Set Yourself Up for Success: 5 Lessons From Renowned Palestinian Mountaineer Mostafa Salameh

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Tatiana Azman
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Mostafa Salameh
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We should not give up on our dream. We should not give up on anything because this is how [we] grow up,” declares Mostafa Salameh, a motivational speaker and one of the 20 to have scaled the world’s highest peaks and trekked to the poles. That’s the sentiment he shares in an episode of The Mindvalley Show with Vishen.

For those who feel stuck and are searching to ignite that inner fire, Mostafa shares how to break through what holds you back and set yourself up for success.

Watch the full 37-minute interview:

Ep #011 | From Refugee to Climbing Everest: 5 Lessons to Conquer Any Goal

From Refugee Roots to Mountain Peaks

Looking at him now, it might be hard to imagine how Mostafa started out. His beginnings were humble—one that started in a Jordanian refugee camp where his future as a Palestinian seemed uncertain. 

His real journey began years later, when a dream while sleeping vividly depicted him on the summit of Mount Everest. This visualization inspired a dramatic shift in his life’s path, setting him on a course for adventure.

Mostafa embarked on an incredible mission that would take him far from the confines of the camp. Through sheer determination, he conquered the Seven Summits and withstood the fierce elements at the North and South Poles—the first Arab and the first Muslim to do so.

His completion of the Explorer’s Grand Slam is a powerful illustration of his tenacity, and as he points out in the interview, “everything is possible.” It’s a reminder that our origins do not define our limits.

5 Lessons From Mostafa Salameh to Set Yourself Up for Success

To carve a path toward success, it’s essential to learn from those who have journeyed through adversity and achieved their dreams. 

In his sit-down with Vishen, Mostafa shares five pivotal lessons that have shaped his extraordinary journey. And these insights offer you simple strategies on how to set yourself up for success.

1. Love everything you do

Joy and fulfillment in life are about connecting with activities that resonate with your values and light up your spirit. This connection turns everyday tasks into more than just to-dos; they become a part of your larger journey.

For Mostafa himself, the passion for climbing was born from a genuine love for the challenge and the beauty of the mountains. 

When I started, I didn’t know anything about mountaineering, but I fell in love with the mountain,” he explains. And from there, he’s used that love to “do lots of good things.”

Like him, when you love what you do, each task takes on new significance. Your routine efforts become steps toward your life goals, making every day more meaningful.

Insight from Mostafa Salameh:To be able to love anything that you do, you have to love yourself first, which is: You love everything that you do, and these things that you do, it has to be something that is good, not just for yourself [but] for everyone around you.”

2. Become passionate

Passion is a powerful motivator. It’s the fuel that keeps you going, especially when there are setbacks or challenges.

When you’re passionate about something, you’re going to learn,” Mostafa explains. And it’s in that quest for knowledge that he sought to become a master at climbing a mountain or skiing the poles.

In the same way, nurturing your passion for a significant aspiration can provide a constant source of energy and direction.

Insight from Mostafa Salameh: Love is something that you feel. Passion is something that you learn to feel and learn how to love.”

3. Discipline yourself

For Mostafa, the decision to pursue his dream started with the decision to change. He quit smoking and took the necessary steps to be able to climb those summits.

Discipline is the key factor here. He explains, “How are you going to make change is, to practice to be disciplined.”

And so your consistent practice, in pursuit of your end goals, is how to be successful in anything you do. It ensures that every effort you make is a step forward, no matter how small it may seem at the time.

Insight from Mostafa Salameh:Discipline comes from practice, and it might be difficult in the beginning because change for people is always the most difficult thing. And you know, for me, I think, taking a decision to change—but that decision has to have discipline and practice and and passion and love, everything that we talked about—that will get you to where you are.”

4. Practice visualization

I visualize everything,” says Mostafa. His approach to visualization is about seeing beyond the immediate horizon, setting goals that are like “mini Everests,” and using them as beacons to guide his journey.

A 2021 study echoes the efficacy of this approach, showing that visualization, especially when coupled with strong self-belief, can lead to superior performance. 

The thing is, everyone has an Everest in their life—be it in education, career, or personal matters. And visualization is a crucial technique to help you climb that mountain, one “mini Everest” at a time.

Insight by Mostafa Salameh: Anything you do in life, if you don’t have something that you see” (something further down the line and not immediate), visualization will help you “see where you’re going.

5. Identify your intentions

What is your intention? That’s the golden question Mostafa raises. “Any idea you have, any dream, any goal… What is the intention behind it?

For him, it’s more than personal success. His mission is to encourage others, particularly refugees, echoing the message of his book, Dreams of a Refugee: nothing is impossible and dreams are within reach.

So knowing why you do things offers a clear path. It’s not just about the peak you strive to reach, but also about the lives you intend to uplift along the way. 

And in your process of goal-setting, remember that your true aim might be much more significant than you realize—it’s not merely the summit you conquer but also the hearts you inspire and the difference you make.

Take the Next Step

Mostafa Salameh’s dream might have been to climb Everest. Yours might be different, but it’s just as significant. Whether it’s about making a change in your own life or in the wider world, every great journey begins with a single step.

If you’re seeking support or are eager to learn more about pursuing your dreams, enrolling in Mindvalley for free could be your next move. With it, you’ll get a taste of transformation with access to lessons from various quests. Like the 3 Most Important Questions Quest with Vishen, for example, where you’ll learn to uncover your true mission, desires, and goals that truly align with your deepest self.

So take that first step and discover how far you can go with the right resources at your fingertips. Welcome in.


Featured image: Mostafa Salameh / Facebook

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

The Mindvalley fact-checking guidelines are based on:

To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.