For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.

― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Nils van der Poel

I think it’s important to understand that you’re not doing it for a gold medal. Regardless of which life you chose to live, you will sacrifice something, that’s the way it is.

As soon as you go in one direction, you also choose to not go in all other directions at the same time. It’s the basic precondition for going anywhere at all.

But on the path you take, you will experience fantastic things, even though it’s uphill there will be a great view when you’re at the top, and that’s what makes it worth it, to be on this journey with people you love. It doesn’t matter that much where the journey ends. A movie with a sad ending is also a good movie – and a movie with a nice ending makes you happy.

I’m very happy for this medal around my neck, and for getting all the way here. But why do you do it? I don’t think you get to pick your dreams, they pick us. It’s up to us to realize them or not, and it seems like people who try to realize their dreams are happier.

— Nils van der Poel, 2x Speed Skating Olympic Champion 2022



There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.

― Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Simplify, simplify

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.

— Henry David Thoreau


None of our men are ‘experts.’ We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job. A man who knows a job sees so much more to be done than he has done, that he is always pressing forward and never gives up an instant of thought to how good and how efficient he is. Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the ‘expert’ state of mind a great number of things become impossible.

— Henry Ford