Your North

Your Life

Life is like one big expedition. We gotta plan for success, adapt in the moment, and enjoy the climb.

Expedition Life

Planning for success

Every expedition has an objective – to summit a mountain, traverse from one point to another, or arrive at some hidden, faraway place that is so incredibly breath-taking it’s worth struggling against a multitude of obstacles like freezing cold, utter exhaustion, and moments of all-consuming fear.

With that objective in mind, the expedition is broken down into days that are thoughtfully designed to maximize the possibility of fulfilling the objective while having fun and staying safe.

Within that scheme, each day has an objective – to get to the next designated camp. The distance, time, and challenges of each day are analyzed and then it is carefully broken down into estimates of movement and rest.

When every detail is meticulously plotted out, the expedition begins.

But for all the research and tedious planning – it never, ever goes exactly as planned.

 

Storms roll in. Altitude sickness hits. Fatigue slows us down. Wait, what? Then, was any of the plannign worth it? Well, it was, and it’s because of what we gain from having clarity on those objectives.

When we are in the day-to-day process of living the expedition, we need to make on-the-spot decisions based on the real-life scenarios that arise. Those scenarios often come with circumstances and feelings that can cloud our perspective. When we have the big objective broken down into daily ones, we can begin to play tetris.

Sometimes the days look different than anticipated but each night we still arrive to set up tent at the place we said was going to be camp. Other times, bigger issues develop and we need to camp unexpectedly or stay put various days waiting for the skies to clear.

It is only when we know where we are going and how to get there, that we can intentionally make the smaller, game-time decisions that determine whether or not we are successful.

Real Life

Planning for success

On an expedition, the general objective is our big North. In life, our big North is whatever life looks like when we are genuinely happy and feeling at peace.

Those nightly camp spots are like the important pillars of your life. These are your little norths – your health, finances, relationships, fun, and development. In life and in route, it’s important to have them balanced however feels right, or you risk burning out.

And finally, the activities of each day are your littlest, but most influential, norths. Just like in an expedition, as life happens, a balancing act takes hold.

Life breaks down to the little decisions you make each and every single day. But when you know where you’re going, and the general plan of how to get there, it’s a lot easier to adapt without falling off track.

Knowing your North is the only way to realize you’re lost. And it is also what guides you back.

#YourNorthYourLife
#MyNorthMyLife

 

Society tries to tell us what North looks like, as if it were a default of one size fits all. On the mountain, too, there is typically a normal route. But even so, there are infinite paths to the summit. It is up to you and only you to choose how to climb. If it feels right to open your own trail, blaze away! Fight the pressure of seeing people doing it easier on the already paved path. If the normal route is your way, there is plenty of space to make it your own! Ignore the distractions of people doing it differently, as only you know when to hike, when to rest, and what food tastes good at each moment in time.

Find your North. Embrace your North. Live your North.

Peace and happiness don’t just await you at the summit, if you pay attention, they will accompany you along the way.

Enjoy the climb!

WORD CAIRNS NEWSLETTER

Popping into your inbox with outdoor inspired reflection that’ll encourage you to keep moving forward on the path you’ve chosen. Oh, and outdoor tips, trip reports, and pictures that might add a few places to your bucket list.

A touch of encouragement

to keep you going

Find your North

Embrace your North

Live your North