Today I'm in awe of the individuals who summit mountain peaks like K2. The few who have been lucky enough to view her shadow she casts from her summit in the morning light. K2 is a monster of a mountain and make neighbouring Everest seem like a walk in the park. In 2009 - 2010 season, no one summited K2, yet during the same period more than 840 climbers summited Everest. At a fatality to summit ratio 1:4 it is the second most dangerous peak to summit after Annapurna. It seems fitting then for a climber in a documentary Sirens of the Himalayas to claim that nowhere else do you feel quite so ignored by mother nature as on K2. Success in mountain climbing, as in life, is based on the Goldilock principle. You either dream to big, and on K2 if you don’t keep in mind that success is not to summit but about descending alive, you will pay the ultimate price. Then there is dreaming to small and you fail to learn what your full potential is. Last is the just right moment, were your hard work, discipline, perseverance and whole lot of help from lady luck, lets you stand on the summit of your K2.
“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”
The reality is, that there is no way of separating or knowing in advance which one of the three you are going to get. Sure, you can train hard and make luck less of a factor, but it is always there and can tip the scales out of your favour.
Success in mountaineering favors the individuals who know you have to focus on appreciating the millions of moments that precede failure. Failing to summit is just a single point in time. Don't pay the ultimate price just to get to the summit, it is after all, only the halfway mark of the journey. You still have to be capable of getting down from the midway mark, where ever that might be for you. The only way that you can find the motivation to keep going forward again is not to burn bridges along the route. You cannot navigate the crevasse of life without support from individuals who know that failure is sometimes the only road to success. You can only fail if you dream to big, and this is a lot more than what most aim for in life.
I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan
Somewhere along the line, we develop a notion that failing is what losers do. Yet Michael Jordan who is one of the greatest athletes of all time, has a different take on it.
Because in society we are so focused on the ultimate outcome, we miss the achievement it took to take the millions of steps leading up to failure. But to fail without learning anything about yourself is the ultimate form of failure. It is what you do after you failed, that separates the winners and the losers in life. Why be a success in mediocrity when you can leave a mark on the world instead?
The day belongs to the person, that not only learn from the experience, but can muster the will when everyone is asking you “why do it again?”, attempt it a little wiser, until one day, the dream is just right.