Get Hooked on Climbing

Greg Mortensen in his book, Three Cups of Tea, describes his first climbing experience. When he was eleven years old his father took him on his his first high mountain climb. “I gagged and puked my way up Kilimanjaro”, he said, and “I hated the climb. But standing on the summit at dawn,  seeing the sweep of the African savannah below me, hooked me forever on climbing.” What a great analolgy this is of where we all have been at one point or another in our lives.  We make our plans, we set our sites on our loftly goals and dreams, and our enthusiasm runs high.  Then we begin the climb to the summit of those plans and all of a sudden we “hate” what we are doing.  None of the effort seems worth it.  Somehow we manage to keep going and the the summit of it all appears and then  we are standing on the top.  The difficulty of the climb, the view from the top, and  seeing the valleys below, gives us  all the motivation we need to “get hooked on climbing.”

Passionate Preparation

Setting goals and defining ultimate destinations in our lives seems to be an activity that we tend to tackle with the beginning of every new year.  I have always thought it a bit ritualistic to think of the change of the calendar as the “time” to do this.  It seems to me that the “goal” or the “summit” really should not  be the main focus; but rather PREPARING for those is what should monopolize our thoughts.  Preparing for something is far more than an intellectual exercise.  It should be an activity that is as loaded with passion as is the thought of the accomplishment.  Passionate preparation to me means that I think daily and momentarily about the “journey”  itself.  It has to be something I DESIRE to do all the time and it has to be a priority in my life.  Without this kind of passion in the preparation to reach our summits, they become only dreams. In 2012, Prepare with passion!

Your Next High Place

“People are never satisfied.  If they have a little, they want more. If they have a lot, they want still more. Once they have more, they wish they could be happy with little, but are incapable of making the slightest effort in that direction”.   Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone

Wanting more material things always looms as our next “high place” and we climb until exhaustion sets in,  we decide that more will always mean more and we realize that little is actually what brings fulfillment.  I have always felt that there is nothing wrong with having material “things”, but what is deceiving is that “things” can make us lose our ability to be happy with less.  Perhaps rather than our desire for more being our next high place, our next personal summit is practicing how to be happy with less.  The next time you want more; ask yourself if you have the capability of being happy with less.  It is a self-assessment worth making.