On Climbing Mountains

Some time back on a monthly Master Coaches call I participate in the topic of discussion was mountain climbing.  Of course as a bunch of coaches we were swimming in the messages for humanity with climbing.  One particular bit really lit me up.  When scaling a really big mountain people actually climb it four times.  Maybe more.  They ascend to a point that pushes their bodies.  Stay briefly.  Then descend to where they were and rest i.e. gain strength.  Go back up further than before and then return down.  This allows the person to acclimate.  To have the body for the climb.  The process strengthens the mind and soul as well as the body.  Without this process a human one, couldn’t make it to the summit and two, couldn’t make it back down.

In business the Cha Cha; stepping forward, stepping back; is necessary to lay a strong foundation.  Most people I know want a smooth continuous upward trend line.  That sexy smooth success curve is fragile.  If you don’t have set backs or make mistakes you can’t learn the lessons required.  There is no muscle building.  The up and back of self employment allows us to reach the pinnacle.  More importantly it allows us to maintain the heights we attain.

Businesses can fail gunning for the top.  Spending money on the monikers of affluence.  As long as the cash is rolling in we are golden.  That is until communication breakdowns, relationship dysfunction or system failures bring everything down.  At that point you are left sitting at the bottom of the mountain wondering how you got there.

The successful mountain climbers listen to their bodies.  They pay attention to how the thinner air and hard physical exertion effects them.  To make the summit requires mind, body and soul focus.  Ego and glory desires can tempt a person to push past what their body can cope with.  That can equate to death.  With the extreme sport of mountain climbing there is not room for complacency.

In our lives and businesses it is easier to ignore the signs that we need to take a step back.  We can believe that the consequences are small.  It is no big deal that ______.  Fill in your own blank.  In reality everything has an effect and a response.  If we don’t address the small stuff guaranteed it will turn into a bigger issue.  When you notice that things are not flowing or you feel conflicted or relationships are strained.  Pay attention.  Maybe you’ve gone up the mountain too far and are a little short on oxygen.  Pause.   Allow yourself to acclimate.  What do you need to learn, surrender, make amends for, speak up about, pick up, do differently?  What is the muscle you need to build so you can reach the next level?

Then do what occurs to you.  Trust that the  process strengthens your mind, soul and body.  Begin climbing once more.  Enjoy the view on the way.

For Your Best Possible Self,
Coach Christine Clark