Unknown Unknowns #18 - View From the Top of the World
2 min read

Unknown Unknowns #18 - View From the Top of the World

Your choices affect your experiences.  Your experiences can affect how you look at life.

This Week:

Last week, I was in Hawaii for my honeymoon.  My wife and I decided to hike up Mauna Kea.  It's a fourteen mile roundtrip hike, with 4,500 feet of vertical.  The peak is at 13,803 feet.  We didn't go all the way to the summit as it's sacred to the Hawaiians but we went as close as we could.  Now, you can hike or drive up to the top.  Hiking took us eight hours to go up and then four hours to come down.  Driving would have taken an hour round trip.

What was the point of getting to the top of Mauna Kea?  If the idea was just to get to the top it would have been a better decision to drive.

So why did we hike?  It wasn't just to get to the top.  There was the challenge.  There were the views on the way.  But these didn't really seem big enough reasons to hike for twelve hours through steep terrain at altitude, carrying gear we had specially packed for this experience.  

I don't think I really understood until we reached the top and saw the people who drove up.  They circled the summit for a few minutes, and then headed down.  I don't think we saw anyone even get out of the car.  

Mauna Kea wasn't just something we went to on a vacation.  Our experience was a different quality than that of the car people, something we will remember for the rest of our lives.  The alien landscapes we hiked through, pushing through fatigue, the doubts.  We hadn't just visited a mountain, we had conquered it.

We even waved off a lift from a car on the way down to finish the whole hike on our own.

Something Interesting: The Most Precious Resource is Agency

Simon Sarris writes about agency, "the capacity to do something differently from, or in addition to, the events that simply happen to you."  Only by action that's beyond expectations can people stretch and learn and become unique.  Give it a read.

Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two.  And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!

Have a great week,


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