Many More Hills To Climb

Three Sisters

Three Sisters, volcanic peaks of Oregon (from atop the South Sister)

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” –Nelson Mandela

This famous quote by Nelson Mandela can evoke an image of work that is never done. To some, it signifies a daunting vision of what lies ahead, yet, to the contrary, how fortunate we are to have endless challenges ahead to overcome. Challenges give us goals, value, meaning, they push us, they engage our hearts, our muscles and our minds, and they bring collaboration toward common goals. Mr. Mandela’s words, instead, portray endless possibilities ahead.

The quest to reach the top drives us. It motivates us. It helps us aspire to greatness. If we only had one peak to climb, our existence would cease once we reached our summit. The pinnacle would be our end. To reach the summit is a glorious feeling, but does it mean that we are done? I sure hope not! The view from the summit is to be enjoyed and to give view to the other challenges on the horizon. Reaching a pinnacle should be motivation to begin the next challenge, the next summit.

Fortunately, there is more than one hill to climb. Make your pinnacle not be your last, but be your motivation to conquer the next! The next hill awaits.

Ever Changing Conditions

While keeping a watchful eye on our internal controls, we cannot forget to look up and recognize what is happening outside our sphere of influence. Societal and technological changes ever shape our markets and keep us in constant motion. Changes in external factors can improve our current position or hinder it.

Weather conditions can halt or delay a well-prepared summit bid. It can influence how many customers are walking about, potentially limiting or flooding your business on a given day. Unable to control the weather, it can get the ‘bite on,’ after a nonproductive day of fishing.

Controling internal factors gives stability to an organization or situation, but adjusting to external conditions allows us shift with the uncontrollable world around us. Control what you can and prepare yourself to adjust as the world changes around you. Change is coming! Are you ready to seize upon it?

Scree Slide

When hiking a steep hillside of loose rock or scree, for every step you take, you lose a half a step in backslide. It takes twice the effort to get the desired result.

Sometimes our only route is the hard option and that means accepting that this victory is going to take a toll. This path won’t be easy and with every slide back, set back, loss and fatigue, you will find so many reasons to quit. Frustration will set in, yet inch by inch, step by step, progress will get you closer until you can see your summit.

This is the time to rejuvenate and muster the strength to finish. The summit will be worth it. The project will be worth it. Your new product launch will be worth it. Your efforts will pay off.

Accepting the difficulty that lies ahead will prepare you for the journey.

False Summit

The successful completion of a large task or project is so satisfying. A feeling that makes the tough times worth experiencing. With any project, you will encounter false summits, or that letdown of thinking you were nearly there, when you weren’t. Before your project begins, try to identify your false summits and be prepared to encounter them. With preparation, you will be able to mitigate some and move past those that you do encounter. Reaching the summit is worth it.


Standing atop the South Sister: the moment I forgot the false summit of earlier