If you followed the successful attempt of two alpinist to free climb the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan you may know the route climbed has been summited numerous times. Kevin Jorgesen and Tommy Caldwell previously practiced every pitch of the climb, using aided climbing techniques to support their dress-rehersal efforts. The achievement of the Dawn Wall was not in reaching the summit. The beauty was revealed by finding a new way to perform art. They took away the scaffolding and ascended differently. Starting from the valley floor they committed to trying an failing (falling protected by rope and harness) until they reached the summit. The niche that they occupied was truly razor thin. Had they succumbed to employing aided climbing techniques once, the magic in their effort would have evaporated. Instead they stated their intentions and acted in a manner consistent with their beliefs. And we got behind them, followed their journey, and celebrated their success.
We do not have the be the first. We not have to be the fastest (it took Jorgesen and Caldwell 18-days). We can occupy a micro niche and excel. What heroic journey are you on? What is worth boundless optimism even when few are watching and falling means progress? What is worthy doing?
Perhaps we require a different mindset as Jorgensen tweeted, “This is not an effort to ‘conquer’. It’s about realizing a dream.”