I want you to walk with me through these brief paragraphs. They make an incredibly important point.
We have lived in our home for 29 years, 216 days. That is a total of 10,436 days. Since I am probably gone from home about three weeks per year, I am taking off 623 days from that total. That leaves me with a total of 9,813 days. (You will see the importance of these details in a few moments).
In our home we have a staircase that is 15 stairs in height with each step being six inches high. That means that every time I go up that staircase I have climbed 7.5 feet.
For the sake of my story, I am assuming that I have gone up those stairs four times a day. While I know that I have many times exceeded that, I will keep it at that figure so my conclusions are not exaggerated. This means that every day I have climbed 30 feet worth of stairs.
Those of you that have staircases know how fast you fly up and down those in the course of a day and who knows how many times. You don’t even think about the height. You climb them because you are in the midst of a task and up you go.
So let’s look at the math::
9,813 days x 30 feet = 294,390 feet
This is where the staggering facts start to hit.
Mt. Everest is 29,029 feet in altitude. This means that, in 29 years, 216 days, I have climbed the equivalent of 10.14 Mt. Everests, just in the course of my daily routine.
You, at this point, must be thinking…”Karl must be sitting there on the couch quite bored in order to be writing about this….”
Actually not the case. I have always been impressed with the cumulative impact of small steps, whether physical, emotional, or intellectual.
Some of you might not have another three decades to apply this thinking. Some of you have many more than that. Whatever the case, with what time you have in front of you, I want you to think about this:
What ’30 feet’ do I want to climb today? Is it a fitness goal? Is it language learning? Is it a relationship challenge? Is it a leadership challenge?
Whatever the case, consider this: In another year, or five, or ten, that amount of time will have passed anyway, well used or wasted. With just 30 feet a day, for a year, you have climbed Oregon’s highest peak, Mt. Hood. In five years, over 56,000 feet and on and on.
What challenge could you not overcome with a focused, yet short, attack? The leadership expert, John Maxwell, give the example of the largest known tree on the planet, the 379 foot redwood in California, known as the Hyperion. He notes that, with five ax blows a day, that tree will fall. Not a question of ‘IF”, just a question of “when”. Just five blows a day of that ax, the tree will eventually fall.
Consistency is the key, and it always wins. Always.
Please ask yourself the following question: What will be your change, today, with what you have just read?