I first posted “Keep Pressing On and Keep Believing” on February 24th, 2012. I recently heard John Maxwell share the story and I wanted to share it again with you now.
A famous mountain climbing resort in the Swiss Alps caters to businesses that encourage their employees to hike up the mountain trails together. The goal is to build camaraderie and to teach teamwork. Although it is about an eight hour trek to the summit, anyone in reasonably good shape can ascend to the top. In the morning, the hikers gather at the base of the mountain for a pep talk before starting the climb. Usually the group is so excited, they can hardly wait to head up the slopes, have a group picture taken, and celebrate the excitement of the journey they are embarking upon.
They hike for several hours before taking a break. Approximately halfway up the mountain stands a quaint alpine restaurant. About noon, the weary hikers trudge into the restaurant, peel off their hiking gear, and plop down by the fireplace to have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and eat their lunch. With the mountain as their backdrop, the hikers savor the warm, cozy, picturesque setting.
Interestingly, after they are full and comfortable, fewer than half the hikers choose to continue climbing to the top of the mountain. It isn’t because they aren’t able; it isn’t because the climb suddenly appears too difficult. Their reluctance to continue is simply because they are satisfied with where they are. They’ve lost their drive to excel, to explore a new horizon, and to experience vistas they’d never previously imagined possible. They have tasted a bit of success, and they think it is good enough.
Many times, we approach life a lot like those full and comfortable hikers sitting in the restaurant enjoying the view. We have a goal to break a bad habit, to lose some weight, or to pay off our credit cards. At first, we’re so excited. We’re fired up and we go after it! The first leg of the climb up the mountain is powered by enthusiasm for our new goal. But over time, we get lazy and complacent and we don’t keep pressing on. Maybe we see a little improvement, but then we get comfortable right where we are. This might not be a bad place, but we know it’s not where we’re supposed to be. Like those hikers sitting in that quaint restaurant, we are still perfectly capable of craning our necks and looking up the mountain. We’re not stretching our faith or our potential and we know it. Maybe you own a business, and you’ve experienced a bit of success. Lately, however, you’ve been coasting. Or maybe you set out to lose 20 pounds, you lose 10, and feel like all is good and you get complacent. Don’t stop halfway just because it’s easy! Instead, remember what it is that you really, really want. Put out the effort and go the whole way. to the top of the mountain.
Step out of your comfort zone today! Keep pressing on and keep believing. It doesn’t take any more effort to believe and stay filled with hope and faith than it does to develop a negative and defeated attitude. Get up every day and say, “This is going to be a great day! I believe my dreams are coming to pass. There are great things in store for me and everyone around me.” When you have that kind of attitude you are releasing God’s goodness. But it doesn’t come easily.
People who see their dreams come to pass are people who have resolve and backbone. They are the ones who refuse to settle for the little victories along the way and see themselves at the finish line, instead continuing on, pushing on toward the ultimate goal. No one wants to be mediocre. You are made for so much more. Realize that what your mind focuses on, it can achieve. It is up to you. Pay attention only to those silent whispers within that say “You can do it!”
Linda McLean is an internationally respected business and life coach. Her company, www.mcleaninternational.com , helps businesses and individuals reach their next level using a customized solution-oriented approach to business and life planning. This story was from her newly released book: Next Level Living: Today’s Guide for Abundant Life.