Adventure Logbook #6: 10 Life Lessons Actualized When Conquering Mountains

Enzo Pinga shares some of his realizations while climbing mountains.

Nature offers some things that nothing else can. It  inspires reflection, spirituality, connectedness, purity, rejuvenation, among others. All this and many more can be associated with spending time with Mother Nature. Most times it leaves us in awe.

One of the easiest ways to experience nature is to go on a hike. Add a summit to reach and you have a challenge. It is a great way to spend time being active while reconnecting with nature. Having gone on two hikes in the last three days, one experiences life lessons, or life-clichés as I like to call it because we hear them so often, that make perfect sense when scaling peaks.

1. It is about small manageable steps
Why do so many people give up on their New Year's resolutions after only a month? We set big goals for ourselves to tackle in the new year but end up quitting once we get bored or discouraged only to repeat the cycle the next year. Many times these changes can be quite dramatic. If we break them down into smaller, more manageable steps, we are encouraged by the steady progress and are more likely to stick to the plan.

2. Your path to the top is rarely a straight line
We all want to be successful in life. We have visions for ourselves. However, the path to success is not always as smooth as we think them to be. We will meet several obstacles to overcome along the way that will steer us off the path to reaching point B. In reality our path in life is more aptly described as an 'S' line with lots of ups and downs. Sometimes we get lost along the way as we reach for the top.  It's okay to go backwards, retrace your steps and try again.

3. We accomplish things on our own time
Each of us is programmed and built uniquely. Two people striving for the same goal will accomplish it at different times. It is key for us to recognize that we each have different strengths and not give in to external pressure. We must realize our goals in our own time to be truly victorious.

4. Sometimes the seemingly wrong choices bring us to the right places
There are instances when we think we are being led farther away from the top but end up being blessings in disguise. We may meet people who end up helping us reach our goals or experience things that we otherwise would not have. A wrong turn was made on one of the hikes, which got us lost. The greater result of this was making friends along the way and seeing a glimpse of their way of life. All of which allows us to have a greater appreciation of the mountain and the people around it.

5. Pause every once in a while to soak it all up
Sometimes we forget to take a break, take time to recharge our batteries and catch our breath. Being so focused on the destination may distract us from the wonderful journey that we are on. Pause once in a while, and never forget to express gratitude for being on this journey, the beauty of your surroundings and for the people who are with you.

6. Don't be afraid to fall
Just as in life it is inevitable that we fall sometimes. We get up, dust ourselves off and keep going. Failure is something that we can charge to experience and personal growth. After which we are stronger, wiser, more equipped and wary to avoid a repeat.

7. People are there to support you along the way - even in the form of strangers
When we pursue our dreams we may find that it is a lonely road at the beginning. Your family and closest friends might think you are crazy but along the way you meet people who are there to not only support you but become your biggest fans. When we got lost on a hike we were helped by a couple of strangers that guided and brought us back to the right path. They did not accompany us the entire way but just enough to a point where we were able to continue on our own. Their kindness and generosity brought us back to the right path, giving us what we needed to carry on.

8. Your baggage gets lighter towards the end
The baggage you carry is the heaviest at the beginning of a hike. You would need adequate food, water and supplies to survive the journey. In life we each carry anxieties, fear, grudges and uncertainties that weigh us down. As we overcome challenges our load gets lighter.  Towards the end of the journey our baggage is much lighter, we have the feeling of accomplishment and joy of overcoming adversity. We become better versions of ourselves as we lighten our loads.

9. The bigger the challenge the greater the reward
Challenging ourselves allows us to push beyond our previously known limits. There is a greater sense of accomplishment when taking the more challenging route to the top. Doing things that we know we can achieve gets boring. Try walking up five flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator and multiply that feeling by five hundred. We can only grow by pushing ourselves.

10. Self-love along the way is key
A little self-love is necessary to keep going on this journey. That's why we take time off to go on vacations. Treat yourself once in a while. We may burn out if we keep going without taking necessary breaks to replenish and refuel for another push, which may take us further away from the goal. Your body and soul with love you for some self-indulgence from time to time.