1) You can’t achieve results by being comfortable
Embracing discomfort is the first step to achieving the ‘not so usual’ results. Nothing meaningful was ever achieved by being comfortable. Trekking at 60-degree slopes on the mountains tirelessly requires determination, continuous focus on the summit, and motivation.
Most of you would know the concept of Turnaround Time (TAT). What many might not know, however, is its importance while trekking. TAT is a well-respected & non-negotiable concept on the mountains, which you must follow to reach your base camp safely. Goals are more sensible when they are time bound & this contributes to additional and unavoidable pressure on all of us.
As a ship owner, we have an equation between Safety, Budget, and Scope. To be the best in the industry, you need to keep at least one parameter fixed and another parameters variable – you cannot violate this. In our trek, TAT (time) was fixed. And we kept the distance travelled variable.
2)Expect the unexpected
On our first day, it was snowing heavily and in order to keep up with our schedule, we had to power through it, walking past knee-deep snow up a mountain, while the chilling wind blew through our bones, for 5 hours straight. I presumed this would be my worst day – I had never been so wrong. The second day, due to very heavy snowfall, 28 people from our group of 35 backed out, leaving us doubtful. But what made a difference for the rest of us was that we were mentally ready for the various scenarios and challenges that could happen and were willing to handle those challenges head-on.
Even with life, it often is like that. The moment you think you had the worst day ever, you are hit with another, and then another. The key is to not presume or expect what your tomorrow will be like. Just deal with your problems as they come. Don’t fill up your mind with tomorrow’s problems – tackle them when they arise.
3) Keep moving, but relish the little moments
As you trek, you will come across mesmerising views of the mountains. I remember gazing at the stunning peaks, and with every difficult gasp of breath, I realised why I was going through so much pain and effort. I wanted to see what I had never seen before and feel something that I had never felt before.
Do you take time out and enjoy your small wins? Usually, as leaders, we are too harsh on ourselves and by the time one mammoth task ends, we are neck-deep in another. What we fail to understand is that by doing so, we are being harsh on our teams.
Your team needs an occasional pat for the jobs they do – small or big. Cherish or celebrate each win as you would when you rise a summit.
4) Meaningful things aren’t easy
My parents and friends were wondering why I had to put myself through all those preparations just to be in the middle of the mountains. “Can’t you just google them and look at their photos?” asked my mom. While a destination might mean something else for others, for me it meant trailing the summit.
Without the numerous discussions, I had with my friends who go trekking, without the countless accidents I had during the trek, without the difficulty that I had to go through, the summit would have no meaning to me.
Even in life, the money or assets you inherit from your parents will always be less valuable than what you earned by toiling every day. Greater the effort, sweeter the reward.
So finally, after 6 days, 47 kilometers, and 1,55,374 steps, I came to the end of my trek. My last look at the peaks was through the window of my flight back home. Would I do this again? Heck yeah!
It requires a lot of courage, risk, and vulnerability to sometimes step out and discover who you really are and what you can do. You don’t have to go to Mount Everest to step out of your comfort zone & know yourself more. You’ve just got one life – dive deeper into what you believe success means to you. Don’t be caught in the artificial race or the motions of what other people think success is. Instead, define your dreams and figure out how you wish to live them.
Have you found your Mount Everest?
About the Author: Ashish Tripathi (GMBA ‘14)
Ashish Tripathi (GMBA ‘14) is a Marine engineer with over 10 years of experience in the Shipping Industry. He currently works with TORM Shipping India, and has previously held positions with MODEC Singapore, British Petroleum Marine Services & Mitsui O.S.K Lines. Ashish is absolutely in love with his work as it involves a lot of diverse issues which need to be resolved, right from contract management to the availability of spares.
Ashish is a strong advocate of biking to work (Yes, even in Mumbai). He also finds solace in cooking, and claims it brings in creativity and the freedom to experiment.
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