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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Ree Klein says
A great post, Mr. 1500! You made me want to get off this chair and go for a hike…do you think there are any mountain lions out there this time of day? It’s still dark here in So Cal!
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Ha, we have mountain lions here too, but as you know, they are very elusive. I’ve love to see one, but like a tornado, from a distance and not coming towards me!
FI Pilgrim says
Getting out and hiking, or spending time with kids at the state forest nearby, is something that doesn’t sound entirely fun when you’re sitting inside relaxing, but once you get out there it becomes addictive! I’ve gotten better over the last few years at turning off the football game on Sunday afternoon and hauling the fam to a park. I never regret it!
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Ha, I don’t know if I’d turn off the game. My 2 hours of TV/week is football. I say “2” because the Chicago Bears usually stink and I end up turning it off.
FI Fighter says
Nothing beats a good morning hike. That’s great, I recently came back from my own trip visiting some red rocks in Sedona. Beautiful place and some good hikes out there as well.
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Yeah, I’ve been to Sedona and it’s great. Well, except for all of the t-shirt shops. The hiking and rocks are super cool.
Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says
LOL, love how karma came back to your coworker! It’s unfortunate that people do that to each other in the work place.
Great analogy of the hike to life. I wish I could go take a hike in the desert now. 🙂
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I wish I was in the warm desert too. Actually, I live in the high desert and it is NOT warm.
Mrs PoP @ Planting Our Pennies says
This is how I feel about running. =).
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Dunno what it is, being outside and moving just gets the brain going.
Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial says
Awesome post, Mr. 1500 🙂 Loved all these points (and agree with them too), especially the one about going at everything in life with full-on enthusiasm. Reminds me of one of my favorite Ron Swanson-isms: “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
Also love the point to start NOW. Take action. There is no perfect moment, so don’t wait! You have to make the perfect moment.
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Thanks Kali! No whole assing for me either.
I had to laugh at the remark about your co-worker…talk about karma. I don’t quite know about taking the path less traveled. Last time I tried that, my dogs wound up with a bunch of sticky leaves on them that were a huge pain to remove. (I realize you’re speaking metaphorically but it’s more humourous to take it literally ^_^)
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Yeah, he was a super jerk. I knew he had screwed others over in the past as well.
Cash Rebel says
I totally agree that people can make all the difference. One time our stove broke many miles from civilization and a rando couple gifted is their extra stove. It was a life saver
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Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says
Physical activity in the beauty of the natural world is the best of everything! (Though I do admit I enjoy Vegas).
The point that really resonates with me is respecting the nature and your fellow living creatures. No stomping around please, there’s just too much of that going on in the day to day.
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Done by Forty says
What a cool metaphor. Lots of life lessons in there, Mr. 1500. Start early, start now, is maybe my favorite one on that list. Sometimes just starting early makes all the difference on a hike, and with most other things, too.
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Loved this post – indeed, so many physical activities and the challenges or learning lessons that go with it can also cross over to many things in life! Going along with the be kind to others and your trail marker pics – don’t knock down others’ trail markers! They’re useful for not only the hiker, but perhaps others as well. Do unto others, in that respect.
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KK @ Student Debt Survivor says
Well said. I completely agree about people being social animals. I think sometimes with all of the technology we have we’ve forgotten how to communication with each other. Glad your co-worker got what was coming to him, hopefully he learned an important lesson about stealing ideas and pawning them off as his own.
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Amy Beauchamp says
Unfortunately co workers like that are sometimes the reason we want to retire early!
Ha ha, yeah Mr. Idea Stealer was a jerk!
It’s finally cooling off enough for desert hikes now–which ones are your favorite around Vegas? Do you ever camp there? We’ve done a bunch of AZ adventures and are looking to increase our radius, so thanks for the suggestions!
I love getting off the grid and remembering what’s really important 🙂
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