In one of my last jobs in the RAF, I was based out on an American air base in Qatar.  The base had a small running track in the rocky desert near the accommodation.  It was two and a half miles long and I used to run laps as the sun rose – the only time it was cool enough to run.  There was a stretch that ran along the internal perimeter where you couldn’t really see anything but the desert stretching out.  I used to listen a playlist as I ran and one particular song used to really resonate with me as I planned my escape from my military career to a new life

I’m not scared
‘Cause I know there’s something out there waiting for me
And I swear that I’ll find it someday, just wait and see

Halestorm

It wasn’t that I was fearless – not at all – instead the fear of being trapped, of regretting staying, motivated me to change my life.  Only I had no idea how much that decision would change me, not just my career.

Listening to eight amazing, inspirational speakers at Escape the City’s Great Escape night this week reminded me of how far I have come over the last two years and how much possibility lies ahead of me.  Hearing stories of people who felt the fear, said “fuck the fear” (to quote Ruth Anslow) and did it anyway made me realise that I don’t need anyone to give me permission to complete rock.  I don’t need anyone to hold my hand.

But by all means, if this looks like fun, if you’re just curious, or want to help me achieve my dreams, then please do come along for the ride!

And in the midst of all that inspiration, I had an idea.  I have no clue how to make it work but, right now, who cares?!  I heard people speak who heard that voice and did it anyway: rowed across the Atlantic, founded amazing businesses, changed the world.  So why shouldn’t I?

I found Escape the City a year ago, just when I needed it, and being part of this amazing community is opening up a whole new world that I never knew existed, let alone thought I could be a part of.  These are just the most amazing community of people…with limitless energy, a “let’s do this attitude” and a mentality that really will change the world.  Every time I spend time with the Escape crew – or the other tribes I have discovered as a result, the Yes Tribe, Rebel Book Club, Noi Club – I leave uplifted, inspired and feeling like a rockstar.

So fuck the fear, embrace the fear, and do it anyway.  I’m going to pursue my dreams and make my ideas a reality.

 

Be prepared to believe in the beauty of your dreams.

Mark Stevenson


Thank you so much to Chris Ward, Henry Blanchard, Roz Savage, Hugh Thomas, Ruth Anslow, Danny Bent, Holly Tucker and Mark Stevenson for your words of wisdom for your words of wisdom and inspiration.