I am filled with gratitude and a deeper sense of awareness after going through one of the most breathtaking and uncomfortable experiences of my life that was the perfect metaphor for how what seems like a sacrifice can actually turn into success. During my trip to Hawaii, my family planned to go to the top of Mount Haleakala’s crater (10 000 feet up into the sky) to view the Hawaiian sunrise at 5:39 am. This little adventure set in some profound life lessons that I will never forget.
As I woke up at 3:45 am, I was so excited to drive up to watch the beautiful sunrise peaking out through the clouds over the Hawaiian mountains. In my mind about, I had already envisioned what a beautiful experience this was going to be since I had heard so many wonderful things about it. To my surprise, this activity was filled with a lot discomfort and frustration and unfortunately there was no turning back when halfway up when the challenges started to arise. As we were driving up the extremely windy road (a 1.5 hour trek), I became extremely car sick. At one moment, I said out loud “If I would have known this was going to be so unpleasant, I probably wouldn’t have come”. A comment I would soon regret saying. When we got to the top, it was about 5 degrees and we were dressed for about 15 degrees weather.
It was raining and foggy and I was so cold I wanted to cry plus, I was still enjoying the car sickness from the ride up. Up to that point, I was not impressed with how things were unfolding. We waited 10 minutes and at about 5:45 am the guide announced that it was too cloudy and the sun had rose already. She seemed to find this quite funny as she made a joke about it and I was extremely frustrated especially since no one had told me that there was a chance that we wouldn’t see the sunrise. All I could do was think about my car sickness, the fact that I as freezing, that nothing fabulous happened AND that I had to do another 1.5 hours back down that windy road and would probably end up being sick. I was starving and I was thinking “Why in the hell would anyone rave about this experience?”.
How ignorant was I to judge so quickly and give up on any potential that might be ahead of me when life had a magical surprise waiting that would simply require a little patience. Just as everyone was turning around to leave, we saw a a thin beam of light working its way through the clouds. The sun was showing up just when we were all about to give up. It was beautiful! I’ve never seen life in this form and I quickly understood the process we had to go through beforehand to have the chance to witness what we were seeing. For the hour that we stayed there to soak in the beauty of this moment, I was blown away by life and by the feeling that there was something out there so much bigger than myself. Even through a rough journey, life always has a plan for us that is much brighter than we could possibly imagine.
Sometimes to get to where you want to go, see the things you want to see or enjoy amazing experiences, you need to sacrifice your comfort and let go of expectations. Always be open to life’s unexpected surprises, especially when you think that nothing good will come of something. It’s those who are patient and trust without too many expectations that reap the most precious gifts. That morning for a moment I almost chose to give up. All I wanted was my comfort back. With a little patience just when everyone was giving up, I got to experience something more incredible than I would have ever imagined.
So each time you are going through a tough time, a moment of discomfort or even frustration, know that something magical is waiting on the other side and be the one who doesn’t give up when everyone else is. I promise, you won’t regret it.
Cheers to your success and INJOY the business journey!
(Featured image from holidayforce.com, all other photos by Jennifer Young)