Shouting from my shed

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Shouting from my Shed: Volume 10 (I think)

Hello, once again, from my shed,

I write with trepidation following my recent spate of incompetent and broken newsletters. Fingers crossed this makes it out into the universe safely, and just the once!

Adventures are filled with screw-ups and mistakes. You can spend so long in life planning, preparing, thinking, polishing, perfecting, that by the time you are finally ready to begin, it’s too late. I seem to return regularly to this idea of forcing myself to begin, what I call the Doorstep Mile.
We worry so much about looking ridiculous, when we would be better off fretting about making the most of our days. I have learned to accept regular screw-ups and looking an idiot as a small price to pay. This helped me get out and cross the Empty Quarter desert with a terrible cart. It helped me busk across Spain with a terrible violin.


(Leon: looking ridiculous)
The idea of making mistakes or being rubbish leads to what I’d like to share with you this week:

A Book: There is a fine line between adventure and madness. We Cannot Fail explores the dark psychology of heroic adventure, examining the lives and motivation of would-be heroes driven by insecurity or a search for identity and purpose. Some chapters felt a little too close-to-home for me!

A Film: After failing to summit Meru, three climbers return to try again. Setting a high standard for climbing and for film-making, the trailer to Meru opens with the line, “I always wondered how I was going to die. Now I know.” You can get the whole film here, or watch it on Netflix.

A Challenge: I recently had a chat with an adventure / outdoors artist I admire. I said to Jared, “I wish I could draw. How wonderful it would be to sit and pause and really take in the view.”
His reply, quite rightly, was “you should do it anyway.”
And so I did. You can see my masterpiece if you’re on Instagram.
I loved doing it, and I certainly intend to repeat it more often.
My challenge to you is to do the same. Pause on your morning run, cycle, dog-walk, commute for just 20 minutes, and do a sketch. Be brave, stick it online, and let me know how you get on. 😉

An Article: We are all aware of the pleasure, the relief, and the importance of slowing down our hectic lives, but this article from a Harvard Professor reminded me that we can make much more of our time by doing less.

Keep on making mistakes, keep on screwing up, keep on doing stuff! Follow your own path, not the flock.
It has been interesting to be on the receiving end of some surprisingly angry emails over my recent newsletter mistakes, filled with way more swearing than I thought a mere administrative error could generate! I have to confess I really enjoy getting these emails from critics pointing out my stumbles.
I am far more apologetic to those messages I receive from people who were merely, and rightly, miffed by me wasting their time. Nobody needs more email in their life. This is probably unusual for an email newsletter to suggest, but I really recommend using the Unroll.me website to cull the amount of email you receive.
Finally, out of all the kind emails I’ve had from people who don’t really care about the odd technical muddle, let me extend a special hello to the lady from Adak Island (no, I didn’t know where it was, either) in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, who got in touch to tell me about the microadventures that the local kids had begun doing. Sometimes I absolutely love living in the 21st Century!

Until next time,
Alastair

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