“Be the best in what you do or don’t do it at all”

“Be the best in what you do or don’t do it at all”

I love athletics. I used to be a real athlete; I ran for the youth team in the 100m and 200m athletic events. School was my priority and when I was about to graduate from my secondary school of economics in Kruševac, I was obsessed with running, but I was also motivated to continue my schooling and enter the faculty. When I chose to study economics, I decided to try to enter the college in several places. I passed the entrance examination in Sarajevo; the Faculty of Economics in Osijek accepted me as an athlete without the entrance examination; in Belgrade I was No. 310 in the list while the faculty enrolled three hundred freshmen. That is why I was transferred to the college in Kragujevac. At that time Kragujevac was the hub of athletics in Serbia. I used to go to the lectures from time to time, but I passionately attended athletic training sessions twice I day. That is why I was winning. When I am dedicated to something, then I invest one hundred per cent of my strength in it. I don’t do anything else. My motto has been the same all my life: either be the best in what you have chosen or don’t do it at all. At that time I used to have a great goal: to be the European champion in 100-metre sprint. In Volgograd I beat the Olympic runners from the Soviet Union, the leading power in athletics, and achieved the top result in that time – 10.7 seconds in 100-metre sprint on the slag. The whole world was mine.

In order to succeed in life, it is not enough only to get up before six in the morning from your early youth, to work full time and passionately all day long, to go to bed at ten o’clock. You must also be lucky. And I was lucky: I had a bad injury when my hamstring muscle broke. That was the end of my sprinter career. If I had continued it, I wouldn’t have gone to school; I would have won medals for several years and then – perhaps I would have been selling the lots in a local bingo. I might have gone into a small business, finding my way around, but there would be no Delta now. I wouldn’t have found out about all the miracles of business. Perhaps someone else would have made his own Maxi and turned it into a billion euro worth business. Perhaps the word “tycoon” would have been adopted in the Serbian language because of someone else. And I wouldn’t have gone to prison; the kidnappers would have looked for another victim and the politicians would have dealt with some other people…

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