What Rock Climbing Can Teach Us About Life

We’re big believers that that rock climbing is perfectly suited as a metaphor for life, and Matthew Childs’ TED talk,  9 Life Lessons from Rock Climbingnicely encapsulates this view:

Rule #1: Don’t let go

Rule #2: Hesitation is bad

Rule #3: Have a plan

Rule #4: The Move is the End

Rule #5: Know how to rest

Rule #6: Fear Sucks

Rule #7: Opposites are good

Rule #8: Strength doesn’t always equal success

Rule #9: Know how to let go

At first glance, it might look like Rule #1 and Rule #9 contradict one another, and luckily Rule #7 helps to clear things up 🙂

Isn’t life funny in that way, too?  Knowing when to let go and when to hold on is paramount to living what Aristotle would have called ‘the good life’.

How often have you thought about letting go way before your body does on a climbing route, and how often have you had that same thought with respect to your relationships, work, or family life?


‘Hold on for one more day ’cause it’s gonna go your way’ -Wilson Phillips

Is momentum not just as vital to successfully ascending a friction climb as it is to completing the task at hand (no matter how mundane)?


And isn’t the most obvious solution sometimes not the most optimal one? (I hate when that happens.)


Waxing philosophical aside, when we think of all of the above in the context of pursuing happiness, we begin to realize just how applicable the ‘rules’ of rock climbing are to real life.  And that’s pretty cool.

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