Up close and personal with Simon Treselyan


  • Business
  • Saturday, 19 Jun 2010

ONE bullet wound, one knife stab and one broken bone. That was all the injuries that Simon Treselyan had to sustain throughout his 19 years as an intelligent officer with the British Military Special Forces about two decades ago.

A very good – if not lucky – feat for someone who had led teams to fight in some of the most violent crises that had made international headlines, including that of Northern Ireland and Iraq.

Suffice to say, none of those battles had been easy, but Treselyan managed to lead his teams to do well in every battle.

The key? Well, definitely not because he knew martial arts (Treselyan was one of the youngest karate black-belt holders in England) – although that might have helped.

It was more likely because he carried a different spirit in him – a spirit cultivated and inspired by his karate masters (those he read in books and the people under whom he was trained) – and that of a warrior, not merely a soldier.

“When I joined the military, I didn’t want to be a soldier; I wanted to be a warrior,” says Treselyan, who is now an author, motivational speaker and high-performance trainer.

“There is a big difference between being a soldier and a warrior. A soldier fights for money or things, whereas a warrior protects all that is good about the nation, tribe or civilisation under his custodian,” he explains.

In Treselyan’s mind, while accomplishing every mission (that is, winning a battle) was the main focus, nothing was more important to him than ensuring the safety of his team members. As such, none of his soldiers died under his command.

New mission

Having spent half his life in the military, Treselyan says he now wants to spend the next half helping other people to achieve their true potential.

“I’m very driven to spread the wisdom I’ve gained and to share the hard experiences I’ve been through,” he says.

Treselyan left the military in 1994 after his involvement in the Balkan and Kosovo crisis made him realise the “massive capacity for evil that human beings have.”

His last four years in the military were spent as an interrogator helping victims of torture and refugees, and that became the main trigger for him to embark on a new career path.

“To know that I had actually helped in the healing process of trauma victims – mentally and emotionally – that’s very fulfilling for me,” he explains.

“I don’t want to be involved in any kind of ‘unjust wars’ anymore, and lay down my life, and that of my team members, for something that we do not believe in. I just want to focus my energy on helping others from now on,” he adds.

Currently based in Australia, Treselyan has travelled the world over teaching personal development skills to help individuals, especially in the marketplace, thrive and perform at extraordinary levels in extreme circumstances.

His teaching encompasses the mental, spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of the person.

“That’s because we all are a holistic being,” he says.

And to give his teachings a more “permanent” presence, Treselyan has got two books to his name – Who Dares for Success and Courage Conquers All Things.

The self-confessed fan of significant books such as Sun Tzu’s Art of War and Miyamoto Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings, also has a third book on the way – which, surprisingly, is focused on real estate.

“I realised a lot of people actually do not trust their real estate agents. So, I thought it would be a great service to the community if I could write something that could help them in this area,” he says, while revealing the title of his third book – At Home with Self.

Exciting days ahead

Writing comes naturally for Treselyan, and he claims that to be his favourite past-time activity. His “lack of education” is no hindrance at all in this aspect.

“I hardly have any education at all,” he says, adding that he joined the army when he was 16.

“I don’t believe education is actually necessary for success,” he explains. Sir Richard Branson has done it, he points out, and adds that he is now proving that to be true.

For example, he has had the experience of speaking to heads of states, including former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, trained CIA and FBI personnel, written books and spoken all over the world.

“Many people have intelligence, but they don’t necessarily have big education. I believe success hinges on your values and character,” he says.

Separated from his natural parents since birth, Treselyan grew up as an adopted child – and as the only child – to a loving adoptive family in England. But he found his natural mother after 33 years of separation and his natural father after 42 years of separation.

Now, as the single parent of two boys and one girl, he is bringing them up on his own in the way he believes will help them become better in whatever they do in the future.

“I believe in treating them like adults and making them aware of the consequences of their actions,” he shares.

And in the spirit of a warrior, he teaches his children to always be courageous in the face of opposition.

“I make sure they don’t necessarily get an easy ride in life, so I challenge them every day to learn from their mistakes, no matter how uncomfortable they may be, and engage them to do just 1% better each day,” he says.

But above all, it is more important for Treselyan that his children develop their own true values – not necessarily based on his, which includes trust, integrity, honesty and the ability to walk the talk.

“I am very values driven. Everything must be in the right way for the right reason for me,” he says.

Enemy is self

Is there anything that Treselyan fears in life? “The only fear that I have is that I don’t fulfil my destiny… I don’t fear any person or anything,” he says.

Treselyan believes the worst enemy that one has is one’s own self, as “you can be the most critical person in your life.”

As for him, he has set very high standards for himself, promising himself that he will be of greatest value to people with whom he works.

“When you hold high standards, you’re in a race with yourself. I find that very engaging as every day is a new challenge for me because I make it so, and I believe that when the challenge stops, the opportunity to grow will also cease,” he says.

In the next few years, Treselyan will busy himself with “a lot of fun things to do.” These include co-producing a reality show in the United States, called Celebrity Special Forces, which will see top celebrities going through special training, and making his book Who Dares for Success into a Hollywood film.

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