“Why do you climb mountains, Mr. Messner?” “Because they are there”
– Reinhold Messner. First solo ascent of Mt. Everest
In September 2020 a fire tore through our small semi-rural town in Southern Oregon. The combination of an extremely hot and dry climate, rapid onset, and high winds drove the fire well beyond the capacity of our local firefighters to handle, and we lost over 4000 homes in less than 24 hours. Fortunately, the local authorities helped organize a very effective evacuation and only one person had perished as a result of the fire. Regardless of what your beliefs are about global warming, one thing is screamingly apparent, wildfires are becoming more extreme and more devastating!
I’ve lived through 5 very close wildfires in the past 5 years in addition to this one. Wildfires are not uncommon where I live, but what is rare are the growing extremes we’ve been facing. Each year we see record-breaking highs in temperature and abnormal weather cycles. Fires are starting sooner, burning hotter, lasting longer and more frequent. Tropical storms are the same way, increasing in frequency, intensity, and rapidity. And then there are the rising sea levels, receding polar ice caps, and a devastating loss of biodiversity with estimations of more than 85% of life having become extinct in the past 200 years.
Innovators and entrepreneurs have the potential traits and skillsets to solve even problems of this magnitude.
I’m not writing this to inspire guilt, nor am I an overly idealistic activist. I’m only mentioning this to say that we have some very real and very serious problems to solve. I believe that where social change and public policy have failed to address challenges like these, innovators and entrepreneurs have the potential traits and skillsets to solve even problems of this magnitude. One of the main differences between entrepreneurs and everyone else is that we see problems like these as opportunities to innovate and to build businesses and systems that have never existed before. These challenges, while dire, are also exciting and give us the motivation to be creative and to iterate in a way that only people who are performing at their absolute peak can.
As our desire to take on huge challenges grows, so must our aptitudes.
This blog is my offering to the community of wayfinders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are taking these kinds of challenges head-on. As the need for social, environmental, and technological innovation is clear, so is the need for innovation in how entrepreneurs perform both in their businesses and personal lives. As our desire to take on huge challenges grows, so must our aptitudes. This blog was created to provide some practical, field-tested ideas and practices, built upon a foundation of science and experience, that will help you accelerate your momentum and maximize your impact without succumbing to the stress and burnout that are so common, but little discussed, in our community.
If you’re not on the mailing list already please consider joining our community of founders, entrepreneurs, and leaders by signing up for our free premium newsletter.
You’ll receive a weekly article that will provide you with practical and actionable ways to optimize your health and perform at your peak.