Scott's Perspective: Challenge Yourself!

If you’ve known me very long, you know that I am an avid outdoorsman, spending most of my vacations climbing mountains in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. This year I decided to try a sport that combines the two, so last month I traveled —by plane, train, bus and helicopter— into the mountains of British Columbia to engage in some back country skiing.
This was not one of those typical downhill ski trips where you take a ski lift to the top of a slope and ski down to a luxury resort with a roaring fire and apres’ ski party in progress—This was the kind of ski trip that involves skiing up to ski down; a little avalanche training; and simulated beacon rescue missions…. A ski trip experienced by less than 1% of the skiing population. (“Get a clue already,” said my adoring wife.)
When we arrived by helicopter to our accommodations— a “bare bones” hut situated on the side of a mountain— we first had to learn our daily task of retrieving water out of a frozen lake 30 feet below by filling two 5 gallon sterile buckets numerous times and hoisting to the hut by pulley. If we needed hot water, it was heated on a wood stove. We also had to wear head lamps to see at night, and trudge through 5 feet of snow to access the outhouse. In other words, this kind of ski trip is not most people’s idea of fun (including my wife… “You lost me at outhouse”). Then we would get up each day and climb 5,000 to 6,000 vertical feet usually consisting of three 2,000 vertical foot runs and come in at the end of the day tired and famished. It was exhausting…and difficult… and seemed impossible at times, but the views were breathtaking, and every the downhill ride on fresh untracked powder was worth all of the hard work and effort.
Traveling home at the end of the week, I began to think about how this ski trip correlated to so much in life. How things sometimes seem so difficult to get through, but with the proper commitment and perseverance to see it through, the results are always worth it. The point is that nothing amazing comes without significant investment. That investment can come in the form of money, of course; but it could also be in the form of physical effort (like my skiing experience), or time, or compassion. Without that investment, however, you would never be able to see and experience the profound joy that is sourced from reaching a goal of such magnitude.
In all my mountain climbing, hiking, backpacking and now—backcountry skiing adventures— I have learned that the payoff is proportionate to the quality of the investment; i.e., “You get out what you put in.” Such a simple concept, but so incredibly true… And it’s just as true in our business— or any business, for that matter— whether you’re on our side of a mortgage transaction or yours. We can choose to complain about the difficulty and seemingly unending new rules and regulations, or we can accept the challenge and do what needs to be done to reach our goal…no matter how lofty or ambitious.
So this is my challenge to you: Challenge yourself! Do something that takes some major effort. Do it until it becomes a habit, and it will become your way of life. And get outdoors! Experience the magnificence of nature! And while you’re out there, visit an “open house” or two because with interest rates at historical lows, there is truly no better time to find the home of your dreams! Carpe Diem!! Easy Persevering —SDE