Failure in Life: Camino de Santiago: Overcoming Failure
What happens when things get tough in your life? When do you feel like a failure in life? Do you give up? When I ask you if you give up, I’m not talking long-term. I’m thinking about when you have a tough day. A day you would much rather forget than mull over about how bad it was. You’re likely thinking from a single perspective, such as a hard day at work.
What happens when that tough day is challenging from a multi-functional perspective—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
I walked 800 kilometres across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago a couple of years ago. It was one of my most extraordinary experiences, and I’m very proud of my accomplishment.
Camino de Santiago: Overcoming Failure, Day 1.
It was my very first day of the Camino de Santiago walk; that was to become the most challenging day of my life, and it could quickly become a failure in life.
The walk started in St Jean Pied de Port, a small town in the Pyrenees in southern France. The walking route winds 25 kilometres into the mountains, rising to over 1450 metres above sea level. The path then drops 500 metres to the beautiful medieval monastery of Roncesvalles.
This is an arduous day’s walk, and it’s relentless with no let-up——it’s up, up, up all the way.
On the day I walked, the weather started out as beautiful, only to change around midday. Not only did I contend with the steepness of the climb, but also 140 kilometres per hour gale force winds. Add to the head-on winds and heavy intermittent rain, and things become critical. At times the wind was so strong other pilgrims were blown over. I later learned that a woman injured her arm, and others were ferried off the mountain after the road was closed.
There’s always a question in times like this of quitting. Usually, I would think about leaving, but there was nowhere to go that day. There was nowhere to stop, too, only the monastery somewhere ahead.
I want to ask you. What would you do if you found yourself halfway through a journey or experience like this? How strong are you physically and mentally?
What internal story would you tell yourself, and would your inner account fail in life?
It’s your internal story that gets you through your day. Your inner self speak controls whether you’ll have a fantastic day or a gloomy, out-of-touch day.
While walking the Camino that day, I could have told myself, “I can’t do this; I’m too tired, too fatigued.”. But I don’t ever remember thinking that. I just knew that I had to plug on and get to Roncesvalles, even if I arrived at 10 pm (I arrived at 5 pm). As that day panned out, failure ceased to be an option. Overcoming failure was the only option.
To set the record straight, in case you think I’m an exceptional athlete or walker. I’m not; I’m no athlete. I’m overweight and not that fit, although before the walk, I did practice for the Camino de Santiago. As things turned out that day, no amount of practice would have prepared me. This was a total ‘mind’ thing.
You’ll never know when you’re about to have a tough day because they sneak up on you. You can never prepare for a collection of unforeseen events that will make a day stressful. You can watch your thought process during that stressful, arduous day.
Action Plan for Overcoming Failure
Here’s what you do.
Try saying this….
“Yep, tough stuff, but I can do this; I can think through this; I may not like it, and I’ll do it anyway!”
Could you say it over and over and over?
I hope you have an awesome day.
Wikipedia and the Camino here.