Achieving Your Goals
Peter Bland’s lifelong urge to walk the thin line between adventure and catastrophe has led him to the ends of the earth and forced him to test the limits of his own body.
In 1998, 35-year-old Peter Bland fulfilled his lifetime ambition by becoming the first Australian to walk to the North Magnetic Pole, and the only one to have ventured to both the North and South Magnetic Poles.
What makes Peter Bland’s accomplishment even more remarkable is that he completed his expedition twelve months after his second bout of major heart surgery. Having raised funds for the National Heart Foundation by achieving his goal, Peter Bland is now their National Ambassador.
But Peter Bland faced his biggest challenge in 2000 when he and childhood friend, Jay Watson, set out on the first ever unsupported crossing of the Antarctic Peninsula. With no dogs, vehicles or doctors, they set out to conquer the stretch of craggy mountains, glaciers and ice-filled bays known as the ‘Great White Chaos.’
On the last day of their journey, an avalanche plunged Peter Bland into a 14-story deep crevasse.
With his pelvis crushed, ribs broken and skull fractured, Jay lay on Peter for three days providing him with enough body heat to survive until rescuers arrived.
Suffering severe brain trauma, Peter required a year of speech therapy, physiotherapy and ongoing medical attention before he could function normally again. Says Peter, ‘The greatest journey I’ve ever taken is from that crevasse to being able to speak publicly again. I had to reinvent myself.’
Now in demand as a professional speaker, Peter Bland draws on his extensive experience in the wilderness and the corporate world.
At age 25 he started his own Gourmet Cookie Company, taking his ‘backyard business’ into Australia’s major department stores and hotels and reaching his goal of cracking the Japanese export market.
Peter Bland has also raised more than $14 million for Australian charities, produced two television documentaries and released his biography A Step Too Far.
Today, Peter Bland runs an adventure travel company specialising in teaching leadership skills to groups in the board room and then taking them to the ice to put their newly learned skills into practice.
A brilliant and inspiring speaker, Peter Bland helps people to identify the goals that engage their heart. Peter believes that once the heart is engaged, success is just a matter of timing.
Peter showed us you can achieve the un-achievable, if you have confidence and have belief in yourself and the people you work with. Don’t be limited by standard conventions or historical performance levels, but stretch the limits, explore new horizons, because unless you do you will never know what you can achieve. He is living testimony to this ethos. An inspiration to us all.
-Elders Limited NSW
Peter’s achievements make you realize just how much bigger the world is than the reality of your everyday existence and how if you set yourself a goal, plan it systematically and stick to your plan, anything is achievable.