Alastair Humphreys is one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year, an accomplished speaker, and a best-selling author.
Alastair has presented to audiences on six continents including the Royal Geographical Society, SXSW, TEDx, England Rugby, the British Army, and corporate clients including Google, Ernst & Young, BP, T-Mobile and Facebook.
Alastair’s expeditions are a call to arms that nothing is achieved without being bold enough to begin it and that the first step needs only be a tiny one to set us on the way to realising that we are all capable of more than we imagine.
Alastair has spent years tackling adventures that are simple but not easy and values the crucial difference between those two words. Each journey has generated a wealth of great stories, whether it is cycling round the world for four years on a budget of £7000, rowing the Atlantic Ocean with three strangers, breaking his foot on the world’s toughest ultra-marathon (but still finishing the race), walking across India, hauling a 350kg cart through the Empty Quarter desert, busking through Spain with no money or credit card, or even walking a lap of the M25 motorway round London!
Alastair’s journeys provide spectacular, original case studies of self-motivation, setting small targets to achieve outrageous goals, the rewards of risk and teamwork, overcoming doubt, and the tricky work-life balance.
Alastair’s talks to organisations as diverse as Google management and Special Forces soldiers are original, down to earth, quick-witted, self-deprecating, honest, energetic, positive and challenging.
Though he tells stories from all around the world, Alastair takes care to emphasise that he is a normal person, just like everyone else, and audiences therefore relate to him exceptionally well. Audiences are energised by Alastair’s stories and the room hums with the positive chatter of resolutions and determination to begin something new and audacious.
Alastair entertains groups, makes people believe in themselves, and offers a polite prod to do something extraordinary with our time, opportunities, and potential.
What do you learn about yourself when you face difficult times? You realise that you are capable of more than you imagine. Making quick and confident decisions in stressful situations is hard, but so too is committing to that decision, showing faith in it and following through with it by determined, flexible action.
Planning for expeditions requires not only careful consideration of the challenges ahead, but also a willingness to accept that you cannot prepare for every eventuality, and the confidence and nerve to trust yourself to figure things out along the way. In our era of instant gratification, expeditions demand a passion to pursue long-term goals.
And let us not forget to enjoy the journey, through all its stressful, daunting, exhausting, maddening, and amusing twists and turns. The end goal is not all that matters, and the more we enjoy the challenges along the way, the more likely we are to succeed in the long run.
As well as the major adventures, Alastair’s award-winning concept of microadventures -short, adventurous journeys close to home- encourage people to take practical steps to challenge themselves by undertaking adventures of their own and improving their physical health, mental well-being, and all-important work/life balance. In every situation you can focus on the constraints and obstacles, or you can look for the opportunities. 5 to 9 thinking is an idea that applies to much more than just adventure.
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