In today’s video I share a simple insight from my recent listening to an interview between Rich Roll and free-climber Alex Honnold. It’s a fascinating story and Alex is definitely one of the most interesting people you are going to encounter. His ability to experience situations that would paralyze most of us is extraordinary. In fact, it’s not simply a case of experiencing them it’s actually the case that he very deliberately goes and seeks them out.
Alex Honnold however, offers us all, indirectly a very useful piece of encouragement. He mentions during the interview what he is afraid of. This got me thinking we can all tend to look at some people on TV, social media or the Internet and assume that they live lives so utterly different to our own. When you listen to Alex Honnold you discover that everyone has fears, everyone has issues and everyone has things that they can find incredibly difficult.
So, what does this mean for you. Essentially, it is that we all have areas in which he can flourish. We all have areas in which we can excel. It just so happens that Alex Honnold found his special gift up the side of a cliff face. You don’t have to find your gifting in the same way but the good news is that you actually do have some special ability that only you can realise.
One of the tragedies of our media obsessed world is that we assume that we are mediocre and that other people are living the most extraordinary lives. The truth is that you do have very specific and unique and precious skills and that you need to get on with honing them and bringing them into the world.
I think another of the key messages from the life and experience of Alex Honnold is the ability to manage fear. When you listen to him you discover that he has managed fear in his life by heightening his capacity for acceptance. He has slowly learned to accept the reality of death and to move into challenging situations having gradually learned a deep level of acceptance. He has also honed his skill set, worked very hard and made many sacrifices in the realm of personal self-discipline but this has all been done within a wider frame-work of acceptance. Perhaps the message here is simply that we cannot achieve our deepest goals until we begin to embrace and accept fear, failure and all the uncertainty that goes with trying to do anything remarkable or special.
I hope you will come to realise just how unique and precious your own life is. You may never climb a mountain but you can scale the heights of your own fears and limitations.
You can hear the full interview here: