In this snippet, Cathy O'Dowd describes the top of Everest and what she learned from climbing it.
Publish Date: Nov 13, 2020
find it's not the same thing at all. On board. Yeah, one of the things I do run into because I use Everest as a metaphor in my corporate speaking work is that people assume that the metaphor is conquering. The metaphor is goal achievement. Clearly, the metaphor is about standing on the summit. But honestly, you spend about 10 minutes on the summit and it's a part of slow and yeah, the views are nice, but they're not actually all that different from the views you had 200 m lower. Is it? No rock, even at the top? No, it's no, it's a it's a cap of snow, So could could it go bit wobbly? Well, it is. It is wobbling. I mean, not very slowly. It's both managing to grow very slightly year by year because the Himalayas are still rising and the snow itself is sort of slowly sliding off to one side. There's a tripod up there left by the Americans, and it's very slowly sliding down the side of the mountain because one question I'm not going to ask you is what it's like to be at the top, because I bet you've had that question millions of times. But I am interested. How big is it at the top? Is it like, Are you hanging onto each other, or is it as big as a football pitch field or something like that? It's well, it's slopes off reasonably gently to start with and then pretty steeply. But the true highest point is, you know, the size of a dining room table. It Zaveri much Appointee Peak. It's not a tabletop, so there's a real sense of being on top. But the point I want to make is that that's not what it's about. And this is so counterintuitive. It's and I guess this doesn't work for everybody. Some people are goal orientated, and I understand that I don't get it, but I understand it. I'm process orientated. I'm there for the journey. I'm interested in everything it took to get up and everything it takes to get down. It's not over because you're standing on the top and people do tend to forget that one. Well, that's the thing. I wouldn't forget that, and I don't think I could enjoy myself, but I put myself through so much effort to get to the top and then potentially, I suppose the dangerous bit because you're you're already absolutely exhausted is getting back down again. I don't think I could enjoy my self up there. Look, yes, clearly, it's not your thing. And it's a good thing to know about yourself. You're not gonna waste your time. You know, having your midlife crisis by signing up for an Everest expedition, which it has happened. You've nailed me. You've nailed me in about 35 minutes, you know, and it's good to know that about yourself. You know, the things I know about myself, including the fact that I couldn't stand a 9 to 5 corporate job. So I'm not gonna try, despite the fact that I get twinges of envy when I sit in some big corporate event. And there's some man or woman who is the CEO of a big division and has thousands of people under them and has budgets of millions of dollars and can make a with these big changes and the younger than me. And I think Oh, you're that success. And I think no, no, it z their success. It's not my success. Aiken be briefly envious while knowing that knowing why I chose not to do that. But what I'm trying to say is that Everest. I do enjoy that stuff in the moment. Being cold is a pain in the ass. But in the bigger picture, knowing that Aiken deal that I have coping strategies that I can work through that because by getting through those cold moments, I will arrive at somewhere that I'm truly excited about. I'm really passionate about. I will get to do things and see things and be part of things. There are so wild that you simply can't be done without putting up with the tough stuff. And you know, being cold is like, really obvious, tough stuff. But anybody who's successful is wading through our whole bunch of tough stuff to get there. Success is pretty much tied up in hard work, and the hard work can be hard to see. I mean, it's not just, you know, the drag of corporate life or the fear of falling off a mountain, raising Children well, there's a lot of hard work, and there's a lot of head banging frustration there. Almost anything that is done really well has involved hard work discipline, just teeth clenched determination to get through something because you need to to get the good stuff. And I think it's a mistake to underestimate that anything worthwhile will have required sacrifice, determination, discipline, grit, yeah.