What Captain Scott wishes he’d known
There’s often a thin line between success and failure – and Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated expedition to reach the South Pole shows us why it’s crucial to take those extra steps.
Battling through the frozen glaciers and ice fields of Antarctica, exhausted and frost-bitten, Captain Scott and his dedicated team of explorers, Henry Bowers, Edward Wilson, Edgar Evans and Lawrence Oates, had tramped 850 miles in a bid to become the first men in history to reach the South Pole.
Can you imagine how they felt to reach their destination – only to find out they’d been beaten to it?
The Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had reached the South Pole 34 days earlier.
“It is a terrible disappointment,” Scott recalled in his journal. And within three months he and all of his team were dead.
One by one, they succumbed to the brutal Antarctic conditions. Evans was first to go, dying from brain damage, incurred during a fall that no one else had witnessed. Next was Oates, who was lame from frostbite and could hardly walk. He staggered out of the tent into a blizzard.
“We knew that poor Oates was walking to his death, but though we tried to dissuade him, we knew it was the act of a brave man and an English gentleman,” Scott wrote.
A week later, Bowers, Wilson and Scott were three days short of their next food depot when they were caught in another blizzard. They never left their tent.
What made the difference between Amundsen’s success and Scott’s failure?
And crucially, what lessons can we learn for our own lives and businesses?
Just 11 steps more
In looking at all the evidence of his expedition, experts analysed the behaviours of Scott and his team after they found out they’d lost the race to the South Pole. They worked out that on the return journey if they’d taken 11 steps more each day…… just 11 steps…… they would have made it back to base camp and survived.
Can you push a bit further?
This mindset of ‘mental grit’ and determination is now common practice in sports psychology; In 2018, modern-day Antarctic explorer Louis Rudd would ski for more than 10 hours most days. Whenever he felt like stopping, he’d march an extra 11 steps before setting up camp. He knew that this would mean the difference between success or failure.
What are your 11 steps?
For the rest of the year…
What steps do you need to take to push you further towards your goal?
What are your 11 steps for *this afternoon* to shake off the funk and feel proud of what you’ve done?
Take those 11 steps knowing you are closer today than you were yesterday.
And with a bit of mental grit and determination, a clearly defined mission, and the right team behind you, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
Mindset and goal-setting is crucial to any successful business. If you need support to help you or your team get back on track, I’ll be delighted to help.
Click here to get in touch today.