Every year nearly a thousand people summit Mount Everest – the Earth’s highest mountain above sea level. It’s challenging to say the least, exhilarating, and also can have life shattering consequences. In the case of Mount Everest, it literally can mean your life, but for our purposes, let’s simply refer to things that have a great impact on our life.
So, what drives people to take on such feats? What can be worth such potentially high stakes? While I didn’t climb Mount Everest, nor could I ever dream to take on such a challenge, I did summit Mount Kilimanjaro. It took months and months of mental and physical training before I even attempted such a feat, along with the best gear I could find. Why did I do it?
Mental Strength and Resiliency
Taking on any seemingly impossible challenge comes with risk, but also comes with the potential of a big reward. For me, summitting Mount Kilimanjaro was a huge confidence booster.
Since my summit, when challenges have come my way, I look back on the mental challenges I overcame on that mountain and today’s problems literally become molehills. I remind myself, if I can summit the world’s largest free-standing mountain, I certainly can speak calmly and succinctly in front of this crowd, or whatever the challenge may be.
In short, those weeks on the mountain over a decade ago have provided a lifetime of future rewards for me. I say yes to challenges more often and correspondingly I succeed more often. Confidence is the name of the game and I now have it much more often.
Needless to say, I learned to trust my body more as I climbed that mountain. I was forced to listen to it tell me to rest and I forced it to push on when I needed to. This too has helped me immensely since my time on that mountain.
Since then, I have developed a chronic illness. Life with a chronic illness means you need to listen to your body closely. You need to learn your symptom triggers and learn how to prevent or minimize them. I couldn’t do it nearly as well if I hadn’t learned the lessons I learned on Mount Kilimanjaro.
What is Your Mount Everest?
What is that defining accomplishment or challenge that has changed your life ever since? Or, do you have one such moment in your sights right now? I would love to hear what your “Mount Everest” is!