Think Different Theory

This Guy Climbed Mt. Everest and the Tallest Mountain on Every Continent


In this episode, I interview David Mauro, an incredible man who climbed the tallest mountain in every continent. When he was in his forties, his life hit rock bottom. With nothing to lose, he left everything he knew behind and set out on an epic international adventure.


For the next seven years, Dave trudged across glaciers, frozen wastelands and through dense, dangerous forests. He communed with penguins and elephants, kept company with cannibals and gunrunners, and spoke with the dead. 

Though he’d never been a climber, he ended up joining history’s courageous few when he ascended into the clouds to stand at the summit of Mt Everest, and he comes on to share that entire 7-year journey, and all that it taught him.

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • The single greatest skill that you can possess in life (02:12)
  • The purpose of writing the Altitude Journals book (10:16)
  • Getting permission to climb the tallest peak in Antarctica and how David hit rock bottom in his forties (13:30)
  • The birthday gift that changed the course of his life (16:57)
  • The basic notion of acclimation and how it can kill you if done wrong (26:58)
  • Loosing 32 pounds on Mt. Everest (27:53)
  • Winning at the mental game and getting to the summit (30:16)
  • Always on the hunt for joy: Being happier by looking for positivity all day (37:27)
  • Climbing Mt. Everest and the pre-training that comes with it (45:21)
  • Listening to the calling and misleading nature of the gospel of linear thinking (53:02)
  • The willingness to listen and how it took David from rock bottom to being one of 65 people in America who have done incredible feats (55:16)


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November 27, 2019


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Disclaimer: The Transcript Is Auto-Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors

David: 00:00:00 When you’re 29,000 feet in the nighttime, and you look up at the stars, the curvature of the earth is such that if you look at the horizon, there are stars beneath you.

Josh: 00:00:11 Wow!

David: 00:00:11 That is a weird experience. I remember when we got to the summit and I stepped up to the place where planet earth ended, and just involuntarily, I just heard myself say, “Thank you.”

Intro: 00:00:29 You‌ ‌are‌ ‌now‌ ‌entering‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌paradigm.‌ ‌So, ‌here’s‌ ‌my‌ ‌issue.‌ ‌I‌ ‌wanted‌ ‌to‌ ‌find‌ ‌the‌ ‌ answers‌ ‌to‌ ‌life’s‌ ‌biggest‌ ‌questions.‌ ‌Things‌ ‌like,‌ ‌how‌ ‌do‌ ‌I‌ ‌become‌ ‌happy‌ ‌and‌ ‌live‌ ‌with‌ ‌purpose?‌ ‌ How‌ ‌do‌ ‌I‌ ‌make‌ ‌more‌ ‌money‌ ‌doing‌ ‌what‌ ‌I‌ ‌love,‌ ‌and‌ ‌what‌ ‌does‌ ‌it‌ ‌mean‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌truly‌ ‌successful‌ ‌in‌ ‌ all‌ ‌areas‌ ‌of‌ ‌life?‌ ‌My‌ ‌name‌ ‌is‌ ‌Josh‌ ‌Forti,‌ ‌@JoshForti‌ ‌on‌ Instagram,‌ ‌and‌ ‌I‌ ‌ask‌ ‌life’s‌ ‌biggest‌ ‌ questions‌ ‌and‌ ‌share‌ ‌the‌ ‌answers‌ ‌with‌ ‌you.‌ ‌My‌ ‌goal‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌you‌ ‌find‌ ‌purpose,‌ happiness,‌ ‌and‌ ‌ open‌ ‌your‌ ‌mind‌ ‌to‌ ‌new‌ ‌realms‌ ‌of‌ ‌possibility‌ ‌by‌ ‌helping‌ ‌you‌ ‌think‌ ‌differently‌ ‌about‌ ‌everything‌ ‌you‌ do,‌ ‌know,‌ ‌and‌ ‌understand.‌ ‌On‌ ‌this‌ ‌podcast,‌ ‌we‌ ‌think‌ ‌different,‌ ‌we‌ ‌dream‌ ‌bigger,‌ ‌and‌ ‌we‌ ‌live‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌ world‌ ‌without‌ ‌limits.‌ ‌This‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌paradigm.‌ ‌Welcome‌ ‌to‌ ‌The‌ ‌Think‌ ‌Different‌ ‌Theory.

Josh: 00:01:14 What’s up guys? Welcome back to another episode of The‌ ‌Think‌ ‌Different‌ ‌Theory. My name is Josh Forti. And, we have an amazing episode for you here today. I’m going to be interviewing a guy who climbed Mount Everest, and not only Mount Everest, but the highest peak on every single continent including Australia. And so, that interview is coming up. That interview happened several weeks ago, and so I wanted to just put on this short snippet introduction to remind you about the Facebook group that launched this week. If you missed last episode, in that episode, I announced that there is a brand new Facebook group launching, or it is already launched. It launched on Monday, all about communication. This is under The‌ ‌Think‌ ‌Different‌ ‌Theory, and this is my new Facebook group where we’re going to be focused on learning about how to communicate in every aspect of life, how to communicate more effectively, and in business, and in sales, and in marketing, and in relationships, and in your personal life, and just really all things communication.

Josh: 00:02:12 Because I really truly believe that communication is one of the single greatest, if not the single greatest skill that you can possess. Because I think it encapsulates everything from sales and marketing to relationships, to politics, to, you know, communicating to friends and family members, to communicating to bosses or coworkers, or employees, or whatever that is for you. And I, believe that if you can communicate well, you can have just about anything that you want in life, because you’re going to know how to build relationships, you’re going to know how to listen, you’re going to know how to spot solutions, and there’s so many things that go into communication, and this has been a long time in the works. If you want to hear the full story, and… and have a much better understanding of why I chose this, and where we’re going with this, and the sacrifices that went into this, checkout the last… the last episode that we did on Monday, but down below this episode, there is a link for you to click. You can join the Facebook group.

Josh: 00:03:02 We’re trying to get as many members in there as possible, for two reasons, one because we want to grow and help as many people as possible. But, number two, we have a super special training that is coming up next Thursday with a super special guest that I can’t quite tell you quite yet. We’re going to announce who it is on Monday, but this person has been raved about by Russell Brunson, and by Myron Golden. He is actually speaking at Funnel Hacking Live. Hint, hint! And, we have an absolutely amazing, amazing training comes up… coming up next week, that is going to be focused on actually communicating in business, and how this applies to funnels, and sales, and all sorts of just really, really cool stuff.

Josh: 00:03:40 So, that’s going to be happening inside the Facebook group. Like I said, the link is down below. It’s brand new, I’m shutting down my other Facebook group. This is going to be the primary place for you to be able to contact me and be able to learn. And we’re gonna go really, really deep in there and just so many valuable pieces of content and information in there, really valuable trainings like high level stuff like mastermind level stuff. I’m all completely for free, uh, in there. So click the link below, join that and you get access to the training 100% for free as long as you’re in the group, otherwise what the charge for it. So make sure you get in that group there. Okay. Without further ado, I want to bring on our next guest, introduce him. I’m going to do my intro cause I, like I said, we already had the podcast recorded and we’re going to dive right in to that.

Josh: 00:04:19 But I wanted to remind you because this is super important and seriously what’s in this group is just gonna be absolutely awesome. So click the link below. Check that out. And now we’re going to dive into the interview. What’s up guys, welcome back to another episode of think a different theory. My name is Josh Forti and I am coming to you right now from beautiful Hawaii. I have been here for, gosh it’s been I think 16, 17 days at the time of this recording, which I know these are batched out, but at the time of this we’re getting ready to head to off to Australia tomorrow and uh, I’m in a beautiful high rise, um, I guess it’s a hotel but it’s got like a whole kitchen area and stuff in here, which is really cool. I’ve been doing some work here over the past couple of days and I’ve been working on the book which is super exciting.

Josh: 00:05:01 Been working on the uh, Katherine Jones partnership, which is also super exciting. Um, and just a lot of client catch up work and kind of things like that. But before we head off to Australia, which is super, super exciting. But um, today is a guest interview day, which I’m very excited about. As you guys know, we recently switched over to one guest interview a week, which makes them even more exciting and at least in my opinion, I love these and I’m, I’m sure we’ll pick back up to two to a guest interviews a week soon. It’s just a matter of getting into the whole swing of things with traveling and figuring out scheduling or whatnot. But, um, the reason I say that is when we do schedules, I don’t know if you guys know this and I’ve said it a million times before on the podcast that we own only interview cool people.

Josh: 00:05:40 But let me bring a little bit context around that. We get probably two to three emails a week, I would say, of people that want to like be on the podcast, introductions of people saying, Hey, like can I be on the podcast or their assistant reaching out or whatnot. Um, and we’d say no to a lot of them were pretty about who gets on here. We want really cool people that have a cool, unique, interesting story. And so, um, my team handles everything. I mean, they, they process all the emails. They’ll send it over to me for approval and whatnot, but they’re awesome. Well, they sent me this email, uh, for my next guest and, uh, my assistant goes, um, are you interested in this? And that was kind of like the caption. And so she forwarded me the email. Let me just read you this email.

Josh: 00:06:20 Um, they’re reaching out on behalf of the next guest. His name is David, which we’ll bring him on here in just a second, but it says, David is the author of the altitude journals, which is a book, which is a story of being in, in his forties and hitting rock bottom with nothing to lose. He left everything behind and set out on an Epic adventure for the next seven years. David trudged across glaciers, frozen wastelands and through dense dangerous forest. So he’d never been a climber. He ended up standing on the summit of Mount Everest Mount fricking ever. So cool. He has a fascinating story. I would love to share, uh, his view on going extreme to repair a shattered life. Would you be interested in interviewing him? And I’d read that and I was like, uh, yeah, you could have just led with the whole, uh, I’ve climbed to the top of Mount Everest, let’s talk. And I would have been like, heck yeah, that’s amazing. So I’m super, super excited about this. I’m, I don’t know this guy, I’ve never met him before. Um, he, we just talked for maybe two or three minutes before this interview and I’m really looking forward to diving in. So strap in because I imagine there’s going to be a great interview, David. Um, Mauro, is that how you pronounce your last name?

David: 00:07:17 Yeah, Marvin.

Josh: 00:07:18 Mario, thank you so much for being on the program and for reaching out. I appreciate it. Oh, you’re welcome. It’s a, it’s a real pleasure to be on the program. I was mentioning before we started taping that I just finished listening to another one of your podcasts. I really like what you do.

Josh: 00:07:31 I appreciate that. And, uh, we’re trying to, I say that I like to ask life’s biggest questions so that I can share the answers with other people because I believe that thinking differently and asking the right questions is what’s going to get you ahead in life. And it sounds like you have quite the story, uh, with doing maybe some extreme versions of that. Yeah,

David: 00:07:49 yeah, exactly. I’m asking questions listening. Um, you know, a big part of my life philosophy is that I, I believe life is always speaking to us. Uh, but it, it speaks in such a teeny tiny voice. It usually just gets drownded out by, by traffic and smartphones and cable news and all that stuff. But, um, central to the story in the book, I just kinda came to a point where I was out of all other options and decided I would actually listen to what life had to say and it have a lot to say.

Josh: 00:08:21 That’s awesome. All right, so I want to get into the book. I want to get into the backstory of all that. Um, before I do that though, real quick, where are you out of now? And like give me a little bit of context of your current life. Paint a picture of where you’re at.

David: 00:08:36 Yeah, I live in Bellingham, Washington now. That’s Washington state, not DC. So way up in the Northwest corner. Uh, and in the Northwest corner, the Northwest corner, I am a Stone’s throw from salt water and a 20 minute drive from Canada. So if that gives you an idea.

Josh: 00:08:52 Wow.

David: 00:08:53 Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a great outdoor community, man. I tell you what, if somebody likes skiing, mountain climbing, hiking, trekking, paddling, it’s all here. And uh, there’s a college here at Western Washington university, so it’s got that really chill college town vibe to it. I love living here.

Josh: 00:09:11 That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s super, super cool. Um, so I, I mean, I take it based on your bio and what, I know you’re big into outdoor sports or whatnot, but have you been to, uh, have you been in Washington your whole life? Like is that where you grew up or how’d you get there?

David: 00:09:25 Well, I was born in Encino, California, and uh, live there and tell about the second grade. And then my family moved up to Washington state. My father was an aerospace engineer and worked his way through several companies ending up working for the Boeing corporation.

Josh: 00:09:40 Oh wow. That’s awesome. Okay. So you’ve been in Washington for or based out of Washington for most of your life then that’s kind of home more or less.

David: 00:09:49 Yeah. Yeah, that’s right.

Josh: 00:09:50 Cool. Cool. Cool. And how old are you now?

David: 00:09:53 I’m 57.

Josh: 00:09:54 57 all right, so 57 years old. You’re, you wrote a book, we’re going to dive into that, but give me a brief recap of what that book entails because I’m super interested in, I know you said it’s available everywhere. It’s on audible. It’s on Amazon, but the book is called the owl tattooed journals. So tell me a little bit about that. Like you got a sweet tagline for it, um, and uh, your purpose in writing that book.

David: 00:10:16 Yeah. Well the, the, the tagline is a seven year journey from the lowest point in my life to the highest point on earth. And, and that pretty much encapsulates the book. Um, and, and I think it also tips the cards to the fact that there are two stories going on at the same time. And, and one of them is the literal mountains we’re climbing and we’re going to climb the high point on each of the seven continents. What is commonly known as the seven summits? Um, at the time I completed that, uh, 65 Americans had succeeded in completing the seven summits and I became the 65th, uh, three more had been added to the list since that time. But the other story is the figurative mountains so that we’re climbing and then these are the mountains in my personal life. And, and because so many of them are really, really common to everybody else.

David: 00:11:03 I, I, I wanted to share them for the relate-ability that I thought it might bring to the experience of reading the book. Uh, you know, the thing is this is why you set out to do something big, right? You’re going to go to Antarctica and you’re going to climb the high point of Antarctica in, in a place where, where rescue isn’t even an option. Uh, and you would like to think that that life kinda goes easy on you, right back at home and in your personal life. No, sir. No, it doesn’t. Yeah, I can imagine. Holy cow. It does not take a day off. You’re going to have to deal with all the same junk that’s just part of living life. And on top of that, you’re going to have to try and climb a mountain in Antarctica. And so there’s, there’s some real learning. There’s some growth, and that’s among the gifts that came my way.

Josh: 00:11:52 I can’t to dive into this further. I like, this is so exciting. Um, I can’t wait to hear your perspective on so many things, but I have to ask you, is Antarctica just like, what’s it like? I’ve always wanted to go to Antarctica, but like, you know, it’s not like you can just go visit and tour. Right. It’s not like Hawaii. What’s it like down there?

David: 00:12:09 Another planet? Yeah. Really? Yeah. You feel like you’re on the dark side of the moon? It’s, um, uh, so, so first of all, I mean, if you’re like me before I did this, you, you, you, you imagine that Antarctica is just a big flat piece of ice. I mean, what’s sort of climb there? Right, right. Turns out there’s a mountain range, the Ellsworth mountain range and the high point of it is 16,000 feet. Wow. Got to put that in perspective. That’s 2000 feet taller than the highest point in the continental 48 States. So we’re already at the coldest place on earth, the windiest place on earth, the driest place on earth. But now we’re also going to go up to a high altitude where there’s very little oxygen and uh, it’s, it just really adds a triple half gainer to what would already be a difficult dive do.

Josh: 00:12:57 Do you like, are you wearing oxygen when you’re hiking lists?

David: 00:13:01 No, not an Antarctica. That’s a, that’s a, an oxygen free climb. The, the, I the only, the only one of the, the, the majors that I did where I strapped on an air bottle was Mount Everest.

Josh: 00:13:12 Mount Everest. Yeah. I can’t wait to talk about that too. Okay. So last question I have about Antarctica, cause I could sit here and talk about that all day cause I have so many questions there. Um, but how do you, like, how do you get permission to go climb the tallest peak in Antarctica? Like you have to apply for that. Okay.

David: 00:13:30 Yeah. If, if, if you’re smart, you go through a logistics company and they’re really just a small handful that have figured out the complex process of getting people and equipment to a place so remote that it’s defined by the impossibility of doing so.

Josh: 00:13:47 Right.

David: 00:13:48 Um, uh, so I want to give a shout out to, uh, adventure consultants of New Zealand, uh, international mountain guides of a Washington state. Uh, those are two logistics companies that I did a lot of climbing with and, and they are both top shelf really, really good at doing very difficult things.

Josh: 00:14:08 as amazing. All right, well good to know that. Okay. So let’s see. I want to talk to you about philosophy. I want to talk to you, your views on life and listening and being still and quiet and all that. But take us back. You say that you hit your rock bottom point in your forties, right? Well, so what did that look like? What was leading up to that? Are you married? Do you have kids? Like what is rock bottom to you and where did that, like, how did that inevitably go? Cause like a lot of people hit rock bottom and I don’t know your story, right? I mean it could be worse or everybody has their own rock bottom at some point, but like very, very, very, very few people, in fact only, you know, 65 Americans are like, yo, let me take my rock bottom story and go climb Mount Everest and every other highest peak on the seven continents. Right. It’s like what led up to that?

David: 00:14:58 Yeah. Well, okay. So first of all, uh, my rock bottom, uh, was a culmination of, of a number of things. Oh, one of which is, uh, my brother died. And, um, and I’ve always been the guy in the family that greases the skids, that, that acts as ambassador to conflicting parties who gets things done when, when other people just aren’t, aren’t able or willing to. So I arranged for his, his funeral service and his cremation and all this sort of stuff and, and everybody else experienced it. But I never really had an opportunity to properly grieve his passing and it, and it continued to haunt me for a few years ahead. And, um, I, I’ve also suffered from severe depression my entire adult life and hadn’t yet got to a point of being treated for it. Um, and so I, I had fallen into this, this deep sort of quagmire of, of a deep depression and trying to mourn my brother’s passing.

David: 00:16:00 And in that same moment, my marriage has 17 years ended. And, um, uh, I found myself living in my sister’s guest room at age 44. And, uh, definitely had imagined my life would be in better places at that point.

Josh: 00:16:14 You had no kidding.

David: 00:16:15 Um, and, uh, completely out of ideas what to do with my life and about my life. And, um, um, you know, and, and here’s the thing, when, when we hit rock bottom, it’s really easy to see all the things that are being taken away from us. But what is not so apparent is that there’s one tremendous gift that is landing in our lap. And, uh, that gift is that is the one time in your life that you will not fear failure. Now think about it. A failure, fear of failure holds us back. And so many things in life, it really does.

David: 00:16:58 Um, but uh, when you feel you honestly have got nothing left to lose, you don’t fear failure, you’re Bulletproof, right? Right. I mean, what’s, what’s failing and to do, make you feel bad. You already feel bad. And, and [inaudible] at some point that occurred to me and, um, and I came across an opportunity to leave her that. So let me move to that point. Um, so what, what, what happened is, it’s my 44th birthday and, and I’m, I’m, I’m sitting on the edge of the futon in the guest room, feeling sorry for myself and, uh, and a package arrived. And that, that package changed the course of my life. Um, it was a birthday gift from my sister who lives up in Anchorage, and her husband, guy named Ty Hart, who was already a well accomplished Mountaineer. And, uh, I opened it up and poured out the contents and it was a couple of climbing poles and a note that said, happy birthday, super climber, which struck me as odd because I was not a mountain climber.

David: 00:18:00 And, uh, so I called him up. I said, Hey, what’s this all about? And, and he said, look, I’m putting together an attempt on Denali that’s used to be called Mount McKinley. It’s a high point in North America up in Alaska, 20,000 feet. And, uh, we’re gonna, we’re gonna make an attempt in eight months and I think you should join us. And, uh, and I said, well, you know, I’m honored to be asked, but I’m not a mountain climber, so this sounds like a poor fit. Um, and, uh, and he said, I think you need something like this right now and just think about it. So I did and thought about it and I thought about it. And somewhere in there that gift, uh, became clear to me that I, I, I had nothing left to lose, didn’t expect I would succeed, but I didn’t think failing would bother me much. So what the heck? I, uh, and I called him up. I said, I’m in.

Josh: 00:18:50 That’s crazy. That is so interesting how I, let me back up here real quick. I recently lost my brother. Um, he passed away in March and, uh, was in a helicopter crash over, uh, overseas. And so, um, I totally, and obviously totally different scenario timeframe, you know, Asian and whatnot, but like, it does like the death of a, uh, of a family member, a loved one. I mean, I was, I was pretty close with my brother. Like that really messes you up. And for those people that are listening right now that have never gone through that, I think it can be sometimes difficult to understand. I know that for me before I had lost someone, like I had no, no comprehension of how much that will mess you up. And um, I mean that’s part of the reason I’m on this trip right now. So, um, I totally understand how much like not having healing from that can really affect you.

Josh: 00:19:40 And for the listeners, they’re like understand that you just can’t understand until you go through it and hopefully you never have to. But what I think is interesting and the, and the point that I want to draw too on this is you talk about the fact of failure holding us back. And I really, I really believe in that and I really believe that the, like you alluded to, the single greatest thing that holds us back is the fear of failure. And B, the reason that failure holds us back is because we’re afraid of what other people think of us, right? If we fail and nobody saw, we’d be a lot more likely to go. And, you know, take a, you know, take a leap forward. And I think that when you’re at rock bottom, right, like you said, true rock bottom, everyone’s already expecting you to fail if they know who you are and if they don’t know who you are, then if you fail, it doesn’t matter.

Josh: 00:20:26 And so I think it’s interesting how all the situations had to be right in order for you to go. Cause if you had a stable job, if you ha, you know, you were married, um, you hadn’t lost your brother, all of these different things and your, it’s your, your sister’s husband, right? Your sister’s husband reaches out to you and goes, Hey, come climb Mount. I’m sorry it was not Mount McKinley. What did you say it was Denali Mount. Hey, come, come climb Denali with us. There’s no way you would’ve said yes, right. [inaudible] differently. Right. And that’s, and that’s crazy because we do get so comfortable on a daily basis. And one of the things that I’d be curious to know your thoughts on this and then I want to let you continue to your story. One of the things that I said is, you hear all these success stories, um, you know, of like, people coming from the bottom, right, like the true, the true bottom, the rappers of the world and the entrepreneurs of the world, the Damon Johns, the world that, you know, come from absolute nothing and you go, if they can make it, why is it so hard for somebody that grew up in the middle class to make it right?

Speaker 3: 00:21:21 Why is it so hard for that? And I said, I truly believe that it is easier for someone that has absolutely nothing to succeed than it is for someone that grew up in comfort because of the person in comfort has comfort to lose. And the person that’s at rock bottom, like you said, has nothing to lose, right? Like they can, they’re willing to take all the risks of that. And so I think that that’s very interesting that you’re alluding to that point as well, because the second that we get comfortable, we have something to lose.

David: 00:21:46 Yeah. I mean, I, I truly believe that comfort is the true enemy of all growth. And, um, it’s, uh, it’s, I, I think it’s just built into our human nature. I also think if, you know, if you grew up in middle-class or or upper-class, whatever, your impression of the bottom is so much worse than what it actually is. Um, and so, um, but once you’ve had been there and you think, okay, this sucks, but you know, I’m not dead. And, uh, and, uh, I can, I can, I can move up from here. Uh, you, you fear the bottom a lot less and that makes you courageous in many parts of your life.

Josh: 00:22:24 Yeah, for sure. For sure. Okay. I want to continue on this though. So you decide what the heck. Let’s do it. I’m in, then what happens?

David: 00:22:31 Well, uh, I go to an REI store and I buy three books on mountain climbing. One of them specifically on Denali and, uh, I get home and I start reading them and I’m horrified by what I’ve committed to, just, just totally horrified at any rate. Uh, so, uh, it’s kind of a wake up call for me and I realize I’m going to have to take this thing very seriously. So I, uh, hire a trainer at my local gym, a guy who trains, uh, Olympians and first responders professional athletes and is not interested in any whining. And, uh, and uh, I tell him what I’m going to do. Um, you know, how much weight I’ve got to pack, how much air will be available at different elevations and so on and so forth and says, okay, well let’s get busy. And, uh, he designed a workouts that, uh, were way different from anything I’d ever done. A lot of it involved, you know, opposing your own body weight and so forth. Um, and then he just ratcheted it up, uh, every couple of weeks. And, um, by the time I flew to Alaska, I was in the best shape of my life. Uh, the problem was I had no skills, none. Um, and so a lot of that fitness was squandered in the weeks that followed. But, um, at any rate, to the extent that I could prepare, I did. Uh, but suffering was still the main entree on my menu. You could,

Josh: 00:24:02 yeah, for sure.

David: 00:24:06 At any rate. So, um, yeah, we, uh, we go there, uh, we start off as a team of nine and, uh, kind of bit by bit, we get whittled down to five climbers, uh, with climbers either getting injured or, uh, realizing they’re in over their head and turning back. And the problem is every time a climber would decide to turn back, you can’t send them back with, without a stove to make a hot meal without a tent, for shelter and so on and so forth. So, um, are our provisions got pared down and pared down and paired down to the point where when we were five climbers, if anyone decided to head back, we’d have to cash in the whole expedition. Wow. Which was a problem for me because I definitely planned on quitting. Um, I, Oh no, I thought, you know, if I get up to 14,000 for a complete green horn, that’s pretty good.

David: 00:24:58 I’ll feel good about myself and I’ll call, I’ll call it quits there. But, um, when the six guy quit just before me, I realized it took my options away, which, which I guess was really fortunate because, yeah, no kidding. I had no choice but to, you know, give it everything I had. And, um, you know, so much credit goes to the remaining team members who were just fantastic men and, uh, and just Clydesdales strong fit mountaineers and really good teachers. And, uh, they looked after me and they taught me and, and uh, and they encouraged me and there’s no way I would’ve got up that Hill without them. Um, but, uh, on about the 18th day we summited the mountain and, um, uh, th th th th the feeling was it was, you know, I, I, I’m always grasping for some description that comes close, but it felt like just pure love surging through my body. Um, and I’ll let each listener decide whose love and where the love comes from, but, uh, that, that’s the feeling. And, uh, and it was just a, a remarkable experience.

Josh: 00:26:19 Hmm. That’s crazy. And say, so it took you 18 days, you said?

David: 00:26:23 Yeah.

Josh: 00:26:23 Get up. How, how long down? Because I imagine that’s much quicker.

David: 00:26:27 Yeah. About two days.

Josh: 00:26:28 Oh wow. It’s that big of a difference.

David: 00:26:31 Yeah. Because a lot of the, the, the time involved in going up is, is pausing for two days here, three days there, so your body can acclimate to the thinner air. Oh, interesting. Yeah. When you’re going down, that’s not a problem. You just go ahead and go down. But, uh, but going up, you’ve got to do quite a bit of adjusting. So for instance, at, um, in elevation is 17,000 feet, 40% of the air you breathe at sea level does not exist.

Speaker 1: 00:26:58 Wow. Um, that means your body needs to make some serious adjustments. And the, and, and among them are, you need a lot more red blood cells. Uh, and, um, that is the basic notion of acclimation is creating more red blood cells. And there’s a lot that goes into it. And when you do it wrong, it can kill you. But, um, uh, that’s why it takes so long getting up the Hill. Interesting. So how much, how much of like diet plays into that? Uh, well in a brute force way, uh, it plays very much into it because you need to consume as many calories as you can, stuff in your pie hole. Uh, your, the, the daily allowance of calories on an Alpine climb is 5,000.

Josh: 00:27:47 Wow.

David: 00:27:48 And it’s not easy to consume 5,000 calories a day.

Josh: 00:27:52 Well, much less. You have to carry them all.

David: 00:27:53 Yeah, that’s it too. So there’s a lot of top ramen and freeze dried stuff that you can hydrate and then consume it. Um, but yeah, and as you go higher, your appetite wanes. And so you really don’t feel like eating, but you know, you’ve got to see, you sort of force some down and, but you’re not getting anywhere near 5,000. So I mean the, you become basically a caloric furnace and, um, I lost 15 pounds and Oh my gosh, I’m on Everest. I lost 32 pounds and I was lean going into it. So it’s, that’s part of it, you know. I mean, someday someone’s going to open a high altitude weight loss resort and just say, Hey, you come here, eat what you want, walk. If you feel like it in a, when you leave, you’ll be this much life. There’ll be right. That’s funny.

Josh: 00:28:47 Interesting. Okay. So how a, and I imagine because this is your first client, how many more climbs did you do before Everest?

David: 00:28:55 Well, uh, so, uh, Everest was my seventh. It was the last of the seven.

Josh: 00:29:00 Okay. So interesting. So how much of this it was a mental game and how much does your mental game change from that first climb that you did until Everest?

David: 00:29:09 Well, the mental game is a biggest part. Um, I, I’ve seen so many climbers, Josh, who physically we’re absolutely capable of getting up the Hill, but they did not manage their mental game and, and that put it into, uh, there, there their bid. Um, and again, the Mailgun is very, very tough and entity evolved a lot over my period of climbing.

Josh: 00:29:33 So like, explain to me what that looks like cause I’m an entrepreneur, right? And I deal with a lot of the listeners of the podcast are, if not entrepreneurs, at least like they have an understanding of business and they have a, and we’re very much mindset and personal development focused here, right? And so I see mindset as the biggest thing that holds people back in business. I think it’s probably the biggest thing that holds people back in all areas of life ever. Right? It’s all a mental game. But like for someone that you know is in great shape, they have the ability to get up there and then they turn around because they haven’t won the mental game. What mental game are they losing? What are they telling themselves and what is it that you have to overcome in order to be able to get it to the top?

David: 00:30:16 Yeah, that’s a, that’s a great question. And you know, I do corporate speaking and this is one of the topics we hone in on. And one of the, one of the really, um, surprising things that I learned through these experiences is that the climbers who focus on the summit almost never reach it. Really? And, and, and, you know, you would think, well, wait a minute. Well, how’s that even possible? Right? And, and, and here’s, here’s why. Because if you were there for the summit and nothing else, then the measure of suffering required to reach it far outweighs any imaginable benefit you’re going to receive. There’s got to be something else. Right? Um, and, and so the, the, the, the guy who’s there for the summit, sooner or later he’s going to have a bad day. Every climber does, you have a bad day and the mountain breaks you down. And then, you know, the idea is you get back up and you, and you go the next day, but you have a bad day. The mountain breaks you down. And then the image of the summit still 10,000 feet over you comes into your thinking

David: 00:31:24 and it crushes you. [inaudible] your crushed beneath the weight of your own dream. And, uh, and, and that’s the problem with, with this kind of linear, what I call the gospel of linear thinking that permeates our Western society is, is we have an objective and to hell with anything between me and that. And, and off we go. And I’m here to tell you it does not work. Um, the climbers who get to the summit, um, learn to make each day its own mountain climb. Um, so, and they do not entertain the thought of the very difficult section that they know is coming after today. They give it no energy at all today. Um, so, uh, if, if today the main job is building up our wind walls around our camp, that’s today’s climate. That is all they will think about that as yet. And tomorrow we’re going to go up squirrel Hill.

David: 00:32:21 Uh, we know that steep, we know we’re already hurting. Uh, we’re going to worry about that tomorrow. It’ll be plenty of time then. But today it’s just, it’s just when walls. And the thing about that is those climbers are almost surprised to wake up one morning and realize we’re actually leaving for the summit today. They’ve given it very little thought now to be sure it’s their objective. I mean, my gosh, that’s, that’s why they, they left home in the first place is they’d like to get to the top of this mountain, but they understand the risk of focusing solely on that. They understand that a big goal, a goal that takes days, weeks, maybe months or even years for some goals out there has to be kind of like a radio set to a low volume in the other room. Okay. You can’t have it beaten on you day after day after day if you’re going to succeed with request.

Josh: 00:33:11 Interesting. I love that because so once again, taking it back to business mindset in that just because that’s where I’m at and familiar and a lot of what I teach, I feel like so many people do that in, in their daily lives and their business lives as well. Everybody wants to hit that million dollar Mark, $10 million Mark, $100 million Mark, whatever it is that they’re after, and then that’s their goal. And then they get into the daily grind of it all. And like you said, I love the analogy that you just used there is the weight of their own dream or the weight of their own goal literally crushes them because they’re so focused on that, that they don’t realize that they have to take it day by day and wow, there does need to be a an end point. Right. Getting to that summit, getting to that goal, that’s simply the goal. That’s not the focus. Right?

David: 00:33:54 Yeah, absolutely. And, and in the end, you, you, you realize that the real joy was in the climb. It wasn’t, it wasn’t the, the summit part is I mentioned before, there’s, there’s no summit whose satisfaction can justify the measure of suffering required to write it. It’s, it won’t add up. You’ve got to find daily joy is the thing. And that’s one of the things that I came to learn in my experience was you need to find some peace of your day’s experience that you can define is joy. And it doesn’t matter how small it is, but you have to do that every single day because your ability to climb today’s mountain depends so much on whether you found any joy climbing yesterday’s mountain.

Josh: 00:34:39 I love that. I love that so much. Okay. So I want to continue going down the, I want to talk about Everest and everything like that, but I want to pause real quick and talk about the book again here, because for those people that are listening right now, we’re gonna link it down below in the descriptions. We’ll link it on audible cause you know how much I love audible. Um, we’ll link it down on Amazon as well and, and all the different places there. So make sure to check this out. But I would imagine you talk a lot about this in the book, right?

David: 00:35:03 Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. By the way, it’s me reading the book on audible. Really? That’s super. So if someone hates my voice,

Josh: 00:35:14 that’s funny. Okay. But talk to me about the format of the book though. Is it more story? Is it more, I’m like mixed in, like, like how, how do you write it? What can someone expect with it?

David: 00:35:25 Yeah, it reads like a journal. Um, and, and that was intentional. Um, I, I’m, I’m a, I’m a writer. I write for outdoor magazines, uh, as one of my side gigs. And I’ve always, and so, um, from the very start of this thing, I was keeping journals and I would journal in real time. I would be at 18,000 feet in my sleeping bag with a headlamp, a pencil in my journal, scratching out what happened that day. Um, and when the whole Epic adventure was over, I was sitting in my den looking at this stack of weather, beaten journals. And I just thought, I’ll bet there’s a book in that.

Josh: 00:36:01 Yeah, no kid.

David: 00:36:03 And, and I started reading the journals and the major story threads emerged right away. So th the stories of, of my personal challenges are woven into the climbs with, with, with each mountain having a very specific message, a very specific lesson that was immediately relevant to one of the struggles in my life.

Josh: 00:36:25 Hmm. That’s so cool. And I think that’s, that’s really interesting. I know just by listening to just our short conversation here, like so much can be learned through those experiences. I absolutely love the, you know, you got to find something to be thankful for every single day. I think that gratitude and thankfulness has been certainly the single greatest thing that, well, you know, perspective. But like from an action perspective, having gratitude every single day has been, it’s something that has tremendously helped me get over the death of my brother and has tremendously helped me live a much happier and just more fulfilled life in general. And I think that when you are like, when you are super intentional about finding that one thing every single day, whenever you put your focus on is going to consume your day. So if you’re constantly looking for that small piece, even if your whole entire day sucks, right, and your butt every day, like all day, you’re looking for the thing to be positive about. And then when you find that and you’re going to look back on your day and be like, yeah, it sucked. But my mind was focused on finding the positive piece for it. So I look for positivity all day. It’s gonna make you a happier person.

David: 00:37:27 Oh yeah. Let, let, let me give you an example, but yeah, please. So we’re on the Denali climb and uh, one of these huge storms comes in off the Bering sea and it is snowing so hard, so heavy, constantly that the team breaks into a shifts of two hours each. And we’re shoveling snow off the tents for three days, 24 hours a day. Oh my gosh. That’s to keep from being buried where we were. And so, uh, I’d finished my shift at about three in the morning and I went and I woke up my brother-in-law because his shift was after mine and it’d be an a tough night. I was just a shoveling fool and I was tired and I was cold. And I got into the tent and I was hungry. And I said, okay, so I’m gonna make something to eat. And I get out the freeze dried mashed potatoes and uh, and I decided, you know, I’m going to dress this up a little bit.

David: 00:38:18 So I get into my, my provision kit and I’ve got these teeny little individually wrapped pieces of cheddar cheese. I’m going to make cheesy potatoes and uh, but they’re frozen solid. And I realize that I, if I throw them in the hot potatoes, not only were they not thought, but they’ll cool the potatoes. And so I, I’m, I’m, I’m looking for a solution and I realize, Hey, if I put the water on, by the time it’s boiling, these things will be thawed if I hold them in my armpits. And so I put a cheese slice in each armpit. Well, while I was getting the water, and by the time my potatoes were ready, the cheese was soft and then I just added it in. And that was my joy for that day. Huh.

Josh: 00:39:02 That’s so interesting. I love that. I love that. Seriously. I mean, I believe that, and I don’t want to get, I don’t want to go off on a political tangent here because I’m, you can do that at times, but I think that one of the big problems with society today, particularly America, is that, uh, we’re not grateful and we’re not thankful for things and everything. Like we live in such a comfortable society and everything we want is just, or we want more comfort, more comfort, more comfort, more comfort that we aren’t thankful for the fact that, I mean, come on, you found your whole joy for the day and the fact that you were able to melt your cheese, that you could eat in your armpits. That’s, that’s insane. I love it. I think that that’s super, super cool.

David: 00:39:37 It’d be a hard sell for most people to call that joy, right? So, so you’ve got to be on the hunt for joy to define that as, as joy. But that’s okay. That is the point. And you’re allowed to cheat a little if something doesn’t quite qualify and you want to say it does, go ahead. Say, Hey, it’s all perspective though. It really, really is. Okay. I want to fast forward,

Josh: 00:39:58 uh, to Mount Everest because I know that that’s going to be a talking point that people are definitely gonna want to, you know, listen to you. But real quick, take us through. You’ve climbed seven total Denali was first Evers was seven. What were the other five?

David: 00:40:11 Yeah, after Denali, uh, I went to Africa and I climbed Kilimanjaro. And uh, following that I went to Russia and I climbed Mount Elbrus, which is the high point for Europe. Uh, following that, uh, I went to South America and I climbed a mountain called Aconcagua in Argentina, 22,000 feet. Uh, following that, uh, I went to Antarctica and uh, about a year after that I went to Papa new Guinea and climbed a mountain called Carson’s pyramid, which is the high point for Oceana, which includes Australia. Uh, and then after that I went to, uh, went to Nepal to climb Everest.

Josh: 00:40:55 Huh. That’s crazy. I didn’t realize that. You said that was in Costa Rica.

David: 00:40:59 No, no. Oceana. Oceana.

Josh: 00:41:02 But, but the one was there. [inaudible] was in Costa Rica.

David: 00:41:05 No, nothing in Costa Rica. So the two then what?

Josh: 00:41:09 What, what was that? The, the,

David: 00:41:11 yeah, the second to the last one was Carson’s pyramid in Papa new Guinea.

Josh: 00:41:16 Papa new Guinea. I’m sorry. That’s what I was saying. I didn’t realize that, uh, the highest place was in Papa new Guinea. That’s interesting.

David: 00:41:21 Yeah. So, you know, the thing is, this is, is Australia of course is, is a continent, but only if you’re educated in the Western system. If you were educated in the Commonwealth, Canada, Australia is not a continent. Oceana is the seventh continent. And interesting. And that includes Papa new Guinea. Now the reason that climbers choose that definition is the highest point in Australia is a mountain called Kasi Oscoe. It’s only 7,000 feet tall, early stub your toe on it. So, uh, but Carson’s pyramids over 16,000 feet tall. So that’s, that’s a proper mountain. Yeah.

Josh: 00:41:59 That’s insane. That’s insane. And so Mount Everest is 29,000 feet, right?

David: 00:42:04 Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 29, 29,000, 30 feet, depending on which year you want to measure it. But right in there. Yeah.

Josh: 00:42:12 Which year does it, does it change height?

David: 00:42:14 It gains or loses a couple of feet after the earthquakes, it lost about four feet and then there was a heavy snow year and it gained it back. You know, just, just, yeah, call it 29,000 feet.

Josh: 00:42:25 So right around 29,000 feet. Okay. What is the preparation, let me ask you this. What was the hardest climb you did?

David: 00:42:33 Oh, Denali.

Josh: 00:42:34 Really?

David: 00:42:35 Yeah.

Josh: 00:42:36 More so that just because you weren’t prepared.

David: 00:42:38 Yeah, that was part of it. Um, I had no skills and boy, that makes a difference. Um, but, but also because, you know, in Denali there’s no Sherpas, there’s no porters. You gotta haul all your own junk and you got a lot of it, a mountain of it. You’ve, I mean, because you need to be prepared for, for, for, uh, Arctic cold conditions and being snowed in and, and altitude climbing and all that. You know, you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re pulling a sled that probably has 70 pounds of gear in it uphill while you’re carrying a pack that prize, another 70 pounds where this stuff a pill. So that’s 140 pounds and I weighed a buck 80 going into it. Uh, so it’s physically, it is easily the most difficult to the seven.

Josh: 00:43:27 Really interesting.

David: 00:43:28 Yeah. I know a number of climbers who have summited Everest but could not do Denali real. And that was your first one. Yeah, I know. I don’t recommend doing them in that order,

Josh: 00:43:37 but I know that, I think it’s called K2. Yup. I heard that. That’s a more difficult client than Everest as well.

David: 00:43:47 Oh yes. Absolutely. Yeah. Much more dangerous too. And it’s only a, just a teeny bit shorter than Everest. Uh, but in terms of climbing difficulty, it’s a world more difficult. Interesting.

Josh: 00:43:59 So the only reason that Mount Everest is cool is because it’s the tallest.

David: 00:44:05 Yeah, it’s the tallest. And don’t misunderstand me, it’s damn tough to get up that mountain. Yeah. And obviously the vast majority of people do not succeed. Um, so it’s, it’s, it’s not to be dallied with by any measure, but uh, when it came right down to it, in my experience at least Denali was more difficult.

Josh: 00:44:25 Okay. So talk to me a little bit about what Mount Everest is like cause okay. So if were to ever want to do something like I’m someone that is very much, and this is a 25 year old millennial, right. Uh, I’m very much tied into being connected to the internet. Um, I spend far too much time than the average person should on, on social media. Uh, I still try to manage my time well, but just because no, my business is on social media. Um, but like I spent a lot of time being very connected. It’s oftentimes hard for me to disconnect. Um, but I have often said, I want to do at some point in my life, some crazy excursion that takes like a year or more to prepare for and that where I’m going to have to unplug, like literally forced to unplug for, you know, several weeks or a month. Now. I don’t know if [inaudible] Mount Everest is that adventure, but like, I think that that’d be cool to do something. What is it like preparing for Mount Everest and what is like, what’s a Mount Everest like?

David: 00:45:21 Yeah. Well, the, the, the preparation is very, very serious. Um, the, the, the physical preparations, I was right back into those daunting, uh, regimens that my trainer put me on for Denali. Um, the, the kind of workouts where you’re not trying hard enough if you don’t puke somewhere in there that, that kind of tray. Yeah. And, and so I was training twice a day, six days a week for, uh, several months, but this was after climbing six other major mountains. So, you know, you could say that I had been training for years, but the training is very, very demanding. Um, and, uh, the preparation, I mean it comes down to weighing fractions of ounces on your equipment. Um, I it, REI came out with a new multi-tool, a folding knife, pliers device that weighed three ounces less than the one I owned. Uh, but it costs like $400.

David: 00:46:21 And so I’m weighing out whether it’s worth the 400 bucks and you start multiplying three ounces times, how many steps you’ll take. And it ends up removing like 2000 pounds from my legs. Oh yeah. Yeah. I’ll, I’ll, I’ll spend 400 bucks to take 2000 pounds off.

Josh: 00:46:38 That’s crazy.

David: 00:46:40 Yeah. So I mean, it comes down to the finest degree of preparation. You’re thinking through as much of it as you possibly can. Mount Everest is not a place to be coming up with new ideas. You need to know what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it and be very, very clear on it because by the time you get up to the high camp, you can’t manage simple math. You, I mean, you, you, you, you can’t multiply, you can’t divide you, you, your, your, your brain’s ability to function is greatly impaired and so you better know what it is you’re doing and have that game plan drummed into your head and stay clear when you’re executing and people die when they fail to do that.

Josh: 00:47:23 That’s crazy. What would you say is the most part of Mount Everest? Is it the, maybe I’m, I sort of missed the summit, right?

David: 00:47:35 Yeah. Yeah. I guess it would have to be the summit. Sure. Hmm.

Josh: 00:47:38 What would you say is your, was your biggest takeaway from climbing Mount Everest? Like what was the thing that like just you, your biggest mental learn or are your biggest men? Yeah. You’re, what, what did you learn most from a mental perspective after getting done way with Everest?

David: 00:47:53 Gratitude.

Josh: 00:47:55 Really?

David: 00:47:56 Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, I, um, we might, my Sherpa and I, we climbed as a two man team, the final leg from high camp to the summit and we climbed through the night and, and we’re fast climbers. We passed everybody and we were leading the climb that night. And we were all alone leading the climb. And it was, it was just, it was just a femoral. It was, it was so peaceful. And when you’re at 29,000 feet in the nighttime and you look up at the stars, the curvature of the earth is such that if you look at the horizon, there are stars beneath you.

Josh: 00:48:34 Wow.

David: 00:48:35 That is a weird experience. And, um, I remember when we, when we got to this summit and, uh, and I stepped up to the place where planet earth ended. And, uh, just in voluntarily, I just heard myself say thank you.

Josh: 00:48:55 Wow. That’s crazy. Wow. That’s, I, I like, I can’t even imagine it. You know what I mean? Like I’m, I’m trying to like envision. Okay. I mean, this is 77 years, right? It took you to get to the top of that.

David: 00:49:07 Yeah.

Josh: 00:49:08 So did, did you know, okay, so like when you were done with Denali, you get done, you get down there and you’re like, this is incredible, right? Like you’re super grateful. You’ll, you’ll learn a lot. Do you instantaneously go, all right, I’m going to go climb a mall or I’m going to go climb Everest. Or like what’s the transition to go from your first one to multiple of them or all of them? Yeah, well I came back from Denali and I was really glad I’d done it. Um, I was really glad we’ve made it and mostly I was really glad we didn’t lose any fingers and toes to frostbite right. And stuff, but it was really hard and I couldn’t imagine ever doing that sort of thing voluntarily again. Um, so I had the profile of Denali tattooed to my right shin and I quit climbing. I thought it was done.

Josh: 00:49:56 Wow.

David: 00:49:57 And um, that kind of brings me to the bucket list versus the Chuckit list. Um, so the thing is this is, is everybody’s heard of the bucket list, right? Thanks again before you kicked the bucket. But because I have a deep belief in the cemetery of life, I believe that there’s also a Chuckit list. All the things you’re not going to do before you die. And when we choose things for the bucket list, that’s us talking. But when are on the Chuckit list, that’s life talking. And the problem is, is, is in discussions with life, most of us prefer to be the ones doing the talking. And so when we decide to choose a challenge or a quest or what have you, go to the bucket list. But every once in a while something on the chocolate list is going to pick you. That’s a really good time to stop and listen. That is life talking. And because it’s on the Chuck, it listed almost by definition will not fit. It’ll be an invitation to go climb a big mountain when you’re not even a mountain climber or something like that.

David: 00:51:02 And um, that is the best way I can describe how I came to go to the next mountain and then the next mountain and the next mountain I felt called, I felt called. And sometimes it came to me and my dreamworld and sometimes it came to me with just kind of this mad distraction, a what have you. But I probably quit climbing three or four times along the way and um, and really thought I was done and then I would feel a calling to go to this next mountain. And at this point I had pretty much just given over the direction of my life to trusting these callings and what life had to say because I was, they were yielding such powerful lessons to me, um, that I just trusted it. So, uh, if life said Antarctica, I went to Antarctica.

Josh: 00:51:56 That’s so interesting. So I want to talk a little bit about philosophy here as far as calling, cause I know you’ve mentioned that you’ve have felt called for awhile and that you have gratitude. I mean, simply having gratitude would assume that there, that you believe in some form of higher source or God a of sorts. Do you mind like touching on that briefly as far as like, do you believe in God? Do you believe in source? Like where do you believe that you get your calling or purpose?

David: 00:52:23 Yeah. Um, so I don’t believe in God. Uh, I’m not affiliated with any established religion. I consider myself spiritual. I believe in the human spirit. Um, and, um, I believe in listening, but, um, I’m, uh, I’m, I’m not somebody who believes in, I guess your established belief systems.

Josh: 00:52:46 We have. Okay. So where would you, where do you believe that, you know, you said you felt called, right, and where do you believe that that calling comes from? And like what, how do you recommend people or what would you tell people to do to like be able to listen to that?

David: 00:53:02 Yeah, so, um, I don’t know where it comes from and I’m okay in the not knowing and I, and I, I guess I would say that’s the first step. Um, uh, at some point I became comfortable with just saying to myself, it doesn’t have to make sense. Now. And this goes back to what I was saying earlier about the gospel of linear thinking. For most of us, we won’t off on a journey unless we know where we’re going and why we’re going and what we plan to get out of it. And every other detail, that’s not how it works. When life talks, you don’t get to know the why question and tell it’s all over. Okay. W when, when you can, you can, why am I going to ride my bike across the nation? Okay, well that’s fine. You know, if that’s on your bucket list and you can probably give a good rationale. All right, why am I going to go to Russia and climb a mountain? It’s not even on my bucket list. Right. The answer to that, it’s going to come after you do it. And so you have to listen to the message. You have to trust what it has to say and you have to act and, and that involves several difficult breaches for many of us.

Josh: 00:54:09 Hmm. That’s very interesting. Yeah. I think that the point that you make there about people not being willing to even start until they’re like, I gotta know where I’m going and what it’s gonna look like every step along the way. Like we like to have a full out our itinerary of every single thing and it’s like, it’s impossible. Right? I think that’s not how life works. And I think that that’s one of the things that holds most people back from ever starting and probably forever achieving success is because they’re so afraid of the unknown. Would you agree?

David: 00:54:40 Yeah, yeah. I think you’re quite right there, Josh. Um, you know, it’s, it’s important to leave room for discovery. Yeah. That tends to be the magical part of the whole thing.

Josh: 00:54:50 Hmm. Interesting. What would you say has been the biggest perspective or, or shift in life? I mean, you went from rock bottom two being one of 65 people in America that have done a incredible feat, which by the way, congratulations man. Like that is just insane and I super, super cool. What would you say has been the biggest change in your life personally since that point?

David: 00:55:16 I, I would say just my willingness to listen. Um, uh, I was not what I think a lot of people would describe as a great listener up to that point. I mean, I wasn’t an awful person or anything wrong, but, but listening wasn’t a strength of mine. Um, and, uh, I, I tended to, uh, pretended to listen long enough to get my turn to talk. Yeah. I don’t know. Lots of people do. Yeah. And I have just come to realize how much Richard has being a listener than a talker. And, um, through these travels, I’ve, I’ve made a point of, of spending time with the people that live in these places that the Sherpas that live at 13,000 feet and, and asking them questions and just listening. I spent the whole evening in Africa talking to a Maasai warrior, um, who was explaining to me how polygamy works. And there there’s, there’s, there’s so much to learn there and, and people, not, not everybody has a Harvard degree. I certainly don’t. Uh, but, but people are smart in lots of different ways and they will just impress you again and again and again if you just give them a, a safe place to, to speak what they’re thinking and what they believe in and listen.

Josh: 00:56:42 Yeah. And I think that one of the things that I’ve learned, particularly, I’m in Hawaii right now and I’ve been traveling for almost a month now. Like full, like full time. I have no house or anything like that. Um, aye grew up in, in a, on a farm. Right? And the whole life that I had was the farm life and everybody that I was around, everybody that had was just like, that’s what you did. You farmed. And then as I moved out, I realized that a lot of America is not dedicated to a craft, but when you go to other countries that are not on social media as much, that are not so addicted to their phones, that are not so addicted to comfort, like you talk about the warriors, a lot of these people, particularly in other countries because of established roots, I’ve found like they dedicate their entire life to something.

Josh: 00:57:26 And when you dedicate your entire life to perfecting your craft of some sort, even if that’s not like you don’t have, you’re not the best. Right? I’m not saying like you gotta be the Tom Brady of football in order to dedicate your life to something. Like you can just be a, you know, whatever. But if you’ve dedicated your whole entire life into being in a world or being environment and you’ve stuck to those roots and you’ve been in there for 10, 20, 30 years, listening to someone like that, listening to someone that has that much experience in something, like there are universal truths that I think apply to everything that come from being able to master or get read, get really, really good at something. And I love what you’re talking about with listening because you’re right. Like the more I interview people and I think that this podcast why I know a lot of people love listening to it. Like I be like, I’m the lucky one, right? Like I get to sit here and have all these conversations with person after person, after person, and learn from people that have dedicated their life to things. And there are so much wisdom in that. And I don’t think that that’s something that a lot of people understand because most people aren’t willing to dedicate their life to learning something. You know what I mean?

David: 00:58:26 Yeah, I do. I do. Yeah.

Josh: 00:58:27 So,

David: 00:58:28 yeah. Yeah. You know, um, I, uh, when I was in new Guinea, um, we, uh, had to hire, uh, members of three different tribes, uh, to work as porters for expedition, not because we needed porters, but because that was kind of the, the cost of having access to their land that we had to cross. And, um, uh, there were the, the Dani tribe and the in the Moana and the Dawa and, uh, the Dani are still in engaged in cannibalism, which, uh, is probably the worst thing possible for tourism by the way, to admit that you might be eaten. But, uh, uh, so the, so the, um, uh, the Philippine government, uh, denies that it exists, but it absolutely still exists there. Um, it, at any rate, uh, so, uh, we and lived with these people and they’re all barefoot and, and most of them are naked and, uh, but to see how they had adapted to their environment, which we struggled and slipped and fell and, and carried on.

David: 00:59:34 And they would just scurry across logs and, and, uh, in go up trees and bring down these spiny fruit and eat them. And, uh, they would just harvest wild yams, uh, out of nowhere in the course of going down the trail. Uh, when you talk about being an environment, being committed to it, uh, they are so perfectly adapted to that environment and to just sort of witness that was an honor. And um, and the children would, you know, bring, uh, like a, a piece of split sugarcane. There was, there’s wild sugar cane there or maybe some bark from a cinnamon tree and they would want to trade. So, you know, I had some gummy bears and I’d trade some gummy bears for some sugar cane and they wouldn’t know what to do with them. They put them in their mouth and, and bounce around and pop out.

David: 01:00:25 But, you know, having those sort of firsthand interactions is, it’s just so life affirming. You know, I was listening to another podcast of yours where you’re talking about a guest that you had had on who had been to 25 countries and said the most striking thing to him was how similar we all are. And I just want to echo that. Um, at the end of the day, we all want to have enough to eat. We all want to feel safe. We, we want to have some good times with our family. We want to believe our children have an opportunity for a good life of their own. That’s it. Everything else is just what gets wrapped around that.

Josh: 01:01:01 Yeah, 100%. And I think that’s really true and I think that we need to remember that, um, more as we go through life. You know what I mean?

David: 01:01:09 Yeah, yeah. Absolutely.

Josh: 01:01:11 All right, well this has been an absolutely fascinating interview. I really appreciate you taking the time to be on here. I do want to touch on the book one more time here though. Um, start off just kind of by telling people where they can get it and then anything that you want to share specifically about the book that you think is very unique or reasons why people should get it, what they can expect in it. I’d love for you to be able to drop that there. And then, like I said, we’re going to drop all the links down below.

David: 01:01:33 Yeah, sounds good. So it’s the altitude journals by David J. Morrow, spelled M, a. U. R. O. A. It’s on a audio book on audible and on iTunes. It’s of course in print book, uh, as well as ebook reader, uh, through Amazon and Barnes and noble and some other outlets. Uh, on Amazon. It has a 122 reviews and an average rating of five out of five stars. Amazing. A year ago when the Beverly Hills book award, it was a grand prize winner. And so that was kind of a neat honor for the graduations. Thank you. Yeah. And I’ve been touring a REI stores around the nation. I’ve spoken 48 stores. That’s awesome. Uh, which is a lot of fun. And so, um, I’ve got a website, uh,, uh, which, uh, tracks, uh, where I’m going, where I’m speaking, that kind of thing. And people can get ahold of me through there. There’s a contact button if somebody wants to just ask a question or, or, you know, would like to look into maybe having me come speak to their group. That’s all. Great.

Josh: 01:02:35 That’s amazing. All right, well we will definitely link that all down below. Uh, specifically though with the book. How long has it,

David: 01:02:43 it’s 456 pages. Wow. So it’s a, that’s a book. Yeah, it’s a tomb. As they say on the first draft of it was almost 700 pages. I mean, we’re climbing seven mountains. Right. Um, but my editor, I handed it to him and he didn’t even open it. He just handed it back. He said cut it by a third. Yeah. I said what we will, what’s third? I can’t do that. He said, look, I’m going to shoot you straight here. You’re nobody. No one is, I’m in money on a 700 page book for somebody who’s unknown.

Josh: 01:03:12 Right. That’s funny. That’s funny. That’s funny. Well guys, we’re going to link that down below. I’d love for you to check it out. I’m definitely going to get it on audible. I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling, a lot of flights and a, I can’t wait to listen to it. So I appreciate you coming on. You have a one reader for sure. Um, and I’m sure when I get home I’ll probably buy the physical copy and add it to the book collection. Um, but I’m, I want to move real quick to rapid fire questions. We do rapid fire questions and we have one question that we ask every person that comes on the podcast. So, uh, anything else that you would like to add before we move on to that?

David: 01:03:43 No, man. That’s, it’s all good.

Josh: 01:03:45 All right, perfect. Well, David, once again, thank you for being on here. Uh, the rapid fire questions are just basically lighthearted questions to get to know you a little bit better. Um, and, uh, just, you know, like to have some stuff. First one is, you obviously traveled quite a bit, um, all over, hiked and done. Do you have a favorite airline that you prefer traveling

David: 01:04:03 Emirates.

Josh: 01:04:03 Emirates, right? Well, yeah, I mean, gosh, I can’t wait to travel them. I’ve heard so many good things about them, so, uh, all right, mrs. um, if you ever have the ability to go to space, would you do it?

David: 01:04:13 Absolutely.

Josh: 01:04:14 Yeah. I kind of figured with you that would be a yes. Um, what is a bucket list item? And I actually, I want to change this question just a little bit because you’ve done more bucket list items, like actual actual bucket list items and Mo most people will ever do in their life, um, already. But what is one thing now that you’ve accomplished quite the feat. What is a bucket list item that you absolutely want to do at some point in your life? And then also like what’s the next big summit for you to climb, whether that’s an actual summit or some other thing that you’re trying to a task. So immediate and then in life.

David: 01:04:47 Yeah. So my big bucket list item is I’d love to fly as a passenger in a fighter jet. I just think that would be so awesome and I don’t know how I’m ever going to work that out, but, but that’s a dream of mine.

Josh: 01:04:58 Awesome. And so what’s the immediate, uh, the next big summit for you or the next big thing that you’re working on?

David: 01:05:04 Yeah. Um, I, uh, I have a, a project the, that’s in the early stages, but I’m building a raft that’s going to be floating on 10 50 gallon plastic drums. And, uh, I’m going to float it the length of the Mississippi. Oh my gosh. I cannot wait to follow your journey. Do you, do you have social media at all? Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Uh, what, what are your social media handles? So, uh, the altitude journals is a Facebook page. Okay. Um, I’ve got, uh, on, uh, Instagram, uh, Oh, hang on.

Josh: 01:05:39 Yeah, you definitely need to be on Instagram.

David: 01:05:41 Yeah, I’m on Instagram. You know, I was never much into social media until the book came out and my publicist said, no, no, no. You gotta be on Instagram. You gotta be on Twitter. You gotta be on Grindr. No, I’m kidding about the grand jury. So, um,

Josh: 01:06:01 we’ll link it down below. You can send it over to us at Facebook down below with that. Okay. Last question that I have for you to wrap this up. We asked this question to every single person that comes on the podcast. Um, and, uh, kinda end it with this. We don’t tell them in the beginning of time, cause I just want the raw, real first thing that comes to your mind. You’re on your deathbed. So fast forward to the end of your life and you’re on your deathbed. Everyone in everything that you’ve done is gone. You have no accomplishments and nobody knows you for anything. Um, you’re, you’re a nobody. But every single person that you have touched either directly or indirectly in your life, you get to leave them with one final message and word of wisdom. What is that message to them?

David: 01:06:44 Say yes.

Josh: 01:06:45 Say yes. You sound like Tony Robbins. That’s awesome.

David: 01:06:48 Oh, is it? I, I, you know, I, I’ve heard of Tony Robbins, but I bought, I’m not borrowing that from him, but I’d be ordered by comparison.

Josh: 01:06:55 Yeah, it’s a, it’s a good comparison for sure. That’s awesome to say. Yes.

David: 01:07:00 Yeah. say yes and, and here’s why. Um, so, uh, I, I make a living in my day job as a financial planner and, um, uh, because of that, I manage money for a lot of folks who are in retirement and some well into retirement. And I’ve actually sat with people in those final days or hours and, um, and when the topic comes up of if they have regrets in life, Mmm. The only things they ever regret are the things they didn’t do. Mmm and even if they did some things, it turned out horrible in the final wash. They don’t care about that. What they care about is, you know, I, I always wanted to see Alaska and I never got there or something. That’s the stuff people end up regretting. And so say yes. Um, and, and, and understand that, that whether you succeed or fail isn’t nearly as important as whether you show up.

Josh: 01:07:55 That’s awesome. I love that so much. And I think that we get so caught up in determining success or failure based on whether or not we “Won or lost” or “Reached the summit” or whatnot, but going back to what you said earlier, if you find joy in the process, and you find joy every single day, and love what you do every single day, then you’re winning every single day. And, that’s… that’s showing up. And that’s what… that’s ultimately gonna make a difference. So I absolutely love that.

David: 01:08:20 Great. You know it’s…

Josh: 01:08:21 David… go ahead.

David: 01:08:22 It’s been… it’s been a real pleasure. I’ve enjoyed my time with you, Josh. Thank you so much for having me on. And, thank you to your listeners, who just spent an hour with you and me.

Josh: 01:08:32 Yeah. Absolutely. David, thank you so much for coming on. This has been truly eyeopening, truly amazing. I cannot wait for this episode to drop. Guys, we will link the book, the audio book, the social’s, website, everything down in the description. Make sure to go check it out. Give the book a download or… or order it or whatever. Come on. Like, seriously for someone that has done what David has done, there is obviously perspective and truth to be learned in that. So David, I really appreciate you taking the time to journal, to write the book, to come on here, and appreciate it. Guys, as always, hustle, hustle. God bless. Do not be afraid to think different because those of us that think different are going to be the ones that change the world. I truly believe that because that is what we as free thinkers do. I love you all and I will see you on the next episode. Take it easy fam. Peace.

Outro: 01:09:19 Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call, “A new paradigm of thinking”, and real quick, I got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow, and that will spread this message of positivity and making the world a better place, is if you leave a review, a rating and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is, it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you like my stuff, and that I’m doing something right. So if you could take like three seconds out of your day and subscribe, leave a rating, and a review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes. So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @JoshForti or via email