We all do it at one time or another. Doubt ourselves. We think of something we aspire to be or identify a goal that seems almost impossible, only to stop, pause and think “I can’t do that.” We’ll this story is a reminder to everyone that you should never tell yourself “you can’t” do anything. It’s something I try and remind myself everyday. I certainly wouldn’t say that I’ve perfected it by any means, but let me tell you about someone who has, Alex Honnold. He is living proof of that you can accomplish your goal when you set your mind to it and never give up.
Alex Honnold is a expert mountain climber. At one point in his life, Alex had a dream of climbing the mighty El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He accomplished that and went on to climb it many times since. Eventually he started to imagine if he could accomplish the climb without any safety gear. He thought long and hard about this for eight years. Yet, during that time he found himself admitting that climbing this incredible wall of granite without any safety measures was simply not possible and far to dangerous to consider.
That was his mindset until just recently. On the weekend of June 3rd, Alex did the very thing he didn’t believe was possible. Using only his hands and feet, the 31 year reached the summit in just under four hours to become the only person to climb the 3,000-foot wall without the help of a rope or any sort of safety harness. He did this all alone and with nothing to catch him if he fell.
The Importance of Goal Setting
I’m not going to hit you with some major epiphany about goal setting. Like me, I’m sure you’ve read many things concerning the importance of setting goals in life. I’m simply here to say it’s absolutely true. People inherently need something to strive for. Something to test themselves in an effort to improve, learn and grow. My own experience was with a half marathon a few years back. I hate running (literally despise it) but did this for my wife, because it was something she want to try and also share in the experience with me. Love will make a man do many things he doesn’t want to do. Now keep in mind I had never run more than 3 miles my entire life. However, while training, once I hit my first six miles, I couldn’t have been more proud of myself. Then eight miles, ten and so on. Each milestone, each accomplishment filled me with pride and a sense of confidence I never imagined or felt before. Truth is I never had much confidence in myself, but here I was actually doing it. I felt incredible because I was making strides with something I never believed I could.
If you have not set a goal in a while, I highly suggest you do. I’m trying to figure out my next one now. These goals are important ways to help us obtain a rich and fulfilling life. Taking changes and seeing what you can (and even can’t) do. Even if you don’t necessarily accomplish the goal right away, you’ve taken yourself one step further and learned in the process.
So now imagine Alex’s goal. His was a goal that most experts, like himself, would consider insane, because it literally put his life on the line. Alex himself didn’t originally believe it was possible, yet the idea never left him and eventually he made the decision to accept the challenge and (as Nike says) just do it.
Believe in Yourself
This is truly one of the most important things anyone can do. Believe in yourself. Believe in who you are as a person and what you’re capable of regardless of the challenge or what others may think. Sadly it’s one of the hardest things for people to do. I still struggle with it daily. Why? I have no idea, but when I get into this mindset, I simply look at the medals on my wall from the various runs I have done. Seeing them reminds me that “I can”.
In Alex’s case, he has literally accomplished something that no one before him has done. What he set his sights on was impossible, yet he did it. He initially doubted, then started to believe. Believed in himself and what he could do. From that he created a plan, trained and took an incredible risk which, thankfully, paid off for him. As he told the Associated Press during a phone interview after his historic climb, “I was pretty much elated. I was probably the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s something that I thought about for so long and dreamed about and worked so hard for. I mean, it’s pretty satisfying.”
Let this be a lesson to all. No matter how big or small your goal or dream in life is, never tell yourself you can’t do it. Alex is proof of what a person can accomplish when they put there mind to it. Here’s a little video of Alex Honnold climbing El Capitan. I hope it will inspire you to set a goal for yourself. Enjoy…