Quality Blog

Jim's Gems: One Step at a Time

June 3, 2014
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I don’t know about you, but I am always enthralled to see videos of people climbing mountains. At the same time, however, my stomach does a little flip-flop by some of the breathtaking scenes. I am always curious as to why people do this (other than the absolute thrill ride), but I also wonder how they go about achieving their goals..

Actually, I have known people who have climbed mountains all over the world. Everyone one of them have essentially said the same things.

They didn't start out climbing K2: the second-highest mountain on earth but generally considered the most dangerous to climb. Instead they trained and practiced on smaller slopes until they built the skills and confidence to move on to bigger challenges.

When choosing a mountain (goal), they prepare a plan and, whenever possible, they execute it. They equip themselves as well as they can and seek to learn from others with the same interests. They expect to have difficulties, so they plan for alternatives to address potential problems.

They are prepared as much as humanly possible. In the event of an obstacle, they are ready to deal with it the can so they can move forward.

Mountain climbers and their ilk are high achievers. They keep their fear and negative thinking under control, because they know that these thoughts will defeat them more certainly than any avalanche.

They also understand the importance of commitment, dedication, persistence and tenacity. And, every now and then, they bite off a little more than they are absolutely certain they can chew.

Like the saying goes, "When there's no place to go but up, you go up."

The mountain climbers I know say that after a long day of climbing, when they feel like they can’t go any further, they concentrate on the next three feet.

When they get to that point, they focus on the next three feet; then the next, and so on; until before they know it,they’re at the top.

You may not want to conquer K2, but no doubt there is a mountain in your life just calling out to be climbed. If there is a challenge you’ve been avoiding because it seems too large and intimidating, map out a step-by-step plan just like the mountain climber. Work to achieve the first step, tackle the next, and soon you will have conquered the mountain!

Remember that commitment, dedication and persistence are what allows us to turn challenges into successes. If you aren’t on the road that’ll take you to where you want to go, change highways!




 In honor of World Quality Month, we spoke to James Rooney, ASQ Past Chairman of the Board of Directors 2013, for his take on quality around the world.
For more information, read the ASQ Speaking of Quality column.
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