I have the privilege to know Tom and Tina Sjögren and call them friends, they are real life adventurers and explorers and among the few people in the world who have completed the Three Poles Challenge (reaching the North Pole, South Pole and Everest). They are a wonderful couple, good humored and great conversationalists.
During an expedition to the Amazon River a few years ago, I had the opportunity to spend many evenings with them by a bonfire, talking about everything under the sun. They told me many anecdotes from their adventures and mentioned their 10 Golden Rules, a list that condenses what they feel that enabled them to tackle and conquer the Poles, overcoming several life or death situations. Since then, whenever I’m about to start any new project or when I feel stuck, I read the list again and always find insight and inspiration. Comic Book Journey is no exception, from day one Tom and Tina’s Golden Rules have been the backbone of our quest. I now share this valuable tool with you:
10 Golden Rules
1. Go for both poles
We didn’t manage to even reach the South Pole the first time. But we never lowered our goal. Our final success was so much greater in the face of it.
2. Seek out the winners
We wouldn’t have made it without the aid of polar veterans, and they in turn learned from veterans before them. Every true success is a mankind joint venture.
3. Don’t cut food and fuel
In the short run, dropping food and fuel increased our speed. In the long run, it killed our expedition. Don’t undercut your survival.
4. Face the storm
Hiding out in a tent waiting for the sunny days steals crucial time. A storm always looks the worst from inside the tent. Face the storm.
5. Get out each morning
Get out there, every single day. There are so many reasons not to: Repairs badly needed, fog and whiteout. The winner moves when the others rest.
6. Keep moving
In temperatures of -50C, we wore only thin layers of clothing. In this situation, to stop was to die. When times are rough and you are the underdog, keep running.
7. Don’t think
Skiing thin ice commands swift and determined steps. Too much doubt in times of pressure kills the power of action. Don’t think, just go.
8. Be brutal
If you want to reach the impossible then you must continue where others stop. Tear down walls with your bare hands, crawl on your knees. But never stop.
9. Say only positive things to each other
We asked Polar veterans for their single, most important advice. Out of their advice, one turned the most important to us: “Say only positive things to each other.
10. You don’t have to believe to win
Faced with the facts, we could not believe in our success. Yet it arrived. You don’t have to believe in success. Just do the right things. And go.
Tom and Tina Sjögren
There you have it, a very valuable tool to use when tackling a difficult project. Tom and Tina have several websites, including Pythom.com, which I highly recommend if you’re interested in exploration and adventure.