Hell on earth is not doing your best, Heaven is the attempt. – Dr. Tim Warren
Let me flash back to May 2008. I am a day away from starting my summit attempt on Mt. Everest, my second in as many years. I have gotten into serious debt to be there. I have trained my whole life to be there. I have said goodbye to my teenage son and my love and not seen them in months. I could die. Fellow climbers already have. All were significantly younger than my 48 grizzled years and some were even more experienced. To not dwell on negatives I needed to do something constructive. Since my socks and underwear were in a perpetual state of ripeness, I moseyed over to the laundry area. This was near a forty foot in diameter glacial melt pond with an old fashioned crank machine with two rollers to feed your laundry through and squeeze out excess water.
First you soaked your skivvies in the 35 degree opaque semi-slush pool then scoured them with a bar of cheap Nepalese soap, rinsed then squeezed. By the time I finished my first sock my hands were numb and I jammed them into my parka pockets for thawing.
Powerful Steps To the Top of Your World” by yours truly, page 91 Chapter 5 “Thank Your Way to the Top”. As I was freezing my fingers in the barely melted glacial bath water, I was suddenly stunned by an unanticipated feeling. A flash of deep contentment pervaded me as it occurred to me that I had done everything to the best of my ability. I had done everything right! I could do no more to prepare. It was time to do the deed. Win or lose, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was a glorious, deeply calming reverie – a self hug. Better feelings than doing the best you can. It doesn’t mean perfection, far from it. It means for a certain time and space you did as Teddy Roosevelt is quoted as saying “Do What You Can, With What You Have, Right Where You Are”.
I am amazed that the feeling hasn’t happened for me as often as I would have expected. It means I have work to do, because I want that feeling a million more times before I climb the big Everest in the sky.
In short because that feeling of doing your best …. is Heaven on earth.