Maya Gurung was 14 and on the cusp of becoming one of the first girls to complete high school in her Nepal Village. Her father however, had other plans. He didn’t see the point and had already begun arranging her marriage.  “What would you do with an education?”

He wasn’t the only naysayer, her Aunt told her that she would never be anything more than a poor village woman.

After stealing $2.30 from her father, Maya ran away from home by taking a bus and getting off more than 250 miles from where she started. It didn’t last long. The next day she was discovered by police and returned to her school.

Maya returned a disgrace to her family and when she asked her father for forgiveness, he showed her a video he had made that depicted the rituals of Maya’s death. There would be no reconciliation.

Maya’s homeland in Nepal is a landlocked country of 27 million people that borders China and India. It also just so happens to be located in the Himalayas and the home of Mount Everest. Eight of the world’s ten highest mountains are located in Nepal with Mount Everest owning the title of highest peak.

Of 4,000 people who have reached the top of Mount Everest, only seven have been woman from Nepal. The first woman to reach the top, died on the decent.

At 5 foot 3 inches tall, Maya may be small in stature, but there is no shortage of heart and determination.  A few years after the failed runaway attempt, Maya enrolled in a basic mountaineering course, not long after that Maya set her sights on Mount Everest.

Maya joined 9 other woman at the base of Mount Everest in April of 2008. They climbed 5-10 hours a day. “With each step, we went further than we’d been before.” “Each step was a success.” Their mantra was simply, “ONE MORE STEP.”

On May 22nd 2008, Maya’s team reached the summit. Now, that would be more than enough for even the most adventurous, but not Maya and her fellow female climbers.  Before she was done, Maya would end up at the top of five of the tallest peaks on five continents!

I share this story, because I believe there are a few really important lessons we can learn from Maya Gurung.

Your story only lives in the past

Many of us are holding onto something that has happened to us in the past. We are giving credibility to those who said we couldn’t do it, that laughed at us, or made fun of is. Or maybe we had a negative event in the past that we still carry with us today. We are stuck in our old story. I can’t do it because……. It’s too hard because….

Maya could have listened to those same voices as well. The voices of her own family telling her she would never be anything but a poor village girl. That woman don’t need education, that girls like her don’t climb mountains, certainly not Mount Everest. She proved them all wrong and now takes her message to other woman across the world to show them what is possible. Maya is living proof that you can accomplish what you truly commit to and work towards every single day.

Greatness starts with one step

Nobody can shortcut the process. We all start at the bottom of the mountain. Many of us get held back by overwhelm and our fear of failure. Maya and her team understood that even if they took it slow, as long as the keep moving forward, one step at a time, eventually they would get to the summit. It is easy to want our results NOW, to look for shortcuts and always look for the easiest route.

For life’s major accomplishments there are no shortcuts. You must follow the process step by step. That could mean losing weight one workout or healthy meal at a time. Closing deals one phone call at a time, upgrading your skillset one book at a time. Become financially free by saving one dollar at a time. If you follow the process, step by step, your results will come.

What are you capable of achieving? What is your first step?

Are you READY?

Your Partner in Success,

Josh Paulsen

Blog Maya

The inspiration for this post came from the article After the Seven Summits by Alyssa Roenigk