Leadership Lessons from Africa--I can do anything!

Lesson Two.  I can do anything!!  We are resilient and resourceful beyond what we know.

Kilimanjaro was not on my bucket list…AND I am so grateful it got on my daughters’ lists thanks to their amazing dad!

5 Climbers St. I Sign.jpg

There were many unexpected miracles in Africa.

The resilience and strength of the human spirit was evident and alive so many times and in so many ways.  First I experienced it in Rwanda most profoundly.  Witnessing and experiencing the growth and development in Kigali amazed me.  Seeing the images of destruction and reading the stories from 1994 and then driving through the city seeing all the new construction and being at the school with the children illustrated how resourceful we humans are on a large scale.

Joining my family after they summited the tallest free-standing mountain in the world illustrated resilience and strength at a very personal level.  Each of the five climbers had stories of “OMG, I had no idea about how hard it would actually be!!!”  They witnessed multiple climbers who didn’t make it, and they each had their own story of what made it hard for them.  Between altitude sickness that made them nauseous and a little woozy feeling in their head, the temperature that made it difficult to feel fingers and toes, hiking in the middle of the night and just wanting to be sleeping, and legs that didn’t want to take another step up---multiple factors contributed to powerful resistance to making it to the summit.

They all made it.  They each proved to themselves their own resilience and strength in a very tangible way.  My favorite comment following the climb was “I can do anything Mom.”  My heart sings thinking about it now.  Yes, you can!!!!  You can do anything you put your mind, heart and spirit into.  You can do anything with a little help from your friends (and family).  Without the support and encouragement from each other, they may not have all summited.  You can do anything you have the courage to commit yourself to do. 

Finally getting the text telling me that they had all summited while standing in the Ebola line in the Nairobi airport on my way to join the climbers, tears were running down my face.  I wanted to jump up and down and holler “yes, you CAN do anything!!!”  You just proved it.  You proved it to yourself.