Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Success

If I were to use an analogy to describe success, in my mind rock climbing is an apt one. 
Paired with risk, adventure, autonomy and a constant tackling of the unknown, success in Rock Climbing requires momentous endeavors; for one has to possess the heart, the strength and ambition.
But the aspect of Rock Climbing I wish to expound is of a different nature; it’s broader, and, I hope, if explained justly, we could understand the intricacies of success.

When a person decides to devote himself to this sport, and for him to climb the thorny mountains, he undergoes extraordinary amounts of technical preparation. This is attained in a place known as the climbing gym, where the novices train tirelessly on artificially constructed walls with grips for hands and feet. It is a daunting discipline; it requires deliberate practice, profound mentorship and plenty of patience.But once that is done; once migrated to the outdoors; once the sun replaces the neon-light; once edgy stones replace the artificial grips; once a mere robe replaces the safe trampoline, the odds escalate to astronomical proportions. The adrenaline level is irrepressible; fear of heights is more menacing; hot breaths evaporate rapidly; the limbs tremble and quiver; palms sweat ceaselessly; teeth grind against each other agonizingly. This time it is not artificial; it is life.
As the Climber and the companions ascend from the foot of the mountain, they accumulate inches, and those inches translate to inches of success, if he mistakes, the process corrects him, but in a costly manner.
The further the Climber and the companions ascend, the smaller those who observe them appear; they matter less now. The more those inches of success accumulate, the more perilous the passages becomes. The Climber is aware that one faulty step will drag him a few inches back; he can’t bare it; it consumes more effort, more time. And while the adversaries grin, the supporters distress. The group he leads counts on him as he explores unfamiliar territories; as he places his palms where varmints could be lurking. His decisions are half made; uncertain.
The Climber ascends in a pace that allows his group to be in tandem; he can’t go too fast and ignore them, nor can he go too slow and impend them. If he loses sight of the balance, his journey will be a lonely one; he might ascend to the top alone, or he might descend to the bottom alone.
And such is life: a man is prepped to endeavor his passage with and for those ones he loves, family, friends and followers. The greater he ascends, the more liabilities he accumulates. He can’t distract himself by the adversaries; their negativity might cripple him. And he can’t over celebrate with his supporters; that ecstasy might elude him in to comfort.

He can’t be afraid of accumulating inches, for the disadvantages of stagnation are direr.