Happy 1st July!
Blimey! 6 months of the year whizzed past already, I hope you’ve had a successful and rewarding first half of the year so far.
This time last week I was heading off to Ireland, with my friend Gilly, to climb Mount Brandon. Mount Brandon is the second highest peak in the Republic of Ireland (we did the highest last year!) and we were looking forward to seeing what a different experience it would be.
We did indeed make it to the top and back down again in one piece but it made me stop and think about how the whole experience is parallel to what we experience all the time when we are striving towards a goal.
Here’s a summary of my conclusions.
- It pays to have someone who knows what they’re doing to help you. We were told that we could have easily managed our way to the top and back on our own, that there were no paths to get lost on or opportunities to get lost. However, we chose to hire a local guide who not only showed us the way, but pointed out interesting landmarks, told us fabulous stories, showed us the best experience of the walk and shared his experience with us. If we’d gone up and back on our own we’d have missed out on that.
- Be with people with the same goal and interest as yours. Walking with Gilly was easy. We both wanted to do it. We both love the outside, don’t mind about stopping for photos, chatting about the view and having moments of silence.
- The summit is not the goal. Getting to the top of the mountain is not your goal. Getting up and back down again is the goal! If we’d have thought that getting to the top was it we’d have been mightily disappointed. The view at the top was this foggy, misty, cold, wet and windy experience! We were also not alone as there was a charity walk that morning and once they all reached the top (around the same time as we did) they all lit up and had a cigarette and got quite noisy. If I’d have been hoping for a perfect moment at the accomplishment of the goal I’d have been very disappointed.
- The journey is the achievement. Waiting for the one point of success on your goal is going to leave you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. The process of achieving the goal, all the little steps, the trips, the falling on your bum (I did that!), the wandering off path (to avoid the smokers!), the temporary stopping of your progress to decide what to do next, the mini rewards (Dairy Milk wholenut bar at the summit), the people you meet (our guides were fascinating), the beautiful moments on the way (the views were immense and needed to be breathed in) and the planning of the next goal (Skellig Michael next year) makes the achievement of the goal way more rewarding than just getting to the top.
So, as you approach this second half of 2016 take time this weekend to ask yourself how you’re doing.
Have you focussed for too long on just getting the job done? Getting to the magic and elusive goal? If you look back on the last 6 months what have you achieved? How did you get there? Who has been there with you? What trips and stumbles have you taken along the way? Have you enjoyed the view?
Always enjoy the view Heidi, it’s well worth the time you take to do so.
Have a great weekend — enjoy your mountain.