Last week, Robert Marchand created and broke a world record in a category that was created just for him. The Frenchman set the record for the longest official distance ridden in an hour in the new category by cycling 22.5 kilometers (14 miles).

What's more impressive is that Marchand is 105 years old.

Marchand did something no one else had done before, and it was something no one expected him to do. Not only is he inspiring, but his achievement is also a great model for success.

Here's what we can learn from this 105-year-old cyclist.

Lesson 1: Just because it's never been done before doesn't mean you can't do it.

Start thinking of the chance to break new ground as exciting rather than daunting. Take a cue from Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or any of the other leaders who committed themselves to doing something that had never been done before. Like Marchand, they didn't give up. They kept going after their seemingly impossible goals and found out that they were possible after all.

Lesson 2: You are more capable than you think.

Our instinctive fear of the unknown is a biological tool used to protect us from danger. In some cases, however, fear holds us back from living up to our potential. Marchand's achievement is a great example of someone believing in himself and going beyond what others thought possible. Stepping out of your comfort zone is difficult, but the rewards are immense. When you stop underestimating yourself, you start opening yourself up to opportunities for greater success.

Lesson 3: If you have a clear vision, you're more likely to achieve it.

In my work with CEOs and executives, I've learned that not having a clear vision is a quick way to exhaust your energy. When you hone in on your vision, you'll stay motivated, use your time wisely, and surround yourself with people who will help you achieve your goals.

Take Marchand, for example. He knew he could cycle, he was committed to completing the task at hand, and he never lost sight of his vision. That's something all of us can learn from and apply to our own lives or businesses.

Lesson 4: Age is not a barrier.

As Marchand proved, a 105-year-old man can cycle 14 miles in under an hour. Clearly he's not letting his age get in the way of his desire to live life to the fullest. And if he can do that, there's no reason you can't go after what you want too.

It doesn't matter if you've already retired or if you're the oldest one at your company; you should shift your mindset and stop looking at your age as a barrier to success. Once you do that, you'll realize you can do just about anything within your wheelhouse.

You might not want to cycle 14 miles when you hit Marchand's age, but I'm sure there's something you want to accomplish right now. Can you apply any of these lessons to your life? If so, take action today and move in the direction of your dreams, just like Marchand did.

Published on: Jan 10, 2017
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