“Without adventure, you don’t feel the real life.” Or so Babu (voted National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2011) told Escape member Graham Milton. Graham’s learned a lot of interesting things from Babu - I’ll let him explain directly.
Babu oozes inspiration just by what he has achieved – that inspiration just magnifies after a few minutes of meeting the guy.
However, there is a lot more to Babu than a thrill-seeking adventure… something more powerful. Due to a combination of the guy’s inherently modest nature, cultural and spiritual beliefs, and his natural intrinsic motivation, understanding this takes more time. This is my interpretation of how Babu goes about fulfilling his favourite phrase, ‘Anything is possible’.
Babu’s take on Adventure
1. Be Inquisitive.
“Why not coconut?” was a phrase I picked up from Babu in 2004 which he said after any idea was suggested! Babu is fascinated by everything and soaks up information by speaking to as many people as possible and any other possible source.
He has made me realise that we take a lot of fascinating things for granted. We have thousands of opportunities to talk to interesting people, go on interesting courses and learn new things in our every day life.
It’s hard finding what you love doing but I am not surprised Babu has found it.
2. Engage and enchant everyone you meet.
For Babu, this is totally natural, but for others, we may have to read How to Win Friends and Influence People to pick up some tips. The huge worldwide network of para gliders and kayakers that Babu has welcomed to Nepal over the years will bend over back wards to help him out. These people became pivotal in him pulling off his expedition.
People are compelled to help people who are following their passions with a smile on their face. Your enthusiasm for your dreams becomes infectious.
Think about the people that you would bend over backward for…
3. Don’t conform.
You don’t achieve the impossible by setting conformist goals.
Some of the world’s top mountaineers had told Babu that flying from Everest was impossible. You need years of experience to climb Everest. Lakpa couldn’t swim and had never kayaked. Babu had never climbed a mountain. Neither had seen the ocean. But did any of these things actually matter?
Don’t bench mark your goals on what other people have done before you or what they say now. Ignore everything and go with what you think might be possible.
Babu stripped down his ‘impossible’ challenge to the absolute bare minimum of what they needed to climb Everest, fly from the top and kayak to the sea.
Babu’s mentality of facing ‘impossible’ challenges:
“I am crazy not stupid,” was Babu’s response to one question. This is brilliant. Set crazy goals but calculate the risks meticulously.
4. Intrinsic Motivation = Fulfilment.
Whatever you do, do it because it’s what you want to achieve. Babu told me a fabulous off-the-cuff story about how there was a Western attempt to fly from the summit days before his. He was not remotely fazed by this; if they had made it, it would have just been more information for Babu to achieve his dream.
Pick the right ‘impossible’ for you.
5. No Money No Problem.
Babu and Lakpa’s expedition was done on a shoestring with no big sponsors.
He had minimal funds, a family to support and a Himalayan paragliding resort to build!
Living on a shoestring is easier when you’re following your passion.
Babu views on ‘modern life’ and adventure:
6. Seize the right people.
Babu found Lakpa hanging from a tree after he had crashed learning how to paraglide.
As it turned out, Lakpa was an Everest legend that saw the potential of paragliding from mountain summits. 6 months later, they were off on their expedition. Lakpa would get them to the top and Babu would fly them down, and guide them through the rapids.
You’re most likely to meet these people hanging from trees when you’re doing the things you’re passionate about.
Spotted a common theme? They are all easier when your following passion!
Meet Babu – he is coming to London to show his incredible film Hanuman Airlines about his expedition and answer any questions you may have.
Hanuman Airlines Film Trailer can be viewed here.
Thank you, and come meet Babu.