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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Be On The Mountain

Be On the Mountain

Last February I had an epiphany. It was a small epiphany as far as epiphanies are concerned.

I was sitting in a coffeehouse writing a piece of fiction, something that had something to do with my perspectives on life. Somehow it turned into 47 pages about my own life and ended up being a pseudo journal entry instead of fiction.

One theme recurred throughout those 47 pages: living in the moment. Or, said another way, enjoying the moment. It’s what Rob Bell refers to as “being on the mountain.” If you don’t know who Rob Bell is, he’s a hip, cool, Gen-X, new-age Christian guy with whom you’d like to have a coffee and a conversation (irrespective of your religious leanings). I am not particularly religious, but I enjoy his perspective.

Rob tells a story about Moses’ journey to the top of a mountain. I will omit most of the religious and historical details for the sake of attenuation (and those details aren’t relevant to the moral of this story anyway). In the story, God tells Moses to travel to the top of the mountain. Then, in what is an ostensibly redundant (and odd) request, God commands Moses to “be on the mountain.”

To which, I imagine, Moses was like, “Um, yeah, I heard you the first time. You already said to go to the top of the mountain.” But Moses didn’t get the point right away. God didn’t want Moses to go to the top of the mountain and then start thinking about what he needed to do next. God didn’t want him to start worrying about how he was going to get down or worry about whether or not he turned off the lights before he left the house or worry about what bills needed to be paid this week. God just wanted Moses to be on the mountain, to enjoy the moment.

The moral? Enjoy the moment. How? Don’t spend your time in perpetual planning. Or perpetual worry. Or perpetual whatever. Instead, just enjoy the moment. Notice what all of your efforts have done for you. They got you to the top of the mountain, after all. Just take a moment and be on the mountain. Be on the mountain. Be.

That’s what I want. I am committed to being on the mountain, to enjoying my life.

That doesn’t mean I don’t plan. I just enjoy the planning process more.

It doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. I just enjoy working hard, whether it’s writing or leading people.

When you enjoy it, it’s not work anyway. In fact, I avoid calling it work altogether. I call it my mission.

How about when you’re doing something you dislike? Or worse, something you hate? Ask yourself, how can I do this and enjoy it too? The only way to get a better answer, is to ask a better quality question. So ask yourself, how can I enjoy this? You will get better results if you do this.

I get better results when I enjoy the process. Better health. Better relationships. More growth. Greater contribution. A better life.

Don’t dwell on the past. Don’t worry about the future. Just be on the mountain.