“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.” —Psalm 37:5
In 1988, Jim Hayhurst Sr., a forty-seven-year-old former Procter & Gamble professional and advertising executive, became the oldest member of the Canadian Expedition to reach the summit of the tallest peak on earth, Mount Everest. Jim’s book, The Right Mountain: Lessons from Everest on the Meaning of Success, tells the riveting story of his 29,028-foot journey, filled with life-threatening experiences that forever changed Jim’s life.
In this all too formulaic world, where we seek quick solutions, easier paths from point A to point B, and answers to soothe our own wounds related to career, marriage, and relationships, the lessons from Jim’s climb to Everest’s summit can be yours too.
The secret to using lessons is to apply the learning in a personal, individual, unforced manner. The experience of age is about finding the best lessons that build your own layers of wisdom and looking at the shadows that people cast upon themselves.
Lesson One: Take on the world in bite-sized pieces.
Early on in the acclimatization trek for Everest, Jim realized that he and his Canadian Expedition colleagues were facing a 120-mile walk and climb before they even got to the real action of Mount Everest.
Ever felt overwhelmed? Jim felt that the task at hand was insurmountable, but he understood that he had reached a plateau in his life and there was literally no turning back.
In his own mind, he broke the 120-mile route into bite-sized pieces and focused on them one step at a time. He viewed his trek as evolving from a hike to a climb and reflected on personal successes in his past where he had broken the whole apart to understand the elements.
The true wisdom is to be always seasonable, and to change with a good grace in changing circumstances. —Robert Louis Stevenson