‘If you are afraid of losing, you can never win’, is the philosophy with which Mike Horn has lived his life and conquered the impossible. Born in South Africa and globally renowned as one of the greatest modern day explorers, Mike has endured temperatures of -95 degrees, sailed the oceans, and battled nature at her worst in becoming the first man ever to reach the North Pole on March 23, 2006 after walking for 60 days and 5 hours. He has redefined the boundaries of human endurance starting from 2002 after completing a 27- month circumnavigation of the Arctic Circle. A life filled with inspirational encounters and an inexorable desire to push the boundaries, Mike Horn is one of the most sought after motivational speakers. It was in 2010 that his countrymen Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton introduced Mike Horn to cricket. A motivational speech on the eve of the Test left an unforgettable impression on the Indian cricketers that saw the team fight their way to victory in Kolkata. With an impressive debut, Mike Horn played a crucial role in inspiring the men in blue on the eve of the 2011 World Cup final. Following his success with the national team, Mike was roped in by the Mumbai Indians for the IPL. Today as Sachin continues to follow his passion at 40, the South African expeditionist shares his relationship with Sachin Tendulkar since their first meeting three years ago.
I remember very well meeting Sachin the first time in Kolkata after India lost the first Test against South Africa in 2010 at Nagpur. It was then that I was asked if I could come and talk to the team. During the talk Sachin was sitting there with eyes and ears wide open — nodding, understanding and absorbing each word I spoke. I knew then he was different. After the talk he sat next to me at the table and asked some well thought through questions on pressure, responsibility, life, achievements, and commitment. I saw then what made him not only different, but unique. This was a man that was not telling me how great he was, but asking me the methods of how I did it. Sachin is hungry for knowledge, strives for perfection and works extremely hard to satisfy his personal goals. He is a man driven by passion, has well developed skills and, most importantly, psychological strength.
Mental attitude makes the difference between a great sportsman and an ordinary sportsman. Sachin has mental control over many situations because of his knowledge and experience, he can adapt mentally to many situations because of his ability to exclude doubt. If you know the answer you only have one option and that makes decision making easy. With that comes mental strength. You are psychologically strong if you are who you are. If you are honest to yourself and others, if you accept mistakes, only then can you inspire others.
Sachin plays for the right reason, being humble and staying calm helps him to perform. Sachin is not afraid of losing but his will to win is bigger than the fear to lose. There is a start and end to everything in life. The end of something is the start of something new. Cricket is only a small part of his life. It takes mental preparation to prepare the end of a career. Some people never want to let go because they have nothing else. And this is not the case with Sachin.
My Sachin moment I will never forget is the World Cup final in 2011. After the match with the players and their close family in the team changing room with Sachin holding the World Cup and saying, ‘This is a dream come true!’
Sachin is no God to me. He is, first of all, an amazing humble human being, someone that gives energy regardless of his personal performance. His presence is felt in the dressing room. He does not only believe in himself and others, but he practices what he believes and has time for others. I always say if you have time for others you have freedom, and if you have psychological freedom, you can be Sachin Tendulkar.
Sachin is no God, he is Sachin— a first rate human being and an inspiration.
You have had a great innings in life. You will not be remembered for what you have taken from life but what you have left behind.
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