July 22, 2024 Donate

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Don’t Climb That Mountain

Don’t Climb That Mountain

When was the last time anyone said, “Hey friend, slow down. Do not chase that dream. Do not run so fast.” All too often, we are told to chase the next thing. Go after that new job. Get that next degree. Chase that dream, or that one, or that one. We have respect for those people who are always running a thousand miles per hour. We hear about things like the five o’clock club. Start your day early. Do not sleep in. Sleeping in is a waste of time. We look and admire people who are always on the go. If people are not sprinting, we accuse them of being sloth or being lazy or wasting time.

Do you know what? Call me sloth then. Not choosing to climb that mountain “over there” isn’t always a bad thing my friends. I’m not going to climb that mountain until I fully investigate and appreciate the current mountain top I am on. I think I will sit here and enjoy the view for a while. Want to know a secret? If I do not have to set an alarm, I do not. Rare is the day when I can sleep until my body decides to wake up. But on those rare occasions, that is exactly what I do. Why? Because I can. And you should too. Think back all those years ago (ok, like four) to the Covid pandemic. Remember all those people talking about unseen benefits and slowing down? What happened to those people? Apparently, the silver tarnished, and they are right back to climbing mountains. Do not get me wrong dear friends, when it is time to work, I work. When I have commitments, I honor them. If Covid taught me anything, it is to value the moment. To be truly in the moment I am in right this second. I paused authoring this article because I sat in my home office and watched a dozen turkeys strolling through my yard. They were just doing turkey stuff, pecking at the ground, while the big male Tom fluffed up as a car drove down the road. It was awesome. Just another day for those birds, but today they passed by my window while I had the time to watch them and watch them, I did. Do I have a deadline for this article? Yep. Is it going to be late? Nope. Here is why.

I budget time to just be.

Let me say that again. I budget time in my day to just be. Some days it is only five or ten minutes. Other days, I may get an hour if I am lucky. But I always budget it. To run from task to task with no time to exist in the moment is exhausting and dare I say, foolish. What are you running for? Who are you running for? If you do not stop sometimes and spend some time with the people you are climbing all those mountains for, then you are really climbing them alone, aren’t you? I choose to climb them with those I care most for. The victory is the journey, not just the destination. Budget time to just be. Breathe. Breathe deeply and notice those breaths. I am currently devouring a book called, Breathe, Focus, Excel by Harvey Martin, who currently works for the Major League Baseball’s San Fransisco Giants and is the brother of a dear friend of the family (shout out to you Jess, Rob, Wade, Clara, and baby James). It talks about breathing for increased performance and focus, whether it be for athletics, business, or fitness. What I have found is when using Harvey’s techniques when relaxing, I really find my mind opening and truly observing what is around me in much greater clarity.

Dear Tribe of Up friends, do not be so quick to start another mountain until you fully understand, appreciate, explore, and digest the mountain you are currently on. Make sure those you love are with you on the journey. Stop sprinting all the time. Make some time to sit and watch the turkeys, literally and figuratively. If you are anything like me, the turkeys always make me smile. Both the human and the bird types. Budget time to just be. You got this!

Steve is a Dexter resident and the Owner, Chief Turkey Watcher, Vice President of Breathing Relaxation Therapy and Head Park Bench Occupier at Better Place Consulting, a career and success coaching firm. Reach out to him at steve@betterplacemgmt.com.