Sport

5 life lessons from Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards

Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards has lived an incredibly varied life: he holds a law degree, held the British ski jumping record (73.5 metres), was a stunt jump record holder (jumping the distance of 10 cars), has written a book and recorded a song. In Finnish.

Edwards doesn't speak Finnish.

With a biopic about his incredible career set to come out later this year, here are five life lessons from the effervescent legend to help you live a more varied, confident life.

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1. Stay positive

Negativity will drag you down. Be positive at all times. That helped me with my ski jumping: when you're standing at the top of a jump you can see a million different reasons as to why you shouldn't go down. To go further than you've ever been before, you have to risk more than you risked last time around. Any negative attitude, any hint of doubt that you're not going to make it only sets you up for failure.

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2. Five Ps

Planning and preparation prevent piss-poor performance. I don't go into challenges recklessly, I know exactly what I'm doing when I set myself up for them. Preparation and training allows you to be fully aware of your own abilities. I've always been content that I'm capable of doing what's asked of me before I sign up to doing it. Train hard. Stay one step ahead - be it for sport or for a law degree. Work toward future targets as well as immediate tasks.

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3. Use your nerves

Whenever I've been anxious, be it on a diving board, ski jump or in an exam hall, I've always allowed those nerves to focus my energies. I was always scared enough to help me concentrate - but never too scared to go ahead with the task at hand. Things are never quite as bad as they appear in your own mind; fear distorts.

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4. Losing is still a result

Even when I came last in the Olympic ski jump, I looked for the positives. When I landed, I landed on my feet, so that's a result. I survived. I wasn't injured. It's very easy to criticise and be negative, but if you look at the positives you can improve, drive forward to do better.

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5. Be up for a challenge

Never be afraid to have a go. It shouldn't matter that you might not be any good at it, and don't be held back by potential embarrassment. "Having a go" might turn into developing a real passion, which in turn could lead to success that you hadn't foreseen. Expertise has to start somewhere. You never know where it might lead you.

If you’ve been inspired by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics then sign up for your own challenge at the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games, 21st-23rd March. You can run, swim or cycle different distances and raise money to help transform lives in the UK and around the world by entering at www.sportrelief.com