Two men traveled the world seeking the most extreme challenges and adventures. After many years of shared challenges, they decided to climb what was considered the most dangerous mountain in the world. Up until that day, no men had ever completed the gigantic climb. Most men would not even dare to try.
They arrived at the mountain’s base in good spirits and with a clear objective in their minds: reach the summit. However, the task was not going to be as simple as many other challenges they had previously faced: it was a unique setting, which would test their nature, courage and put on the line everything they had achieved so far (even possibly their lives).
The climb began. A quarter through the journey, the cold wind and snowy conditions made them think twice about what they were doing. They looked at each other, but did not speak a word and with the slightest nod, mutually agreed to keep going. As they progressed, the conditions got worse and one suggested, for the first time in their joint adventures, that perhaps they should retreat to avoid further danger. His request was denied and they kept going. Half-way between the base and the summit of the mountain, the same man suggested another retreat, with the argument that the mountain was simply too long and too dangerous to be conquered by the two of them. His request was again denied.
Three-quarters of the way, both adventurers were overwhelmed by the dreadful climbing conditions and as a matter of survival, had to retreat to base camp. When they arrived at the camp, the adamant climber said: “We’ll go again tomorrow”. Dazzled, the other climber asked him why, considering they had failed as he had suggested, and that the mountain proved too big and too challenging a task. He replied: “We’ll see about that”.
The next day, they tried again and once more, had to retreat in order to survive. Each next day was followed by another attempt: one man driven by an unblemished determination to reach the summit; another with a clear resolve not to abandon his friend.
Three weeks later, the bewildered man could not derive further motivation and posed the question he had been longing to ask: “Why do you keep trying it? Can’t you see the mountain is too big for you, for me, or for anyone else?” The other man replied: “Yes, I agree the mountain is too big”. Puzzled and rather satisfied with the prospect of accepted failure, the friend responded: “So why are we still here? Why do we keep trying if we are certain to fail?!”
With a smile on his face, the man replied: “The mountain is already as big as it will ever get. You and me, however; we’re still growing.”
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” (Sir Edmund Hillary, part of the first expedition to reach the top of Mount Everest)