Can a contemporary  being think that in life there are no surprises or unexpected situations to manage? Is the road always defined?
Are the resources to be deployed to survive or to be successful prescribed or do we have to invent new ones at all times?
Every person, every professional has to deal with situations and scenarios more and more unexpected and unpredictable. This same ability is the competence of skills.
In the style of anthropological research I put myself in the game and I started 16 months ago an experiment on myself on the topic of managing the unexpected. I called this challenge Dealing with the Unexpected with emphasis on the theme of training for the unexpected.
I decided to improvise professional driver, participate and conclude three World Rally useful to qualify and participate in the Dakar, the hardest motorcycle race in the world. I considered this a challenge to the limit on which I can commit myself since this race and this sport have always been my unexpressed desire.
The challenge, with highs and lows, has reached a first result. In January 2023 I will be one of the 100 drivers who will participate in the next Dakar. In the following lines I tell the lessons learned so far.


I didn’t start from scratch because I’ve always been an off-road racer, but I’ve never participated in international and world-class races. It was also years that I was not physically prepared as an athlete and therefore able to bring my body to stress and performance of a certain type.
The first six months of work were essential to build a minimum of skills and technical preparation, as well as psychophysical training. I then participated in two world rallies, one in Andalusia and one harder in Morocco, essential to access the Dakar, the hardest motorcycle race in the world.
Let’s make a first general assessment of this training with the unexpected.
What happened and what I learned during the preparation and what effects did I experience in my personal and professional life? Here is a list of benefits collected in these months.
Training the body improves health
I quit smoking, reduced alcohol by 90% and decreased blood sugar by eliminating carbohydrates based on 00 flour and sugar. I lowered cholesterol, which has always been my problem, and eliminated all the joint and muscle inflammation that have always characterized me. Finally, I recovered the night sleep and in general the psychological well-being given by the continuous intake of endorphins in the body.
Work life balance
The time that is dedicated every day to sports preparation is thought to be taken away from family and work. In fact I increased productivity and focus in work at the expense of disorganization and downtime dedicated to activities that I previously did not select. The time dedicated to sports activities has aligned me more with the theme of work life balance and the rebalancing of the time spent at work compared to the family. I resumed practicing good food, I took care of rest and necessarily I increased for absurd even the time dedicated to my family. Having a second goal in addition to the working one becomes a practice that also regulates with balance your main activity.
Dreams are contagious
One of your great goals impacts others before you. Declaring to family members, acquaintances and friends that you are pursuing a great and challenging goal indirectly affects the image that others have of us. If in a first phase distrustful attitudes prevail and you are stuck in the category of the crazy dreamers, then as you approach the lens you find a series of close or even distant people who follow you, sustain you, support you as an example to be pursued. In reality, declaring an important challenge becomes a motivational stimulus for all the people who know you, so that each one for his own will be in some way positively conditioned by the example. They will see you working intensively on your dream and this will increase your personal reputation in the eyes of the world.
Some will continue to say that they see you “clouded” by your passion. But the term evokes a monomaniacality that is fundamental in all those who pursue a specific outcome. It is up to you to find the right words to make the world understand that having extraordinary goals is a way to continue to evolve and experiment as an individual. You may never know what this blurring is, but the important thing is that it improves your journey in life and that of the people you love.
One big goal, many small badges
There are many activities to be implemented to be ready for the great challenge. The first thing is to line up the skills: eat well, strengthen the body, learn to climb the dunes, learn to repair the bike, know English well and a little French, learn navigation with the tools, etc. There are many skills to develop and each need for specific experiences, practices and studies. Many skills, many micro-objectives.
The program must then be divided into many small badges to be obtained along the way. Dividing the goal is crucial because it allows you to plan your work without unnecessary stress and also set up a bonus system in small steps, useful to fool the brain often overshadowed by the overall impact of many problems to be solved. Each goal is thus a result achieved by his observations, his analyses, his learning and his satisfactions.
The technique is also fundamental to manage fatigue during the race, so as to deceive our mind that often refuses fatigue and that instead becomes more collaborativewith small goals to achieve and reprogram.
This job is teaching me how to manage stress and better plan challenging goals, especially in managing my business. I must thank for these analyses the mental coaching work I am doing with Angelo Carnemolla, my colleague in charge of training in Zeranta, who is experimenting on me different motivational and management mechanisms of stress.
The challenge of a man is always the challenge of a team
I have seen friends lose their way making the mistake of going solo and not ally themselves with someone, or not having the humility to declare their inexperience to gather an extra piece of advice. Choosing the team or working group is crucial. Every solo sport needs, even more so, a team of work, where the preparation is not obvious. Working in teams, deciding to invest resources and time in others can be the turning point.
Other people don’t give you a gift if you don’t grow them. In sport as in life the rule of return applies: I give one thing to you and you give one thing to me, but it is always worth taking the first step with truth and spirit of gratuitousness. I have once again experienced the value of the gift economy combined with the sharing of your project. You always have to wonder what of my project can be useful to others. Behind this prior question is the possibility to motivate and involve a valuable team.
In this year I created a team that helped me grow in psychophysical terms and here I thank Pino di Ionna of Self Coerence, my nutritionist Francesco Cagnazzo, Marco de Angelis of Fisioequipe and Angelo Carnemolla sports psychologist who helped me before, during and after the race with simple but effective advice. Together with them we have experimented with important techniques of development of the potential and of management of the stress, useful also to the managerial context in which we operate professionally. What we have experienced about me is already being applied to the managerial development of our clients.
On the technical side, a great job has been done with the Solarys Racing Team, the only Italian team in my opinion able to move with professionalism in the international arena. A big thanks also to his professional drivers Jacopo Cerruti and Paolo Lucci who have transferred me many techniques and tricks of navigation and race management. In addition,Gianluca Celestini, with his MX school, is helping me acquire fundamental driving techniques and is a great travel companion in this project. Finally, I can not think of my real mentor, the one who reactivated the dream and who became a friend and travel companion: Tiziano Internò of Rally Pov.


Then began the first races, in which I learned many practical things related to an international competition: how to navigate, how to manage energies and regulate them for several hours, etc. But on these technical issues I do not think I have anything to teach anyone, the reflections for the insiders would be nothing new, while for those who do not rally anything particularly interesting. Beyond the technical reflections, is listening to my mind and body that made me understand new possibilities for my mind-body machine.

The great learning: transforming frustration into new energy
The great knowledge came from the encounter with what was not planned, with the unexpected.
Just these days is a year after the decision to participate in the Dakar.
I learned a lot. I will never stop recommending to all my clients and friends: search and create situations where you have only partial control of success, because only then you can grow.
The goal of the project, participate in the Dakar 2022, has not been achieved. At the last minute, I wasn’t chosen by the organization, even though I qualified.
I was told that my performance was not yet at the level to participate in this competition, changing the practice that saw in the conclusion of a rally like that of Morocco an essential and sufficient condition to participate.
Before that, in July, I did a front bike/ car during a race, at other times it would knock me out. It seemed all vanished but with a month of hard work and determination I did not stop except for a few days.
This is an experience we find in reality. A rule, a predefined context, a scenario we had confided in does not occur. Frustration often takes the place of disappointment and becomes a definitive brake on evolution.  It has not been easy but this alchemical process of transformation of negative emotions into an immediate status of resetting goals I believe is fundamental for a person and an organization today.
Take a negative emotion that risks blocking our mental and moral system and trash it right away. Refocusing all energies in a new program without passing the blame or frustration onto others. Part of the challenge is also the external factor, which we cannot control. Indeed, the only way to control it is to accept its outcome and accept our impotence in the face of others’ case or inefficiency.  Understand that everything is learning.
We live in a complex and therefore fluid world, where we cannot remain emotionally and sentimentally tied to our planning. You have to plan but at the same time and with great speed you have to be able to redesign continuously in the light of external events.
Do not be afraid to fail a second time: be stubborn lightly
We must necessarily give ourselves ever more important objectives and the first of these is to re-propose the challenge of achieving a conquest that has got out of hand. Don’t be afraid to try again and lose again. So, from January 1 I resumed training with a new clear goal: retry registration to Dakar 2023.
It was not easy to overcome the fear of not succeeding for a second time.
On March 4, I took part in the first race of the 2022 World Rally Championship, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, a sand race. A difficult competition that forced me to intensify training and planning. A race where mainly professionals participate and get to the bottom is not easy.
The experience of the Abu Dhabi rally was fundamental. We started in 42 drivers, 36 of them were professionals. Each of them told me from the beginning that each stage would be much more difficult than a single stage of the Dakar, for the characteristics of the territory, with very soft dunes even 500/600 meters high and the presence of giant holes that once taken will block the bike… and in a moment the race ends.
It was a crazy experience. I call it an IN/OUT experience. I think sometimes you need the courage to face your own monsters. When I ran the Rally of Morocco in the analysis of the data – heart, heart rate variability , stress parameters – it emerged that the breathlessness came mainly from the sandy stretches. That was my big limit. So I organized and trained to solve that big gap. During the race week, day after day, I first won the fear and then assumed the experience of reading the terrain and my body to face that specific territory. Now is my favorite territory. Dunes I fear you no more. My enemy is now my friend.


Now that I am resuming the workouts in greater number, intensity and method I realize that this project is almost a second job. The mindset is the same as in my first job. The question I ask myself is: what do I gain and where do I find the energy?
In economic terms it is apparently a loss even if I think that the quality of my entrepreneurial action is improving thanks to this experience: I have more confidence in me, I delegate more to my team. As a result I return to them more value and feel that people grow faster.
So where do I find the energy to continue fulfilling all my responsibilities?
The answer is in the vital energy, that precondition on which everything depends.
That feeling that makes us wake up in the morning with impetus and not dragged, that inner strength that makes us face all the hardships and stresses of the world.
The energy that emerges when we feel we are living, self-realized and able to dominate our destiny with a fulfillment that does not require the confirmation of others but simply comes from being aware of being special.
My vital energy comes from the need to participate in extra-ordinary projects, from the need to challenge me in uncharted territories. This is not the case for everyone, but everyone must understand what their source is, so that they can have the strength to face any unexpected situation with a smile on their face.
Live then the source of the vital energy, whatever it may be!
In the coming months I will tell on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube my preparation, so as to accompany the people interested in these reasoning inside the experience. It will be a period of intense but exciting work, to better build my participation in the Dakar 2023.
If you would like to participate in any form or way in the project and take a path with me, you can send me an email