Climbing a Mountain and Living a Life

Climbing a Mountain and Living a Life

A few years ago two young men stood at the foot of Mount Madison in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The White Mountains are the highest mountains in the Northeast, towering high above the tree line. On their tops not even small shrubs grow. Nothing but moss and grasses.

These two youths had on their backs heavy packs of food and blankets. Their job was to open up the but used during the summer by hikers, on top of Mount Madison. They were to pack in supplies.

One young man, whom we shall call Jim, told the other, who had never packed so heavy a load up a mountainside: "Just keep going. Put one foot in front of the other, until you get there. No matter how tired you get, keep going! One step at a time, and you'll get there in about four hours."

The other young man did just that, until he thought he couldn't make it another inch. Somewhere up ahead, he knew, was the hut. But he was so tired, that he doubted he'd ever get there. Step, step, step; up, up, up.

Finally, when the but came into view, he simply flopped on the ground. He'd made it! And how? By taking one step at a time.

Life is like that. Somewhere up ahead is a wonderful destination. We'll call this destination what you want to be and do. It's so far!

You've never been there, naturally. And it looks so far up and so far away you don't think you ever will.

But you can be like the mountain climber. Set your goal, one that really exists and that you can attain. Not like some­thing in a movie or TV program, where success, riches, and fame just seem to drop into one's lap. That happens to very few people, and mostly in stories.

Whatever your goal is, it's likely to be gained as we climb a mountain—by taking one step at a time. By living each day to the fullest, doing each task the best we can as it comes to us, accepting each challenge with everything we've got.

Some boys and girls think daydreaming will bring them what they want. Dreams are necessary. It takes the dreamer, the thinker, to imagine what's ahead.

But mere dreams and thoughts are not enough. Tremendous effort, patience, and endurance move us ahead, one step at a time.

Life is very peculiar in this respect—you cannot hurry the time. Days cannot be lengthened or shortened. But you can make the most of each day, taking each one as it comes, and not worrying about the days ahead. If this one is lived well, those in the future will be better too.

Climbing a mountain or living a life—take each step, one at a time. There's no short cut in either.

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