Is life a line or a triangle?
We tend to think of life as a line, like a timeline with life events dispersed along the line. Another way to look at life is to picture it as a triangle that has equal sides and angels.
In mathematics this kind of triangle is called an equilateral triangle (meaning all it’s sides are equal) and sometimes it’s simply called a regular triangle.
Every corner of that triangle represents an aspect of life – our career, our health and our personal relationships.
It’s difficult to maintain balance if you focus on only one aspect of your life.
If you are completely absorbed by your work, your personal relationships will suffer. When you neglect your health, it will sooner or later affect your career. When your career is in trouble it affects your health and tests your relationships.
This why an equilateral triangle is such a good visual representation and a symbol – much more powerful than a timeline that doesn’t say anything about life’s real qualities.
Likewise, true progress seems to happen only when you are committed to all three – your work, your health and your relationships – in a balanced way.
Try it. At the end of each day or week, try to think, what have you been doing. Did you do anything to advance your career? Did you do something special to strengthen your relationships? Did you sleep well, eat healthy and move enough to be healthy?
Hiking is not just about walking
As most hikers know, hiking is not just about taking a heavy bag and pushing yourself to go long distances on foot. It’s also not just about the amazing scenery or nature that you get to experience. These things are important as we have written about in the “5 reasons I love hiking” blogpost.
There’s something about being on a journey on foot (or on a bike, or in a sailboat), that works for your benefit in a spiritual way.
The repetitive movement of putting one foot in front of the other for days and days is in itself very similar to meditation techniques – chanting a mantra or focusing on your breathing. When you hike, you basically just do three things – sleep, eat and walk.
It’s not a coincidence that people used to go on pilgrimages and many faiths have their own traditions of pilgrimage. People still go on pilgrimages, even if they’re not doing it strictly for religious reasons.
It’s a way to purify your mind and focus on your deep thoughts and feelings.
We strongly believe and have experienced that hiking is good for you physically but also mentally, strengthening your mental health and resilience.
Of course, all these benefits are more likely if you have the right gear and skills. Here’s a blogpost about common problems you might encounter when hiking and how to solve them. And here’s a post about all the gear and clothes you need for a day hike, which will help you get started and make sure you’re safe and comfortable at all times.
Hiking can strengthen (or test) your relationships
Hiking is also a way to strengthen your relationships – with a partner or with friends and family.
Many couples hike together and find it enormously gratifying to have time away together. We don’t have many power outlets in the nature, so we tend to go without gadgets as much as possible.
Life is slower in analogue. The less connected you are to the rest of the world, the more connected you can become to one another.
Clear your head for the busy week ahead
Does hiking impact your career? In many ways it does.
Many people have made serious changes to their work life once they discovered hiking and travelling. Some actually break away from the corporate world to regain their independence, others benefit from some healthy distance from time to time.
We are absolutely certain that it is hugely beneficial to take a step back from our careers sometimes. We are also very sure that taking long walks, day hikes and longer hikes makes us much better at what we do in our work life. It clears our heads, it helps us to recover.
It’s such a simple activity, yet it can influence all three sides of your life – your health, your career and your personal relationships – in a very beneficial and beautiful way.
Plus, it’s super nice to sit by a campfire in the evening and reading a novel by Murakami, for instance. In case you don’t know how to make a fire, we’ve written a great blog post with instructions, pictures and a video that teaches you how to make a fire.
Have fun out there!