Why the process of climbing a mountain is more important than getting to the summit.
Recently I read “Let My People Go Surfing,” by Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard.
In it, he talks about how it’s more important how you climb a mountain than reaching the top. That many people get so fixated on the target and the goal, and getting there as fast as possible, that they compromise on the process of getting there. But it’s in the process where all the triumph can be found.
Think about it, the goal of climbing a giant mountain (or shooting for any big goal be it losing weight, starting a business, advancing your career, or having kids!) is to find growth, personal, spiritual or otherwise.
That won’t happen if you compromise or shortcut the process!
My journey up a mountain
Training for marathons and triathlons can be extremely stressful on the body. I pushed my body past any comfort zone it had as I worked slowly and diligently toward my goal. It took me 100+(!) hours of intense training. Finishing my first triathlon felt insanely gratifying! The insane levels of euphoria and pride I felt crossing the finish line would not have been there had someone just driven me in a car to the end. Where is the accomplishment in that? It’s because of the torn muscles, the rashes, the tears, the dead toenails, the sweat, that I felt so fiercely victorious.
The same goes for starting mine and my husband’s consulting business, Be Courageous. Starting a business is hard! The process is daunting, it’s scary, it’s long hours, it’s worrying about money, it’s pushing through. And it’s in that work that the growth happened, not the fact that it is successful.
How appreciating “the climb” promotes calm
Being uncomfortable feels icky, or it wouldn’t be called uncomfortable. You’re uncomfortable because you’re doing something you’ve never done before and the reason you’re uncomfortable is because you’re doing something hard. In order to get through the discomfort we must accept that this is a natural part of the process. Knowing that this is a key part of the process, you can accept the difficulty and push through it way easier than someone resisting the whole way.
If the pain hurts more than the thought of you not reaching your goal, then maybe it’s not a goal worthy of your time. If avoiding the pain is more important than reaching your goal, then don’t do it. But if the goal is most important to you, make the choice to accept the hard stuff along the way. Because it’s in the hard stuff where all the learning and growth and pride will come from once you accomplish it.
Reach out, I’m here for you.