Whilst writing this reflection I am sat at the top of a mountain in the Lake District. On what I am told is a rare sunny day with piercing blue skies. I am admiring some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen ( see my picture above. Yes, photographer of the year, I know!)
While on several of my 10+ mile rambles, I realised something. I naturally gravitate towards the more difficult routes along the way; slightly steeper, rockier, trickier.
I asked myself the question, for what reason?
And the answer came bounding back at me - for the fun of it! The extra challenge, the thrill, the increased sense of achievement.
This made me think about life. We may not purposely choose the more difficult path, yet sometimes we are forced down it.
While that path can be painful and stressful, once you have walked along that path and reached the other side, the level of achievement and fulfilment is something we would never have received if we had taken the normal route.
Whilst on the tricker path you learn more about yourself, your abilities and what you are able to handle (which is normally more than you realise). You walk a path that not many people have ventured along, you get to see things that only a few others have seen. What you learn about yourself is invaluable.
You can look back at what you have scaled with pride. The times you wanted to just stop and quit. When the path became more difficult than you anticipated and you could see how much you still had to climb, yet you pushed on, got through it and climbed that mountain. Thats when the sweetness arrives, knowing that you made it despite all of the difficulties and now you can admire your beautiful view.
And you know what? It changes your perspective. That perspective has a huge impact as you now look forward at the possibilities in front of you. Which mountain do you want to climb next? Some are minor now in comparison and you will scale them quickly, you will hardly break a sweat. Some of the trickier ones - you know you have done it before, so now you know you can do it again. Not just believe like before. Knowing is better than belief. Knowing you can do it is powerful and it feeds your hunger for more!
My only tip for you is to remember to take a flask of tea and a Kit Kat, or two!
Nathan Douglas - Peak Performance Coach, Double Olympian and International Medallist.
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