Changing priorities…

Life changes, and with it our priorities change. Adjusting to our changing priorities can be difficult, sometimes it feels like you have been focused on some target for many years, and suddenly it loses its allure, and we realise that our priorities have changed.

Remember when you were young, and staying out all night was great fun? And now being tucked up in bed with a good book by 10pm is the ultimate delight? That is simply your priorities changing. As our life changes our views, our outlooks change.

When you were younger riding horses as fast as possible was an aim, now a spook-free hack is a delight. When we were younger we might have been more results driven, and gained satisfaction from winning at a show, or beating our rival. Though often as you get older, you appreciate the delights of training more than the pinnacle of the competition.

Age changes us, experiences, both good and bad, change us, so that our priorities change. If you have had a bad fall, success might be a hack without feeling nervous. If are older, a ride where your hip doesn’t hurt might be the ultimate indicator of success. These aspirations are no less valid or important they are just different. All our personal goals are just that, they are personal, they are all equally valid and important. We cannot judge our goals against the goals of others. We don’t know what battles other people are fighting, we don’t know what constitutes success to someone else.

So be kind, to yourself and to others. Even if your aims aren’t as seemingly ambitious as they once were they are still your aims. They are still valid and you should still be proud of them. Take a moment to look back at where you have come from…

Challenges can be good for us

The thing about challenges is that they do exactly what it says on the tin! They challenge you, and in challenging yourself your gain access to parts of yourself that you might not otherwise have managed to. Anything that makes us push forward or strive requires us to reach down inside and get that little bit more.

I walked up Snowdon on the weekend. I had never done it before and it was wonderful. It was hard, but I had trained for it, made sure I was fit enough – which I was (just!) But the payback for pushing myself was to get to stand on the top of a mountain and look out across the world.

Humans are forever wanting to climb up things, or across things or go faster or higher. Often I write about the need to just appreciate where you are, not to judge yourself against other, delight in the present, but sometimes a challenge is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it is great to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that tests you, that excites you, that challenges you.

Remember the great saying about comfort zones? “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” It’s true. I’m not advocating pushing yourself wildly out of your safe place, but the odd little toes dipped in the water will allow you to stretch out, without over-stepping the mark. Just remember it’s your challenge, not anyone else’s. Don’t ever judge your achievements against anyone else. Your mountain may be small, but it doesn’t stop it being a mountain. Nothing anyone else does deflects from your triumphs.

My delight in my ability to climb up and down Snowdon was not diminished by being overtaken by men running up and down – each to their own…