Review of the Year and Preview of Series Five

Sue Stockdale, host of Access to Inspiration podcast and her co-founder Clive Steeper talk to Fraser Allen, host of the Scottish Business Network podcast about why the Access to Inspiration podcast was started, and review what has been accomplished in 2020. We hear from three listeners from Germany, India and UK about what they have enjoyed about the series, and how they have applied some of the inspirational insights from the guests that have been interviewed.

We look ahead to 2021 and Series Five that launches on 13th January 2021.  Guests in the upcoming series will include Joni Deutsch, Podcast Manager at WFAE, (Charlotte’s NPR radio station in North Carolina) on “why silence is just as important as sound”; Scottish film and TV composer Chris Tolley will be talking about where he gets his inspiration from, and Colombian, Felipe Saldarriaga, sharing insights on  “resilience” and how he coped when life brought unexpected challenges leaving him paralysed at age 11.  Other guests include Lory Mitchell Wingate, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at UCAR (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research) whose interest in the earth and astronomy was brought to life when she backpacked across America; Sameer Dua, founder of Institute for Generative Leadership in India, talking about awareness, and Millennial Caitlin Crommett explaining why she set up a Foundation that serves to fulfil the end of life needs of hospice patients.

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Sue: [00:00:00] Hello, I’m Sue Stockdale and welcome to the Access to Inspiration podcast. The show where you can be inspired by people who may be unlike you. We hope these episodes enable you to transcend your day to day challenges and reflect on what you are capable of achieving. Well, I can’t believe that we’ve now been going for 12 months and we are delighted that we’ve brought you 31 episodes so far.

In this episode, we will review the year that has just gone and what has been achieved and give you a sneak preview into what’s coming up in Series Five in January next year. Well, 12 months ago we published our first episode. And the podcast was originally created because my co-founder Clive Steeper and I saw that more than ever the world faces many challenges and often people need inspiration to rethink and reflect about what’s possible and what human beings can achieve. Recently, Clive and I shared our startup story with another podcaster, Fraser Allen who hosts the Scottish Business Network podcast.

Fraser : [00:01:20] So your podcast series is about inspiration. When, where, and how did you get the inspiration to create it?

Sue: [00:01:27] As a speaker, inspiring people for the last 20 [00:01:30] years have come to realize that inspiration can come from lots of different people. You don’t have to be a big name to be inspirational. Even as a coach, when you’re working with somebody one-to-one and they share a story about their personal lives or a situation, it can be hugely inspiring. And more and more. I think that the society, and the media drive us towards big names and fewer and fewer voices become more and more prominent. And therefore, I think the world is in danger of becoming an echo chamber because we’re just listening to the same people and we’re not actually valuing that diversity. So it was a bit of a frustration about seeing that and also knowing that inspirational people don’t necessarily have to be big names. Maybe you haven’t got a big media presence. So how can those stories be told in a way to inspire others?

Fraser : [00:02:16] Why a podcast?

Clive : [00:02:17] I  think part of the reason for that stems out of almost osmotically out of a book that we wrote called Motivating People. And in there, it becomes clear when we were doing the research that a lot of motivation comes from within the individual. We realized that in terms of inspiration, that comes into them, if you like mechanically. And so by doing a podcast, that was probably going to be a more active way of them receiving a message. And we were very keen to package it into something that’s about 25 minutes because that’s a reasonable level of concentration. And I think the other thing is that it was the interest piece is that we were looking to use a variety of people to try [00:03:00] and stimulate the thinking that inspiration can come from a lot of different areas, not just some media icons, it’s everywhere. It’s all around us. I think in addition, one of the other things that we’ve been and, this is probably more consciously doing is that the guests that we’ve had, are not well-known.

Sue: [00:03:16] I’m proud that quite a number of the people in our podcast, we’re the first time they’ve ever done a podcast. So we’re actually helping them to step out their comfort zone and try something new. And then I know several of them are now talking about doing more podcasting or creating podcasts for themselves. So that’s us opening up that door to them, to new opportunities.

I’ve been so excited to have amazing conversations with our guests, who to date are from 14 countries. And have included an astronaut, first person to cycle around Africa, a brain scientist, a dairy farmer, an entrepreneur and ultra marathon runner. They have shared important insights about purpose, resilience, authenticity, sustainability, risk-taking humility, inclusiveness, and living your values. What I love about doing these interviews is that I get to learn too about different cultures, different jobs, and different ways that people overcome the challenges they encounter in their lives. At Access to Inspiration we also want to make sure that we give back. One way to do this [00:04:30] is by purposefully working with a skilled back-office team who are from countries that are currently facing uncertain economic circumstances. It means that in a small way, we can contribute towards helping them to improve their economic situations.

Not only do we aim to help our guests learn and our team to thrive, we want to keep improving the experience for you. The listener. So that you keep listening. If you haven’t yet seen one of our features, well, you can now read a transcription for each episode on our website and follow latest news. By signing up to our newsletter at the foot of the website homepage. Our listeners are also from 15 countries and this month, we have convened a panel to hear what some of them found useful about the podcasts so far.

Valentine : [00:05:25] What I find most useful is that it always feels right on point and well-prepared, and I feel like you Sue, are an excellent interviewer and podcaster, and I feel like you’re always asking the right questions and what I found super interesting in hearing from the other person. I also think there’s amazing people that have participated in the podcast so far. So it brings me to listen to things I’m usually not, maybe you will not listen to so often, or maybe you won’t even have a touch point with usually. So it’s broadening my mind, of course, [00:06:00] and my understanding what other people do and in which way. I also find it very calming, but at the same time energizing, because when I go out on a walk and that’s how I got to know the podcast, have an idea of the time or period to take a walk for example, and really listen to it and take it in. And that’s why it’s always very valuable to me and I always feel better afterwards.

Sue: [00:06:26] And is there any particular podcast that you found has remained with you? Any learnings or insights?

Valentine : [00:06:32] Yes, I found very interesting in was Harriet Minter, the journalist, broadcaster on risk-taking career change and women’s leadership. And that’s something I listened to twice I actually just because I wanted to see how I feel about certain topics and women’s leadership and how risk averse I am. So it helps me to be more reflective about who I am and I found it also very fun to listen to the two of you. I think it’s the perfect length and the perfect energy of a podcast for me personally. So it’s always enriching and I take a lot of value from it, especially due to this quickness and the energy that it spreads.

Sue: [00:07:15] In addition to listener, Valentine from Germany, we also talked to a young student from India, Shikhar Agrawal to find out what he enjoyed.

Shikhar: [00:07:26] I think that they gave me very deep insights into how [00:07:30] people behave and how people think and what kind of things motivate them at times of crisis. And what is it that really helps them make decisions, gives them happiness and what keeps them going. So it was a great learning curve for me. And it gave me exposure to different kinds of values that people associate with. And how those values, if we stick by them and we identify ourselves by them. We can maneuver ourselves through the good and bad times.

Sue: [00:07:55] That makes sense. Have you changed how you behave or what you do as a result of what you’ve heard?

Shikhar: [00:08:00] Absolutely. And I think that is something that needs to come with a realization every now and then when you feel that there’s something that you can do marginally better in a way, and you keep reminding yourself of the same thing. For example, now that my exams are approaching, I’ve made a schedule for myself. I’m trying to be more disciplined and completing the work in an efficient manner. So I keep reminding myself for, for the every minute that I’m sparing, not studying that. Okay. This is going to give me an additional lag later on. So the sooner I finish the better it is for me. So I think it’s not a one day thing that is going to happen. That okay after listening to all the motivational things, my life is going to certainly change. It’s not going to happen. And I know that, but it’s a slow and steady process and I believe it’s really going to help me in long-term. One of the amazing things that I learned was to listen. And I think that is a skill that is becoming passive these days and needs to be learned in active manner, which nobody actually teaches us to do. Somehow. We’re always told to [00:09:00] listen to others and to be an active listener, but nobody tells us how to listen to others. I think this is a skill that I go to that tests actively through these podcast series. That I had the opportunity to listen to, and to be able to just listen to someone in their courts and not make a judgment out of it. And trying to gain from their thoughts is something that I learned from this podcast series, which I truly value.

Sue: [00:09:25] And Malcolm a retired executive from Britain has been listening avidly too.

Malcolm : [00:09:31] I think I enjoyed finding out about other people’s lives and some of their activities, things that they’ve done, and particularly things like risk taking and people’s curiosity and sense for adventure. It’s made me think about doing things in a different way or doing different things. It was quite interesting. The one I particularly enjoyed was Jonathan Cook on Living as a Dairy Farmer, because it just made me think people can break out of the mould and do things differently. So that’s something I’m going to try and do. I’ve retired a couple of years ago when probably settled into a routine. But I never liked routines when I was working. So now I need to find more leisure activities and perhaps be more adventurous.

Sue: [00:10:09] Fantastic. Thank you. Welcome. Any other points you want to make about the podcasts?

Malcolm : [00:10:14] One thing I was particularly pleased with was so many women featured in the podcasts. When I started work 40 years ago it was a male dominated environment, the oil industry and women were very much a novelty and it must’ve been very tough for them, which I hadn’t appreciated at the [00:10:30] time. But now listening to some of the podcasts that involve women, I was pleased to see that women are doing so well in what used to be sort of male preserves. That’s just great to see.

Sue: [00:10:40] Anything else?

Malcolm : [00:10:42] Being an engineer. I’ve always had an interest in science. So there were things like John David Bartoe, the astronaut going into space and studying a little bit of astrology, but what sparked my interest, there was some of the experiments that were being done in the space station and how, how they could lead to improve vaccines and other things. So that’s an area that I’ve never really thought about. So as I say, it sparked my interest

Sue: [00:11:07] Looking ahead to 2021 and what’s to come well, Series Five has a fantastic lineup of guests, including Caitlin Crommett, a millennial talking about the foundation she set up to create better understanding between the young and older generations. And our first Colombian, who talks to us about resilience. Thirty year old Felipe Saldarriaga has overcome many difficulties when aged 11, he suffered an unexpected stroke, which left him paralyzed down one side of his body and in a wheelchair. His positive attitude to life is really inspiring.

Felipe: [00:11:46] Doing volunteer work, where you are confronted with other realities that are gonna shift your perspective to your own reality, to something of gratitude. Because with all my difficult there’s in life and with all the [00:12:00] obstacles, I’m a really lucky person. I have a loving family. I have a loving community. I have so much around me and I was talking to my own mind, always looking at the glass half empty. But when you meditate, when you go out, when you connect, when you do volunteer work, you start shifting slowly, your perspective, your brain’s default network. Which is the thoughts that are reinforced and reinforced and reinforced, slowly start shifting. When you infuse gratitude into your life, your brain starts behaving differently.

Sue: [00:12:34] I will also be talking to Scottish film and television composer. Chris Tolley about where he gets his inspiration from, for his work as a composer.

Chris : [00:12:44] It’s where I live. I live in the middle of nowhere in rural East Lothian, and almost everything I write is inspired in some way by the landscape and nature here that I get to have a look at. I can look out my studio window every day and see something interesting, like a bird of prey or a deer, or it could be totally silent one moment. And then suddenly the weather will pick up and it can be incredibly dramatic. So it’s a gift, really the inspiration that comes to me just from living here.

Sue: [00:13:13] And for our opening episode for Series Five I will be discussing with Joni Deutsch, the podcast manager at WFAE Charlotte’s NPR station in North Carolina, why silence is just as important as sound. Perhaps something you wouldn’t expect [00:13:30] somebody in the communications business to be talking about.

Joni: [00:13:34] The way that we listened to stories and songs and conversations that it’s not just talking. As it is also listening. That’s how we’re able to create these relationships because we’re, it’s a give and take of sound and silence. So I think that’s the beautiful thing is that. We’re able to have the yin and the yang, the loud and the soft, and it doesn’t have to be all consuming with just one end of the spectrum.

Sue: [00:14:02] Well, it’s been a great pleasure to be part of your listening enjoyment over the last 12 months. Remember if you want to keep up to date with all our news. Please connect with us on all the usual social media channels. We are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. So type in access to inspiration, and you will find us in one of those places.

We want to thank all of you, who’ve supported us this year. Paul Rose our ambassador. Matias from Argentina who makes the podcast sound fantastic, Enrique from Venezuela who manages our social media. And I do hope that you will continue to support us next year. Stay safe. And from all the team here, we wish you a very happy holiday season. And we’ll look forward to seeing you back here on the 13th of January for Series Five.