As I write this, the ghost of exertion is still steaming from my back and I have barely caught my breath but I feel motivated to get my thoughts down straight away. At eight o’clock this morning biting winds and white, swirling swathes of snow fought their way across the valley, visibility was down to a few feet and we knew we were in for a cold run. It would be easy at this point to drum up any number of reasons to call it off (imminent deadlines being not the least of them), but here the motivation of others kicks in and you get sucked into their enthusiasm and commitment. Pragmatism dictated that we abort our moor top plans and stay low, by the river. It was sometime after seeing the heron that a startling blue cut though the grey and we stopped on the bridge to stare. The morning’s weather pattern seemed, at that moment, to shift into random shuffle mode. Later, running back on my own, as the changing day swept over the hill, I was assailed by sharp, piercing pricks of gritty snow stabbing at my cheeks and cruel shards of brilliant sunlight slicing into my eyes. Squinting and stumbling, I felt enlivened and invigorated by this surprising battleground of weather and I started to think about motivation. I got to thinking about the positive force of people – particularly how association with energised individuals can have such a bearing upon your own motivation and creativity. We can be influenced, inspired, encouraged by the people around us and find ourselves at points that we wouldn’t otherwise have arrived at (this blog for me being one of them). I love this. Even the thought of it, is, itself motivating! People can, of course, have a negative effect. But it has to be one of the major advantages of being a sole worker/self employed, that you get to choose. There is no boss giving me grief (only my kids). I am my own boss. The pressures and stresses are of my doing. I am in control. If I mess up, it’s down to me; if I do a good job, it’s down to me. I may not have a nice fat salary dropping by every month ‐ but I do have choice and freedom. And that is worth a lot. Rarely is running a disappointment.