Freedom to Choose

Stop GOING through Life,
Start GROWING through Life.

“We are all hauling a life but not necessarily living one.” I am often reminded of this thought when I see people putting too much efforts to achieve too little. Most of the time we get confused with the ideas of survival and the purpose of existence. Often we spend years trying to survive and later realize the futility of this endless struggle.

“Without freedom there is no creativity. Without creativity, there is no life.” – Benjamin Spock 

Life is a journey. And we have the freedom to choose our path in this journey. Last year, I was traveling in Sikkim Himalayas for over a month undergoing Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) from HMI, Darjeeling.  In real high mountains, there are no paved roads. One has the liberty to find his own path. We may choose the trails of the path followed by past travelers or build our own path. Even if the destination appears right in front of us, it needs rigorous planning to reach from Point A to Point B.


One of the best lessons I learned there is the ability to develop perspectives. There is no right or wrong path. There isn’t anybody to guide or force you. All it requires is to trust your senses and start moving on any one path. And along the way, you encounter multiple paths just like perspectives and you are free to experiment.

Mountaineering is not only about Physical strength as one would assume, but it’s actually more about the mental, emotional and spiritual health. Low levels of oxygen, limited resources, risk at every step and seclusion from society could take a toll on mental health. One gets to learn the value of one’s own life and the luxuries of comfortable city life we have inherited.

Mountains know secrets we need to learn. That it might take time, it might be hard, but if you just hold on long enough, you will find the strength to rise up. 

What matters high in the mountains is the amount of Energy you invest in each task. Energy is limited and it’s easy to lose. Some paths require more efforts and use more energy. Some paths require less energy and thus are preferred over the other. Mountaineering is living on the edge. Here mistakes are not an option.

Distance, Equipment, Energy, Techniques, Weather and Time must be planned for successful climbing. All of this comes only with experience. As we experience we develop perspectives. Soon we define our own patterns. This way we cultivate our own perspectives and beliefs. Beliefs which go beyond our rational conscious mind.

Some beliefs may make us haul on the dreaded path and others may set us free from ongoing pain. The choice remains with us. The choice to choose our beliefs.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way”  –  Viktor Frankl 


Why Mountaineering excites me? Everytime you climb a new mountain you have to find a new path, develop a new perspective and overcome newer challenges. It’s never the same. And in every moment you have the freedom to choose, to grow and be creative…

May you climb from Peak to Peak!

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