Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Defining Oneself

Michael Crichton climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. And says:“…..

What I learned was this: that I had defined myself as a person who didn't like heights or cold, a person who didn't like to be dirty, a person who didn't like physical exertion or discomfort. And here I had spent five days cold, dirty, and exhausted; I had lost twenty pounds; and I had had a wonderful experience.

I realized that I had defined myself too narrowly.

The experience of climbing Kilimanjaro affected me so powerfully that, for a long time afterward, if I caught myself saying, “I am not a person who likes to do that activity, eat that food, listen to that music, " I would automatically go out and do what I imagined I didn't like. Generally I found I was wrong about myself-I liked what I thought I wouldn't like. And even if I didn't like the particular experience, I learned I liked having new experiences.”

Chapter: Kilimanjaro
from'Travels' by Michael Crichton

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