The Lessons I Learned While Trekking in Amazing Nepal

nepalHave you ever trekked in Nepal?

If not, add it to your bucket list. It is amazing.This is the sort of stuff you are likely to see (Annapurna South). You will be humbled by its majesty and lit up with its feast of beauty. It also doubles as a great backdrop for a yoga class. ;-)Our trekking adventure consisted of a group of 8. Ranging in age from 37 to 66, and hailing from New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and Luxembourg. A mixed bag of individuals that became the perfect fit for an adventure internally and externally.

It was an amazing experience and adventure and this is what I learned and would like to share with you…

 
Nepal Trekking Adventure Lesson #1: The short-term game Vs the long-term game

This was the lesson that was most obvious to me.
Most of us are pretty good at the short-term game, but life is more about playing a long-term game.

One of the things about a multiple-day trek is that it exposes how prepared you are mentally and physically for the long-term game.

There were a few people on the trek that thought they were in pretty good physical condition, but found trekking for multiple hours over multiple days, a lot harder than they expected. For some it was the most challenging physical activity they had ever done.

They realised there is a big difference between short burst of activity in their lives, that they can adrenaline their way through, and playing a long-term sustainable game.

For me one of the biggest differences for the long-term game is that it is mostly a mental game. Yes, being physically fit is a great bonus, but it is about how you mentally show up to the game that has the greatest impact. It is about mind over matter (and mind over the stories in your head about how it is too much, and you can’t do it).

And one of the greatest outcomes from the trek, for everyone, was this…
Once everyone got over the pain and discomfort of hiking up and down mountains for up to 8 hours a day, they realised what they were truly capable of: A lot more than they imagined.

So the lesson is this…

Doing an activity like this allows you to challenge yourself – physically and mentally – and in doing so you bust through limitations and mental barriers that might be holding you back from playing an even bigger and more fulfilling game in your life.

 

Nepal Trekking Adventure Lesson #2: The attachment thing

I was introduced to the principle of non-attachment almost 2 decades ago and I have done a pretty good job over the years of getting better and better at it.

In essence the principle for me is most about not attaching myself to things, or outcomes, or people, or external events, or aging, etc. for my internal happiness.

A good example is when people attach themselves to the weather for their happiness. If it is sunny they are happy. Is it is cloudy they are sad. One person said on the trek, when we were hiking up Poon Hill early in the morning (which can give you an amazing view of the Annapurna Mountains on a clear day), “I will be really sad if we don’t have a clear view.”

They were pretty much handing their happiness over to the weather. It was like saying, “Here weather. You are now in control of my happiness.” Hmmmm…

A better way to approach it is to say, “If it is clear on the hill that is awesome. And if it is not clear on the hill that is awesome too.” (Because we will have a cool hike to get there. We get to hang out together at the top having a cup of warm tea. We get to meet and talk to other people from different countries at the top. Etc.)

Long ago I made peace with the weather. I decided to like it if it is cold, hot, wet, dry, raining, cloudy, sunny, muggy, humid, freezing, stormy, dark, light, misty, and any other combination I have missed. 😉

What are you (too) attached to?
How can you make peace with the reality of what is?

(When you go toe-to-toe with the weather, it is like throwing drops of water on a forest fire and hoping it will go out ;-))

 

Nepal Trekking Adventure Lesson #3: Your plan only survives until you cross the LD

Ok. I have gone all Army on you.

There is a saying in the army that goes something like this: Your plan only survives until you have crossed the line of departure (LD). Meaning, once you step across the designated ‘line’ (be it a time or a geographical location) the plan is open to change.

Given my background, I am a prolific planner. Though a little more relaxed these days then in the past. The reason is that I realized that if my plan is too rigid and inflexible, I might miss opportunities because I am being too tunnel visioned on what I think is the best way to do something. And I only know what I know (which does not include everything in the universe ;-)).

These days I create an 80% great plan and then trust it is likely to change along the way, and I also may notice things in my periphery (which I had not ‘planned’ on) that will produce an even greater result.

On the trek I had planned to do a number of activities (yoga, meditation and coaching related). However since we were hiking for longer each day then I planned; my activities schedule went pretty much out the window. But here is the awesome thing about life…

Life often gives us exactly what we need. Everyone on the trek, due to the longer hikes and the degree of physical and mental challenge, actually got an opportunity to look deeper inwards. To see where they needed more work, and also to see what they were really capable of.

This is also called ‘faith’. It is the faith that things will work out in the end. It is not an excuse to be tardy or ill-prepared, it is about doing the best you can, and then having faith that things will work out for the best. Or as I often say, “Life is for us, and not against us.”

So the lesson is this…

Plan to the best of your ability, but then be open to the flow of life, which may steer you in a slightly different course. Have faith that what might be in the way, may (actually) be the way to your growth and evolution.

 

Nepal Trekking Adventure Lesson #4: The words we use are important  

On the trek I was paying particular attention to the words that people used (my favourite hobby). And it is amazing the impact the words we use have on our emotions, our attention, our limitations, our joy, and our happiness.

If you haven’t read last the last article I wrote then CLICK HERE and read it after you are done with this one. 😉

 

Nepal Trekking Adventure Lesson #5: Role models  

I said that one of our trekkers was 66. He was also the last one to sign up – just 2 weeks before the trek – after one person dropped out. So he had very little time to prepare physically.

He taught us about being 66 and still being very spontaneous, adventurous, playful, optimistic, energetic and open-minded.
What a gift for us that were 20+ years younger. Thanks Ross (aka blue eyes)

Don’t let age get in the way of life’s great adventure. :) :)

 

IN SUMMARY

We had an AWESOME time in Nepal!!

It was epic. A great group of people in an amazing setting. Doing the internal work without knowing it.

The food was also awesome! Picked straight from the garden and made up fresh as you waited. Our bodies were automatically detoxing. Plus the fresh air…

So we are thinking that next year we might have to venture into Tibet. 😉

I also want to send a big shout out to our very amazing, attentive, supportive and incredible guides and porters. They were amazing. I used their company – Himatrek – 6 years ago, when we first trekked in Nepal and a friend of mine had used them for 10 years prior to that. They are a great company. So if you are planning a trip to Nepal, Tibet or even Bhutan, then be sure to get in touch with them (Govinda and Krishna), and tell them Carl sent you. They also provide German-speaking guides. Go to HIMATREK for more details.

Here’s to playing the long-term game of life!! 😉
Have a great day!

As always, please ask questions of me, or share your thoughts in a response email or by putting a post on Facebook.

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