Doing the Impossible

Will you summit YOUR next mountain?

What truly inspires you? Knowing your “why”? Scaling the impossible? Seeing others be successful? Gaining ground on your own goals? For many, knowing – REALLY KNOWING – that anything is really possible – is all the inspiration they need. 

In fact, I would think that most people are inspired once they really and truly grasp this.

I recently saw an amazing documentary that was full of inspiration and I wanted to share my takeaways with you. It is called 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible. It’s on Netflix and I encourage you to check it out!

14 Peaks follows the journey of the legendary mountaineer Nirmal Purja and his team. They climb 14 of the world’s highest mountains in only seven months. There are only 14 peaks in the world that are higher than 8,000 meters – and they scaled them all in astonishing record time. Just how big of an accomplishment was this? The previous world record for this undertaking was 14 mountains in seven YEARS. 

So how did they do it in only seven months? 

This undertaking wasn’t without its trials—I won’t give too much away because I recommend watching it in entirety. This crew faced political struggles, death of other climbers and family members during filming, health challenges, family challenges, and impossible, deadly climbing weather. In order words, there were a LOT of very good reasons to quit. What they were doing was dangerous. Other people needed them. A country shut down access to its mountain.

But they persevered anyway. It was impossible, but they did it anyway.

I had a couple of personal takeaways from the film. The first is the incredible leadership of Nims (his nickname), the lead mountaineer who had the dream to accomplish this incredible feat. In the beginning of the film, Nims joins Don Bowie to climb the Annapurna. Bowie has, at this point, tried and failed to scale the Annapurna a number of times. He ventures out again with Nims because “This guy believed they were gonna do it, and they pushed through.”

You see, his belief was all they needed. He believed he could, despite all the legitimate obstacles. And because he believed, others were able to be inspired to persevere – and believe right along with him! His belief alone was enough. 

Nims is quoted as saying, “The biggest strength I have is I have no fear.” 

How many times in our businesses as CEOs do we encounter something with a little bit of fear and trepidation? So many times a tiny bit of fear can bring our momentum to a screeching halt if we let it. 

But we have a choice: We can choose to be fearless. Who says we can’t? 

My second takeaway from this film was the value of perseverance. Nims says, “Giving up is not in the blood, sir. It’s not in the blood.” He had a dream to accomplish this feat. And he simply didn’t quit. 

In our businesses, we could come up with so many reasons to quit. And truthfully, they may be very good reasons! They may be reasons that nobody would blame you for. And truthfully, sometimes change is warranted! But quitting is not. 

Consider this: We’re all going to be spending our lives working hard on something. Let the thing you work hard on be worth it – and just don’t quit at it no matter what you come against. 

What is the big takeaway here? What these guys did in climbing 14 peaks was considered impossible by anyone’s standards. Health experts advise against it. It has never been done before.  But they did it anyways. 

What mountain will you summit next? What are the things in your business that seem impossible?  Who says it’s impossible? Because you think it is?

He did the impossible. And if he can, so can you. 

I’d also encourage you to watch the documentary titled 14 Peaks.

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