Monday, July 6, 2009 1.00pm
By Ruth Schofield
Alistair Humphreys is an English cyclist, explorer, author and motivational speaker who completed a four-year journey around the world on his bike, covering a total of 46,000 miles. His colourful and inspirational book is a small testament to the epic voyage he completed and the lessons he learned along the way.
Filled with some great pictures and quotes from philosophers, modern day idols and even Yoda, this book is certainly unique. Where you may be expecting to find a blow-by-blow account of Humphrey’s round-the-world tour, you’ll actually get an insight into his down-to-earth humour and outstanding determination.
Humphrey’s first lesson is the importance of doing something that you can look back on in years to come and think: "I did that! I didn’t let my life slip past me in one big blur; I actually achieved something I didn’t think was possible."
He suggests that we constantly underestimate our own capabilities and only aim for things we know we can achieve. Instead we should go further and set ourselves "wildly ambitious goals" – things which appear absurd at the time.
One of the best parts of Humphrey’s book is his acceptance of failure. His third lesson is entitled “Quitting is not an option (but failure is)”. This seems like a contradiction of terms but actually suggests that it’s better to have a go and not fully achieve your goal than not to try at all.
Humphrey’s third lesson is summed up brilliantly by a quote from Norman Vaughan: “Dream big and dare to fail”. In fact, each lesson includes some thought-provoking quotes that reiterate the book’s overwhelmingly sanguine feeling.
This little book has some big ideas packed inside it. It may be a quick read but it draws you into its positive beliefs and gears you up to fight for your dreams... or at least make a few plans!
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