I ASKED a few people yesterday what their lifetime's ambition was.
One said she wanted to be a doctor, though she was probably now too old for it. Another said she wanted to write a book.
A third said she wanted to marry, raise kids and run her own creative business. A fourth said it had been his dream to make a living by playing jazz guitar.
So far, so good, but the fifth person I rang said, slightly testily, that her ambition was merely to get home in time to put her toddler to bed and it would really help if I let her get on with her work.
The reason for the question was something that Diana Nyad, pictured, 64, had said on a beach in Florida the previous day.
Her face was swollen and sunburnt, and she was understandably out of breath. But she stood on the beach and told assembled TV crews: "You are never too old to chase your dreams."
Her dream had been to swim the 110 miles that separate Havana and Key West, and to do it without using a shark cage.
She had tried it on four previous occasions, the first back in 1978.
She made two attempts in 2011 -the first was called off because she was in pain, the second because of excruciating jellyfish stings.
Her fourth attempt, last year, ended after 41 hours because of jellyfish stings and weather conditions.
Some people would have called it quits after the very first setback. Not Diana. She just reached for her special bodysuit and plunged back into the water. The very fact that would have put us off for life - that much of the journey was through shark-infested waters - was of secondary importance.
Even if she had failed on Monday, you suspect she wouldn't have let it rest there. "Never, ever give up," is how she puts it.
Diana immediately became a heroine to many, who took her achievement as a sign that people should never give up on their dreams. If only it were that easy. There's a reason why dreams remain just that.
On Twitter yesterday, President Obama tweeted: "Congratulations to @DianaNyad. Never give up on your dreams." It's a nice sentiment but most of us, while admiring her and wishing we really had something of her never-say-die spirit, would probably fall in line with a tweet posted a few hours after Mr Obama's.
"Diana Nyad inspires me to want to be better," it read. "Maybe tomorrow.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.