This week, the world watched Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson climb the Dawn Wall of El Capitain, in Yosemite National Park, over a stretch of 19 days. We all applauded in amazement as they struggled and succeeded at what's often described as the most challenging rock climb in the world. It was the first time the 3,000 foot sheer rock face had ever been taken on in a single expedition while using just hands and feet, rather than with the artificial means climbers have employed before. And there were many little failures that came before the crazy big outrageous success. I heard a television commentator put it well when he said about one of the guys: "He fell and fell and fell, until he didn't."
And that, in itself, is a great lesson.
Afterwards, Jorgeson said, "I hope it inspires people to find their own Dawn Wall, if you will. We've been working on this thing a long time, slowly and surely. I think everyone has their own secret Dawn Wall to complete one day, and maybe they can put this project in their own context."
As I read the details of their longtime dream, preparation, and execution of the climb, I saw the philosophers' 7 Cs of Success all through the story. Tommy and Kevin had:
C1 - A clear CONCEPTION of what they wanted, a vivid vision, a goal clearly imagined
C2 - A strong CONFIDENCE they could reach that goal
C3 - A focused CONCENTRATION on what it would take
C4 - A stubborn CONSISTENCY in pursuing their vision
C5 - An emotional COMMITMENT to what they were doing
C6 - A good CHARACTER to guide and keep them on course
C7 - A CAPACITY TO ENJOY the process along the way.
Whenever we see exceptional achievement in the world, we'll see the implementation and operation of these seven simple conditions that I've been speaking on for over 25 years. During that quarter of a century, I've seen many people get excited about The 7 Cs of Success but never apply them systematically in their lives, and others whose excitement translated into a relentless application of the conditions and a level of success that astonished everyone around them.
The philosophers can preach to us all day long, but it's what we learn by seeing people like Tommy and Kevin live their dream that really brings home to us how the right approach to anything can turn Crazy Big Goals into Crazy Big Success Stories.
Now. Go create your own.
Oh. And if you want to read more, go see the books True Success, or The Art of Achievement, or the big, comprehensive study of how the great thinkers have brought us these ideas and suggested that we use them, the new ebook, The 7 Cs of Success.