My friends call me the mountain goat. That’s because I go running and hiking every weekend. Sometimes it is trails set by my running group and other times I take the trail, or better said, I find routes that maybe and I say maybe the mountain goat has taken but very often it is the unbeaten trail that I look for and crave. The trail where no man has gone before.
How you spend your weekends can influence your week ahead. Here is how I practice “holding the vision”, what helps me as an entrepreneur and what I think all startup founders should consider as an activity.
I use the weekend to refresh my batteries. I get rid of the negative energy by burning it, I go out walking, hiking, or running in the mountains to connect with nature and I try to be adventurous.
The adventurous part is what helps me get past obstacles that I encounter during the week in my working life. We all come to obstacles. We all come across problems that we think we cannot resolve or get past. Sometimes the thought of these problems can bring about a paralytic craziness. When the insecurity crunches come you feel helpless and you lose complete control.
On more than one occasion, I got lost on these trails. Not sure when or how we are going to get out. Getting out sometimes is not so much of an issue, because you can always go back the same route but when you have run out of water, food, and energy, that’s when the mind starts playing tricks with you.
These moments are great practice for building resilience. They are no different from when you encounter problems at work. When I get to this point of panic, I simply sit. I sit for as long as it takes for my body to restart. Your body has plenty of reserves. All you need to do is give it time to change its routine and energy production machinery.
For me, these treks, hikes, or whatever you want to call them are a symbol of what I can achieve beyond my immediate vision, belief, and thoughts. It takes effort to push past thorny bushes and thick shrubs or sliding down slopes, walking through rivers, rain, and …
I always come back with scratches, my skin burns when I shower and my muscles ache for a day or two after a Saturday or Sunday climb. Yet every weekend, I get up and crave this experience of climbing yet another mountain. I know that with each climb I am helping my brain rewire into the YES you CAN attitude.
On this particular trail in the photo, we started late in the afternoon. Our objective was a short walk. We left with just 3 litres of water between the two of us. We did not make it to the top, we had run out of water and I had run out of energy. It was 17:30 by the time we had reached this point and all I could think of was going back down as I was getting dizzy. Yet my friend pushed me beyond my fears and barriers. We did an extra 4Kms, taking a longer route back to the car. It felt good and once back, I knew we could have done more. We even had time to climb all the way to the top. We were so close. Only 1 hour away. We could have done it. It served as an exercise to me in reminding me that I should not let fear take over. I should have rested just a bit more and carried on.
Often we are so close to our objectives and just at that last moment, we drop it, we give up hope and we let go of our dreams.
You are so close. You can do it. You are almost there. Just a few more steps. YOU CAN DO IT.
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