We always look at the mountains in front of us. We rarely look at the mountains we’ve already climbed. We often worry, anticipate or focus on the issues confronting us today, sure they’re insurmountable.
Scared and overwhelmed we can’t imagine overcoming them. Until we stop, take a breath and think about all the ones we’ve had to scale to get to this point.
They too seemed impossible.
Life is a constant challenge. It rarely comes with long periods of comfort, relaxation and security. Instead, it seems turbulent and exhausting. We climb one mountain just to face another.
Sometimes we have to pause at the summit of one triumph. Luxuriate in its accomplishment before plummeting down to the base of the next. Sometimes we need to look behind and see the rolling vista we have travelled. Appreciate where we were and where we are today. Remember the fear and anxieties we felt when we thought the last one was too much to handle.
Until we did.
Amelia Earhart said,
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”We all know that’s true.Once we’re moving we can pick a direction to keep the inertia going. Whether it’s up or down, right or left, straight through, forward is the goal.”
Don’t get caught up in the wall ahead.
Break it down into tolerable pieces.
Need a job? Focus on today. Today, I’ll update my resume. Today, I’ll call potential employers. Set up an interview.
Does the to-do list covers multiple pages? Tackle the simplest chore first. Then move on to the next. As they are scratched off, the list shrinks, and a wonderful sense of accomplishment grows.
Overwhelmed at work? Take on one task at a time. Read and organize emails. Answer calls. Clean up one file, then move on to the next. For providers, it’s called “pajama time.” Those hours after work when we can finally answer patient calls, review incoming correspondence, labs, and radiological reports. Throughout the day numbers flash in the corner of our electronic records as the boxes fill up, taunting us with work still to be done. Prioritizing, answering as many as possible throughout the day, then plowing through them at night is the only option. Otherwise, they accumulate rapidly, making the job seem even more impossible.
We all struggle. That’s life. But looking at past accomplishments can help ease the burden. We’ve been here before. We’ll be here again. We know how to get this done. Put one foot in front of the other and just keep walking. But along that road remember to-Laugh. Share. Have fun. Love.
Those mountains will become a magnificent tapestry and testament to a life well lived.
The summit is what drives us, but the climb itself is what matters.Conrad Anker