Practice Lessons from Denali: Thoughts at 17 Camp in the Alaska Range

She is remote, cold, temperamental and beautiful. The Great One is a challenge. It takes three days of sled pulling in snowshoes just to approach her.  Here are a few thoughts on business and life from a Mountain Hardware Trango3 tent in a 30 mph blizzard at 17,200 feet:

Surround yourself with the best.

You will know the best. They have the ability to focus for long periods and are usually immersed in all aspects of the journey. Working with the best is never easy; they know they are the best, but they never panic and seldom doubt themselves in rough times.

Rely on others, but trust your instinct.

Trust yourself; it is what brought you to your authentic place. Embrace fear with logic, somewhere in between is instinct.

Immerse yourself in the present.

Keep the lessons from the past and let go of the remainder.  Don’t worry about the future; it never happens like you expect it anyway. Listen to the silence; it is as perennial as the grass. Stay in the beauty of the present, the reward will come.

Stay present but don’t forget your equipment.

Always think presence by stopping to pause, breathe, and ask yourself where you are at and what you will need up high. Think about your equipment by remembering to look inside and out

Take breaks and think nutrition.

On a daily basis, set up predetermined breaks, hydrate and eat. This can be very hard when you are all in. Nourish your body and be more productive.

Take pride in your pack.

Prior to roping up for the day, zip the zippers, tie up all the loose ends and make sure your crampons are tight. Pad your savings account.  Sooner or later you will be exposed to the changing weather.

Never think you are not worthy

Mental breakdowns will come. You are worthy and belong where you are; expect acceptance. Let your guide show you the route.

Be humble, listen more than talk.

Approach the high places with a healthy respect for the extreme. There is great counsel in those that have been higher.

Take advantage of down time.

Keep a wholesome discipline, but don’t go overboard on work, remove yourself. Fresh legs, like fresh thoughts, allow us to go higher.

The end result is not as important as the journey.

Although we were well positioned, the weather turned and we did not make the summit. It was the right call. In business, we set goals based upon our vision. Step toward your goal without attachment to a specific end result.