For me, standing on the summit of Mt Everest was the result of following a process. The process of mountaineering. I love mountaineering. I am passionate about it. I love the months of planning for an expedition, the months of sweating and training to prepare my body physically. The meticulous preparation of my equipment. Most of all I love the huge mental challenge I have to overcome before each climb to confront my own fear. All these reasons are why I climb, they are why I climbed Mt Everest and that is why I continue to climb.
Passion is an enormously powerful force. It gives us the strength to get through hard times and setbacks. It gives us strength to overcome our fears, to ignore what other people think of us, to be disciplined and make sacrifices in pursuit of our dreams. Passionate people do not want to take shortcuts – they consider that ‘learning the process’ is an important part of the journey.
In mountaineering it’s easy to spot those who are not passionate about the process. They want to stand on top of the mountain but they are not really interested in the process of climbing the mountain. I feel for these people. Success without hard work is a hollow, empty feeling. They never last long in the sport.
Just as in life, successful mountaineers are the ones who are passionate. They are not there just to stand on the summit. Their passion gives them the energy to work the hardest, fight the longest, and in the words of Winston Churchill “never, never. never give-up”.
By following my passion it took me to the top of the world. Next week I will be talking on the importance of following your passion at the Singapore Management University. See the flyer below for more information. I hope to see you there!