Paul Salzman

August 15, 2022


In 1983, a 61-year-old scrawny and socially awkward potato farmer named Cliff Young entered the Sydney to Melbourne Ultramarathon, which was considered one of the world's most difficult physical challenges. 544 miles (875 kilometers) of flats and hills that would take six or seven days to complete. The runners were allowed to eat and sleep as they chose, and the winner would win $10,000. When Cliff showed up in overalls and rain boots, the other runners, who were much younger and dressed in the latest Nike, Reebok, and Adidas running gear, made fun of him. The race officials were worried that Cliff might die of a heart attack, but Cliff assured them that he had grown up on a farm where they couldn't afford horses or four-wheel drives, and that whenever a storm was coming in he'd often run for two to three days without sleep in order to round up his family's 2,000 sheep on their 2,000-acre ranch.

When the race started, all the other runners took off at a high speed, leaving Cliff in the dust. Cliff, however, started with a slow loping pace and style that would later come to become known as the Cliff Young shuffle. Now the race officials were sure Cliff would collapse and die somewhere along the route.

But Cliff had a secret that no one knew about--including him. You see, Cliff had never met another long-distance runner before. He had never talked to a coach. He had never read Runner's World magazine or a book on long-distance running. He therefore didn't know you are supposed to sleep for six or seven hours a night during a long-distance endurance race. That first night Cliff slept for only two hours. By running while the others slept, he took the lead the first night and maintained it for the remainder of the race. The next day he ran nonstop for 23 hours, pausing to sleep for only one hour.

Running with virtually no sleep for the entire race, Cliff crossed the finish line 10 hours ahead of the next finisher. He had covered 544 miles in 5 days, 15 hours, and 4 minutes--the equivalent of almost four marathons a day- shattering the previous race record by more than two days.

Cliff's story illustrates that sometimes it isn't what you don't know that stops your success. It's what you do know that isn't true. It is wise to question all of your assumptions about how things are done and be open to new possibilities.

Excerpt from The Fundamentals of Success by Jack Canfield

About Paul Salzman

In a world where complexity reigns, I am a visionary who foresees the power of simplicity through CreativeHydra, delivering transformative cloud and business management solutions for enterprises of all sizes, guiding them towards a prosperous future.

As co-founder of stealth automotive startup, Wheelio, I strive to revolutionize the way we perceive and interact with the locating and purchasing the vehicles that carry us through life

Embracing the profound wisdom of minimalism, I champion the less-is-more philosophy.

My fervor for automobiles, technology, and innovative business concepts fuels my pursuit of enlightenment and progress in the ever-evolving landscape of our world.

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