If Hillary can do it…

Mount EverestOn 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalesa Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers confirmed as having reached the summit of Mount Everest.  What most people don’t know is that before Hillary achieved this monumental goal, he had failed in an attempt the previous year.

The story goes that after his failure in 1952, Hillary was invited to be honored for his attempt.  Afterall, this bee-keeper from New Zealand had come closer to achieving the task than any man to that date.  As he took the podium to thunderous applause, Hillary turned to a large photo of Mount Everest and shook his fist at the mountain.  “You beat me this time,” Hillary told the mountain, “but I’ll beat you next time.  Because you’ve grown all you’re going to grow and I’m still growing.”

That story has always inspired me for the simple fact that the next year Hillary kept his vow…he defeated Mount Everest!  Failure is a part of life for people who dream big dreams and set lofty goals.  I have come to see that failure in itself is not all that bad IF we learn and grow.  Yet so many people that I see are scared of failure and it is that fear that keeps them from stepping out in faith to chase those Mount Everest size goals.

If you have failed recently in something you set out to do, learn from Sir Edmund Hillary.  Shake your fist at your goal and say with conviction, “You beat me this time but I’ll beat you next time because you’ve grown all you’re going to grow….but I’m still growing!”  Then go out there and climb your Mount Everest!!

James Smith serves as the senior teacher/preacher at Mt Carmel Christian Church in Cynthiana, Ky. He is an author of "The House that Richard Built" as well as numerous magazine/study guide publications. He is also a regular presenter at training seminars and conferences on a number of issues.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “If Hillary can do it…

  1. The partnership between Hillary and Norgay draws me in. While Hillary viewed Everest as an adversary, the mountain was sacred to Norgay. Hillary was tall and lanky with a millitary background, but Norgay was a short and stocky man who couldn’t read or write. Two very different men with a common goal who changed history.

    • Another lesson from this inspiring story is the partnership between these two men. I doubt that Hillary could have achieved the summit without Norgay and Norgay would not have achieved it without Hillary. The life lesson is that accomplishing BIG goals often involves working with other people. I’m thankful for all the partners that I have had in my life. It is only with great friends and supporters that I have achieved what I have. My wife, my family, my mentors, and my friends. The lesson is to surround yourself with people that will help you and not hinder you. Positive dreamers like yourself who share your goals!