Mark Pollock knows about adapting to changes in life. In 1998, just before finishing a business degree at Trinity College Dublin, the Irish sportsman lost his sight. At the tender age of 22 he was forced to turn down a fantastic job offer from an investment bank in London. Instead, he committed himself to relearning basic skills and rebuilding his life. Within six months of going blind he was working again, and two years later he completed a Masters degree in business studies. A talented rower, he was soon back in a boat and won a silver and bronze medal at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. Last year Pollock completed the Gobi March, an arduous six marathons (250km) in seven days through the heat of the Gobi desert in China. In April, Pollock became the first blind man to compete in the North Pole marathon. Now 28, Pollock travels the world giving talks on the power of effective decision making, how to accept change and strategies for individual and team success. 'The only thing about the future that we can count on to happen is the unexpected,' says Pollock, who shared his thoughts with Young Post while visiting Hong Kong last week. 'The key is that when the unexpected happens, you are able to accept the changes and not be devastated. For me it was going blind, but for someone else it could be another kind of change. When something goes wrong, you need to be able to say to yourself 'what do I want to happen next?'' After the initial shock of going blind as a result of detached retinas, the Irishman decided to set goals and make them happen. 'Achieving goals requires help from other people. We are not robots, and as humans we need support from friends, family and colleagues to make things happen,' he says. 'With the North Pole project for example, I had about 20 people involved - sponsors, friends, journalists and volunteers.' But his goal setting isn't just about writing down an unrealistic dream, he says. 'You need to ask why you want to do something.' Pollock's advice for any young person who wants to make money is to get the 'ammunition' they need to make it happen. 'Any student who decides not to do what it takes to pass exams is going to find it difficult to make money. 'If you want a certain lifestyle, you need the knowledge ... Life is what it is. The decisions are up to you.'