England’s famed Lake District terrain is an undulating, spectacular sight to behold. We could have easily been mesmerized off course by lingering longer than we had time for in the beauty of those magical moments. We had to consciously balance between how often we stopped vs pushing more fully into our day. Ahead there were long, hard and very steep hills with hairline paths waiting for us … it was no walk in the park. Henry Stedman’s book saved us many a time – but, I still rejected being told how badly I would feel by the end of each tough day. After 6 – 10 hour days, we would often encounter and share stories with other Coast to Coast hikers at the village pubs who didn’t hide their surprise that we were trekking for 13 consecutive days.
Think of how this relates to your personal or professional journey. When you reflect on your goals, recall the naysayers who are a little too quick to tell you what you can or cannot do. They warn you about your enthusiastic pace and are happy to remind you that management doesn’t really care about what you believe. Leaders may fail to communicate; teams lose morale and their sense of belonging. Your own script or self-talk can be harsh enough, so be discriminating about the instruments you allow into your orchestra.
We froze in our steps along a narrow easement in the middle of extensive farmland. Right in front of our path was an ominous swarm of bees. We quickly determined our only choice around the danger ahead. Climbing a fence onto the farmer’s muddy pasture, we walked a wide pathway far away from the swarm and climbed back to continue safely on our way.
With no signposting, we often huddled over our directions to decide which way was the right way. But when we arrived at a rapidly moving river, each one of us had to choose our own crossing point. I was totally intimidated by the rocks William chose to hop onto for his crossing. Eventually, Jodi and I both found what worked for us. Deep breaths. Then, shrieks of delight that we had made it. We continued on. A short while later, we found out we had actually gone the wrong way — The. Wrong. Way. We crossed back over the river — yet again.
When you set out to reach your goal, you may have no idea what success will require of you, what you may meet and need to overcome. We call them obstacles, mountains, stumbling blocks, mistakes, crossings, and sometimes, inconsiderate clients. Whether you’re alone or in a team, there is essentially one place where you will find the answers to most of the why, how or what questions that come up. It’s the starting point for each day, perhaps even several times a day. Next week we’ll discuss it head on … together, I promise!
Until then, keep on trekking,