5 Life Lessons Learnt from one of the Toughest Indian Treks

Recently, I went for a trek to Shrikhand Mahadev — the toughest yatra among the five Kailash Yatras. It is one of the abodes of Lord Shiva and is considered as a pilgrimage place for Hindus. The 75 ft Shivalingam stands at the height of 18700 ft and an 80 km arduous path is to covered to reach there.

Following are some life lessons which the trek taught me -

1. Life isn’t a Bed of Roses

We were vomiting and barely could eat anything. Still, we got up at 3 a.m. daily. We trekked 13 km each day. With blisters on hands, cuts on feet, injuries on legs, we climbed the wall-like peaks. This soon made me realize that pain and hardships are inevitable. Life will definitely put us in overwhelming situations. Life doesn’t fit into predictable forms, based solely on our desires. But these difficult times however are not what those that define us. Rather, the way we react to them is what makes us an ‘Outlier’.

My 65-year old uncle was accompanying me. He couldn’t have food for two days. His office days’ gum boots, hardened over the years, injured his feet. He didn’t speak most of the times. But, he was the one leading us all the while. It is 90% mental and only 10% physical. It is not important of what people tell us. What is important is what we tell to ourselves. My uncle took many by surprise when he completed successfully his very first trek.

At every point, life tests us, throwing fast paced balls. But we need to stand tall and HAVE FAITH that we can score a homerun on each one of them.

2) Worrying Does Nothing

Staying up all night, worrying about the next day became a routine. Will I have to climb the steep cliff once again? Will the incessant rain show some mercy tomorrow? I prayed that may I not be the next dead. I still remember the site of a 20-year old young Himachali boy being carried on a stretcher. Next day came the news that he died. Total eight people lost their lives during the trek. Many got injured.

But, once you step in the ring, these things hardly matter. It’s either you punching the life or the life punching you!

Worry arises because we cannot predict what is going to happen tomorrow. We cannot fully control how the events may turn out. But, it is important to realize that uncertainty is the only certain part of our lives. As Robin Sharma opined in his best seller, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, out of all the wide possibilities, we ‘choose’ to worry about the worst scenarios. And, 95% of the times, these scenarios never take place!

So, you can take the famous, though simplistic, advice of the singer Bobby McFerrin : “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

3) Don’t Carry Heavy Baggage

While trekking through the mountains, the most common advice given is to carry just essentials. Heavier your backpack is, the slower you’ll be. Similarly in our lives, we should not get weighed down by emotions like grudges, complaints, insecurity, jealousy etc. WALK LIGHT!

4) Even small steps count

I stood there in shock. The site of three consecutive snow- covered mountain ranges, which we had to cross, made me question my capabilities. But, the words of my father came to rescue.

Before going to the trip, my father gave me just one, yet important piece of advice,” Put the foot at right place and then stand firm. Do not stop till you complete daily targets. Even if it’s a baby step, take it!

When we are drained out of energy and there are kilometers of wet slippery route to be covered, when our feet refuse to move and our hands start to shiver, when we bathe in rain day in and day out, “baby steps” provide us with indispensable momentum.

In life, moments come when we lack motivation, our dreams seem distant and our gloomy self starts swallowing us. In such times, self discipline is what makes us achieve our goals.

5) Everything will be worth it in the end

The END is the sum of all the efforts we put in. The PEOPLE we meet, turn into RESOURCES, the HARDSHIPS turn into BLISS and our LIFE EXPERIENCES ultimately turn into LIFE LESSONS.

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