Moving, Shaking, Rock ClimbingMay 01, 2022
This morning I woke up stressed, on several fronts.
I was thinking about how much remains to be done in connection with moving house. Several hard deadlines are looming in connection with the move, and despite significant progress over the past few days, there is much to be done (including a few things that I'm not yet sure how I can accomplish, like moving the piano).
Simultaneously, I was stressing about my plan to intentionally shake up my career, by switching to a new business model. How should I transition from one model to another without causing my current income to crash too suddenly and too soon before I have sufficiently developed the income from the new business model?
Apparently, those thoughts did not consume all available mental bandwidth, because I still had enough left over to worry about impending deadlines relating to my already existing legal practice.
I'm sure it is a very old analogy that I cannot take credit for, but the aptness of rock climbing as a metaphor for life somehow forced its way into my mind.
Imagine climbing a sheer cliff face. It is a hard climb. Fortunately, there are sufficient, handholds, ridges, and grooves along the way, or at least there have been so far.
If you look down, you get an idea of what the consequences would be of stopping climbing; eventually, you tire of just holding on, and would fall a hundred feet to the ground and lie broken at the base of the cliff. Panic quickly wells up and you decide you better keep climbing. But how much farther is there to go before you can pull yourself onto the firm ground at the top and rest?
You look up. Yikes, that's even worse than looking down! There are at least a thousand feet of sheer cliff face remaining to climb, and who knows how much more because the top is not even visible. Nor can you even tell if the handholds, ridges, and grooves exist higher up. Looking up is not helping.
You look at your fingers, gripping the current handhold. You know generally which direction you need to go; upwards. You judge the distance to the next handhold. Focus on making the move right in front of you. All you need to do is move your hand to the next rock jutting out of the cliff.
Narrowing your focus is surprisingly calming. There is nothing to panic about.
Stay in the present moment.
Determine the next thing to do.
Do that thing.
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