Success takes time, effort, perseverance & patience.
A few months ago, while vacationing in Palm Springs, California, I decided to hike 4 miles up and down one of the local mountains. The first half of the hike was pretty tough – it was 1.5 miles straight up a vertical incline with short, sharp switchbacks. When I reached the top, I was pretty pleased with myself – my phone told me I had climbed 80 flights of stairs and that I had completed the incline in 45 minutes. The hike down around the side of the mountain was much more comfortable – the terrain still had short, sharp switchbacks, but the very nature of it being downhill made for a much easier hike.
Until, forty-five minutes later, when I reached the bottom of the mountain and discovered that the trailhead abruptly ended in front of an 8-foot barbwire fence, which stretched for miles. The barbwire fencing had a sign indicating that the land beyond the wall was private property and owned by the California government for flood control.
Beyond the fencing, and just a few streets away was the condo where my husband and I were staying.
I stared at the fencing and then back up at the mountain in dismay. Did I really have to hike back up the mountain and then have to climb down the other side just because of an 8-foot barbwire fence? And why was there a well-marked trail indicating to hike this way if you couldn’t get past the fence? Recognising that I did not have enough water with me to reclimb the mountain, I decided to scale the barbwire fence.
Several failed attempts later, and after a great deal of muttering under my breath, I managed to lob myself over the fence relatively unscathed. I was euphoric and silently singing praises to myself for being so resourceful.
That is until I realised that the newly tarmacked road that I was walking down was actually part of an empty private gated community that would, at some point, become a housing development. As I walked past all the vacant lots, I spied a 10-foot electric gate at the end of the road. I groaned. There was not a person in sight who operated the gate, and as I reached the gate, I discovered there was no chance of opening it or climbing over it.
Until…I discovered a 5-foot cement wall with tall box hedging surrounding it on the other side. Determined not to give up, I catapulted myself up and over the cement wall and landed in the hedging on the other side. I had a few minor scratches and cuts on my hand, but overall, I was unscathed.
As I walked back to our condo, I realised that my hiking adventure is an excellent metaphor for how we go about setting and achieving goals.
We often set goals and tactics to realise our ambitions; however, we usually don’t anticipate the bumps and roadblocks (and 8-foot barbwire fences!) that come up along the way.
When these roadblocks arise, implement the following strategies:
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