I was reading how more people have died on the descent from Mount Everest than on the ascent. According to data compiled by the Himalayan Database between 1953 and 2020, a total of 3,954 people have reached the summit of Mount Everest. 303 have died on the mountain and of those deaths, 172 occurred during the descent, while 93 occurred during the ascent, and the remaining 38 occurred at the base or other locations on the mountain. There are several reasons why more deaths occur on the descent. Climbers often push themselves to the limit to reach the summit, and by the time they start the descent, they are exhausted and their physical and mental abilities are compromised. Additionally, climbers may be more focused on reaching the summit and may not give as much attention to the descent, which can be just as challenging and dangerous as the ascent. Finally, the descent can be complicated by weather changes, the condition of the climbers, and other factors that can increase the risk of accidents and fatalities.
This got me thinking about the goals I set for myself. Are my goals aligned to my overall vision and my well-being? Are some of my goals misaligned in that they do not put me in the best place physically or mentally? Am I so driven to achieve my goals that I am not actually taking the time to rest?
Think about how everyday life is impacting your ability to achieve the goals that you have set yourself. I was speaking to my coach, and he asked – ‘Neville, what are you doing to take care of Neville?‘
The truth is I did not have a clear answer for that. I am so busy chasing after the so called important things in my life, pursuing the goals I set my myself that I am not really taking me time. I am being intentional at driving my business accepting all meetings, doing extra stuff because it’s important to lead the charge. Again, I found myself pondering on thoughts of is this the best use of my time and are my efforts in the right areas?
Sure, I am making progress toward my exercise…but what am I doing to take care of myself? My exercise routine is intensely focused on mending my Achilles heel. I am not really relaxing – this intensity is good in one way, yet it is bad the sense that I am not relaxing and creating down time.
For many of us, our busy-ness in life is cyclical. We have a busy season where we are working longer hours, perhaps it is supporting sports commitments our kids have made, or covering for colleagues who take vacation which find us in the office longer for hours or more days of the week. Maybe we are still trying to adjust to the hybrid work schedule our company has implemented. When this busy-ness of life happens, it is important to take the time to review the goals you have set and ask is what I am doing on my agenda or someone else’s? Doing this should find us feeling more productive at the end of a crazy busy day! More importantly, if this craziness is a journey up a huge mountain, reflecting will have us focused on what needs to be done to reach the summit and come down again invigorated and ready for the next journey.