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The Shrinking of Mount Everest: A Story About Perspective


At 29,029 ft. in altitude, Mount Everest is the highest mountain on the earth. It was first summited in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Since then many people have made the climb…and many people have died. In fact, there are currently over 200 bodies on Mt. Everest! It is safe to say that climbing Mt. Everest is a daunting and perilous task for even the most experienced climbers. It is an enormous and imposing landmark.


But what does it look like from space? The picture to the right is an image of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest taken by a satellite in orbit. Can you spot Mt. Everest? It is that tiny dot right in the middle. From that height, you can barely even see it. What about from the moon? Could you spot it then? Nope. If you were standing on the moon you wouldn’t be able to even come close to pinpointing this enormous mountain. Why? Has the size of the mountain changed? Obviously not. But the farther removed from it that we are, the smaller it seems to be. In fact, from that far away, you can’t even really tell it is a mountain at all.


   Now let’s look at the opposite effect. If you take a dime, the smallest diameter coin we use, and hold it up to your eye it seems enormous. In fact, it completely blocks your vision of what is in front of you. But if you hold it out at arm’s length, it seems small and rather insignificant.

So what is the lesson? In life we are constantly running into obstacles of different sizes. Every day we encounter them, find a way to deal with them, and move on. But sometimes we come across those obstacles that we just can’t seem to get past. They seem so big and daunting that they feel like they are the size of Mt. Everest. They block our long-term vision and they ruin our day or maybe even our whole week. Sometimes it can be as trivial as a bad haircut, a stubbed toe, or an enormous zit that pops up on the day of the family portrait. Other times they can be big things like trouble at work, a strained relationship, a medical condition, or even the death of a loved one.

    No matter what the trial is, when we focus only on the obstacle it becomes enormous. We can’t seem to see past it. It’s like the dime held up to our eye. But if we step back a little bit, we are able to look at the problem with a little more perspective. When compared to a whole year of life, how big of a problem does a bad haircut seem? When we look at the scope of our entire life, how big does that bad day at work look?

99% of our stress and worry comes from poor perspective.

How many times have you had a bad day or a bad experience only to look back on it later and realize it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was? When our focus is limited to only one day or one obstacle at a time, everything seems enormous. But when we zoom out and look from the perspective of a lifetime, they mostly seem insignificant. And if you believe in a life after this one, you can see that with an eternal perspective, these problems are really no problem at all.     So the next time you are having a bad day or facing a really tough trial, remember to zoom out and look at the big picture. Pull the little dime back away from your eye and ask yourself, how does this fit into the scope of my entire life? Will I even worry about this a month from now?

When your Mount Everest comes, decide to view it from space rather then from the base of the mountain.

See ya at the summit!

Kris P.S. – If you enjoyed this post and know someone who would benefit from it, click the “Like” button below.

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