There are no shortcuts when climbing your Mount Everest

Friday , February 28, 2014 - 12:30 PM

Brad Larsen, Standard-Examiner Correspondent

“Even the longest journey begins with a single step.

The seemingly impossible can always be broken down into possibilities.”

- Unknown

Becoming a success is a complicated and difficult journey much like a trek to the top of Mount Everest. It requires many levels of planning, knowledge, skills, strong confidence and determination with an uncanny ability to stay focused.

There are no shortcuts. You must always have your destiny in your mind’s eye as you climb your way to the summit. Great preparation, support and taking it a step at a time are the keys to reaching the top.

Here is a 10-step approach that can help you reach your own Mount Everest one step at a time:

1. Self Analysis - Analyze your personal strengths and weaknesses. Take a deep breath and relax. You will need to answer the following question: “My perception of myself is ... what?” Simply stating “I am awesome” will not do. Think about how you would answer with complete honesty and write your answers down.

2. Peer Analysis - The next step is to find out how others view your strengths and weaknesses. How we view ourselves can be different from how others view us. Which leads to the next question: “How am I seen by others?” To answer this question you can use coworkers, friends, family members, acquaintances or teammates. Write down comments from at least one person from each of these categories.

3. Gather Information - Listen. Study. Understand. Learn everything you can about how to reach your goal. Learn from people who have set out for the same goal, and see what they needed and what difficulties and obstacles they faced. Check your new self-knowledge against what is needed to reach your destination. Do you have what it takes? If not, what do you need to make the trek successfully?

4. Gather Support - Having taken stock of what is required to succeed in your chosen route, discuss it with others you trust. Many people overlook the power of a good support system. Too many people venture out on their own with good intentions, and then ultimately give up. It is impossible to make it to the top of Mount Everest alone. You need strong support from those closest to you, those who can help you and those who may be affected by your journey.

5. Make a Decision - It is now final decision time! Are you ready to tackle the mountain ahead of you? It sounds strange, but often times succeeding simply comes down to making the choice to be successful. You must make a solid commitment to yourself that you will do whatever it takes to reach your goal.

6. Plan Your Success - Once you have decided to go for your chosen success, set yourself some firm objectives, or even just one firm objective. Put together an outline plan of what you need to do, including such things as knowledge gaps to fill, skills needed to acquire, and weaknesses you must address to guarantee long-term success. Set a sensible timetable, breaking your ultimate success down into appropriate stages that make it easier for you to accomplish.

7. Monitor Progress - Monitoring your progress against the plan is vital. You may think you are doing well, when in fact you have omitted something critical or are far behind in achieving your goals. Your plan is not set in stone. As part of your monitoring process, revise your plan to fill in the gaps and revise priorities. Since you will be learning all the time, you’ll notice that your planning will become more focused and accurate.

8. Do a Midpoint Check - Take a critical look at what you have achieved so far, maybe at the half way stage, and tell yourself frankly what and where you need to do better. Ask yourself if there are any obstructions to your ultimate success and how you can deal with them. Get feedback from your support system, determine where you need to improve, and decide what to do about it. Then add your new actions to your plans.

9. Keep Positive - Being positive all the time is somehow easier said than done. But there are a few things you can do. Start with eliminating negative influences. Once the negatives are out of the way, it is easier for you to become positive about everything. Surround yourself with things that will benefit you, and spend your time with positive, successful or success-minded people. You’ll be the one laughing at the top of the world while you leave the negative people at the bottom to scratch and claw among themselves.

10. Do a Final Check - This is a time to take stock again, and prepare immaculately, leaving nothing to chance. Do a final check of your equipment, your knowledge, your health and your determination. Are they all ready to go? If so, then you are on your way, there is no stopping you now.

You are now getting close to your ultimate success; the peak is in sight, and the adrenalin is flowing as you prepare for the final assault to the summit — your goal is about to be reached. Don’t come back until you reach it!

Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from northern Utah. He can be reached at

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