Escape Diary #7: Four ways to be Inspired

I was talking with a friend of mine this week and naturally, as conversations tend to do these days, we drifted onto the subject of how much he hated his job.

When challenged if he was going to do anything about it he replied “I’m waiting for inspiration, but my problem is I just don’t know where to get it from”.


I know that my friend is not alone. So here are some places I’ve found inspiration recently.

1) Inspirational Speakers

I went to talk last year by Rob Gauntlett and it was without doubt one of the most inspirational things i’d ever been to. Tragically he died in a freak climbing accident in the Alps. He proved that if you have a dream (in his case being the youngest Brit to climb Everest) and you want it bad enough there is no reason why you can’t achieve it. What’s more it opens up more doors than you can ever have first imagined and in Rob’s case a follow on expedition (180degrees) a global sponsorship deal with Addidas where he stared alongside stars such as David Beckham.

2) Read books by amazing people

Sadly this blog post can by no means do justice to the thousands of inspirational reads that are out there (you’ll have to wait till esc’s library goes live) but a personal favourite of mine has to be Innocent’s story.

If you are at all thinking of going it alone BUY IT – its packed full of inspiration and demonstrates just how fun setting up a business is – a must read for any budding entrepreneur.

3) Go Shopping!

Sounds ridiculous but I know 2 places in London that are packed full of inspiration to help broaden your horizon.

A personal favourite of mine has to be the National Geographic Shop (no coincidence that this is where we hold our monthly Esc Wednesday’s).

Also try Stanfords near Covent Garden – possibly the best travel bookshop in the world – they have almost every inspirational travel book in the world!)

4) Do endurance races!

Personal challenges (like endurance events) are great ways to get frustration out, have a focus outside of work and escape albeit mentally in preparing for an event. I’d say the secret is aim high, the more ridiculous the better. The camaraderie is incredible, you raise a bucket load for good causes and you meet amazing people. Its also amazing how fast a Winter can go when an endurance event is looming.

One such crazy event is Yukon River Quest (fancy 500 miles of straight canoe paddling in the Yukon this summer) Registration has just opened

In summary

Inspiration comes in lots of different ways and can be found in the strangest places.

However, I believe it’s about putting yourself into new situations.

Inspiration rarely finds you – you have to find it.

  • EJP

    Agreed!!…especially point 4.

    No better way to let off steam from the stress of an office job than by hammering out some clicks on the roads.

    Also with these sorts of events, the only way to actually make yourself seriously contemplate canoeing 500 miles, running 50plus miles, etc is by signing up! Sign up, pay the fee, and think about it later…you will not regret it!

    If anyone fancies the Comdrades Marathon next May in South Africa (56 miler, the best ultra in the world by all accounts) then email me: ejplayfair@gmail.com. The event is supposed to be booked up but i’ve been offered a route in to it via a back door! I may be able to help. Go on…join me…commit…let’s do it!

    “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it” (Goethe)

  • Linda

    A wise counselor once told me not to look for a job that would fulfill every need in my life, for I would be very disappointed. Instead, keep my personal life, goals, and accomplishments in the foreground. I’ve lived by that concept. When things get tough at work, it’s time to set some new personal goals and explore new adventures. That’s why I am currently in the process of planning a personal dream of backpacking a 100 mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Trail in the Sierra Nevada’s, solo. “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves – in finding themselves” Andre Gide