Lessons I learned from the Mountain

Jul 22

I have been thinking a lot about what I learned while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Throughout my life I have been a person who seeks constant knowledge. I actually need to be learning and doing new things in order to be truly fulfilled and happy. Sometimes that learning comes from reading a book about a topic I know nothing about, sometimes it comes from asking other people questions (my innate curiosity), sometimes from actually taking the time to sit and reflect on my life’s experiences. The one I have the hardest time with is actually sitting down to reflect on what my experiences have taught me. But I have done just that – reflected on the lessons of the mountain and of the people who joined me on the mountain.1. Patience – there is a time for everything, slow down and savor each moment, look around and NOTICE, everyone and everything isn’t on your timetable and they don’t need to be

2. Life is an Adventure – Remember this every day of your life, even in the most ordinary of moments life can and should be an adventure. Live Large.

3. Every step counts. No matter how small.

4. Find joy in your accomplishments. The big ones, the small ones and everything in between.

5. Don’t get down if you don’t reach every goal. If you reach every goal in your life it probably means you aren’t setting the bar high enough and stretching yourself beyond what you think is possible.

6. Gratitude – Be grateful for even the smallest things: the next step, a drink of water, a warm meal, a soft place to lay your head down, a smile, a word of encouragement, friendships, possibilities, struggles, and especially for PORTERS. We often forget to be grateful.

7. There are no boundaries to your life other than the one’s you set for yourself.

8. The only failure is in not trying.

9. Overcoming obstacles, fears, pain, and discouragement is so much easier with love and support.

10. Wear your Buff if you don’t want to be blowing black stuff out of your nose for a week.

11. Human connection and understanding doesn’t always need a common language. The language of emotion is universal.

12. Leaving your fears behind is truly empowering.

13. Life is too short not to savor every minute.

14. Connecting deeply with others is one of the most fulfilling things in life and it has more power to heal than all the medicine in the world.

15. People make mistakes – move on and let it go.

16. Self preservation is a strong instinct.

17. Pee with the wind to your back when using a pee funnel!

18. Watching out for others has its own rewards.

19. People have interesting stories. Remember that. Remember to ask. Remember that each of us is a composite of our stories.

And finally,

Sometimes it will be cloudy
Sometimes it will be bitter cold
Sometimes it will be dark
Sometimes the path will be dusty
Sometimes the path will be obscured
Sometimes the path will be rocky
Sometimes the path will be steep
Sometimes the path will be unstable
Sometimes the path will be uncertain
Sometimes the path may seem insurmountable
Overcoming the obstacles and accomplishing what is most difficult is what gives life its purpose and meaning. Enjoy the dust, bumps, rocks, hills, ravines and mysteries. they are what make the sunsets and full moons more magnificent.

I hope that my fellow travelers will add to this the lessons that they’ve learned from the mountain as well.

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