everest

By Shauna Chymboryk, {grow} Community Member

Personal power is the ability to achieve what you want. More than anything else, it is personal power that brings you success and happiness. So, how do we go about increasing our personal power? One very effective way is to set and achieve what I call “Everest” goals. Let’s look at how they worked for me, and how they might work for you, too!

Step 1: Find Inspiration

blind climberIn 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the only blind person in history to reach the summit of Mount Everest.  Erik redefines the term “blind ambition.”

Since Erik went blind, at the age of 13, it was a dream of his to climb the world’s tallest peak. Erik knew that some people would think he was crazy, but hoped that he could find others to share his dream.

Erik found a supporter that believed in him; that first person was the beginning of a team of supporters. Erik’s supporters helped him realize his dream, while his accomplishment increased his personal power to tackle other tough challenges.

Erik’s story became a source of inspiration for me. If Erik can climb Mt. Everest blind, surely I can also reach out in the dark, embrace a challenge, and conquer it. I really wanted to feel the same sense of exhilaration and personal power that Erik found by conquering something challenging. For me, it was starting over and tackling an MBA program.

Who inspires you?

Step 2: Dream Your Own Dream

Standing on top of Mount Everest expanded Erik’s view of what was possible in his life; conquering Everest was Erik’s dream. Each of us need Everest goals in our lives to expand our vision of what we’re capable of; we need to dream our own dream.

In 2010, I set my own Everest goal. After raising my children, I decided that it was time to continue my education; I decided to earn a master’s degree. But what degree should I pursue?

My undergraduate degree was in education. I wondered if I should continue in that area. Honestly, that would be the easiest avenue to pursue. But I wasn’t looking for easy; I was looking for challenging and exhilarating.

I wanted to broaden and enlarge my knowledge, skills, and abilities. After considering a number of options, I decided to obtain a Master of Public Administration from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business Management.

Why? Thoughts of leading, supporting worthy causes, developing organizations, and making a difference propelled me to think of public administration. This became my dream.

What is your dream?

Step 3: Qualify Your Everest Goal

An Everest goal goes beyond normal goal setting. It represents an ultimate achievement or an extraordinary accomplishment. Achieving it requires everything one can give, and that is exactly how and why it increases our personal power.

Like setting our sights on climbing to the summit of Mount Everest, an Everest goal is clear, engaging, compelling, exciting, stimulating, and passionate. An Everest goal is visionary, and it leaves individuals better for having engaged in its pursuit.

An Everest goal meets these qualifications:

  1. It captures our deep inner commitment because we care deeply about it.
  2. It require our supreme effort.
  3. It depends on our complete authenticity and genuine desire.
  4. It motivates our learning and wisdom as we conquer and achieve.
  5. It enhances positive relationships because it is rare to achieve an Everest goal alone.
  6. It requires that we get in touch with our personal values and core purpose in life.

What qualified my goal to obtain a master’s degree as an Everest goal? I believe strongly in life-long education; I feel a strong commitment to, and value, education. This goal would require my supreme effort because I have been out of school for so long, I was pursuing a degree for which I had no foundation, and I wanted to “excel” and not just “complete.” I genuinely felt that I had chosen a goal that would both challenge and exhilarate me.

Does your Everest goal meet these six qualifications?

Step 4: Conquer the Challenge

This is the step that pushes us to our limit. We discover barriers to our success that were not obvious at the outset. Discouragement, fatigue, doubt, and fear threaten to derail us altogether. The very act of enduring, overcoming, strategizing, adjusting, and conquering enlarges our personal power. If we can do this, we can do other challenging things.

This quote from The Power of Passion: Achieve Your Own Everest echoes my feelings about conquering Everest goals: “Winning is an internal satisfaction, a deep inner sense of pride and joy. Success can only be measured within ourselves, by ourselves. It has nothing to do with other people’s perception of our achievements. It has everything to do with our own perceptions of our efforts. Success is giving it your all.”

I gave it my all. I conquered my Everest with excellence and I can look back with an increased sense of ability and personal power.

What Everest goals have you conquered?

Step 5: Repeat the Process

Did Erik stop conquering challenges once he reached the summit of Mt. Everest? Not on your life. In 2008, Erik completed his subsequent goal of climbing the Seven Summits—the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Achieving personal power is not an event — it is a life-long process. So, after we have enjoyed our accomplishment, processed the learning experience, and integrated our new abilities into our daily lives, it is time to reach out once more for a new challenge.

I graduated just two weeks ago, but it’s not too soon to start dreaming up my next Everest goal. Whatever it is, it will be as challenging and exhilarating as this one.

What is your next Everest goal? How have Everest goals increased your personal power? I’d love to be inspired by your experiences. Please comment below!

Shauna ChymborykShauna Chymboryk is a recent graduation with an MPA degree from the BYU Marriott School of Management (obviously!) and her goal is to assist small businesses in developing social media efforts. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn

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