Episode 38: John McAvoy is currently a professional Ironman and Nike sponsored athlete, however in his former life he was a high-profile armed robber who found redemption through the power of sport.
Having broken both British and World records whilst in prison, John is now forging a new life as an endurance athlete and speaker who is committed to using his story of rehabilitation to help and inspire others to change their lives for the better. His journey from iron bars to Ironman is quite astonishing, and one that is inspiring others to do the same. Sid and I wanted to learn more about his incredible story, the power of role models and creating a legacy.
What I’ve Been Watching
Following on from last weeks’ recommendation of Chasing Coral, this week I watched Seaspiracy, from the makers of another former Friday Footnotes recommendation, Cowspiracy. It is of course getting a mixed reception from those impacted by it, but I think you could best sum it up with what, marine conservationist at the University of Exeter, Professor Callum Roberts, said: “It’s not been made for its scientific rigour; it has used the techniques of film storytelling to make its case. My colleagues may rue the statistics, but the basic thrust of it is we are doing a huge amount of damage to the ocean and that’s true. At some point you run out. Whether it’s 2048 or 2079, the question is: ‘Is the trajectory in the wrong direction or the right direction?”.
It makes for incredibly scary and sad viewing. We need to protect our oceans, as they are a vital component for the earth’s stability and, at the moment, it is clear we are not. Please watch and form your own opinion.
What I’ve Been Reading
I love a good book about performance, whether that be in sport or in business, so this week I read The Talent Code: Greatness isn't born. It's grown by Daniel Coyle.
Coyle, an award-winning journalist, considers talent at work in venues as diverse as a music school in Dallas and a tennis academy near Moscow to demonstrate how the wiring of our brains can be transformed by the way we approach particular tasks. He explains what is really going on when apparently unremarkable people suddenly make a major leap forward. He reveals why some teaching methods are so much more effective than others. Above all, he shows how all of us can achieve our full potential if we set about training our brains in the right way. A great read.
What I’ll Be Making My Children Watch:
In ‘The Talent Code’ (mentioned above), they investigated the impact on children’s learning by understanding how we learn. They did this by showing a 50 minute video on how our brain changes when we learn, and the impact of this one video was phenomenal.
Carol Dweck’s brilliant book ‘Mindset’ is the most quoted book I see in the other books I read; it’s referenced in so many of them, I have lost count. So, on our next long car journey, I will be bribing my children with the promise of Cornish ice-cream to watch this Carol Dweck talk. I know that they are more likely to take the information onboard learning from her than they are from me!
App I’ve Found Useful
Having played golf for over 30 years, I had just grasped the old handicap system only for them to make it even more complicated. You handicap now varies depending on the course you’re playing on and the tee on the course that you are using. Relying on technology to cut through the noise is even more relevant than it was before; fortunately, the England Golf app does exactly that and when you are next on the first tee of an unfamiliar course, you’ll be armed and ready with your handicap.
Quote of the Week
“Becoming is better than being”
- Carol Dweck
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
They say that the light at the end of the tunnel is the taxman holding a torch, and that torch continues to get brighter and brighter given that more and more people are paying Inheritance Tax each year. With allowances frozen for over 10 years and property and investment market rises, more and more people are caught by a tax that was described by former Chancellor, Roy Jenkins, as "a voluntary levy paid by those who distrust their heirs more than they dislike the Inland Revenue".
If you want to plan better, we have teamed up with Buckles solicitors and are doing a free IHT and Estate Planning Webinar on 12th May at 3pm. If you’d like to attend, you can register by clicking here.