Many years ago in an effort to better connect and enjoy quality time with my son, we began a tradition we now call MWAP, or "Men Without A Plan". The idea was simple..we would fill out backpacks with gear, fill the gas tank up in the car, and strike off for days of unplanned adventure, not having any real idea of where we were going. Social media was not allowed until we were back to civilization.
Our adventures have taken us all over the place, most notably the Rocky Mountains. The first trip we took was when my son was but a boy of 12 or so, and we ended up in the Pecos Wilderness of northern New Mexico. His backpack probably weighed half of his body weight, and not long after we hit the trail, he was grimmacing in pain and exhaustion. Seeing his discomfort, I fell back on a phrase my parents had often used: "a little bit further". After repeating that phrase to him several times over a few hours, we found ourselves deep into the wilderness in a pristine setting. His feet had blisters and his back was aching. I think he hated the phrase "a little bit further". BUT, it got us to a point where there was no evidence of man, and he saw a starry sky the likes of which he had never known existed.
As he grew, our trips often got more and more challenging. One summer we hopped on a passenger train between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. Half way on the train's journey when it stopped at a watering station, we jumped off and went 5 days up to the Continental Divide Trail, eventually climbing to 14,000 feet. This time his pack didn't fit his growing body well, and the trail was extremely steep and challenging. Again, during times when we thought about turning back, I fell back on the phrase "a little bit further". It pushed us over and over again to take a few more steps in the oxygen deprived atmosphere, eventually reaching our goal that we could see in the distance, but didn't think we could reach.
I find myself growing older now, and my son is a young man. This summer we did another MWAP, again ending up near the Colorado/Wyoming border. He had the heavier pack this time, and as we climbed from 7,500 feet to 13,000 feet in one day, I could feel both my age and the punishment my body was giving me for not being in better shape. He led most of the way this time, and often it was him that repeated my phrase "a little bit further". We reached our goal and "a little bit further" was one of the reasons....don't look at what's coming, concentrate on your next step, and then the one after that.
I find that my life is about going "a little bit further". I'm sure it could be the cause of my death one day, but if it is, what a good way to go!
In business, "a little bit further" causes you to take some risks and move forward. You achieve things that otherwise you couldn't. In our design-oriented office, "a little bit further" allows us to create things that are truly unique.
Every day we encounter people whose struggles are becoming too great, whose "backpacks" have become too heavy, and whose "trails" have become too steep. We will all be that way at one point in our lives. Whenever you can, embrace that person and encourage them to take one more step. Don't look at what is up ahead or it may be too intimidating to reach. Just go "a little bit further". The view from the top just may be amazing!