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Watch your thoughts

Mount Everest Tibet pyramid

“Watch your thoughts; they become words” acts like a ripple effect on your life. So, be mindful of your thoughts because they manifest into your destiny.

My fascination with mountains started as a child, when I was staring down at the world atlas at the school desk in Närke; you know, that positive place in Sweden that goes by the jargon “it never works”. I had just found the number “8848” in the World Atlas. The top of Mount Everest – the world’s highest mountain. I dreamed myself away to the mist-shrouded Himalayas and saw myself standing on top.

The schoolteacher approached me and glared at the Asia spread and then at my glowing face. She unashamedly exclaimed, “Mount Everest, it’s never works!” In retrospect, I think I was encouraged to take risks as a child and to try my hand at it, but at the same time, I was struck by how many people were constantly telling me to play it safe, to stay within the boundaries of what was considered “normal”.

One day, I stumbled upon the words of Frank Outlaw: “Watch your thoughts, they become words; Watch your words, they become actions; Watch your actions, they become habits; Watch your habits, they become character; Watch your character, for it will be your destiny.” Those words struck a deep chord within me. I realized I had been letting my thoughts and actions be shaped by other people’s expectations and limitations, and I decided it was time for a change.

My first step was to watch my thoughts. I began to cultivate a mindset of possibilities. I silenced the doubts I had held back for so long and replaced them with a powerful affirmation: “I am capable of achieving my wildest dreams.” I visualized myself standing on top of Everest every day. My reinforcing thoughts also changed my words. I started sharing my dream with others.

I remember it like yesterday. Sitting on the bus to an orienteering competition in Dalarna, I said to my friend, “I’m going to climb Mount Everest”. The more I talked about my goals, the more committed I became to making them a reality. I began training rigorously, preparing both body and mind for the challenges ahead. I immersed myself in the art of climbing, learned from experienced climbers like Göran Kropp and honed my skills. Göran was one of the few who gave the thumbs up and thought, go for it! I started with Kebnekaise, then Kilimanjaro, higher and higher mountains, until the Himalayas approached. Each climb was a step towards taking control of my destiny, a testament to an unwavering determination.

As the climbs became habits, they sculpted my character. I developed resilience, humility and a steadfast belief in the power of thought. I faced storms, avalanches and moments of doubt but never wavered. Every challenge I overcame strengthened my character and every setback I saw as valuable feedback. And then, one day, May 25th 2006, I stood on top of Mount Everest. I had not conquered the mountain; I had conquered myself. I had seen my thoughts, words, and actions transform from mere intentions to the very fabric of my destiny.

My journey reminds us all that we have the power to take control of our lives. Just as I can rewrite my story, transform thoughts into actions and shape my destiny. The path may be difficult, but the rewards are immeasurable—a life lived authentically, a destiny forged by our own hands, and a legacy that inspires others to do the same.

So, what’s your Mount Everest?

Good luck!


Fredrik Sträng 

Alpinist – Speaker – Coach

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