On April 26, 2003, a lone hiker became trapped in the rugged mountains of Southern Utah. Aaron Ralston of Aspen Colorado had set out on Saturday for a 1-day hike near Canyonlands National Park to explore the canyon and practice his mountain-climbing techniques. An astute outdoors enthusiast, he was training for an expedition in Alaska’s Denali National Park.
Without warning, a 40 cubic foot bolder weighing 600 to 800 pounds came loose from the mountainside he was climbing and crashed onto him, pinning his right arm. Ralston was left standing up, but was unable to move. Despite the severe pain, he felt sure he would be alright; he was accustomed to handling just about any situation. Using his free arm, he struggled for hours to free himself, but was unable to shift the bolder. He called many times for help but no one heard him in the remote area.
That night, he slept standing up on the mountain cliff. Fortunately, he had food and water within reach. Surely, someone would find him by the next day. But they didn’t. On Sunday, desperate for survival, he used his ropes and climbing equipment to devise a rigging to try to move the bolder that was holding him captive. But, it was no use; the bolder held his arm fast.
He ate the last of his food and drank the last of his water on Tuesday. Without water, he knew, he could only last for a few days. The thought of dying from thirst on the mountainside was unthinkable to him. He had too much to live for, too many plans, too many things to experience and live. He waited for rescue until Thursday when he knew his situation was desperate. His arm had been trapped by the boulder now for 5 days–he had gone 2 days without food or water. Unwilling to die he took drastic action. Removing a pocket knife from his pocket, he amputated his right arm below the elbow to free himself. After applying a tourniquet and administering first aid, he rappelled to the canyon floor and hiked until he was found by rescuers.
Think about it, he was willing to cut off his own arm so that he could continue living. Do you have that same passion for your own life? I think you do. That is why you are reading this article right now. You are driven to achieve your dreams, you want to continually improve and grow, you are living with passion. We all know people who’s dreams are dead, who live without hope, desire, or enthusiasm. But that is not you. You too are unwilling to die of thirst on the mountainside. You want to live life to it’s fullest. Og Mandino gave great advice in these simple words, “Live each day as if it were your last.” I challenge you to adopt this attitude with every fiber of your being. If you will, your enthusiasm for life will expand and grow, and success will come more naturally to you