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Why Striving in Life Is Important

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I've always liked to push myself - I guess it's something of a family trait! But the idea to constantly set goals, no matter the obstacles, and strive to achieve them is something that I fully believe in.

By setting yourself goals in life you learn an incredible amount and you get a sense of fulfilment and pride. Even the journey getting there, the ups and the downs makes you feeling motivated and positive. There is a constant feeling of reward.

Knowing you have believed in yourself enough to set yourself goals requires self-worth and along the way you gain many attributes including resilience, communication and team building qualities - life skills that are so important and the foundation to becoming a healthy, happy and productive individual. I don't believe these so called soft skills are being valued enough in the growth of young people and the current system makes it hard for them to be taught well enough at school.

This is a complicated world of new challenges and opportunities that await school leavers, and the more comfortable they feel about embarking on new challenges the better. It isn't just academics that is a key factor in success.

That's how the Virgin STRIVE Challenge was born. My cousin Noah and i wanted to come up with an idea which could be a vehicle for a conversation on life skills and a way to support the amazing projects in the UK doing such great work in this area.

A few years ago I co-founded a charity called Big Change with some friends and family. The charity's main focus is to improve the lives of young people in the UK and be a catalyst for positive change in the world.

Almost a year ago today, an idea began to develop within the Big Change team... to focus on life skills and see how big a difference we could make. The Virgin STRIVE Challenge is something that we hope will capture the imagination of the public and really emphasise the importance of these building blocks to life.

The Virgin STRIVE Challenge is a mass participation ultra-endurance event that will see a core team (including myself, Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed and paralympian gold medalist Ade Adepitan), travel from London to the summit of the Matterhorn (the most iconic mountain in Switzerland), entirely under human power.

That means three back-to-back marathons from London to the coast, rowing the English Channel, cycling 900km to Verbier, hiking 7 days over the iconic Haute Route to Zermatt and then climbing the Matterhorn, all of which will take just over a month (August 2014).

It's going to an epic adventure - something that will test my mental and physical limits to the edge. But by using these incredibly important life skills to help us tackle this challenge, I'm hoping that it will show people that you can achieve your goals, if you really set your mind to it and you can also learn a hell of a lot in the process.

We announced the Virgin STRIVE Challenge on the roof of The O2, and we couldn't think of a more fitting setting. High up over London with a great perspective.

And while it wasn't as high as the top of the Matterhorn will be, it was still a brilliant place to literally fly the flag for Strive.

We were joined by some of the core team and other Strivers who will taking part in different legs of the challenge, including Professor Brian Cox and Jack Whitehall.

It was so great to see how easily the team bonded and how excited they were about taking a part in such a great event, for an amazing cause, that will help have a positive impact on so many young lives.

Everyone is incredibly focused on what they have to do - although I did hear Jack say he was going to be the first person to try a marathon on a Segway - but I assume he was joking!

I have got three months to be fitter than I have ever been, and I'm not going to lie it has been tough - with the hardest part still to come. But that's why we embarked on this challenge - to show that by setting yourself goals and striving to achieve them you can and will become a more fulfilled person.

We hope you can join us and take part in our adventure. Sign up for Strive here.

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