From our distant African origins to the igloo-dwelling Greenland Inuit, humankind has always extended our reach into whatever new and unexplored land lay at our domestic frontiers. We have not shied away from the most extreme of environments. Rather, we have learned, through trial and error, how to enter, how to survive and even thrive … More “All or nothing: When do you take the big risk?” Sometimes you just have to plunge ahead.
Every accomplishment of every kind, from insignificant to monumental and the whole range between, starts with an idea and then proceeds through plan and execution to accomplishment. Simple enough in concept, especially for the thousands of minor accomplishments that constitute our daily lives: get breakfast, get to work, get home to dinner, get to bed. … More “Will the Results be Worth the Effort?” Extreme decisions in the heroic era. . .
Promises and commitments are the outward signs of mutual trust between parties, a shared understanding, and a bargain to be upheld at each end. A contract, if you will, whether written and signed, or verbal and committed over a handshake, to terms large and detailed involving the exchange of vast sums of money, or as … More As Good as Your Word: Promises made to be kept
The concept of “leadership” has a lot of currency these days, addressed in academic disciplines and institutes, and in countless corporate trainings and seminars. Regardless of the enterprise, there has to be some place in any management hierarchy that is indisputably the pinnacle, occupied by a person who is unquestionably recognized “the Boss.” But that … More Who’s in Charge? The Fundamentals of Leadership
It’s never too late to have another try. Life, business, and polar discovery can all be described as an ongoing chain of decisions, each devolving from the results of those that have gone before. Sometimes an unanticipated upset overtakes and dooms even the best-laid of plans. But as some of the explorers’ life stories can … More Inspiration, Will, and Forethought
Terra Nova Press is pleased to announce the publication of our latest book When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-Making Lessons from the Antarctic. Co-written by Brad Borkan (London), this book uses epic true stories from the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration to place the reader in those life and death situations and asks … More Now in Print: “When Your Life Depends on It” co-authored by David Hirzel and Brad Borkan
–from Frank Hurley’s account “Shackleton’s Argonauts”— “July was a particularly obnoxious month. The variable temperatures of early spring frayed our tempers and added to our discomforts. Warmer days were marked by increased humidity, in which we felt the cold more than the actual winter. We now experienced occasional rain, and the stronger rays of the … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, July, 1916: “July was a particularly obnoxious month.”
–from the log kept by Captain Stenhouse— “July 22.—Ship in bad position in newly frozen lane, with bow and stern jammed against heavy floes; heavy strain with much creaking and groaning. 8 a.m.—Called all hands to stations for sledges, and made final preparations for abandoning ship. Allotted special duties to several hands to facilitate quickness … More Shackleton’s “Aurora” adrift in the Ross Sea, July 22, 1916: “. . . . made final preparations for abandoning ship.”
—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees— “23 June. Midwinter’s Day is a thing of the past and once more we have been hungry again. What then do we have to look forward to now? Our rescue, whenever that may be; but almost as cheering, the certainty of the sun’s return, and therefore increasingly lengthening … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, June 23, 1916: The day after Midwinter’s Day at Cape Wild, Elephant Island
–from Frank Hurley’s account published as “Shackleton’s Argonauts”— “It seemed as if evil forces were arrayed to torment us. No sooner was one peril overcome than another rose in its place. Streams of ice fragments, borne along by surface currents or drive by the winds, were driven to the lee side of our floe. For … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, April 13, 1916: It seemed as if evil forces were arrayed to torment us.”