Tucker was talking about how he was at the peak of his career, yet couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t happy. Tucker looked around and realized he was on the wrong mountain.
He may have been at the peak of his career, but he was in the wrong profession. His focus was on the wrong definition of happiness, the wrong definition of success.
WHAT MOUNTAIN ARE YOU ON?
Most of us can look back at a time in our lives, where we thought we were the happiest.
Maybe you thought you were at the peak of your career. You were doing the hard work to get the promotions and the raises, yet the satisfaction you thought you would feel was lacking.
For others, this could be weight loss. You might have looked at yourself in the mirror for years, always wishing to be a few pounds lighter. To drop just one more pant size and when you finally reach your goal you still feel an emptiness inside.
This list could go on and on. Looking for happiness in a relationship, your soulmate, but only finding a sense of loss at each failed attempt.
Telling yourself if you could only move to a new town or state you could finally feel a sense of belonging.
All of these things can be viewed as climbing the wrong mountain. As putting all our focus on one narrow goal, without taking the time occasionally to re-evaluate our primary objective. Our definition of happiness.
We may feel like our heads are in the clouds, we are after all at the highest point in our lives. We have the corner office, the perfect figure, we have everything we have ever wanted.
Head in the clouds.
When in reality, those are not clouds our heads are in, it is just a fog keeping us from seeing where we need to be in life.
Climbing that first mountain may have taken you years.
Years of sweat, blood, and probably some tears. Working late into the night to show you had what it took to get a promotion. Giving up time for yourself, for your family, all in the hope one day all the hard work would pay off.
You would reach the pinnacle of the mountain and be able to sit and relax, assured in the knowledge you worked so hard and gave so much, finally your time to enjoy life would be there.
Did you work hard to feel so empty?
Did you lose all the weight, skip all those meals, run all those miles, to feel so far away from where you want to be?
What have you given up to be who you are right now?
Are you happy with that person now?
Does the peak of your mountain offer a view that will satisfy you for the rest of your life?
Or do you find yourself looking around at all the possibilities that still exist, wanting more from life than the 9 to 5 grind? Working for a company who doesn’t appreciate the work you do, or working so hard losing weight and you have no idea why anymore.
The decision to move forward is harder than the act of doing nothing.
We only have a finite amount of time to spend on this beautiful planet, and giving time to people or a place that doesn’t appreciate it is very much a waste of time.
We use work as a means of self-fulfillment and identification. We spend years crafting a place for ourselves there, and untying all those little knots binding us to a specific job turns out to be a complicated process.
Escalation of commitment.
A human behavior pattern in which an individual or group facing increasingly negative outcomes from a decision, action, or investment nevertheless continues the behavior instead of altering course. – Wikipedia
Trying to change the mindset we have carried for years is an arduous process. We tell ourselves one thing: we want this change, we want to move in a different direction, but our subconscious minds keep going back to what is comfortable and easy for us.
We may not want to stay in our current jobs. We may want to move on to bigger and better things, but fear of change, fear of losing all the time we have put into, fear of losing our identity is holding us back from moving on.
Sinking more time and life into a place that isn’t going to allow us to reach our goals is pointless. Continuing this behavior keeps adding sunk time into an already failing system. Sunk time; it is lost forever.
When you come to realize the place you are in is not the place you want to be. The moment you see, you are doing the wrong thing, that your view from your mountain doesn’t resemble the picture you expected. Stop and start climbing down.
Am I saying walk into your boss’s office, call her an asshole and quit?
As good as you think doing this would feel, it’s not what I am saying. Rash decisions may have been what got you onto the mountain in the first place.
Don’t add to them by having to live in your car and beg for change on a street corner while you come up with a new plan. Make your definition of happiness.
Goals, get as excited about them as a soccer announcer.
Goals are what is going to separate you from the 95 percent of the people around you. You did not reach the top of the first mountain you climbed without some plan without goals.
For me, I set the goal to be the most knowledgeable employee at my store. I took every opportunity I could find to learn about everything I could. When my job was complete, I went to another department to learn about what went on there.
To some I was annoying, but after a few years, the knowledge I now held, helped me to move up and become a supervisor — a position I have kept in one form or another for twenty years.
Setting a goal helped me to reach the highest I wanted to go to in my current job.
So when you want to move on, you have to set new goals. If we don’t know where we want to go, there is no way for us to get there.
Set your goals. Identify what will take you off the peak of the mountain and to the path of your next challenge.
Know where you are going before you start your new journey. It is true, the quickest way off your mountain is to jump. But the sudden stop at the bottom is hard to take.
Remember, before you can go back up first, you have to go down.
Oh, The Places You Will Go.
Oh, The Places You Will Go, it is a delightful book by Dr. Seuss. If you have graduated high school in the last few years, or have had someone you know graduate odds are you have received or given this book.
While it is a good book for someone graduating from school and just starting in life, don’t discount the impact it can have on you as an adult, the advice given to those starting is only as relevant to adults changing direction.
The Waiting Place…
for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying.
Good advice, no matter what age.
The advice we give young adults starting on their journey is often the advice we should be reading and taking for ourselves now.
We tell graduates to dream, that they can do anything they put their minds too.
When did we quit believing in the advice we give them? All this can easily apply to us, more so in fact. For odds are you have gone down, some wrong streets, you have found yourself stuck in a tree.
Take the advice we give to young adults and apply it to yourself.
We are never too old to change, never too old to dream big. Or too old to climb a new mountain.
Definition of Happiness: Defining Your Happiness
Maybe you have found your happiness.
For some, it could be finding a stable job and working there until it is time to retire. If this applies to you, we could not be any happier for you. Your happiness, after all, is what this is all about.
But, if this is not you. If your happiness lies outside your comfort zone, and the only thing keeping you from reaching for joy is fear.
Well, how are you ever going to find your happiness if you refuse to even look past the fog? Your joy lies somewhere on the horizon, and it is up to you to see it.
Define your happiness, define your life, and dedicate all that is in you towards your new goal.
Quit putting your passion, your heart into a place that no longer brings you joy. Find what brings a smile to your face. Find what makes your heart fill with love and chase that with all your might.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life.
Awake my Soul – Mumford and Sons