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milestones

If you walk into the Guru Health Food Store in Jamaica, Queens, New York, you’ll probably meet Ashrita Furman. He owns the store.

Ashrita is famous, but it’s not because of the way he painted all of the store blue. In fact, the store has nothing to do with my story – I just brought it up to throw you off the scent of my real purpose.

Ashrita has the dubious distinction of holding the Guinness World Record for most world records in the Guinness Book of World Records.

He’s somersaulted the entire 12-mile route of Paul Revere’s famous ride.
He‘s done 27,000 jumping jacks in less than 7 hours.
He’s pogo-sticked up Mt. Fuji and holds records for the length of time balancing a chainsaw on his chin, the fastest 8km on stilts, and the longest time to hula hoop underwater.

In fact, he’s reached the proverbial top of the mountain in over 600 different feats.

We, as humans, are obsessed with the top of the mountain.

Whether it’s the richest person, the best athlete, the oldest cat, or Ashrita, we are drawn to those that have reached the top.

Here’s the problem:

We think that the top of the mountain is the goal.
It’s not.

milestones in life

The Mistaken Milestones

As I’m sure you know, Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. There are other mountains that are more challenging to climb and other treks that are more beautiful, but you rarely hear much about them.

How many stories have you read about the climb to the top of Lhotse? Heck, you’re probably not even pronouncing the name correctly.

People want to reach the summit of Mt. Everest because, simply, when your goal is to get to the top of the mountain, and when you’re obsessed with being the best, there is no higher mountain.

For these people, getting to the summit is the goal.

Here’s one interesting fact:

More people die coming down from Everest than going up.

Why?

𝗕𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗲.

Reaching the summit of Everest is not the finish line of that journey. It’s only the halfway point.

In life, there are many milestones. But no matter what your goals are, there’s only one finish line. (RIP)

    The Milestones We Set

    Throughout our lives, we set audacious goals and convince ourselves that the goal is a finish line. Like with Everest, we often mistake accomplishments for the end of the journey.

    I consult for many entrepreneurs who think that, if only they can get from here to there (wherever their “there” may be), they will be done. As if once you achieve your dream, you ring a bell, and balloons of happiness and inner peace raise you up and float you into the great sunset of eternal bliss.

    But that’s not gonna happen.

    Just like Ashrita in his never-ending quest for more world records, the closer you get to your perceived finish line, the further down the street it magically moves.

    We climb and climb to try to reach the top of the mountain, but there is nothing at the top of the mountain.

    The only true mountain to climb is already inside of you.

    Wherever you go, there you are.

    milestones money

    Filling A Hole

    It is often the wealthy who say that “money isn’t everything”.

    The ones who say that are usually the ones who thought that money would replace the things they lacked.

    They were expecting money to fill a hole. Because that’s what we do. We have holes in our lives and we try to fill them.

    We lack assurance, so we look for others to give us approval.
    We lack happiness, so we turn to drugs and alcohol to manufacture the feeling.
    We lack self-love, so we constantly strive for perfection, hoping it will make us feel worthy.

    But the true essence of life is not about being the best in the world, it’s about being the best in you.

    My friend Mark is very wealthy. He’s got generational wealth. Twenty years ago he didn’t have a lot of money.

    He will never be one of those people that says “money isn’t everything”, because he had a happy and fulfilling life before he had money. Making money was not the goal to solve his problems – it was one of the milestones in his journey.

    My father said:

    “Money can’t make you happy. But if you’re already happy, it can sure make you happier.”

    Your goal is not going to fill your hole.

    Filling A Life With Meaningful Milestones

    Life is about living the life you want to live. Because all you have is this life. This isn’t a dress rehearsal – you’re the lead actor in your own show.

    Your purpose is not to get to the finish line.
    Your purpose is to experience a life filled with meaningful milestones.

    Whatever that goal is that you are gunning for, it isn’t the end, it isn’t the finish line, and it surely isn’t the solution to fill the hole.

    Everybody has their own personal Everest to climb. The trick is knowing that, once you get to the top of the mountain, you are still the same person with the same fears and the same holes to fill as you were at the bottom of the mountain.

    The good news, though, is that you’re only halfway done.

     

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      A Somewhat Relevant Quote

      The goal is not the end, it’s a milestone.

      Saxofficial, fitness coach

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