In 2005, Ruben Payan Jr. had a dream – to conquer the highest mountains on each continent, in honor of the powerful human spirit within each of us. His vision extended beyond summiting peaks; it was a global tribute to the essence of humanity. To commit himself wholeheartedly to this profound mission, Ruben tattooed the names of the mountains on his back, along with the summit date upon completion. This leap of faith marked the inception of an awe-inspiring life journey. With unwavering determination etched into his soul, he embarked on a quest that would not only test his physical, mental, and emotional endurance but also his dedication to the universal values that define us.

Embarking on a Journey of Dreams

Mountains, with their majestic heights and breathtaking vistas, have forever symbolized our loftiest aspirations and goals. Ruben chose these natural giants as his life canvas to anchor his message. With every step, he aimed to remind us that our goals are indeed attainable, no matter how imposing they may seem; they are achievable.

Atop each mountain, he held a banner, each representing a core value shared by humanity. These flags were not mere fabric; they were symbols of the principles that unite us all as one.

#1 Mt. Kilimanjaro – Kids

Upon reaching the summit of the first mountain, a banner proudly declared "Kids," serving as a poignant reminder of the significance of cherishing the young minds that begin life with boundless potential. This banner underscored our shared responsibility to protect and nurture the next generation, assuring that they inherit a world teeming with hope and opportunity. It also whispered a subtle truth – that within each of us resides a youthful, adventurous spirit that once yearned to explore the uncharted territories of existence.

#2 Mt. Denali – Dream

Another peak bore the banner of 'Dream,' serving as a beacon for us all to never stop dreaming. It underscored the idea that dreams ignite our ambition and propel us to achieve the seemingly impossible.

#3 Mt. Elbrus – Commitment 

The banner of 'Commitment' waved proudly on a summit, showcasing that dedication and unwavering resolve are the cornerstones of personal growth and success.  

#4 Mt. Aconcagua – Patience

'Patience' fluttered in the wind atop another mountain, urging us to embrace the virtue of patience. It reminded us that progress often demands waiting, but the rewards are undeniably worth the journey. 

#5 Mt. Carstenz Pyramid – Truth

Atop yet another peak, the banner bore the word 'Truth,' emphasizing the importance of honesty and integrity in all our endeavors.

#6 Mt. Everest – Love 

'Love' was not forgotten. Ruben carried this banner high on a summit, reminding us that love transcends borders and is the most potent force in the world.

#7 Mt. Vinson – Gratitude

Finally, Ruben ascended a mountain with the banner of 'Gratitude.' It was a testament to the importance of appreciating the beauty of life and being thankful for the moments and people that make it special.

#8 Mt. Kilimanjaro - Uniting Humanity

To complete the Powerful Human Journey, Ruben returned to Kilimanjaro and climbed it for a second time, carrying the banner of Humanity. This final ascent sealed the unity amongst all peaks, enveloping the world with a positive intention of oneness. A protective bubble that will never be broken.

Through his journey, we learn that these values are not mere words but guiding principles that can help us navigate the ups and downs of life. They are the threads that connect us, transcending cultural borders and social divides.

These eight beacons were more than personal triumphs; they were a testament to the indomitable spirit of humanity. Let this story serve as a reminder that we all possess the potential to conquer our life mountains and discover the powerful human force within us all.


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