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#236 Nims Purja (Mountaineering)
March 11th, 2022 | E236

What I learned from reading Beyond Possible: One Man, Fourteen Peaks, and the Mountaineering Achievement of a Lifetime by Nims Purja.


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[3:36] Walking out on my career felt risky, but I was prepared to gamble everything for my ambition.

[4:20] Your extremes are my normal.

[12:04] Wow, this is my shit. I'd been working without much thought, operating in the flow state that athletes often describe when they set world records or win championships. I was in the zone. Brother, I thought. You're a badass at high altitude.

[13:27] I was poor from the beginning. We didn't have any money, and the thought of owning a car was unimaginable. But we were a loving family, and I was a happy kid. It didn't take a lot to keep me amused.

[14:57] From an early age, I believed in the power of positive thinking.

[18:17]  I also like the idea of being on top.

[19:00] Sam Walton: Made In America (Founders #234)

[19:03] I understood that to become a special forces operator, it was important to adapt to an increased workload.

[19:25] One thing I don’t even have on my list is “work hard.” If you don’t know that already, or you’re not willing to do it, you probably won’t be going far enough to need my list anyway. —Sam Walton

[19:44] Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Founders #141)

[20:58] This is insane: On weekends, my daily routine involved running for hours at a time. I'd haul my ass around the streets with two or three Gurkha buddies; we operated in a relay system, where I was the only soldier prevented from taking a break. One guy would accompany me for six miles, leading me along at a strong pace. Once he completed his distance, another running partner took over, and together we'd go six more miles. This went on for hours, and left me physically and psychologically pummeled.

[21:43] Emotional control was only one of the many traits I'd need to possess to become elite.

[22:22] Read the first 113 pages of this book Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder by Arnold Schwarzenegger (Founders #193)

[24:14] I focused only on the 24 hours ahead. Today I will give 100 percent and survive, I thought at the beginning of each day. I'll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

[26:47] You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t start by saying, ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.’ If you do that every single day, soon you will have a wall. —Will Smith

[28:52] I always smiled my way through the mud.

[29:03] Excellence is the capacity to take pain. —Isadore Sharp (Founders #184) Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy

[30:02] Dru Riley founder of Trends.VC has a 100 Rules Personal Philosophy

[32:14] The glass-half-empty attitude went against everything I'd been taught in the military, where  grumbling or giving up wasn't an effective strategy. If problems or challenges came my way, I was supposed to find solutions, having been trained to adapt and survive.

[35:30] The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life (Founders #100)

[43:33] I approached every day with a positive thought: I can do this. I will navigate every problem the mission can throw at me. I've already climbed the world's tallest peak. The only thing standing in my way right now is funding. Get out there and smash it.

[48:48]  I'd proven to everybody that it is never too late to make a massive change in your life.

[53:43] The Founders: The Story of Paypal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley (Founders #233)

[54:40] There were occasions when a panicked call would come over the radio:  “Nims, it's snowing heavily on the mountain. It's going to be a rough climb!"

Rather than wallowing in negativity, I'd make a smart-ass comment to lift the mood. "Come on, bro, what do you think we're getting on a mountain—a bloody heat wave?"

[54:58] Mark Twain once wrote that if a person’s job was to eat a frog, then it was best to take care of business first thing in the morning. But if the work involved eating two frogs, it was best to eat the bigger one first. In other words: Get the hardest job out of the way.

[57:57] Suffering sometimes creates a weird sense of satisfaction for me. It creates a sense of pride when seeing a job through to the end.

[58:23] It is important to keep the promises you make yourself: If I say that I'm going to run for an hour, I'll run for a full hour. If I plan to do 300 push-ups in a training session, I won't quit until I've done them all-because brushing off the effort means letting myself down, and I don't want to have to live with that. And neither should you.

[1:02:05] The adventure taught me an important lesson. Fear was never going to hold me back from pressing ahead with my plans. It established in me a mindset with zero doubts and zero tolerance for excuses.

[1:03:12] We worked as a small expedition unit, in teams of three, four, or five, but we moved with the power of 10 bulls and the heart of a hundred men.

[1:03:24] Most of all, I realized that somebody in the 14 peaks had been a launchpad. I needed more. I have to push my limits to the max, sitting tight, waiting it out and living in the past have never been for me.


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