The arduous climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro may be easier in the coming years as the government of Tanzania is planning to install a cable car on the route. By assisting tourists in reaching the top faster, it hopes to increase tourism by 50% and provide access to physically disabled, elderly and children.

When I heard this, John F. Kennedy’s quote came to mind: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard…” Climbing to the summit becomes a personal challenge for those who attempt it – something that isn’t done for the views, but for the symbolism and accomplishment that it represents. They do it because it is hard.

There are many things easily done today that were once hard to do and I’m all for progress. I’m glad I can fly across the ocean instead of needing to go by ship. I couldn’t do the daily dots on a typewriter or by quill and ink. Thank goodness I don’t have to hunt and kill my own food.

But there is great value in doing something that is hard to do – for the sheer value of doing it. Completing a triathlon. Writing a book. Earning a Black Belt. Finishing a doctorate. And climbing a mountain.

Sometimes the benefits come from the process as much as from the outcome. Don’t cheat yourself by taking the cable car.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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