Two Years ago,I read Richard Branson’s Quick Read and Lessons in Life “Screw It,Let’s Do It”
You Must read it too !..The Quick Read version is just Rs 150…ask your bookstore for a discount…the extended version a little more
I was floored…I have to admit that I changed my opinion of him…from an eccentric,lady killer,unethical go-getter and a carpetbagger to one who has a conscience and is a big and exciting risk taker by choice…and one who lives Life to the Full
I actually bought several copies and distributed it to clients and friends and relatives…It has been reprinted seven times in 2006 and thrice in 2007 to meet the demand !
Recently I again rewarded some participants ,for their interaction in my workshops, with it.
What also got me was that Richard and I have something in Common…we’ve both cheated Death Thrice !…Difference being he did so out of Choice…a Powerboat race across the Atlantic and two hot air balloon adventures across the Atlantic and the Pacific….. and me out of Tragic Chance…Bomb Blast at the BSE,trapped in the Worst Sandstorm in the Sahara Desert in Egypt and a near tragic Car Accident !
But this is about Richard Branson……
Richard Branson tried Crossing the Atlantic to Ireland to win the ‘Blue Riband’ on the Virgin Atlantic Challenger while Joan was delivering their first son…The son was born,but Richard’s Powerboat died on him with the hull splitting in a fierce storm and all of the crew being rescued of the raft after radioing out “Mayday ! Mayday! Mayday!”…he came back six years later in Virgin Atlantic Challenger II….but with sea water entering their fuel tanks and the engines stalling it looked like they had lost again….Richard Branson motivated his crew for one last try and somehow got the engines working and they won…Keep Trying and Never Give Up was his Big Lesson from this Adventure
Immediately he was challenged to cross the Atlantic yet again by a Swede, Per Lindstrand…but this time together in a Hot Air Balloon…He accepted after learning Per had two kids too !….He took lessons in Flying the Hot Air Balloon in Spain….They actually crossed the Atlantic to Ireland…but had serious landing Issues..When they flew into a thick Fog and missed the Beach,Per panicked and jumped into the ice cold waters…with only Richard’s weight to tackle,the ballon simply flew away higher..Fuel was low,Radio was not working and Richard weighed his options…he could parachute out into the ice cold ocean or stay put and while he was alive work out something…he chose the latter and was saved by a rescue helicopter…They pulled out Per from the Sea just before he would have froze to death…..Lessons learnt were several….Never Give Up….If you want to do something,just do it…prepare well…. have faith in yourself…help each other….Whatever your Goal,you’ll never succeed unless you let go of your fears and fly…Love your Family….Richard knew that he could die on this Adventure…so before he took it,he wrote a letter to his children saying “Live Life to the Full.Enjoy every minute of it.Love and look after Mum.”
Next Richard and Per embarked on a Hot Air Balloon to cross 8000 miles over the Pacific Ocean from Japan to America….This was an even more riskier journey than the one they had done before…As you can imagine,they faced challenges that threatened their Life…they finally landed in the wilderness of Canada and it took eight hours to rescue them…but they had done it !
“Life is too short to be unhappy”.Read the Book to find out how Richard’s enterprising mind gave birth to Virgin Music and what inspired Virgin Airlines,Virgin Trains and now Virgin Galactica…and the most inspiring of all,for me that is,how he finally got his ‘Necker’ island…says Richard “I can make up mind about people and ideas in sixty seconds.I rely more on gut instincts than thick reports.”
There’s a lot more inspiring stuff in the Book…..Richard calls these Lessons in Life, Simple Truths. It’s written in first person and in a racy style….just go ahead and read it !…and share it with others !