Goals are ideas that we have that helps our mind believe that what we are trying to do is worth doing.
In 1974 my Boy Scout troop set a goal of being the first to climb Mt Rainier under the Camp Shepherd High Altitude Program. We trained and trained and trained some more.
Then on July 4, 1975 12 of us stood on top of Mt Rainier. I still have pictures on my wall to remind me that I achieved that goal.
I work at the Mt Baker School District as the Director of Technology Services. The mascot is the Mountaineer. Hmmm, coincidence?
One of the things the staff tell the kids is that climbing a mountain starts with the first step. Each step means you are closer to your goal.
One of my climbing heroes is Ed Viesturs, a climber who trained on Mt Rainier and accomplished, among other goals, the achievement of climbing all 14 peaks over 8,000 meters. (Do the math, these are the very tallest mountain peaks in the world. He did it without supplemental oxygen.)
His book, “No Shortcuts to the Top” talks about being wise enough to recognize when getting to the top is “just not worth the danger (paraphrased)”, and he talks about turning back with just a few hundred meters to go on several peaks. But, he goes back.
Another thing he teaches is getting to the top is only half the trip. You have to get back down. He sets deadlines that he never violates so that he can get back down. He tells of his part in the rescues on Everest where climbers violated hard rules in the quest to achieve the goal of climbing to the top of Everest.
A lot of climbers have climbed Everest only to lose their lives or parts of their bodies to severe frostbite because they lost site of the second half of their journey.
My overarching goal is to not lose sight of the second half of my journey in this thing we call life. I’ve gained perspective, understand things a lot more clearly and know who I am (this sounds very Zen like as I read over what I’ve written) and I see that I am happy.
It’s hard to explain why I am happy, but it seems like the happier I am the happier I am….. figure that one out.
So, here’s to goals and remembering that reaching a goal is not as important as being able to turn around and preserve our happiness.
Note to all: Read a few of my other posts where I talk about writing for the sake of writing and how I let my mind just go when I am writing. I guess that is what happened here. First draft, no edits, and here you go, me!