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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

A Lesson from Mountain Climbing

Everything can be achieved little by little. A couple of summers ago, three or four of my friends cornered me and accused me of living in the comfort zone.

They told me that I'd stopped dreaming, that I was only doing the things I knew I could do and that I knew I could achieve, and that I wasn't pushing myself, that I wasn't stretching myself enough. As a solution to this, they decided that I needed a bit of a challenge in my life and they had already decided what their challenge would be.

They invited me to join them in Colorado to climb a mountain, a 14 and a half thousand-foot mountain. As we began walking that morning. I discovered that they had already climbed a 10000 foot an 11000 foot, a 12000 foot, and a 13000-foot mountain, and they were seeking their 14,000-foot victory. I, on the other hand, had never climbed anything in my entire life.

We get to about 11000 feet. You get through the tree line and the air becomes a little bit tight. You get to about 12000 feet and you take 10 steps and you need to stop to take another breath. I get to about 13000 feet. By this time, we've lost three of them. It's just me and one other guy climbing this mountain. We get to about 13000 feet and I'm there thinking, “what am I doing this for”? I'm thinking, “what do I want to be up here on this mountain for? I've done thirteen thousand feet. I mean, they've done 10000-foot mountain. If I was doing a 10000-foot mountain, I would have been done three hours ago. They've done 11000-foot mountain…12000. What do I need to be climbing this 14 and a half thousand-foot mountain for?”

And I sat down on a boulder, and these two people came walking past me, a guy and a girl, and they get about 10 feet past me. And then the woman turns around, she comes back to me and she says to me, "You know, it's not a race." She says, "as long as you keep moving, you'll get there." She says, "As long as you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, you will get there. So just take your time." And, you know, that really changed my perspective on it. And that's another lesson in little by little, everything can be achieved little by little. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Soon enough, we're going to get to the mountaintop.

How would you like your life to be different one year from now than it is today? And if it isn't, who will you blame? Who will you blame? What will you put it down to? More importantly, what questions do you have to ask, what habits do you have to put into your life to make that new life a reality?

Matthew Kelly

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