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10 Things Only People Who Love Mountains Would Understand

10 Things Only People Who Love Mountains Would Understand

As a child I spent a year living in a small abandoned village in the French Alps with my mother and another family. We were self-sufficient, with no electricity, plumbing, or any other modern conveniences. Our deliciously sweet and pure water came from a natural spring, and our food was mainly grown and sourced from the mountain. Living there was a life-changing experience from which my love of mountains grew.

These days I don’t get to visit mountains very often, but when I do, the memories and feelings come flooding back. If you haven’t spent time in mountain areas, I urge you to do so, there is nothing like it.

People who love mountains are sure to understand these 10 things:

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1. You’ve learned about peace from mountains

You find deep peacefulness when spending time on a mountain. It is a unique feeling of calm and tranquility that you need to experience to understand. It filters through you, and stays with you for a time after you leave. When walking on a mountain, take time to sit down and reflect for a while: appreciate the stillness, and listen to the silence. You’ll be glad you did.

2. You know what mountains can do for your fitness

You realize there is nowhere better to go hiking. It is great exercise; the variety of terrain, and the climbing angles can’t be replicated anywhere else. You don’t need to be an expert mountaineer to experience these exercise benefits- it can be as challenging as you want it to be. You do need to ensure you are well aware of the risks though, and prepare adequately.

3. You’ve gained perspective from time spent on mountains

They say you have to climb up a large mountain to appreciate how small you are. Mountains are humbling, in a good way, as they help you gain perspective on life. The higher you climb the mountain, the more you will appreciate this. Look out at the world from high up on a mountain; the world is amazing and so are you.

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4. You’ve learned about beauty from time spent on mountains

You cannot deny their breathtaking beauty. Whatever the season, whatever the mountain, you have the opportunity to appreciate nature at its best. From the smallest flower, to the most dramatic rock face, from a cascading waterfall, to a snowy peak. No picture or words can do it justice: you have to be there.

5. Your perspective on time changes when you’re on a mountain

You get a sense of time standing still. You imagine that the mountain has looked exactly the same for a really long time, and you imagine you will still look and feel the same for a really long time too. On a mountain, time seems slow and settled around you.

6. You always appreciate mountain air

You notice how wonderfully clean the air is. The purity and freshness of what you breathe in when on a mountain feels cleansing and life-enhancing. You realize how tainted the air you usually breathe is. Take it in deeply, feel the benefit.

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7. You love mountain fragrances

Aside from the air purity, your nostrils will be filled with wonderful fragrances as you travel the mountain, not only from the pines, mountain flowers, and other plants, but from the mountain itself.

8. You’ve learned about the importance of unspoiled nature

You appreciate how important it is to keep parts of our planet unspoiled. Apart from some of the most popular tourist mountain areas around the world, the majority of mountain areas remain in their beautiful, natural, unspoiled state.

9. You respect weather

You quickly learn a healthy respect for the weather when on mountains; in certain areas conditions can become dangerous quite quickly. If you spend much time there, you will become sensitive to the weather, in order to be responsive and safety-conscious.

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10. You know the importance of exploration

You know that there is always something new to explore on a mountain, a new path to travel. Mountains are rich with wondrous delights, capable of satisfying your primal urges for exploration. Marvel in their beauty. Be awed by their vastness, and appreciate the gift that they are.

What are you waiting for?

Featured photo credit: Bald Mountain Hike – Mt. Hood, Oregon/Thomas Shahan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive

Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

Here are some tips for installing the habit of continuous learning:

1. Always Have a Book

It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

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Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

3. Get More Intellectual Friends

Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

4. Guided Thinking

Albert Einstein once said,

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

5. Put it Into Practice

Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

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If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

6. Teach Others

You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

7. Clean Your Input

Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

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8. Learn in Groups

Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

9. Unlearn Assumptions

You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

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11. Start a Project

Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

12. Follow Your Intuition

Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

13. The Morning Fifteen

Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

14. Reap the Rewards

Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

15. Make Learning a Priority

Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

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Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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