the levels of life

Life is like a box of chocolates.  Life is also like a 600 year old city that’s hidden at the top of a remote Peruvian mountain.  We’re talking levels.

It’s hard to farm crops at the top of a steep mountain, this seems obvious.  The Inca’s definitely knew it, and so devised a simple means of creating flat, farmable agricultural land by terracing the uppermost part of the mountain.  Now they had rows and rows of vegetables and grazing land.  Its beautifully simple (though they augmented things with complex irrigation systems and reservoirs – smart little Incas!).  It makes climbing to the top of Machu Picchu both easy and terrifying.

Those terraces exist in our lives as well.  We start at the base of the proverbial mountain, and slowly but surely start to level up our lives.  Firstly through highschool and part-time jobs.  Then maybe a college education or a trade certificate.  Maybe you go wild and get a masters degree.  Then jobs, promotions, bigger houses and fancier cars.  Spouses and kids and trips around the world.  We reap what we can from our current earthly terrace, but always reaching for a toehold that will pull us up to the one above.  Tier after tier.  We see the apex of mountain, envision the view from the top, and continue to climb.

Long term goals can be excellent motivators that drive us towards our targets, but sometimes we have to stop for a second and realize how far we’ve already come.  Know that you could probably survive just swell if you were stuck on your current terrace and could go no further.  There are still plenty of vegetables growing on this level, I think you’ll be fine.  Turn around and enjoy that view while you’re at it.  See how far you’ve already come from the very base.  Its dizzying from this height, be proud!  Then relax, rest a moment and simply enjoy the present.

A time will come however, a time when you’ve grown complacent.  You’re comfortable.  The vegetables on this level are decent, you get along with your neighbours and you could paint the view from memory.  Things have gotten routine and you’ve almost forgotten about the top of the mountain.  I wonder what THAT view is like.

In essence, you’ll be totally fine if you basically keep doing what you’re doing.  If you’re reading this on the internet, then I doubt you’re going to starve to death.  However, one must’ve forget that better views do exist in the world.  A little hard work is all it takes to get to the next level.  Look for the best route available, put one foot in front of the other, and work.  It will be hard but you can get there.  You will get there.  Then one day in the not too distant future you’ll turn around and be amazed at how far you’ve come.

Now, rinse and repeat.


Notes from this post:

Machu Picchu is awesome, and you should definitely go and see it.

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