Few days ago I came back from Africa. I completed a personal challenge where I reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in 6 days. At 5,895m/19,341ft this is the highest mountain in Africa. While it was physically very challenging to climb, any mountaineer will tell you that the real challenge is mental. I saw stronger/younger people who gave up because they were not mentally ready for it.

Climbing a mountain is a great lesson for life. On summit day you wake up at 1am at base camp, the winds are strong and the temperatures is just below “crazing cold”. You don’t feel your fingers, it’s very hard to breathe and the last thing you want to do is to start marching up a snowy mountain. Yet people push themselves to do it. Not because it’s easy, but because it is hard! Not because they want to get to the finish line (they usually stay there less than few minutes), but because they appreciate the journey.

There is nothing more demoralizing than having to look up during the climb and see how far away the summit is. It looks like your tiny baby-steps towards the top create no progress. The best way to get to the top is to focus on your next step and ignore the long distance that remains. Somehow, magically it works. These tiny steps do add up and you are able to get to the top.

This certainly applies to work and other aspects in life. Don’t look up too much. Don’t think you will never get there. Focus on your next step, no matter how small it is. Step by step, you will be able to get to wherever you want. Do not give up and remember - It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

picture at the summit

Enjoy your journey.