If you watch post-game interviews with sports champions, or read biographies of people that have accomplished great things you will find that they each cite things that inspired them and kept them going. Putting in the time to do the hard work it takes to reach the finish line in any endeavor is taxing and sometimes doesn’t bring any short term victories.
Whatever journey you are on, and whatever the destination is, at times we all need some inspiration go keep going. Just like a car can’t keep going with an empty gas tank, we find it difficult to keep going with an empty inspiration tank.
Thinking about what inspires me I was able to group them into three categories: Listen, Read, and Talk. I find that when I do these three things my inspiration tank overflows and I’ve always got more than enough fuel to keep going.
Listening to Podcasts. I want to build a business around software products that allows us time independence and provides us a steady income to support our lifestyle of slow travel and service. “Startups For The Rest of Us” is a fantastic niche podcast that bills itself as:
…the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products.
Each week the hosts, Rob and Mike, talk about doing exactly what I want to do. Each of these hosts has already acheived the type of business I want to build so listening to them has been a great source of inspiration.
Another great podcast is the “LBP”, or Lifestyle Business Podcast hosted by Dan and Ian. These guys are literally living wherever they want (currently South East Asia) and running their business over the internet.
Listening to Debt Free Calls. I’ve been a listener of The Dave Ramsey Show for about eight years now. Last year when we didn’t have very much traction on our debt snowball and our total debt was actually growing I couldn’t listen to the debt free calls. (Debt free calls used to only be on Fridays, but there is now one per hour). I would feel envious toward the caller and depressed that we were not making any noticeable progress toward our goal of debt freedom.
Now that we have traction I enjoy listening to debt free calls and thinking about how I would answer the questions of “What was the hardest part” and what it will feel like when we are finally out of debt. It energises me to listen to the callers and helps me work harder to get to that finish line faster.
Traveler Blogs. Since we want to travel, explore and experience new things with our kids, I enjoy reading travel blogs. There is an abundance of blogs these days of people who have “Quit the rat race to travel the world”, but some of these tend to be boring lists of “Tourist sites I visited today”.
I enjoy reading single travelers and couples, but really enjoy reading about families who are doing the long-term travel thing. The posts I find most interesting aren’t even necessarily about the destinations, but are about the process. Reading about what it was like to prepare for a 6-month trip with two small children, what it’s like to secure visas to a country, or how to handle medical care in a foriegn country excites me that one day we will be the ones figuring these things out. The minutea and challenges of travel feed my adventurous spirit and spur me on to do the things necessary to be able to hit the road.
Here are a few of the traveler blogs I read regularly:
- Almost Fearless - Written by the wife of a couple that travel with their son. They are also making a documentary called “The Wireless Generation“.
- Bohemian Travelers -Family of 5 that travel and blog about their experiences.
- Wandering Earl - A “permanent nomad” who is also a very good writer.
- Worldschool Adventures - A slow-travel family that travels with their small children for six months out of the year.
- Vagabond Family.org is a directory of and resource for nomadic families.
Talking to people about the journey. Last week Amanda said: “I talked about ‘Life With A Mission’ with two different people and each time my heart started beating fast!” I knew exactly what she was describing having experienced it myself.
It’s exciting to share your journey with others, and the process of getting your thoughts out of your head and saying them aloud is empowering.
“We will be out of debt”
“We will build a profitable online business”
“We will experience the move of God across the globe”
“We will be our kids teachers”
“We will write a book”
We are extroverts and we process ideas and concepts while speaking aloud to each other, so the opportunity to be with people and talk about big things is like hitting a power-up button in our spirit!
We’d love to hear from you. What journey are you on, and how do you find inspiration that keeps you going?