Keep going. It’s worth it.

Above: Image by Gina Milicia 

“Those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.” – Unknown

I’ve spent the last 30 years climbing a mountain.

I started climbing impatiently, sprinting so fast I barely noticed the scenery. The road was smooth and the incline was gentle.

The first part of the climb felt easy, took little effort, almost like I was being carried by some invisible force.

Then just when I thought I had mastered mountain climbing 101 I hit my first obstacle. The climb took a turn and I needed to navigate terrain that I had not experienced before. It was physically challenging. For every three steps I took I would lose my footing and slide back two. On several occasions I misjudged a bolder for a ledge and slid back almost to where I started.

I was frustrated, felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere but somewhere in the back of my mind I kept hearing:

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

There have been many parts of the climb where I wanted to give up. Go home. I was exhausted. My muscles ached. I’m kidding myself here, this climb is too hard. I can’t do it.

And then I hear:

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

I fell and got back up more times than I’d care to admit but that tiny voice kept me moving forward.

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

As I climbed further I needed to stretch to reach the next ledge to drag myself onto. Sometimes I wasn’t sure what I was reaching for, or what I’d discover around the next corner.

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

I stood back to let others pass me and watched in awe and with a tinge of jealousy as they powered up the mountain with ease and grace.

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

Some days I felt like I had to climb a 200-storey vertical rock wall and couldn’t find a place to find a foothold, but all I can hear is:

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

Starting a business, learning a new skill or climbing a mountain are all emotionally and physically exhausting. I’ve always felt like I’m only one who struggled because I took so long to grasp a concept or had to work so hard to get to the next level.

The one thing that has kept me going is knowing that I am not alone. There is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes years of hard work to master a craft. It takes years to grow a business.

I’m not thinking about how and when I will get “there” because “there” isn’t a place that exists. The only thing that matters is “here” and “now” so I’m going to stumble forward and listen to my inner voice saying:

“Keep going, it’s worth it.”

Here are a few of my favourite quotes on this subject.

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
– Newt Gingrich

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”
– Tim Fargo

“Most people give up when they are about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from the winning touchdown.”
– Ross Perot

“You will never plough a field if you only turn it over in your mind.”
– Irish Proverb

How to direct and pose like a pro

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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