The Longing Lab

Mt Everest Summiter & Executive Coach Vivian Rigney on Vulnerabilty, Authenticity, & Legacy

June 22, 2022 Amanda McCracken Season 1 Episode 4
The Longing Lab
Mt Everest Summiter & Executive Coach Vivian Rigney on Vulnerabilty, Authenticity, & Legacy
Show Notes

 Episode 4: Executive Coach Vivian James Rigney speaks about the loneliness and negative inner dialogue he encountered during his two-month climb of Mount Everest and what it taught him about vulnerability, authenticity, and legacy.

Vivian James Rigney is President and CEO of Inside Us LLC, an executive coaching consultancy. He is known for building strong rapport with people and asking tough and incisive questions. A graduate of École Nationale Des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris, he is a renowned speaker on mindset and behavior, whose talks have inspired audiences globally.  The Irishman recounts this life-changing experience on Mount Everest in his new book, Naked at the Knife-Edge: What Everest Taught Me About Leadership and the Power of Vulnerability 

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 In this episode, we talked about....

  • The Seven Summits he climbed 
  • The importance of creating a team of people who share similar values 
  • The moment he thought he was going to die looking at the knife edge
  • How the experience climbing Mount Everest impacted who and how he dated
  • How he reconnects with the self-compassion he experienced climbing Mt Everest
  • The inner dialogue in our minds that spits out soundbites of self-judgement
  • The butterflies he noticed during his climb at 25,000 feet 
  • Being raised in a culture where vulnerability is seen as a weakness
  • Advice he has for people stuck longing and afraid to take risks


 "Longing is something which is anemic to the present. It brings our minds back to things we experienced in the past or things we want to experience in the future. It holds us prisoner to something that doesn’t exist."

"The first goal of climbing Mount Everest is coming down alive." 

"This voice came to me deep within my core and it asked, “Why are you here?” And I did not know.... The moment I thought of my [deceased] brother, the noise went away. I felt peace. I thought, 'If I pass here, then I’m with him.'  My inner dialogue went from ten out of ten to two out of ten. " 

“If [danger] is some sort of addictive thing and we use that fear of death to search for something we aren’t finding, I ask, 'What’s getting in the way of you being alive today?'"

 "If longing lives rent free in our heads, then it’s burning energy and time. It’s not allowing us to be in the present which is not allowing us to be ourselves."  

"I felt liberated in realizing I could be both vulnerable and strong at the same time."

"At my memorial, I hope people won’t talk about all my bloody achievements. My wish is for people to remember how I made them feel. If I achieve that, maybe I’ll leave a little ding on the universe.."


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