Last month, I was in Las Vegas visiting my parents. I’m not one for the gambling/partying scene*, so I enjoy getting out of town and visiting some of the spectacular natural areas. One of my favorites is Red Rock Canyon.
I love walking, especially in nature. My brain, which I have a hard time shutting down under normal circumstances, starts spinning at 100,000 RPM and I get inspired in all kinds of ways. If I’m with the wife, we come up with all kinds of great ideas and more plans than our lives will ever allow for.
Anyway, I started thinking during the hike and realized that many of the principles that apply to my little excursions in nature apply to life as well.
Be kind to others and to the world. When out for a hike, be cognizant of the world around you. Don’t taunt the animals. Don’t stomp on the desert flower clinging to life. Tread carefully.
Regarding working and making money, I’d rather be poor and live in a box than stomp on someone else to get ahead. I’ve had it done to me, one time with hilarious consequences**. I just won’t do it.
Go hard. The farther and higher you go on a hike, the better the view gets and the better you feel when you’re done. There is nothing like climbing to a summit and taking in the view, dirty and soaked with sweat.
Stretch your comfort zone. No matter what you’re doing in life, put your fullest effort into it. Don’t half ass it. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Be observant, have an open mind and never stop learning. Keep your eyes and ears open on a hike and you’re bound to notice all kinds of things you wouldn’t have otherwise. Stoop down to check out a flower or neat rock and maybe you’ll see a lizard or other creature.
In life, my least favorite people to talk to are the ones who listen to some crazy-ass political character on AM radio and take it for the absolute truth. You then have the joy of hearing ridiculous conspiracy theories preached back to you. Attempts to argue are futile. These folks have decided to quit thinking for themselves and have closed their minds. All I ask is that you use your brain. Think.
People matter most. I’m not an extrovert, but I’ve had some really neat hiking experiences after chatting with others. “If you go down this path, you’ll see mountain sheep!” Woo! One time, I was almost at the summit of a 14er here in Colorado when I spotted a couple wearing Chicago Bears gear. Since I’m from Chicago, I chatted them up. Turns out the wife had graduated from my high school in the class after mine. Small world.
People are social animals and I’ve come to believe that our relationships with others are probably the most important part of our lives. Good friends and family are what it’s all about.
Take care of your body. Hiking is a great way to get some exercise. There is nothing like a good hike up a steep slope to get the heart pumping and the legs burning.
All the money in the world doesn’t matter if you don’t have your health. I’m pretty sure even Warren Buffett would trade all his money to be young again.
Start early and start now. Start your hike before the sun comes up. How many times do you get to see the sky at sunrise? It’s beautiful. It’s even better when you’re in a fantastic natural setting.
Same thing with life. Forget tomorrow, do it today, do it now. There is no time to waste. Get your butt out of bed and start hitting it hard every day.
Be prepared. Don’t go out into the wilderness without proper preparation. Bring plenty of water and good equipment or else you may hurt yourself or end up freezing in the rain. *****looking at myself in the mirror and shaking head*****
Don’t go into life’s situations without being properly prepared. If you plan properly, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Take the path less traveled. If you take the trail that everyone else does, you’re just going to end at the same place as all of them. Get off the beaten path and you’ll get to experience something new and different.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t change the world by going with the crowd. They forged their own paths and look where it took them. Remember that if you’re in the middle of the herd, your view is that of someone’s butt and you’re going to step in poop. If you’re at the front, the view is a lot better.
*I’ve noticed that the “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” attitude seems to cause otherwise mature adults to act like crazed college students. I’m not a goody two shoes, but the stuff I see people doing in Vegas makes me cringe.
**I’m a software developer and we were having a technical issue at work. I came up with a fix and told a co-worker about it. A couple minutes later, I’m walking past a manager’s cube and I overhear my co-worker presenting my idea to the manager like it was his. Grrrrr. However, my idea wasn’t thought out and ended up failing miserably. Guess who also got credit when it failed!
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