#309: You Can’t Carry It All With You

I’ve been fascinated by the Appalachian Trail ever since I moved to Georgia in 1997.

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,200-mile hiking trail that spans from North Georgia to Central Maine. It goes through 14 states and takes about six months to complete end to end.

I’ve hiked and backpacked portions of the trail. I have no desire to do the whole thing, but I enjoy reading about those who have. And one of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t start out with everything you’re going to need for the six-month trip. You won’t have enough space in your backpack, and even if you did, the weight would be unbearable.

Instead, you have to plan your trip strategically and arrange to have supplies (such as food, spare socks, batteries and other items) mailed to you along the route.

In this podcast episode, I talk about hiking the Appalachian Trail and what it can teach us about our businesses.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Trust That You’ll Get What You Need

So how do you make sure you’ll have the supplies you need when you need them on the trail? You pack your supplies into boxes and arrange for a friend to ship those boxes to the small-town post offices that are located along the route.

This system for getting supplies popped into my head when I read this meditation from The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie:

“We can trust that all we need on this journey shall come to us. We will not get all we need for the entire journey today. We shall receive today’s supplies today, and tomorrow’s supplies tomorrow. We were never intended to carry supplies for the entire journey. The burden would be too heavy, and the way was intended to be light.

Trust in yourself. We do not have to plan, control, and schedule all things. The schedule and plan have been written. All we need to do is show up.”

I often feel anxious about all the things I need to do. When I think of a goal I want to reach and I see how far away it is from where I am today, I get stressed. And that often leads to discouragement.

But this little meditation is a reminder that you can’t travel the whole Appalachian Trail and carry all the supplies you’ll need. The burden would be unbearable. You can only take what you can carry now and then trust that what you’ll need next month, and the month after that, will come.

The journey isn’t meant to be a burden. It’s meant to be light, fun and fulfilling.

So remember, you don’t need to plan, control and schedule every little thing.

Yes, you need a rough plan. You need to know where you want to go—or at least have a general idea of your next destination.

And then trust that the details of the plan will unfold as you keep moving forward.


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If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll get back to you with more details.