It was just before winter hit in 2016 that the idea Becoming Mountains first appeared. Sid, a great friend from high school, and I were out eating Korean food in North York, Toronto. We were talking about my recent visit to Vancouver. Between love stories, and hiking trip tales, we started to talk about satisfaction, enjoying life, and not being stressed out or anxious. We talked about living healthy, being in our prime, reaching for our goals, and happiness.
These topics were not new to me. They had been on my mind for years. A year and a half prior to this conversation, we’d spent an entire day at the boathouse talking about similar topics. Books were recommended, quotes spoken, and a lack satisfaction was expressed by everyone present. These feelings were shared since high school, though a resolution to these discussions was never reached. It usually resulted in ordering another round of drinks and forgetting about it until the morning.
That night, after I returned from Vancouver I jokingly mentioned to Sid that I was going to become a mountain. Mountains exist and are satisfied just the way they are. They are formed and remain for thousands of years. They weather any storm. They don’t let just anyone climb them and never let anyone stay for long. They are grand and lofty. They erode and eventually disappear, just like us.
Hiking and meditation had taught me a lot and I learned a lot from mountains. I learned to be satisfied being myself, and with the things I said. I learned to appreciate things, everything (another gift given by Sid – thats another story). I learned to be confident. To be comfortable. To be a kid again. I was learning to become a mountain.
When I first mentioned this title to others they were taken aback at first and I can understand why. To them mountains can take a beating but keep on standing, as if they are rejecting what is happening around them. Denying their emotions. Closing themselves off to the world. I took time to think about this. I even debated changing the name to becoming water or rivers. Becoming more fluid and being the stream that flows down from the mountain tops.
After careful debate, and many talks about the name I decided to stick with becoming mountains but address this problem in my writing. Mountains do not close themselves off from outer circumstances; they erode, avalanches occur, and eventually even the tallest mountain will become a small stone. These are all natural phenomenon but the mountain doesn’t stop being a mountain. It takes the beating, it might suffer in some form (a dead forest on its hills, a giant boulder falling off one of its many cliffs) but the mountain remains for the time being. There is no rejection of what is happening to it. It wears its scars proudly.
Becoming Mountains the book will be coming out later this year and discusses this in much more detail. It goes into many topics on how to become a mountain, on how to be comfortable with who you are, confident in striving for what you want, cultivating healthy and fulfilling relationships, and being the best person you can be. The book also discusses how to weather the storms of life like a mountain. Not by shying away and cutting yourself off from the world but by being confident and comfortable with your emotions and your reactions toward them and others.
The book uses a metaphor of a house to exemplify all of the topics. The book walks you through the building of a house that will protect you from storms, set up healthy boundaries, bring positivity into your world, and even teaches you how to be a responsible host to the unwanted emotions that come knocking on your door.
This book is more than a self-help book. It is a personal manifesto that taught me how to live a more satisfying life. Throughout the writing of this book I learned what really interested me. It forced me to evaluate my life in ways I never had the opportunity to do before hand. It led me to the decision to switch careers. It gave me the confidence to tell my loved ones that I was dissatisfied in my current career. It helped me forgive those who were taking up way too much of my brain power. It allowed me to love more deeply than I ever had before. To put it simply it made me better and I want to share it in the hopes that it might make others better too.
If you check out this blog you will notice that there will be a mix of content. Some posts will go into programming and coding while others will discuss becoming mountains and the ideas that go along with that. I will try to keep them separated but they both take up a big portion of my life and they will often be intertwined.
It was the writing of this book that led me to programming. The day I hit 10, 000 words I spent the evening watching the NHL All star game with my 6 year old nephew Liam, and Sid. Afterwards, Sid and I went to his house to watch a movie. We never ended up watching a movie but instead spent the whole night talking about programming and business. I felt enthralled by the world and stayed up late that night researching this new journey I was about to embark on and I haven’t looked back.
These two topics, though seemingly different, are very interconnected in my life and I want to share them both with the world. I find more fulfillment in programming than I did in my previous career and will discuss more of why that is in the future.
Everyone is struggling. We are all on Earth together. We can help each other become mountains and that is what I aim to do with this book and this blog. Please join me on this journey to become a mountain.
“Mountains may have a path that lead to it and up it. But that mountain would exist whether the path was there or not. It is not the result of the path”
Before this time I always felt like I was constantly underachieving. Drinking too much. Not eating healthy or working out enough. Seeking something that I couldn’t find or even name. When I look at my life I can see that it is full of accomplishments but yet I never felt satisfied with these achievements. Most people would probably say I am not underachieving but we are our worst critics.
A little bit about me
I come from a relatively well off and educated family. My father is a professor and my mother a teacher. My uncles are almost all professors, teachers, or principals. It was pretty much expected that I would be going to university, which I did in 2006. I went and got a liberal arts degree in history with a whole bunch of english literature supplementary courses. I wasn’t left with many options when I graduated so I went into the family business: education.
I got a bachelor of education and immediately took off abroad to teach. I worked in China for the next three years. While I was away I learned a lot.