I just came in from a hike up the mountain in back of my house in Hawaii. Funny thing about a mountain: It always looks easier to climb when you're at the foot of it. My goal was to reach the top of the tree line—about 3,000 feet up from my house—in less than an hour. I started out strong, with good intentions, two bottles of water, sunscreen, my hat, and my golden retrievers, Luke and Layla.
A mountain, I realized more than ever today, is one of the great metaphors for life, reminding you that:
The result was that each step became its own accomplishment, and I took the time to look at the view from every level. Wow, I thought, I need to do this more often in the daily meshugas of my life.
I've been so focused on getting to the next level, I haven't enjoyed enough of the view from where I am. Years are a blur to me, and that's not just because I'm starting my 22nd season of the show this September and have talked to thousands of guests along the way.
It's because when you live life in the fast lane, as I have for most of my career, you end up speeding through, just moving to the next thing, doing more and more and filling your schedule until there's no time even to think about what you're doing. And as busy as I am, I often look in wonder at those of you who do all that you do and raise children and prepare meals every day and run a household.
I bow to your endurance.
As we're all blessed to witness another fall season here on planet Earth, I hope you're reading these words and thinking about your own life on adrenaline. And about how you, too, can manage with more attention to things that matter. Because with all that I know for sure, today I added this: It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb.
I'm going to spend more time enjoying the view from here.
From the September 2007 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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