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Many Paths to the Mountaintop

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There is more than one path to the mountaintop. Truthfully, there are as many paths as there are climbers.

Some paths are steep and arduous. They might get you to the top quicker. You might also find yourself falling from time to time.

Some paths are long, slow, and curving–journeys that slowly open up and ripen over time.

Some are clearly marked and easy to follow, well-worn and trusted.

Some are hidden … with secrets that don’t yield easily.

Most haven’t even been carved out yet.

Some of you will take a long, slow trip, enjoying the view, even camping out along the way. Some of you are determined to see the world from the top.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of judging a path … to judge someone else’s, to judge your own. But as with any choice, each path offers a long list of pros and cons, of wins and losses. It’s up to you–and you alone–to make the choices that best suit you.

Reflection is a process of checking in with the path you are on. Are you following your path, or is it someone else’s? Is it serving you? Are you still even on the path you chose? Have you gotten off course? Turned around?

Choosing a path is a never-ending process. The forks you turn down depend on so many things: What success means to you. What you are willing to give up and what you are not. Who you want traveling with you. Whether you value the journey or the destination more.

Taking the time for reflection each day is a chance to practice asking yourself questions about where you are going and how you are getting there. Whether you are satisfied with your choices. What you are learning, and how it is changing you.

There is no right path. That’s why we ask you to engage in reflection as the seventh habit of the Whole Life Challenge. Reflection is a chance to look in the mirror and be honest with yourself about what you see.

There is no right way to go. This is why we’re not asking you to check the map every day. We’re asking you to create it.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.