The Man On Top Of The Mountain Didn’t Fall There…

In this post I’m taking another personal development look at one of my quote images, and for this one you might need your climbing boots…

“The man on top of the mountain didn’t fall there” – Vince Lombardi.

Right from the get go, let me say that yes, yes, I know the picture is not of a mountain! I took that picture on Ailsa Craig in Scotland, and I’ll come back to that later, and tell you why it still works with the quote!

What a quote it is too! Vince Lombardi came up with some crackers, and it’s no surprise that his motivational skills were held in such high esteem.

Coach of the Green Bay Packers for pretty much the whole of the 1960s, he took them to the top of the game, winning the first 2 Superbowls. After he died in 1970, the NFL named the trophy after him, so right up to this day, it’s the Lombardi Trophy that the teams play for.

It’s one of the biggest events in world sport. It’s not a global event to take *part* in as its just a national league, but it’s one of the most *watched* global events, and it bears Vince’s name.

So, how did he get take his team and himself to the top of the game? Well, in one word – work.


Yes, he had refreshing tactical skills, and those motivational skills, but the motivation was to get the players to work.

He had a ferocious work ethic, and expected the players to have the same. Any player that didn’t, well they weren’t his player for long!

This is why I love the quote so much, because if you think of a man at the bottom of a mountain, and imagine him trying to fall to the top, he’ll just fall to the ground! So, if that’s not going to get it done, the only way is to start climbing.

You decide to climb, you learn how to climb, you prepare to climb, but all of that will get you precisely nowhere, you’ll still be at the bottom of the mountain, unless you put your first foot somewhere, and your first hand somewhere. Then you had better get ready for the hard work!

Too many people go for the falling down option, then moan about the fact that others are at the top of the mountain! Oh really? Why would that be then?

Is it because life is unfair, difficult, with barriers in the way? Or is it because you weren’t prepared to work?
Now, I’m not saying that life is always fair, that it’s always easy, that there aren’t barriers, that would be silly.

What I *am* saying though, is that work, hard work, lots of hard work, can take you to the places you want to go.

I like another quote from a current motivational leader, Brendon Burchard, who says we should not be surprised that when opportunity knocks, it’s hard work that answers the door!

I call ‘action’ one of the 4 magic words beginning with ‘A’, because without it, you really shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t get the results.

I did say I’d go back to my use of that particular photo of mine rather than one of a mountain…

Well, for a start, I haven’t *taken* any photos of mountains (yet), but nevertheless I think this photo works.

Ailsa Craig is where all the curling stones come from, and since it’s a sporting passion for me (yes I love the NFL too!), I made the trip of several hundred miles to go and see the actual place.

I could have stayed at home, looking at other people’s photos, wishing I had gone, or I could make the effort, take the action, and get on and go myself. That’s what I did.

As it happened, the weather was kind, and I was able to take picture from dawn to dusk, and it’s a day that will be a special memory for me. That didn’t happen by sitting on the couch at home.

When I went over to the rock, which is a few miles off the coast, I could see that tower up there. Actually it’s nowhere near the top of the rock, but the angles of the photo drive home how difficult it must have been to get it built!

To get that tower built all the way up there would taken a lot of…yep…work.!

Whoever built it could have just been lying down at the bottom, moaning about why someone else hadn’t done it, or how life was unfair – but they didn’t.

Look to your own goals – what do you want to do in life? What would tap into your joys and passions, what makes you feel alive? It could be climbing to the top of an *actual* mountain – I’ll happily admit that’s not at the top of my own list, but if it is, then of course you’ll need to work hard, and talking of actual mountain climbing…

Success won’t be guaranteed. You might not get to the top. It could be that the weather is too bad. It could be that you get frostbite. It could be that an ice ledge gives way. Despite all the work you put in, these outside factors cannot be controlled.

Mountaineering is dangerous, and if it goes wrong, it can be fatal. No guarantees of success, but still needing the work, and that’s another reason why Vince Lombardi’s mountain quote works so well.

"Gordon Bryan", "personal development",

To wrap up this look at the quote and the image, once you’ve got to the top of the mountain, does the work stop?

Er, no, the work carries on! In the case of being on an actual mountain, often the work getting back down again can be ever harder work than getting up there. The effort has to be maintained – switch it off, and it can all fall apart pretty quickly!

So as I say, your goal might not be mountaineering! Whatever it is though, are you prepared to work? It might be hard, it might be difficult, it might be unpleasant. That means you might decide you don’t want the work.

That’s fine, as long as you accept that as a choice you’ve made, and accept the lack of results that follow.

Or you could decide that you *are* ready for the work. It will put you ahead, miles ahead, of others who don’t put in the work, and it really can take you to some heights that will amaze you.

Try it, the view up there can change your life, it can *transform* it!

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think as ever – do leave a comment below.

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If you’d like to find out more about how to further your *own* climb, then pop over and grab my free 8 step goal achievement formula!
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  • Hi Gordon,

    That’s a great analogy – especially the part about the climb down also being hard work.

    It just amazes me to see the number of people who think they can make money online without any effort involved. If it were so easy, everyone would be millionaires!

    A saying that has always served me well is “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.

    And what a lovely picture:-)

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    • Thanks Joy,
      Oh, yes it’s ‘amazing’ how much luck the hard work can create isn’t it! 😉
      That picture was a lovely trip over to Ailsa Craig, a great memory!