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This article was originally published in NewWu magazine.

What are you climbing for?

The Mountain Metaphor

Imagine you are standing on the top of a beautiful mountain, hands raised in a victory pose, celebrating your success.You can feel the wind blowing softly as you reflect on your position above the landscape expanding in every direction below you. “How did I manage to get here?” you ask.

The metaphor of the mountain offers many opportunities to contemplate both the success of being on top and also what it takes to get us there.

Here are a few to consider in your quest toward your personal and professional achievements:

Why Climb?

This quintessential question probes our internal motivation for setting out to pursue our dreams in the first place. Inspiring objectives and driven emotional reasons are what enable us to overcome the challenges we will inevitably face as we ascend.

The Peak

Climbing any mountain starts with a vision; our creative imagination paints a picture of what might be possible. Experiencing success in advance allows us to manifest what is acheivable. “If you want to climb a mountain, begin at the top.” —Zen Proverb

The Rope

Of all the gear and equipment used to climb mountains, the rope is the primary source of connection for ascending mountains together. More than a physical aid, the rope symbolizes the interrelationship of a committed team climbing toward a successful outcome. The rope allows us to climb faster, fueled by the trust in our partners.


As we ascend our objectives in life, we will be faced with external variables requiring us to adapt and overcome. Staying calm, remaining focused and taking decisive action is required when all else around us seems like chaos.

The Personal—Internal Mountain

Many times the most difficult climbs are our own mountains of doubt, uncertainty, change and disorientation. We need to explore our own inner landscape and overcome our fears in order to truly achieve success. Stay calm, confident and focused to take action even in the most adverse conditions.


“We cannot lower the mountain, therefore we must elevate ourselves.” This quotation by Todd Skinner is a poignant reminder that inevitably we must rise to the challenges before us. Dream big and go climb your mountains! Embracing the struggle of the climb often IS the victory. And the greater the challenge, the greater the opportunity to grow into what you dream of becoming.