Top Ten
Pearls of Wisdom
I Learned
up a Mountain

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Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  This is especially true when hiking up a mountain.  It’s not something you roll out of bed and decide to do one fine morning.  There’s physical conditioning to consider, essential planning, and information to gather about the trail.  Climbing a mountain is like every other challenge in life, it requires steady progress towards the goal.

Scaling the summit of Mt. Baldy taught me a few things...

1.   Never quit. 

Adjust your attitude as you ascend in altitude despite the fact that the rest of the way is very steep, completely uphill and there isn’t a plateau in sight.  The truth is, you are in midst of an adventure; dare to experience every moment of it.

2.   Never underestimate yourself.

Your body is capable of more than you realize and you are capable of more than you tell yourself.  Why not believe in yourself and trust your abilities?

3.   Learn to coach yourself.  

When your mind tells your body to keep pushing forward, your body will respond accordingly.  Suddenly, you’re digging deep to find the resolve to press on, despite the rain, your complaining quadriceps and the missing half of the PBJ that you accidentally dropped in the dirt.  Use the power of autosuggestion, that is, positive self talk and transcend your circumstances.  Every step you take brings you closer to the summit.

4.   Pain is temporary. 

The air is thin at 9000 feet and by then you’ve been climbing for a few hours.  The fact is, you’ve still got territory to cover.  Your body is achy and you’re still bummed about that PBJ half that you dropped in the dirt, but you know this won’t last forever.  Remind yourself about why you wanted to embark upon this journey, tap into your courage and power forward.

5.   Commit to the goal.

Commitment is the direct opposite of procrastination, avoidance, distraction and all other non-productive, evasive activity.  The view at the top of the mountain is absolutely tremendous to behold; this is the priceless reward that awaits you.

6.   Learn from others.  

When we have a specific goal in mind, we may not possess all the tools required to get the job done.  Spend time educating yourself.  You are not the first person to reach this trailhead, others have walked this way before you and they’re ready to share what they know, so lend an ear and listen to successful people.

7.  Appreciate beauty along the way. 

Stop, rest and contemplate the panoramic view spread out before you.  Look to your left, to your right and notice a wildflower, a mountain chickadee or the sound of the wind as it rustles through the leaves of a tall tree.  Commune with nature before you return your attention to the task at hand.

8.   Be Prepared.

Scaling a mountain requires alternate periods of rest and action in pursuit of the summit.  Start by conditioning your body on equally demanding hikes.  Pack responsibly and take care of yourself en route to the top with proper hydration and fuel for your body.  In the pursuit of any goal, be balanced and responsible in your approach.

9.   Persistent, continuous action gets the job done. 

Do something everyday towards the attainment of your dream.  Sometimes, the task of the day might be ridding yourself of a negative attitude.  Replace “I can’t” with “I can”.  Organize yourself.  Schedule each task required in order to reach your own personal summit.

10.   Have Faith.

As in all other areas of life, the goal itself, as well as the work behind it, rests on a foundation of faith.  Develop faith in yourself and in your inherent abilities to achieve your purpose in life.  Nurture your faith in God and in His Love.  God’s Love is always available to you, every step of the way.   His unfailing Love is present in the DNA of wildflowers, in the scent of pine on the wind and in the sound of water falling, further ahead on the path.  When the going gets tough, or you’ve lost your way, refer to the GPS watch on your wrist, as well as the supernatural GPS provided by a loving God.  God is present on the mountain, so be fearless in your ascent.  

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