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20 Questions Worth Answering Honestly – one year on…

A year ago I wrote the list of questions below then made a reminder note in my diary for a year. Today then I’ve revisited these questions. I’m glad I did. They still resonate quite powerfully for me as a self-evaluation process.
A year ago I wrote my answers to these questions here.

Today I challenge YOU to be bold enough to answer them publicly in the comments section of this blog (or on your own website / Facebook page, if you have one)… Go on! Be brave! 😉

Question 4 was particularly interesting as that asked what I would be doing in a year’s time (i.e. right now). Sadly I’m not about to go to the South Pole as I had hoped. I had to withdraw from that project for family reasons. It is one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. But I’m delighted that the expedition is still going ahead in just a few weeks’ time. In its place, I’m pretty busy with my microadventure book which should be finished soon. But I have no idea what my next big project will be or what I will be doing in a year’s time. Do you?

  1. Do you earn enough money? (If you answer ‘no’, ask yourself why you need more money. eg Security? To buy more stuff? To impress others? For self-esteem? If you answer ‘yes’, ask yourself why you don’t work fewer hours. eg Peer pressure work ethic? You enjoy your work? To keep your mum happy? It’s what everyone else does? You enjoy having plenty of money?)

  2. Do you enjoy your job? (If you answer ‘no’, ask yourself why you are doing it.)

  3. Do you prefer Saturday or Monday? (If you answer ‘Saturday’, ask yourself how you can improve the other 71% of your life.)

  4. What would you like to be doing one year from now? Can you make that happen?

  5. What would you like to be doing five years from now? Will you make that happen?

  6. What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? Is it possible to live a modified version of that life anyway?

  7. How much could you cut your outgoings by? How much time at work does that equate to?

  8. Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy? If not, why not?

  9. What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable? Why don’t you cut that/them out immediately, or pay somebody to do it for you?

  10. What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing? How many times a day do you check your email/Twitter/Facebook? How much TV do you watch?

  11. What would you like to do more of?

  12. What motivates you to do something well?

  13. Who do you envy, and why?

  14. If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived?

  15. What makes you proud, satisfied, and content?

  16. What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled?

  17. What would you do if you had more talent?

  18. What would you do if you had more guts?

  19. What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting?

  20. What are you going to do about all this?

A Night on a Hill

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Comments

  1. 1. Do you earn enough money? No. I’ve been paid £500 since Xmas due to PhD funding running out and me only finishing now. I need more money to afford rent/food once my savings die, but hopefully there’s a job around the corner to fix that
    2. Do you enjoy your job? Yeah, love doing science. Hoping to carry it on in post doc form
    3. Do you prefer Saturday or Monday? They’ve tended to look more similar recently, but Saturdays because I have the chance to play football with mates in the morning. Nothing I particularly dislike about Mondays though
    4. What would you like to be doing one year from now? A post doc somewhere. I’m applying for as many things as I find time for between thesis writing (which due to procrastination isn’t as much as it perhaps should be)
    5. What would you like to be doing five years from now? Er, science still? If I’m still enjoying it, then I hope I can make it happen. If not, I’ll maybe jack it in
    6. What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? I have no idea what I’d do differently. I like my life as it is. I guess I’d probably eat nicer food and own a few more bikes, and probably spend more time off gallivanting on them, but I usually find a week to do that each year anyway (usually just in the UK, I’d go more exciting places with money)
    7. How much could you cut your outgoings by? Comic books + beer = c. £40 a week, so I guess that. That’s infinite time at work though!
    8. Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy? No, I’m writing a PhD thesis with a deadline in 11 days. If I had spare time, I’d be worried. Outside the manic last two months though, it’s more inertia that stops me doing things than a lack of time
    9. What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable? Not a lot, most of the crap I do is in the next category. I guess cycling to the office in the rain is avoidable, but that would involve paying for public transport, and I refer you to answer #1.
    10. What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing? Too much. I’ve hit a bizarre routine of anything before lunch being “doss on the internet” time, then working into the late evening to make up that time. I normally only really get going about 2pm. And even then I’ve taken half an hour off to write these answers.
    11. What would you like to do more of? Bike riding. Getting lost in random places. Playing board games with mates, which is something I’ve done about twice in the last year but loved both times. Maybe rock climbing as a new hobby, since I did some in Cheddar Gorge and it was great fun
    12. What motivates you to do something well? If I think it matters. Or just if I care about it, even if it’s insignificant. If I enjoy it, even if I’m not that good at it
    13. Who do you envy, and why? Envy is a strong word, but I admire and aspire to be more like lots of people: most of whom have simply displayed the gumption to do the things I want to and haven’t ever got round to planning. I guess I do envy them a bit, but I try to view them as inspiration rather than “bah, I wish I could be like them/do whatever they did”
    14. If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived? To an extent, in that I’ve no major regrets at this point. Still loads I want to achieve though, if I got to the ton and had only done what I’ve done so far I’d be pissed off.
    15. What makes you proud, satisfied, and content? Doing something well. Be that what I think is good science, beating a PB up a hill on my bike, or whatever. Also, just going out and riding for 80+ miles never fails to leave me exhausted yet chuffed.
    16. What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled? Things that feel like a waste of time, even when they aren’t (referencing – I’m looking at you!). When I don’t meet the standards I set myself, even if they were ridiculously high, I get frustrated. And when I’m dossing online rather than doing something I actually want to do, that’s pretty unfulfilling
    17. What would you do if you had more talent? Er… I don’t know – I don’t really believe in “talent” in that way, its all practice. I think I’ve worked to the point where I’m good enough to have a science career, and at the moment, that’s what I want to do. I just need to convince others about this fact! The things I do in my free time don’t really require more talent, although they may be more fun if I was better.
    18. What would you do if you had more guts? I’d commit to a long-term bike tour. Rather than making wishy washy plans and not actually setting anything in motion. I like to pretend this is just on hold because my thesis isn’t done, but I could have had a plan in place to leave the day I submit and don’t.
    19. What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting? Probably much like I do now. I might need to be less drunk to dance terribly, but in the grand scheme of things, what I enjoy doing; research, read and ride – my own three Rs
    20. What are you going to do about all this? Submit a thesis. Then one of (a) Find a job. Book holiday well in advance for next spring/summer. Pick direction. Tell everyone where I’m cycling. Cycle. (b) Fail to find job I want. Pick direction. Tell everyone where I’m cycling. Wait until spring. Cycle.

    NB While I’ve attempted to be truthful, I can’t necessarily accurate differentiate between what I actually enjoy about my current life, and what I’ve successfully tricked myself into thinking in order to not have a breakdown

    Reply
  2. Michael Brannan’s (www.michaeldbrannan.com) Responses to 20 questions

    1. Do you earn enough money?
    I want to say yes, that I did earn enough money, but I feel the answer is no. I paid all of the bills my middle class lifestyle demands, my wife’s tuition, and for a trip abroad but I still feel as though I did not make enough. I still don’t have a car (which shouldn’t matter because I hate driving and prefer bikes, walking, and mass transit.), I want to go on more adventures (Great Smoky, High Sierra’s, Tetons, Himalayas, Sahara, Wales (Snowdon), and many more. I feel like I need to make more money to go on these trips, and also to prove to the wider world my legitimacy as an adventurer. It seems more and more that making money in doing an activity is tantamount to really “being” a person who does that thing. I guess I want to make more money as an adventurer because I feel I have to so that people will not think that I am wasting my life posing and playing make believe. The truth is that I feel like I didn’t earn enough money but I know that I did. The real solution is to become content knowing that I take what I do seriously and that I am legitimate with or without the recognition of others.

    2. Do you enjoy your job? I love my job. I research places, take long walks and bike rides to stay in shape, take trips to experience and research a place, and then I write and create maps about the places I have been.

    3. Do you prefer Saturday or Monday?
    The truth is that I am indifferent to the “day of the week” My job is my passion and my passion is my job, I do it every day.

    4. What would you like to be doing one year from now?
    Writing a book on an adventure I have had in one of the places I mentioned above. I can make that happen, the question is will I (probably yes). Because I am not a wealthy and famous adventurer I have to find ways to fund my trips out of pocket. This money is taken from my family’s “just-enough” income. As such I know my trips cost my family financially and by taking me away from them for however long I am gone. I suppose this links back to the earlier “Did you make enough money” question because I would feel more justified in imposing these costs on my family if there was a greater financial reward for them to enjoy. For now though I will continue to have my adventures and to hope to one day be able to make a living off of my books.

    5. What would you like to be doing five years from now?
    Making half of my income from my writing and taking at least 3 trips a year (1 international). I will make that happen.

    6. What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? Exactly what I am doing now but in style. I would buy a sail boat, buy a bunch of nice bikes and an expedition Kayak, and I would have my family come out for visits when I was on a journey.

    7. How much could you cut your outgoings by?
    Not by much, I rarely go out unless for exercise or for fun with the family on the trail. I probably could eat less Pizza and drink less microbrew beer (my stoutness exercises; see “Winnie The Pooh.”) but hey life’s for living right?

    8. Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy?
    Yes, I do what I love for a living, and I am with the people I love whenever my wife (who works doing engineering for a university) and daughter are available.

    9. What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable?
    Formatting my books and trying to sell them. My last book was my first and it took me about 6 months to write. However it took me about 8 months to format it correctly for publication! I had to learn Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Bridge. I also had to learn to organize my photo/map files in a way that the computer could read without getting lost. I hated it but I won’t cut it out as it costs too much to have someone else do it well (I don’t sell enough copies yet to get a big ROI). I hate advertising and stink at it, my sales strategy has been “If they want one of my books they should get it if not I don’t think they should waste the money.” I should probably get someone else to do these things. I have considered using a publisher instead of self-publishing but I don’t want to give up control.

    10. What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing?
    TV Documentaries take up too much of my time so I am going to be rid of streaming Netflix.

    11. What would you like to do more of?
    Taking trips to places, hiking in national parks, and camping.

    12. What motivates you to do something well?
    An innate desire to be good at what I do.

    13. Who do you envy, and why?
    Alastair Humphreys because he is ahead of me in the game. He has undertaken a great and public adventure which has garnered him international recognition. He has branded a new concept, microadventures, which, incidentally, I think is a particularly awesome concept. He has worked with National Geographic and has four more books that I do, all of which I am sure sell better than my one. I don’t doubt that I will catch up with where he is but I very much envy where he is now.

    14. If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived?
    I would be able to look back happily on my life were I to die now at 35. I have lived a good life filled with family, friends, reasonable amounts of accomplishment, and adventure for a 35 year old. However, should I live to be 100 and not live many more profound experiences than I have already have I would be disappointed. So really my answer is a question of rates. Should I continue at the same rate of experiences (hereafter referred to as ROE) I have enjoyed to-date than yes, but should I experience a sizeable reduction in ROE than, no I would not look back on my life as well lived. I do not doubt that as I age the raw physicality of my experiences will by necessity be reduced but I do not think the frequency or quality of experiences have to. I am, for example looking forward to taking my teenage daughter on her first expedition in a couple of years, and (in time) of taking my grandchildren into the back country for the first time and passing my love of the wild onto them. In my extreme old age I am looking forward to living in my cabin or docked sailboat and telling my stories to young people who can’t believe the things I really did.

    15. What makes you proud, satisfied, and content?
    I feel proud when I accomplish things that I am not sure I can do. I am proud and satisfied when I do the things that I tell myself to do. I am proud of my family and I am never content. I was born with wanderlust, a pushing-throbbing need to move, to do and to experience something new. Contentment demands satisfaction (a sense of serenity after accomplishment or in a specific situation) but each new situation and experience for me offers joy but not serenity. As such, it is simply an impetuous for the next adventure. I am frequently proud, happy, and satisfied but I am never content.

    16. What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled?
    I get frustrated when I cannot go out for a walk or a bike ride or when I cannot take one of my planned expeditions. I get bored when I let one of the afore-mentioned events put me into a slump and a sit around in self-pity rather than finding an alternate activity. I only ever feel unfulfilled when I am disappointed in myself; when I feel like I haven’t forced myself to my full potential.
    17. What would you do if you had more talent?
    Engage in some of the more grueling or technically demanding expeditions (no O2 Everest climbs, climb El Capitan, cross country ski in northwest Russia).

    18. What would you do if you had more guts?
    Just take off more often. Right now I never take a trip unless I have put into place the things I need for emergency evacuation. If I had more guts I would just go and trust that I would be able to find a way out if I was injured, became sick, lost the place I had arranged to stay, etc.

    19. What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting?
    I would probably move somewhere remote, go for long hikes/ bike rides, and spend my days reading from my library or writing things to put into it. I would write for me and not for an audience.

    20. What are you going to do about all this?
    I plan on carrying on smartly, I may be a little more aggressive with my taking trips and a little less cautious with my safety measures, but mostly I am going to just keep on doing what I do. I am going to get a publisher to format and advertise my next book though.

    Reply
  3. I have a job that pays me enough to live on – I have a wonderful place to live that is dry and spacious, I have job that is challenging & new and leading me in a new direction after being stagnant for a lonnnng time..I have much time to do what I want and dont prefer any day over another as my work is not routine on any day ! I do spent too much time day dreaming…which i should stop but its nice..I get to read much more now and spend time with people. When I look back i want to be able to think I was there when needed and what I am doing helped someone in someway..If I was a millionare i would love to giveit all away and have joined various groups in order to give away or share what I have now.. and strangely I keep getting things coming my way after doing this in return!! I want to be remembered as someone who did work and have interests but people interest me more and I want to be more happy doing those things i cant when too old physically…so I want to travel a bit more in next few years, I want to learn more music and crafts..I want to work on my own issues in relation to being with friends who are so unhappy just living to work.. and stop going on facebook so much yes have been addressing that , have also downgraded phones etc and almost did without…eat simply live simply and my life is soo much better …

    Reply
  4. 1. Do you earn enough money?
    I don’t really have a job, but nor do I spend much money. It kind of balances out.
    2. Do you enjoy your job?
    N/A
    3. Do you prefer Saturday or Monday?
    My computer is the only thing that tells me what day it is. If pressed to choose, I’d probably say Monday because more shops are open when you’re in need of nutrition (except for museums in Europe).
    4. What would you like to be doing one year from now? Can you make that happen?
    Arriving in China on foot / bicycle / anything that carries me. Yes it can happen. Anything can happen. Maybe I will arrive with a goat.
    5. What would you like to be doing five years from now? Will you make that happen?
    Breathing, living. Breathing is beyond my control, but living is up to me.
    6. What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? Buy a boat and row an ocean.
    7. How much could you cut your outgoings by?
    My major outgoing now is the occasional bottle of wine and jar of pesto. I feel that this is justified.
    8. Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy?
    Time is difficult to manage. Will try harder.
    9. What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable?
    Sleep. Tried a polyphasic sleep cycle in which I only slept for 2 hours a day, but found it very lonely. I’d be willing to try it again if somebody would do it with me.
    10. What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing?
    Listening to music. But I do like music.
    11. What would you like to do more of?
    Everything.
    12. What motivates you to do something well?
    Me!
    13. Who do you envy, and why?
    You.
    14. If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived?
    Firstly, I’d be surprised. Without foresight, I can only hope to look back with no regrets.
    15. What makes you proud, satisfied, and content?
    Pushing my boundaries.
    16. What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled?
    Working a job for nothing but money.
    17. What would you do if you had more talent?
    Sing.
    18. What would you do if you had more guts?
    Do crazy jumps on snow. Breaking my back a couple of years ago was just a mild warning.
    19. What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting?
    Explore the world.
    20. What are you going to do about all this?
    Thank-YOU for the inspiration. And do more.

    Reply
  5. Pertinent questions, which deserver a pertinent answer. Considering that probably all the answers are more or less UK-centric, I could provide a bit of a different cultural insight from a romanian currently living in Berlin. Apologies in advance for some butchering of the language which might occur on the way.

    1. Do you earn enough money?
    Yes. Or at least more than enough considering what my hobbies are and what kind of adventures I undertake. Either way I’m really not a big spender, and frugal would be a good adjective describing my life. However I should point out that the average salary in Romania is around 400 euros, but that people working in it are lucky to earn considerably more than that. Currently living and working in Berlin does allow me to save up for the following adventures.
    2. Do you enjoy your job?
    Not really, there are some brief moments of enjoyment in between periods when I think that I shouldn’t be doing something else. I’m basically a software developer, so my job involves sitting in front of a computer, solving problems issues and making customers happy with the products which we sell. The kick sometimes comes from the later.
    3. Do you prefer Saturday or Monday?
    Clearly Saturdays, as for more than 6 years we’ve been weekend warriors of a sort. Basically living in Romania allows easy access to some really beautiful and diverse mountains, and you can live a small adventure each weekend throughout the year. Without any previous experience, starting at about 24 I’ve discovered climbing, alpinism, mountain biking, skiing, ski-touring and mountain running and with all these and with all the diversity it’s difficult to get bored. And sometimes, after some adventures the work week can be a well needed R&R. Too bad for diminishing returns…. Currently living in Berlin we really miss the mountains and the time spent with friends in the mountains.
    4. What would you like to be doing one year from now? Can you make that happen?
    Cycling back to Romania after a 9 month trip through wild places in Central Asia. I will make it happen (if nothing unexpected like a disease or a meteor comes into play).
    5. What would you like to be doing five years from now? Will you make that happen?
    Living in Romania, raising a family, spending more time with my family and friends, all kind of endurance racing, and planning the occasional once a year epic adventure.
    6. What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? Is it possible to live a modified version of that life anyway?
    I really think that the best things in life are free, or at least they cost very little. Considering all the mountain sports if you ignore the industry which makes you think that you need the latest and the lightest you can get away with doing what you love with the people you love with surprisingly little money. The only important and unfortunately limited resource is time.
    7. How much could you cut your outgoings by? How much time at work does that equate to?
    Probably by almost nothing, we have a really frugal lifestyle when we are in the city.
    8. Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy? If not, why not?
    Unfortunately no, although I think I could be happy with a 4 day work-week and with a generous holiday time. Although I have to say that that is already relatively generous here in Germany, with around 30 days per year.
    9. What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable?
    Sometimes work and clearly the time spent in the car on the way to the weekend adventures. I plan to reduce it by moving closer to the mountains. When I was still in Romania, we did a small calculation for an average year and we ended up with around 100 days / year spent in the mountains, so almost every weekend, and with a total amount of 12 continuous days spent in the car on the way to the mountains. The next city we’re going to live is going to be extremely close to the mountains.
    10. What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing?
    Facebooking, checking mail and other kind of meaningless things.
    11. What would you like to do more of?
    Spending as much time as possible outside having smaller or larger adventures with friends or with my wife.
    12. What motivates you to do something well?
    This has to come from mountain running or from racing marathons or ultra-marathons. Even though I’m decent for romanian standards, and I got a couple of times on the podium, I discovered that if you give it your best the satisfaction can be just as great no matter what place you finish. I try to apply this to other areas of my live, in order to say in the end that at least I gave it my best.
    13. Who do you envy, and why?
    I try to envy no one, as I think it can bring nothing good. There are though moments in which the image building media in which we live in today does trigger these things, but I try to avoid them as much as possible.
    14. If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived?
    I think a better version of this question would something like: “If you were to find out that you are sick and you only have a couple of months to live, would you be happy with the life you’ve lived up until now?”. And I would probably say yes and that I did have a good go at it (even though I’m just 30 right now). In certain adventures or while doing not so smart things I have been a few times in the position to be relatively close to not being any more. Fortunately they all an happy end, but each time I didn’t feel regret about the things which I didn’t get to do. If you spend enough time in the mountains, you come to accept death and that it can happen and that sometimes some things are not under your control.
    15. What makes you proud, satisfied, and content?
    A race well run, topping out on a long alpine route which was close to my limit, exploring new places, taking a good photo, being able to do all of these things with my wife.
    16. What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled?
    Wasting time doing useless stuff, sometimes work.
    17. What would you do if you had more talent?
    While I do have some talent in some areas, like an eye for photography, learning foreign languages and a body which does allow me to compete on an amateur level different parts, I haven’t found one thing at which I would be natural talent. I sometimes do regret that I have no talent for writing and that English is not my mother language, as if you want to reach as many people as possible writing in English probably is the way to go.
    18. What would you do if you had more guts?
    Actually this question can be a bit scary. But when I think about it what stands in the way going in the way of my dreams isn’t guts.
    19. What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting?
    I try to give as little importance as possible to the judgement of others, and to judge as little as possible. But still there are some silly adventures like building a a raft out of plastic bottles and rafting on an obscure mountain river in Romania to the Danube and from here to the see (I am going to do it anyway though). Try to write a novel.
    19. What are you going to do about all this?
    Stick to the plan.

    Reply
  6. A truly inspirational website. I visit occasionally and it always gives me the impetus to think/plan stuff outside of the weekly routine. I intend to take my daughter on a kayak microadventure on the Norfolk Broads – can’t wait! A quick question for AH – when’s the Microadventure book getting published?

    Reply
  7. Do you earn enough money? (If you answer ‘no’, ask yourself why you need more money. eg Security? To buy more stuff? To impress others? For self-esteem? If you answer ‘yes’, ask yourself why you don’t work fewer hours. eg Peer pressure work ethic? You enjoy your work? To keep your mum happy? It’s what everyone else does? You enjoy having plenty of money?)
    Yes I would say that I earn enough money for now. I earn enough that I can fulfil my hobbies, and luckily be in a position to purchase the things I seek within reason. I am also fortunate to be able to travel with my savings & holiday overseas as well. Could I work less hours – possibly – it might be possible to work a half day once a week for example such that I have more hours to pursue the things which I am after, but I don’t think it’s always possible in today’s world.

    Do you enjoy your job? (If you answer ‘no’, ask yourself why you are doing it.)
    Yes, I do enjoy my job most of the time. I often think of other things which I could be doing but I think that, that is only natural. Generally speaking I feel that my jobs challenges me in ways that keeps me stimulated. I always think of others things though that maybe I could have done but I think that that is only naturally… there will always be should have, could have, would have….

    Do you prefer Saturday or Monday? (If you answer ‘Saturday’, ask yourself how you can improve the other 71% of your life.)
    I prefer Saturdays of course, as I work weekdays. Why Saturday more than Mondays – the only reason is, is that I have more time to pursue my goals on Saturdays & normally am lamenting the weekend on Mondays (sometimes anyways). But that should change – I should think of everyday as an opportunity!

    What would you like to be doing one year from now? Can you make that happen?
    I would like to be thinking that I would be in a different place & job. There are plenty of opportunities out there to take but it’s just a matter of timing but hopefully one year from now I will be somewhere completely new! I would also like to say that I am in a position where I have ticked off a number of my goals, and well on my way to completing others.

    What would you like to be doing five years from now? Will you make that happen?
    It’s hard to say & answer, but hopefully I will be have my health, my family & friends and be happy!

    What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? Is it possible to live a modified version of that life anyway?
    I don’t think that I would live particularly differently – I would like to think that I would still work, even voluntarily. I would probably just have some slightly nicer things, which to be honest I don’t necessarily require. Oh and buy that VW Camper and drive around the world with a bike on top…

    How much could you cut your outgoings by? How much time at work does that equate to?
    I think I waste a lot of money on travel – I think travel should be free & and I need to use my bike more to get around. You always feel so much better cycling around that you do getting the tube. Why pay £5.60 per day to sit on a stuffy, crowded tube? Think Niall & use your bike. I can also be a bit frivolous sometimes with my cash when I would like to live a more frugal existence. I could probably spend a lot less… I like to think I am frugal but I really am not. I should really ask myself if I truly need this before I buy…

    Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy? If not, why not?
    I’d like to think that you can always find more time. I don’t however always find it best to my abilities and sometimes get annoyed at myself for example not getting hop in the mornings to go swimming when you had set your mind on doing it… nothing more annoying! I often make excuses in my head that I am not as good as such and such as I live in London & they live somewhere, when in fact that is just other bullshit & a way of making excuses to myself.

    What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable? Why don’t you cut that/them out immediately, or pay somebody to do it for you?
    What takes up my time – generally farting around on the internet… it prolongs how long I stay up at night, which in turn has a knock on effect on the next day! Need to use my time more wisely!

    What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing? How many times a day do you check your email/Twitter/Facebook? How much TV do you watch?
    What takes up my time – generally farting around on the internet… it prolongs how long I stay up at night, which in turn has a knock on effect on the next day! Need to use my time more wisely! You can always be more efficient and get more done in your day! I check my emails to often & should do so less – it wouldn’t be a bad idea to turn of your phone for a certain period everyday such that you don’t waste needless time on phones, internet etc… For example last night on Tu.24.09.13 I spent 2hours on my laptop doing jack all, and only about 20mins reading… What is that all about?!?

    What would you like to do more of?
    I would like to travel more and have more pure adventures, for example the idea of cycling from A to B really appeals to me these days. More camping & hiking trips, where you really push yourself such as hiking from Mediterranean to Atlantic along the GR20 across the Perenyees.

    What motivates you to do something well?
    Myself – having pride in my work, my ethic & my attitude.

    Who do you envy, and why?
    I don’t know that I envy anyone, but there are attributes and achievements of others who I admire. But I would like to think that with the same dedication and diligence that I could achieve the same things or more.

    If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived?
    I would be happy if I felt that I had a well balanced life between family & friends, travel & work and sports & private life example. I would like to try and think that I had the most possible experiences which I could have possibly have had!

    What makes you proud, satisfied, and content?
    Trying my hardest, knowing that I could have given no more. But not just trying your hardest, but actually getting every last bit of effort out depending on what the situation is – for example doing a race, you should know that you could have given no more effort!

    What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled?
    Having too much people around me make me annoyed and agitated… work can sometimes be enjoyable but also boring & monotonous… I feel unfulfilled when I feel that I am underachieving in areas of my life, for example I feel that maybe i should have gotten more out of myself doing my last Ironman. I should have trained harder, longer and more sensibly. I should not look at others achievements, when I could achieve the same and more if I pulled my finger out!

    What would you do if you had more talent?
    Not sure how to answer this but I like to believe that it’s possible to achieve most reasonable things with dedication & effort.

    What would you do if you had more guts?
    More of the things that I think ‘oh cool’ look at them doing that… Travel more, quit my job & pursue my dreams… Also rock up to Heathrow and book a very random flight somewhere and go from there…

    What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting?
    I would like to think that it would be somewhat similar to how I live now, but I would think less that others think and worry only about myself, my family & friends around me.

    What are you going to do about all this?
    Think about what I can do differently & better to make myself happier & be more honest to myself… Re-read this regularly and ask my if I am honestly improving, and if not what can I do about it?

    Reply
  8. Hi Alastair,
    A great set of questions to think about – and answer.

    http://adventurelisa.blogspot.com/2013/09/alastair-humphreys-20-questions-worth.html

    Lisa

    Reply
  9. “20 Questions Worth Answering Honestly – one year on | Alastair Humphreys”
    ended up being a terrific blog post and thus I really was indeed pretty glad to discover the
    blog. Thanks for your time-Jami

    Reply
  10. Do you earn enough money? Yes, I earn enough to be able to get food and a house for myself, my husband and our dogs and still be able to save for adventures. If I worked less I couldn´t save anything anymore or couldn´t afford to have dogs = an unhappy life.
    Do you enjoy your job? Most of the time.
    Do you prefer Saturday or Monday? Saturday. But mostly I enjoy days with cold clear weather. I come home from work 16 PM so if the weather is good I enjoy all days.
    What would you like to be doing one year from now? Can you make that happen? Same job, same husband, same house, same dogs 🙂 Right now I am planning a biketrip in the mountains on the border between Tibet and China for October 2016.
    What would you like to be doing five years from now? Will you make that happen? Difficult one. I´m either at home restlessly trying to be a mother just because everyone say its so amazing, or I am out on a long skiing trip with my dogs.
    What would you do with your life if you were a billionaire? Save one million euro to pay out 2000 euro for myself every month, quit my job and focus on learning to make movies. The rest of the money and would give to the red cross and other similar organisations. Is it possible to live a modified version of that life anyway? Yes, that´s what I am doing right now 🙂
    How much could you cut your outgoings by? How much time at work does that equate to? I already cutted away most that I can (as long as I stay in the house, of course it would be cheaper to live in my tent but my life quality wouldn´t improve) I now have expensies for house 600 euro, food 400 euro, car 300 euro, dogs 100 euro while earning after taxes 1900 euro. Gives me 500 euro for traveling and buying stuff.
    Do you have enough spare time to do the things you really enjoy? If not, why not? Yes I do, and I can take time off work without any big problems. Of course it would be nice to have even more time, and especially more energy in the evenings.
    What takes up a lot of your time but is neither unavoidable, rewarding nor enjoyable? Why don’t you cut that/them out immediately, or pay somebody to do it for you? Cleaning the house. Actually when my husband is not working he is taking care of it, so in a way I already am paying someone to do it.
    What mildly pleasant, but pretty pointless things do you fritter too much time doing? Definitely the internet. At least on this job I can surf around a lot at working hours, so on my free time I rarely open my computer. How many times a day do you check your email/Twitter/Facebook? Maybe 4 times, all at work. How much TV do you watch? Nothing, although I watch downloaded or streaming series most days from 8 pm to 10 pm before going to sleep.
    What would you like to do more of? Long trips in the mountains with my dogs or on my bicykle.
    What motivates you to do something well? When my heart is aching for it and I just can´t resist. If I don´t feel that way it´s really hard to motivate me.
    Who do you envy, and why? I envy people who are satisfied with their still boring home-life, and are not constantly dreaming of adventures.
    If you were 100 and looking back on your life, would you be happy with a life well-lived? Yes.
    What makes you proud, satisfied, and content? Getting compliments for my blog, photos or videos.
    What makes you frustrated, bored, and unfulfilled? Cleaning, cooking, washing clothes, all that stuff.
    What would you do if you had more talent? Study.
    What would you do if you had more guts? Leave everything at home and travel around the world.
    What would you do with your life if nobody was watching, judging or commenting? Probably watch more stupid series.
    What are you going to do about all this? Post this one to my own mail adress and read it next year. Right now I don´t want to change anything in my life. Sure, some days at work are boring and I get restless, but it´s still worth it, and when the day comes when it´s not worth it anymore I will have saved enough money to go wherever I want and do whatever I want.

    Reply
  11. Emma Turnbull Posted

    Great set of questions has really made me think! Maybe I’ll find the courage and do what I really enjoy.

    Reply

 
 

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