3 years ago my father and I embarked on a week of climbing mountains. He had just turned 50 years old and I was recovering from knee surgery. We thought it would be great to prove that nothing will stop us, not surgery or age. About 50 feet up from the base we were already cursing the idea, but we are two very stubborn people so we pressed on. By halfway we were taking 3 steps at a time and taking a break; we were exhausted, but there was no way I was going to allow us to quit. After 4 hours of climbing, we reached the top of the first mountain. We had 3 more to go for that week, but I was elated for reaching the top of just one.
In my previous blogs I have discussed my experience in the dating world and my job, but here’s a recap: I started going back into the dating world 1 year ago (I have happily exited) and I work in a factory as forklift driver. While in the dating world I met many people, rich, poor, average, models, pilots, cashiers…I really have no criteria on career applications at this age, I just wanted to meet a decent human being regardless of social class. The ones that stuck out to me were the ones who started at the bottom and worked their way up in a career or some other attribute; it showed two things, determination, and it would also show whether they were humble or not.
There was one man I met a year ago, Joe, who had been born with next to nothing and worked his way through his teens and into his twenties. He had paid for college and was now on the track to working in corporate at a multinational company. On top of that he seemed to be fairly decent, but over the next month his attitude turned. He spoke down about factory workers and any other blue collar careers. At first I called him out, and he explained I wasn’t like them because I would be successful one day. He continued to talk down about those who were not as high up in the corporate world as he was. With that, I became growingly frustrated at my attempts to stop him from being so negative towards other, but with no prevail I made the decision to leave. I knew I would never measure up to his standards, regardless of my social status.
What does this have to do with a mountain? Joe had made it to the top of the metaphorical mountain; he cheered for himself and berated those who were still trying their best to make it just another step. Do I want to be a forklift driver forever? No. But I have worked at the bottom; I have looked up that mountain and thought (and still think) how am I supposed to do this? I also knew that I would appreciate the view from the top better, knowing I had struggled, knowing that I had setbacks that I overcame, knowing that I still had people on the bottom cheering me on, because they were content to stay and see the beauty from there. I also have people at the top who are constantly cheering me forward; my family, friends, and my many wonderful managers who have helped me continue my pursuit working my way up in the company.
So, if you are at the top, don’t use your energy to berate those at the bottom. Use your energy for good; cheer the folks who are working on it, cheer for those who are just hanging out at the base. You will be amazed how a positive energy can affect others. Bring good vibes into this world.