I am particularly fond of a quote from one of the sample mission statements in the appendix to Stephen Covey and Roger Merrill’s 1994 book First things First: To Live, To Love, To Learn, To Leave a Legacy
“… I will remember that to truly live, I must climb the mountain today, for tomorrow may be too late. I know that my mountain may seem no more than a hill to others and I will accept that. I will be renewed by my own personal victories no matter how small …”
When I mentioned this to Kate, she said she’d rather be waiting at home for others to come down from the mountain so she could feed them something delicious after their journey! Can’t say I blame her, but my Presbyterian soul is moved by the idea of climbing my own personal mountain each day.
Today the mountain, as it has been so often recently, is about managing my peace of mind as I tackle an office that looks as if a bomb has gone off and a Master Task List that stretches to multiple pages.
The state of the office and the Task List are what they are. How I approach them and the state of mind with which I do so, are entirely within my control.
I find the notion of identifying and defining my personal mountain each day a useful one for so often, having committed to the day’s activities, the only real dominion I have is over how I show up. The mountains I climb are many and varied:
- Managing my state of mind under-pressure so I refrain from being anxious, snappish and generally not a pleasure for my nearest and dearest to be around
- Choosing to have the courageous conversation I’ve been avoiding
- Saying ‘No’
- Saying ‘Yes’
- Being self-compassionate and giving myself permission to rest and relax
- Treating myself with an element of daily joy
- Pushing myself physically, mentally or emotionally
Today my mountain is about calmly bringing order to the chaos, one considered action at a time, while keeping my attention in the present moment without allowing my anxiety about what needs to be done to overwhelm me.
This approach also requires me to focus on the mountain I’m climbing, not on the mountain range that continues beyond it. And, because I get to choose the mountain, where I choose to climb and the vistas I can celebrate when I reach the summit are all up to me!
How about you? What mountain are you climbing today? Maybe it’s to do something new and leave a comment below? 😉