Mountains are the means, the man is the end.  The goal is not to reach the tops of the mountains, but to improve the man.

– Walter Bonatti, Italian mounaineer

I’m one of those people who is always taken by inspirational movies, especially if they are true.  They really help me dream and look for solutions in life.  Having been in the online retail business though, I am not tainted by the fact that I know many movies take their liberties  with the truth, whether they are “The Blind Side” or “Rudy” or “61”.  Like most, I am one of those people who usually tells you to read the book first.  The books are always better, right?  Movies always leave out the details and don’t capture the true emotion.  Not the emotion of the writer, but the emotion you feel from interpreting the words as your eyes meet them.

In this modern day where social media allows us access to more of these stories, I find myself these days inspired by the stories of two fellow alums of Carnegie Mellon.  I was lucky enough as an undergraduate to have met Randy Pausch when he was a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon and shared a carpool over Thanksgiving from Pittsburgh to Baltimore.  His well documented You Tube video, called the Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams became a hit and inspired many who faced death with a sense of calm, respect and fortitude to keep on teaching and giving back.  He also gave inspiration to living life to the fullest.  In fact there was no need for a movie as the video captured the leacture and was all that was needed.

More recently, I picked up the book, 127 Hours: Between A Rock and A Hard Place.  It is actually a little hard to imagine this scenario if you’ve never been there.  I saw the original documentary many years ago on Dateline with Tom Brokaw which I recommend you all watch before seeing the movie or reading the book.  It will help you with the perspective.  I’ve inserted Part 1 here.

The amazing parts are the actual video re-count that he captures where he makes comments and last testaments in expectation that he will not be able to live to tell us family and friends that he loves them. 

I’m about one third of the way through the book and I thought I’d review the Dateline interview again this morning.  I’m always looking to inspire my son who at age 11 still is learning to dream and think big.  For the first time I saw him riveted and inspired not by the crazy outrageous voyage that led the main character to his predicament, but by his will to succeed, to remain calm and cool under extreme pressure and to show a strong will to find one’s passion. 

I’m ready to go out today and succeed.  In the book, Aron Ralston talks about his richness in life that he appreciates.  I intend to go out there and do that today and look forward to finding tomorrow’s inspiration