I heard a speech a few years ago from a woman who had climbed Mount Everest. Looking at her photos and hearing the struggles she went through was inspiring. She had started the climb with a few friends and at a certain point in the climb some of the climbers had to turn around and go home.
Some run out of oxygen, some their equipment is faulty, others get sick. But every single climber runs up against the same obstacles at some point. Some return to do the climb again the next year, some never return. But the fact is that those that make it to the top of the mountain, they faced all the same obstacles that those who never made it to the top did. Some needed to go backwards to make progress, but in the end the finishers just pushed through the resistance.
“We tend to think progress is defined by forward motion, but sometimes you have to go backwards to reach your end goal. “When you don’t get a promotion or take a job that you feel is a step down, look at it as an opportunity to review your skills, rest up, and get stronger.” Alison Levine
I think that life can be similar to this in so many ways. The first time up the mountain you may run into some obstacles that cause you to have to turn around and go back down. You apply greater preparation, you change and adapt to make the climb one more time. You head back up the mountain this time a little more prepared then you were before. This time you face new obstacles even though you may have overcome the ones you faced the last time. You may end up having to go back down the mountain again and try again next year, or you may find a way to get through.
So many times we would like to think that succeeding in life is just straight up the mountain with no obstacles, not turning back and starting again. But we can only progress as much as we are willing to adapt and change.
You could be halfway up the mountain right now and you could see all those who have made it that far with you. But at any moment, any one of those individuals could have to go back down. And the fact of the matter is those who have succeeded to that point you don’t know how many times they had to turn around and go back up that mountain.
The inexperienced one that makes it to that place the first try, he may get up there and think wow that was easier than I thought. He got lucky and didn’t face quite as many set-backs in the beginning. But in order to be as skilled as the other climbers he is going to have to gain the experience of dealing with setbacks and adversity.
Sometimes it’s the people who stumbled, who’ve been beaten and bruised and have taken risks that achieve the most - Alison Levine
I honestly believe that when we face tough situations it is God’s way of pushing us into the right direction and pushing us to change in the way we need to change. You may not have worked as hard as you are now if it weren’t for the setbacks you have faced. You may not be learning that new skill right now if you didn’t have to learn that skill.
Learning to achieve great things is an amazing part of life, but our goals transform us. When you begin your journey up the mountain, don’t expect it to be a straight climb. But remember when you have to walk back down the mountain and start the journey once again, you are starting with more experience. Be confident in what you have learned and go to higher heights the next time around.
To succeed we have to surround ourselves around confident people who are willing to make the climb along with us.
We have to let go of what we knew in the past, what we were in the past in order to become who we are supposed to be in the future. What are you holding on to from your past that is keeping you from your future?
Closing with an inspirational video on Everest and building a business