Keynote Speaker

Team Experiences

Maintain Momentum

Celebrate All Summits, Big and Small

Celebrating our achievements is a crucial key to one’s success.

I believe we “summit” more often than we realize in our lives. Some days, it’s all a grind. The climbing never stops, or perhaps despite our best efforts and all the energy we have already invested, conditions erode our spirit and we feel like we have made zero progress. Our course could also take on a traverse or even lose ground instead of rebuilding our forward momentum.

I’m not in favor of a false or inflated view of circumstances. Do you feel like you celebrate your summits enough? Big and small achievements? I’ve asked this question of audience members around the world and the unified answer is “No.”

We all need to celebrate the summits more often, and we don’t have to wait for a big one; the little ones count, too. We also don’t need to have any certain title or position to celebrate the summits.

celebrating success

Do not wait for permission. Start now, even if you’re the only one dancing on top!

Most people I work with say even the big summits are rarely celebrated in the way they should be, and certainly, most small summits—those little day-to-day victories—are almost always overlooked. It is not easy to consistently celebrate our summits, but when we do, the payoff is huge. The payoff is momentum.

Celebrating Achievements And Summits Builds Momentum

Great clarity can be gained from your next summit. Through the lens of success on your next summit, your view will be enhanced with optimism and expanded perspective. Do not miss this incredible opportunity to redefine what is possible.

Celebrate big, but briefly:

In the mountains, we always celebrate the summit, but we move on quickly. If we hang out for too long on the summit, a storm can come, or lighting can strike you down, or at the very least, the sun sets making your descent to safety more dangerous than it needs to be.

I’ve learned to do the same in business and life.

Have you had a moment in your life where you have hit your summit—perhaps a project finished successfully—and then you celebrate, and relax, assuming everything is good? Then, seemingly out of nowhere, you get slammed with a storm; maybe news that the project is now having problems.

This has happened to me with several business projects. The project goes live, or we believe the effort is complete, so we celebrate, but for too long. We hang out at the top, perhaps even dropping our guard or becoming complacent in the sunshine of the summit. Then we get hit with a reality check, discovering that the work is not done or that there are issue that needs our attention.

Perspective is Power:

Take note of potential next summits that come into view. Look around. You will see opportunities you can’t see from where you are today when you reach your next summit—opportunities you can’t even imagine from the safety of your base camp, nor during the struggle of the climb.

celebrating achievements
Mini-tripd self-portrait of Jula, Dima, and me on the summit of the Central Pyramid in Kyrgyzstan on the morning of July 22, 1999.

Ask your team, what should we climb next? Now that we’ve achieved this, what do you think is possible? You can point out the next summit opportunities for them, but you might be met with, “Oh boy, now they want us to do more!” When they help identify the next summits, the momentum is initialized by them.

Call Back to Your Last Summit in Your Next Struggle:

Save your summits, big and small in a journal or other archives, and then review them in your next struggle.

This has worked for me in a variety of life scenarios. What I’ve discovered is that lessons learned during a previous struggle and summit, even in a completely different part of your life, can provide very powerful ways to help you push through a current struggle. The similarity of the struggle is irrelevant, as long as the struggle and triumph you achieved is an emotionally significant part of your climb.

The next time you are deep in a struggle, or at a fearful point of indecision in life, reach back into your history and relive a previous summit. Again, it does not have to be related to the current struggle. But there are key components. Here are some simple guidelines to help you leverage this technique:

  1. Choose a significant struggle in which you eventually succeeded.
  2. Write or verbally relive it.
  3. Relive the emotions of fear and frustration when you were ready to give up.
  4. Relive the summit celebration moment.
  5. Then commit to one small and low-resistance action toward your next summit.

To learn more about my 9 Vertical Lessons for Leading with Impact check out my new book Reaching Your Next Summit!

Your climb to excellence is never easy. The human drive within calls us to what is possible. The principles shared in this book will renew your commitment and inspire your quest for excellence. You will realize more of your potential as you sharpen your focus, act with courage, and generate momentum in reaching your next summit—and beyond.

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