Humility: The Name of the Game

 Back in February, I wrote a Thursday Thought about ego…and the need to not have one in life. In it I shared some thoughts from one of my climbing heroes (and friends), Tom Hornbein.  

As many of you know, I spent this weekend with an incredible group of athletes at the Outside in Aspen event in Aspen, Colorado. Aside from the depth and diversity of accomplishments in the group, what I found most impressive was the level of humility and the marked absence of ego amongst the crew. 

On Sunday, we all shared a panel discussion: kayaker Jesse Coombs, cyclist Tyler Hamilton, climber Melissa Arnot, skier Chris Davenport, and myself. (Also present, but not on the panel, was kayaker Chris Korbulic.) Not once did anyone proclaim "I'm the best" or show any degree of arrogance about their successes, and failures, in life. Rather, the common theme was that each person followed their passion in life, and that, combined with a lot of hard work and tenacity, led to a high level of success…not to mention a lot of fun along the way. 

Because of that humility, I really enjoyed sharing the panel discussion, and the weekend, with this group, and I think the audience and visitors to Outside in Aspen did, too. 

Especially impressive during the panel was Jesse Coombs comments on how to approach all we do in life. He kept stressing the need to "do the right things for the right reasons." Advice we all could and should apply to our lives, personal and professional. 

And, Jesse is no run-of-the-mill kayaker; he's one of the most accomplished in the world, with a list of first-descents that to this hydro-challenged person reads like my worst nightmare. But, you won't get that out of him easily; he'll downplay his accomplishments while simultaneously noting yours and complimenting you. Solid characteristics from a solid guy. 

So, here's a little video that shows some of the huge accomplishments of Jesse Coombs and his team of expedition kayakers. Amazing stuff…enjoy Hotel Charley V:

Jake Norton is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.

  1. nursing top
    nursing topJuly 7,10

    hmmm…. interesting! i watch the video of it and i think this would be a big hit. 😀

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