"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." -Socrates

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fourth Life Lesson I Learned While Hiking

During a four-mile hike near Hana, Maui, hiking differently than I had in the past, I learned some life lessons. This is what I learned.

Pros and Cons of Being the First

I ran into a spider web. After brushing it off and checking to see if a spider was on me, I kept hiking. No more than three minutes later, I ran into another spider web, and then another, and then another. Having never remembered this from the other times I'd been on this trail, I realized that I was the first one to take the hike that morning. Before I reached the 400-foot waterfall at the end, I encountered dozens of spiders who, overnight, had built their homes in the middle of the trail. I was the only one that day who would have to go through them, but I was also the only one to see the waterfall first …and sitting there at the hike's finale all alone, it was well worth it.

Being the early riser and starting before anyone else, I was the only one who suffered through the spider webs. No one else for that day needed to go through them, and on the one hand, that’s kind of unfair. But, having the privilege of being the only person for that day who could say I got there first was something special.

Whenever someone creates something, sets a record, or becomes the first person to accomplish something new, they’re bound to experience hardships. These are the people who got started earlier and with more determination, but also the ones who struggled more than anyone else. Many times, the people who follow after them do not experience the amount of discomforts as the first, for the first has already gone through them. We learn from the mistakes of others and can usually do something easier if we’re following the path someone else has already taken. But, in having fear of being the one making the mistakes and preferring the trail with no spider webs, you can never claim to be the first or even have the satisfaction of saying you tried.

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