What are the Seven Summits?
Sara Safari’s goal is to be the first Iranian in history to climb the Seven Summits, the seven highest peaks in each continent. Those peaks are on the following continents: Asia, South America, North America, Africa, Europe, Antarctica and Australia.
These summits range in elevation from 29,032 ft. (Mount Everest in Asia) to 7,310 ft. (Mount Kosciuszko in Australia) To give perspective, most commercial aircraft fly between 31,000 and 38,000 feet. These planes can fly higher, but not without safety issues as there is less wind and the air is thinner.
Why Climb the Seven Summits?
Sara’s purpose of climbing is to raise funds for seven organizations who are empowering women. Empowering women seems to be a buzzword in today’s language, so I’d like to define that term a bit more here. A big part of empowerment is education. There are many women in varying cultures that don’t have access to education.
These women may not be allowed to attend school or may be required to work to support a family or care for other siblings. A good education has the power to change lives and futures, so by providing support for education, you are contributing to a brighter future for many women who normally wouldn’t have a chance.
Providing a greater Purpose
In the book The Summit: Journey to Hero Mountain, the main character loses her focus for obtaining her brighter future. Mallery had a guide to help her, but when she gets sidetracked from focusing on her greater purpose to get to her Summit, she finds herself discouraged, lost and giving up. Those same feelings can follow most any person who has very little opportunity for growth or gets distracted by being sidetracked. In the book, the Social Media Circus provides enough distraction to pull our protagonist away from her higher purpose with the magical realism of places like Friendland, Tinsel-Cam, Bluebird and Connector.
For Sara to climb the Seven Summits, she has had to overcome obstacles and face her fears, even once coming to a point of near-death. Our fictional character in The Summit has to face her own fears, coming close to death as she combats negative self-talk with positive messages to live and breathe outside her comfort zone crossing a bridge. Whether real or fiction, both individuals have to adapt the mantra to Never Give Up. There is no other way to experience growth and progress.
What was real and not fiction for Sara was experiencing a 7.8 earthquake at 20,000 feet on a wall of ice when climbing Mount Everest. She was sure this was the end of her life and it did hold the end for many of her other teammates. At a certain point, her panic and dread of seeing no options for survival brought a calmness that stopped her from struggling. That was when she was gifted what she termed another life. She found truth in the mantra: When faced with dying, you start living life with greater purpose.
Starting to live with that greater purpose is what happened with Sara. Her life purpose in helping and empowering women grew even stronger after the moment where she could have lost literally everything.
Focus on What's Essential
With a brush with death, your focus becomes even more centered on what’s absolutely essential. Those who are experiencing their last days on this earth usually want family and close friends to be close by as those relationships are now most important to them. I have experienced this up close in losing dear family members. Nothing else matters—not money, business or possessions.
A book I try to read at least once a year is Essentialism. If you’ve not read it, put it on your must-read list. Keeping your personal and professional life simple and straightforward creates order and success. Just as it’s easier to maintain a closet that is purged from unnecessary items, (see The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo!) it’s easier to maintain your main tasks and goals when eliminating time suckers and distractions that take you away from your purpose.
Climbing Seven Summits is a huge goal but is very achievable with focus and the elimination of the unnecessary. For Sara, this includes training and the development of a valuable network to help her in her physical climbs and raising support. For life and business, that support and network is also important to successfully achieve a higher purpose. (see article on Core Values) You have one life to live and you can’t Buy Back the Years. (especially note the lyrics of this song-they are powerful!) Use your time wisely and effectively.
Your Seven Summits
You may never have the goal of climbing the peaks of the Seven Summits, but you may be at a point in your life where you want to make a difference. Or you want to pursue the dream that you’ve put off your whole life. It’s not too late.
Even though life expectancy dropped 1.5 years during 2020 because of COVID, conservative estimates for women is to live past eighty and men, past seventy-five. Mid-career or the halftime of life occurs after the age of forty. Most think about making a change in their fifties and fewer and fewer are truly retiring. This time of life is actually the perfect time to explore what you may have been putting off for many years. After all, the biblical character Caleb said at the age of eighty-five, I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now…now give me this hill country!
Your summit may be finally developing the business of your dreams, giving time to a non-profit or even starting your own organization. It is a time many consider giving back, especially living in a country with so much opportunity. Take time to consider what your summit is and make sure you read The Summit to encourage you in your climb!
When faced with dying, you start living life with greater purpose.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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