“Once you finally get that summit, that’s it then, right?”
I was shocked! This simple question from an audience member revealed a major gap in my content and message until that point. How had he missed that the summits never end? (Well, at least until we summit our last summit of life, which of course is our death, the ultimate summit.)
How we got down the Northwest Pillar of the Central Pyramid in the Aksu Valley, Kyrgyzstan is the obvious end of my keynote story. What happened next in my life, and yours is not.
Summits are momentary, at best. We expend so much energy. So much stress. Stop. Start. Give up. Live up. And occasionally Step Up onto the summit. Then what?
We still have to get down safely, back to the valley below, and find our way home while never losing sight of the feeling of success, the power of possibility. This is often a critical turning point. Gravity, it seems, will be stronger than ever, pulling us toward complacency, no matter our previous triumphs. We must recover, reset, re-energize, regain momentum, and get ready for our next summit.
Be intentional. Schedule a long weekend and lower intensity work for a reasonable period of time, even if your life demands only allow a few days. We don’t realize how much the pressure of achieving a new summit puts on our entire system. I’ve found that most often we dive right back into life-as-usual without building in any recovery time.
- This is the part of the process that I see most often neglected, so beware and be ready to examine why it’s worth it for you to take time to recover.
Stop before you start. The reset step is about wiping the slate as clean as possible before you dive back into anything. Reassess your commitments, specifically looking for items you can stop before you start or restart.
Here are some questions to help you reset:
- Is this still serving me?
- If I said no to this, what could it make room for?
- What in my life is most draining?
- If you can’t commit to stopping, give yourself permission to procrastinate a restart of the activity. Procrastination can be a powerful tool when used intentionally.
Embrace renewal activities guilt-free.
- What can you indulge in, even if for just a few hours, for a few days in a row that re-energizes you?
- Whom can you connect with in life who gives you energy and makes you feel whole again?
- What book, movie, or event could you attend that helps you fill up your energy tank with inspiration?
To learn more about my 9 Vertical Lessons for Leading with Impact check out my new book Reaching Your Next Summit!
Your climb to excellence is never easy. The human drive within calls us to what is possible. The principles shared in this book will renew your commitment and inspire your quest for excellence. You will realize more of your potential as you sharpen your focus, act with courage, and generate momentum in reaching your next summit—and beyond.