It took me more than three years after finishing my first book (Yes I Can!) to start writing this second one (After the Summit). I could not forget how I agonized and suffered during the days of writing the first book, and to me, writing is much more painful than climbing mountains. Climbing is hard, but I never considered it painful.
Writing is a process of soul searching, you have to be brutally honest in re-living, tearing apart, and analyzing some of the events you would sometimes rather leave behind. Other times, you have to force yourself to study a subject you are afraid to attempt because it is too complicated or foreign to you. I honestly dreaded going through the agony of writing a book, again.
The tipping point came in September 2015, in a coaching call with my mentor Darren LaCroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking. Darren brought up the topic of writing a second book.
He said, “You...
If you have read the last newsletter Everest Lessons: How, you can imagine, if you don’t have a deep WHY for climbing this mountain, what kind of torture would it be to debate every day “Is it worth it?”
You have to want to climb because you are truly passionate about mountains.
Passion can help make those pains just part of the journey;
Passion can help make those suffering just the norm of an expedition life;
Passion can help you focus on experiencing the mountain instead of worrying about the outcome.
But Everest is more than just a mountain.
You have to want to climb this mountain beyond just your love for climbing. You need an even deeper why.
Only with a deep why, can you willingly give up the comfort of home and love of family in exchange for two months of suffering;
Only with a deep why, can you courageously make each step despite the fear;
Only with a deep why, can you keep moving forward even when all the odds are against you.
For me, I started this...
~ Friedrich Neitzsche
This famous Nietzsche quote is the absolute foundation if you want to succeed in any difficult endeavor.
To avoid making it an abstract philosophical discussion, let me share with you the “how” one has to bear on Mount Everest, the “how” that caused one-third of climbers to quit before the summit push… not for just a few days or weeks, but every day for 2 months!
First, the pain of breathing the thin air.
If you have ever been to Denver, the mile-high city, or have hiked on Mount Rainier, you may have a sense of what I am talking about.
And Everest basecamp is more than 3 miles above sea level, or 3000 feet higher than the summit of Mount Rainier.
Can you imagine how much thinner is the air up there? And you live there for almost two months?
The pain of constant coughs and headache, of clearing your nose of bloody secretions every few minutes.
This is what...
Before I dive into the lessons I learned from Everest, first of all, how did the whole thing start?
The credit goes to the documentary movie “Touching the Void”.
It was my first winter in Boston. As a fresh MBA graduate, I was working a 12-hours-a-day corporate job and focused on my career track only. For a book nerd growing up in Beijing, mountaineering was totally “other-worldly”. In fact, I was so scared of the brutal cold that, before that movie, I had not even ventured the 4-blocks walk from my home in Back Bay to the Charles River.
I had no idea humans could be so powerful until I saw that movie! I wondered, is “mountaineer” some kind of special specie, a superhuman? Can an ordinary person like me ever do something like that?
I became curious!
I went to the library and borrowed as many documentaries on mountaineering as I can – there’s no streaming Netflix yet. And guess what, Everest is the one standing out most on...
It’s that time of the year once more… May always brings back the memory of Mount Everest.
This year is the 11th anniversary of my Everest summit.
Inspired by the film "Touching the Void," I had a daydream about climbing Mount Everest in 2004. And, growing up in Beijing as an unathletic book nerd, I never saw myself scaling this mountain one day.
Almost everyone on my team felt I was the least likely to succeed when I finally started hiking towards Everest Base Camp six years later. I was the group's smallest, weakest, and slowest member. Regardless, I was the only woman on my team who made it to the top. Just 16 people out of a total of 25 made it to the top.
Everest was, without a doubt, an impossibility when it was first attempted.
Since returning from Everest, I've been thinking about the most important lessons I learned there.
In the coming weeks, I'll be sharing the most important lessons I learned on Everest, as well as how they helped me excel today. I...
It’s that time of the year again… May always brings back the memory of Mount Everest.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of my summit of Everest.
In 2004, I had a daydream about climbing Mount Everest, inspired by the film "Touching the Void." And, as an unathletic book nerd growing up in Beijing, I never imagined myself climbing this mountain one day.
When I eventually started hiking towards Everest Base Camp six years later, almost everyone on my team thought I was the least likely to succeed. I was the smallest, weakest, and slowest of the group. Despite this, I was the only woman on my team to reach the summit. Just 16 of our 25-person team made it to the top.
By all means, Everest began as an impossibility.
Since returning from Everest, I've been wondering what the most valuable lessons I learned on the mountain were.
I'll be sharing the most valuable lessons I learned on Everest in the coming weeks, as well as how they helped me succeed today. I hope...
“I’m working on it …”
I felt like my coach was pushing me too hard when she asked when I would start my coaching business.
Didn't she see how hard I'm already working?
“I need to finish this course first, so I know how to …”
Then, “I need to finish reading this book, so I know how to …”
Since I enjoy the direct effect coaching can have on people's lives and businesses, I've always wanted to incorporate coaching to my speaking services.
Years passed as I weighed the advantages and disadvantages, questioning whether or not that was the best direction to take...
Then I put in a lot of effort for several months...
I was reading, writing, and attending trainings...
And the never-ending supply of free webinars persuaded me that I needed to add one more tool to my toolbox before I could welcome clients...Oh, and I need to update my website...
Oh, should I rebrand my social media accounts...
Does this sound familiar?
We went for a snowshoe walk this past weekend. The hike's start was a little disappointing. For almost an hour, we had to bushwhack and posthole through snow and ice.
We whined and cursed. We also considered turning around and calling it a day.
I’m glad we didn’t do that!
Once we popped out of the tree line and climbed onto the ridge, the view was simply breathtaking!
If we had known what the lovely payoff was, we would have probably endured the "suffer-fest" more cheerfully.
As an entrepreneur, do you ever feel like you're bushwhacking and post-holing and want to give up?
What if you could feel the rush of hitting the ridge's rewarding payoff, where you can gaze out at the beautiful world all around you and see the summit just around the corner?
What if you could see your dream clearly and know it's entirely possible?
What's more, to make things even better...
We discovered an old boot track on the way down from the mountain that bypassed...
Does my earlier post about Why You Need an Impossible Goal make you wonder a little bit?
At the very least, I hope you've considered setting an impossible goal by now!
You might be asking yourself, "How do I set an impossible goal?
First and foremost, forget about "how"!
Don't worry about whether it's probable or how you'll get there.
Allow your imagination to run wild. Even if you "know" it's unlikely, keep dreaming about it!
My Everest dream began as a simple daydream. I never thought I'd be able to reach the summit of Mount Everest one day.
What was a childhood dream you never got the chance to pursue? If you think it's too late, don't worry.
What is something you have never done but secretly wish you could one day?
What is a business goal you have that you believe is unrealistically high?
What is a task or project that you feel is too hard and that you are convinced would fail?
You know, it's those challenges, the ones you'd rather avoid, the ones...
Why do you need an impossible goal?
If you want to have a totally different lifestyle, want to reach a scary new height in your business, you can’t simply do what you used to do and hope that will give you a dramatically different result.
You have to change how you think and try things you have never done before.
You have to create new routines and adopt new habits.
In short, you have to totally transform who you are in order to behave totally differently.
Only an impossible goal has that kind of power to trigger an identity shift!
When you're standing at the bottom of the mountain as that "old" you, a goal seems impossibly high. And since most people only know the "old" you, they are blind to the new opportunities.
To achieve that seemingly impossible goal, imagine yourself as someone who has already accomplished it and see yourself as someone who considers such a goal to be “normal.”
When you make...