How To Learn From Ayrton Senna's Dedication To His Profession
By Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
Ayrton Senna was one of the first of the 'new breed' of F1 drivers. The type who would not only study how the car worked, but they also paid greater attention to how they operated as human beings. He paid great attention to his physical fitness, and his mental clarity ... he wore his heart on his sleeve and had strong spiritual beliefs that guided him. How he became a three-time F1 world champion driver lies in how focused he was while driving in the moment, as well as how much dedication he put into his profession when on the outside of the car;
"I want always to go faster... I am aggressive, I am determined and I am dedicated to my profession. I continuously go further and further to learn about my own limitations, my bodies limitations, psychological limitations - it's a way of life for me."
The key to his success is in the last few words of this quote from Mr Senna, as seen in the video below "...it's a way of life for me."
What legends have learnt is that they might have a raw talent for something, or a skill that comes naturally to them, however, if that talent or skill is going to be harnessed to it's full - unlimited - potential, then it needs to be nurtured. What is needed to really succeed is a commitment to daily awareness; and practice and dedication to building a far better life, through increasing your learning.
There is a lot we can learn from what Mr Senna has to say in this video! The main points to look out for - that we can apply to our lives today are;
To Give Everything You Have
If you want to truly succeed at something, to build a wonderful family, a successful business, a meaningful and influential career, then you need to be disciplined and dedicated to achieving that. It doesn't mean neglecting everything else in your life, however, know what matters to you and indeed why - and make sure that you follow through on the things that will make your ambitions come true! If you need help identifying what you believe will help you, there are ways to discover these things!
To keep learning about yourself
Too often we think that after a while, we have learnt everything we can and that there is no more to learn. Our habits are now set in, 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks,' I'm past it, 'over the hill' and so on. As soon as you believe that you can't do something, then you're right - it will be impossible for you! What Mr Senna has shown us here, is that you can keep developing yourself. You can keep learning about why you think the way you do, act the way you do, react the way you do, and then armed with this knowledge you can make the changes needed to get the results you want!
The problems we have are small
Keeping everything in perspective is another trait that legends have learnt. It's easy to think that this one problem that is in front of us now is what the whole world revolves around. Keeping a greater awareness of what is happening around the world and taking responsibility where we can, is a major part of feeling that our lives have a meaning and purpose. As an example, Ayrton Senna and his sister set up the Ayrton Senna Foundation in order to help street children in Brazil get an education and play sport. He also backed a comic book hero called 'Little Senna' (Senninha) that was the brainchild of two friends who worked in publishing, were F1 Senna fans, and wanted to give something back to their community.
The results of all this work can be seen in the above video; in particular notice when he raced in Monty Carlo. On the 14th of May 1988, Ayrton Senna was driving a McLaren F1 car in the Monaco Grand Prix. At one point he was over 55 seconds faster than his teammate and nearest rival Alan Prost. For those who follow Formula 1, you'll know that is a huge margin ... for those who don't it's the equivalent of how Usain Bolt runs! He wasn't just beating the opposition, he was destroying them! You can read more here about how Ayrton Senna got in the zone that day.