Going After Your Dreams

Going After Your Dreams

In 1998, outdoorsman Tom Whittaker successfully scaled Mt. Everest at the age of 50.  He did so on a prosthetic foot.  Years before, a car crash had shattered his right foot and kneecap.  But the incident didn’t shatter his dreams.  Here are Whittaker’s five tips for pursuing your dreams:

1. Make sure your goals come from within,

Internal motivation is much more powerful than external motivation.

2. Develop a credo based upon your values, principles and sense of self

Don’t let others define these things for you.

3. Don’t compromise or take shortcuts. Love the process rather than the illusion of

“winning” or “getting there.”  By focusing on the journey, you become a better problem solver.

4. Face your Fears.  Acknowledge them and move ahead. Don’t flee from anticipated pain or injury.

5. Live a big life. Set tall goals. Achieve mastery in all that’s important to you.

Tom Whittaker ice-climbed Mt. Everest, Utah with a prosthetic foot, and he was 50 years old!

The Tom Whittaker Story  http://www.tomwhittaker.com/about/

“When I say I climbed Everest what I really mean is … my team climbed Mount Everest.”

Tom Whittaker rocked conventional wisdom when, as an amputee, he created a world first by becoming the first person with a disability to climb Mount Everest. Now he is aiming for a new world record; to become the first amputee to conquer the highest peak on each of seven continents.

Tom Whittaker, a world-class mountaineer, has pitted himself against the North Face of the Matterhorn in winter, Mt. McKinley, and the nose of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. On Thanksgiving Day of 1979, a car accident shattered both his legs. Emergency surgery saved his life but required the removal of his right kneecap – and the amputation of his right foot. Tom Whittaker’s life had changed forever but his adventures had just begun. Nineteen years later, Whittaker made history and stunned the world when he became the first ‘disabled’ climber ever to conquer Mount Everest.

This was his third attempt on that mountain. In 1995 he came within 1,500 feet of the summit before being beaten back. On returning to base camp, teammate Greg Child gave Tom a stone saying “I picked this up on the summit and I want you to put it back where I got it from”. The gauntlet was cast.

Three years later, after overcoming a lung infection, and medical opposition, Tom’s perseverance and determination paid off. On May 27th, 1998, Whittaker made a footprint on Everest and climbing history by stepping onto the ‘Roof of the World’. He returned the stone, he redefined the possible, but more than anything his achievement stands as a beacon to all who aspire to take a dream and turn it into something great.

All this was captured in CBS’s documentary film, “Footprint on Everest”, which won the Teddy (Roosevelt) Award for best adventure documentary. The film was re-tooled for “48 Hours” with Dan Rather as “Against All Odds.”

Tom Whittaker’s experiences have taken him on a remarkable journey of adventure and self-discovery. He proved to the world – and himself – that the mind is more powerful than the body. He has battled to raise awareness of diversity and the real abilities of people with disabilities. Tom is convinced that the best way for people, no matter who they are, to achieve their destinies is through well defined values, self knowledge, clear goals and the ambition and drive to make it happen. Whittaker’s wining formula has worked for him and his teams in the most extreme environments on Earth. Of this you can be absolutely certain; it will work for your people – Guaranteed!


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