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David Squires

Climb Downers

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In business and life, DON’T fight the hills

FINALLY, THIS MONTH, I took my own advice and took a long vacation? a three-week, 200-mile hike of the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal. It was one of the hardest, and greatest, things I’ve ever done. I learned many valuable lessons, and will try to share a few appropriate ones here: 

Bought myself the most expensive Timberland boots in the store a few days before I left, despite warnings that I should break them in first. Result: by the end of my first day in the mountains, I had blisters ? although, I’m not sure ?blisters? is the correct word for a process in which the entire outside layer of skin on one’s feet is removed. 

LESSON: Before committing to a new tool, make sure you’ve really used it and are comfortable with it. 

For the next five days, I had to hike in sandals. Walking uphill in sandals on uneven terrain is hard. My feet were continually slipping out the back, and I had to curl my toes upward to keep the sandals on. The result: tendinitis in both feet, to the extent that I could literally hear squeaks every time I moved either of my big toes. 

LESSON: Don’t try to achieve big things without the right tools. 

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For the first several days of the trip, I calculated obsessively how much we’d have to climb to know how hard I’d have to work. And any time we weren’t climbing, I’d want to complain. But to who? God’s department of geology? (Hey, people, I just climbed up this hill ? now you’re gonna make me climb down it?) Anyway, after a while, I learned that the best, most rewarding, and ultimately easiest approach when confronted by a hill, is to just put your head down and walk up it. 
LESSON: Don’t fight the hills.  

Wishing you the very best business …

David Squires  
Executive Editor and Associate Publisher  
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