The ultimate story of survival is set deep in the Andes mountain range in the middle of winter. The story dates back to the 1970′s but the lessons learned are as relevant today as it were back then.
Nando Parrado was part of a rugby team traveling from his native country of Uruguay to Chile for an exhibition match. In an unfortunate event, the pilots of the aircraft in which they were traveling misjudged their position and crashed into Andes.
Nando, after three days of unconsciousness, woke to discover that the plane carrying his team, as well as their family members and supporters crashed killing his own mother and and other persons on board. His sister who survived the crash, succumbed to her injuries.
The survivors remained stranded on a lifeless glacier at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level for more than two months. There was no means of summoning help, no supplies or appropriate clothing to battle the fierce conditions. They endured freezing temperatures, deadly avalanches, and then the devastating news that the search for them had been called off.
As time passed by, Nando was certain of one thing: he must get home to his grieving father or die trying. He challenged the Andes, even though he knew his efforts could likely kill him. He also knew that his only chance of survival was to attempt to get out. So Nando, an ordinary young man with no disposition for leadership or heroism, led an expedition up the treacherous slopes of a snow-capped mountain and across forty-five miles of frozen wilderness in an attempt to find help.
He succeeded and lived to tell the tales.
This is one of those stories that illustrate to us that we are capable of overcoming any situation once we have the will. It all starts with an affirmation in our minds that we will succeed, then we organize our thoughts into a plan of action.
Nando never flew on a plane before that incident, nor did he endure wintery conditions. He was merely a teenager with the will to return home to his father.
I often think of this story whenever I get the urge to give up on tasks that pale in comparison to what Nando endured. Needless to say, I get reinspired all over again.