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Motivational Talks

Climbing Everest is like growing old very fast – you don’t eat well, you don’t sleep well, and you don’t feel well. Yes, the mountain can fill us up and enrich us with her energy and our experiences, but mostly, she empties us. She drains us of our resolve and saps us of our motivation.     ~  Wilfred Tok


Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top – it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others – it rises from your heart.   
        ~ JUNKO TABEI, of Japan, after becoming the first woman to climb Everest, in 1975.


THE RIGHT MOUNTAIN FOR YOU - The Real Meaning of Success - Wilfred Tok
IN the eyes of the Singaporean to which we returned after our ’2001 expedition, a trip that has seen us raise close to quarter of a million dollars, move 1.2 tons of gear and five members approximately 3150 km from Singapore, to the top of the world and back again safely, we had failed because we failed to reach the summit.

As human beings, we are conditioned from an early age to believe that failure is bad. It is not only to be feared, we are taught. It is to be avoided at all cost. We are punished for failing – by being benched, held back a year, scolded, fired, ignored. Ostracized, shunned or just plain rejected. No one enjoy it.

Forgiveness can be difficult to achieve – especially self-forgiveness. To re-program an ingrained response than has been with us since birth can be very, very difficult. But when forgiveness is combined with proper analysis of our mistakes and we change our behavior based on what we have learned, the results can be amazing. Thus, there is success in failure, but only if you know how and where to find it.

Sometimes, we have such a skewed view of “success”, especially in contrast with what the sherpas believe.

In 1991 Mount Everest Expedition, Canadian Climber – Alan Hobson, asked his sherpas, Ang Temba (member of the first all-Sherpa Mt Everest Expedition) a question.  Why it had taken his people almost 40 years after Tenzing’s ascent in 1953 to finally launch an Everest expedition as a tribe. Everest was, after all, the world’s tallest mountain and it was literally in their backyard. “We didn’t need to climb Everest,” Ang Temba explained quietly, then paused and smiled. “Everest is beautiful and it’s there. What more do you need?”

We are all sherpas carrying loads of one sort or another. And we find ourselves struggling up our own mountains – whether they be professional, personal, marital, emotional, interpersonal, parental, medical, or financial. At times, some of us cannot seem to find the strength to bear our burdens. The path we’re on seems brutally steep and unrelenting. Sometimes, “we just can’t take it any more.” We sit exhausted and disillusioned by the side of the trail and hope that somehow the crushing weight on our shoulders will magically be lifted, or at least lightened. Our heart are heavy, as are our souls.

Whatever path we have chosen in life, climb we must, for to do otherwise is to relinquish our own self-respect and give in to our frailties and fear.

Wilfred's presentation on “The Right Mountain For You – The Real Meaning of Success“ will. . .

A Salute to those who died during the pioneer British Mount Everest Expeditions

 Memorial at Everest North Base Camp - In memory of George Leigh Mallory and Andrew Irvine last seen 8 June 1924.

Everest Photo Journal

President SR Nathan sends us off.

A special moment with President SR Nathan.

Straits Times reports our Everest Attempt.

The thrill is simply contagious.

Press Reports on our peak attempt.

Straits Times press graphics on our Everest attempt.

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Motivational Talks