- Pack light. I wish I took this more seriously. Every unnecessary piece of gear complicates things and detracts from the experience. Aside from the bare necessities, things do not make life better. They often cause more stress and keep you from what’s most important. The lighter your pack the better. Life is too short to be burdened with excessive possessions, emotional baggage or regrets. Positive thoughts, relationships and experiences weigh nothing at all. Pile them on and leave the rest behind. They’ll lift you to the top.
- Take one step at a time. Any major accomplishment can be broken down into a series of single steps. My pattern for the mountain was 15 steps up, 15 breaths of rest. I did that for 7 hours. If I would have only focused on the very top, frustration would have overcome me. If your summit is too intimidating, break it into smaller steps. Focus on those one by one. Eventually one step will be the one that puts you on top.
- Don’t go at it alone. When climbing, a partner is a must. For safety, support, camaraderie, motivation and simply to share the journey. You’d be silly (and putting yourself in great danger) to go up alone. Life is meant to be experienced with others. It makes the valleys shallower and the peaks higher. Relationships magnify experiences and help you do things that prove impossible alone. Don’t leave home without your support team.
- Listen to the experts. Halfway up, a passing guide told us if we couldn’t get to the top by 12:30 at the latest, then to turn back. Chances of late day thunderstorms were too great. As amateurs we would have had no idea. While we all ought to experience our own paths, it’s foolish not to learn from and observe the guidance of experts. Choose your life models wisely and keep them close by on your journey.
- Slow down. As Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia says, “It’s about how you got there. Not what you’ve accomplished.” Despite what colleagues and competitors may tell you, there is no rush. Rushing on the mountain risks slipping, not acclimating to thinning air, exhaustion and possibly death. In life the biggest risk is that you miss the wonders of everyday experiences in your pursuit to the top. The top is secondary to the process.
- Look back and take in the view. There’s never any guarantee that you’ll get to the top, but you always have the ability to stop, take in a deep breath, smile and enjoy the view-whether it’s miles of wilderness or two feet of fog. It’s all wonderful. Every moment of life is a new view to appreciate.
- Save some energy for the trip down. We thought the summit was “just over that peak” half a dozen times before it actually was. Conserve energy. Things will inevitably take longer than expected. Don’t be discouraged. Budget your capital, energy and drive appropriately. Rarely is anything in life an all out sprint. Treat it like a marathon. You may need your reserves when you least expect it.
- Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory. These are Ed Viesturs’ famous words; the first U.S. man to summit all 14 peaks above 8,000 meters with no bottled oxygen. The summit will be there tomorrow and likely so will yours. If more planning, a stronger team or more support is required, then save the summit for a time when the payout is safer and more probable. If you are outmatched, know when to turn back, only to return stronger and more savvy tomorrow. Stay objective and don’t let short-term excitement get in the way of long-term fulfillment.
- Failure is a part of the process. If we would have started our climb the week before, conditions would have been too grave to make it. Be ok with not reaching the summit every time. Falling short is inevitable. You will never learn more than from your failures…at anything. Embrace them.
A daunting summit is nothing more than a challenge. A challenge is simply an opportunity in disguise. You won’t summit every one you come across, but you will become a better person with each attempt.
There will always be another mountain. You are not meant to conquer them all. Past summits are simply preparing you for the next. With the right strategy, you’ll put the top within reach. When your summit arrives, you will be ready.
“It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves.” ~Sir Edmund Hillary
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ~Confucius
The Formula for Failure and Success by Jim Rohn
Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. We do not fail overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices. To put it more simply, failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day.
Now why would someone make an error in judgment and then be so foolish as to repeat it every day? The answer is because he or she does not think that it matters.
On their own, our daily acts do not seem that important. A minor oversight, a poor decision, or a wasted hour generally doesn’t result in an instant and measurable impact. More often than not, we escape any immediate consequences of our deeds.
If we have not bothered to read a single book in the past ninety days, this lack of discipline does not seem to have any immediate impact on our lives. And since nothing drastic happened to us after the first ninety days, we repeat this error in judgment for another ninety days, and on and on it goes. Why? Because it doesn’t seem to matter. And herein lies the great danger. Far worse than not reading the books is not even realizing that it matters!
Those who eat too many of the wrong foods are contributing to a future health problem, but the joy of the moment overshadows the consequence of the future. It does not seem to matter. Those who smoke too much or drink too much go on making these poor choices year after year after year… because it doesn’t seem to matter. But the pain and regret of these errors in judgment have only been delayed for a future time. Consequences are seldom instant; instead, they accumulate until the inevitable day of reckoning finally arrives and the price must be paid for our poor choices—choices that didn’t seem to matter.
Failure’s most dangerous attribute is its subtlety. In the short term those little errors don’t seem to make any difference. We do not seem to be failing. In fact, sometimes these accumulated errors in judgment occur throughout a period of great joy and prosperity in our lives. Since nothing terrible happens to us, since there are no instant consequences to capture our attention, we simply drift from one day to the next, repeating the errors, thinking the wrong thoughts, listening to the wrong voices and making the wrong choices. The sky did not fall in on us yesterday; therefore the act was probably harmless. Since it seemed to have no measurable consequence, it is probably safe to repeat.
But we must become better educated than that!
If at the end of the day when we made our first error in judgment the sky had fallen in on us, we undoubtedly would have taken immediate steps to ensure that the act would never be repeated. Like the child who places his hand on a hot burner despite his parents’ warnings, we would have had an instantaneous experience accompanying our error in judgment.
Unfortunately, failure does not shout out its warnings as our parents once did. This is why it is imperative to refine our philosophy in order to be able to make better choices. With a powerful, personal philosophy guiding our every step, we become more aware of our errors in judgment and more aware that each error really does matter.
Now here is the great news. Just like the formula for failure, the formula for success is easy to follow: It’s a few simple disciplines practiced every day.
Now here is an interesting question worth pondering: How can we change the errors in the formula for failure into the disciplines required in the formula for success? The answer is by making the future an important part of our current philosophy.
Both success and failure involve future consequences, namely the inevitable rewards or unavoidable regrets resulting from past activities. If this is true, why don’t more people take time to ponder the future? The answer is simple: They are so caught up in the current moment that it doesn’t seem to matter. The problems and the rewards of today are so absorbing to some human beings that they never pause long enough to think about tomorrow.
But what if we did develop a new discipline to take just a few minutes every day to look a little further down the road? We would then be able to foresee the impending consequences of our current conduct. Armed with that valuable information, we would be able to take the necessary action to change our errors into new success-oriented disciplines. In other words, by disciplining ourselves to see the future in advance, we would be able to change our thinking, amend our errors and develop new habits to replace the old.
One of the exciting things about the formula for success—a few simple disciplines practiced every day—is that the results are almost immediate. As we voluntarily change daily errors into daily disciplines, we experience positive results in a very short period of time. When we change our diet, our health improves noticeably in just a few weeks. When we start exercising, we feel a new vitality almost immediately. When we begin reading, we experience a growing awareness and a new level of self-confidence. Whatever new discipline we begin to practice daily will produce exciting results that will drive us to become even better at developing new disciplines.
The real magic of new disciplines is that they will cause us to amend our thinking. If we were to start today to read the books, keep a journal, attend the classes, listen more and observe more, then today would be the first day of a new life leading to a better future. If we were to start today to try harder, and in every way make a conscious and consistent effort to change subtle and deadly errors into constructive and rewarding disciplines, we would never again settle for a life of existence—not once we have tasted the fruits of a life of substance!
Post this somewhere that you can see it everyday.
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Talk to God about what is going on in your life. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to __________ today. I am thankful for______________’
4. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
5. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli , almonds & walnuts.
6. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
7. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
8. Eat breakfast like a king or queen, lunch like a prince or princess and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
9. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
10. Life is too short to waste time hating
11. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
12. You are not so important that you have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
13. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
14. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
15. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
16. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’
17. Forgive everyone for everything.
18. What other people think of you is none of your business.
19. GOD heals everything – but you have to ask and believe .
20. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
21. Your job won’t take care of you when you are in need. Your friends will. Stay in touch!!!
22. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
23. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
24. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
25. When you are feeling down, start listing your many blessings. You’ll be smiling before you know it.
26. Share this with others.
How Enlightened Are You? A Test:
Well. . .
If you can live without caffeine or nicotine;
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains;
If you can resist complaining;
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you any time;
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment;
If you can ignore friends’ limited educations and never correct them;
If you can treat the rich and poor alike;
If you can face the world without lies or deceit;
If you can conquer tension without medical help;
If you can relax without liquor;
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs;
If you can have no prejudice against creed, color, religion, gender, sexual preference, or politics —
— then you have almost reached the same level of spiritual development as your dog.