The Himalayan peak of Mount Everest rises an astonishing 29,029 feet above sea level—the highest point on Earth. The audacious task of reaching its summit was first attempted in 1921 and, for more than thirty years, unsuccessful attempts were common-place. It left a swath of defeated pioneers in its wake, leading many to believe that it was simply unscalable.
That changed in 1953 when a thirty-three year old Englishman set his sights on doing the unthinkable.
As the ninth British expedition launched, there were two teams of men attempting to scale the final summit. The first team, Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, came within three hundred feet of the peak before they were forced to turn back when an oxygen system malfunctioned.
Thirty-three year old Edmond Hillary and sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, were on deck. As they saw their defeated companions return, battered and frost-bitten by the elements, they left the comfort of base camp and began their ascent.
As they approached the summit, the two were snowed in for two days in a blizzard at 27,900 feet. The elements refused to surrender their relentless assault. Yet for these men, there was no giving up.
As their final endeavor began, they came to a crucial impasse: a 40-foot vertical rock face. Hillary studied his surroundings and saw a wedge between the ice whereby he could ascend; Norgay followed. This final trespass is now deemed the “Hillary Step.”
At 11:30am on May 29, 1953, these two men climbed their way into infamy and stood on the top of the world.
Conquering Your Everest
This year, I dare say, mountains were climbed in my life.
Personally, cancer was battled, a half ironman was completed, and our two-year old twins turned three. Professionally, this blog reached more than 22,000 people in 115 countries, we launched the Redefine Rich Podcast, and my book, Redefine Rich, was published.
Any one of those feats could be deemed mountain-worthy, not to mention combining them into one calendar year. I’m honestly amazed as I look back at all that has happened during my thirty-second year of life. I’m a firm believer in celebrating achievements and I would invite you to join me.
What are some great accomplishments you can celebrate from this past year?
Lest you assume I’m boasting, I’ll be the first to admit that mountain climbing has its share of challenges as well: my surgery prohibited physical activity which created a habit of apathy toward working out, the struggle to launch a business while still performing in a production based career created real tension, and my priorities were continually seeking to one-up each other as fatherhood responsibility met entrepreneurial ambition.
And the list goes on.
Also, the funny thing about mountains is that there’s always another one looming on the horizon. The pressure for progress is always present as we feel judged against our past successes. As if comparison to the masses isn’t enough, we’re in constant competition with ourselves.
Then, there’s Everest, that unscalable mountain in the distance, the audacious dream that taunts us from its towering position.
The Business of Moving Mountains
As I read about the ascent of Edmund Hillary one particular feature jumped out at me: he was thirty-three years old when he climbed Everest. Today I begin my thirty third year of life. As I stare at the horizon in the distance–Everest looming–I feel an uncanny parallel.
Maybe this year will be an Everest-Conquering Year.
I would challenge you to join me in believing that it would be for you as well.
Need I reminded that God is in the business of moving mountains?
Jesus was thirty-three when he climbed Calvary’s Hill.
Friends, Everest is staring at us, daring us to climb. May we ascend to the heights together under the power and the authority of the One who charged us with these words:
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” Mark 11:23
What would you dare to believe about the upcoming year?
The exciting and equally terrifying reality is that–for you and me–it’s time to leave the comfort of base camp.
If you are not a part of this community of people daring to live a rich life, I would invite you to join us by signing up for the Live Richly Newsletter. Additionally, if you have not already, consider purchasing a copy of my book Redefine Rich. It is packed full of stories and principles that unlock the perspective needed to enrich your life. For more on the book or to order a copy, visit the website www.redefinerich.com