Climbing to Greatness – Lessons Learned on Aconcagua

By November 17, 2011 Uncategorized No Comments


Each week this month, I’m sharing one lesson I learned while climbing Mt. Aconcagua with the Aconcagua Man Project Team…


Jeff on the summit of Mt. Aconcagua

A friend asked me recently, “How did you know that you would make it to the summit of Aconcagua?” I was surprised by the answer that jumped out of me,


I didn’t know if I would make it to the top… The only thing I knew was that I was committed to making it to the top.


When I felt the compulsion to focus on the uncertainty of my goal, I focused on the clarity of my commitment. That was the only thing I had any dominion over. There was no guarantee I would make it to the summit. I was, however, committed to making it to the summit.


A short time ago a woman came to me who was facing possible home foreclosure and sincere financial challenges. She had been a successful business woman who was experiencing a dry spell in her sales. She blurted, “I just don’t know if I will make it. Will I make it?” This question had her shaking with fear, second guessing her career and most importantly, second guessing herself. I coached her to ask a more powerful question,


“What are you committed to creating in this situation?”


She was silent.  Up to this moment, she had been lost in the uncertainty of the future, while missing the certainty that she had the power to create.


For much of my past, I looked for guarantees that my objective or goal was possible. I would assess risk and try to figure the chances I had in actually reaching the finish line. If it appeared the odds were against me, I would begin to question my goal and/or myself:  “Is this truly the most important thing I could be doing?…Maybe there’s a different strategy that I should be using?” Consequently, I wasn’t a strong finisher in certain areas of my life.


On this mountain expedition, I really didn’t know my chances of reaching the top. In fact, the odds were against me because I had little climbing experience and was struggling with altitude sickness in a big way. What helped me to finally reach the summit was focusing on my commitment to get to the top and back safely- rather than on the uncertainty of what may happen.


In my conversation with the woman facing forclosure, I supported her to create a clear commitment of what she was going to do in her business, by when. Then she put all her focus and attention on that. When she was afraid of what might happen, she placed her focus back on her commitment. It wasn’t easy, and it took nearly the entire year, but she did it.


She is now a top producer in her firm.


Where in your life are you uncertain? What are you committed to creating in this situation?  What might occur for you if you were to focus on the certainty of that commitment more than focusing on the uncertainty of the outcome?


My experience is that being certain in my commitment is often reassuring, grounding and empowering. When you fear the uncertainty of the outcome, come back to the certainty of your commitment.



Are you ready to leave uncertainty behind and become the powerful man you have always dreamed of being? This next year, I am partnering with Stephen McGhee to deliver the 2nd Aconcagua Man Project Team. This is a one year leadership program for men that will culminate in climbing Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina. If you are intrigued, I want you to do three things:

1. Go to and read the entire site

2. Listen to the audio interview with Stephen and me at the bottom of the first page

3. If you find yourself interested or compelled to learn more, email me and I will set an interview for us to discuss it further. If not, can you think of one person who would love it? If so, would you share it with them? Thanks.


To your success!



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