As a former high school English teacher, it should come as no surprise that I love language, particularly the use of simile. To me, life is like a climb up a mountain – let me share a few reasons why:

Every climb starts on the ground

Before any climb can start, you have to orient yourself with where you are currently: on the ground. Taking a moment to be where your feet are before beginning an ascent is crucial to later success. This enhanced awareness of the present allows you to take an inventory of what you’re already bringing to the climb (such as your innate talents, all the knowledge about climbing you have acquired so far, and the equipment you have with you) and plan ahead for what you’ll need as you move upwards. The same can be said about any part of life as you consider starting something new. It is best to understand what mindsets, habits, and talents you already possess, what you have learned so far that might help you, and what support systems you have in place that will assist you along the way.

There is more than one path up a mountain

Maybe the mountain you’re looking to climb is similar to one you have conquered before. Maybe it is similar to one that has conquered you. Maybe it is completely new, adorned with fresh powder and undisturbed natural beauty. In any case, recognizing that there is more than one way to reach the peak you’re going for is crucial to actually making it there one day. So often, in climbing and in life, it is tempting to get tunnel vision. We become fixated on the path we’re currently on and forget to be open to new ways forward, which can be detrimental to our success. Life is best lived when you can choose the best path after surveying all the options before you and reaching an awareness of what type of path you need.

At times, it is hard to see the peak

Imagine that you’re climbing up a mountain safely and quickly. You’re confident in your movements, locked in on each handhold, each foothold. You pause for a second to rest, and you look up. To your surprise, you can’t see the peak you were going for anymore. In fact, it is impossible to see any stopping point that is further up than where you already are. In moments like these, it is tempting to just give up the climb and stay where you are, just like how it is easy in life to stop trying to move forward when you don’t see the point of doing so. Peaks, like goals, are so motivating because they give us something to aim for, but what happens when that target is no longer in sight? Unfortunately, all too often this lack of direction leads to negative outcomes in our lives, which is why belief is so important. Specifically, belief in the process and in yourself. As long as you can keep the faith that your next peak is out there, even if you can’t see it at the moment, and you can keep trusting yourself to make it there, that goal remains attainable, giving you the motivation to keep climbing.

There will be times where you falter or fall

We are all human, and no climber is immune to the treacherous terrain that will be encountered from time to time. However, you will be defined by your response to their adversity rather than the adversity itself; that is the true power of the mind. How a climber looks at setbacks has a huge impact on their probability of reaching the peak, but why is it so hard to stay positive? In short, falls are just simply not fun. They can be painful, they can move you backward, and they can even make you doubt whether or not you would be capable of reaching the peak in the first place. Here’s a little secret, though: the falls of life are usually not nearly as deadly as the falls during an actual climb can be. Use that perspective as a starting point to learn from the experience and inform the next steps you take. No fall is permanent, and there is always a way out the treacherous terrain you may find yourself in – the challenge is to keep these facts in mind and stay positive so you can continue to move upwards.

Climbing can be exhausting, but the peak is always worth it

How wonderful does accomplishing your goals feel? How awesome do you feel when you’re able to be who you want to be? The feelings that you get when you reach these peaks are some of the best in life, and they make everything that you have gone through to get to that point worthwhile. The tired legs, the sore back, the calloused hands, not to mention the fatigued mind, are all forgotten once the climb is finished. Everything you’re currently doing and dealing with will have its reward one day – never doubt that.
I formed PEAK by Brydon, LLC to help as many people on their ascent through life as possible, and I would consider it a privilege to serve as your climbing partner when you are ready!