Inge Solheim: 'Your mother might be happy with you doing your best, but I'm not'

Renowned explorer Inge Solheim explains how LYMA helps people be as exceptional as him

4 Minute ReadInterview by David Levesley


If you’re famous and you want to explore the wilds of the world, you turn to Inge Solheim: one of the world’s leading adventure guides, he is passionate about helping everyone explore the outdoors and achieve remarkable feats.

You may have seen him before when he lead, alongside Prince Harry, the Walking With The Wounded expeditions to the North and South Poles. He is also featured in the TV series made about these journeys, and has produced his own TV series North Pole Ice Airport. Maybe you've caught him in his ambassadorial roles for Breitling, Ford, Helly Hansen or Grundig. Or maybe you've seen him expounding the value of LYMA, which he has been a fan of for years.

We sat down with the man himself to hear more about how he achieves exceptional things, and the role our Supplement plays in that.

How does it feel when you're performing at the top of your game?

When I'm performing at the top of my game, it's like I'm in a flow state. Everything lines up: the preparations, here and now, and the future just blends into one. It just feels right.

What are the ingredients of a good performance for you?

When I was younger, I was skiing with some Royal Marine soldiers that were training in Norway, and one of them taught me a very important lesson. It was a saying from the military: 'proper planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance.' And that stayed with me all of my life.

For me, a good performance is when you're well prepared, your execution is on point, and your result is as predicted or better. A good performance for me is when the preparations, the plan, and the execution hits the target or better.

Most of my top performances have been outside in the natural world, in nature. Nature is giving me a kind of feedback about who I am and how I'm performing. Sometimes success feels comfortable. Other times success is collapsing after a very challenging performance.

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How do you prepare for good performance?

Most of the things that I do today I have been preparing for for many, many years, I have been building a base of experience, knowledge, insight, and lots of mistakes. That base is what I'm performing on top of now.

My physical fitness is years of training, my mental fitness and my robustness is born from a lot of hardship over many, many years and lots of different kinds of challenges. That is the backdrop for my performance.

What are your rituals before you take something on?

Whether I'm doing something alone or together with other people. My job is to bridge the gap between ambition and ability, and sometimes that gap is really big. But I have to find out what else is required to achieve or perform at the level I have to. I have to prepare everything that I can control, and I have to train right, I have to eat right and sleep right too, to prepare for the challenge and analyse what it will take to achieve my goal.

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What has been your biggest success, and how did it change you?

My biggest success is not a single moment, event or achievement. I think my biggest success was when I understood that you have to do what it takes. Focus on what you have to do to achieve your goal, and just do that.

A relatively famous friend of mine called Winston Churchill, he said: sometimes doing your best is not enough. You have to do what is required. For me, that means you just have to do what it takes. Not what you think you can do, or what other people expect of you, but what it takes to achieve your goal. Your mother might be happy with you doing your best, but I'm not. I just want you to do what it takes. Whatever it is.

If you want anything extraordinary in life, you have to do something extraordinary. Ordinary effort does not lead to extraordinary results.

What's the one thing everyone can do tomorrow to perform better in their day to day lives?

Everyone is different. I think knowing yourself is the key to any kind of performance. You have to know where you are today, what your talents are, what your passion is. And then you build on that: you find what you have to do today to achieve what you want to achieve tomorrow.

One of the best things about my job, and my lifestyle, is that I have been a witness to some exceptional performance. I have seen human beings do things that they never thought was possible, and that other people never thought was possible for them. Human potential is endless. People can do unbelievable things, if they put their mind to it, if they really want it, and they have the balls to try.

There's a lot of ambition, a lot of plans and dreams that are never started on or finished. Because people don't have the courage to fail, or to push themselves to the extremes that it takes to achieve them.

The quest
for better.

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