Posts Tagged ‘Will Smith’

One of the things I love about hiking mountains is that I always learn about life and myself. This held true while climbing Mt. Washington, the tallest mountain in New Hampshire, this past July.


The most powerful insight I gained from Mt. Washington was how susceptible we are to the power of suggestion, and how damaging it can be if we are not aware of when it is acting upon us.


mtw - warningWhen I arrived at the base of the mountain, there were several signs posted warning of avalanches and falling ice. The rangers I spoke with echoed this warning. While I am never one to do something stupid at elevation, especially when I am hiking alone, I didn’t get a sense that the ranger had a real conviction about his warning. My intuition told me that the trail wasn’t really that bad and that the ranger was erring on the side of caution.


So, I decided to take the risk and go up the trail.


While it may at first seem like I am about to make a big mistake, I should share that after 30 years of hiking, I enjoy taking measured risks, but rarely, if ever, will I take stupid ones. I decided I would continually assess the trail and if at any time I felt the danger level was too high, I would backtrack and take a safer trail up the mountain.


As it turns out, my intuition was right. The trail was not impassable or dangerous. Yes there was snow and ice. Yes the rocks up the vertical ravine were wet and slippery. But at no time did I feel my life was in danger.


But here is what did occur along the way.


My mind ran with the suggestion that there was danger. All I could think about on this gorgeous day was a huge chunk of ice the size of a Volkswagen barreling down the mountain and crushing me like a bug. The amount of fear I felt was distracting. Butterflies filled my stomach and my legs were unsteady.


My mind was preoccupied with what I would do if this did occur. What would be the best way to survive an avalanche in the terrain I was hiking? What rocks would I seek shelter behind? Did my phone have reception to call for help? Was there anyone else on the trail that I could hike with or assess whether the trail ahead was safe?


I was completely focused on the fear rather than the beauty and peace of the trail.


Sadly, the only place any danger existed was in my head. There was no real danger on the trail. All of my fear was the result of a suggestion of danger.


And that’s the thing about fear and worry: we become consumed by something that is not real and does not actually exist, and it takes us out of the reality and beauty of the present moment. And that is a total waste of time and energy.


Many of us live our lives in a space of fear and worry that is usually based on a suggestion rather than reality . . . which if you think about it, is the equivalent of living in a land of make believe.


At least when we were kids, the land of make believe was something to aspire to and was filled with rainbows, unicorns, lots of candy and happy endings.


Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.

After Earth (movie)


Never underestimate the power of your mind. While this story demonstrates the power of fear, we must not forget that the mind can also create a powerful positive reality pertaining to something we desire in life.


An amazing truth in life is that almost everything in the world around you was created from a thought. That being the case, why not have those thoughts move you toward something you desire rather than something you fear.




For a little fun, below is the trailer that contains the above quote from the movie After Earth.

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This summer the sports radio airwaves were filled with news of professional baseball and football players renegotiating and signing new contracts.  The amount of money being thrown around was dizzying, often in the tens of millions.  It didn’t take much to get wrapped up in a fantasy of acquiring wealth like that and achieving a level of fame and fortune these players had.
In thinking about all their new-found wealth I got hooked, especially since that is the game that is played here in America – and more and more, that is the game being played throughout the world:  Whoever has the most money wins and is most successful.
Then it dawned on me.  I don’t really want to be wealthy.  That’s not what truly motivates me or how I define success.  Sure if someone offered to pay me lots of money for the value I bring to the world I would enjoy every bit of it and be grateful for the acknowledgement, but it wouldn’t necessarily motivate me or fulfill me.  Having lots of money is not what I consider a true measure of my success.
For me, success is about helping people and inspiring them to a great life.  It is about making a difference in people’s lives and knowing that my interaction with them left them in a better place than where they were before we met.  To spend my life doing that is a dream come true for me.
Not surprisingly, understanding this distinction about what motivates me and how I define success shifted my focus and drive.  The idea of making lots of money feels hard to me. Like a chore.  But the idea of helping and inspiring people?  That is what I was born to do.  It is as natural as eating and sleeping to me.  And I have no doubt that in pursuing that goal, success, and more importantly satisfaction, will surely find me  . . . not to mention quite a bit of money.  🙂
So perhaps finding happiness in life is really about answering these two questions.
1) Do you know what your true desire in life is and what motivates and fulfills you?
2) How do you define success?

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying “Amen” to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
                                                                                – Robert Louis Stevenson


With the bombardment from media and popular entertainment these days, it is easy to get caught up in all the noise we hear about what it means to be successful, or popular, or cool, or fashionable.  But to define yourself by the standards others set for you is a surefire recipe for frustration and dissatisfaction.  Is it really worth “keeping up with the Joneses” if what the Joneses have has little to do with what you want in life?  The more you can look inward to find your true passion and satisfaction, the easier life tends to become.


Take a peek at the video below to get an inspirational look at someone who is clearly powered by what is inside him, rather than what swirls around him.


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