Alternatives to Chasing Heroes

Deception Island - Shackleton's Intended Destination Maybe I'm being a little harsh. Bear with me. Everyone of us has a great adventure at the root of our existence. To some it may be little more than a one off, to others it the ultimate destination in a life of outrageous achievement. The problem is this: most people will never realise their full potential. Are you shocked? I hope so, because you should be. What I've just stated is that the vast majority of the world's population will never make their dreams real; your heroes will be as untouchable as ever.

Why? Why do we find it so hard to follow in the footsteps of those who inspire us? Or, looking at it another way, how do we so easily let our dreams slip between our fingers?

For many people it's simply a case of time - there's not enough of it. The constant demands of work, family and social lives can, if we're not careful, be draining. Our hopes and aspirations are consigned to a twilight world; a fantasy world that exists only in our minds. There's nothing wrong with spending time with people you love and care for, but it can be all too easy to let your dreams be discarded.

Some of us are lucky enough to be in that enviable position of being 'carefree'. No, this doesn't mean they're happy to close their eyes and walk into moving traffic - it's about not having anyone who needs your direct support e.g. children or elderly parents in need of constant care. I have several friends who are fortunate to be in this position. One mate in particular made a grand announcement - he was going to climb Mount Everest. Was I jealous? Do dogs do a funny dance when you itch the base of their spines?

Sadly he failed in his attempt. I don't mean failed as in, 'got halfway up the mountain and then collapsed.' No, he never even made it onto the plane. Why? At the last moment he let fear overwhelm him. I felt genuine pity for him, not least because this one trip had been his dream; the flicker of adventure he'd nurtured into a blazing inferno and one so easily extinguished by doubt. After all the training, he came to question his own abilities.

Another problem many would be adventurers face is the sheer cost of mounting an expedition to some far flung corner of the planet. My friend had self-funded the trip to the Himalayan mountain - a cost of about $60,000. Most people can't afford those sums of money. Of course there are ways to raise the cash: sell your house, find corporate sponsorship or, as I've done, set up a business. I'm using the skills I've learned to deliver a series of mentoring and motivational presentations and workshops. But not everyone has the time or inclination.

So how can you achieve your aims without breaking the bank, ruining your love life and driving away all your friends?


Jump into Mini Adventures

Ever thought about cutting your dream down into smaller chunks? Make it easy on yourself, your finances and your loved and go micro. Instead of climbing K2, head out to Ben Nevis. Forget the full Artic trek and hop over to Sweden and ski  part of the Kings Trail (a 440 mile path through some of the most beautiful Scandinavian scenery imaginable - as long as you like snow and mountains). Think the Marthon de Sables might be a little much for you body? Try the Ocean Floor Race - still a long slog, but not as tough as MdS.

If some of those options look a bit too much, then you can go more niche and closer to home. Try a weekend of canoeing some of the rivers and canals that cut through Britain. Compete in a Spartan Race (great fun, especially 'The Beast'). Cycle across the county you live in.

Those are just a few ideas. I'm sure you can think of more.

Tired of not getting more out life? Then maybe it's time to stop chasing your heroes.