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free thinking, inspiration, leadership

Why The World Needs More People Like Lewis Pugh

If you haven’t heard of Lewis Pugh, he chooses to swim in the world’s coldest waters to highlight environmental disaster. He doesn’t wear a wetsuit; only a pair of Speedos, a swim cap and goggles.

I could write a synopsis of what he has been doing for the last few years but I thought I would ask you to watch his awe-inspiring talk on TED.com instead:

Now that you have watched that, think about this: Lewis used to be a maritime lawyer. He could easily have settled for a career in law…but he didn’t. He saw a more important, often ignored problem that humans were causing. Global warming was resulting in melting ice in the Poles and rising sea levels. As a result, animals such as polar bears were on the endangered species list. Of course there are other environmentalists who are doing great things and trying to bring this problem to the attention of the mass media. Lewis simply knew that he had to do more than highlight it; he had to put himself on the line to make the statement.

Following his North Pole swim, he vowed never to swim in temperatures that cold ever again. That was until he heard about a lake that had formed beneath the summit of Everest (Lake Imja) due to a glacier melting:

This is not meant to be a blog post purely about global warming. I hope that it will stir the spirit and passion in some people. At some point in our lives we have to decide whether we want to conform and embrace the status quo or let the world know that as a race, humans are capable of much more. For entrepreneurs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and the ‘cast’ of Dragon’s Den all came to that crossroads. For art lovers, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Damien Hirst had to change things. For film fans, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg and Jean-Luc Godard knew they needed to convey their message.

What are you doing that is changing the face of the world?

Links to original TED.com videos:
Lewis Pugh swims the North Pole
Lewis Pugh’s mind-shifting Everest swim

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About David Lowe

Founder / editor at Origin of Cool (www.originofcool.com) and World Sport Bloopers (http://www.worldsportbloopers.com). Talk to me about building online communities, social media, online advertising and cool stuff. Love ping pong!

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