The weather was awesome yesterday! So weird to have the city shut down one day from snow/ice and then three days later have it be sunshine and in the 60s. I’ll take it.

I had the opportunity to go for a hike yesterday and it reminded me of one my favorite books about backpacking. It is a book called “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and it is about a woman who decided to hike along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) by herself. Her route would take her over a thousand miles and she had never backpacked in her life. What could go wrong?

As you can imagine, lots of stuff does go wrong. I won’t tell you everything that happened, you will have to read the book. Or you could watch the movie starring Reese Witherspoon.

Thought I would share a couple of lessons that you can apply to your life that I got out of the book.

1. “Who’s tougher than you?”

Along the trail, Cheryl developed a personal mantra to keep herself motivated and putting one foot in front of the other. She would say out loud, “Who’s tougher than you? and then answer herself “No one!”

I thought that was a really awesome way to keep yourself motivated. She said even though she knew it was not true it still made her feel better and helped her push on.

What is a personal mantra you can develop to keep yourself going?

2. “You’re doing great”

She meets a fellow hiker along the way who really buoys her spirits. He lets her know how amazing she is doing so far and to keep up the good work.

This one works both ways. First, you need people like that in your life. Someone who will lift you up and encourage you when you want to give up and give in. Second, you can be that person for someone else! If you notice someone who is giving it their all, struggling, and just trying to get by give them a word of encouragement. You never know how much it will mean to them.

3. “A mosquito, my libido”

At one point she is extremely bored, hurting, and needing something to take her mind off of things so she begins to sign Nirvana lyrics to herself over and over. She recites poetry. She does everything to take her mind somewhere else.

Your mind is an amazing thing. If you focus on the pain and tedium of a workout, it only seems to grow. But if you can take yourself elsewhere through music, laughter, literature, etc… you will be amazed at how much further you can go.

4. “If they can do it, so can I”

She would see other hikers along the way and tell herself if they could do it, so can they. This is one I have used in my life several times. I’ve missed teaching my boot camp 4 times in 9 years. That is teaching classes every day Monday-Friday for that time period. And one time was because I was in Nashville when it flooded and could not get home.

Broken bones, torn ligaments, the flu, no sleep, and even a few bouts of the man cold! Haven’t missed class. Part of that steak is because I look at my clients who have fought through cancer, the death of spouses and children, lost jobs, and so many other tough situations. IF they can go through all that and still make it to class, then I can stand up there for an hour and do what I need to do.

If they can do it, so can I.

And so can you. Tap into the power of these four things. If you can develop the right mindset, you will make it much further in life. The tough times will always be there, you just have to learn how to keep putting one foot in front of the other.