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Are You Living Life? Reflections and Prep for Mt. Everest Hike

By April 14, 2015

Author: Tim Clarke, EMEA Product Marketing Lead for Sales Cloud at Salesforce

You’ve had an amazing weekend, Sunday evening hits and you’re thinking about the week ahead – Are you excited, are you dreading it? Perhaps your Monday morning is full of forecast calls, meetings or planning sessions. But what if something happens to you, what if your plans change for that day, what if that’s it? Have you achieved the things you want to achieve? Have you been to the places you want to go to? Have you lived? It’s a question that should remain a constant in people’s minds.

I have been extremely lucky to travel to some great places in the world and meet some great people who come from many different ways of life. In February, I spoke with a taxi driver in Dubai who told me that he worked every single day just to provide for his family back home in Pakistan. His earnings were very low, he worked 10+ hours every day and there was so much competition with so many drivers.

I asked when he would next take a day off or when he would see his family next, but he did not know. Unfortunately these sorts of circumstances exist but it really made me feel sad that he was unable to truly live life and spend time with his family.

In August 2012, just before I started working for Salesforce, I had the massive privilege of taking my Dad to Australia to spend some father/son time. I didn’t realise how important this memory would be when my life changed less than a year later.

Tim Clarke with his Dad

Melbourne, Australia – August 2012

On Thursday 18th July 2013, my Dad was alive, healthy, well, and loving life. He had a great Friday planned with his son (my brother) and grandchildren taking them to Chessington World of Adventures near London in the UK. He had booked a day off work to spend with his family and to live life. He was fit, healthy and enjoyed life. Unfortunately Friday 19th July was to be his last day, turning my life and everyone’s life upside down. This challenged me to really think about my life, what I wanted to do, how I would move forward and what I wanted to achieve.

I’m still going through this process but one thing that really stood out was making an impact on other peoples lives, giving back. I had an amazing opportunity to give back through working with a non-profit in Tanzania, with some amazing children in an orphanage. There are many non-profits who would love help and support whether in a far-away country or right on your doorstep, where you can really change peoples lives.

It may not be volunteering directly with an organization, perhaps it could be a big physical challenge – What’s on your bucket list? What big physical challenges do you want to take on? We had 20+ people at Salesforce UK who rowed the English Channel (23 miles) last year as well as from Staines to London (47 miles), raising money for another great non-profit, a challenge which I will always remember.

As I get ready for a massive physical challenge hiking up Everest, the dangers are rapidly becoming more and more real. I was lucky enough to take on the challenge of the Inca Trail in Peru last year (August 2014) which gave me some great hiking experience and potentially a taster of what to expect.

However, Everest is a whole other level – There’s some serious risk involved from the altitude sickness to the sub-zero temperatures and fierce UV exposure at Everest. That’s not to mention landing at one of the most dangerous airports in the world!

I know it’s going to be an amazing life experience that I hope to get through and am raising money for a great cause, supported by the amazing I’m very grateful to work for an amazing organisation in Salesforce and love the challenges and opportunities that it provides.

You don’t know what tomorrow, next week, next month, next year has in store. What do you want to achieve? Are you living life?

You can follow Tim’s adventure on Twitter: @TimxClarke, and on his blog: timxclarke