What defines success? Hire-wire legend Philippe Petit says it depends on your personal goals and on the purity of your soul.
Petit, as his TED-series e-book Cheating the Impossible: Ideas and Recipes from a Rebellious High-Wire Artist is now available to readers, was recently featured in a “TED Q&A” and says the impossible can be achieved — you just have to work for it.
In 1974, Petit held the world captive when he balanced and walked on a cable between the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Discussing with TED — standing for Technology, Entertainment and Design — the high-wire great offers his advice to make everyone else’s balancing act a little smoother.
The key, he says, is believing in yourself.
“I am not a success guru dispensing secret formulas. I am an artist and a craftsman who loves and lives to create and to journey in the direction of perfection. … Plus—what is success? The answer depends on your personal goals and on the purity of your soul,” Petit tells TED, as he also reiterates that all he has achieved was the outcome of “long-fought battles.”
“Believing in yourself — I know from experience — is the catalyst that allows you to take hold of your destiny and permits you to shape each day the way you wish.
“If you are able to shape one day in the way you wish, that day is going to be an extraordinary day. You are going to move mountains, of whatever size, and that could be one definition of success.”
Click here to read the full conversation with Philippe Petit.
Starting in 1984, TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. There are two annual TED conferences a year (in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland) in an effort to bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).