A TED Talk A Day, Day 9: Interestingly, today’s talk is related to yesterday’s, though delivered over a year earlier, after he crossed the Arctic Ocean to get to the North Pole, but before he set out on his South Pole expedition. He covers similar ground: a comic appreciation of the seeming pointlessness of his journey and the conditions he had to endure, combined with what feels to me like an inspiring belief in the power of exploration adventure.

  1. “If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy, and joy, after all, is the end of life. We don’t live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means, and that is what life is for.” – George Mallory (emphasis mine)
  2. Amazing experiences will always be unique to us, and no matter how we try words will always fall short in communicating the sheer richness of such an experience.
  3. There is something in the challenge that calls out to us — “And it seems to me, therefore, that the doing, you know, to try to experience, to engage, to endeavour,rather than to watch and to wonder, that’s where the real meat of life is to be found, the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days.”
  4. We can access so much information easily these days, but the juice of life is in actual experience — And yet, if I’ve learned anything in nearly 12 years now of dragging heavy things around cold places, it is that true, real inspiration and growth only comes from adversity and from challenge, from stepping away from what’s comfortable and familiar and stepping out into the unknown.”

Suggested action step: I will consciously step into the unknown to experience life.