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Posts Tagged ‘challenges’

Do you ever wish you could just take off and leave everything behind? Does it happen often that you feel the place you are at is too small, too narrow or too boring?

Wouldn’t it be fun to just hop on the next plane out of here?

Anywhere but here! 

Because sometimes it feels, I’m sure it happens to all of us, that we cannot, we will not be content with less than the best. Happiness is just around the corner and we will get on the first bus, train, bicycle or even a donkey and just ride towards that bright future that’s waiting for us.

We will chase that dream and find happiness…

Except that happiness is not something you can chase and if you cannot be content in one place chances are you will not be content anywhere.

Sometimes you are exactly where you are supposed to be but the grass is always greener on the other side. So, over to the other side we go and then discover that the patch next to it is greener still and our garden is no fun anymore.

“We must cultivate our own garden.” Voltaire

That’s one piece of radical advice!

What if we would really make the best of where we are because that is the place we are meant to be?

What if hopping on the next plane is not the answer?

What if we would learn contentment?

What if it’s not the circumstances but us that make the difference?

Just think about it!

28528_1306805665829_7446471_nPhoto: Holger Bergner

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A few years ago, when I was still living in Hungary, I went on a week trip to Germany with a colleague to visit some of the sponsors for the charity association we worked with in Budapest. We went to the Black Forest area in the south of Germany and on the weekend my colleague suggested we go over to Switzerland for a hike.

We hiked up the Säntis, which is one of the most prominent summits in the Alps and in Europe. It was a lovely Spring day and we set off early in the morning. We started the hike and I walked as fast as I could, my colleague told me to go slow otherwise I would get tired before reaching the top.

At first it was easy, I was full of enthusiasm and the view was glorious. Then as the hours passed by and we kept walking it got harder and harder to keep going. As we left the valley behind the climb got more intense. We had to go across the rigde that was snowy and scary. I hate heights and going down the rigde was a frightening experience that took a lot of courage. The last stretch was the hardest. When I made it to the top, I was on my hands and knees and didn’t get up right away; I burst into tears of exhaustion, of fear, of stress, of frustration, of victory and of accomplishment all together.

It took us four hours to get to the top but then we had to go back down. And that was just as hard, my feet couldn’t take another step forward even though I was wearing good hiking shoes. It took us five hours to get down to the valley. You know, looking back if somebody would have told me that I would go on such a hike I would have thought them crazy. I’m not at all a nine-hour-hike type of girl. But I’m glad I did it and is one of those little interesting stories I can talk about at dinner parties.

I feel the same way about my three years of night-school experience. It’s over now and just like climbing the Säntis I would have never ventured into it if I had know how difficult it would have been. It hasn’t been easy to be away every evening for three years, and possibly if I had to redo it I wouldn’t. It’s not simple to make long-term commitments without feeling weary half-way through. Actually the second year was the worst one, I thought of quitting many times. The last year, which I thought would be the most difficult, being pregnant and all, turned out to be the best.

I am of course very happy of my night-school years and it brings me satisfaction to complete something that seemed eternal at the beginning; it was challenging but it turned out to be such a wonderful experience after all.

Sometimes life itself feels like a long, ardous climb. Some of the sacrifices we make, the hardships we endure are not what we expected at all. But when you reach the top, when you finish a project, when you fulfill your dreams you realize it was so worth it.

Do you remember the song “The Climb”? That was my anthem during my last year of school, a good reminder to keep climbing when the climbing got rough.

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there’s a voice inside my head saying
“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

‘Cause there’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb.

santis
Photo by Holger Bergner, my fellow hiker and now on a Mission project in the Phillippines.

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