What is the curse of being first?

Once upon a time, there was a great race that took place on the most treacherous mountain in the world. Teams of world class-alpine climbers were invited to compete against each other in a multi-day race that took place in the dead of winter. The winning team would be awarded 10 million dollars. However, there was a high chance of mortality.

On the morning of the race, all the teams gathered their state of the art climbing equipment and camping gear. And when the starting-pistol was fired, teams instantly charged towards the base of the mountain. And they began making their steep ascent.

Throughout the first day, climbers were extremely careful and vigilant in scanning and planning their next phases in climbing. Many of them were able to strategically maneuver away from the treacherous pitfalls and avoided life-threatening avalanches. But one team stood out from all the rest. It was a high-profile team of Swiss climbers, whose careful climbing techniques and sheer endurance catapulted them to the front of the pack. They maintained their consistent lead throughout the entire race.

But something strange happened. After days of being in 1st place, they started to make careless mistakes. Climbing equipment was getting lost and basic safety protocols were being ignored. Even though there were these minor setbacks, they didn’t care. They were driven forward by the confidence of their lead. But just as they were able to reach the final leg of the race, the wall of ice they were scaling shook violently! Instantly, they were swallowed up in the mouth of an avalanche that they never even saw coming.

A lot of us may not realize that the greatest danger lies not in the mountain, but rather in our minds. For when we start to think that we are the best and that there is no need for us to change, we inadvertently switch off our minds and go on autopilot. This self-induced ignorance towards our surroundings will ultimately lead to our downfall. For persistent awareness is the key to staying in touch with the ever changing conditions that lie before us.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Samuel Hong

Samuel Hong

I believe writing is a form of art. It shouldn’t just enrich the mind, but it should also touch the heart and your soul as well. #mentalhealth #relationships