Why Come Back?

Jim Collins is an author . The title of one of his better known works is "Good to Great." The following is a quote from an article by Bo Burlingham about Jim Collins and his experiences at a recent visit to the military academy at West Point. Here's a link to the whole thing.

They'd had a four-hour flight from Denver to Newark, New Jersey, and somewhere over the Midwest, they had started talking about Caldwell's ongoing, and so far futile, attempt to scale the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in a free climb-;that is, without any aid from climbing equipment or ropes. No one has ever done it. Caldwell was preparing for his fourth attempt that fall. He would stay on the wall as long as the weather allowed, but the overwhelming odds were that he would once again fail to reach the top.

"Why do you keep throwing yourself at this?" Collins asked. "All it does is give you failure upon failure. Why go back?"

"Because success is not the primary point," Caldwell said. "I go back because the climb is making me better. It is making me stronger. I am not failing, I am growing."

In fact, Caldwell viewed failure as an essential part of his search for the outer reaches of his capabilities as a climber. "To find your limit and experience the most growth, you have to go on a journey of cumulative failure," Caldwell said. "Even if I never succeed in free climbing the Dawn Wall, it will make me so much stronger, and so much better, that most other climbs will seem easy by comparison."
Because success is not the primary point. I keep coming to the dojo because it is making me better. It is making me stronger. I am growing out of a journey of cumulative failure..

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