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Resilience, realised potential and a record-breaking journey: Nathan Dunne on Success Won’t Come Calling

3 May 2022

Last week I was honoured to share the Success Won’t Come Calling studio with Nathan Dunne, a 28-year-old from the Wirral who has overcome immense adversity in his life. 

It’s hard to condense Nathan’s journey into a few lines, but I want to share some of the things I took away from the conversation, which we can all apply in our daily lives – both personally and in business. 

Beat life’s hurdles through “extreme planning”

Nathan experienced horrible treatment from people who should have been his caregivers from a young age. He was moved from foster home to foster home and experienced PTSD due to the trauma he faced. 

What astonished me about Nathan was the rationality and maturity he fostered in the face of this terrible adversity. As a small child, he reached the immensely mature conclusion that if he could hold on until adulthood, he could regain control over his life. Since speaking to Nathan, I have come to think of this approach as “extreme planning”.

In the face of terrible suffering, Nathan demonstrated one of the most powerful human traits we can foster: resilience. He overcame heart-wrenching challenges and moved forward to build a meaningful, productive life for himself. 

It’s true that we can’t always control what life throws at us, but, Nathan’s “extreme planning” strategy could be applied to situations of similar severity, on condition that this resilience can be found.

Goals can provide meaning and guidance in times of struggle 

In times of adversity, we all know how easy it is to slip into self-pity and rumination. But this inaction doesn’t make things better. Nathan shared that focusing on actionable goals helped him keep moving forward and brought more profound meaning to his life. 

Nathan’s next awe-inspiring goal is a 1,350-mile barefoot walk from John o’ Groats to Land’s End in just 52 days – a journey that will set a new world record, all in aid of the mental health charity, MIND. 

Empathy and respect are life-changing values to live by 

Nathan shared that the kindness of another person can transform someone’s day. You never know what someone else is going through. 

Each day, how many people do you speak to? It’s very few. The opportunity to positively change the way another human being is feeling is a powerful one.

As you interact with people in your daily life – strangers, colleagues, friends, family – think of the vast mutual positives of treating them with dignity and respect. 

You can listen to the whole podcast here to learn more. 

To donate to Nathan’s Just Giving page, click here.