Over the past 9 months I have devoted the bulk of my time to bringing a vision to reality called Mission Kilimanjaro through a company I founded in 2010 called Athletic Capital. It has been exhausting at times, however, I have tried my best to share the lessons I have learned throughout the journey not for the purposes of self gratification, but to help those trying to find meaning in their lives. At Holy Cross, I was blessed to have built a strong foundation through a liberal arts education which gave me the confidence to trust in forging my own path. I have found through my life experiences that true education can only be obtained when you are willing to embark upon the adventure and confront all the fears and adversities associated with bringing a dream to reality. Will you use the gifts that HC has provided you in pursuing your own passions and igniting those around you to do the same? Imagine the impact!
This past Summer, I wrote about the power behind the leap of faith (Discovering Your Path- The Leap of Faith) and later discussed the importance of grasping Joseph Campbell’s teachings of the Hero’s Journey (Do You Feel A Void In Your Life? Meet Joseph Campbell). During the process of building this project and explaining it to others, I have noticed that some can apply the powerful idea behind this mission to their lives while others lose sight and focus on concepts of disability and altruism. I wanted to take some time to clearly explain why I took on this project and why it will directly relate to YOUR life. To do this effectively, I have reproduced three questions that I have been asked again and again in the past 9 months. Be Your Own Hero!
The “WHY” behind Mission Kilimanjaro
1. Why is Mission Kilimanjaro important?
Mission Kilimanjaro is important because it empowers people of all ages and abilities to confront perceived limitations and fears on the journey of becoming the people we wish to be. What if we were unafraid to fail? What if we were unafraid to take that first step towards pursuing a passion or bringing a vision to reality? Could you imagine the level of ingenuity and creativity that would result?
Mission Kilimanjaro is not about climbing mountains, it is about giving people the confidence to create their lives and confront the adversities along the way. The motto for our mission is “Reach Your Highest Potential” and in a time of economic and political uncertainty, it is our responsibility as leaders to step outside the box and lead in our perspective communities. We can no longer seek stability or depend on an outdated system; we must change it.
2. Why is the team going to Africa rather than focusing efforts on impacting children at home?
It doesn’t matter where our team goes, the message is universal and can be applied to any human being. Our initiative will have an impact on anyone who is willing to share the experience and apply the lessons to their own daily lives. Whether it is children or adults, abled bodied or disabled, African or American, it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is understanding the power of mindset and applying it to every obstacle that stands in the way of our highest vision.
3. What was your degree in and how did you obtain the knowledge necessary to do what your doing? What grad program would you suggest for me to pursue “x”?
This is a common question that I often receive from young people and unfortunately it is a huge stumbling block that prevents them from taking the first step of the journey. I definitely have a lot to learn and will continue to make mistakes, however, I can assure you that”X” degree will not help you on your path if you do not first have a purpose. Just obtaining knowledge for the purpose of obtaining knowledge will prevent you from seeing a bigger picture, forcing one to feel entitled due to their education without having any real, intrinsic value.
In my personal experience, I have met countless individuals who have several “degrees” who have been unable to transition their knowledge because they are afraid of applying it and failing. They are unwilling to embark upon the journey because they are so caught up in “terms” and the “philosophies” of others that they do not trust their own intuition. Understand that Holy Cross provides you with a special opportunity to find your own truth and develop your own perceptions. Take advantage of this opportunity and don’t be afraid of making mistakes as you set out to pursue a goal you are passionate about.
Please understand that this does not mean that higher education is bad in every context, however, you must first cultivate the “why” in your life before seeking information. I can promise you that you will be much more motivated as It is so much more fun to combine learning and creating at the same time. Seek the adventure!
What are you really passionate about? How have your perceptions created your current reality for the good and bad?