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Book give away: Ten Lessons from the Road – chapter 6

My third book, Ten Lessons from the Road, came out earlier this year. I’m really pleased with it, and I would love people to read it. But I’m realistic about how few people will actually read the book. So I decided to give it away -for freehere on my blog. Hopefully it will reach more people that way.
Ten Lessons from the Road has ten chapters, each one short, sweet and ideal for a blog post. I’m reproducing them here, one each month, and I hope you enjoy them.

The only downside of this is that I can’t reproduce on the blog the beautiful photos and cool layout of the book which make the book what it is. But, hey, it’s free here! You can see how the actual book looks in the 30-second preview video above.


There are two types of people in this world; people who find excuses, and people who find ways through, round, and over their obstacles.
– anonymous

How common it is to hear excuses. Tales of bad luck, injustice, foiled plans, all the fault of somebody else. How rare to hear someone say, “I failed. I was not good enough. I will start again and do better next time.”
It is hard to accept you have done badly or made mistakes.
I am always happy to absolve myself of responsibility and blame somebody else.
But I am learning, slowly, that in order to remain clear-sighted about what I am trying to achieve, it is helpful to be honest and self-aware. I am learning not to believe my own excuses.

My journey round the world was, most of the time, a solo activity. My success or failure did not particularly impact on anybody else. Alone, I became extremely self-aware, very conscious of my moods and my subconscious feelings. I knew my physical capacity and my mental strengths and weaknesses. I knew that my body could hold out longer than my mind could. And so my expedition became one fought out, more and more, within my own head. Curiously, my ride around the world was likely to be determined by the journeys inside my mind.

I was only too eager to blame things on anything but my own shortcomings, However, the long, slow quiet miles allowed much time for introspection. Time to whittle away the excuses and to allow the open sore to heal. Time to acknowledge my limitations and to feel stronger for having done that. Paradoxically, perhaps, if you are willing to admit your weaknesses to yourself, they stop being weaknesses.

If you enjoyed this chapter you can read the others here.

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  1. Thanks Al! I am on page 221 of your Bicycle Diaries.



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