Fear and creativity

(Or, Sometimes things will go wrong, but it’s never the disaster you imagine it is)

This reflection has come about because I’ve been in the position where I’ve been trying new things and everything has been going swimmingly.  And then it all went wrong with two interviews (with the same person the amazing Jessica Quinones) not recording.  So what now?  My natural reaction was to just stop and be done with it.  But that doesn’t get us anywhere, so I’ve gone for the solo option.

One of the topics we talked about was fear and creativity and overcoming your own vulnerability – something I’ll be addressing in a few weeks myself.

Password: doingnotdreaming

And don’t worry.  I’m going to revisit my interview with Jessica in the New Year so hang on till then for things flutey, creative, musical and all wrapped up with some Cornish magic.

I could never…run the Northern Traverse

“I had heard of this event and had no interest in taking part. Until Dan and Claire mentioned it and then the seeds were sown.”  So said Dave Rowell as I chatted to him, Dan Milton and Claire Turton over curry and beers.

The Northern Traverse is a multi-day running event taking in the 190 miles from coast to coast across the north of England and this story really shows that it’s the taking part that counts.  You can push yourself (and your feet) to the limit and even if you can’t make it to the finish line, that’s not a reason to stop aiming for something bigger and better next time! You can set out to complete a race where to win doesn’t matter as much as starting it.

To me, it seems as if this attitude transposes from running into a can-do, but laid back approach to life for these three amazing people.

Dave Dan Claire
l-r Dave Rowell, Claire Turton, Dan Milton

Listen in to hear their story

It sounds cliched, but this story shows how one step at a time can result in extraordinary achievements: don’t panic, hold your head together and let those seeds of adventure be sown in your mind.

Information about the Northern Traverse can be found here 

Photos: Dan Milton

I could never…busk

What a gem!  It’s the (late) summer of 2016 and I was eating lunch outside with a choice of the riverside, or a shady bench in the town centre.  I chose the latter and found myself parked up next to David Hamer who happened to be setting up his french horn for a bit of busking. Here’s a snippet of my lunchtime musical accompaniment:


Nothing unusual about that, until you realise that David is 13, plays in the National Children’s Orchestras and, as it turns out has some pretty wise words for anyone . I checked with mum, Fiona, before having a quick chat with him about his approach to busking, being nervous and just getting on with things.

I was totally inspired by this chance meeting and agree wholeheartedly with those words of advice: it doesn’t matter if people judge you, you’ll probably never see them again. Inspired enough for me to busk?  Well, I could never do that…

Be Inspired

We have just come to the end of an Olympic cycle with the closing ceremony from the Games in Rio.  For the last 3 weeks I have suspended my “no TV during the week” rule and been soaking up as much sporting activity as I can. I have been amazed, as usual, by the achievements of the athletes and can appreciate the hard work that has gone into being the best in each discipline, and this has inspired me to be the best I can be. I’ve been more aware than ever of a voice in my head saying “an Olympian wouldn’t slow down/stop/ not bother” for all sorts of things.

And this is my form of being inspired – one of the first steps to turning my dreams into my reality: forming ideas and letting myself dream.  It’s about finding people being the best that they can be on that day and knowing that if they can do it, so can I.

And what better example than the Olympics?  With Michael Phelps wining his 23rd gold medal in the pool contrasting with bronze medallist Edward Ling who had his return flight booked so that he could get back to his day job as a farmer and bring in the harvest.  Or perhaps there’s Usain Bolt who brings joy and fun to the track as well as fast times.  There were several examples of past Olympians having inspired current Olympians – of people daring to believe and being inspired by their heroes.

So go, find your inspiration and dare to dream and dream big.  Enjoy the process, but be prepared to work for it.  It might look easy, but as Michael Phelps said:

“My success is nothing out of the ordinary.  It’s goal setting, believing in myself and not giving up till I get there.”

Ordinary people. Extraordinary things.

Find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/doingnotdreaminglife/

I could never…start a technology company

Mike Lawton is the Founder and CEO of Oxford Space Systems, a UK company that develops deployable structures for spacecraft.

I spoke to Mike to find out about his journey to his current position and to hear his top tips for starting up and running a technology company. He’s learnt a lot through previously working for start-ups and more established companies and implemented this in his own businesses.

Listen to the audio to find out why everyone should work in a bar at some point in their life, how you need to take opportunities when they arise and why, sometimes, you have to hush your inner geek and focus on the customer.


So, follow your passion, have great ideas but if you want to make money from them, sometimes you have to let them out before they’re perfect.  But the good news is that it doesn’t end there – you can keep creating with the help of your customers.

Mike Lawton. CEO, Oxford Space Systems

You can find out more about Oxford Space Systems here http://www.oxfordspacesystems.com/

Picture credits: Oxford Space Systems

About this blog

Everyone daydreams, more often than not followed by “I could never do that…”

Everyone knows someone who’s done something amazing, or brave, or crazy, or anything.  When you hear about it, your heart lifts a bit, but your head quickly jumps in to say “I could never do that…”

Well, this is for you: to give you examples of things to do whilst you’re dreaming about not working your life away, and how to go about doing them. Some of them are big, some of them are small.  Everything is doable in some way.  Afterall, these ordinary people have done extra-ordinary things.

So stop dreaming and start doing.

Let me know anything you “could never do” and I’ll help you find a way to do it.

Let me know about people who are living your dreams, so I can find out more about them and how they do it.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. x

Get in touch via the form below or find me on Facebook

The list

These are some of the examples I’m looking to include on the site.  If you have any ideas for me to add then please leave a comment and I will review and update list in due course.

Olympic champion



Travelling solo


Running your own business

Riding a horse

Playing a musical instrument


Building a house

Upcycling furniture


Relocate to another country