Monday, April 23, 2007

One small step for man

I was listening to an online lecture yesterday and the speaker talked about Joe Simpson. Joe Simpson is a mountain climber, author and speaker. In 1985, while descending Siula Grande mountain in Peru, he fell and broke his leg. It was snowing, the visibility was poor and the likelihood of both he and his climbing partner getting off the mountain alive, slim to none. But his partner refused to leave him behind. On the careful and treachorous descent, Joe plummeted into a crevasse. His partner couldn't feel any weight to the rope and after hours of deliberation, cut the rope as he assumed Joe was dead.

The lecturer yesterday used Joe as an example of being relentlessly committed to taking some action -- only action is action. Only progress is progress.

Joe's partner couldn't feel the weight on the rope because Joe was unconcious on the other end and couldn't tug on it to tell him he was lying on a ledge in the crevasse -- not dangling from the rope. His partner finally left him and continued with his descent. Joe awoke and realized where he was, and that his partner had left. He lay on the ledge facing probable death and spent the first night crying in despair. Eventually, exhausted, angry that his life had come to this, he thought, "I can lie here and wait for death, or I can take some action, whether for better or worse."

Terrified, he started to crawl down off the ledge he was on. He didn't know if he would plummet further, or find another ledge. He found another ledge! And then another. Each ledge taking him closer to the pinprick of light he saw at the end of the darkness. Eventually, after four days of dragging his broken leg behind him, he crawled out of the bottom of the glacier, mere feet away from the campsite where his partner had just come back to with a team of locals to try to find Joe's body.

If Hoe hadn't taken some action, he would not be alive today.

When I listened to this story yesterday, I cried. I read Joe's book about that journey, Into the Void, while I was mired in the relationship that almost took my life. Yesterday, what struck me was the realization that when with Conrad, I never took some action that would set me free. I had given up so entirely on myself that I could not, would not, did not take some action. I wanted to be free of him, but held myself still in the arms of his abuse because the only path to freedom I could envisage was to die.

Tears are healing, and yesterday's connection to Joe's story has awoken me to the realization and importance of taking some action every day that will move me closer to my goals. I am committed to taking one step after the other that will keep me moving in forward progress towards what I want.

I've listed my goals. Mapped out a path towards them and am moving forward.

What about you?

Have you a vision of your ultimate life? Do you have clearly defined, SMART goals you are working towards? Near term. Medium term. Long term.

SMART goals are: Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Timely.

Do you have a list of steps you need to take to reach your goals?

If not. What's holding you back? Is there some action you can take today to bring you one step closer to a goal?

Remember: If you're doing nothing about reaching your goals, you're not making progress!

If your goal is to lead a magnificent life -- take some action today!

Neil Armstrong once said upon landing on the moon, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Your small step today will turn into a giant leap forward towards your goal.

Let's leap together and create the life of our dreams.


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