If you know me, you know that I have climbed five of the world’s tallest mountains. I have two more to go and then I can lay claim to the fact that I have touched the summit of all seven! I realize that’s quite a feat for anyone but especially for a working Mom who lives in, of all places, Charleston, South Carolina! That’s right. I live in what is referred to as “low-country” far away from any challenging mountain peaks or so you would think.

The truth is each one of us have mountains to climb each day. We have—peaks and valleys, roots, rocks, and hidden trip hazards. I don’t care if you are 9 or 90, you have a challenge set before you. The question you must answer is will you meet that challenge well and climb that mountain?

While I love motivating people to go forward, I know there are people who fail to climb up, over, or out of a dark situation. I’m also a financial advisor who’s watching the dips and swings of our current environment. Am I discouraged? No. Am I optimistic? Yes, and you can be, too.

Many of us are facing challenges that we never thought we would face in these years. I get it. I understand, believe me when I say that personally over the last few years, my life has taken a 180 degree turn, but I did something that I believe works. I took the first step toward conquering each challenge I face—not running away or hiding but embracing the challenge and standing firm.

You don’t get many, if any, opportunities to regroup on top of Mt. Everest. If you make a commitment to climb, you must climb, or the mountain will overwhelm you. There are lots of analogies people use when it comes to mountains, but I want to talk about one that has consistently worked for me and one I believe will work for you, especially in these challenging times.

Keep a Positive Attitude. Keep your Core strong. There’s a trick to doing this. You must stay focused on what is truth. Our minds are bombarded by so many messages today.

Learn to stop and ask, “Is what I’m hearing true, or marketing language meant to move me in a certain direction?” You want truth.

Whatever has your attention, has you. If you get up each day with thoughts of fear, you will go through your day cowering. The way you strengthen your Core is to set your focus on conquering mountains. The things that seek to press in on you, will suffocate you if you don’t move. Be a person who looks beyond this present moment to the mountain peaks and find a way to tag each one!

Before I put an ice pick in the side of Everest, I made sure that my Core was solid. How do you do this? You set your mind on the things that matter most—your family, your relationships, and your health.

Life holds changes and if you do not keep your Core strong, you will develop a serious “wobble.” For me, my family, friendships, spiritual connection, and personal self-worth really create a source of strength within that is hard to tear down. I make a point to stay strong.

Learn from difficult times. I remember standing and looking at my first ice wall on Mt. Everest and realizing that all my training had gotten me to this moment. I had not been “here” before, but I knew of others who had, and I had trained myself mentally to go where they had gone and even further.

Train for the position you want in life. Study, learn, strengthen your grip, and put your pick in the ice and climb! Train for emergencies! People train to get better at something so they can have bragging rights to a sport or an occupation. But I say train for the times ahead by being savvy in knowledge and keenly aware of what you can do to live smarter. In today’s “right now” economy, that may include driving shorter distances, grouping trips to stores, or just not caving into negative suppositions.  

Refuse to give up You wouldn’t believe all the tricks that a climber must do to complete the challenge, but at (blank feet) with hollowing winds threatening your existence, you know to only do what is necessary and brings sure success. My drive for experience and faith brought me to Everest Base Camp, but from there on it was my sheer determination that took me to the top. What about you? What will take you to the top of the mountain in front of you?

Don’t Buck Change; it’s a Good Thing! We are seeing more change in these years than our parents and their parents saw in their entire lifetimes. While change can bring sadness, it also brings opportunities to grow and keep us flexible and strong.

Be Grateful Gratitude changes your attitude. It is a Core Strengthening tool. When you are grateful, your mind is correctly set to face difficulty with a “let’s get it done” mindset. You think about the very things that make up your life—good and bad—and use these to gain more Perfect Days.

Perfect Days are not perfect! They are days lived wisely and with gratitude in a very imperfect world. You can gain a deep sense of peace even in these times of change and unsettled financial markets.

Contact me for my personal Perfect Day story from the Introduction of my book Perfect Day. In fact, download it for free, or sign up for a free consult with me.

I can show you how to re-evaluate your goals and assets — including assets you may never have considered. Most importantly, I can teach you how to gain the confidence you need to get on track for the future and many more Perfect Days!