Whoever tells you success is easy is lying! OK, so it is easy to a point and perhaps those people have never experienced success beyond their own ceiling, perhaps they have ‘settled’ for a level where they had achieved more success than they had in the past without looking up and seeing the layers and layers of even more success above them, so they defined the level of success they had arrived at easily as their ultimate success and left it at that.
Success in anything you choose to do is infinite, and if you choose to do so, you can keep on learning, discovering new heights, working out the path to the next level where you’re then able to see even further, but the higher you get, does it get harder or easier?
The answer to that depends on your mindset towards the challenges.
The hardest part on the road to success undoubtedly for me at least was overcoming setbacks and challenges beyond my control. Picking myself up when I’ve fallen over and hurt myself and carrying on rather than using it as an excuse to stop.
I visualize success like climbing a mountain. I spent 10 years leading groups trekking in the Himalayan mountains and its this experience which inspires and motivates me today.
At the foot of the mountain range there is valley with a large city where many people reside. This is my metaphor for where everyone has the choice to live, neither a success or failure, just the starting point.
From the city there is a busy main road leading up towards the foothills. The main road is crowded with over stuffed buses and vehicles clambering with people eager to get to the next level and there are plenty of people willing to take their money to help them get there. It’s a path well traveled and it is easy to find your way as there are lots of guides and freely available advice.
At the end of busy main road there is another town situated on a plateau a little way up the mountain, not nearly as vast or populated as the city in the valley, but all the same, there are many people here pleased that they made the effort and have arrived. The views are beautiful here and it is a much more pleasant and enjoyable place to be than the city in the valley.
Leading on upwards from the town on the plateau there is a small road inaccessible to vehicles, this is where you get off and walk. Supplies go up on donkeys or mule trains, but for those who want to go on up, it is a well trodden path that you can follow with ease if you have the energy and determination to get higher. But it’s not so easy, it takes time, it can be slow work and you actually have to be careful not to go too quickly because you can suffer from altitude sickness at this height and be forced to descend and acclimatize before going higher again.
As you ascend the mountain, you notice two things:-
There are less people the higher you go
The path is harder to find
Here especially, if you are sensible anyway, you find yourself a guide, not only to show you the way, but to help you over the difficult passes. Someone who has been here before, who knows the way. Genuine guides cost money, but what would you rather do, pay a guide and get to your destination safely, or try and do it for nothing, get lost and be forced to give up or deem “there is no path higher!” ?
There is always a path to go higher, but inevitably you need a guide to help you find it. The guide is not there to walk for you, or to tell you how to walk, they are there to point you in the right direction and help you over obstacles from time to time. As your altitude increases, you need better, more specialized equipment and a team of people to help you, you can’t do it on your own and you need to be prepared to invest in your journey.
Did you know the permit to climb Everest costs $50,000. No one would attempt to do it alone without the right equipment or without a guide and those who are determined to summit Everest are prepared to pay the fee and find a way.
You will learn along the way that there are many people prepared to take a few coins and point you in a direction which leads to a dead end, they just want the money. From time to time you will run out of energy and your determination will waiver and at this point you have a choice, to rest and regain your energy or give up and go down. Its not unusual to be following a path when you come across an landslide that’s taken out the path and you have to find a way around it.
This is the point I find the hardest – when I’m following what I believe is the right path and suddenly the path is taken out and I have to find the way forwards again on a new path. Instead of thinking I’ve wasted time following a path that the landslide has interrupted, I can use my knowledge of the terrain to find the shortcut to the new path and get back on the road to success.
However, if you are determined to get as high as you possibly can and find the right guide, you will climb higher than you have ever done before and the views are stunning, unbelievable, beyond your wildest dreams and you suddenly understand why these rewards are there only for those who are the most determined to be successful.
When you climb a mountain, there is no failure, there is only giving up. The altitude you stop at is your decision.
If you want to go higher but think you can’t, it just means you need to find a guide.
During the 10 years I led groups into the mountains, without fail, every single time it was a team effort, it took the support of every single person in that team to get the whole group to our destination and back.