This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Mountains vs Milestones

Introduction

First, let’s get some dictionary definitions to help us ease into all these a lot better. As with almost everything these days, these words have more than one meaning. The dictionary will act as our mutual friend. You know how a mutual friend knows about the two parties and tries to act as a mediator and calm frail nerves? We really need someone with a cool head to define these terms for us.

A milestone, according to a random Google search, is a significant stage or event in the development of something. It could also be a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.

A mountain could be a large natural elevation of the earth’s surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill. It could also mean a large pile or quantity of something.

So, we both might just be saying the same thing but with different analogies so no need to throw bottles yet, yeah? No matter the definition you choose to ride with, one thing is clear and that has to do with the size of things these words deal with. We can clearly see that “mountains” deal with large stuff while “milestones” deal with smaller stuff. I have been thinking about these words for a while now and will like to share my thoughts (hopefully, they’ll be coherent).

What Really Is A Mountain?

I will like to compare a mountain to this big, enormous, and gigantic task we hope to achieve someday. It could be our life goal, or maybe a random act just to showoff our strength or capacity. Bear in mind that the words “big”, “enormous”, and “gigantic” are relative terms, and what seems big to you might be little to someone else. However, one thing I have learnt in this life is that we are individuals and we should stay that way in every sense of the word. This means, I don’t really care if my so-called giant task isn’t all that big to you; as long as it’s giant to me, I’ll have to approach and tackle it that way.

The world’s smallest registered mountain is Mount Wycheproof at just 148 meters above sea level. The world’s highest mountain is Mount Everest at 8,850 meters above sea level. Getting to the summit of a mountain is no mean feat; it might be if the mountain is Wycheproof but certainly not Everest. And even at that, you can run at Mount Wycheproof the same way you run down your street.

The same basic principles apply when it comes to life issues. When we are faced with mountains that we need to overcome, it is very easy for us to crumble just trying to take it all in. You definitely wouldn’t start to run at a mountain in your bid to reach its summit but instead, this is how many of us approach the equivalent life situations. We try to take it on as a whole instead of trying to assess the whole situation and make adequate preparations.

Life’s mountains can very easily overwhelm us. The task at hand sometimes gets so big that we don’t see any way out and, the moment that happens, our thoughts become clouded and we eventually shut down. Whereas the task is something we could have eventually overcome (maybe not very easily) if only we had a game plan. How do you go about becoming the author of a 5000 page book when you are yet to complete a 500 word essay? How do you get to stand on the stage and deliver your acceptance speech for that shiny award when your friends won’t even read your poems? How do you get to score 700+ on GMAT when you have been just an average student all your life?

All these questions show off the mountains you need to overcome, and you can see they all vary but they’re still mountains in their own rights. How then do you block out the noise and overcome these challenges?

This is where milestones come in. How do you think milestones can help? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.

I am currently testing out the SERIES feature and I hope this turns out well. 

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