A couple of weeks ago, I had the privilege of climbing a mountain with my two teen boys. OK, one boy is “almost” a teen, as he turns 13 next week.
I call it a privilege for several reasons. 1) I had the ability to push my butt up almost 5300 feet of rocky elevation, 2) I got to share the 12 hour climb with my kids who are fast growing up, 3) I got to spend an amazing day in nature and 4) I was in awe, again, at the distance and the awesome scenery we were able to see from this vantage point.
I guess that last point got me thinking. On a grueling climb (we got up at 4:30 am, started to climb just after 6 am and plopped into our truck after the “hike” at 6:30pm), there are lots of times of quietness. After a couple hours of excited talk from both of the boys (and my wife, who kept up with us to the tree line), we started to grow weary, and there were more and more times of huffing and puffing. And that’s always a great time to think.
When I wanted to, I could think of things that were bad along the way. The camera equipment and lenses I had in my backpack made it really heavy. There was 3 litres of water, sandwiches, snacks, extra socks, and more that made it heavy to begin with. Then there were the infamous Maine black flies that could (if their power could be harnessed) lift you up the mountain. Then the heat of an 80 degree sunny day. And the air was thinning. And… the list could go on and on. It all came down to perspective. Before the trip, we were so excited, then the wake-up call interrupted an amazing sleep and it was easy to turn our perspective to the negative.
In business, we have goals, dreams and plans that are so exciting. Then the economy, our clients, employees, our workload, the cost of gas, etc. can really turn our perspective to the negative. A horrible wake-up call. Why? Because we allow ourselves to see only the negative.
Each time I heard one of the kids start to talk negatively (or I did), I tried to turn the negative to a positive. And that should be our goal in business. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to have a business in the U.S. Yes, we have trials, but those trials can strengthen, empower and help us grow. We just have to change our perspective.
Speaking of that, when you get to the top of the mountain you’re climbing, take the time to see where you came from, and where you’re going to. In the picture above, you can see a lake that is by my left knee. That’s Chimney Pond, the huge lake (at the tree line) that is over 2000 feet below. I couldn’t even think about crossing it when I was down near it. But from this vantage point, it looks like nothing. Perhaps that’s why God dwells above us, looking down and hearing us complain. And He says, “just trust” — I have plans for you. Plans to help you and to prosper you. We just have to look at it from God’s view.
Here’s a picture of the boys at Chimney Pond just before our ascent to the peak.