Sir Ben Ainslie CBE
From his silver medal at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta when he was just nineteen, Ben Ainslie went on to become the most successful sailor in the history of the Games, winning medals (including four golds) at five consecutive Olympics.
As a young competitor, he won four World Championships in the Laser class before moving up to the Finn class and winning a further seven World Championship gold medals, thereby becoming one of the most decorated sailors of all time. He has also competed at the highest levels of professional yacht racing, including challenging for the famous America’s Cup, both as a team member and through his own team, Ben Ainslie Racing (competing as Land Rover BAR). He is currently leading the INEOS Team UK challenge for the cup, which will next be competed for in 2021. Ben was knighted in 2013 for his services to sailing.
You absolutely have to find something you’re passionate about. If you are not passionate about it, then it’s not right for you.
I soon learned that it was always much better to be self-critical, to analyse what I did wrong and then work hard on it, rather than just blaming circumstances or other people, and then missing a clear opportunity for self-improvement.
There are lots of talented people in the world, in many different walks of life, but the really successful ones are those who genuinely apply themselves the most to whatever they are doing. It’s hard work – and there are simply no short-cuts.
Parents should introduce their children to the sort of values that can help them to succeed at whatever they want to do later in life. The importance of hard work and dedication, preparation and focus are obvious examples.
Where to buy
Read more from Sir Ben Ainslie CBE and the other 21 exceptional contributors to this book
A Few Wise Words is available to buy from Amazon, Waterstones, leading on-line booksellers and select bookshops
Explore other contributors
Tanni, Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE
Multiple gold medal winning Paralympic Athlete, campaigner and politician
Martha, Baroness Lane-Fox CBE
Co-founder of Lastminute.com and campaigner for women’s and human rights
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (1948 – 2020)
Enormously respected religious leader, philosopher, and award winning author