When the going gets tough can bring about it's challenges. But how can we calm the chaos in times of challenge?
Here are five life lessons from when I conquered the mountains of the Inca Trail and overcoming life’s challenges that can be thrown your way.
Four weeks ago I embarked on a challenge.
This challenge was to gather a group of like-minded people wanting to achieve a common goal, that being to conquer the Inca Trail and visit one of the amazing wonders of the world, Machu Picchu in Peru.
The Inca trail is an intense 4 day hike which has you finishing at Machu Picchu.
Within this hike are numerous challenges from climbing as high as 4200m where you are faced with altitude (meaning shortness of breathe and slow moving legs) to at times hiking through rain, descending upon slippery rock stair cases, and what can be challenging conditions that pushes both your mental and physical strength.
Throughout this journey my team were faced with numerous challenges and obstacles they had to overcome with some prior and others during the trek, and every single member of our team rose to the challenge.
All 12 team members reached Machu Picchu, even when we were at times walking in darkness, head torches and all just to get to the next camp, or waking at 3.30am to trek to the gates at sunrise.
A once in a lifetime experience like this can bring about many sets of skills that can put us to the test mentally, physically, and emotionally. In fact so much of what we do and how we choose to respond in times of challenge has a huge influence upon our results.
From the daily decisions we make, to our behaviour and attitude in how we go about achieving our lifestyle goals. So many factors can come into play as to how we believe, perceive and achieve an experience to be, and what we choose to take away from it.
Below are five life lessons that I believe help to overcome challenges that life can throw your way, and ways that can help you to move through them.
What you focus on is what you get!
1. The power of focus
What you focus on is what you get, and in a nutshell it is literally that.
If you focus on clutter, or on how that mountain feels impossible to climb then the struggle magnifies, compared to focusing on the end result, which could be that clear and clean room, to getting to the top of that mountain.
A great skill to help in overcoming a challenge is to begin with what you are focusing on, and look at where you need to focus in order to achieve a particular outcome or goal.
2. What breaks you can also make you
Have you ever experienced something that has pushed you to your absolute limit?
Whether it be emotionally, physically, or mentally?
How we view challenge and being pushed to our limits can sometimes bring out our fears, and frustrations. How we decide to behave as a result of this is crucial to achieving our goals and having a positive outcome.
In the heat of this mission I was faced with a devastating challenge on my family front which put everything about my life to the test.
The life lesson here is that when you are put to the test, bring the best of yourself and what you have to offer to the world.
Know your values and your why. This will help you to make clear decisions under times of challenge that align with who you are and the person you choose to be.
For me this means that my health and that of my families needs and others is always priority.
By being clear on your priorities can help you make the decisions you need to make, when they need to be made.
3. Bite sized chunks
When the going gets tough, break things down into bite sized chunks.
This can reduce overwhelm and keep you focused on the task at hand because after all, bite sized chunks are easier to swallow.
By breaking things down into small, actionable and attainable goals makes it so much easier, because with every step the closer you get.
Whether that be a learning you gain along the way, to complete progression as you continue to put one foot in front of the other as you embark on your journey.
Regardless of how big the goal may seem, where you can't find a door you can find a window, if not get building one rock at a time...
4. Decide, Commit, Succeed
The contemplation stage of decision making can either make or break you depending on your strategy. Do you overthink, or over plan? Or perhaps you like to wing it? Either way you must decide and commit to your action and be sure to follow it through to the end regardless of how hard it might get, or tough it may seem.
Know how far you can challenge yourself realistically and just go go go.
Movement creates momentum so just start and keep on moving within your means.
5. Keep your head up
Where your eyeline goes your energy flows. Focus on being present and be sure to look at where you are going. By doing this you create a pathway of least resistance and open up a world of awareness and opportunity, so be sure to keep your head up.
There you have it, five life lessons to conquering Inca and life's challenges.
Time is of the essence, so be sure to make time for what matters most each and every day, and your well on your way.