What you bow to on the way up the mountain

“What you bow to on way up the mountain, you will live with on top of the mountain.” I heard this statement several years ago. I don’t quite remember in what context this was. I am pretty sure it has to do with business. In any case, this is my take on it.

Everybody has a mountain they want to climb. It may be success, It may be love. It may be a certain income or status. Maybe it’s your image or what people think of you. Everybody has their mountain.

Is it your family’s success or the level of studies you want your children to have? We all have a mountain. That one holy grail thing that we want more than anything else.

I have been in business for myself for a number of years now. I have been wrting ever since I can remember. My mountain was financial security. I had a certain amount of money I wanted to earn every single month so I could feel secure. In order to get that, I needed to work hard. I pushed myself. I tended to be absorbed with the businesses I ran. I raised them like I raised my six kids, looking after them, training my teams, scanning the horizons to avoid any upcoming problems. I put into place certain strategies for the holidays, the summer months, the websites and social media.

I had big expectations of myself. So my mountain grew and grew. It became bigger than my income. My mountain included my reputation, what others thought of me, and what I thought of myself. My opinion of myself was pretty low, because I hadn’t reached my financial security ideal. So I thought I had failed.

On the way up my mountain, I bowed to perfectionism, low self esteem, unrealistic expectations. Because I had worked so much, my creative well was empty. When I wasn’t writing, I wasn’t happy. I had become difficult and negative. I was getting to the top of my mountain, and dragging all these idols with me. Idols of frustration and self doubt. And they were heavy.

I got a slap in the face from someone on the phone after a few years that made me look at the idols to whom I had bowed. He shook me up because he told me to look at me, myself as a person. I had to detach myself from my mountain, my goal, in order to see who I was. I can’t thank him enough. I shook off those expectations, those graven images to take a fresh look at my mountain and the pit stops and pitfalls I had taken. I did not want to live on the top of my mountain with all those weights, those chains.

To be honest, I slid down my mountain a little. I stopped at a well to get a refill. I started writing again. I took another route to climb back up at a different pace. I still have my goals to reach. But I have learned to pace myself and take the scenic route. The one where I can refill at the wells of creativity. The way that’s a road and not an auto-route or a racetrack. The trail that’s directed more by my heart and not just my head.