Go find your next hike.

No matter where you are in life and what you’re working on, I believe there is always another mountain to climb. A new territory to explore. A challenge to overcome. A new skill to learn. An existing skill to polish. Finding those opportunities and having the courage to go after them is at the core of the next hike mentality.

Recently one of my employees came into my office and was lamenting about the last several projects he’s been working on. He told me he has gotten comfortable with the work, and he’s not learning anything new. As we talked, it became clear to me that it was less of a project issue and more of an attitude issue. This person had reached a plateau and needed some motivation. So I told him – go find your next hike. The conversation went like this:

My next hike, he asked? Yes, find your next hike, I responded. I went on… your next hike represents one or more goals that will stretch your skills and knowledge. First, you need to think about where you are and where you want to be (from a skills perspective). Second, define a few short term goals around those areas. Then find a way to achieve those goals. That’s your next hike – the journey will help you elevate yourself to a new level of understanding and capability.

A lifestyle that seeks continuous learning and growth. 

The next hike mentality is about pushing yourself to the next level in whatever you are striving to achieve. It’s an attitude, a state of mind, and a mantra. I believe it also represents a fundamental truth: there is always a next hike. No matter who you are or what you do, there is always opportunity to work on your craft and up your game… push yourself to that next level. There’s a reason Michael Jordan shot hundreds of free throws everyday at the pinnacle of his career – he did it to work on his craft – to perfect it, and he had that mentality while others were saying he was already the best basketball player ever. Leaders are able to ignore external noise by focusing on the things they can control and their core values. That’s what Jordan did.

Athletes find their next hike by improving certain aspects of their game. Managers find their next hike by using methods to motivate teams to produce extraordinary results. Woodworkers find their next hike by expanding their tool knowledge and techniques. The ‘Next Hike Mentality’ blog honors this way of thinking. We will write about ways of internalizing this state of mind in the spirit of achieving the results you seek.

What’s your next hike?

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