Climbing mountains

“Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. You get what you repeat.”

— James Clear

It's Wednesday evening and you’re watching YouTube with a glass-of-something. You happen upon a video of an 8-year-old playing your favourite song on guitar, you fall in love, grab your phone and wallet and by Friday afternoon you take delivery of your own guitar.

Over the next 2 weeks, you watch tutorials and practise chords while imagining your own YouTube video with millions of views. This doesn’t happen soon enough and 3 months later your once precious guitar has gathered dust in a corner and you’re onto the next thing.

We’ve all experienced some variation of this tale; living out our potential in our minds than not putting in the work, this is the gap between an amateur and a professional. On their climb, the amateur ascends the first peak and calls the journey complete, usually from fear of the peaks that will follow. On the other hand, those few that continue the climb find themselves in the rarified air of mastery. If mastery is what you’re looking for and you have a bag of patience and persistence, here are some tips on how to increase your odds of completing reaching that tall peak.

1. Carry less.

If you are anything like me, you will find yourself pulled in all directions by competing interests. Exploring new interests is not a problem, but never committing to any for a considerable amount of time leaves you with false confidence in your abilities while leaving you no closer to your goals. To break this cycle I’ve begun practising a habit introduced to me by a mentor of mine, a NOT-todo list. Deciding upfront on what not to do leaves you more time and energy to perform at your best. I revisit this list every three months to decide what enters into my sphere of commitment.

2. Camp.

You missed your alarm, got caught in traffic and your day was full of fires; even the best of us have an off day. Be kind enough to yourself to allow for a break when you need one. Set up camp, look back at your progress and allow it to energise you for the next leg of the journey.

3. Climb.

You’ve rested and recommitted to the journey, now it's time to climb. Speed or distance covered do not matter, what’s essential is continuing to climb. You must act with courage, each step you take past self-doubt and fear will build your confidence. What you learn about yourself during such journeys is often more rewarding than the destination; you have dared to evolve yourself and with this courage and tenacity you will scale other mountains. You will conquer yourself.