CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN
"Climb every mountain
Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow
'Til you find your dream."
Rodgers & Hammerstein
Marcie and I and some good friends recently enjoyed a delightful evening at the Winter Park Playhouse attending a musical revue of the outstanding playlist of Rogers & Hammerstein. One of their biggest hits and one of my favorites, from The Sound of Music, is "Climb Every Mountain." The majestic music and the powerful message of that song are so inspiring!
The image of resolutely climbing a mountain in search of one's dream is a metaphor nearly everyone can relate to. It captures the whole idea of thinking big; setting our sights high; persevering through a long and arduous climb; and finally reaching the summit and achieving our goal. We can picture ourselves, like Sir Edmund Hilary, standing on top of the world.
But if so many can relate to the metaphor, why do so few people actually climb their mountain and achieve their dream? And how can we make sure we're a successful climber and not merely an also-ran? Here are three excellent pieces of advice on the subject.
Thomas A. Edison: Many don't make the climb because they don't have a clear and significant goal in the first place. Thomas A. Edison pointed out a truth that should be self-evident: "You cannot realize your dreams unless you have one to begin with."
There's a big difference between a wish or a hope, and a dream that is real, concrete, and well-defined. I've heard it said that "If wishes were fishes, we'd all have a fry." Are we planning for real success or just wishin' and hopin'?
Nora Roberts: Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of the climb. Nora Roberts' three simple rules for life are good advice when one contemplates tackling a major mountain climb:
- If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.
- If you don't ask, the answer will always be no.
- If you don't step forward, you will always be in the same place.
With all our getting, we need to get going. Sure, planning and preparing are important to our ultimate success, but too many spend all their time "fixin' to" and never get around to the actual "doing." At some point we've got to strap on our hiking boots and start climbing.
Thomas S. Monson: Once we're on the upward trail, how do we maintain a positive attitude over the long haul? One key is to take a break now and then to celebrate our progress. Thomas S. Monson counsels: "Rather than continually dwelling on all that still needs to be done, pause occasionally and reflect on all that you do and have done."
Nearly every worthy goal is a marathon, not a sprint. Achieving it requires extended exertion. Looking down shows us how far we've come. Looking back helps us picture what it will be like to reach the top. Checking our progress gives reassurance and encouragement for the remainder of the climb.
By having a clear vision of success; stepping out and moving forward; and reminding ourselves how far we've already come, stride by stride we can climb our mountain and find our dream. Good advice for mountain climbing; good advice for life.