When I was 16 people were telling me I could be world champion one day.
It was a massive motivating factor, but it was also one of my biggest problems because I actually believed them!
There are many ways of becoming champion, but the main things you need are belief and desire.
A little something to show for your efforts
At the 1996 Atlanta Games I woke up on the day of our final and saw the reports of the bomb going off on TV.
(Two died and 111 were injured after a bomb exploded in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park as thousands of spectators watched a music concert).
The big question was: should the Olympics continue?
I had to carry on through my usual routine though.
I went for my warm-up two hours before the final and I was lying in the rest area hearing the tannoy announce that it may not go on.
It obviously did go ahead, but someone had made a very clear political statement and I was left questioning whether I should I go out to perform.
I thought if I didn't go out and race then someone would. If someone should be an Olympic champion why shouldn't it be me?
I had the same attitude throughout my career.
There will always be a champion - it can be anybody, so why not me?
Whatever your situation, it's all about your mental philosophy.
I programmed myself to do everything that I could possibly do to make sure it is was me that was champion.
I trained harder, I tried to become a better technician, I improved my endurance, and worked on many other elements.
And it's not just working on what you're good at. It's the weak areas you really need to concentrate on.
In 1983 I did very badly at the world championships and it was the turning point in my career.
STEVE REDGRAVE FACTS
Born: 23 March 1962
Height: 6ft 5"
Olympic golds: 5 (1984-2000)
Olympic bronze: 1988
World championships: 9 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze
Commonwealth Games: 3 golds (1986)
I had the basic speed to be up there but I just couldn't maintain it.
I was putting lots of time into the sport but I realised I was a real amateur - especially compared to the eastern bloc countries who seemed to be very professional.
My dedication couldn't be questioned, but things had to change. I eventually found a path I felt was the right way of doing things.
This path was the only way of achieving success and it had to be followed.
Whatever sport you are doing, the history is a very important part of it.
Most champions are breaking down history because everyone's got to go faster than everybody before them.
When I started I wanted to know what all the records were, the world's best times, all the venues.
I remember hearing about boxer Mike Tyson watching studiously all the videos of old fights.
If you've got talent and you've got dreams, you have got to go for it
I knew a lot of previous Olympic medallists in all the sports - I was a bit geeky to be honest!
It helps to set your goals and gives you a clearer direction on where to go.
Your personality and character will affect the way you go about achieving your goals as well.
Look at two athletes like Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett and their battle in middle distance running in the 1980s.
Ovett was flamboyant and more of a natural athlete - they had very different personalities.
Coe was very consistent and very disciplined. He did whatever it took to get that success to beat his rivals.
Seb Coe has the winning mentality
The picture of him winning 1500m gold in Moscow showed the passion and desire of everything he believed in.
If you've got talent and you've got dreams, you have got to go for it.
There was a guy who gave up at the last Olympics after just missing out on a medal, but he was young enough to carry on - probably to 2012.
If you stop, you have to be very sure that in five, 10 or 20 years time you are not going to look back and say: "If I had carried on for another four years I could have become Olympic champion."
You have to be happy with what ever you decide in life.
If you have all the elements in place and a burning desire - you have got to try to achieve your dreams.