December 11th is International Mountain Day, a day to celebrate the awe-inspiring beauty and challenges of these natural giants. But mountains are more than just physical landmarks; they are metaphors for the obstacles and triumphs we face in life.

Every one of us has our own personal Everests – goals, dreams, and aspirations that seem impossibly high, just like the peak of the world’s tallest mountain. These challenges can be daunting, filled with setbacks and failures. Yet, like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who conquered Everest despite countless attempts and tragedies, we must not give up. Remember, “There’s no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn,” as the quote goes.

In the 19th century, mountains transformed from inaccessible abodes of gods to irresistible challenges. British mountaineer George Mallory famously said, “Because it’s there,” when asked why anyone would want to climb Everest. This simple yet profound statement captures the essence of human ambition. We are driven by a desire to reach for the seemingly impossible, to push our limits and achieve greatness.

But what if you’re not a mountain climber? What if your Everest is a career change, a creative pursuit, or overcoming personal struggles? The message remains the same. As Victorian poet Robert Browning wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” Your personal heaven, your mountaintop, is not a literal place; it’s the embodiment of your highest aspirations.

The journey to the top is never easy. There will be moments of doubt, fatigue, and even despair. But remember, “The best view comes after the hardest climb,” as the saying goes. Each step you take, each obstacle you overcome, brings you closer to your goal. As Catherine Pulsifer reminds us, “When faced with a large project, remember you move a mountain one stone at a time.”

Every mountain climber knows this. They don’t focus on the summit; they focus on the next step, the next foothold. They celebrate the small victories – reaching a base camp, conquering a difficult pitch. And with each step, they build resilience, determination, and the strength to keep moving forward.

So, on this International Mountain Day, let us take inspiration from these towering giants. Let their majesty remind us of our own potential, and let their challenges inspire us to reach for the stars. Remember, “You have to conquer every obstacle, before you can reach the top of the mountain,” as Lailah Gifty Akita says.

December 11th is International Mountain Day

Here are some additional quotes to keep you motivated on your journey:

  • “Mountain top: the place where life finds the purest meaning of freedom.” – Vinicius Montgomery
  • “If you think you’ve peaked, find a new mountain.” – Unknown
  • “Mountains make me believe that nothing can be bigger than nature, not even human ego.” – Jay Kumar Singh
  • “Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.” – Seuss
  • “Each fresh peak ascended teaches something.” – Sir Martin Convay
  • “We cannot lower the mountain, therefore we must elevate ourselves.” – Todd Skinner
  • “The top of a mountain is the bottom of the next.” – Unknown

Remember, the climb may be tough, but the view from the top is worth it. So, keep climbing, keep striving, and never give up on your Everests.

I hope this article inspires you to conquer your own personal mountains. Remember, the journey is just as important as the destination. So, enjoy the climb, learn from your stumbles, and celebrate every victory, big or small. With grit, determination, and a little inspiration from the mountains, you can reach any summit you set your mind to.

Now, go out there and climb your mountain!

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N. B
12 December 2023

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