I was born in the Himalayan laps and spent most of my life so far there. Hence I’ve frequently done trekking trips. Professionally I have been fortunate to experience the entire lifecycle of a product – ideation, elaboration, coding, testing, support and debugging. Although the two – trekking and creating product are entirely different, but I realized some interesting similarities.
I am assuming that most of the readers of this post have been to trekking atleast once.
It is likely that your first trek was not planned by you, just like your first product thought. One of your friends who has trekked earlier implanted the idea. In product creation this friend is usually your colleague.
Now let’s talk about your trekking experience. You started the journey with full passion, motivation, energy etc. In product creation, you hired (or got hired) in a team or company and you were fully motivated to do something.
Before starting trek your mind starting imagining all the things you have heard about trekking. So with a pacing heartbeat you start your trek.
Now let’s come again to product creation, before starting the journey you imagine things depending on your perception built seeing your elder brother, a good adviser friend, some acquaintance doing well in this field, or even Steve Jobs.
Now you start both of these journeys with the energy to go on top and you keep moving, capturing a lot of memories, sharing them on social media, seeing new things, getting to know some new cultures and all.
After some point the journey starts getting difficult. Now you start getting tired and at one point you sit to rest and you feel your limits are reached.
After a pause, you start calculating how much is left, checking how much energy you are left with. And you find yourself surrounded by a person who was still active and forcing you to just make little more effort, to just cross your limits. But the question was why was he doing that? What is the benefit he is getting from it? The answers is simple he has been there before he knows how beautiful it is there. There is a different intoxication there. The hangover for years.
Now you are stuck between your heart and your mind. Your heart is still thinking about dreams you have think of and your mind is saying ‘nahin ho payega’ (will not be able to complete it). If the limit is reached early your mind starts thinking about giving up and going back.
My experience on both is to just keep going with your heart. You will have body pain for a few days but you will get happiness for years. It is going to be something which you can share among your friends. It will make you a storyteller.
You could graduate from this point to being a regular trekker or a trekking planner or even a loser !
In product you can be master of making products or making new products yourself or again a loser. Don’t listen to your mind as it anyways can’t tell whats in store in the future. At its best, at that point it is just telling you current situation of your body only.
Now back to people who crossed this point and continued on journey. After going a little forward you can one of these types: one are the people who enjoyed every moment of it, who sensed the intoxication in it, who wants to come back again again or you can be one who cursed every single step you take afterwards cursing your friend who took you there just seeing him enjoy and you at same time just thinking what the hell he is enjoying in this height and loneliness. The result is you never wanted to come again on journey. The choice can vary from person to person. But believe me it’s like going to an island and staying in your room and saying beaches and all are not my type and coming back.
Now it doesn’t matter you were first or last in journey or in product sense what work you were doing testing, thinking, developing, marketing, selling etc. It’s the journey that matters after all. Are you able to fulfill your dream is the question? If yes then you know the feel and if no then may be you just made up your mind looking at others and you yourself never wanted to come on journey.
So keep making products and keep going to trekking 🙂