Monthly Archives: July 2014

Small steps

Alastair Humphreys: The importance of jumping in rivers

“Don’t listen to your own excuses” – for me, this is the most important lesson from this talk.

Several times in my life I’ve been faced by what at the time appeared to be big changes and scary adventures, and I’d catch myself secretly wishing something would happen that would force me to stop, so I wouldn’t need to “give up” (which, I also believe, is just as courageous a thing to do as to take on a daring adventure) but have a decent excuse to not go on.

Most of the time, nothing would happen, and the “adventure” would start and I’d realize after a while that it wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined. I find that life is often like that. So instead of being afraid of doing something different (and looking for excuses not to do it), I really want to be the kind of person who can “first say yes and then learn how to do it.” (Richard Branson has said something along those lines, I think.)

That’s why the message in the talk about just taking the first steps without worrying about failure resonates so much with me. Which, of course, doesn’t mean that I’m deciding to go bike around the world tomorrow, but I am reminding myself to be less afraid about doing things that are different, things I’m not used to, and even things that scare me at first.

It’s the time of year when I start thinking about these things… life, adventure, and all that.