Before we proceed, we must know where we're going. How tall is the mountain you're wishing to climb?
I used to sit around the campfire, strumming my guitar. Friends smiled. They sang along. I was suddenly able to engage many others with a guitar. This could be fun.
So I start writing my own songs. I visit other fires. But I don't yet know how to write well. When my friends aren't nearby, I hear nobody sing. Nobody smiles. And I realize my friends get engaged because they're with me, not because they're with someone who can play the guitar. And I suddenly see now just how hard this can be.
But I find myself passing through Nashville. I walk around Broadway, to hear a few tunes. My jaw and my ego drop straight to the floor. I've never heard anybody play guitar like this. And these guys aren't even famous. They're scrounging for tips, playing for free in 8 hour shifts.
And that's when I realize how truly high a mountain can climb.
But the hardest part is finding a path. So many are trying to get to the top, all the visible paths are choked with traffic. Too many want up, and the way is too small.
So you have to find an invisible path, a way that has not yet been found.
And while your old friends still sit around the campfire, strumming someone else's songs, waiting for the helicopter to swoop in and whoosh them straight to the top, you can see it for what it is. You know you have to leave the warmth, even the light.
So you head straight to the darkest foothills on the roughest side of the mountain. You don't mind walking alone. Because you know it's the darkest and roughest terrain where invisible paths are most likely to hide.
And no one will cheer when you start your way up. They can't see you working all alone on a path so far out of sight. But you know what you've found, and you so want to climb. For you always get to see your own success long before it's visible to anyone else. Hold on to that invisible success. It's precious and rare. And one day we'll stand dumbfounded looking up at how high you're rising above even our hopes and dreams.