Of Mountain Climbing and Lifehacking: Trust the Process
One of These Days ...
Mountains are majestic, daunting beasts most will only view from a distance.
There are a few drive-ups. The Pike's Peak parking area attractions carloads of well-fed tourists - one half million annually, in fact. But there are a few who leave the wheels behind and seek to reach the top on foot.
I've climbed a few of these. I'm not an obsessive mountaineer - and have never done a whole lot of technical climbing. But, I do love the exhilaration of reaching a summit.
On the way up, there will be "I can't do this" moments. I can remember climbing for what seemed like days (I think it was only an hour). The air is getting thin. I take a wheezing look up at my goal - and the peak of this thing looks the same as it did when I started days (an hour) ago. It's still a long, disheartening way to the top.
The key to the summit is to keep going. One foot in front of the other. Embrace the process.
"Process-oriented" used to feel like weird business speak. I read the term in books. I see it in blogs. I'm never sure what this means exactly.
Turns out the idea comes from addiction recovery programs, not business. "Trust the process" is a term with deep spiritual roots. And is applicable in most of life, whether climbing a mountain or learning a foreign language.
Here's the truth: there is a process for everything. From weight-loss to spiritual growth to writing a blog to personal finance, process is involved. At times this process is more defined than others. But even if the path is unclear - there is a path. At times we must clarify the path.
Find the path. Make the path. Follow the path.
Life-hack or short-circuit?
"life-hacking" was a popular topic on the Internet 10 years ago. The concept is not a terrible one. How can we be more efficient? More productive? How can we reach goals faster?
But life-hack could subordinate important aspects of the process. You may be short-circuiting your goal. A car ride to the top of Pike's Peak is faster and more efficient. But it doesn't have the same benefit as hiking the 13-mile path.
If your goal is simply to "get to the top" - sure take the car.
If your goal is to experience the climb, gain the benefits of the climb, and experience the rewards of the climb - the car shortcut isn't really a short cut at all.
Think well about your goals.
Develop your process.
Trust the process.
And be cautious of short-cuts. They may assist in reaching your goals. But there's a danger of missing the point.