Redefine Your Possible

June 27, 2012

Forbes magazine is not the publication I remember it to be. As I clicked around to various articles online recently, I was thoroughly impressed with how inspirational and well thought out some of the articles are. It’s not just a  publication for business, but also one for the business of life.

David Maris wrote an amazing article about Spencer West, an American mountain climber who recently raised $750,000 for his charity in Tanzania while reaching the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. As if that’s not impressive enough, West did it without legs.

The next time you say “I can’t”, think about Spencer West.

His mission, entitled Redefine Possible, thoroughly inspired me. And he admits that a sliver of doubt as to whether he could really make it to the 19,341 foot summit remained (that’s nearly 6,000 meters for you European/Canadian folks!).

In my mind doubt can be a killer of dreams…or a motivator to prove that side of yourself wrong. He certainly did.

Three main things struck me when reading the article: the importance of having a support system; creating major change through baby steps; and tying goals to social impact or a broader vision.

The Importance of Support

We all need friends and loved ones to help us reach our goals. If you are toying with a new idea, share it with someone you trust. Ask them to keep you accountable when your resolve starts to waiver. Do the same for them.

Baby Steps

You know those New Year’s Resolutions, those lofty goals that tell you you’ll drop thirty pounds in six weeks? Baby steps will get you there; perhaps they won’t in the timeframe you desire, but if you remain committed, lasting change will happen.

The Broader Vision

No man (or woman) is an island. What you do matters. Every wave you make in your own personal ocean creates a ripple on the other side of the world. As my friend says, everything is energy. How will you manage yours?

West has chosen to dedicate his life to Free the Children. For more details, see the excerpt below. And may the Slow be with you, people. Together we really can make a difference.

For those wishing to learn more about Spencer West’s journey, including video from the summit and information about the activities of Free the Children, please see www.freethechildren.com/redefinepossible.

Free The Children was founded in 1995 by international children’s rights activist Craig Kielburger, and now has more than one million young people involved in more than 45 countries.  The charity’s primary goal is to free children from poverty and exploitation and free young people from the notion that they are powerless to affect positive change in the world.  The $750,000 that West is raising is going toward clean water projects in communities in Kenya, one of the areas where Free The Children works.

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