Choose the mountain you want to climb
Don't be influenced by what other people say: "that one's prettier" or "that one looks easier". You are going to put a lot of energy and enthusiasm into achieving your objective, and you are the only person responsible for your choice, so be quite sure about what you are doing.
Find out how to reach the mountain
Often you can see the mountain in the distance - beautiful, interesting, full of challenges. However, when you try to reach it, what happens? It's surrounded by roads; forests lie between you and your objective; and what seems clear on the map is far more complicate in reality. So you must try all the paths and tracks until. one day, you find yourself before the peak you intended to climb.
Learn from someone who has been there before
However unique you may think you are, there is always someone who has had the same dream before, and who will have left signs behind that will make the climb less arduous: the best place to attach a rope, trodden paths, branches broken off to make it easier to pass.
It is your climb and it is your responsibility too, but never forget that other people's experiences are always helpful.
Dangers, seen from close to, are controllable
When you start to climb the mountain of your dreams, pay attention to what is around you. There are, of course, precipices. There are almost imperceptible cracks. There are stones polished so smooth by rain and wind that they have become as slippery as ice. But if you know where you are putting your foot, you will see any traps and be able to avoid them.
The landscape changes, so make the most of it
You must, naturally, always keep in mind your objective - reaching the top. However, as you climb, the view changes, and there is nothing wrong with stopping now and then to enjoy the vista. With each metre you climb, you can see a little further, so take time to discover things you have never noticed before.
Respect your body
You will only manage to climb a mountain if you give your body the care it deserves. You have all the time that life gives you, so do not demand too much from your body. If you walk to quickly, you will grow tired and give up halfway. If you walk too slowly, night might fall and you will get lost. Enjoy the landscape, drink the cool spring water, and eat the fruit that Nature so generously offers you, but keep walking.
Respect your soul
Don't keep repeating, "I am going to do it". Your soul knows this already. What is needs to do is to use the long walk in order to grow, to reach out as far as the horizon, to touch the sky. Obsession will not help you in the search for your goal, and will end up spoiling the pleasure of the climb. On the other hand, don't keep repeating "It's harder than I thought", because that will sap your inner strength.
Be prepared to go the extra mile
The distance to the top of the mountain is always greater than you think. There is bound to come a moment when what seemed close is still very far away. But since you are prepared to go still further, this should not be a problem.
Be joyful when you reach the top
Cry, clap your hands, shout out loud that you made it: let the wind (because it is always windy up there) purify your mind, cool your hot, weary feet, open your eyes, blow the dust off your heart. What was once only a dream, a distant vision, is now part of your life. You made it, and that is good.
Make a promise
Now that you have discovered a strength you did not even know you had, tell yourself that you will use it for the rest of your days; promise yourself, too, to discover another mountain and set off on a new adventure.
Tell your story
Yes, tell your story. Be an example to others. Tell everyone that it's possible, and then others will find the courage to climb their mountains.
Like the Flowing River
I believe coincidence is not at all coincidental.
Yesterday I had returned mid afternoon from a 2 day trek up Volcan Cosigüina
. I took a long soul cleansing shower to clean the 2 day combination of dust, dirt, sweat and dead insects off my worn out body. I had a well deserved glass of red wine with some friends at an American Thanksgiving party (we were too late for the much needed food). Needing nutrition I went for dinner at my favorite outdoor frutunga stand (bbq chicken, gallo pinto, salad and tortilla) behind the Cathedral with my pal Paige and then went home.
I will confess that I felt amazing. You know that feeling you get about an hour after a great workout? Calm, relaxed and clear headed. No? Well put down the Doritos, turn off the TV or shut down the computer and go for a walk. Tired really is just a state of mind (unless you have not slept for 48 hours). I find it is something to many people say ad nauseam usually to use as an excuse not to do something they do not want to do. It's easier and less confrontation than No. " I am so tired", listen to how many times a day you hear it, then ask the person why they are so tired. It can be amusing.
I am so tired of hearing how tired everyone is.
In the morning I need a jolt of coffee and a new book. First stop is the the book swap area at the hostel. Filled with a combination of German literature and fiction I scrounged and came across a new copy of Like the Flowing River by Paulo Coelho
. I do not know much about Paulo Coelho aside from having read the Alchemist
a while back. Seeing as it was Black Friday, I greedily snatch it and I was ready to push over anyone who got in my way. As I am the only person around I walk to the coffee shop with a victorious bounce in my step.
The book is a series of short stories and antidotes. The fifth story in is How to Climb Volcanoes which you have just read. Whether you use is as metaphor for life or in the literal sense it was a nice find that I wanted to share with you. As I mentioned I believe coincidence is not at all coincidental.
*** I have learned the value of citing other peoples work.. To give credit to the person or people who put in the time and effort to deliver the information I am about to use or share. What I have learned to abhor is plagiarism. To take the effort of someone's work and pass it off as your own. Worse is relishing in the acclaim you may receive no matter if its public or just among friends and family. How sad is a life that reaches that level of desperation for attention and acceptance? In this day and age it will be found out so don't do it. It's beyond pathetic.
Finally, the quote that I will use to keep my head and path clear.
“Sometimes, we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down
wonderful opportunities simply because don't know what to do with it.”
Like the Flowing River