Life inside organizations can be tough, and some times, very tough. I am sure you have been in situations when you waited for problems to pass without your intervention. We hope that by not doing anything, ignoring or forgetting about them, they will disappear automatically. We all have been there, and we all know the result might not be the one we wanted.
It is when we face the process of problem-solving that our life acquires a more profound meaning.
We should be aware that there is no way around it. There are no shortcuts, and because of that, I want to share with you a little story.
In the last couple of days, I have been up in the Alps with a Corporate Walks program. Together with a wonderful group of people, we spent three days in the “roof of Europe” experiencing different exercises. Without distractions, we focused on what are the critical challenges of our organizations, and what are the potential solutions and actions to take.
As we stepped out of the Airport in Geneve, we started our journey near a little village named L’Ermont, right at the mountain foothills of Niflons d’en Haut in the Green Valley.
With my backpack on, I looked up at the respectful “wall” made of limestone in front of us and remembered thinking to myself; I hope we don’t have to climb this monster. Even for an experienced hiker, an obstacle is always an obstacle.
Once we left behind the dirt roads and entered the single paths, my breathing and moving routine adjusted to the inclination, and my attention shifted to “survival mode.” When this happens, I know that I am getting close to the place I want to be, myself.
With all traces of civilization removed from our view, we were left with the exercises we were doing, our talks and our internal voice. I have to confess that not having mobile coverage helped us to achieve such mental state in just a couple of hours.
As we continued our ascent, two things happened simultaneously, the escalade became harder, and the horizon we could contemplate more dazzling.
At a certain point, a few hundred meters before reaching the summit, I stopped and looked back. I was amazed and at the same time, nervous.
We all have limitations and shortcomings, and the better we know ourselves, the easier it is to recognize the “little voice” inside our heads. Usually, this is a moment we are told to stop, to be afraid, apprehensive, and do anything we can to withdraw from the challenge.
Honestly, I was not sure I could make it to the final objective. I wish that by doing nothing, the test in front of me would disappear and this was the moment one of my favorite books came to save the day.
Back in the seventies M. Scott Peck wrote some words that have become part of my skin. One of my favorites appears in the first sentence of his work;
“Life is difficult. Once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
These are the moments that define our true selves. I looked down into my feet, I breathe deeply and smile back to my little devils, grateful that they were doing their job. One step after another, I decided to continue — one step after another and after another and after another.
Before sunset, we reached the peak just in time to grab a seat, a beer, and enjoy our individual and collective accomplishment. It was a powerful metaphor of what organizations and team members could and should feel after conquering a challenge.
Our night was quiet and surrounded by an unusual number of stars — because some things you can only see when there are no distractions around.
The experience we lived was extraordinary because we have dared to take the road less traveled. When a destination is not easy to reach and when difficulties make you think deeply. Fewer people dare to step into the challenge — a similar situation we often see in life and business.
Corporate Walks has become the natural evolution of the Walking Mentorship. A program that allows organizations and professionals within a short period of three days and two nights, to experience a mixture of nature, walking, and business mentoring. A cocktail of clarity and intentional living. Watch bellow a little glimpse of our experience.
In 2020 either on your own or together with your team you have a wide range of possibilities to take some time off to slow down, reconnect, gain perspective and take action. When the time is right for you, I will be here waiting to walk by your side and create the conditions for you to be the change you wish to see in the world.
Keep Walking with me,
🚶João Perre Viana
Founder of Walking Mentorship
Note 1 – The Corporate Walks have different Base camps that are open all year round. At the moment you can choose between Costa del Sol in Spain and the Swiss/French Alps. Soon there will be added additional locations. Within a few hours, you can move your team into profound nature to enjoy this unique mentoring experience.
Note 2 – Until the end of 2019, there are still a few options and places available for individuals group programs such as Midlife Transition in Costa Vicentina in early November (2-10) in Portugal and The year-end wrap-up in Alqueva Lake in December (26-29) in Portugal.
Note 3 – The book I mentioned is The Road Less Traveled by M.Scott Peck. Thank you Carlos Barata for offering me such a pearl so many years ago that continues to shine.