I admit it – I’m a junkie at reading about people that climb tall mountains. REALLY tall dangerous mountains.
The summit of Mt. Everest is the highest point on Earth. It is, literally, the top of the world.
It’s the place so many people have dreamed of going. Seeing the world from a single point that very few people ever reach.
Reaching that point is not a matter of simply climbing to it.
The preparation is incredible.
Imagine taking 1-2 years to get yourself into the best aerobic condition possible.
At the same time, you are purchasing the right equipment. ALL the equipment. It’s a huge undertaking. Then, planning the logistical nightmare of getting everything to Kathmandu, Nepal --- the traditional jumping off point.
You’ve already hired a guide service to get all your stuff form the relatively flatlands to base camp. It takes dozens of people to handle this. You’re going to have a hard time getting yourself there. It’s a long walk.
All of this isn’t cheap. You’re going to spend $15,000-$50,000 to TRY to get to the top of the world. No guarantees.
Once at base camp, you realize that you cannot breathe very well. The air is thin and you haven’t even begun to climb the mountain yet. But, at this relatively low altitude (by Himalayan standards), you are already higher than any point in United States outside of Alaska.
Now, the real prep begins. After all your prep and sacrifice to get into the best shape of your life, it will take about 60 days for you to get in the condition needed to attempt to reach the summit.
You will go up and down the mountain several times – each time reaching a little higher, where the air has decreasingly less and less real oxygen in it. Oxygen is life and there just isn’t much of it here.
Your blood cells change. Your body changes. Your mind changes.
Each day and each “rotation” up and down the mountain prepares you for the next.
Rest is imperative and nearly impossible.
Finally, you’re ready. Or, as ready as you will ever be.
Your guides and Sherpas (specially trained high-altitude guides) are going to do all they can to help you reach your goal.
Wind, snow, extreme cold, and avalanche dangers all stand in your way. You are not in control here. You prepared but you have to be flexible and listen to the experts. Otherwise, you WILL make a bad decision. One single bad decision here means your family never hears from you again.
Most people that put in all of the effort I’ve just described do not reach their goals. They have to turn back before they get to the top of the world. All the time, energy and money has gone into failing.
Amazingly, many people that fail, come back and again and again --- until they reach the top.
They lose fingers to frostbite, friends to falling, but they try and try.
Are you willing to try this hard? I’ve always wondered this about myself.
The next time you tell someone you “tried your best” at work or have convinced yourself that you did all you could to start and build your business but have decided its just not going to work – or whatever your phrasing is – ask yourself if you really tried?
Did you have the level of commitment and put in the effort of a mountain climber or did it just become more than you wanted to deal with?
It happens to climbers. Some get going and at some point, just decide that its not that important to them or they realize that they are not ready for it - physically or mentally.
Your mind can convince you that you gave it all you had. But, your mind can change too. It can get stronger. It can increase your abilities in ways that you never knew were in you. Ask anyone that reaches the top of Mt. Everest.
With training, commitment and perseverance, the mental discipline required to succeed is available to us all.
It can take you to the top of the world if you let it.