Inspiration isn't enough

Don’t get me wrong. Inspiration is great for getting us to imagine a different future, it opens us up to consider alternative options and to believe that something which once seemed impossible, is suddenly in the realm of possibility. Plus, of course, I’m a public speaker, I make a living inspiring people to think and live differently.

But the bit I love most during a talk is when I see people shift in their mind set and then pin down an actionable task.

What’s the one thing that will move you forwards today?

If you can concentrate on actionable tasks, on making things happen and turning your ideas into plans, this is where the magic happens. This is where inspiration turns into the doing that takes your dreams from a night time indulgence to a day time reality.

For me there are 3 key ingredients for turning inspiration into action;

1. What is your one thing?

If it’s ‘be more adventurous’, then you need to work on being a tad more specific. How about;

  • go for an hour run somewhere new within 30 miles of where you live once a month

  • email that person who’s adventure you admired and find out what their key learnings were

  • or put £20 into a savings account each week so that you have over £1000 in a year’s time to spend on adventuring.

Your one thing should be small, something you can start doing this week, or better yet, today. It could be something as simple as emailing someone or blocking time in your diary. Make a decision and carry it out. Don’t get hung up on if it’s the best thing to do, otherwise you’ll never do anything!

And even better still, tell someone you’re going to do it…

2. Get accountable

Social pressure can be really powerful. That expectation that you’ll do what you said you would, that you’ll have made progress in a month’s time, it really works for nudging us to do more.

Let’s say in 2019 you want to read 12 new books. You’re not a big reader now, but it’s been something you’ve wanted to do for ages. It’s been there on your To Do list, but keeps getting dropped to the bottom in place of that new film or going for drinks with friends.

Now let’s say you’ve committed to reading a new book this month and you’ve joined a book club. Everyone else in your new group of adventure-hungry mates is reading it too and there’s the possibility you’ll be the only one who hasn’t finished the book. So you get the book and put it in your work bag. You read a couple of pages on the commute and find it surprisingly page-turning. Now that new film can wait — you’d rather find out what happens when the boat starts to sink and no one’s calling abandon ship. Will they get to the life rafts? Will everyone survive? Why did they go into so much detail about the grappling hooks used for the fishing?*

Suddenly it’s not just about reading a book because it’s on your list. It’s about sharing stories and experiences and feeling part of something. Plus, now you can finally tell that anecdote about the time you went fishing in Cornwall.

3. Plan it your way

May be you’re the kind of person that works best with a detailed spreadsheet or you prefer seeing your targets right there on the calendar every morning to remind you. However you work best, find a way of planning your action points that works for you.

There’s so much out there on the best way to be productive, the most efficient way to spend your time, how to do everything at once or only work 4 hours a week. But when it comes down to it, you know you best. So always take a step back and listen to how you want to get this done.

*Want to know what they ended up using the grappling hooks for when the southern ocean swallowed their fishing boat? Check out our Adventure Book Club read from April 2018 to find out — Last Man Off by Matt Lewis.

Whoop Whoop! Tis the season to be jolly and adventure plan for 2019. Which is why we’ve teamed up with Going Solo to include a FREE adventure calendar when you sign up to a quarterly subscription with Adventure Book Club. The perfect combo to get you inspired and taking action! Find out more.


Going Solo, run by Paul Everitt, is a collection of inspiring blogs featuring stories of adventures large and small from a whole array of fun-loving folk. From motorcycling around the world to polar expeditions and even a look at what van life is really like. In addition to his ever popular Map Buffs, Paul has now launched the 2019 adventure calendar to help share people’s stories far and wide. Featuring some of his favorite people of 2018, each month offers a different adventurer to get you thinking about exploring the world around you. His calendar is a great accompaniment to books filled with adventure — don’t just get inspired, get planning too!