It’s been a little over a week since I’ve started my No Negativity June and I’m actually surprised at how easy it’s been. It seems that just becoming more mindful of negative talk has already proven to be a big part of the solution. In other words, I haven’t had to work too hard at not being negative over the past week. Once I had a mind shift and recognized I wanted to be better at engaging in worthwhile conversations, it came pretty naturally.
Of course, positive reinforcements are welcome; which brings me back to last Friday…
(First, some background information:) A while ago, Mike and I saw the movie Everest and it sparked a major climbing fascination for us. We started watching climbing documentaries on Netflix and Amazon. One of my favorites being Meru. Like many good documentaries, after watching Meru, I was bombarded by eager curiosity. As the credits were rolling I promptly started googling everything about the movie. I learned about the personal lives of the cast, followed a few on Instagram, and, in the months after, recommended Meru to many, many people.
I’m not a hardcore climber but there is something so fascinating about the sport to me. I soak up facts and stories about summits like a sponge filling itself plump with water. So, when I found out Conrad Anker – one of the 3 mountaineers that summited Meru in the film – was coming to give a talk at Google, I was beyond stoked.
Since the talk wasn’t in my building, I figured I would just live stream it. Last Friday I logged on to watch from my laptop but couldn’t quench the need to be there in person. About 5 minutes into Conrad talking about Everest (he’s also summited Everest 3 times) I decided to bike over to the building the talk was in. I don’t think I’ve ever rode faster across campus! Out of breathe and a little sweaty, I quietly entered the room and stood in the back for the remaining time Conrad spoke.
Now, as mentioned, climbing is not my sport. In fact, I don’t think someone could pay me to attempt to climb Everest. So, aside from watching climbing documentaries and a few tries at bouldering, mountaineering doesn’t hold any real weight in my life. Nonetheless, I was filled with such …inspiration during and after the talk.
…An inspiration I’ve felt before when diving deeper into the world of sport.
Let me back up quickly. Mike is a triathlete and I often accompany him to races. And while it is unlikely I would ever participate myself, I love going and feeling the good vibes of the race. Time and time again, racers prove to be encouraging, compassionate, and, of course, hard working. I’m not necessarily the most athletic girl but the goodness of sports are not lost on me (I guess, particularly triathlons and mountaineering).
During Friday’s talk, Conrad spoke mostly about Everest, making a few jokes here and there. He didn’t mention anything particularly moving or inspirational. There was no grand story with a strong moral neatly woven within it’s sentences. Instead, I was inspired by his overall plain kindness. He was so positive (and in a month of No Negativity, this was a good thing to see!) and seemed generally happy. What a wonderful thing to see in this busy, hectic life (at work, no less!); someone radiating happiness.
So, to tie it all together, this talk and the positivity I’ve experienced at tri races got me thinking how vital it just may be to immerse yourself in something good and meaningful; something you care about and that makes you radiate happiness when you speak about it. For Mike, it’s triathlons; for Conrad, climbing; for me, writing and living a compassionate life. Whatever it is for you, be sure to do it. And do it often.