Mountains Beyond Mountains

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While on our backpacking trip, we both read the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.”  It is one of those perspective-changing books that is philosophical and comforting at the same time.  One of my favorite passages from the book is this:

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire…then when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose…these are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.”

The quote spoke a lot to me, because it captured what I felt was lacking in my life:  Peace of mind that stems from being present and fully engaged in the moment.  I’ve always been a pretty goal-oriented person.  While it’s good to be self-motivated, I’ve come to realize that it’s not healthy to define accomplishment solely as that final check mark.  It’s better to do fewer things but do them well, to allow each process be a fertile ground of learnings, to savor and appreciate every moment and detail, and to enjoy myself.

If you have read any books that have helped shape your view, please let me know!  I am currently reading this fascinating book.

Have a great Monday!

{Photo: Taken of the horizon while riding our longtail boat into Railay, an island in Thailand}

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