“I just got back from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro,” our friend said one evening early in September.
She went on to talk about how she had fallen in love with the people and the country of Tanzania, and how the trek on the legendary mountain was the fulfillment and completion of a personal quest.
At the summit – all 19,341 feet of it — she had spread the ashes of her late husband.
Climbing Kilimanjaro was something they had wanted to do together but it could never happen once his battle with cancer had begun.
So she did it on her own and it freed her to face her future.
* * * *
Jil listened with her usual intense focus and was the first to see it – what it could mean to us and the future of our work with DSM – and at the opportune moment jumped in,
“We want to go.
Will you take us?
When can we go?”
And so our training for the January challenge — eight-days-up, two-days-down and a safari to follow — would begin.
At one level it made no sense whatsoever.
We had our business to grow, clients to serve, bills to pay.
We don’t have that kind of time to train plus take what would amount to 5 weeks away!
Yet in other, bigger ways, it was perfect.
It comes at a time when we are challenging ourselves to go to another level in our business and our life together….
* * * *
Here is how we applied the Guide to Certainty to the question:
Do we go climb Mount Kilimanjaro now?
… and how we came to a resounding YES!
Step One: Feel the excitement of what it would be like to get “there” (note: if it’s not really new territory there won’t be much excitement)….
“This isn’t a stretch! ….
I imagine being at the highest point in Africa at sunrise!
I feel how good it feels to be in the physical and mental condition to do this!
I feel the accomplishment in being the small part of humanity that has been here!”
Step Two: Feel the compelling nature of going for what you want (really sense it in your body!)
“This matches how I feel when I’m in touch with what I’m facing in my life”.
“Conditioning for this and actually doing it is real proof that I can do anything I set my mind to!”
“ I’m going because I feel inspired by everything about it!”
Step Three: Notice any sense of danger….anticipation… even fear that rides along with it.
“I could die”.
“I’ve never been at that altitude before and I know it’s potentially dangerous.
‘The elements are severe”.
Step Four: Notice any Uncertainty that shows up….
“I’m not strong enough, young enough, capable enough!”
“I might make a fool of myself, disappoint myself, FAIL. And, all the other not-good-enough, fear based self-talk bullshit that is ready and willing to take over”
“I simply notice what shows up and know it will retreat as I build resources and broaden my sense of personal power. With preparation, managing my perspective, and conditioning my body I can manage my uncertainty”.
What are you going to do with all that?
In other words: How will I be a ChangeMaker who uses this opportunity to go beyond where I have been before?
How will this challenge focus my effort, grow me, and improve the lives of everyone I serve?”
It’s important to answer that question because it balances the four steps and takes you closer to a “yes” or “no”.
Our “Yes” was reinforced by a mindset that declares:
- “I’m going to do whatever it takes to win.”
- “I’m going to access my Essence that is the Source of my determination, Self-Love, and personal power.”
- “I’m going to commit to doing everything I can to weigh the odds of success in my favor.”
We believe that the mark of a worthy challenge is that it serves as a grand metaphor for all that is occurring in your Life.
The big challenges you set for yourself become more meaningful and transformative when you approach them in this way.
Connect your challenge to a “Bigger Why” and you set the scales of success in your favor.
For us, our adventure to Kilimanjaro is a journey of Spirit. It will connect and inform every aspect of our lives.
* * * *
Finally, it is important to acknowledge that making a huge commitment to do something totally out of the ordinary is not something everyone can do at a moment’s notice.
We have a strong notion, however, that IT IS IMPORTANT that everyone must – at some point – do the big thing that scares them, challenges them, and defies their conventional logic.
Because it proves that it is OK to break loose from convention.
Because it proves that you CAN be fearless and survive.
Because it reminds you of your power and that a commitment will change who you are.
And most important….
To deeply know that who you become on a journey really is MORE important than the goal.
The next time you are contemplating a new challenge or embarking on one, we invite you to apply the Guide to Certainty: See how you connect to your enthusiasm. Or find out that something else matters more!