I woke up on a Saturday morning after a gruelling week at the office.
I looked outside the window.
The sky was crystal clear. The sun shining bright.
The perfect summer day meant one thing only.
A wonderful opportunity for an adventure.
I set out preparing to take on the stunning day. I dressed light, wore my favourite running shoes and headed out. I knew exactly where to go.
I had always wanted to climb up that steep hill.
Usually, I would always come up with some dumb excuse. I don’t have time to do it, I’m not fit or I don’t feel like it today, maybe tomorrow.
Not this time though.
I had put it off for far too long now. We only get one chance at life.
I was determined to do it.
So I set off for the steep hill. I got into my jeep and started driving. It took just 15 minutes to arrive at the place.
It felt fantastic. The fresh air was mesmerising as the jeep started climbing up the hill. I could hear the birds passing by above and there was not a single soul in sight.
Suddenly, I run into a ‘No Entry’ sign for vehicles. This brought me to a sudden and complete halt.
I could no longer carry on with the jeep.
At this point I had 2 choices. Turn back or walk forward.
My determination pushed me to climb to the top. I chose to move on.
The climb was so effortless with the jeep but now, it was so dragging. My feet began to hurt as the summit of the hill seemed so distant.
To top it off, I wasn’t certain which is the shortest path to the top. I just walked on, guessing which way is the most efficient for me to go.
After walking for close to an hour, I started hearing a sound out at sea.
I scanned my surroundings. In front of me I saw something completely unexpected.
A vast army of dark grey clouds was abruptly heading my way. The sound I had heard was thunder. It was getting louder by the minute as the storm was fast approaching. I felt helpless standing there.
I wasn’t expecting this. In fact, I left home with nothing but a packet of gum.
Yes you read that right. No mobile phone. No wallet. No nothing. Just gum.
The jeep was too far behind now. I decided to keep moving towards the top of the hill despite feeling the first rain drops gently touching my forehead. The rain increased gradually as I forged on.
I had come to a point where I needed to climb some rocks to continue my journey. So that’s what I did. It took me 10 minutes to climb up. Halfway through the climb, my hands slipped off from the wet rocks. I abruptly held on as I feared for my life. I kept going with intense focus.
The rain had really picked up by now. It was heavy and I felt like giving up. I felt like an idiot. All alone up on that hill getting soaked like a duck in the water. The paths were getting seriously slippery too. Make no mistake, the journey consists of a tricky path.
I was focusing one step at a time. My progress was so slow and painful. The rain and winds were pounding me down the more I pushed on.
With every step I was taking, I could feel myself getting close. I looked up. I could now see the summit very clearly. My feet were aching and I was soaking wet.
I didn’t care one bit.
I made it.
The view from the top was fantastic. I felt on top of the world after all the suffering I had gone through. I felt extremely proud that I persisted and made it to the top.
You see, my friend. The road will not be an easy one. It’s a long and a pretty rough journey. A journey full of obstacles.
The key is to find a way to propel despite the challenges.
When the jeep can no longer go through, you walk. When you can no longer walk, you climb up with your hands. When it feels hopeless, you DO NOT break the momentum.
The hardest part of all this?
The first step.
The first step is always the hardest. The decision to get out of bed in the morning and go climb the hill. Go to the gym. Make that sales call you’ve been putting off. Whatever your goal is. The decision to take action everyday.
That first step sucks. Just like when I had to get off the jeep and had to walk. My feet started to hurt because I was not used to walking.
It gets easier after that first one step though. You just have to drag on your first couple of steps until it becomes easy by time.
The average Joe out there would probably have stopped the moment the jeep couldn’t pass through.
In fact, why was I the only one at the top of the hill? It was everything but crowded up there. In fact, it was quite lonely but it was also beautiful.
Most people simply give up too soon.
Now don’t get me wrong. I have been guilty of this numerous times throughout my life too.
I realised I have to take my first step though. The hardest of all steps.
I admit I have been guilty of quitting too soon, far too many times.
Admitting you have a problem is the first and hardest step towards arriving at any solution.
That is why this time I kept moving on to the top. Not even a severe thunderstorm could keep me from propelling to the top.
If you want to do something extraordinary, be prepared for such a journey ahead of you.
Ironically, after I got down from the hill, I wanted more. Sure, I was delighted but I wanted a bigger challenge now.
I set my sights on climbing a bigger hill next time round.
That’s the beauty of the journey. It’s a never-ending journey and this is exactly the journey I recommend for anyone.
The only journey worth pursuing is a never-ending journey of learning and improving yourself.
Be constantly building. Keep moving forward, whatever the circumstances. This is what I advocate.
Through comfort, we suffer. Through pain, we grow.
No doubt about it.
Propelling forward on the journey builds a sense of pride within yourself that you would otherwise not know of. You build endurance to uncomfortable situations. Perseverance and problem solving skills.
Ultimately, it brings a smile to your face when you look back and see how far you’ve come.
You also see how much of a better person the challenges of the journey have turned you into.
That is why you smile passionately when you look at the view from the top.
The view you have created.
Now you want to help others feel the happiness you’re feeling. The accomplishment and the sense of satisfaction but the reality is that..
Few are ever capable of pushing through the barriers and come out on top.
Actually, few are even capable of taking just the first step to begin with.
If you’re still reading, you have proven what I just said to yourself.
You, my friend, are one of the unique few that has the balls to make it to the end.
If you’ve read so far, you have what it takes.
Make it count.
What actions have you been putting off?
What actions do you need to take to propel and win?
Stop thinking about it.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu