Total Commitment

Total Commitment : 9th April 2011

There is a stage in any endeavour when you have a choice to truly
commit to the goal. This doesn’t usually happen at the beginning when
the goal is defined. At that stage, it’s just talk. It comes later,
when the preparation is complete and the team has been brought
together. When the options have been considered and the risks
understood. Then comes the crux. Do I believe completely in the goal?
Will I stake my personal reputation on the outcome? Will I sacrifice
when needed? Until the answers are all ‘yes’ you have not totally

For me, this happened yesterday. I am now totally committed to
climbing Everest. The answers are now all ‘yes’. In some ways, it may
be surprising to hear that it is only now that I have done this given
how late in the day it is but i’m talking about total commitment which
is getting rare in today’s world. There are many levels of partial
commitment which we use all the time, always calculating the
consequences and what our escape route might be if it all goes wrong.
I’m sure you can think of many examples at work and home where this is

I got to the crux whilst I was walking alone on the trek up to Periche
(15,000ft). Even though we all start at the same time each morning, we
often split up during the day as we walk at different paces. It was a
beautiful sunny day with spectacular scenery with Ama Dablam rising
majestically in the background (the Matterhorn of the Himalayas). I
was enjoying the simple pleasure of vigorous exercise and listening to
Snow Patrol on my iPod. Everyone in my life knew my goal and supported
me. My preparation over the last year had gone well. Our team had come
together and we had discussed and considered all the options and the
risks. I was ready to totally commit. It was exhilarating and
exciting. Ii also felt a sense of peace; all doubts and questions that
came from uncertainty just fell away. It was simple. I am going to do
everything in my power to climb Everest.

Base camp next. My home for two months…