I write quite frequently about the “why” of expeditions, particularly in regard to what makes me want to up sticks and begin things. (Examples here, here, here, oh and here too).
But I realised that I do not often talk about the impact that people heading off to challenge themselves can have on others. It is one thing to feel the need inside yourself, to scratch the itch out somewhere wonderful, and to come home feeling like a better man. But it is another thing altogether if your own personal epiphany (and your own aspiring towards alliteration and assonance) can have an impact on other people.
If you can add something to someone else’s life then your own suddenly begins to feel more worthwhile. That’s what I hope to get, and to give, through my speaking gigs.
It’s not a new concept. Here’s Ernest Shackleton musing on the impact of his projects.
“Surely everything that shows a nation what discipline will do, what leadership can effect and what difficulties may be overcome, and what hardships may be borne; everything that fires the blood of a boy, that quickens imagination, that makes for enterprise, audacity, forward-looking, hard living and moral steadfastness – surely that’s good.”
Hear! Hear! Here’s to firing the blood and quickening the imagination…