At this time five years ago I was making my way up to Mt. Everest Base camp. The mountains were majestic but the actual experience, of sleeping in a tent at altitudes as high as 17,500 feet and trekking the equivalent of the Empire State Building daily, was not easy. It was cold and we had to boil ice to get water to brush my teeth.
Traveling to an unfamiliar place like the Himalayas allowed me to expand my limitations both physically and mentally. It continues to provide perspective when things get “tough” in the daily grind of NYC and corporate workplace.
When I asked my friend Karma Sherpa what we Westerners could learn from the Sherpas, he replied, “You can learn to be happy.” Well said and a reminder to enjoy and realize how much we have. But, for many of us that’s easier said than done.
Five years later, I’m sitting in Saint Vincent’s park in Greenwich village near my home. Spring has arrived and people are out enjoying the sunny Sunday with friends & family. I just finished my Starbucks coffee. Compared to five years ago, this moment is a lot easier and more pleasant. Being “happy” to me is recognizing the ease and enjoyment of this very moment as compared to an alternate reality of struggling.