3 Life Lessons I Learnt From Hiking

3 Life Lessons I Learnt From Hiking


As a fan of the countryside, exercise  and nature, I am often found hiking up mountains. I was surprised how an athletic hobby taught me several life lessons.


As a Manchester life coach I had read the studies explaining how exercise clears the mind, de-stresses you and how exercise helps you to feel good about yourself, what I wasn’t expecting was to learn several life lessons.



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Life Lesson 1 – The Point of No Return


It is easy to set a goal, attempt the goal and then give up when the going gets tough – this is the reason why many people fail at achieving their desired outcomes.


As a hiker I plan long circular walks up steep inclines. At the hike start I am revved up, motivated and ready to go, ready to achieve my walking goal. As with all goals, at some point during the walk I start to feel tiered, a little demotivated and ready to give up, especially when the hill gets steep and the goal becomes harder to achieve.


With life goals, it is easy to quit when you reach the “hard” part of the goal process, you can simply stop what you are doing and do something easier. Hiking taught me resilience, the long walks gave me a lesson on walking through the pain and gaining that desired result.


On a long walk there is a point of no return – the half way mark, the spot that if you turn around and give up you still have to walk the same distance back to the car as you do if you continue towards your hiking destination. It is often, after this point (the point of no return) that the pain kicks in, but because I was committed to the walk and had no choice but to continue the walk or turn around and walk the same number of miles back to the car, I carried on.


As the walk continued my energy and enthusiasm for my goal returned with each step taking me nearer to my desired result.  At the walk end, once I had achieved my goal, I got the buzz that you feel from completing a hard task.


The lesson to carry on walking even when the goal becomes hard can be used with every goal you set to achieve. I know now that the buzz feeling you receive from achieving a hard goal, outweighs the pain and hardships that often come as you walk the path towards your objective.


With goals you don’t have, as I do on my walks a point of no return, instead you have to dig deep, put one foot in front of the other and carry on walking. For me, the thought of the outcome – the buzz you get from achieving your goal, is enough of a motivator to keep on the right path.


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Life Lesson 2 – Get Lost and Find the Right Path


Often when hiking, even with a detailed map in hand I get lost. This “lost” feeling also happens when i’m working towards a new goal. When working towards a new goal, things don’t always go to plan and the feeling of lost and anxiety can be enough to make you give up.


Hiking has taught how being lost can be a good thing. Many of times I have been lost on a hike and accidentally come across an amazing view, interesting places and I have even, on occasions found a new short cut.


Previously when lost I would worry. Now through my hiking experiences I am happy to feel “lost” when working towards a goal. I simple ask “what can I learn from this experience?”


I reflect on my situation and decide whether to turn around and go back to the place I know or ask, has this “lost” taught me something that can help me achieve my goal?


Hiking has taught me, that getting something wrong can turn out to be a great learning experience.


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Life Lesson 3 – Get Out and Get On With It


I do love hiking, but sometimes I pull up at the car-park and the heavens open up and the rain poor’s down. My mind quickly flips from a perspective of “I cant wait to get hiking, to exercise, to climb the mountain and to look at the great view” to “I will get wet, and cold, I will miserable, I wont enjoy myslef, there will be no view in weather like this and when I get back to the car I will have to drive home in wet clothes”


The longer I sit in the care, the more I convince myself not to go. I learnt a long time ago to Get Out and Get On With It! I found that within hours the weather would change and I knew if I gave up and went home I would have regretted it.


Also, for me I like the hard part of achieving goals – the walking in the rain or climbing up a steep hill, as the feeling I get when I end the walk is more satisfactory from when I complete a shorter, easier walk.


When i’m planning life goals, I use the same formula. I look at potential difficulties and plan for these, but once I have decided to go for it – I GO FOR IT! As over thinking the potential problems only leads to procrastination.




Chris Delaney NLP Life Coach, Hypnotherapist and Career Advisor is available for booking for One to One Private Sessions, Group Training Sessions and Public Speaking Events


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