Was it really worth it?

By Steve Brown

Mount Everest towers five and a half miles above the earth and is known for its luring ability to challenge one’s commitment to climb it. The ambition to conquer, achieve, excel, or contribute has always driven individuals to commit themselves to something, regardless of how difficult it may seem.

In 1953, Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand beekeeper and explorer, and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, became the first to arrive at Everest’s apex. Week after week they inched up the face of the world’s tallest temptation with great odds opposing their commitment to reach the top.

Avalanches threatened their lives, deep crevasses resisted negotiation and high winds howled their haunting warnings. The extreme steepness of each step defied their strategies while the thin air sapped their strength. Many others had attempted to climb but were unsuccessful due to the severe strain of the immobilizing conditions.

At 11:45 AM on May 29, 1953, Hillary and Norgay stood on top of the world! One interesting point is that fifteen minutes after they arrived, the raw fury of naked nature forced them to begin the retreat back down. As Hillary recorded in his diary, unless they began the retreat back down to their base camp immediately, nightfall would overtake them and they would perish in the elements.

As a result of their accomplishment, Hillary and Norgay received instant international fame. Their demonstration of dedication and endurance showed an outstanding level of commitment. How can we not be impressed by the level of unwavering commitment which eventually led them to the top of the world… for only fifteen minutes.

Was it really worth it?

Commitments are important and necessary, but our commitments in life giving us more than fifteen minutes of satisfaction? Working hard and making sacrifices are all elements of commitment, but are we being wise in the mountains we choose to climb and the time we spend getting to the top?

Genuine commitment is an invaluable quality, but choosing where and when to commit is vital.

Are you selective with what you commit to, so that your satisfaction will not necessarily come from results, but from what is important to you and your company?

Commitment often requires the sacrifice of time, relationships, or even holidays. As we learn to wisely manage our commitments and give our all, we will not only experience satisfaction, but will personally play a vital role in our company’s success.


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