What has team work gotta do with success?

I recently read the article, a reprint by Readers Digest on Tenzing Norgay. He was born the humble son of a Nepalese yak herder and became famous after he was one of the first two people in history to reach summit of Mount Everest on 29th May 1953.

Many people asked him “Who actually reached the top first?”

Read his reply to this burning question as recorded in his biography “Tiger of the snows”:

“The rope that joined us was 9m long but I held most of it in loops in my hand, so that there was only about 1.8m between us. I was not thinking of “first” and “second”. I did not say to myself, “There is a golden apple up there. I will push Hillary aside and run for it.” We went on slowly, steadily. And then we were there.

Hillary stepped on top first. And I stepped up after him. If it is a discredit to me that I was a step behind Hillary, then I must live with that discredit.”

What a beautiful honesty he displayed:) It was simply we did it together.

Along the way, he also shared about how two other teams tried but did not reach the summit. Yet the teams, exhausted as they were, “did everything they could to advise us and help us.”

“It is only because of work and sacrifice of all of them that Hillary and I were now to have our chance at the top.”

As Hilllary and Tenzing started their ascent, they had another team ahead of them to help cut the steps for them. “The steps cut by others made the going easier for us.”

And on 29 May, the morning of ascending the summit, Hillary’s boots were frozen and they had to de-freeze it for over an hour over the stove. Although they both woke up at 3.30am, it was only at 6.30am that they went on their journey.

And yes, what a journey. His life changed after that victorious moment.

And for all the preparation,slogging, Hillary did not take a picture of himself at the summit. He took one for Tenzing and lots for the mountain.

Wow. What an incredible pair.

Imagine if you were the first to summit the highest mountain in the earth. Yet you do not have a single picture of yourself at the summit.

Here are two men, both of different nationalities, one is a New Zealander and the other a Nepalese yet with a common goal.

Tenzing trained hard and was chosen to summit because he has enough experience and also he was found to be “more fit that anyone else” when the doctors examine him at the base camp.

Team work is the precursor of success. Success is never achieved alone.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers”, he again outlined the factors that led to a person achieving success. It is due not just to his talent but also to the circumstances that helped him become who he is.

The ingredients for success are simply these:

– talent

– diligence

– perseverance

– hunger

– humility

– gratefulness and teamwork. 

‘As I covered up the offering, I say a silent prayer …”Tuji che Chomolungma. I am grateful…”‘

Are you grateful for the opportunities that come your way? Do you use them wisely?

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”  – James 3:7

Useful links:

About Tenzing Norgay

Wikipedia: Tenzing Norgay

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