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Killing Mountains

Mountains have to be one of the 'alluring wonders' of the natural world. Their size, their majesty, their seeming permanence in an ever changing environment just makes them 'solid' unchanging and often landmarks. Within the lifetime of a human very little changes about mountains, they pretty much stand as testaments and places that capture the imagination.

At times of deep thought or important decision making, I often find myself retreating to the shadow of a mountain, sometimes to the summit (depending on the weather) to think. I hypothetise their 'foreverness' and the exertion required to sit on a summit has a way of focussing the mind and instilling a sense of thoughtful contemplation, naturally helping with decision making.

A month ago I had the privilege of walking the Tongariro crossing in New Zealand. This is not only a massive mountain but it is actually a living entity. It is seldom you get to climb a live volcano and tell the tale, but thankfully this was one of those days that the mountain let us pass without incident. To describe the surrounds and the majesty of this mountain would take a long time, suffice it to say it is incredible, one of the 10 great walks of New Zealand and taxing.

It was on this massive mountain I had an insight that struck me hard. If one was to stand in front of this mountain and contemplate physically moving it or destroying it, frankly you would conclude that is was an impossible task. It is so expansive and so dominant in the surrounding landscape that you would most likely concede it was a fools errand to consider the task.

Sometimes I find my clients facing a problem, professional or personal development questions that has them standing, as if in front of an immovable mountain. Riveted by the sheer size and the energy required to overcome or achieve a certain outcome - they become frozen and consequently stall or do nothing. Ceteris paribus - if they do nothing they believe status quo will continue, they falsely look back and justify to themselves that yesterday was okay, then why not tomorrow as well? We all know justifications of this sort are dangerous and seldom get us to where we want to be.

However we are still faced by the looming mountain that needs to be moved, that thing is not going away by itself.

This is where an obvious answer presented itself to me, in plain sight and ever working. This is what I saw: tiny micro streams (pretty insignificant in the light of a mountain) persistently working their way down the mountain NEVER stopping to think about the task of moving or killing a mountain. They also never think about the mountain as being 'too big'.

They never give it a second thought, they just pick their path and keep on flowing. I was struck by the simplicity of the 'mountain killers' natural strategy and how one by one the small streams would meet in central places and really start to make an impact. What starts as individual, seemingly insignificant little streams ultimately turn into mighty rivers that carve away mountains and finally continents.

Adult behavioural change is a lot like moving mountains - its hard, but not impossible. Like small persistent rivers, behavioural change goals set and achieved resemble small streams that consistently and methodically 'move the mountain'. Deploying a system that is 'true to change', guaranteed and powerful, like a micro stream set on its purpose, not only means you will move a mountain, it means it will be a great investment in a better life.

Here's to moving mountains in 2019.