DSC_0150Simple as it may sound these thoughts occured while altitude was being challenged. Growing from 6000 feet to 12500 feet, with depleting oxygen levels where taking simple decisions became a complex task, the thought train took off. Simply put, the fight against will and ability that had been questioned by others and subsequently by my own self, had taken a new leap.


“What are the things that matter to me the most ?” I can pull out a notebook and start writing down a list of things that I own and that matter and another list slightly longer that I wish to own that matter. But when I packed my bags to leave for the mountains I wish I knew what really mattered. As we trekked the mountains, we crossed streams, we took pauses to catch our breath – none of the items on either of those two lists really mattered.

We pack our lives with ‘baggage‘ that really does not matter. Carry the weight through the highs and lows of our life. We need very few of what we carry as we make the ascend or when we pause to catch a moment during the journey. Most of the precious baggage that we think we need remains untouched for most duration of the journey. What really breaks us is that we seldom set all this ‘baggage‘ down when we are tired – we just carry it relentlessly.

On the other hand there are pieces in the jig saw puzzle of life that we often take for granted. Our relations that have been or still are an intrinsic part of our lives that are a true representation of the cumulative essence of all our earnings and wealth. The new relations that we strike on trails unknown throw open the doors of our life.


Decisions are based on judgement and judgement is based on gut feel. Gut feel is strengthened by success and success is strengthened by learning from failure. ‘Failure’ plays a vital role in decisions being right and yet, we are bogged by the presence of failure in life.

My mind refuses to accept a situation as a failure first up like everyone else. Earlier this year I went through a strong emotional roller-coaster that twisted my conviction to a point that I began questioning myself. A situation where I began doubting the innate confidence that I possess to be true in shape and form or even exist in the first place. The challenges that I had overcome in life are deeply engraved in my mind. Each engraving is smoothly covered in colorful smears of success that have filled the marks but left a feeling that reminds me of the struggle and achievement in one train of thought.

While trekking, the wisest decision one ever makes is to accept that you never climb a mountain, it is the mountain that allows you to climb it. Humility reaps huge rewards as physical endurance tries to test its limits. Understanding situations and factors that strengthen or weaken a situation increase the probability of success. Know your challenge, work at it and Break it down.


The trek started from Dhak a small village near Joshimath which practically doesnt exist on any map but has made its place in the hearts of a few million trekkers who began either their first trek or umpteenth treak in the mountains of the world. As we began prodding ourselves step after step under the unrelenting sun just one thought made its way in and out of my mind – 6000 feet of elevation, 4 days of wilderness, unknown conditions and 27 unfamiliar faces – how will this go !

Quickly enough we took our first break and learnt our first lesson – Break It Down. Every journey in life has a path and every path will have milestones. It is important to cherish each milestone as we take on the journey. Understanding what matters exponentially simplifies the tangle around a situation. Taking each day by its merit eases the complexity of challenges the situation around it presents.


Days into hours and hours into journey legs, we continued to break each complex turn and incline into small scalable bits that we could digest. It happens in daily life too – a problem complex and huge in size when broken down looks like one of the many previously solved.


Questions, doubts at every step of life. Uncertainty to fuel the doubts and make them stronger. When the whole world is looking in the face and questioning abilities the only thing left to do is #believeinyourself. Put forth your best commitment and respond with a smile.

Not once but many times I had my doubts on my capability to pull off a high altitude trek. The altitudes that most fear for the conditions that are unfriendly and the levels of oxygen that can alter normal physical conditions. Each time a doubt resurfaced I had to go to battle all over again. I won most of them but I did loose a few. The ones that I won were the ones in the beginning, the ones I lost were painful and most importantly towards the end. Conviction from Signup till Summit helped strengthen #belief in myself.

Adversity has the power to bring out the best in YOU.

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