One of my favorite climbing films of all times is King Lines. It features renowned climber Chris Sharma, where after over 100 scary attempts on a route hovering over crashing waves, he finally ascends his project route (unclimbed, unfinished, and spectacularly difficult) . What’s really compelling about this film is just seeing Sharma’s focus and determination, on and off the wall.
In the final scene, after pondering upon the recent passing of his mother and his life ambitions, Sharma reflects, “We don’t know when we’re going to go. We don’t know when we’re going to die, so if something is important that I want to do then, I got to go for it now. ”
Well said, but more importantly, he puts action to his words, returns to his project route, and finishes it.
Our King Lines
Most of us are so caught up in the trials of life that we just live it to get by or to get to the next thing. Our dreams are put on hold indefinitely or even worse, someday – When I have this amount of money in the bank, When my kids finish school, When I am retired. You know what I’m talking about.
The fact is, now will never be the perfectly right time, especially if “the time” is dependent on external factors. It’s not much different from waiting for signs like the planets lining up while the parrot in the pet store mysteriously squawks “Go for it!”
However, now may not be the perfect time, but now is the right time. It’s the right time to start climbing your King Line, to start taking those steps to realizing a big dream.
Chris Sharma has to attempt an incredibly difficult climb, but that’s his self-imposed challenge as one of the top climbers in the world. For most of us, we’re not aiming to be Olympic heroes. We just want to be heroes in our own lives, perhaps by making the lives of ourselves and everyone around us better or by trying something we’ve never tried before.
And, if you watch the entire film, Chris Sharma just loves the journey along the way. There’s so much to learn, do, and see when you break out of your comfort zone and start challenging yourself.
So I have some questions for you. What gets your heart racing? What are you big dreams? What are your King Lines?
Don’t let the size of the dream stop you from even starting. Sure, climbing an arch hovering almost a hundred feet over crashing waves can be intimidating, but from my own climbing experience, it’s not so bad when you’re on the rock and focusing only on the move in front of you.
It’s all baby steps, whittling away self-doubt and fear while building confidence, move by move. Like Sharma, when I’m working a climbing route, that is, climbing it from start to finish without falling, the parts that I’ve succeeded at becomes notches under my belt as I attempt to link more and more moves together. This concept can pretty much be applied to any big goal you may have.
For example, when I wanted to improve my social life, I started approaching women in public. Once approaching was comfortable, I then worked on making conversations, and eventually, I “linked in” asking for a phone number.
Stop thinking. Start acting. And remember, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Lao Tzu)