Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stop Wasting Your Time on the Wrong Mountain

I have two friends who are avid backpackers. There is a portion of New York’s Adirondack Mountains that is called the High Peaks’ region. It consists of 46 mountains with an elevation of over 4,000 feet.

The Adirondack Mountain Club gives special recognition, and a patch, to anyone who climbs all 46 mountains. My two friends decided to go for this award. It took them several years to accomplish it.

Now what you have to understand is that many of the 46 mountains have well-marked and well-used trails to their summits.

Others, however, are not marked at all. These mountains are really hard to climb because you have to bushwhack them using a compass and a typography map.

My friends had climbed 45 of the mountains. The one left it was the most remote, requiring bushwhacking. A hiking trail led past the base of the mountain, but from that point they were on their own.

Early one morning they left their camp site and walked 5 miles on the hiking trail to the base of a chain of mountains. One of the mountains in this chain was the last one they needed for their 46er patch.

When they reached the base of the mountain chain they discovered that they had left their compass and map back in camp. Rather than returning to camp (a round-trip of 10 miles), they decided to bushwhack without the compass and map.

For hours they walked uphill enduring heat, thick brush, and black flies. Finally, late in the afternoon they found themselves on the top of a mountain. They were exhausted but elated.

The elation was short-lived however. When they looked across the valley, they saw another higher mountain. They had climbed the wrong hill! It was too late that weekend to rectify their error. They had to wait another 4 months to climb the right mountain.

I think this story illustrates an important lesson. Often in life we exert tremendous effort toward some goal. But without the right map and personal compass it is easy to get lost.

Knowing your life purpose gives you a powerful personal map and compass that ensures you are always climbing the right mountain.

-- Author Unknown

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