The South African Software

Testing Qualifications Board

NPC Event

At the Hilton in Sandton on the 18th October 2017 featuring Peter van Kets.

Today I attended the SASTQB event with one of our Premier League Speakers, Peter van Kets- an extreme adventurer, entrepreneur, author and an inspiration to all.

I arrive at the magnificent Hilton Hotel and scurried over to my seat right next to Peter van Kets.

He was so pleased to see me as a USB supporter in the audience- a sense of team spirit can go a long way. Not to mention with what unfolds as he steps on stage- the computer crashed! However, Peter continued and remained calm and intact– professionals that’s who we represent is what I thought as I sat there proudly watching our speaker take the knock and remain on track.

And then finally Peter’s slides appeared and the ‘show’ continued. Peter relates his lessons learned from his expeditions and then relays them to the business environment. As a passionate speaker he is totally devoted to inspiring people and changing their lives. WELL, he sure took me a journey this morning.

Peter spoke about his 3 WILD and CRAZY expeditions: A 2-man row across the Atlantic Ocean to Antigua and then the solo journey doing the same!!! The 3rd was his race to the South Pole with only 3 months to train and prepare for it. Talk about a dare devil!

I must say whilst watching the beautifully made video clips portraying every emotion behind each journey, whether it was out at sea or struggling through a storm, rain or blizzard in Antarctica (real life footage by the way) to the return to land watching as Peter arrives looking like Tom Hanks from Cast Away. He embraces his family, Kim and Hannah and oh boy I just couldn’t hold back the gentle tears falling down my cheeks. I wasn’t the only one, the audience had goose bumps and twinkles on their cheeks too.

He then asks the audience a pertinent question, “How do we fulfil our purpose whilst we are here on this earth?”

By the way Peter doesn’t just sign up for these expeditions for an adrenalin rush or for self- discovery, he acquires sponsorship and donates his proceedings to charities such as Children in the Wilderness.

But back to the question, most people find their purpose or fulfilment by being successful. Peter’s idea of success is “being able to achieve the dream both personally and professionally.”

A Harvard study states that having the best socio-economic background, IQ and tertiary education does not determine your level of success. In fact, success is determined by “The ability to persevere”

Peter refers to the 76 days he spent on his own in a row boat fighting to remain in a positive mental state. It takes 24 hours of isolation to get to know yourself but imagine 76 days rowing 24 hours a day on your own, boils on your bum and blisters on your hands. To fight the battle of giving up takes shear GRIT!

Peter talks about the relationships he had with 6 dorado’s that stayed by his side for 6 weeks. Did you know they are the only fish to mate for life? Makes you smile thinking of the beautiful way we are all connected in the circle of life.

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power that have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary, impossible is nothing.” (Muhammed Ali)

Steps on how to face a storm in life and cross that finish line by Peter van Kets:


You need to have a vision or dream “The tragedy of life is not death but what we let die inside of us while we live.” (Norman Cousins)


The will to win – battles in life are lost cause of the way we think. Our passion ignites perseverance.

Surround yourself with the best team

People that share the same passion and vision in life will help you to achieve your vision or dream.


Preparation is vital in order to survive.

Do not be paralysed by the fear of failure

All great stories come with pain and hardship.

Take advantage of the storms

In times of struggle, there is always opportunity hiding in the darkness. Remember this will end you’re not alone.

Be innovative

Things are changing drastically at an exponential rate. “Without continuous growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.” (Benjamin Franklin)

You snooze- you lose

In life if you continue to push the snooze button on your alarm, no-one will ever know. But get up and get out there- everyone will soon know.

These are the stories of survival, courage, perseverance, passion, loneliness, tenacity, amazing team work and the will to win. What a true inspiration. Thank you Peter!

Start typing and press Enter to search