If You are Not Willing to Risk the Unusual, You Will Have to Settle for the Ordinary

I checked my Facebook newsfeed this morning and an update from Kenton Cool clearly illustrated the difference between his life and mine.  It read;

“Everyone ok after the ice collapse…Sherpas were very clever and waited things out…#samsunguk”

Kenton is an adventurer, high in the Himalaya attempting to climb Mount Everest from the standard, Southern route.  To do so, he must pass through a giant maze of crevasses, seracs and other hidden dangers known simply as the Khumbu Icefall.

The most dangerous part of climbing the Southern route is the Icefall.

And still, Kenton and countless others have made decision to do so.  The known danger is acceptable as a risk to achieving their goal.  Their goal of climbing the highest mountain in the world.

Now as I mentioned before, it is clear that Kenton and I live different lives.  He has to deal with two ton towers of ice potentially falling on him.

I don’t.  At least, not while I’m in my office writing.

But that is where the differences end.  I still have to make decisions about the risks I’m willing to take.  I may not be attempting to climb the world’s tallest mountain, but that doesn’t mean the implications of my decisions aren’t as great.

The fact is, not every mountain is an Everest.  If we want those amazing highs of success and accomplishment we still need to accept risk regardless of the size of the mountain.  But we also need to be prepared.

The telling part of Kenton’s quote was his admiration and appreciation for the local Sherpa guides.  They are prepared, and are calculated in each step they take.  They are being conservative.  In an environment that can kill them, they are being safe.

For me it’s an example to be followed.  I need to take risks and sometimes make decisions that push my comfort zone if I am to be successful, but I need to be fully prepared.  I need to make those decisions with a clear, educated mind.  Reckless will get me hurt (financially, emotionally, physically even).

Hundreds have traveled the Khumbu Icefall and survived.  If they can accept that risk and achieve their goals, so can I.

So can I…

12 responses to “If You are Not Willing to Risk the Unusual, You Will Have to Settle for the Ordinary

  1. As usual, well said, Greg. Life is full of risks. Some are worth taking & others might not be, but we do not know until we try. I would rather take a risk and fail, then always have the what ifs hanging over me. Good luck risk taking and being safe at the same time.

    • Thanks Dava! I agree, it is the trying that is the most important. And I believe our attempts only fail if we don’t learn from the experience. Failure to me is an end game that I’m unwilling to accept. If I haven’t achieved my goal the first time, I’ll keep trying until I do.

    • I’m really glad I could share, thanks! My biggest joy is being able to have conversations with others and discuss our similarities and our differences. More often than not, I find we are pretty much alike. We fear many of the same things, we are challenged with many of the same things, and together, we overcome many of those challenges. I’m glad you stopped in for a look. I really appreciate it!!!

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