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In search of purpose: Slow and last to reach the summit

<photo: Climbing Malchin Peak , with a view of the Potonin Glacier in the background, Outer Mongolia. Photo credit - Andrew Chok>

Mountaineering is not for the faint hearted, even if you are a professional mountaineer. Most people have a natural fear of heights (not necessarily acrophobia) and would not relish talking a selfie while perched on a rock overlooking a sharp drop thousands of metres high.

It therefore requires a huge leap of faith for an ordinary person to want to travel to remote places, go through days without a shower and then tremble with fear as they reach the summit while croaking out a weak "yay!' to celebrate the climb. And then face more fear descending because now you can clearly see how far you will fall if you stumble. It's always a long way down.

Of course, there's the compensatory joy of dropping your pants where ever you want to pee amidst the splendour of the majestic mountains - there's no modesty in the mountains as they say. But this cheap thrill is more than overshadowed by the scaredshitlessphobia that you will face.

So why do ordinary people want to climb and leave their comfort zone? Precisely that. Because they want to leave their comfort zone. It doesn't matter if they are slow, last to reach the summit or even if they don't reach the peak. Being at base camp is a great achievement in itself.

"It is hard to find one’s calling because many mistakenly believe they need to look only within to discover their passion. Although it is true that we have innate interests and talents, we often do not know what they are until we have real-life experiences.

Having a wide range of experiences can help you uncover your inner passion. Try various part-time jobs and internships, or volunteer. Don’t be afraid of rolling up your sleeves and diving in. While immersed in a job’s reality, you will discover whether it’s a good fit. Work experiences may unlock the door to a career opportunity you hadn’t considered." - Haemin Sunim, The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World

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