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Remembering Sir Edmund Hillary and 19 things that he said

One of the first climbers to conquer Mount Everest, explorer and mountainer Sir Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Standing at 6 ft 5 in (195 cm), Hillary and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay reached Everest's summit at 11:30am, 19 May 1953. They spent only about 15 minutes at the top of the world, where they dug a hole, which Norgay filled with chocolates as an offering and Hillary buried a cruxifix.

Named by Time as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Hillary is known to be a humble man who found the Humalayan Trust, and devoted most of his life to help the Sherpa people of Nepal, where they built schools and hospitals, and developed transportation system in Nepal.

Today, we honor Sir Edmund Hillary by sharing 20 inspiring quotes:

 

On personal growth:

On personal growth:
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"I will come again and conquer you because as a mountain you can't grow, but as a human, I can."

"It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."

"If you only do what others have already done, you will only feel what others have already felt. However, if you choose to achieve something that no one has ever done, then you will have a satisfaction that no one else has ever had."

"When I was 50 years old, I actually decided to draw up a list of half a dozen things that I really hadn't done very well, and I was going to make efforts to improve. One of them was skiing, and I really did become a very much better skier."

"Even when you're 50, you can make the effort to improve your standards."

 

On life:

On life:
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"Life's a bit like mountaineering - never look down."

 

On the importance of humor:

"Good planning is important. I've also regarded a sense of humor as one of the most important things on a big expedition. When you're in a difficult or dangerous situation, or when you're depressed about the chances of success, someone who can make you laugh eases the tension."

 

On being ordinary:

On being ordinary:
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"You don't have to be a hero to accomplish great things - to compete. You can just be an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals."

"People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things."

"I hate being called an 'icon.' I just don't like it. That's all there is to it."

"I don't know if I particularly want to be remembered for anything. I personally do not think I'm a great gift to the world. I've been very fortunate."

 

On the importance of determination:
"If I wished to do something, even if I couldn't find anyone who wanted to make the effort with me, I would go out solo climbing. I did find solo climbing very challenging and a little frightening. You knew that you were completely on your own, and you had to overcome all the problems and possible dangers."

"I have been seriously afraid at times but have used my fear as a stimulating factor rather than allowing it to paralyse me. My abilities have not been outstanding, but I have had sufficient strength and determination to meet my challenges and have usually managed to succeed with them."

"Once I've decided to do something, I do usually try to carry it through to fruition."

"I think it all comes down to motivation. If you really want to do something, you will work hard for it."

 

On having the correct attitude:
"I don't regard myself as a cracking good climber. I'm just strong in the back. I have a lot of enthusiasm, and I'm good on ice."

"I think the really good mountaineer is the man with the technical ability of the professional and with the enthusiasm and freshness of approach of the amateur."

"Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it."

 

On dying:
"I don't spend a lot of time thinking about dying, but I like to think that I've - if it did occur - that I would die peacefully and not make too much of a fuss about it."

 

On going home:
"That is the thing that international travel brings home to me – it's always good to be going home. This is the only place I want to live in; this is the place I want to see out my days."

 

Read more about adventure here.

 

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