Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Think Like a Mountaineer
Of all the active things I've done I think mountaineering might provide the best metaphor for life... especially success in life - wherever you may want to create success.
Think like a mountaineer and you'll see three clear stages: Valleys, Mountainsides and Summits.
Valleys are for rest, recovery and taking time to research peaks waiting to be conquered. The problem is that the valley is comfortable and many people never leave. In the valley it is hard to develop your climbing skills… even the smallest peaks are daunting to those who never leave the valley.
Summits are life's highlight reel. They don't define us – in the end they are only a list of places we've been. Highlight reels don't feature the hard work, blood sweat and tears that go into expeditions.
Mountainsides are where we define ourselves – spend enough time on the mountainside of life and you will come face to face with mortality, fear, doubt, adversity and other extreme conditions that don't exist in the valley (and always seem to evaporate at the peak.) Not surprisingly the most successful people at anything have put in a lot of time on the mountainside fighting through terrible storms and developing the knowledge, skill, strength and resolve required to scale ever larger mountains.
A simple plan for success in life: Fear the Valley. Take pictures at the Summit. Spend most of your time on the Mountainside.