Last weekend, after nearly 9 years of living in Switzerland, I finally made it to Zermatt to see the famous Matterhorn. It was of course stunning, but it also got me thinking how life is a bit like a mountain.
At first it seems like this huge insurmountable obstacle, way off in the distance, but then as you get closer it becomes a challenge that you might just manage. As you move forward and start climbing the mountain, it is tough going. There are times when you question what you are doing, when your resolve waivers and the mountain starts to feel insurmountable again.
But then something happens and gives you the push to keep going. This could be something such as the sun shining through the clouds and the sheer beauty of the mountain filling you with inner strength, or perhaps a friend giving you the encouragement you need. Whilst these external elements are critical to getting up that mountain, without that inner strength and determination you probably will fail.
Once you have got to the top of the mountain there is that sense of elation and achievement – you are the top of the world and can look back at your journey with pride. However sometimes the road down off the mountain is much harder – your drive to achieve something is gone (after all you have made it to the top!), and there can follow a low period as you arrive in the valley with no more challenge ahead. This is when you have to start looking for the next mountain to climb and start your next challenge.
Right now I am about to start up my next mountain. After 6 years of living in Switzerland, mostly working as an independent consultant, I am now packing up and getting ready to move and looking for my next challenge. I have no idea right now what that next mountain will look like or how tough a climb it will be, but after climbing many mountains in the past I feel I have enough experience, and a great support network, to be able to make it up that next mountain.
Full disclaimer – I used a train to get to the top … no actual climbing involved!