As we reached the summit of Blood Mountain today, we all dropped our backpacks, shed a layer or two, and relaxed for a short time while we waited for the Scouts to boil the water for the traditional top-of-the-mountain hot chocolate. We engaged in lots of small talk and discussed at what age teenagers should be introduced to Monty Python, Caddyshack, and other 70s and 80s classics while we sipped our hot chocolate.
When we started the hike, it was in the mid-30s and sunny. When we reached the peak, it was about 42 degrees with a stiff breeze. After that hot chocolate wore off, we all started putting our outer layers back on to shield ourselves from the cold. We were all getting cold because we were standing still and not making any progress up or down the mountain.
The same thing can happen when you’re unemployed, stagnant in your job, or after you’ve reached a peak point in your career. I’ve experienced all three, and at two of those three times, I was “standing still”, not making any progress one way or the other. When we stand still in the cold, our muscles start to tighten, our hands stiffen, and we bundle up to keep warm, and sometimes remain standing still.
When we’re stagnant, bored, or unemployed, we can tend to do the same thing. Just like the way we got warm again today, we need to get warm again in our work. To get warm today, we started hiking back down the mountain, which is faster but much more difficult on the rocky and sometimes wet terrain. When we’re stagnant, bored, or unemployed, we also need to get moving, making some sort of progress one way or the other, and working towards something.
Whether we need to create new opportunities, a new company, or new sources of personal income, the only way to achieve any of those is to start: get moving! When you stand still, you’ll get cold and all those skills you’ve acquired over the years will tighten up or atrophy. So keep moving. Create something. Do something. Start something. Teach someone something. You’ve got skill at something. Share it. Get moving.