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Climbing Mountains

I am currently away on a retreat called Awaken the Change Within. This retreat is some time out for me plus the opportunity to connect with other like-minded women.  I made a commitment coming to this retreat was to immerse myself totally in everything that was planned for the 3 days.

Cyndi O'Meara, Kim Morrison and Carren Smith (Charlie's Angels)
Cyndi O’Meara, Kim Morrison and Carren Smith (Charlie’s Angels)

Our activity for this morning was a climb up Mt Coolum at 6am in the morning. Kim Morrison from twenty8 was our leader for the day and she tells us that it will only take us 15 minutes to get to the top but……the sign at the start of the trail says it is a 2 hour round trip!!!!  Well I had made my commitment so off I started.  With Cyndi O’Meara from Changing Habits leading the way, everyone moved off at a different pace.

Now in NSW our bush tracks are fairly well defined, there are fences to keep people safe and the tracks are clearly marked, this are done differently in Queensland.  While there is a track, at times it isn’t clearly defined and there was no fences are safety barriers, there weren’t even any signs to tell you to keep away from the edge (for the daredevils amongst us who like to live on the edge).

I thought of this exercise like running a business.  I have a vision – to get to the top and all I had to do was take one step after the other and no matter how hard it got I would just keep going and I knew that eventually I would make it.  So I was climbing this mountain with my good friend and mentor Carren Smith beside me for encouragement.  Just one step after the other.

Quite a few people past us on the way, they were running up the mountain and it seemed so easy for them.  But I just kept climbing, I had a goal to get to the top, one step after the other.

Finally I reached the top, the view was gorgeous but life wasn’t that comfortable at the top.  The mossies were attacking everyone, we were covered in them.  You couldn’t hit them fast enough to get rid of them.  Finally I just stopped trying to hit the mossies and let them be and I stopped noticing them.  People would tell me that I had mossies on my back but I ignored them but when I wasn’t focussing on them I couldn’t feel them.

View from the top of Mt Coolum
View from the top of Mt Coolum

At the top of the mountain, I thought this is like business and its like life you have a goal and you strive for it and the view at the top is fantastic.  It is worth the effort that you put in.  When you are in business you have a goal to be successful, you keep going one step after the other and eventually you will get there if you don’t give up.  These were my thoughts then I realised something….

I had made it to the top of the mountain but that wasn’t really the end goal.  I needed to make it back down again, I had to be able to step back into my life knowing that I had climbed the mountain and could celebrate that achievement.

The climb back down was so much harder than the climb up.  I have issues with my knee and my hip, I struggle with my balance and have a fear of falling.  When I started on my journey down the mountain I made a conscious effort to put all of those thoughts and words completely out of my head and focus.  I repeated to myself – I am balanced, I am strong, I am confident – these words ran through my head.

The steps down were tougher than the climb up
The steps down were tougher than the climb up

More people passed me on the way down than on the way up, but I kept going.  I noticed that I separated from everyone else as I focused one step after the other.  I also realised that this is something that I do in life and business, when things get tough I separate myself from my family, my friends and anyone else.  I don’t ask for help, I don’t ask for encouragement (while I am happy to give it to others).  I realised as I was climbing down one of the reasons that I do this is that I don’t want to hear other people’s negative talk, it takes all my energy to keep me going.

I finally made it to the bottom of the walk, where I could relax and enjoy the company of the rest of the group.  Then I realised that the goal is not in getting to the top, the goal is climbing to the top and finding the strategies to support you while you complete your journey.  The real end goal was the bottom of the mountain, not the top.  How many of us in life and business strive for the top of the mountain without any thought of what happens next.  What do we do to look after ourselves after we ‘make it’?  How do we find the courage to keep on going after the successes of life?

Success!
Success!

I realised that the top of the mountain wasn’t the goal, the entire trip was the goal.  It is great to build a successful business, to keep on working at the achieving your goal, but you must keep your entire journey in mind.  Stay in alignment with your values, see your vision as something bigger than yourself but still supporting you and keep on moving one step at a time whether you are climbing the mountain or returning to your base.

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