Business - Success - A hill and back

    Malcolm Durham

    A hill and back

    Kilimanjaro is an irritating hill. It’s not 6,000 metres high it’s 5,895m. That’s not 20,000 feet it’s 19,341. There are no views to inspire you and the food that can be carried up there is dull dull dull. And it seems to go on forever.

    Having got up on “summit day” at 11pm and having climbed almost vertically on what can only be described as the highest and least appropriate sandpit in the world for 2 ½ hours I thought that we were half way to the crater rim. When the guide told me that we weren’t I realised that this really was rather a tough challenge. Six hours and 28 minutes later I got to the top, not with a feeling of elation, of having done something quite fun, but simply relief.

    But what was most strange was that, having got there, I had no desire to actually move on (a.k.a. get down). None. Somehow the part of the brain that instructs the motor function to put one foot in front of the other had broken. Having done what I set out to do, the greatest effort for me was to get down the mountain (another 7 hours since you ask).

    So what does this tell us about cashflow for ambitious enterprises I hear you ask? Can I suggest the following:

    • Goals are rarely clearly defined but when you get there you know that you’ve got there;

    • If you truly knew the scale of some of the tasks that you have undertaken then there’s a good chance you’d have thought better about doing them and not even started. Ignorance is often blissful;

    • There are some things that you are determined to do and unless catastrophes intervene you will get there;

    • And there are some things you don’t want to do. I have a bad knee and it doesn’t enjoy going downhill. If help had been on offer to get me down I would have been happy to avail myself of it;

    • Whatever you’re trying to do, you’re never alone. Did I get to the top on my own? Well I wasn’t carried there. But hang on, I didn’t cook the meals, nor carry the food, nor the tent, sleeping bag etc. So did I get to the top myself? As Dirty Harry said “A man’s got to know his limitations”. Yeah right. Annapurna circuit anyone?

      A hill and back

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