337 Days ’til 40: Climbing the Mountains in Our Lives

21 Mar

We all have them, challenges in our lives that feel as big as a mountain.  Sometimes the only way to face the challenges in our lives is to climb the mountain!  But HOW do we cope with challenges in our lives?  Are we able to rise to the occasion or do we crumble, frozen in fear and unable to cope?

If you have a life devoid of challenges, I would wonder if you are indeed living life to its fullest.  Almost all of us experiences challenges of some sort.  The measure of our character is determined not by the amount of challenges in our lives, but by the strength of our morals when we react to the challenges that present themselves in our lives.  Do you find that you view life’s trials with a healthy attitude?  Is your cup half empty or half full?

I find that the attitude I bring to the challenges and trials I face in life creates and reinforces a response cycle in my life  If I have a negative feeling towards challenges, I will not behave positively when trials arise.  Perhaps I will be grumpy, irritable, and mean.  This will affect the reactions of those around me.  Their reactions to my bad attitude will probably not be favorable.  These people will respond to me in a negative way, reinforcing my belief that challenges are HORRID.

Conversely, if I have a wonderful attitude towards challenges and trials and I believe they are a great opportunity for personal growth and reflection, the cycle changes.  My positive attitude towards these moments of adversity are met with excitement.  I understand that the trials are a great opportunity for collaboration and growth.  I reach out to my colleagues for genuine engagement in order to creatively and effectively address the issues.  We work together to find appropriate solutions.  When we are finished, we have a strongly bonded group of people who are proud of our accomplishments.  This reinforces to me that challenges are good.

I have attached a visual representation of the cycle: Attitude Cycle.

Ultimately, we are all in control of the way we respond when we are asked to climb mountains.  Often we unwittingly make our mountains larger by responding in negative ways to the challenge of the climb.  When we take a moment to pause and change our attitude towards the challenge of the climb we have allowed ourselves to dramatically alter the outcome our response naturally breeds.  Our positive attitude will result in positive personal growth.

Today, 337 days ’til 40 I will strive to remind myself that the mountains we have to climb are NOT the hardest challenges in our lives.  The hardest challenge is our personal reactions towards trials and adversity.  I will work to climb the mountains of my life with an attitude of acceptance, understanding, and a thirst for deeper knowledge of myself and others.  I will remind myself that when I accept and embrace challenges with excitement and anticipation I am rewarded with the gift of personal growth.

May all of the challenging mountains in your life crumble into small mole hills as you smile and celebrate the learning opportunities.  🙂



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62 responses to “337 Days ’til 40: Climbing the Mountains in Our Lives

  1. rabidmongoose

    March 21, 2012 at 00:10

    Oooh…interesting post! I’ve been saving an idea for a post on a subject related to this one, but you may have prodded me into early publication…

    To respond to your post, I would go on to say that sometimes we have to ‘fake it till we make it’; we aren’t always excited about climbing the mountains in our lives, but we can begin the climb with an adopted attitude. Eventually that ‘fake’ attitude of excitement can become real.

    One of the best one-liner pieces of advice I’ve ever heard is: “Do what you are afraid of.” Go ahead and tackle that mountain, no matter how afraid you are, and it’s bound to result in greater benefits than you could have imagined.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 07:38

      Thank you, Rabidmongoose. I agree so much with your “fake it till we make it” quote – I use it with my employees a lot! I also love what you said about doing what we are afraid of….. such a great challenge to people and I can see where tackling our greatest fears would bring about some of the greatest growth! 🙂

  2. terry1954

    March 21, 2012 at 00:13

    writing my stories, was a long time challenge for me. i never thought anyone would want to read them. i don’t do well with challenges. i hover over them until i am forced to complete, then i always feel better about myself, so i don’t know why i am stand offish about a challenge. fear, that is the single most word

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 07:39

      Yes, fear is such a strong factor…. in fact, I think I will write about that in my next post!!!!

  3. tbenf

    March 21, 2012 at 00:22

    I totally agree! Our attitude can affect our situation more than the situation should affect our attitude. A crappy situation can be made positive with an optimistic attitude.

  4. Stuart Otway-Smith

    March 21, 2012 at 00:29

    Reblogged this on Stuart Otway-Smith and commented:
    Thanks again for your wonderful perspective on a positive life, I have been reading your blog for about as long as I have had one and it often inspires me reading it makes me know that life is what we make it and thinking positively, with loving and kind thoughts not only makes you a better person but makes everything around you shine.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 07:40

      Thanks, Stuart! I love your comments and insight.

  5. wherethedaytakesme

    March 21, 2012 at 00:33

    challenges make us grow as humans, to overcome and be stronger. I will strive to climb my mountian with a better attitude. Love the post. Keep on keepin’

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 07:41

      Thank you, wherethedaytakesme! Your comments are so encouraging! 🙂

  6. CatenaTravel

    March 21, 2012 at 00:35

    Great post, for a second I thought you were reading my mind and posting it for the world to see! : ) The cycle is really nice on positive versus negative responses to challenges.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 07:41

      Thanks, Catena! Yes, I think so many of us can realte to this post!!!! 🙂 I am glad you could identify with it!

      • CatenaTravel

        March 21, 2012 at 18:59

        You’re welcome.

  7. Kate

    March 21, 2012 at 03:48

    Reblogged this on kateschannel and commented:
    Wanted to share this post from a new blog I follow.

  8. Kate

    March 21, 2012 at 03:48

    Bookmarked and reblogged. Glad I stopped by for a read today. I love your attitude.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 07:45

      Thanks so much, Kate! I hope you stop by again! 🙂

  9. Glenn Stevens

    March 21, 2012 at 08:45

    Great post, funny thing I needed something like the ‘attitude cycle’ to give me a push for the montain I have in front of me today.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 08:56

      Wow, Glenn! I LOVE it when life gives us those synchronistic moments and we find exactly what we need on a given day! 🙂

  10. viveka

    March 21, 2012 at 09:16

    Brilliant post! It’s all in our attitude when we wake up in the morning … that’s when we decide if we are going to have a good day or less good day. Then to the mountains- don’t think we have to climb all of them … and also sometimes we don’t have much of choice neither or the options are not that many. Then we also build our mountains or make them bigger then they are.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 09:22

      Thanks, Viveka! Yes, I agree, the moment our feet hit the floor we can often tell how our day will be! You also bring up a very good point, we do not HAVE to climb every mountain, and it is okay to be able to make those distinctions in our lives. At other times, we do have to, and in those moments we want to try to view those mountains as smaller challenges, and not grow them with our response. 🙂

      • viveka

        March 21, 2012 at 09:35

        You’re spot on – we sometime create those massive challengers that we don’t even have to have. My mountain of all time was my cancer treatments – not so much the news about having cancer … options where only 2 and a mountain like that you just manage without thinking,even if it’s rough and tough Other challengers/mountains I come across today – I neither ignore or push in front of me. and it works just fine.

        • 400daystil40

          March 21, 2012 at 12:49

          You are also correct. Yes, cancer is a very difficult mountain to cope with. An interesting fact is that studies show that attitude does have an effect on treatment outcome. Attitude cannot necessarily cure an advanced case of cancer, but those with good attitudes towards the cancer and treatment (and life in general) do tend to live longer – interesting, isn’t it? I also agree, sometimes we just manage because we have no other choice. I wish you the best and I hope that you are in good health. 🙂

          • viveka

            March 21, 2012 at 13:24

            Thank you for … your support and .. lovely words.

  11. zornitsateneva

    March 21, 2012 at 11:09

    Wonderfully written! I’m not very good in English, so please excuse me for the mistakes :-).
    You encouraged me to continue to do what my heart wants. Thank you and good luck!

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 12:50

      Thank you, Zornitsateneva! Good luck to you too – I hope you stop by again!

  12. maudestandard

    March 21, 2012 at 13:58

    This is a wonderful post. I remind myself not to get into a rigid pattern as it shuts out opportunity for new experiences.
    Your point about not having challenges is a very good one. It seems that people without them are merely exisisting.
    Thank you for this.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 15:11

      Thank you, Maudestandard, for your comment! I like your self reminder about not getting into rigid patterns, it is a good reminder for us all! 🙂

  13. saymber

    March 21, 2012 at 14:24

    Fantastic article and I completely agree and have experienced what you are talking about the approaches to mountain. Sometimes, unfortunately, it isn’t until hindsight that I see how everything fits together and was “good for me” to go through. What I have found in my 44 years of life is that the true purpose of facing adversity, for me anyway, has always been to get through it and then share it with someone else who is facing a similiar situation. When I was participating in AA I learned this and it was a very big insight for me. Great article 400 – read it out loud to my husband!

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 15:16

      Thak you, Saymber, and what a GREAT point you make! I feel honored when I can use the adversity I faced in my own life to encourage others on their journeys to healing. It is such a wonderful feeling when we are able to see that good come out of our rough times. And yes, hindsight is 20/20. I hope you visit again! 🙂

  14. leese315

    March 21, 2012 at 16:33

    Thanks so much for this post, I am going through my own struggles at the moment that are keeping me up at night. This post made me realize that maybe I am making them to be bigger than they actually are. I will try to have a more positive attitude towards this challenge, this post was inspiring 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 16:43

      Thank you, Leese315, for your comment! I do hope that you are able to find the positive within your situationa nd that the mountains you are struggling with become easier for you. Please check back in and let me know how you are doing. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  15. heatherscreativeconcoctions

    March 21, 2012 at 19:20

    Thanks for the blog love! This is a great post and quite a coincidence because yesterday I was looking for an inspirational blog to follow and did not find any I liked. Well now I have! I literally was just having this discussion with a friend last week in a defeat it or be defeated tough love kind of talk (I can sometimes be a bit too tough with my love) I couldn’t agree with you more that attitude is everything!

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:12

      Thank you, heatherscreativeconcoctions! I love the coincidence of finding this blog today!!! 🙂 I hope you will stop by again soon! 🙂

  16. Leaves Heal

    March 21, 2012 at 19:45

    Beautiful blessing –thank you 🙂
    May your Learning Opportunities build knowledge that brings freedom!

  17. kzackuslheureux

    March 21, 2012 at 19:52

    Very Nice, and very inspirational. I’ve been trekking uphill for a few years now, I’m ready to skid down the other side with glee anytime now 😉 Best Regards!

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:16

      Thanks, Kzackuslheureux! Good luck with your journey! Yes, skidding down a mountain can be very liberating!!! 🙂 🙂

  18. sweetmother

    March 21, 2012 at 20:03

    i love your blog. and we’re almost the same age. tho, i’m a touch older than you, i’m afraid, as i’ll be hitting that milestone in august. it’s a big one, isn’t it? i don’t think i’ve felt this reflective at other ages, but i certainly do now. anyway, a great read. i look forward to checking back in with you.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:20

      Thank you, sweetmother, for your very encouraging words! Yes, it is a big milestone. I agree with you, as I have grown older I have become much more reflective – perhaps it is part of the reality of the stage we are now experiencing in our lives. I look forward to hearing from you again and wish you the best as you head towards 40!!! 🙂

  19. ntebogengarcher

    March 21, 2012 at 20:39

    True right here. Someone once said, “life’s situations are neutral and it is your reaction to them that assigns them value!” The less we fight the pain or whatever, I believe the more we allow the process of growth and sight to happen. Wonderful reflections. And thank you for visiting my blog.

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:31

      Thanks, ntebogengarcher! I LOVE the quote! I have a feeling I will be using that at some point – it is so true!!! I also agree with you that when we stop fighting our pain and grow through it wonderful things happen. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come back and visit again! 🙂

  20. justanotherwakeupcall

    March 21, 2012 at 21:21

    lovely post.. hugely motivational. I stopped here for the first time.. was intrigued by the title.. you’ve got yourself a new follower 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:33

      Thank you, justanotherwakeupcall! I am so happy that you enjoyed the post and I hope to hear from you again! 🙂

  21. sunnybrooks

    March 21, 2012 at 22:17

    We found this attitude cycle at work when we recently faced the possibility of a move several states away. My husband and I were stressed to be sure, but because we approached it with the most positive attitude we could (and a bucket load of prayer,) we found that our children also responded with a positive, healthy reaction.

    Great post! (and thanks for the “like” on my blog, too.)

    • 400daystil40

      March 21, 2012 at 22:41

      Wow, what a great example of the cycle in real life! Thank you for sharing this with everyone. 🙂 I hope you visit again! 🙂

  22. delicio8

    March 21, 2012 at 23:43

    You are so right, attitude is key to facing life. When I am facing mountains, or usually when I am past them, I look for the lesson. What did I learn, how can I do better, why did I go through this? Great thought provoking post.

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:10

      Yes, delicio8! What great questions you ask yourself! I think that asking these questions is what makes the mountains easier to handle – because we understand that they produce growth.

  23. balancethroughthelens

    March 22, 2012 at 00:39

    You are so right about the attitude we bring. We attract what we exude and the outcome of any endeavor reflects that. It can be hard to stay positive when first facing a challenge, but the effort to remind ourselves to do so is worth it, always.Thanks for the excellent post! I just love the way you view life. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:20

      Yes, balancethroughthelens! We do attract what we project! I agree with you completely, it can be hard to stay positive, but if we are able to find a way the benefits are worth it! 🙂

  24. df

    March 22, 2012 at 02:29

    This is a really thoughtful post and I love the attitude cycle. I find it tends to be the not-quite-so-big mountains that are the killer, compared to the real-life Everests. I’m still amazed at how well our family came through a massive life change in 2010 (move to a new community, building a new house, trouble selling the old house, two physical moves in mere months), but I attribute it to strong bonds between us and going into the change with eyes wide open and a real family commitment to the changes we were taking on. If only I could do so well when confronted with other, less fearsome mountains that just feel big. You’ve provided great food for thought!

    • 400daystil40

      March 22, 2012 at 07:33

      Yes, df, you bring up such a good point that I really did not address in this post – support systems and strong bonds can also make such a difference when we are coping with challenges. I also think you bring up a really good point that sometimes we react to the smaller mountains more strongly than the ones that are really big. Great comment! Thank you!!! 🙂

  25. babso2you

    March 22, 2012 at 03:42

    Thank you for the like on The Pretty Feet Contest! Check out the Buffalo Side of Double Nickels! I just turned 55 – ergo double nickels!

  26. Amy

    March 24, 2012 at 22:13

    I like how you connect the challenges in our lives to climbing the mountain. While climbing the mountain, we probably should stop often to take a look around the mountain.

    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 22:25

      Yes, I agree – thanks for that insight – it is always healthy to stop and look at the mountain in the midst of the climb!!!

  27. maryct70

    March 26, 2012 at 05:03

    “Often we unwittingly make our mountains larger by responding in negative ways to the challenge of the climb.” …So very true!
    So often, we unwittingly sabotage our own success by talking ourselves out of it.
    Thanks or the reminder that attitude matters!
    Love your blog, and good look with your remaining days til 40.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 07:22

      Thanks, Marcy! Yes, we can so easily talk ourselves out of success….. this is something that many of us can work on, I believe. Thank you for stopping by!!! 🙂

  28. Lisa Gautier

    March 27, 2012 at 03:29

    This reminds me of the Positive Outlook rock climbing picture I recently posted (here: – there is definitely something about tackling the challenges we face instead of running from them! And sometimes…after we do…with perseverance, we eventually find we have scaled that mountain.

    • 400daystil40

      March 27, 2012 at 07:23

      Thanks so much for sharing the link to that post!!! It made me smile because I can relate! 🙂


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