The best time to have a map is before you go into the forest. You may think of this as planning or even preparation. Yet neither is really the case.  

Leon, a quite charismatic guy who had the endurance and strength to power through a long, strenuous hike appeared as the go to guy for mountaineering trips. Leon loved to initiate trips and bring people together. It’s all about sharing similar interests, right? As he easily met and connected with people, he was seen as a natural leader and rapidly rose through the ranks among colleagues and friends.  

Daniella, a quiet yet meager lady held her own ground among the sometimes let’s do this no matter what the cost attitude. She loved the outdoors, the challenge it brought yet also the peaceful and centering that only nature can give.  

Upon bringing a new mountaineering group together for training, Leon and Daniella discussed the basics. Leon had a “I know it all attitude” and began organizing a carpool for the first training hike of the season. From that point on, Leon took the reins to coordinate everything so Daniella backed off with preparation questions assuming he knew what he was doing.  

At the parking lot and starting point for the training hike, Daniella asked Leon for trail maps. Leon looked confused. He shouted, I’ve hiked this trail a dozen times. Daniella said, “Well, that’s great. Except for me, no one in this group has ever hiked this trail before. We are responsible for everyone in this group. I’ll coral the group from the back and make sure everyone is accounted for.”   

Daniella then asked Leon, “what topic do you want to share before we begin hiking up the trail? Perhaps cloth layering systems?” Conditions were currently cloudy with temperature just under freezing point at about 30 degrees F.  

Leon exclaimed, “We are here to hike? Let’s get going. I’ll lead us up the trail.”  

With body temperatures cooling off from standing in the parking lot, the group of 20 adults all bundled up began hiking up the trail. Yet, they looked a little perplexed that no details for the day were provided.  

Daniella wearing only a long sleeve shirt, gloves and hat knew better than to start the hike all bundled up. The group was headed up a steep hike and body temperatures would rise fast. She mentioned to those around her to remove a few clothing layers. Daniella stated once they get wet, they will not dry. And once you descend you lose body temperature so how many non-wet layers can you put on?  

While Leon took a fast pace and sped up the steep trail, Daniella kept a slow-moderate pace for the back of the group. Afterall, slow and steady wins the race. The hikers that stayed closer to Daniella began peppering her with questions. They noticed she knew what she was doing. Daniella kept her calm while answering the questions and hiking. She stopped when the faster group stopped to take off layers and were noticeable burning through their sweat. You could see their warm body moisture evaporating in the cold air.  

Daniella continued to stay centered and keep her calm. The hikers that sopped to delayer slowed down to hear Daniella’s advice on preparing for future hikes.  

Five hours later the hike ended. The group thanked Daniella for her incredible insights along the way. They felt more empowered to tackle the cold hike in a better way.  

Daniella committed to herself never to back down on her power again to Leon. Daniella committed to be more expressive and speak her mind with tact. Thus, not to be abrasive yet be a team leader.   

Leon wanted to look like a hero, an expert not a leader.  

When the next team training occurred, Daniella and Leon committed to working in a collaborative style.  

In the next year, what character traits will you commit to? What character traits can you release that no longer serve you?   

You can shift out of struggle, disappointment and frustration when you commit to your character.   

No matter what forest (or situation) you walk into, your character traits guide you on the courageous path forward. Are you fully committed to your character? On a scale of 1-10, how committed are you to your character? Be honest with yourself. Truly honest.  No one is reading your thoughts right now.  

 Its time to be character driven not goal driven.  

The best map to have are the character traits you are truly committed to no matter what situation comes your way.  

Wishing you an abundant, joyful, and prosperous day! 

Lora Polowczuk 

Chief Energy Officer 


© 2022. Lora Polowczuk. All Rights Reserved.