Lessons from the Boondocks

Posted: May 17, 2012 in Insights and Reflections, Travel Journal, Uncategorized
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My first time to really hike in the mountain happened on my 37th birthday, atop Mt. Ampacao in Sagada, Mountain Province. While going up its terrain, I realized how climbing a mountain is so similar to effective workplace attitude and behaviour in many aspects, which also apply in how we go about with life.

I went back to Sagada for a purpose; that was to revise my dissertation proposal. So, I scheduled a 5-day off from work and away from home. I thought I needed some space and time alone to focus on what I want to finish. Since I just had an earlier vista of how conducive Sagada could be for my academic work, I decided to go back. I shared that with my family, and though they irked to question my goal, they just had to respect my desire to accomplish something.

I was able to finish the revisions for my academic paper on the second day. I had to deprive myself that day from enjoying the place. Except for the lunch, snack, dinner and smoking breaks, all I had to do was to go over the comments on paper and do what I have to do. Fighting the temptation of going out and pleasing myself with the beautiful place, I was able to do it. I succeeded simply because I had a vision in my mind – I want to defend my proposal by June, I want to get my PhD degree by the next school year, and I want to get promoted after graduation to a full-professor status.

And, all that is related to the vision statement I wrote some years ago. I want to inspire others as an excellent teacher, and getting there means I have to move up (literally and figuratively), in both my education and professional performance.

Odd it may be, but I needed to go over mountains from Manila to the Northern Philippines to complete the revision of my paper, and I am sure I will have to do it again sometime soon. But, it is not a waste: it was actually a fruitful time for me. It gave me the needed time to do what I have to do and spend some time to rest and recreate myself. My climb back to Sagada taught me some lessons which are vital to keep me up at work and in life in general.

Ten insightful lessons came to my mind, with the mountain breeze as I climbed Mt. Ampacao. I wish to share these in a ten-post series: 1) Sharing a Vision and Going for it; 2) Following and leading; 3) Trying out new things; 4) Keeping on track and finding ways; 5) Seizing the moment and loving the environment; 6) Appreciating various perspectives; 7) Pacing and taking time to rest; 8) Not cramping on some shit; 9) Remaining in balance; and 10) Knowing where you came from. Meaningful as they came to me, and I desire to share these insights in my succeeding posts.


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