How far can you go? A simple question, but one that took on deeper meaning when asked by a father to a son who was faced with the reality that he might never walk again. The question spurred John Alexander Maclean to inhabit a world without limits. To become a triathlete. A Paralympics silver medallist. The first wheelchair athlete to swim the English Channel and finish the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon.
A recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM), John Maclean set his sights on every next, and conquered it. At Confluence, he took everyone inside his mind, revealing what it takes from finding your motivation to leaving your mark. And never looking back. He was hit by an eight-tonne truck while he was cycling at the age of 22. Some might think of it as a disrupton that ends dreams. For the man who saw his tomorrow, it was merely the beginning.
When John Maclean was a little boy, all he wanted to do was to run, to be outdoors, to ride a bike. Even after being partially paralysed, he continued to evoke dreaming like he was young. Retaining childlike wonder helps attain simplicity in thought and action.
The familiar is the fortress where potential languishes and wallows. The unfamiliar is where the call to adventure is born. And to inhabit this space of newness is to find the next spot of what eventually will become routine, from where creativity and brilliance spring forth.
Purpose can be found in the people around us. A desire to push oneself is unlocked when we ask questions that are relevant, get to know people and understand the best versions of them. By doing so, we create a culture of shared inspiration to pursue greatness.
At the Beijing Olympics, Maclean played the sound of the Australian national anthem before the games, starting to create and embed the end state he wanted. If the silver medal that came after is anything to go by, well-imagined is half done. Let your next begin now.
Delete the noise, let that go. Connect with what truly does matter. Make the most of those opportunities as you continue forward on your journey.