Mountain Climbing

The Black Hills, June 2019. Photo by Rob Salem. Copyright 2019-2021 Rob Salem/The Stormworks

There’s a saying in the firefighting community that I think has broader applications to life, and especially pursuit of goals and dreams.

“Risk a lot to save a lot; risk little to save little.”

For firefighters, it basically means, “We’ll risk everything, including our own life, to save a life. But we aren’t risking anything to save something (usually property) that can’t be saved.

I think in the broader context of life and living, the general principle in that philosophy is useful.

Want success?

Be willing to risk what you have to achieve what you want.

Ambition without the willingness to take risks and leave the confines of safe havens to venture from the known into the unknown isn’t likely to reap the rewards that taking chances will.

Everyone has their own metric of what “success” is, and what level of success they’ll be happy achieving.

Me? I’m personally at a point where I’m ready to risk a lot for my life, because I want a lot in my life. And I’m rapidly growing beyond any desire to allow myself to be held back by people who choose to “play it safe”. That’s not to say that other people shouldn’t set their own boundaries and live within their own comfort zones–it just means that the things I want, and what it will take to achieve them, don’t have room for those who are unwilling or unable to go down the paths I am on.

You want that thing on the top of the mountain?

Leave the fucking house, get out of your comfort zone, get cold, wet, dirty, and physically uncomfortable, and GO GET IT. And if you can’t, or simply don’t want to? Don’t be upset when those around you who can and will leave you behind.

You’re far more likely to reach the top of the mountain by climbing it than by waiting for it to erode.

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