Endeavor: a catalyst. An intertwining of what you want to do and why culminating in action. A reminder we were not put here to punch a time-clock.
Uncertainty: the gateway to adversity. Fear has always been the gatekeeper. Master of doubt. He whispers in your ear. You’re not good enough, not strong enough, not on the same level. You should quit. Go home. Fear wants you to believe what lies on the other side is for others. Change begins with stepping off uncertainty to face the potential adversity. How will you respond under duress? How will you know if you never try?
Adversity: Your proving ground. There is no greater opportunity in life than to be presented an enormous obstacle and a chance to overcome it. We were not intended to toil about in some tragic office space existence. No doubt there are lessons to be learned in those cubicle walls but you will not find balance without facing what lies outside your tiny window and beyond the tree-line. Part of our soul will always live there. Don’t try to pull it away… instead… embrace it. Our life is full of chapters. Who you are at any given point nothing more than a version, or snapshot, of your current reality. Attachment should only extend to the continuous activity of self exploration. Embrace adversity and find calm within the chaos to grow. Discomfort is common on the path and an indication you’re headed in the right direction.
Respect: for the endeavor, your opportunity to pursue it, and those who choose to join you. Adventure brings people together to accomplish great things, overcome enormous odds, and chase achievements our ancestors believed impossible – or died attempting. A world without respect will be devoid of collaboration, community, and eventually give way to the poisons of blind greed.
Companionship: nothing is more powerful than a fellowship shared amongst men and women aligned toward a mutual endeavor. There is something about our desire to connect with others that seems to bring out the best in us. Perhaps it is the sense of vulnerability or maybe the simple acknowledgement of dependency. In any case companionship seems to be as important to us as the endeavor itself.
2007 backpacking trip in Glacier National Park
As a final thought I would simply like to share the realization my life’s best moments have not been spent in a boardroom, on a sales call, or in a meeting. Instead I can honestly say the moments I would never trade for any sum of money happened on the path, either on an adventure of my own, or being part of one to which I was invited. When I consider all of the years Stacie and I have been together my fondest memories come from moments we shared in the boundary waters, hiked with our boys on a random trail here at home, or even the time we found ourselves facing a wolf on the shores of Snowbank Lake – miles from help. They were not the easiest times, nor the most relaxing moments, or even necessarily happy times… yet somehow in each of the moments I look back on, be they good or bad, we rose to be our best.
And with that… I am out.