to keep eyes on the price, remember why I am out there and keep pushing. There are no excuses and I have to quit feeling sorry for myself and push really hard, that’s how it’s gonna be.

Why would I be thinking something that is not gonna help me?

I can at some point start visualizing my parents waiting for me on the other side or getting to finish and I believe that at some point it will become motivation. Right now, I am trying not to allow myself to think about it that much. I don’t like these thoughts; I feel like people could get side tracked by thinking about the goal and not following the journey not focusing on what’s important. I am preventing myself from thinking about what will happen when I am done. I think it can be counterproductive. It could prevent me from reaching the goal, rush it or imagining something that is not done yet. I always believe in achieving something first and celebrating after. It’s a motivation, I have to get the boat over there but how much I am actually going to think about the other side I don’t know. I will try not to think about it that much. I will think about my role models and what they achieved. I was looking up to Reinhold Messner who climbed the mountains, Arnold Schwarzenegger, body builder, who is an actor, he did motivate me in many ways, he had a strong will, he always followed his dreams, he wanted to be an actor and it wasn’t easy for him. He was pretty smart. I want to adapt this kind of will. These people didn’t quit. They had a dream and they kept going. This is my dream, now is my chance, there is no any other time for me to be doing this, this is it. I am here to do this. Why would I be doing something else? Why would I be thinking something that is not gonna help me? Why not to do something that is going to help me to progress? There is only one aim and that is to finish on the other side. I have to do whatever it takes to get there.

I wanna be there. I feel very privileged just to do this, try to row, be able to get all the money, buy the boat, get the time, losing work, being able to actually do this is amazing. I don’t know how many people would like to do the same thing, or maybe they are as crazy as I am, they will think about it but they can’t do it because they don’t have the money, or they don’t have the resources. If someone came to me and gave me the boat, do you think that my desire would be the same as of the Milan who had to pay for it on his own, who had to take a bank loan? Of course not! All these things are my motivation to succeed because of how much I want to be out there and how much I have already put on the line to be out there for myself and just to add I don’t have anybody to help me prepare. It’s my solo preparation attempt. I came up with this stupid idea. I didn’t invent it, but I came up with it by myself. I did all the research. I contacted people. I feel strong because nobody handed me anything for free and nobody is forcing me to be there. I am definitely crazy as people think, I am because I want to do it without anybody suggesting it for me or planning it for me. Hopefully, I planned well, hopefully I did my homework, it will all show up there. Fingers crossed.

Pavla: Do you believe you will regret your decision?

Milan: No, no, well on the second thought, maybe, actually yes, probably. I probably will but I will also know that pain is only temporary, and the thought of regret eventually will disappear because it never lasts forever. We always regret certain things but eventually it goes away. I truly believe that the thought of me wanting to be there and wanting to finish and wanting to be the first one is stronger than feeling sorry for myself, regretting that I did something like that. Of course, I won’t be happy being all soaked and not sleeping because my feet and hands will be full of blisters and I will feel a lot of pain. The thought of regret will eventually disappear. I could be at home, watching TV with my girlfriend or something but… If it was easy everyone would do it. I think, it’s part of it. Answer to the question is yes, I will regret it for sure.

Pavla: What is your weakness?

Milan: I am a lazy person. I tend to be lazy. I don’t think it will be weakness there, I will be forced to push. I could neglect something.

Pavla: What is your strength?

Milan: I am very discipline, I am very rational, I can keep cold head in extreme situations. I enjoy pushing. I think I am an introvert. I enjoy alone time and pushing alone.

What can you apply in your life while going through difficult times?