Posted on September 09 , 2021
Just over a year ago, I read ‘The Second Mountain” by David Books., and it helped me put my whole life in perspective.
Basically, the premise of the book is that all of us are in the process of climbing a mountain, a quest to become a great doctor, or a rich financier, or the best teacher or simply the best provider.
Most of us spend our life climbing this mountain until; either we give up or we have achieved what we set out to do and find happiness or contentment in our accomplishment and retire. This happiness however is short lived and we find ourselves trying to find things to do to fill time.More often than not retirement is not what it is made it out to be. Believe me, I have been there twice and regretted it each time. The problem was that each time, I climbed a mountain, I kept trying to keep climbing the same or a similar mountain. What I needed, and for that matter what most people who have successfully climbed their mountain, need is a new, a second mountain to climb. Some never find it, some know exactly what to do and some of us find it by accident, but stumble our way upward, climbing ineffectively,
However, ‘The second mountain” put things in perspective for me and what a perspective it is. I almost want to sing at the top of my voice, only if I could sing, the famous song “ I can see clearly now , the rain has gone….”. I really can!
This book as brilliant as it is in its prose and richness of content, in terms of the insights from some very successful people, is especially brilliant for me as it has put so much context to my post retirement, even though I have not retired again, yet,
When you climb the first mountain, there is a sense of satisfaction, a personal happiness, but it is when you climb the second mountain that you experience the real joy, you get a real rush which is intoxicating and even somewhat addictive and fortunately there are so many communities in need that you can keep experiencing this joy, again and again.
The key point, the book makes, is that we climb the first mountain for us and the second mountain for a larger cause, be it our family, our community, our country or even the world.
In addition to this very important distinction, which completely changed the way I live life, it provided a few other specific insights which I believe, are helping me live a better, meaningful, more prosperous, and most importantly a stress-free life. Thank you David! Furthermore, I would like to share these insights with others and perhaps it will help them live a richer life.
When we are climbing the first mountain for our personal success we have a competitive mindset, and as are discovering, competition is a major source of stress. This reaffirmed one of my old saying to my classes, I teach, namely:
While competition is a good way to succeed for a few;
Collaboration is a better way to succeed for the many
So the first insight is to change the mind set from competition to collaboration.
When we are climbing the first mountain for our personal success, we mostly think of it in terms of financial prosperity, but the book suggested otherwise. And on further reflection, I realized that our wellbeing consists of three other types of prosperities:
So the second insight is to in addition to financial prosperity, there is personal prosperity, emotional prosperity and spiritual prosperity; and to seek a timely balance between them.
When we are climbing the first mountain for our personal success, we focus on ourselves as well as those who we think are successful. Which, especially if we are competitive, translates into, valuing ourself and them or their opinions more than others. This does not always lead to success, and I realized that our wellbeing depends on the PROPER valuation of our own abilities and shortcomings as well as those of others we seem to admire.
So the third insight is to learn from others but DO NOT follow blindly; be confident but do not over-estimate yourself. There is so much more to this insight that I have dedicated a whole blog unto itself, titled “Value Proposition”.
Finally, when we are climbing the first mountain for our personal success, our sphere of influence, is very limited. We only manage to impact, for the better, our own life and perhaps our family, may be our communityand occasionally others beyond our vicinity. However, when on the way to the second mountain our sphere of influence is unlimited. We canhelp everyone prosper and make their lives a little better. And given the growing gap between the 1% and the other 99%, it seems to me there is a real need for each of us to help the other 99% prosper and one of the most effective paths to prosperity is education. However, education has been around for a while yet the gap keeps growing, perhaps it is time to re-define education.
So the final insight, which I wish to is Re-visualizing EDUCATION and defining it as GLloballyRelevent Education And Training and call it GREAT Education
It has been said, Talk is cheap, actions matter.
So my second mountain is HelpXchange.org. and the questto reduce the gap between the 1% and the 99%, by helping every oneprsper.
This mountain is too big for me to climb alone and so I am asking for everyone’s help.
And if you want to simply click here and go to the “how can I help” page