To the Top of the Mountain

Tig Archives 10 / 03 / 2016

One of our favorite quotes about courage comes from Theodore Roosevelt, who so famously said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

It’s a simple sentiment with huge implications for us as we all continue to navigate this big world amidst what can sometimes feel like constant streams of potential criticism and commentary. One guy we know who has mastered the art of mindfulness in the face of these challenges is our good friend and Vedic meditation coach Light Watkins, whom we introduced you to last year when he offered us a fabulously practical introduction to mediation.

Today Light shares with us a short story from his vault that illuminates this principle of principled living. Because no matter what mountain you may be climbing, it’s important to remember that you should always make sure you are climbing it your way.
From Light

A funny thing happened the other morning while running sprints up my neighborhood hill.

First off, I’ve sprinted this hill at least twice a week since January, and my plan is always the same: sprint halfway up the steep incline, walk back down and do it again nine more times, with each lap clocking in at about a minute.

Well, as I was racing up for my eighth lap, I noticed a homeless man pushing his shopping cart down from the top of the hill. I finished at the halfway mark (as I’ve done about a thousand times before) and the homeless guy quipped: “God said to go all the way to the top of the mountain! He didn’t say, ‘Go halfway up and then quit.’”

His sarcastic comment was funny, and we both laughed. But it reminded me of how well-meaning people sometimes offer unsolicited advice without understanding what you’re trying to do – or what your overall goal is.

Sometimes, the advice can even be sound, but if they are volunteering their opinion without taking the time to understand what you’re trying to achieve, then it’s just noise, and you shouldn’t let it distract you from your mission.

I say this, because the old me would’ve deviated from my plan on the last two laps just to appease the homeless man, who was now watching me run. But the current me invited him to sprint the last two laps with me to show me how it’s done. As expected, he declined.

Images via: Lacusveris, Instagram