The mountain teaches us to look beyond what appears to our eyes. What we can learn from the mountain does not involve just technique, physical endurance and climbing. It refers to everything we cannot see either to touch but we can perceive under our skin. These are key life lessons that influence our attitude and our approach to life.
Before exploring what the mountain can teach us, I want to mention a quote from Andy Andrews that I find very meaningful:
“Everybody wants to be on the mountaintop, but if you’ll remember, mountaintops are rocky and cold. There is no growth on the top of a mountain. Sure, the view is great, but what’s a view for? A view just gives us a glimpse of our next destination-our next target. But to hit that target, we must come off the mountain, go through the valley, and begin to climb the next slope. It is in the valley that we slog through the lush grass and rich soil, learning and becoming what enables us to summit life’s next peak.”
What the mountains teach us: 9 lessons about life
1. Great things await us outside the comfort zone
The most beautiful view comes after the toughest climb. No one can say the contrary. Think about the efforts and the determination that lead you step by step towards your destination. Every single step brings you closer and closer to the peak.
The path is not always plain. There are moments when you wonder “why you are doing it”, but if there is a valid “why”, you will also find a reasonable “how”. Embracing the challenges and overcoming fears is the first step to take and the rewards will be great. There are wonderful things waiting for us outside the comfort zone and only through motivation, courage and commitment we are able to achieve them. Rather than waiting for the right time to come, start climbing with the first step.
If you look down you will find your satisfaction, if you look up you will meet your motivation.
2. Mental strength goes beyond physical strength
Mental strength is often underestimated. It is common to think that challenges need to be faced with excellent physical endurance. This is not always the case. So, how would you explain that force that pushes you to move forward despite your legs being about to give up?
It is your mind that takes control and leads you beyond your limits.
It is about being determined and motivated even when the path beneath our feet seems impossible to take. Surrender means abandoning a path halfway without reaching the destination, and it’s true that easy roads have never made a good explorer.
3.Your body constantly communicate with you
Our body communicates with us every single second of the day. Maybe in the daily hustle and bustle, we don’t realize it. The mountain connects us with ourselves, with every single cell of our body. It teaches us to pay more attention to our body and to understand when it is time to slow down and when it is possible to overcome our limits.
There is a moment to take a break, a moment to move forward and a moment to change path.
It is about being aware of every beat and every breath, even the deepest one: the one of relief once you reach the highest peak. Your body talks to you about emotions, try to listen to it.
4.While standing still, everything looks huge
From the valley the mountains look huge, you can hardly see the peak. Step by step you start to climb. Higher and higher, closer and closer to the top. Narrow paths and dizzying heights can be scary, but climbing a mountain also means overcoming your fears to experience something greater, something worth discovering. Fear can inhibit and too much hesitation does not work in your favor, both in life and in the mountains. Do you want to let fear take over your life or overcome fear and live for real?
Sometimes it is necessary to overcome fear and regain self-confidence to live to the fullest. Bigger goals start with a first step and this is often the hardest one. Just to mention a Confucius saying: The man who moves a mountain begins by moving small stones.
5. The concept of time and patience
Nature has its own pace. The water of the streams flows incessantly and smoothes the stones. Solid shrubs take decades to grow. In nature there is no rush and the mountains always remind us that.
In a life marked by the hands of the clock, we are always in a hurry, always full of responsibilities, nature teaches us to cherish time differently, making the most of every single second. While waiting for sunrise and sunset, there is a kind of magic. Without haste, with patience. Nature gives us shades of colors that change from season to season, from hour to hour of the day. The concept of time is different in the mountains and patience helps us to be aware of every single moment.
Live your life at your own rhythm: it’s not a competition to win but a show to appreciate.
6. The beauty of life is also the unexpected
The mountain reminds us that not everything can be predictable and under our control. Everything can change shortly, even the path we are walking on. Where there is life, there is a transformation. There are constant changes, challenges and obstacles and our reaction to the external enviroment can be different.
So why do we try to have everything under control? A predictable life is far easier but it is pretty flat. The mountain teaches that a blue sky could turn grey without warning, an easy path could suddenly hide complications. The unexpected is a part of life and there are challenges that need to be overcome. Difficult roads make real explorers and those who are not afraid of challenges have trust in their own legs, not on the path.
7. The mountain create connections
The connection between human beings and nature is the most beautiful and genuine that can exist. Nature reminds us that we are like trees, similar in shape but unique in our essence, all independent but connected to each other and there is no gender difference. The mountain reminds us of the importance of the union.
A single tree does not make a wood, a single stone does not make a mountain, a single individual does not make a society. It is the union that makes the difference.
Often it is the mountain itself that remembers this value. It makes us appreciate time with ourselves as well as share it with others. It creates empathy and altruism, especially in case of difficulty. In the mountains, you are never alone but connected to the world.
8. Be like water
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee
This is one of Bruce Lee’s most famous and inspirational quotes. What the mountain streams teach is right this: the water does not stop at the first obstacle, it adapts or finds a way to get around it and often by creating new paths.
Water is life inside and outside yourself.
9. Less is more: that’s the secret of happiness
The mountain teaches that happiness is not contained in the objects we own but in the space that remains free and we fill with emotions. Yes, happiness is part of everything we cannot touch. In the mountain, we can bring a few essentials but there is no space limit for emotions and sensations.
If you had to give a priority, what would you bring and what would you leave out? We know that a heavy backpack is uncomfortable and dangerous. In addition to hindering the movements, you could have the constant worry of losing something along the way. Imagine a backpack as metaphor of life: would you prefer a lightweight, comfortable backpack full of experiences or a heavy, bulky one full of objects? Happiness doesn’t come from material things, but from everything you carry in your heart.
Nature is perfect and through its silence it gives precious lessons about life. The secret is learning to listen to it.
The mountain teaches us what really matters, these are valuable life lessons that we learn only through our attitude and love for nature. Experiences, sensations, reflections and thoughts shape our way of being and our approach to life.
At Royal Eagle Road, we believe that explorers are like determined, strong and bold eagles, and the true exploration is not focused just on the destination, but on the path itself. A unique and unconventional path, just like each of us. For this reason, we have created a range of backpacks that combine features and functionality of outdoor activities with an urban design.
Give a look at our models and we wish you great unconventional explorations!
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