Life Lessons from Chomolungma

Life Lessons from Chomolungma

There are several perks working for a company that has created renowned world famous Photoshop, not counting the free subscription of the same and free food, I got myself invited to a number of interesting speaker series that pulled me out from the mundane daily routine.

If you are thinking, I am writing to market Adobe among potential employees, which I do as my day job, then you should hang on for a few more lines. No, this is about an individual and his hour-long speech that kept the audience, especially me motivated and glued.

The speaker was Jamling Tenzing Norgay son of Tenzing Norgay who happened to be one of the first two individuals climbing the mighty Everest in 1953, he spoke about his journey to the Everest along with the filming crew of 1998-IMAX film, Everest. Along the experience was nothing that could be considered under the sphere of ordinary but that was elaborately covered in that famous movie and I encourage all of you to watch the same but I am writing this from an entirely different perspective.

While the speech was going on, someone from the audience whispered Why to take a risk with your life. Countless reasons are there for the same but I am sure, no matter whatever the reason be, you always come as a learned man. The vast challenging mountains always have managed to bring humanity to the ground, more disciplined, humbled and appreciative. For rest of us, who are not into trekking neither thinking of shredding $40000 for an Everest climb, we could anyways learn from the experience of others. The lessons are always same and it’s up to you whether to apply it for handling studies, family, relationships or corporate, mountains have something for everyone and every situation. Here I am enlisting 7 golden principles for life that I learned from this session.

Why list of 7, because lists are always easy to grasp and 7 is one of the most popular numbers (you can google search it if you want, I checked it)

1.    Push only till you can turn back:

During his sixth attempt to climb mountain Everest, Tenzing Norgay was merely sort of 400m from the summit. He along with the Swiss climber were aware that if they would make a push they would make it to the summit but would never be able to return alive. They turned back all the way down.

Sometimes in life, we are not just ready mentally, physically or emotionally to achieve the target, we push it and it could be possible that we would be able to finally achieve it but we would not be able to sustain it. It’s always good then, to take a break, prepare yourself and then get the target back. Remember it’s not going anywhere if you are focused enough

2.    Acclimatize if you want to live:

In mountaineering, you could not go on rushing to the top because no matter if you were the healthiest man alive on the surface of the earth or the Sherpa who had climbed the mountain 20 times before, you would drop dead if you attempt that. One need to acclimatize and adjust to the environment before we climbed upwards.

Similarly, in life, we need to take time take things slow, enjoy the journey, learn from every tip and step by step climb the steps.

3.      Your team decides whether you live or die:

Whether you live or die depends on your team, a team formed of highly trained master climbers and inexperienced climbers has a low chance of survival than a team comprised fully of experienced climbers. No matter what’s your degree of mastery, you can’t be omniscient especially in the mountains where you can’t tell what’s lying on the next corner.

Like in the mountains down here too no individual heroes are found, an individual’s success depends on a lot of factors his family, his friends, his superiors, his peers, and his juniors, because of no matter what, you have to take everyone along with you, you never know who will prove to be one closest ally in the end.

4.      Keep your focus on the top:

Jamling Norgay recalled about a tragic event where 8 climbers lost their lives while attempting the climb, it was most tragic incident on the Everest till then, many climbers post that returned back to the ground but not Jamling and their team. They weren’t being arrogant, they were confident of their capabilities and they believed in their team. They made the climb and done that successfully.

There will be in life, circumstances completely negative and obstacles that look like unsurmountable but if your eyes will be on the prize, you will be on the top. Key is you should be prepared, ready and fully confident of yourself and your team if you aren’t push back if you are then go on, get the prize

5.      Climbing the mountain is optional but getting down is mandatory:

As I talked about, climbing the mountain could be for various reasons, fame, promise, fun, money or something else and no matter what the reason it couldn’t supersede the ultimate achievement of the life i.e. life itself, so whether you can make it to the top or you push back, you always have to come back down.

Like mountains, everything else in your life is part of the life and whether you achieve it or not, you can always go on getting it later but remember to live your life always thoroughly and completely

6.      Listen to your guide:

Everest climb like many another climbs on the Himalayas depend on proficiency and expertise of Sherpas but they are not always listened to, commercial travelers at many times neglect and reject their advice and tips endangering lives of many. Jamling mentioned about an out of shape Pakistani Colonel who was adamant about making the climb in spite of the advice of Sherpa against it, leading to his severe brush with death and Sherpa losing his hands.

No one is perfect in life and no one can be, it’s always ready to identify your mentor and guide, look for them, find them and then listen to them.

7.      Prepare for next challenges:

What if you make the climb successfully? A mountaineer doesn’t put his boots down post climbing the peak, he rises up and prepares for the next challenge. It could be an another peak, guiding others for the trek or simply move to something else.

Life doesn’t stop and achieving one target shouldn’t make you arrogant or lazy, you should put it down and start afresh for a new assignment and mission.

To travel, to experience and learn: that is to live. Tenzing Norgay

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