“The best view comes after the hardest climb.”
Back in 2010, Rob and I went to the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
While spending time in the quaint villages of Positano, Praino and Ravello we decided to do the famous “Walk of the Gods” between the villages, on the high edge of the cliffs. Apparently the views from the top were spectacular and breathtaking.
Of course, to do this walk, we had to climb thousands of steps to get up to the top, then walk along the cliffs and get this spectacular view.
I am a good motivator when the kids are around,(sometimes), but the second they aren’t, I become the kid, and I whine and complain. We started the trek up, and within a few hundred stairs, I was complaining. Bitterly.
Rob had to pep talk me, and encouraged me to take babysteps. The climb was divided into a series of staircases. Rather than focus on the thousands of steps that lay ahead of me (in the beating sun, I might add), he encouraged me to focus on the staircase that was immediately in front of me; asking, “Can you do this set of stairs?”, to which my answer was consistently, “Yes. These ones I can do.”
Eventually, of course, we made it to the top, and walked along the stunning cliffs (where I took over being the motivator since Rob is seriously scared of heights).
The views? Specatular.
The photos I have? Unreal.
The pride I felt in accomplishing this climb? Amazing. (Except my legs were complete jello at the end of the day because, what goes up, of course, must come down….)
And I have used this story countless times when encouraging others (especially my clients).
Most spectacular views require a climb. The climb may be easy, or it may be hard. We may need to break the climb down into smaller climbs (as I had to do)..but that does not change the view at the end.
We encounter so many “climbs” in our life. Rarely do we hear people talk about all their great successes after taking the easy road.
People usually talk about the climbs that built their character. The ones that shaped their values, or helped them discover who they were. Climbs that make them stronger, or draw them closer to others. Climbs that they fell on, or felt they couldn’t do, but persevered anyways until eventually, they caught a glimpse of that amazing view.
Sometimes, however, we make the climb, and all we can see is more climbing ahead of us. That, I think is the biggest challenge. In those situations, I think we just have to keep going (as usually there is no alternative anyways) and try to find some beauty in the actual climb, or try to find someone to make the climb with, which will make that climb a whole lot better. It also helps if we can keep faith that there IS a beautiful view awaiting us.
Sometimes , you may just have to stop and enjoy the view from wherever and however high you get. Like on my favourite show “Parenthood” that just ended (boo), when Camille and Zeek go to climb to see a magnificent view, and Zeek can’t make it, so they stop to enjoy it from where he is able to climb to , given his heart condition. Sometimes in the midst of the climb, there is still a beautiful view to enjoy.