By Vlad Dolezal
Mal Dickson, a rock-climbing instructor from Devon, UK, has an interesting way of testing applicants for his advanced rock-climbing class.
He has them climb a mountain where, about two thirds of the way up, there’s an overhang. From below, it looks like the top of the mountain, but once you climb over it, you see a big chunk of the mountain still towering over you.
And Mal’s way of testing applicants is simply hiding behind a rock at the overhang and watching the climbers’ expression when they scale the overhang.
Many applicants look disappointed or annoyed that they’re not at the top yet. Mal politely declines these people the entry to his advanced class.
But some applicants… when they scale the overhang and see the mountain looming over them, their eyes light up with excitement at the prospect of more climbing!
Mal welcomes these applicants with open arms.
You will never become an advanced rock-climber if you’re only doing it to reach the top and hate the climbing itself. Real rock-climbers love climbing. A mountain top is merely a goal that makes their climbing challenging and worthwhile.
A fulfilling life isn’t static – it’s dynamic
Similarly, too many people hang their happiness on achieving things in life. Having a bigger car. A good job. Bigger salary. An attractive partner.
That’s like a rock-climber who only aims to get to the top of a mountain. Inevitably, when they get there, they find out it’s not exactly what they wanted. They soon feel bored and start looking for another mountain to climb, hoping that that mountain will maybe finally hold the key to their happiness.
Happy, content people understand it’s not about reaching the goal.
They set goals and aim for them. But they understand that the real excitement of life lies in working towards a goal. When you work towards something greater than yourself, whether it’s starting a company, doing charity work or climbing a mountain – that’s when you feel really alive.
The goal is just there to give you guidance and challenge you. A person without goals is like a rock-climber without mountains. Bored.
But focusing on the goals and hating the process is just as bad.
The two biggest mistakes are either focusing on goals only and hating the process, or trying to find happiness in some static being-in-the-moment way, without having any goals to challenge and inspire you.
Rock-climbers don’t climb mountain after mountain because they’re looking for the ultimate mountain peak that will make them say “That’s it, I’ve had enough climbing. I can stay here and live happily ever after.”
They climb mountain after mountain because they love the process of climbing. The mountains challenge them and make them feel alive.
Seek out the challenges that inspire you and motivate you. Don’t let others convince you that you should be happy in some static position – whether it’s a job, a relationship, or a place to live.
Sure, you can have many happy static things (like a great relationship) and still feel alive. But there will be some difficulties and challenges you seek out that make you feel alive.
Because that’s what a fulfilling life is all about.
Courtesy: Fun Life Development