Don’t use the “F” word – Failure is Success (If we learn from it)

The Buttress - Mt Aspiring
The Buttress – Mt Aspiring

January was such a whirlwind of fun, mountaineering in the Southern Alps of one of the best countries in the world, New Zealand.

 Of course, it wasn’t all mountaineering and there was plenty of family time doing some crazy things together.

 Now I do have this rather audacious plan to climb some of the world’s highest mountains, heaven forbid, Mt Everest does beckon, but of course even contemplating that is some time off just at the moment.

My next major expedition will be to Nepal in November of this year. It sounds so far away doesn’t it?

Baz - Pack-walk up Heaton's Gap
Baz – Pack-walk up Heaton’s Gap

I have much preparation to do ahead of it and I suspect time will fly past very quickly. I need to increase my fitness with plenty of long-distance pack walking, as well as hone my climbing and rope handling skills; after all as they say practice makes us perfect.

Baz - Boar's Head, Blue Mountains, Australia
Baz – Boar’s Head, Blue Mountains, Australia

And of course, climbing to altitudes in excess of 6,000 metres will require some new equipment, so plenty of gear reviews and shopping lie in the months ahead.

Shoosh, I might just not let on to Janet about that just yet!

But anyway, I’m starting to rabbit on a bit now, so I’ll get to my point…

Many people have asked about how the trip went and did I get to the summit of Mt Aspiring.

Mt Aspiring viewed from Bevan Col
Mt Aspiring viewed from Bevan Col

Unfortunately the answer was no. The weather conspired against us about halfway up and  we decided to turn back, to continue on would have been dangerous…

But none-the-less, it was a successful climb.

It would be easy to think of it as a failure…but I had a great smile on my face!

Not hard to smile in this spectacular place!
Not hard to smile in this spectacular place!

Failure is a word I’ve never been comfortable with and I’m sure it doesn’t sit well with many others. But for many, not achieving a goal you’ve set out to achieve often leads to despair, feelings of not succeeding – of failure.

 It can be deflating…

For me, not getting to the summit of Mt Aspiring was not a failure; in fact I found it a great learning experience.  Turning back involved taking account of many factors; of course the most important was weather, which was pretty much a no-brainer as the wind was raging in excess of 100 kilometres per hour over the summit.

Weather closing in
Weather closing in

Assessing the situation, making the correct decision at the appropriate time, and of course acting on it was an important lesson in human factors” especially as we stood on the mountain, exposed to the elements; to the increasing wind and sleet…

All too often it has been found that people have identified that a new course of action needs to be taken and whilst they’ve understood what it was they needed to do they’ve failed to implement the new plan until it was too late.

The experience highlighted the importance of being efficient and proficient whilst remaining safe, especially at a time when external factors were having an adverse affect on the undertaking.

Baz - upwards and onwards
Baz – upwards and onwards

A very important lesson, especially given my rather audacious plan of climbing high mountains!

So should we get rid of “failure” from our vocabulary?

No, I think it has a place.

After all, Janet did highlight to me the other day that I had failed to take out the garbage, and for sure it could count as a learning experience, but failure summed it up perfectly…

The garbage truck had just passed our home and wouldn’t be back for another week and those words “you failed a very simple task” are still ringing in my ears…

So next time you haven’t achieved your goal will you use the “F word?”

I know you won’t…  Just think of it has a learning experience on your way to success…

But mind you, if all else does fail,  just feel free to remain out of control and see what develops…

Baz and TomO - Just remain out of control...!
Baz and TomO – Just remain out of control…!

23 thoughts on “Don’t use the “F” word – Failure is Success (If we learn from it)

  1. honeydidyouseethat? March 7, 2013 / 12:46 am

    PS: Tuesday is the only day in the week we old retirees have to remember. It’s garbage day.


  2. honeydidyouseethat? March 7, 2013 / 12:43 am

    OMG you took your little guy Bungee Jumping??? I am an arm chair reader of mountain climbing adventures. Seems to me, many books would not have been written, if the climbers had turned back. How in the world did you get to the Christmas tradition post???


    • Baz - The Landy March 7, 2013 / 3:25 am

      Yes, always a balance between go and not go. Unfortunately this time around summitting was not going to happen, we would have been blown off the mountain!

      Not sure I understand the Christmas tradition post?

      And TomO on the Canyon swing, he went twice!


  3. Nick Horbatch March 6, 2013 / 12:53 pm

    It is very inspiring what you are trying to do. I too agree that sometimes you learn more from failure than from just having success. I believe in setting big goals and even if I do not reach them I still accomplish much more than I would have without setting any goals at all. Best of luck.


    • Baz - The Landy March 6, 2013 / 12:57 pm

      Thanks Nick…no such thing as failure in my books!


  4. Alarna Rose Gray February 13, 2013 / 7:05 pm

    The biggest failure of all would be not having a go…


  5. One Fit Mama February 9, 2013 / 11:42 am

    You’re pictures always make me want to climb mountains – and I am afraid of heights and hate the cold! Its definitely an awe inspiring goal you’ve set and as you have reminded me time and again, its not failure just modified time frames! Keep up the great work. AND Please keep posting the amazing pictures!


    • Baz - The Landy February 9, 2013 / 12:24 pm

      Thankyou, I will, and as I always remind myself, there are no ordinary moments…

      On the cold, you live in Canada, it’s cold there!


      • One Fit Mama February 10, 2013 / 12:16 am

        Ya it is cold here! And as soon as I win the lottery I will never see snow again!


  6. Carol Page-Potter February 9, 2013 / 11:19 am

    The pics of the mountains do a great job of giving perspective on how big they are!


    • Baz - The Landy February 9, 2013 / 12:22 pm

      They are getting up there, not as big as the Himalaya’s mind you, but spectacular none-the-less…


  7. Grant Rawlinson (Axe) February 9, 2013 / 10:46 am

    My 1st attempt on aspiring was a great learning curve too Baz, I always seem to learn more from these experiences than getting to the top on the 1st attempt. Nice post!

    Sent via BlackBerry from SingTel!


    • Baz - The Landy February 9, 2013 / 12:20 pm

      It seems most people I meet never got to the top on the first attempt…for whatever reason. Now mind you, I felt I learned more than I might of on a good day!

      And learning is what I need. I was with Richard Raynes from AC in Wanaka..


  8. barbara grandberg February 9, 2013 / 7:58 am

    i am glad i did each of my marathons, even though in most of them i did not achieve my goal timewise….like you have wisely stated, you need to enjoy the journey to get to the start :}


    • Baz - The Landy February 9, 2013 / 10:34 am

      Absolutely BG, it was the same for me in the Coast to Coast race last year…all about the experience!


  9. shenrydafrankmann February 9, 2013 / 7:40 am

    I clicked “Press This” after reading your blog — and I wonder if I did the “F” word! Oops!


    • Baz - The Landy February 9, 2013 / 10:31 am

      Whoopsie, I think you got away with it…!


  10. Sas February 9, 2013 / 7:27 am

    It’s the people who aren’t afraid of failure who achieve the greatest things.


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