Harder The Work – Greater the Achievement
I know the feeling of reaching the summit very well, since hiking is my sport.
Often when I share my photos with people, they are in awe with the view and scenery. Sometimes they say: “I wish I could do it.” Others might say: “Next time take me with.”
Today I will not analyse the two responses, except to mention that more often than not, the group who wants to be invited have too many excuses when I do invite them.
Today is more about what cannot be seen when you see the photo from the top. My routine to get to the top, goes like this:
- Polish boots
- Pack food
- Put water bottles in fridge
- Confirm first aid kit and emergency gear in backpack
- Put clothes on kitchen table (so that I will not bother my wife tomorrow morning)
Get up earlier than any other morning!
- Wonder why I do this to myself – a rhetorical question
- Boil the kettle while dressing and preparing a breakfast
- Make sure food, water, warm clothes, and clean shirt for after the hike is in
- Drive to my hike with sun rising in the east
- Check everything for the last time
- Start hiking
- Sometimes it is on the level, sometimes downhill, followed by long uphill, just to go downhill again
- Sometimes it is rocky terrain and I must concentrate not to fall over a loose rock
- Wonder why on earth I am doing this – a rhetorical question
- Then it is plain sailing and I admire the flora
- Eventually you reach the top – it is achievement and exhilarating and it makes everything worthwhile. It is what it is all about. When it is a particularly strenuous climb, I often throw my arms in the air in a celebration of victory.
I forgot to mention that I visit the gym daily to ensure I am fit enough to get to the summit on a Saturday.
Whatever you do, the process to reach the top will always be more or less like my Saturday summit.
There is a desire, planning and preparation. You must get out of the car and start walking, one step at a time. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is hard work, sometimes you are in precarious situations, sometimes you get tired. Sometimes you feel like giving up. The steepest uphill is always the last part to get to the top.
That is the worst part and many times have I seen hikers stopping just before the summit! That is sad, putting in all the work and effort and then giving up just before you get the reward. That is the same in business. You never really know how close you are from the summit, from the top, from success, from achieving your goal.
The feeling of achievement and the joy of the view and scenery at the top, well, next Saturday I will repeat the whole process. The sense of achievement and success makes all the hard work like nothing.
The problem with turning back before the summit is, it erodes your confidence, you get into a mode of “I cannot do it. I am not good enough.” And soon your dreams slip away behind an avalanche of excuses.
It is not how long it takes that matter
A last important thought about hiking and reaching the summit. Did you notice I never mentioned how long it takes? Some people get to the summit a lot quicker than others. That is fine. Each hiker has his own comfortable pace. What is important is that you go fast enough to reach the top in time to enjoy the view and get down safely before dark. In other words, there is some “urgency.” Most importantly, you just keep on putting one foot ahead of the other.
One foot ahead of the other is the only way to the top!
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