by Paul Casey

4 Ways Hiking Links to Self-Leadership

Maybe it’s because I’m in nature, maybe it’s having the mental space to think–but it seems I receive insights on life whenever I go hiking. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself that spring from an experience on the trails:

  1. Fork in the road. How do I make decisions? Hundreds of times each day, we all make decisions–from whether to eat that extra cookie to whether to register for that upcoming class or event. You have probably done the pro’s and con’s activity for sorting which way to go, and that’s a good start. In addition, we all need a decision filter, a set of crucial questions, through which to make a good call, especially on those decisions that are life-altering.
  2. Unmarked paths. How do I landmark where I’ve been? Ever felt lost in your life? Not just on the road, but literally in your life, as if you’ve lost your bearings and another month or year has gone by without living your grander purpose? This feeling might indicate a need for a personal retreat as soon as possible, to re-connect to your life mission and vision. And don’t forget to journal what you determine is your core and your trajectory, and post your purpose where you can see it daily.
  3. Lay of the land. What are the guardrails/markers that orient me in the right direction, so that I don’t end up in the ditch? For most of us, we utilize people that we trust as mirrors to reflect if we are headed on the right course, or headed someplace unwise. Who is that person for you? When is the last time you’ve requested feedback from him/her? And, are you ready to listen? It is vital to have this personal board of directors who have a 360-degree view of your life.
  4. Walking stick. What tools make me most successful? Habits/rituals are tools for making sure we have a full tank of energy and an organized plan to bring our best to every day. Mornings set the course for the next 12-plus hours; so it would be beneficial to get up a little earlier and plug energy-givers into your before-work time-block: prayer, meditation, professional reading, exercise, prioritizing.

The last quarter of your year is quickly approaching. Take a hike–figuratively–and re-ground yourself into who you want to become, what’s most important to accomplish, how you will choose to spend your limited time, and what boundaries need to be set to protect your priorities. As always, if you need assistance in helping you sort out these major stepping stones for your near future, reach out at 


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