"You aren't going to find anybody that's going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance." — Lou Holtz
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I recently hiked Mt. Liberty in New Hampshire, and the experience was less than thrilling.
Working on only 2 hours of sleep, I started the 4,500 foot ascent at 12:30am in utter darkness with nothing but a headlamp shinning the way.
I was exhausted before it even began, and the darkness, stumbling rocks, cold wind, and snow didn't help any. Climbing up that mountain became perhaps the most miserable 4 hours of my life.
That is, until I reached the summit.
I arrived well before sunrise, and the dawn began beautifully outlining the silhouettes of giant mountains in the distance with oranges, yellows, and reds. The experience arrested me, truly stopping me in my tracks.It was unreal! Like walking into a painting or a movie!
That day the mountain taught me something: Even the most miserable of journey's can produce sweet rewards.
I have often said that it's not necessarily about the destination, but rather it's more about the journey. That if we put too much weight on the final outcome then we'll miss out on the amazing possibilities along the way.
But this sincerely is not always the case. Sometimes we get thrown into difficult situations that simply suck. We get into an accident. A loved one dies. A friend betrays us. We get thrown into a rocky circumstance and there's no amount of "positive thinking" that can fix it in the moment. All we can do is ride it out and see where it takes us.
Even if we don't know what we'll find on the other side, even the most miserable of journey's can produce sweet rewards.
Sometimes we'll be thrown into these situations by outside forces, yet other times—like my journey up Mt. Liberty—it will be self-inflicted. Some miseries are completely voluntary, and we'll do well to remember that when it's all too easy to try and blame others.
Taking ownership of our decisions has its benefits, too. Those self-elected "miserable" journeys—where we sacrifice our peace and comfort—are what allows us to experience what far too many people won't ever get to experience, simply because they're not willing to make the sacrifices to get there.
We can not have what we have never had by holding onto all that we have ever known. It takes guts to give up security, peace, and comfort—all the while not knowing what we'll find on the other side. But, if what the mountain says is true, even the most miserable of journey's can produce sweet rewards when we're willing to make sacrifices.
What sacrifices are you willing to make to step into the next stage of your life? Likewise, what sacrifices are you unwilling to make? In other words, what's negotiable and what is nonnegotiable?
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Jonas Cain is the Facilitator of Fascination, Purveyor of Positivity, and CEO of Hashtag Positivity. Leveraging his three-decade career as a comedy magician in tandem with his extensive public speaking and facilitation skills, Jonas supports emerging leaders and their influencers to develop resiliency through high value relationships.