Keep moving on down the trail
If you are using this spring to launch yourself into new endeavors you are not alone. Many of us are using the change in the weather to start new goals or activities while others are using this time to re-launch ourselves towards those goals/resolutions that were set back at the first of the year.
One of the most aggressive goals that a person can have is to hike the Appalachian Trail or AT. That trail reaches from the state of Georgia all the way up the U.S. East Coast to Maine. There are about 2,108 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt.Katahdian in Maine.
Last year about 2500 hikers started out from Georgia hiking northbound to Main while about 330 hikers started out last year on the southbound journey. By the half-way point (Harpers Ferry, W.Va.), over 60% of those north bound hikers and about 50% of hikers heading south stopped their quest to hike the trail.
Now, there are a number of reasons that cause a person not to finish their goal including; physical breakdowns, mental exhaustion. The ones who make it from Georgia to Maine or vice versa almost all tell about how the process of walking mile after mile became a trial of physical and mental endurance which has caused them to change their outlook on life as well as bringing out a toughness that they didn’t think they possessed.
How many of our own journeys or goals have we at one time or another thought about stopping or giving up on because it was too much? I wonder how many of us start out with the same goals as our family members, neighbors, friends or business competitors and then I wonder at the end of the goal how many of those same people are there at the finish of that goal?
I do know that the business leaders and high achievers that I have read about and studied almost all say that the process of “walking mile after mile” towards their ultimate goal was a trial of physical and mental endurance which also caused them to change their outlook on life causing them to develop characteristics and attributes that they didn’t think they possessed.
Have you ever noticed that as the journey progresses there are fewer people around traveling with you? In the springtime, the trail from Georgia is so thick with eager hikers that it is hard to find camping spots within the first 20-50 miles. Over the next couple of weeks, hikers give up for one reason or another leaving only a small tightly knit group that will continue to the end.
Just like hiking the AT, we all need to be ready to continue putting one foot (literally or figuratively) in front of the other even when the journey looses its “fun” appeal. We also need to be ready to accept gifts and encouragement from Angels along the way.
Angels appear on the AT when someone leaves a cooler of Cokes and Snickers Bars along the trail that the hikers use to get their energy back up for a long up-hill part of the trail. Angels have even been known to set up a trail-side hamburger stand feeding hungry hikers for free and offering encouragement not to give up.
Angels also appear to us in our personal and professional lives in the form of being invited to join a Mastermind or support group. Angles can also show themselves as business investors or seasoned pros who have reached the top and have turned around to offer a hand up to those treading behind them. When these angels show up, grab a hold and know that you can repay their kindness one day by being an Angel to someone else.
When your journey gets long and you don’t think you can continue to make progress, find someone or a group who has already reached the goal or journey that you are undertaking and ask them if it is worth loosing 40 pounds – worth starting your own business – worth working to save a relationship. I bet that trail angel you speak with will tell you that it is not only worth it but you are closer to the end than you are the beginning.
Take a look at these folks and then tell me if going through all the hard times on their journey was worth it. Now find some images of people enjoying the hard work of what ever journey you are on and envision yourself at the top of that mountain. As Zig Ziglar says, “I’ll see you at the top”
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